Longtime Westport Resident and former owner of the Mansion Clam House Restaurant, Barbara Saltus, died Nov 10, 2020, in Marble Falls, TX after a short illness, surrounded by family and her two Yorkshire Terriers, Beau and Annie, who watched over her until the end. She is survived by her daughter, Bobbi; her sons, Duke, Brett, and Matt; as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Don, and eldest son, Jocko.
Barbara Saltus Contributed photo
Barbara Henry was born Nov 2,1937 in Fairfield. She married Don Saltus in 1956. They purchased the historic Bennett House on South Compo Road and settled in Westport CT. After her children were grown, Barbara resumed her education, graduating from Sacred Heart University with a degree in teaching and later received her Master’s degree. She took a position as a Special Needs Educator, first in Darien. then later in Wilton.
In 1987, Barbara left teaching to purchase the landmark Mansion Clam House Restaurant, along with other family members. While operating the business end of the restaurant, she took on the task of restoring the families’ 1758 Bennett House. Her restored historic home was the quintessential New England homestead, a magical place where she could entertain her children, their spouses, grandchildren, and friends.
Anyone lucky enough to attend one of her holiday parties, or Sunday brunches, appreciated her attention to detail. Barbara kept her large family and friends wonderfully amused and well fed. While outside in the backyard, the grandchildren climbed the large beechwood tree and swung on the famous family swing, enjoying their childhood.
Even with a busy schedule, she managed to find time for travel, exploring Europe and the United States with her husband Don and grandchildren. The teacher in her was always expanding their minds and sense of exploration.
In 2000, she retired from running The Mansion Clam House Restaurant and moved to the seaside village of Stonington Borough, where she opened a hat and gift shop on Water Street called Junie Moon. After the death of her husband and eldest son, Jocko, she moved to Texas to be closer to her daughter Bobbi and son Matt.
Barbara was the warmest, funniest, and most caring person you could ever meet. She will be greatly missed.