Way Back When ... 1672
Updated 2:53 pm, Friday, September 9, 2016
Kings Highway North is the oldest, as well as the largest historic district in Westport. Originally, it was part of the first postal route laid out between New York and Boston in 1672. Homesteads, roadway inns and shops were erected along this highway. Unlike the Post Road, which was built in the 1750s under the guidance of Benjamin Franklin, this earlier, more circuitous road through town crossed the Saugatuck River over an old wood bridge just upstream from the present one.
Kings Highway North was established as a local historic district in 1972 and named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. It encompasses 106 “contributing buildings”, structures that add to the district’s historical qualities, and four historic sites.
On Sept. 24 from 3 to 4 p.m., Edward F. Gerber, past president of the Westport Historical Society, will host a walking tour of the Kings Highway North Historic District. The tour will highlight one of the oldest houses in the district which is undergoing major restoration. Gerber will be accompanied on the tour by Edward Hynes, a specialist on the history of Westport during the American Revolution.
Meet across from the cemeteries at the foot of Old Hill Road; park along the Kings Highway North. There is a $10 donation and children under 12 are free. Reservations are recommended: 203-222-1424. For more information on membership and upcoming programs please visit: westporthistory.org Also stop by the Remarkable Gift Shop at 25 Avery Place for unique one-of-a-kind gifts from Westport.
By Margaret Mazer for the Westport Historical Society. Mazer can be reached by calling 203-762-0103, ext. 375.