Staples High School
120 Years of A+ Education

By Dan Woog
400 pages, 150 photos, and 120 years of memories
$30 non-members, $27 members
Staples High School
belongs on every bookshelf and makes an ideal gift!

The Westport Historical Society is a proud sponsor of Staples High School: 120 Years of A+ Education. This book is about the history of Staples High School from 1884 through today. But it’s more than the story of one renowned, innovative high school, it’s also the tale of the men and women who made it what it is today. A story of public education in America, and an intriguing look at the growth of Westport, Connecticut, from farming village to artists’ colony to the noted suburb it is today.

“Ever since its first graduating class — six girls — Staples High School has been a place of renown. From 1884 — when 80-year-old Horace Staples built a handsome red brick building just a few yards from his Riverside Avenue home — to today, as an $80 million facility replaces the 50-year-old North Avenue campus, Staples has been more than just classrooms and courses. It has been a place of true excitement, of educational innovation, of challenge and creativity. It has been a national leader in curriculum, student government, the arts, even sex education.

Through Westport’s growth from a small farming community to an artists’ colony, then to a booming suburb; through several wars, one Depression, a baby boom, the wild ‘60s and on into the 21st century, Staples has been more than a mirror of its times. It has helped shaped its town, while significantly impacting the lives of thousands of young men and women who passed through its halls, played on its athletic fields and performed on its stages.

More than anything else, Staples is a place of personalities. Nearly every staff member and student made a mark on the school. Staples High School: 120 Years of A+ Education tells the story of all those years, and many of those people. Advanced Placement and vocational education; Players, Orphenians and Wreckers; the Student Court, Staples Student Organization and Staples Governing Board are all here. So too are the voices of Tony Arciola, Jim Calkins, Wilbur Cross, Karl Decker, Per Haarr, Gerry Kuroghlian, Dick Leonard, Paul Lane, Albie Loeffler, Gladys Mansir, Craig Matheson, John Ohanian, Jinny Parker, Al Pia, Vivien Testa, Joy Walker, George Weigle, Jim Wheeler, and hundreds of other principals, teachers and students. Few schools in America have as rich and tumultuous a history as Staples – and none has been as carefully and lovingly chronicled as Staples is here. “

-Dan Woog

View photos from the book signing at Mitchells in Westport on Saturday January 28, 2006.

View photos from the opening reception and book signing event on Sunday November 6, 2005 at the Westport Public Library.

The Westport Historical Society offers many other books and brochures listed below  for those interested in learning about Westport’s rich history.  Please call us at 203-222-1424 for more details or to purchase.



(WHS Members receive a 10% discount)

Westport Connecticut –
The Story of a New England Town’s Rise to Prominence

by Woody Klein
Sponsored by the Westport Historical
buried-in-our-past.jpg Buried in our Past – A Historical
Presentation of Westport’s Burial Grounds

by Peter Jennings
This booklet contains numerous pictures and maps of all of Westport’s
bridge-not-taken.jpg The Bridge Not Taken: Benedict Arnold Outwitted
by Damon Douglas
published by the Westport Historical
Society in 2002
community-of-artists.jpg A Community of Artists – A chronicle of the painters, illustrators,
sculptors and cartoonists of Westport & Weston, 1900-1985
spec-place.jpg Westport … a special place – An album of our town as it once was
by Eve Potts and Howard Munce
(photos and text)
stars-in-our-eyes.jpg Stars in our Eyes
– Luminaries of Stage and Screen at Home in Westport and Weston, Connecticut in the 20th Century

by Tom DeLong
postcard-bk.jpg Westport and Weston in Vintage Postcards
by William Scheffler
A book of vintage postcards
art-of-birdhouse-sm.jpg The Art of the Birdhouse:
Portraits of Artists and their Creation
Birdhouses that were created and auctioned for Project Return in Westport.

Book designer Miggs Burroughs
Westport Schools’ Permanent Art Collection

By Mollie Donovan
A Millennium Project celebrating Westport’s Art Heritage
river-of-names-sm.jpg River of Names
by Dorothy E. Curran
Westport Public Library’s tile mural
picture-this-sm.jpg Picture This
A time travel activity coloring book of Westport for kids
ene-bonnyay.jpg Westport/Weston
by Ene Bonnyay (color photos only)
Currently out
of print
  Westport, Connecticut – The Making of a Yankee Township
by Edward Coley Birge
Currently out
of print


historic-dwellings-westport.jpg Historic Dwellings in Westport CT (pamphlet) $1
kings-hwy-walking-tour.jpg A Walking Tour through the North King’s Highway Area Historic District
This brochure provides a self-guided walking tour of the King’s Highway Area
Historic District, an area rich in Colonial and Victorian era homes. Almost all
the homes are clustered along Kings Highway North and South, and along Wright
Street, just off Post Road West (Route 1).
jennings-trail-book-sm.jpg Jennings Trail: A Guide-Map to Historic Westport, Connecticut
This booklet provides a history of Westport, and
outlines a driving tour of two dozen plaques that mark historical sites in
historic-main-street-1900.jpg Westport’s Historic Main Street -Circa 1900:
A self-guided walk into Main Street’s past
as seen by Barbara Raymond, WHS Archivist
westport-by-the-sea-guide-s.jpg Westport by the Sea
A self-guided beach walk in Westport
british-raid-pamphlet.jpg April 1777 British Raid
Map of the route taken by the British in 1777
business-district-walking.jpg A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Westport’s Two Business Districts: National Hall Design District and
Business Center District/Historic
kings-hwy-driving-tour.jpg The King’s Highway in 1789: Self Guided Driving Tour in Westport and Fairfield, CT $1.75
westport-as-it-was-1900.jpg Westport As It Was – Circa 1900
by Barbara and Al Raymond
A guide to the 3-D model of Westport housed in the Onion Barn at Avery Place. The model was created by Tom Clough, and an audio narration by Joanne Woodward gives visitors an understanding of life along Westport’s downtown area in 1900.
merritt-parkway-guide.jpg A Guide to the Merritt Parkway
by Merritt Parkway Conservancy


gathering-of-glory-sm.jpg A Gathering of Glory!
Exploring the Arts Legacy of Westport and Weston, Connecticut

Film by Martin West,
Music by Paul Alan Levi
Click here to view more details of this film and to print out an order form for A Gathering of Glory!
$20 for DVD or VHS tape