Tag Archives: Old Hill Road

Photo Challenge #321

Last week’s Presidents Day Photo Challenge fooled some of our most historic-minded Westporters.

Sure, in 1775 George Washington stopped (and slept) at the Disbrow Tavern, the site of the present-day Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. He returned 5 years later.

A plaque marks the spot, by the elm tree where Church Lane meets Myrtle Avenue. But that’s not the marker that Kathie Motes Bennewitz’s image showed. (Click here to see.)

A similar plaque is partially hidden near the Christ & Holy Trinity (and Assumption Church) cemetery, on Kings Highway North. It’s across from the grassy area by Old Hill Road that, in Revolutionary times, served as a militia training and parade ground.

Elaine Marino, Bob Grant, Michael Calise and Morley Boyd all knew the correct location of this plaque.

Elaine also pointed out — to my great embarrassment — this was a previous Photo Challenge, in July 2018. (I really should read “06880,” right?)

During the Washington Bi-Centennial Celebration in 1932, the Compo Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a bronze plaque at the base of the tree.

The plaque on Kings Highway does not indicate who placed it there.

The downtown plaque is more weather-beaten than its cemetery counterpart. It says: “George Washington stopped for refreshments at this tavern, June 28, 1775.” It also has the bicentennial dates: “1732-1932.”

That Disbrow Tavern visit — and the next — were not the only 2 times Washington stopped (and slept) here. As president, he spent the night of November 11, 1789 at Captain Ozias Marvin’s tavern, at what is now the north side of Post Road West, opposite Kings Highway South.

Sarah Marvin and her daughters cooked up a presidential feast: loaves of brown bread and pies, vegetables from their farm, huge roasts.

Yet Washington asked for only a bowl of bread and milk. To add insult to injury, he wrote in his diary: It was “not a good house, though the people of it were disposed to do all they could to accommodate me.”

No matter. For years thereafter, Marvin Tavern was known as the Washington Inn.

But enough about yesterday. Here is today’s Photo Challenge. if you know where in Westport you would see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

 

Photo Challenge #187

George Washington was born in 1732. Two hundred years later, Westport celebrated the bicentennial of his birth.

Nearly 100 years after that, he’s created a mini-controversy.

A couple of months ago, Jeff Manchester and his son were out riding bikes. They stopped at the little grass triangle at the intersection of Kings Highway North and Old Hill — across from the Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church cemetery — and discovered a plaque. Dedicated in 1932, it marked the 200th anniversary of our first president’s birth.

The image Jeff sent was last week’s photo challenge. Tom Ryan, Bob Grant and Jill Turner-Odice quickly got the answer.

But Elaine Marino and Bob Weingarten disagreed. They said the plaque can be found at Christ & Holy Trinity Church itself, on Myrtle Avenue.

Elaine offered proof: a 1959 Westport Town Crier article:

According to tradition, George Washington, while en route from Philadelphia to Boston to take command of the Continental Army, stopped at the old Disbrow Inn, which then stood on the present site of the church; he stood underneath the elm which grew before the door of the Inn as he drank from the water of the well close by. This tradition (which is well substantiated by subsequent historical research) marked the old elm as Westport’s oldest and most historic landmark. When the parish was established in 1860, the old tavern was demolished to make way for the church, but the tree was carefully preserved.

During the Washington Bi-Centennial Celebration in 1932, the Compo Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed their bronze plaque at the base of the tree.

The plaque Jeff and his son saw on Kings Highway doesn’t indicate who placed it there.

Nor does the one at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. Elaine headed there on Tuesday, and sent a photo.

The plaque is more weather-beaten than its cemetery counterpart. It says: “George Washington stopped for refreshments at this tavern, June 28, 1775.” It also has the bicentennial dates: “1732-1932.”

Too bad we can’t ask George Washington about the 2 plaques. He’d never tell a lie.

(Click here to see the plaque photo; scroll down for comments.)

Here’s this week’s photo challenge. It has nothing to do with George Washington. And there is no controversy over where it is.

(Photo/Lauren Schiller)

If you know the answer, click “Comments” below.

Scenes From Old Hill

University of Massachusetts student Jeff Durkin — home for spring break — took these photos of his Old Hill Road neighborhood.

A pole suspended high in the air, near the cemetery on King's Highway North and Old Hill, is one of the many wonders of the storm of 2010.

The sign seems superfluous. Even tenacious Westporters will not try to drive through this obstacle.

Despite downed wires, some nearby residents never lost power.