Tag Archives: Westport Sanitarium

Friday Flashback #24

“06880” readers like our Friday Flashbacks. This one they’ll love.

Actually, it’s a two-fer. Back in the day, Westport was home to not 1, but 2, sanitariums. (Sanitaria? Whatever. If you’ve forgotten your medical history, a sanitarium was a hospital for the treatment of chronic diseases, often tuberculosis or mental disorders.)

The best known and most visible was originally the former mansion of Henry Richard and Mary Fitch Winslow. Built in 1853 and named Compo House, the palatial home was surrounded by guest houses, servants’ and gardeners’ quarters, and gorgeous gardens. Former president Millard Fillmore was a visitor, and extravagant fireworks were shot off there every July 4th.

By 1907, it had become the Westport Sanitarium. Here’s how it looked then:

westport-sanitarium-1907-now-winslow-park

The building was torn down in the 1970s. It had long earlier fallen into disuse, becoming an attractive nuisance to teenagers, drug users and other random folks.

No wonder. It was just a few steps away from downtown, on land bordered by the Post Road and North Compo.

Today, it’s the site of a dog park. Its name is Winslow, in honor of the original owners. The sanitarium is the reason for all those asphalt paths, in places you’d never expect them.

Our 2nd sanitarium — named for its owner, Dr. McFarland — was on Long Lots Road. In later years it became a full-fledged psychiatric hospital, called Hall-Brooke. A building visible from Long Lots was renamed McFarland Hall.

This is what Dr. McFarland’s Sanitarium looked like in the early 1900s:

dr-mcfarlands-sanitarium-hall-brooke

The photo above is of the main building. The other building was visible for many years from Long Lots.

If you’ve got memories of either sanitarium, click “Comments” below.

(Photos courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #83

Most photo challenges are snippets of photos. They’re cropped closely. This is a photo challenge, after all — not a slam dunk or easy softball pitch.

Last week’s was an actual photo (thanks, Patricia McMahon!). I ran it because it was beautiful. But I also thought it was challenging enough to test most readers.

Nope. A record 17 of you knew — almost immediately — that the clouds hovered over trees, grass and a stone fence that can be found at the curve on North Compo Road, near Evergreen Avenue. It’s the entrance to Winslow Park. (Which, as many readers noted, was once the site of the Westport Sanitarium.)

Congratulations to Adam Stolpen, Michael Moore, Peggy O’Halloran, Diane Bosch, Rich Stein, Dorian Barth, Shirlee Gordon, Robin Welling, Molly Alger, Dan Herman, Sally Korsh, Jennifer Piseck, Vanessa Bradford, Elayne Landau, Mary (Cookman) Schmerker, Lynne Betts Baker and Carissa Baker. (Click here to see the fantastic image; scroll down for comments.)

Oh My 06880 -- July 31, 2016

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

Now we’re back to normal for the this week’s photo challenge. If you know where it is, click “Comments” below. And, as always, feel free to add any back story.


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