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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Exhibit: 1930s Photos of Then Historic Homes

An exhibit of Works Progress Administration (WPA) photographs taken in the 1930s of Westport’s historic homes will be unveiled Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Westport Historical Society (WHS) during a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Image
This Long Lots Road house built in 1840 is featured in the exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Titled “Window to Westport’s Past and Present,” the exhibit will be on display at 25 Avery Place across from Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. It runs through March 27.

According to Barbara Peck, assistant WHS director, “all of the homes were at least 100 years old when photographed, making the exhibit a rare peek into the town’s past.” She said that to show how the homes have changed, the WPA images will be displayed alongside photos taken today.

Peck said the exhibit contains photographs of 131 dwellings, some of which will be displayed in the Betty R. & Ralph Sheffer Gallery and the Mollie Donovan Gallery. She said the remainder will be set aside in folders for visitors to look through, and there will be booklets of historical information on the homes and their owners.

One set of photos is of a house at 91 Long Lots Road at the corner of Long Lots and North Avenue. Built in 1840, it was home to generations of Westport’s Adams family whose ancestry goes back to Greens Farms clergyman who met twice with George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

The family tree also includes the founder of Adams Academy, which still stands on Morningside Drive North.

WHS historian Bob Weingarten got the idea for the exhibit after going through boxes in the organization’s vault, finding one labeled WPA.

According to Peck, the box contained more than 90 photos of Westport homes, and searching through the website of the Connecticut State Library, Weingarten found dozens of additional WPA photos of Westport dwellings.

Only four of the photos remain unidentified, and 20 of the houses are no longer standing, Peck said.

For further information, visit or call (203) 222-1424. There is no admission charge, and donations are accepted.


Posted 10/25/15 at 04:14 PM  Permalink


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