About the Westport Historical Society

The Westport Historical Society, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 1965 by local residents who shared a passion to document and preserve the seaside town’s history.

A letter from Australia with a query about a Westport whaling crew member buried Down Under sparked an interest in the town’s past among residents during the early 1960s. The letter, according to Society lore, “started the correspondence rolling” and like-minded residents began to gather to discuss local history.

In 1972, the Westport Public Library Association gifted the Society with the circa 1841 Bell School at 25 Drift Rd. at the Head of Westport. To this day, the two-room Greek Revival schoolhouse remains the headquarters of the 500-member-strong organization.

However, the jewel of the Westport Historical Society’s collection is the Handy House, a 300-year-old architectural marvel that the Society bought in 2011. The house at 202 Hix Bridge Rd., which received National Historic Register status in the 1990s, is open to the public June – October.

The Society publishes a newsletter called The Harbinger that informs members of upcoming talks, special events and notes of historical interest.

Membership in the Society is open to all.