Tag Archives: Minute Man monument

Behind The Minute Man Wall

It’s one of the most visible properties in town.

The new Compo Road South house — finished this spring — sits just east of the Minute Man monument. It’s right next to Minute Man Hill.

But joggers, bikers and anyone driving by can’t really see it. It’s hidden by a high stone wall, topped by an equally high fence.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

Thanks to a drone and the Higgins Group website though, we get a peek at the 6-bedroom, 9-bath, 8,950-square foot home, 1-acre property. FYI, it’s “New England rustic traditional (that) interweaves with West Coast modern sensational.”

The view looking west, toward Gray’s Creek, Owenoke and Long Island Sound. The Minute Man is barely visible, near the center of the photo.

It’s quite a place. And — in an intriguing twist — the swimming pool is in front of, rather than behind, the house.

(Drone and house photos courtesy of The Higgins Group)

The asking price: $4.9 million.

But you’re too late. It’s already sold.

Minuteman, Spare That Tree!

It’s one of Westport’s most iconic views: The Minute Man monument.

Yet just as impressive as the 1910 statue is the magnificent red oak tree behind, at the corner of  South Compo and Compo Beach Read. It frames every photo. It adds permanence to that historic spot. It’s as beautiful as New England gets.

The tree stands on town-owned property — long a buffer against development. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe from private property harm. Part of the tree makes contact with private property, so ownership is considered “shared.”

The Minute Man Monument, with the magnificent red oak behind

Spec builders — Simple Plan One LLC — hope to develop a home at 280 Compo Road South. The project is moving through various town departments.

The plan does not include removal of the tree. But it could very likely cause the tree to die within a couple of years due to nearby root cutting and root compaction, along with changes to the topography after regrading.

A major threat to the tree is the proposed moving of a WPA-era drainpipe (which has a permanent easement), to make room for the new house. The developer has asked permission to redirect the pipe, expanding the building envelope — thus allowing a significantly larger home to rise on the site.

Moving the pipe appears to run a very real risk of damaging the red oak’s root system.

The tree would not die immediately, if damaged. Its demise could take a year or two.

But it would sure not last the 800 years or so that similar trees, in robust, healthy condition, could live for.

This one is more than 100 years old. It’s still a child.

The Minute Man Monument, around the time of the 1910 dedication. The very young tree can be seen in the background.

Another worry involves construction of a new driveway across the town-owned property onto Compo Beach Road. That would provide a 2nd driveway, in addition to the one the property has long had on South Compo.

(The driveway is now at the easternmost edge of the property — down the road, away from the Minute Man. The new driveway on South Compo would be closer to the monument.)

Neighbors worry that the 2nd driveway, with parking and a garage — passing over town-owned property — also runs a very real risk of encroaching on, and damaging, the tree’s roots.

The reason for the garage there? It’s to insulate the living areas of the home from traffic noise on Compo Beach Road.

One more view.

According to tree warden Bruce Lindsay, the “stately red oak … is in excellent health.” He hopes that it “is not harmed, (and that) proper tree protection systems are put into place to maintain the tree’s health and structure outside the Critical Root Zone, (and) beyond the scope of the work.”

The Flood and Erosion Control Board approved the project on May 1. Since then, it appears that a number of changes have been made to the plans. The tree was not part of that board’s discussion, as it was not a known issue at the time.

The Conservation Commission met on May 15. They held the matter open until a special meeting — set for June 10 — to allow neighbors’ consultants time to review the proposal. Click here for a video of the commission’s May meeting.

The developer hopes to get on the Planning & Zoning Commission agenda this month or next.

Will officials permit the taking of town property for an additional entrance? Will they green-light proposed work that runs a substantial risk of harming a historic, stately town-owned tree?

All of this does not even touch the question of what new, large construction would mean to the streetscape view of the Minute Man Monument, at that iconic corner.

Stay tuned.

The Minute Man himself may not be able to fight.

But concerned Westporters can.

Pic Of The Day #548

The Minute Man guards a new home. (Photo/John Videler Photography)

Pics Of The Day #406

Playing on Veterans Green, after today’s Memorial Day ceremony. (Photo/Ted Horowitz)


After joining the Parks & Recreation Department in 2008, Andrew Colabella maintained the Minute Man monument and 2 other nearby historical sites.

He left the department in 2014, but continues volunteering in free time. He throws down seed, prunes and waters plants, and replaces worn flags with new ones.

It’s his way of giving back to his hometown, and connecting with its long and important  history.

The Minute Man monument, with new flags …

… the cemetery on Gray’s Creek, off Compo Beach Road, where colonists killed in the 1777 battle against the British are buried …

… and the Longshore cemetery, across the creek. Some of these graves may hold the bodies of British soldiers, killed by colonists as they returned to their ship after burning the arsenal in Danbury.

Pics Of The Day #350

Yes, it really is April 2.

Compo Beach (Photo/Michelle Cardello)

Minute Man monument (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

Ned Dimes Marina (Photo/Michelle Cardello)

One lonely hummingbird (Photo/Chuck Greenlee)

A Compo Beach backyard (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

The Minute Man Couldn’t Make It To The March On Washington…

… so he did the next best thing:

(Photo/Susan Iseman)

(Photo/Susan Iseman)

In the past, readers complained when the Minute Man wore a Santa cap, Easter bunny ears and a pink hat for breast cancer awareness.

I think it’s a great tradition. And I think it’s especially appropriate today for the Minute Man to exercise the same 1st Amendment rights he and so many others fought and died for.

And yes, I thought the same thing when he sported Tea Party garb.

(Photo/Carolyn Caney)

(Photo/Carolyn Caney)

Nothing Says Christmas In Westport Like…

…the Minute Man Monument, decked out in a Santa cap …

minuteman-monument-lynn-u-miller

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

… and the William Cribari/Bridge Street bridge, decked out in Al’s Angels lights:

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

More Minute Man Signage

For at least the 2nd time this summer, the Minute Man monument has been adorned with a sign.

This one advertises an estate sale on nearby Bluewater Hill South.

Minuteman sign

If “o6880” readers have any ideas on how to stop the scourge of advertising at one of Westport’s 2 most iconic sites, click “Comments” below.

Otherwise, the cannons may be next.

Not A Road We Want To Go Down

Minute Man with real estate sign

Can we all agree the Minute Man monument is off limits to commercial signs?

Especially on 4th of July weekend!

Snow Day: Noon Scenes

As the snow continued throughout the morning, alert “06880” readers sent in photos from around town. Here are a few:

Without entitled parking -- at least, none we can see -- the Starbucks near the diner looks positively serene. (Photo/Diane Lowman)

Without entitled parking — at least, none we can see — the Starbucks near the diner looks positively serene. (Photo/Diane Lowman)

Whenever the Minute Man is decorated with a Santa cap or Easter bunny ears, a few folks complain. Today, Mother Nature decorated Westport's favorite figure. Enjoy! (Photo/Anne Hardy)

Whenever the Minute Man is decorated with a Santa cap or Easter bunny ears, a few folks complain. Today, Mother Nature decorated Westport’s favorite figure. Enjoy! (Photo/Anne Hardy)

Staples junior Eliza Goldberg snapped this shot of her dog Gracie.

Staples junior Eliza Goldberg snapped this shot of her dog Gracie.

Rindy Higgins lives on Saugatuck Shores. This morning she saw this sight. Because he's reddish-gray, black behind the ears with a white chest and long tail that stuck out straight when he scooted off, she's pretty sure he's a fox -- not a coyote.

Rindy Higgins lives on Saugatuck Shores. This morning she saw this sight. Because he’s reddish-gray, black behind the ears with a white chest and long tail that stuck out straight when he scooted off, she’s pretty sure he’s a fox — not a coyote.

A meadow view, on Meadow View. (Photo/Krystof Bondar)

The view on Meadow View. (Photo/Krystof Bondar)