Looking for something to do in the dog days of summer?
You could do far worse than click on the Longshore 50th anniversary website.
Hosted by the Westport Historical Society, it’s a fascinating — and extremely professional — romp through more than a century of Longshore life. Long before it was a town park — even before it was a thriving club — the land between Compo and the river hummed with activity.
That’s George Lawrence (above). His father — Alexander Lawrence — was a wealthy New Yorker who in 1868 purchased 68 acres of farmland on what is now Longshore. Alexander made his money important fruit and statuary. As the Longshore 50th site notes, George is standing on “the fruits of his father’s labor.”
This is the “Longshore Lookout Tower” — but growing up in the 1960s, we always called it “the lighthouse.” If you’re walking through the pavilion toward the pool, the tower would be on your left. It was torn down sometime in the ’60s or early ’70s. Why? Who knows?
Here’s the Inn at Longshore, looking barren and bleak. Perhaps this picture was taken during the time the inn nearly went bankrupt.
Those photos — and many more — are on the Longshore 50th website. You’ll also find maps, and video interviews with sailing school managers past and present, golf superintendent Don Rackliffe, former town officials like Jackie Heneage, Ted Diamond and Bill Steffen, and more.
There are audio interviews with folks like 97-year-old Pat Lucci, who played golf with Bob Hope and Bert Lahr. (The “Cowardly Lion” was Longshore Beach & Country Club champ in 1935).
And there are newspaper clippings and maps, along with a blog and calendar of events.
Plenty of website for things like 50th anniversary celebrations are half-hearted, lifeless and littered with dead links.
This one is dynamic, fresh, handsome — and always new.
Just like Longshore itself.