Learn the history of Greenwich’s neighborhoods in lecture series

Think you know Greenwich? Find out this fall when the Greenwich Library and Greenwich Historical Society examine the town’s neighborhoods in a series of five informative talks by local experts.

Next up, the history of Cos Cob will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. by Lou Caravella, the unofficial “Mayor of Cos Cob.” The talk will be held at Greenwich Library.

Mr. Caravella is a first generation Italian whose parents came to Greenwich in 1913. He graduated from Greenwich High School, then served in the US Air Force during WWII. He owned the Cos Cob Variety Store from 1953 to 1988. The store became a central meeting place for the community, and Mr. Caravella became an advocate for many civic issues. He was also the town’s tax collector from 1998 to 2009, and earned respect for his compassionate, yet professional, demeanor.

Before becoming the borough of Greenwich, the was composed of several separate communities which united in 1854 for budgetary reasons. Each community had its own personality or character based on demographics, industry and agriculture. Once they united, a rich, diverse community emerged.

Cos Cob was the main maritime port for shipping agricultural products including apples and potatoes to New York City, Long Island and Connecticut communities. In the early 20th Century, Cos Cob became the center of an art community.

Future talks in this series will include the history of Old Greenwich, presented by town author Missy Wolfe, who will discuss the hardships faced by early settlers in the area, which is also the focus of her recent book Insubordinate Spirit.

Town Planner Diane Fox will wrap up the series on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. by talking about the role of Planning & Zoning in the development of Greenwich.

Residents who have a unique perspective and first-hand knowledge of the history of the various sections of Greenwich are encouraged to contact the Local History office at 203-622-7948 to share their information. The series is free and open to all.

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