Duck Pond history night draws crowd to Grange


While Lenny’s was lively during its first Saturday night in business, a different crowd of people packed the Highland Lake Grange just across the street.

Members of the Westbrook and Windham historical societies put together a presentation and conversation on the history and future of the Duck Pond Corner (or Highland Lake) neighborhood.

The discussion also covered future plans for the neighborhood, including the potential roundabout project at the intersection of Hardy Road and Route 302, and a proposal to mark the neighborhood a National Historic Landmark District.

The event included a community potluck supper, followed by a slideshow of historical photos and artifacts from Westbrook Historical Society President and City Councilor Mike Sanphy.

Dave Gowen, the master of the Highland Lake Grange, said the grange had been planning the event for months, inspired by the recent revitalization and potential changes coming to the area. Due to traffic stemming from Route 302, the state has looked at potential traffic fixes for the neighborhood, which include a roundabout. Sanphy and others have argued that the intersection requires a traffic signal, but state officials have denied the request based on previous studies.

Linda Griffin, president of the Windham Historical Society, spoke to the audience on a number of topics, including upcoming construction and work on the River Road.

“The meeting went great and we had quite a few people in attendance,” Sanphy said

Local resident and country music icon Al Hawkes, as well as Lenny’s owner Bill Umbel were also guests on the WLOB radio morning show with Ray Richardson, starting at 8 a.m. this Wednesday, Feb. 24, where they discussed the Duck Pond neighborhood.

Nearly 50 people attended a Duck Pond Corner history night at the Highland Lake Grange in Westbrook last weekend. Mike Sanphy, president of the Westbrook Historical Society, presented a slideshow of historical photos, but the event also discussed the future of the neighborhood.