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Tag Archives: Old Mill
Hundreds — perhaps thousands — of dead fish washed up yesterday at Old Mill Beach and Compo Cove.
Health authorities and Harbor Watch are investigating.
Last week, I posted a real estate listing for 222 Hillspoint Road.
That may not ring a bell. But this name for the property does: Elvira’s.
For 2 decades, the little store opposite Old Mill has been a big part of the beachfront community. It sells groceries, sandwiches, salads, pizza, gyros, ice cream and coffee, sure.
But it’s also a community center. It’s a place to meet, greet, eat; share gossip and snacks; hang out and hang loose.
Which makes it a far cry from its predecessor.
Kenny Montgomery owned the store, before the Yiozonakos family. He relocated there from the corner of South Compo and Greens Farms Road, when I-95 was built.
He sold the basics: milk, eggs and cigarettes. The store was dusty, and smelled bad. You went there only because you had to. (Or, if you were a kid, to see how much you could steal.)
That’s why — though the official name was different — everyone who grew up in Westport back in the day called it Grub’s.
But there’s another side to Kenny. When he died, he left hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Westport YMCA.
The store was a fixture at the foot of Compo Hill for many years. Long before Kenny — or so the story goes — the only telephone in the area was located there. When the phone rang the owner would walk outside, and bellow the name of whoever the call was for.
Today, of course, you can call Elvira’s on your cellphone, and have your order waiting when you arrive.
As for tomorrow — who knows?
A week ago, heavy rains and strong winds pushed Compo Beach sand onto the boardwalk. Some carried beyond, into the parking lot.
A few folks out for a stroll on Sunday were annoyed that “they” — whoever that is — hadn’t yet cleaned the sand from, um, the beach.
Those people would not have fared well a century ago. Here’s how Soundview Drive looked then:
On the other hand, check out those very cool wooden bathhouses in the distance.
Around the corner was another beach scene. I’m guessing from the somewhat garbled description — “The Old Mill Road, Compo” — that these homes were on Sherwood Mill Pond, opposite Old Mill Beach.
If you’ve got another idea — or want to commend our current Parks & Rec and Public Works staffs for their great work on our beaches and roads — click “Comments” below.
(Postcards courtesy of Jack Whittle)
Once a day, every day — as regularly as the tides — Old Mill Beach-goers and Hillspoint Road drivers, joggers and strollers are treated to the same sight:
There must be a story behind the boat and its owners.
Clueless? Too lazy to get an actual mooring? Just happy going out for a quick spin when the tide is high?
If you know the back story, click “Comments” below.
In the meantime, we know one thing: At least half of each day, no one will steal this boat.
Living at the beach is a dream.
Until something like Hurricane Sandy turns it into a nightmare.
But Compo, Old Mill and other shoreline residents say it’s worth it. They’re used to challenges.
They’re raising their homes to FEMA standards. They’re gaining safety (and maybe a garage underneath).
Plus — this is Sandy’s dark cloud/silver lining — they now enjoy fantastic new views.
Some homes are not fixable. In their place, owners build stronger houses.
Other homes are, or will soon be, up for sale. (Like Betsy and Dan Kahn’s — she provided these fantastic photos.)
Many residents have lived elsewhere for the past 9 months, or huddled in only part of their under-renovation house. The wait, they say, will be worth it.
And beach life will be better than ever.
Independence Day is all about revolution.
Revolution was on the mind of this Old Mill homeowner today too:
A couple of weeks ago, Compo looked much as it did right after Hurricane Sandy.
By today — Memorial Day, the 1st gorgeous day of the beach season — virtually all the damage had been cleaned up.
Sure, it looks a bit different. The brick wall near the bathhouses is gone:
But the boardwalk has been repaired, and the patio near Joey’s looks just as enticing as ever:
The ever-popular sidewalk between Schlaet’s Point and Old Mill is ready for walkers, joggers, strollers and rollerbladers — with plenty of new stones:
Of course, if you look carefully you’ll see lingering after-effects. The enormous, how-did-they-ever-get-it-there? potted tree on the walkway to Compo Cove has looked like this since October:
And many homes still look like this:
Still, considering what the beach area looked like just 7 months ago, we weathered the storm very, very well.
Sure, this is the weekend of the Sono Arts Celebration. It’s a great festival — but with 95-degree heat and 100% humidity, who needs the crowds and concrete?
You can still get your art fix — and add a few sea breezes — at Clark Hanford’s special art show. Set in the shaded front lawn of his Old Mill home, it’s a fun, stressless — and very professional — alternative to the much bigger South Norwalk event.
Clark’s show (at the end of the Old Mill parking lot) runs today until 5 p.m. Tomorrow (Sunday), it’s 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Several other artists are represented. In addition to paintings, there are sculptures and other artwork.