and Samantha Stephens officially resided at 1164 Morning Glory Circle
in Westport, Connecticut. It was there that Samantha attempted life
as a typical suburban housewife, while her husband (an advertising executive)
commuted by train in the morning to his job on the 32nd floor of the
International building on Madison Ave. in New York City. Westport was
known as an affluent suburb where the creative types choose to live
and commute to Manhattan via a 50-minute train ride. It was certainly
a place where a "broom-riding, cauldron-stirring, house-haunting, card-carrying
witch" would have a hard time fitting in to daily life. That environment
is what made Bewitched so comical.
The History of the New England Town
Westport is a historic town in Fairfield County, CT. The charming New England town was incorporated in 1835 and is 22.4 square miles. According to the Bureau of Census, the population in Westport was 20,955 in 1960 and swelled to 27,318 by 1970. That was the peak of the city's population and was during the last seasons of Bewitched. The population in 1997 (most recent statistics available) was only 24,610. So, the town has stayed relatively small since it gained exposure on Bewitched.
For many years, Native Americans inhabited the area known as the village of Saugatuck. The names of the Saugatuck River (meaning mouth of the tidal river) and Compo Beach (meaning bear's fishing ground) are derived from the Native ancestors that had originally settled on this land.
Being that the town was on the shoreline of the Long Island Sound, the village became known as a shipping center after the Revolutionary War. So, in the 1830s, the name of the city was changed to Westport from Saugatuck to emphasize the shipping industries influence on the economy.
The Other Famous Residents of the City
Around 1910, artists discovered the charms of Westport and it became a desirable suburb of NYC. Since then, famous residents of the city have included: the late Imogene Coca (Mary the Good Fairy on Bewitched), Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Helen Keller (spent her last years there), Meatloaf, Michael Bolton, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas (That Girl), Patty Hearst, Keith Richards, Don Imus, Robert Redford, Mariette Hartley, Tina Louise (Ginger from Gilligan's Island), retailer J.C. Penney, Linda Blair, Pamela Sue Martin (The Poseidon Adventure, Dynasty, and Nancy Drew) was born there in 1952 and most amusing of all - Martha Stewart. Can you imagine Samantha and Martha meeting up at a bake-off fundraiser or volunteer event? That's the makings of a very good episode of Bewitched. Just envision Samantha struggling not to use her witchcraft to outdo the good things created by Stewart and her myriad of helper elves. As an interesting aside, there is a website with a link (www.ilovewestport.com) to an article written by Stewart about why she is leaving Westport after nearly three decades. Yes, that's right, Stewart moved in to the Turkey Hill estate that is often featured on her TV show and in her magazine while Darrin and Samantha were still on the air. It sounds like Stewart had her fair share of run-ins with neighbors like Gladys Kravitz, too. Maybe Samantha and Martha would have been friends...
The Other Westports Around the World
In addition to the Westport, CT featured on Bewitched, there are Westports in MA, WA, CA, and in Canada (Novia Scotia) and New Zealand.
1164 Gets Around the Towns
Not only was this house seen in Westport during its 8 years on Bewitched, it also relocated itself to Cocoa Beach, FL to serve as the home of Dr. Alfred and Amanda Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie. It was nearly destroyed in a "Tool Time" episode on Home Improvement (which takes place in suburban Detroit), and the house can also be seen in the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is up in the attic watching old home movies. And, of course, Gidget lived on the same block as the Stephens's house and the Samantha doll from Ideal can be seen on the dresser in her bedroom during some of the shows.
Westport Controversy on Bewitched
Surprisingly, there is some
contradiction over whether the Stephens's house was in Westport, CT.
While most books, episodes (# 193,
Just a Kid Again, is an excellent example), and trivia refer to the
residence as 1164 Morning Glory Circle Westport, CT 06880. There are
some bloopers that cannot be explained and even point to a residence
in Patterson, NY. There is also the case of the reappearing palm trees
and permanently sunny weather that lead some to believe that 1164 Morning
Glory Circle does not exist at all and that the house was an empty shell
resting on a lot at the Warner Brothers studio in California (sad, but
makes a call home from a business trip in Chicago to talk to Louise,
and tells the operator he wishes to place a call to New York in # 59.
Note: This can be explained by the fact that Larry and Darrin may not
live in the same town. The Tates may live closer to the city.
bum tells Uncle Albert that the Stephens' moved to Westport two weeks
ago in # 68 (that's in 1966).
Darrin tells a client "I live way out in Westport" in # 209.
shops at a department store in Patterson, NY in #169. Yet in # 227,
a receipt from the store shows the 1164 Morning Glory Circle in Westport,
CT address. Note: It is possible that Samantha would travel 40 miles
to shop if it meant not running into Gladys Kravitz.
Another observance against the location being in Westport, CT is that in episode #s 140, 190, 210, 222, and 227 the Stephens cars have New York license plates. Note: Perhaps Darrin was given company cars. That would explain why there were so many different models being rotated (aside from the fact that Chevy was a sponsor of the show) and why Darrin no longer mentioned the 1-hour train ride. But then again, Larry was cheap. A company car would probably only be issued if it meant Darrin was working longer hours as a result of not depending on the train schedule.
Of the two cities mentioned, Westport, CT seems to prevail over Patterson, NY because of the conversations about the train rides home and talk of the freeways. Patterson was not served by commuter trains or freeways in the 1960s, whereas Westport, CT was.
© 2000 Harpiesbizarre.com. All rights reserved.