Exit 18 - Westport CT residents and ex-residents

Home > About > History > Organizations

1832     The Saugatuck Fire Company formed, with 16 volunteer fire fighters.
1841     First Vigilant Engine Company fire station built on Wilton Road, just beyond the intersection with the Post Road.
1877     Westport Reading Room and Library Association formed.
1884     Westport Fire Department formed.
1886     Westport Library Association granted charter by the state, with original location on the second floor of the Hurlbutt building on State St.
1887     Cedar Point Yacht Club formed.
1889     Westport Historical Society established.
1891     The house at 25 Avery Place is left to Julia Wheeler, becoming known as "Wheeler House," later the home of the Westport Historical Society.
1897     Westport Parents and Teachers Association formed.
1907 August 12     The Woman's Town Improvement Association is formed, with the goal of improving Westport's roads. The WTIA eventually became the Westport Woman's Club, located on Riverside Ave.
1917     Westport Board of Finance established, with its members independently elected for oversight of Westport's finances after the town unexpectedly ran out of money.
1917     Harry Houdini appears at an event in Saugatuck sponsored by the Westport Woman's Club to raise money toward the war effort.
1917 May     Westport Chapter of the American Red Cross formed.
1919 November 6     American Legion Post 63 formed.
1923     The Hunt Club founded.
1924     Homeowners in the Compo Beach area form the Compo Beach Improvement Association.
1924 March 26     Westport Rotary Club founded.
1924 April 11     Westport Garden Club founded.
1927     Westport Chamber of Commerce formed.
1929     E. T. Bedford donates an indoor swimming pool to the YMCA.
1932     Save the Children Foundation established.
1934     Westport Arts Committee formed, under the Works Progress Administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Committee sponsored creation of 34 original pieces of art and 120 photographs of Westport by 1938, when the Committee was dissolved.
1938     The Woman's Town Improvement Association becomes the Westport Woman's Club.
1938     Camp Mahackeno founded.
1939     First Beach Commission formed.
1940     The first Yankee Doodle Fair is held.
1944     The Bedford Fund acquires the three-story home at 87 Imperial Ave. as headquarters of the Westport Woman's Club.
1945     William S. Hart donates $100,000 in honor of his sister to establish the Connecticut Humane Society on the Post Road.
1946     Birchwood Country Club formed.
1947     Lucille Lortel launches the White Barn Theatre and Museum.
1950     The Bedford Fund acquires the Sunday school meeting house of the Saugatuck Congregation Church, and moves it in two sections to form the auditorium of the Westport Woman's Club at 87 Imperial Ave.
1951 June 15     Westport Little League formed.
1956     Westport Community Theatre founded, known as the Westport Players.
1956     Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen founds the International Hospitality Committee of Fairfield County.
1956     Westport Young Woman's League formed.
1957     Westport's "garbage crisis," finally solved when the Westport Woman's Club agrees to a landfill on its site at the edge of the Saugatuck River. In October, the Woman's Club sends out invitations for a tea party to be held on top of the dump. About 500 people show up for the festivities.
1958     Annual Roast Beef Dinner at the Rotary Club established by Ed Mitchell.
1958 June     Mid-Fairfield County Youth Museum Association founded.
1959 November 18     Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club formed.
1961     The New World Affairs Center opens on Taylor Place.
1961     Sportsmen of Westport founded.
1969 September     Project Renaissance, a self-help drug treatment program, opens its doors in response to widespread drug and alcohol abuse in Westport.
1971     Downtown Merchants Association formed, to promote business and raise money for beautification and maintenance in the downtown area.
1973     Westport Historic District Commission established.
1973     The Alcohol and Drug Dependency Council is founded in Westport.
1974     Mid-Fairfield County Youth Museum Association becomes the Nature Center for Environmental Studies.
1974     Westport Girls Softball League formed.
1980     Westport Community Action Now is founded, to help prevent alcohol and drug abuse.
1981     Sidney Kramer founds Save Westport Now, an organization calling for a halt to commercial development until a new town plan is completed.
1981     Westport psychologist David Singer founds Mohonk House, a home for boys aged 12-18 who are orphaned, from divorced families, or otherwise unable to live with their families.
1981 February 23     Wheeler House, at 25 Avery Place, is purchased from Christ and Holy Trinity Church as home of the Westport Historical Society.
1984     The Italian Festival is organized by the Sons of Italy of Westport.
1985     Project Return is launched, providing a home for seven young women at a time in a renovated building on North Compo Road.
1985     Westports of the World (WOW) is founded, linking 28 towns named Westport all over the world.
1986     John Huminski, a Westport resident born with cerebral palsy, founds "I Can Do It Too," a non-profit organization sponsoring athletes, disabled or able-bodied.
1987     The large salt marsh at Wilton Road and King's Highway North is given to the Aspetuck Land Trust.
1988     Paul Newman founds The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp a nonprofit, year-round center serving children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia, and other serious illnesses.
1995     Westport forms a Sister City program with the city of Yangzhou, China to promote cultural exchange.
2000     The Staples Players, under the direction fo Judy Luster, are chosen to represent the United States at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival.