Tag Archives: Nyala Farm

Pic Of The Day #859

Nyala Farm, early morning (Photo/Simon Gilbert)

Nyala: New World Champion

“Nyala” is back in the news. This time, it’s international.

Westporters of a certain age have heard of Nyala Farm. That’s the office complex tucked into rolling hills and meadows between I-95, the Sherwood Island Connector and Greens Farms Road.

It is not a cute, throwback name. Back in the day it was an actual, working dairy farm. In 1910, E.T. Bedford bought 52 acres in Greens Farms.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

His son, Frederick T. Bedford, named the property in honor of the beautiful nyala (antelope) he’d seen on an African safari.

In 1970 Stauffer Chemical developed their world headquarters there. It was Westport’s first corporate office park. Today, Bridgewater — the world’s largest hedge fund — is a major tenant.

But this morning’s Nyala news is nautical.

Nyala is the name of a racing vessel. Yesterday, it won the 12 Metre World Vintage Division Championship, off Newport, Rhode Island.

The International Twelve Metre Association event drew 21 boats from 6 countries. That’s the largest fleet ever gathered in North America.

Nyala, in action.

The name is no coincidence. The Nyala sailboat was commissioned by F.T. Bedford, president of the Standard Oil Corporation. She was given as a wedding present to his daughter Lucy and her new husband, Briggs Cunningham.

(He is credited with inventing the “Cunningham hole,” still used today to provide luff tension in a mainsail.)

After restoration in 1996, Nyala attended the 2001 Jubilee regatta in Cowes, off the UK. She won the 12-Metre Worlds in Barcelona in 2014.

Nyala had already secured the 2019 championship, before yesterday’s final day of racing.

She didn’t have to sail. But Patrizio Bertelli took her out anyway. Nyala posted her 8th victory in 9 races.

Next up: This weekend’s New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta.

Bridgewater may want to send a cheering section.

Photo Challenge #236

I wouldn’t call last week’s Photo Challenge a curveball.

But the handsome house shot by Peter Barlow (click here to see) is definitely not where “06880” readers thought it was.

Guesses included Baron’s South, Bridge Street, Main Street, Long Lots Road, Riverside Avenue and the Saugatuck Congregational Church parsonage.

It could have been any of those places. All are admired for maintaining a decent number of historic homes, despite the teardown epidemic.

But the Queen Anne structure is on the old Nyala Farm property. That’s the office complex between the Sherwood Island connector and Greens Farms Road, not far from I-95 exit 18.

It took a while. Finally, Kieran O’Keefe, Morley Boyd, Susan Lloyd and Michael Calise checked in with the correct answer. Susan noted that the house was where the dairy manager lived; Michael said it was the home of the Horace Lanute family.

Westport Historical Society house historian Bob Weingarten added this:

The house was built by George Fairchild, Sr. in 1879 from land he purchased from Frederick Sherwood in 1864. After a few other owners, Edward T. Bedford purchased it in 1913. It was used as the herdsman house. It passed to Frederick T. Bedford in 1931. During World War II the house was occupied by Ruth Bedford Foster. It was purchased by Stauffer Chemical company in 1970, and used as a corporate guest house. Now it is part of the Nyala Farms property.

Not long after, Eve Potts added:

That house was slated to be demolished, way back when I was chairman of the Historic District Commission. I made an appointment with the powers that be at Stauffer, who owned the property, and pleaded with them to save the historic house. The reason given for the demolition was that the fire chief felt it was too close to the main building for safety’s sake. Stauffer agreed not to demolish the house. They restored and refurbished it, and used it as a guest house for visitors.

“It’s in pretty clear sight from Greens Farms Road — at least in winter, when there’s less foliage,” Barlow says. “It’s near the main gate to Bridgewater.”

Nyala Farm was once a working farm. In the 1970s — after intense zoning battles — it became the site of Westport’s first international corporate headquarters.

Stauffer — the now-defunct chemical company –built the complex. The main tenant is now Bridgewater. Through herbicides and hedge funds — and thanks to a very strong, Greens Farms Association-driven zoning agreement — the house has remained.

“I think this is an easy puzzle,” Barlow says. “But somehow people just drive past this house without noticing.”

He’s right. I’ve lived here all my life. I saw cows get milked at Nyala Farm. But I never knew that house was there.

do know where this week’s Photo Challenge is. If you do too, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Gene Borio)

Friday Flashback #130

Westporters love Nyala Farm.

We admire its vast, open meadows. We marvel at its ever-changing beauty. We take almost as many photos of its iconic well as we do of the cannons at Compo.

We don’t even mind that the enormous expanse of land tucked between Greens Farms Road, the Sherwood Island Connector and I-95 is an office park — one of 2 Westport headquarters for hedge fund titan Bridgewater.

We don’t mind, because we don’t see it.

What many people may not know is that Nyala Farm is not a cute, throwback name. Back in the day, it was an actual, working dairy farm.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

Generations of Westporters took field trips there. They learned that all 52 acres were bought in 1910 by E.T. Bedford.

His son, Frederick T. Bedford, named the farm in honor of the beautiful nyala (antelope) he’d seen on an African safari.

In 1970, Stauffer Chemical developed their world headquarters there. It was Westport’s first corporate office park.

That put an end to scenes like this:

(Robert Vickrey painting, courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

The cows and sleds are gone. But the well — and the memories — remain.

Pic Of The Day #646

Nyala Farm, late yesterday afternoon (Photo/Jose Villaluz)

Pic Of The Day #428

Nyala Farm (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Photo Challenge #179

Last week’s photo challenge was considerably easier — and more pastoral — than the previous one.

As many readers guessed correctly, Bob Weingarten’s shot showed Nyala Farm. That’s the very large, still-nearly-pristine swath of land between Greens Farms Road and the Sherwood Island Connector.

Thanks to the foresight of town officials in the 1970s, Stauffer Chemical was allowed to build a massive headquarters there — on the condition that it be well hidden from view.

Today, Stauffer — the company — is just a memory. And Stauffer’s office complex –now occupied by Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund — is still overshadowed by rolling meadows, an old well, and this classic pasture fence. (Click here for the photo.)

Congratulations to Nancy Powers Conklin, Andrew Colabella, Fred Cantor, Bobbie Herman, Michael Calise, Alli Q. DiVincenzo, Seth Braunstein, Jose Villaluz, Jalna Jaeger and Jeanine Esposito. You know your onions!

Meanwhile, if you know where in Westport this week’s photo challenge is located, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

FUN FACT: Nyala Farm — bought in 1910 by Frederick T. Bedford — was named by his son, Frederick T. Bedford, for the beautiful nyala (antelope) he saw on an Africa safari.

Pic Of The Day #351

Nyala Farm, after yesterday’s snow (Photo/David Squires)

Scenes From A “Storm”

Compo Beach jetty (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Nyala Farm, earlier today (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Snow Scenes

Nearly everyone in Westport is gone. It’s a holiday weekend, and the start of the schools’ winter break.

For the few folks left in town, yesterday’s snowfall was perfect. A few inches of heavy white stuff fell at night. There was little traffic, no major events to disrupt.

When we woke up this morning, the storm had moved on. The sun was bright, the snow already melting.

It was beautiful — and, hopefully, fleeting. By midweek, temperatures are expected to hit 65.

So how are things in Cabo, Antigua, or wherever else you all are today?

One view of Nyala Farm …

,,, and another.

Burying Hill Beach

One view of Longshore …

… and another. (All photos/Larry Untermeyer)