Bradley Point and a Beat Hero

Savin Dawning (Bradley Point Park, West Haven, Connecticut)

“Savin Dawning”
Bradley Point Park, West Haven, Connecticut

Beach grasses are deathly still with snow at their stems and frigid winter air creeping forth from Long Island Sound. But the incendiary spectacle upon the horizon, where the sun is just beginning to shine forth through the clouds, offers at least the prospect of some warmth come late morning.

Connecticut’s municipal beaches are usually not exceptionally well-known in the state outside of their host town or county, but owing to hundreds of years of recorded history along the coast, almost all of them were the backdrop for at least a couple interesting stories.

Southwest Ledge from Afar (Southwest Ledge Light, New Haven, Connecticut)

“Southwest Ledge from Afar”
Southwest Ledge Lighthouse as seen from the shores of Bradley Point Park, New Haven, Connecticut

Bradley Point, for example, was for a short time the home of famous Beat poet and novelist Jack Kerouac. His father had moved the family from Massachusetts to West Haven, Connecticut after securing work. Though their first dwelling in the city proved deplorably unfit, they finally settled on renting a cottage on the West Haven shoreline at Bradley Point. Biographer Paul Maher says of Kerouac’s time there that “he swam in the Sound, labored over his writings, and prepared for his sophomore year of college while his mother worked hard to make her new house a home.”

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