UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Life's a little different for people living in enclaves

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Life's a little different for people living in enclaves

Location: Southwest corner of Fairfield
Population: About 2,000
Settled: About 1640
Area: about 2.5 square miles

Formerly called Mill River, the village of Southport is among the oldest in New England. It was settled after the Great Swamp Fight of 1637, the last battle of the Pequot War. According an account by Capt. John Mason, it ended with about 180 Pequots being taken as captives. Whatever became of them isn't clear, although their fate was likely a grim one at best.
"The Pequot War was a very grisly episode in Connecticut's history," said Elizabeth Rose, a historian at the Fairfield Museum and History Center. Mill River prospered after that, Rose said, becoming the home to sea captains and merchants. By the mid 1800s, there was an attempt made at breaking away from Fairfield -- spurred on Bridgeport's successful split from Fairfield and Stratford in 1836.
By about 1830, Mill River had changed its name to Southport, and for about two decades it was an official borough, run by a panel of burgesses. But the effort to split from Fairfield ran out of steam, and in 1854, the burgesses agreed to disband altogether.
As it has been since the early 1800s, Southport is home to the prosperous.
Wealthy, yes, but cutting edge? No.
The epicenter of the village is the Spic & Span Market, where owners Gregory and Lori Peck, both lifetime local people, run what might be described as a combination general store, delicatessen and grocery, with a little bit of a bodega tossed in for good measure.
"When we got the new scanning cash registers, everyone complained," said Lori Peck.
Indeed, when the movie "Revolutionary Road" was filmed there in 2007, there weren't a lot of changes that had to be made to either the market nor the corner of Pequot Avenue and Main Street, where it's located. The market's been there since 1928; the Pecks have owned it for the last three decades. Customers have included such bold-face types as Robert Ludlum, Don Imus, Marlo Thomas, Phil Donahue and the late Jason Robards.
"We have very loyal customers, and some of them have been coming here since they were kids. Now, we're seeing their grandchildren.
It's also one of the few retail establishments with charge accounts. No, not the kind with plastic magnetic-stripe cards. The kind where you tell the girl at the cash register your name, and you're sent a bill at the end of the month.

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