Tag Archives: Longshore lighthouse

Photo Challenge #267

There’s always a story.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed an easily identifiable — well, to anyone who lived here through the 1970s, anyway — painting.

I called it a lighthouse. I wrote that for decades it stood between the marina and pool entrance at Longshore — near where the pavilion and snack bar are now. (Click here to see.)

So that was not the challenge. I asked: Where can you see this painting today?

Fred Cantor, Joyce Barnhart and Lynn Untermeyer Miller all know: In the lobby of the Parks & Recreation offices, at Longshore a few yards from the 1st tee.

Then Richard Stein chimed in. He found this painting at a tag sale at the Red
Barn restaurant, on Wilton Road.

It was coated with dust, cobwebs and dirt. He had it cleaned and repaired, then donated to the Westport Permanent Art Collections, with the request that it hang at Parks & Rec office.

He added that a label on the back said “Horowitz.” The name “Harriet” appears at the bottom of the painting, along with “’71” — presumably indicating it was done in 1971.

Jill Turner Odice quickly added some details: Her mother, Julie Turner, was friends with Harriet Horowitz. They painted and played tennis together in Westport, between 1966 and ’89. “This painting is in her style,” Jill said.

That’s the story. Except for even more information, courtesy of Stein. He’s been told that some of the granite foundation stones of the tower are still there, in the marina parking lot.

Plus this: It was not actually a lighthouse. Stein says it was an observation tower.

“06880” readers truly are on top of everything.

This week’s Photo Challenge should ring a bell. If you know where in Westport you’d find this, click “Comment” below.

And of course, provide the back story.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

 

Friday Flashback #155

In early 1960, the town of Westport bought the failing private Longshore Beach & Country Club. The 169-acre property included a golf course, tennis courts, pools, marina, inn/restaurant, residential cabins, even 2 private roads.

Plus — why not? — a lighthouse.

The entire process — from concept to approval from the Board of Finance and (unanimously!) the RTM — took just 18 days.  Town officials put together a $1.9 million package, then earned approval from the Board of Finance and RTM.  The latter vote was 38-0. 

Five years later, the Westport Town Crier published a remarkable aerial photo of what was then the still-novel town-owned country club.

(Aerial photo/Robert Lentini)

Moving counter-clockwise from the center, you can see the old tennis court locker rooms, and adjacent wooden bathhouses (though you can’t see how dark they were, or smell their decades-old musty odor); the original Longshore Sailing School; several cabanas by the old pool — and, partially hidden by trees next to the marina, the circular lighthouse.

It was always a source of fascination for kids, and admiration by adults.

The lighthouse survived one demolition attempt in the late ’60s or early ’70s. Eventually — when the entrance to the pool area was modernized — it was torn down.

Here’s what we miss:

(Photo courtesy of Peter Barlow)

(Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Longshore Lighthouse: The Back Story

For decades, no one thought about the Longshore lighthouse.

Yesterday, I published a photo of it as part of “06880’s” Friday Flashback series.

I had no idea that Westporters Dick Stein and Tracy Hinson had just offered an oil painting of that same scene to the town, as a gift.

Dick told official curator Kathie Motes Bennewitz that he found the painting behind an upstairs desk at last year’s Red Barn tag sale. Owner Tommy Nistico asked Dick if he knew where the lighthouse had been located. Dick remembered it instantly from  his youth.

The painting — by artist Harriet Horowitz, who moved from Westport in 1972 — was dusty and dirty. But Dick bought it, hoping it would one day hang in the Parks and Recreation Department office — at Longshore.

He had it cleaned and lightly repaired. Now he’s given it to the town.

Longshore lighthouse painting by Harriet Horowitz

That’s a great story. But there’s one more part.

According to alert “06880” reader Peter Barlow — who sent the lighthouse photo along for the “Friday Flashback” — in the late 1960s a popular Parks and Recreation Commission official ordered the demolition of the lighthouse.

Years later, he admitted it had been a mistake.

The commission member’s name?

Lou Nistico — father uncle of Red Barn owner Tom Nistico, who sold the lighthouse painting to Dick Stein.

Friday Flashback #3

This was not a working lighthouse.

But for decades it served as a welcoming beacon for everyone entering Longshore — first the private beach club, then (after 1960), the town-owned park.

I don’t think anyone was allowed inside. But I clearly remember where it stood: Just inside the entrance across from the tennis courts, near where the pavilion and snack bar are today.

If you’ve got any memories of the Longshore lighthouse — or never knew it, but want to react to the photo — click “Comments” below.

(Photo courtesy of Peter Barlow)

(Photo courtesy of Peter Barlow)