The Saugatuck River tumbles its way from its origins in Danbury down to its mouth in Westport and into the waters of Long Island Sound. Over the centuries, through every season, the placid river has seen a book’s worth of human history. This includes many of our community’s growing pains, such as in 1777, when the British were fleeing from Danbury to their ships at Compo Beach. The Westport minutemen waited along the western banks of the mouth of the Saugatuck. The British were tipped off and avoided the ambush. Benedict Arnold led the patriots across King’s Highway Bridge to engage in the battle. Today, the Saugatuck faces a different crisis: Because of increasing development and dams along the tributary,
the mouth of the river is considered “impaired” by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Still, no one can deny the river’s pastoral beauty. From the woodland solitude in Weston and Wilton to its sun-dabbled outlet into the Sound, the river harbors wildlife and nature, serves our recreational pursuits and inspires area artists and writers.
In this essay, photographer Tom Kretsch captures the tranquility and grace of the Saugatuck River in all its glory in every season.