UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dredging at Ye Yacht Yard

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Dredging at Ye Yacht Yard.
Photographer and date unknown.
Photo property of Howard Burr Collection/Joe Rainis.

Sasco Beach on Thursday

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Sasco Beach on Thursday.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rare Southport Harbor photo circa 1920

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Southport Harbor circa 1920
To the right of the PYC clubhouse, it appears that a pillar is visable from the
Oliver H. Perry house in the wooded front yard.
"The lower right hand corner of the plate is missing but it does not detract from the main image. The large power boat in front of the clubhouse maybe an Elco and looks very similar to the powerboat owned by Erwin Jennings, a (PYC) club member. In the lower left hand corner there appears to be a gentleman wearing a "boater" who might be holding a fishing pole. It's a great photograph."
 -Arthur Jennings
Many thanks to Arthur Jennings for sharing another incredible and rare image from the past.

Sasco Beach on Wednesday

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Sasco Beach on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Barbara Burr with SEA FOX at Town Dock

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At the town dock in Southport off Whyte's Rock, Ye Yacht Yard.
Barbara Burr seen here getting ready to dive to pull the props.
"She was sure ahead of the times pulling props with scuba gear." -Joe Rainis
Photo number 2 of 3 taken with SEA FOX.
Photographer and date unknown. Part one of three photos in series.
Photo property and courtesy of Howard Burr Collection/Joe Rainis. 

Howard and Barbara: The Burrs of “Ye Yacht Yard”

By Michael Hoffman
When Barbara Burr graduated from Wellesley in 1945, the only jobs to be had were in defense plants. So she and five of her friends packed their degrees and travelled to Fairfield County, CT. Finding a job in Stratford, she and this ambitious group of women rented the Burr Barn on Burr Street in Fairfield. It was not too many months later that the friends were forced to split up — the barn was not winterized. She and her roommate found lodging and decided to purchase a sailboat. Southport Harbor was where they decided to launch it; and, as some would say, the rest is history.
Howard Burr had been hauling and tooling with boats at “Ye Yacht Yard” since approximately 1930. He and Barbara struck up a friendship from the very beginning, and would spend hours together bass fishing. When the war ended, and the defense plant where she was employed relocated to Texas, Howard hired her. And they have been working together ever since.
Up until a few years ago, boats were still being hauled and the boatyard functioned in a full-service capacity — from general boat repairs to painting. There were also the moorings to tend to and the building to maintain; and, of course, the many times Mrs. Burr would don scuba gear and mask to retrieve some frantic boater’s wallet or eyeglasses that happened to fall overboard.
Mrs. Burr’s fondest memory is actually living on a boat in the harbor for seventeen years.
“We had everything we ever needed, right here. We would have our meals on a card table at “the yard,” and people would always stop in for a cup of coffee and some conversation,” Mrs. Burr reminisced.
On Sundays, boaters would stop by for Mr. Burr’s “Sunday Sermon” — where he would offer his cures for the world while puffing on his legendary pipe — and sample the cookies Mrs. Burr had baked on the coal-burning stove.
“It was good here,” the articulate Mrs. Burr recalled.
Anyone who ever visited “Ye Yacht Yard” remembers the Burrs. They have made a countless number of friends over the past five decades. This past July, Mr. Burr celebrated his 93rd birthday with a party given in his honor at “the Yard”. Friends, relatives, and dignitaries were on hand when he was presented with a gold key to the Town of Fairfield.
Over the past few months, Mrs. Burr has been doing “the work that needs to be done.” (Mr. Burr hasn’t been to “the Yard” much since his party.) She tends to the moorings, making new mushroom eyes on the forge when necessary and splicing new mooring lines. And after she replaces the building’s chimney pipe, she plans on doing some welding on the anchors.
Barbara Burr has no plans of retiring. “I can’t think of any other place that I would rather be.” She would like to get her sailboard and kayak in the water one more time before winter; but tending to Mr. Burr and “the Yard” doesn’t leave much time for recreation.
The Burrs of “Ye Yacht Yard” have become synonymous with Southport Harbor. They have shared a life many people long for. They live simply, yet fully — knowing they have been privileged to be where they are living and doing what they want to do.
And those who know Howard and Barbara Burr also have to consider themselves privileged to have met these two remarkable Sound People.
Editor’s Note: Howard Burr died shortly after this article appeared in Sound People Magazine in October, 1993. A memorial service to honor his life was held at Ye Yacht Yard on a cold, drizzly Saturday morning, with friend Jason Robards reading the eulogy, and the tossing of a wreath into the Harbor and the firing of a cannon. Barbara died in May, 2004; and as had Howard’s life been memorialized at the Yard, so too was her life celebrated at this special place – the only place she ever wanted to be.

Shellfishing off Pine Creek Beach on Tuesday

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hellfishing off Pine Creek Beach on Tuesday.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer at Pine Creek Beach

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Summer at Pine Creek Beach.

Southport Harbor: The Old Days

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Southport Harbor, from the days of Cape Cods, Elcos and Atlantics.
Special thanks to Arthur Jennings for sharing this rare photo.

Hurricane Carol August 1954 at YYY

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Hurricane Carol, August 1954 at Ye Yacht Yard, Southport, CT.
Photographer unknown.
Photo property and courtesy of Howard Burr Collection.
With special thanks to Joe Rainis.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Shellfishers off Pine Creek

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The Shellfishers off Pine Creek Beach on Wednesday.