Way Back When ... 1857
Part of a rock outcrop located near King’s Highway had a ledge that was a favorite playing spot for Southport boys in the mid-19th century.
Between 1857 and 1863, the field was known as “The Boys’ Lot” and the rock as “The Boys’ Rock.” Youngsters carved their initials into the rock using discarded spikes found along the railroad tracks.
Among the surnames that were carved were Bulkley, Jennings, Perry and Wakeman. Years later, property owner C.O. Jelliff had the inscription “The Boys Rock 1850” carved into the stone and deeded the rock to the Fairfield Historical Society (which is now the Fairfield Museum) with the proviso that it be enclosed with a metal railing.
In 1956 a portion of the rock was saved during construction of I-95 and moved to the former Historical Society on the Old Post Road. In 1968, it was moved to Reeves Park in tribute to William Reeves’ devotion to the youth of Southport. Today you can visit a piece of “The Boys’ Rock” near the corner of Westway Road and Pequot Avenue, diagonal from Pequot Library in Southport.
The painting shown here is an oil on canvas depicting The Boys’ Rock. It was painted by Joseph Wickham Roe (1871-1960) and given to the Fairfield Museum in 1978.
Visitors can view the painting and more modern forms of graffiti and street art at the Fairfield Museum’s new exhibition, “Make Your Mark.” The exhibition includes a mural that was spray painted on the walls of the Museum by street artist John Paul O’Grodnick. O’Grodnick will speak at the Fairfield Museum, 370 Beach Road, on March 14 at a “Museum After Dark” artist talk. Guests can hear about his process and his work and also get a special tour of the exhibition. A reception starts at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.
The Fairfield Museum & History Center and Museum Shop, located at 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10am-4pm. Members of the Museum and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org.