The tour provided a glimpse into Westport’s past

From Greens Farms to Saugatuck, from Compo Beach to the hills of Coleytown; On roads and dead ends – wherever you go you hear the sounds of bulldozers demolishing homes, earthmovers moving soil, and chainsaws sawing trees that once shaded dwellings that are now gone forever.

It doesn’t matter much if the house was built in the 1790s or the 1990s (I’m not exaggerating). It doesn’t matter if the home is 1,000 square feet, or 10,000 (or more). It doesn’t matter if the house is unremarkable or just plain ugly, or a house that graces a lifestyle magazine.

Bam! prisoner! They’re out of here.

Our obsession with tearing down old buildings is part of our DNA, and WestportNow has run a “Teardown of the Day” feature. It was one of the most popular features on the now-defunct site.

But all is not lost (literally). Some Westporters who buy old homes don’t tear them down. Instead, they renovate it.

beloved. It takes a long time. It goes against the grain (the original wood floor). But it is one of the most under-covered stories in our city.

Last Sunday, 100 Westport residents explored four beautifully restored properties. The first-ever “Historic Homes of 06880” tour — which was co-sponsored by the “06880” blog and Compass’ KMS partners — included properties on busy streets that residents often pass by. It was a chance to peek in the (old wooden) front door and learn a little history.

29 North Ave. — one of the smallest homes in Westport, at 900 square feet — may have the most curious fans in town. Located almost on the sidewalk, on the left heading north toward Staples High School, its origins are unclear. It was probably built around 1775 by Daniel Mills. It has certainly been in the Mills family for many generations. They were onion growers, blacksmiths and builders.

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