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Tag Archives: Soundview Drive
Interesting scenes at Compo Beach:
Readers often stump me with Photo Challenge submissions. They send images of places I can’t quite recognize, have not noticed before, or never seen.
But I never thought I’d be stumped by a picture of Compo Beach.
Until I saw Matt Murray’s shot. His Photo Challenge last week showed an old-fashioned bottle opener — with a box underneath, presumably for the tops — mounted on what looked like wood. (Click here for the photo.)
Matt said it was on a utility pole at Compo Beach, on the Soundview exit road at Fairfield Avenue. I took his word for it.
I’m not the only one who noticed it — though not many have. Kathe Damman, Dan Aron (who lives on Soundview, and walks by it every day) and Michele Whybrow quickly checked in with the right answer.
So now, readers — including myself — want to know:
- Who put this bottle opener at Compo?
- Why? Was it a joke, a luxury — or a necessity?
- And when? Glass bottles have long been banned from that part of the beach.
If you can shed any light on this Great Bottle Opener Mystery, click “Comments” below. And do the same if you know where in Westport you’d find this week’s Photo Challenge:
John Videler’s drone shots have earned raves from “06880” readers. They are breathtakingly beautiful. And they force us to look at very familiar scenes in new, unique ways.
This shot of Compo Beach, Soundview Drive, Schlaet’s Point and environs may be his best yet. If you thought you knew the shore: Think again.
All of John’s drone shots (and more) are available for purchase. Click here for a 21st-century slice of timeless Westport.
Saugatuck Shores was hit hardest by today’s near-nor’easter. Jennifer Seymour reports:
2 hours after high tide, there was still several feet of water. My husband rescued me and my sons by kayak on the island side of the Saugatuck Island bridge. I lived here during Irene and Sandy, and have seen nothing close since then.
A couple of days ago, I posted a photo of the end of a well-known house.
Toni Cunningham’s Soundview Drive home — familiar to every Compo Beach goer, and the longtime unofficial headquarters of the Compo Beach Improvement Association — fell to the wrecking ball this week.
It was a poignant shot (click here to see).
But there’s much more to the house than my brief summary.
Alert “06880” resident Tom Leyden — a longtime beach neighborhood resident — quickly sent along this photo. It’s from 1920 — and it shows the Cunningham house standing almost alone on the road.
In the distance is the vast pavilion — with a 2nd floor. It was the site of big dances and other gatherings, until a hurricane roared through
But wait! There’s more!
Tom also sent this photo:
I have a record of 90% of the beach property owners, going back to the original ownership by the Bradleys in 1909.
They mapped their property into lots, mostly 50 x 100. Sam Roodner (of Roodner Court fame in Norwalk) bought up many of the lots, and sold them off during the early 1920s
The Cunningham property was an exception, as Irving Bradley sold to Lockwood in 1911. I’m guessing the house was built around 1915.
According to property records, the Cunningham family bought the house in 1945.
Tom and his family live on lots 88/90.
Paul Lane — longtime Staples High School football coach, who grew up on Soundview, and lives next door to the now-former Cunningham house — has a framed copy of the plot map above.
It hangs on the wall of his home, just a few feet from what is now — once again — an empty lot.
One of the most recognizable houses on Soundview Drive has met its end.
The longtime home of Toni Cunningham — for decades a moving force behind the Compo Beach Improvement Association — was demolished today.
Its other claim to fame: It was the only house with a driveway actually on Soundview Drive.
Every other home on the beach exit road is accessed by a side street.