Westport, Connecticut, started as a 17th-century colonial English settlement. Nestled on the shores of Long Island Sound and at the mouth of the Saugatuck River, the area was ideally placed for farming, fishing, and commerce. Westport was formally incorporated as a distinct municipality in 1835 and would evolve into a factory town, a bucolic retreat for both the wealthy and the common man, an enclave for artists and performers, and finally, a bedroom community for New York City. Notable townsfolk have included E.T. Bedford, a Standard Oil executive and philanthropist; inventor Benjamin Toquet; and William Phelps Eno, the “father of traffic safety.” F. Scott Fitzgerald penned The Great Gatsby while summering in Westport in 1920. Silent film star W.S. Hart called the town home, as did Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Bette Davis, and many more. Artists George Hand Wright, Robert Lamdin, Tracy Sugarman, and others were part of a vibrant art community that spanned nearly 100 years. The town retains its cultural flair with several institutions, such as the Westport Country Playhouse and Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Page Count: 128
About The Author
Written by the Westport Museum for History & Culture, this book features photographs of Westport that span nearly 150 years and exemplify Westport’s unique evolution and character as a town with something for everyone.