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150 Cottages Built in 3 Years On Fairhaven's West Island
June 4, 1950

With official opening of the Summer season on Fairhaven's West Island this weekend, cottagers are returning to an island vastly different from what existed when the first houses began going up there 3 years ago. Already there are some 150 cottages on the island, varying from neat little two room cabins to Winterized homes with 3 bedrooms. The island, once accessible only by boat and with no means of communication or any other modern conveniences, now boasts a telephone line and it's own electric plant. John H. Buttrick, treasurer of Fairhaven Estates, Inc. developer of the West Island resort and treasurer of the West Island Power Company, who announced the opening, anticipates "a very good Summer" in the resort colony.

Development Rapid

"Development of the island is proceeding faster than we expected" Mr. Buttrick said "and we expect to make even greater strides this year." Most roads on the island have been graded since the Spring thaw and rains, Mr. Buttrick said, and the rest should be in shape within a week. One road, a continuation of the causeway extending easterly into the island has been hard-surfaced. "We expect to hard-top several of the other roads on the island that get heavy use before this Summer is over," Mr. Buttrick added. Development of West Island as a Summer resort represents fulfillment of plans and dreams of numerous persons dating back more than 100 years. The present project however, goes back four years to the day in April 1946 when the title to West Island, Gull Island and Long Island was transferred to Fairhaven Estates.

Started in 1947

First stone in a causeway connecting the islands with the mainland of Sconticut Neck was laid March 21, 1946. Construction of the first dwelling began the following March. During the remainder of 1947, approximately 40 cottages were begun on the island, which contained only a 150 year old farmhouse and barn when the corporation acquired title to it. The late Arthur F. Gobron of Watertown was the guiding spirit of the project when these steps were taken. With continued new building on the island and occupancy of completed cottages, the Summer population there grew and last season a West Island Improvement Association was formed.

Plans Discussed

At the organization's first annual meeting this Spring in the Taunton Inn, plans for this Summer were discussed. Among projects adopted were development of a playground on a 60,000 square foot tract donated to the association by the corporation and engaging a lifeguard for the island's principal beach at the foot of the causeway. Instigated by the association, a firefighting unit was organized on West Island last Summer, and a truck is available to aid the volunteer firemen in the event of an emergency. Telephone service was established to the island on an emergency basis last Summer. Mr. Buttrick said officials of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company office here have promised permanent service will be established as soon as possible this Summer.