One Family’s Distinguished Journey

“That was my great-grandfather, Oliver Perry’s house. This was my uncle’s house, which my father moved into after my aunt died. When we were there we didn’t have all this planting, so you could see right across the harbor.”

Hoyt O. Perry, Jr., “Hop” to everyone in town, drives through the streets of Southport, pointing out sites as familiar to him as his own face. Casually dressed and at the wheel of an SUV, his speech and manner still exude a patrician air.

“This used to be a gristmill. This place on the right used to be an inn. This was the Pequot School, which is now Eagle Hill. And this is the old savings bank that has been here since the 1820s.”

No matter how often you’ve been there, to tour Southport with Hop Perry is to see it really for the first time. The wealth of information he dispenses with such gusto makes you want to visit every house and walk down every street, and the obvious pleasure he gets in just plain living there makes you wish you lived there too. “I know every one of the shop owners down there,” he says. “We are always on a first-name basis. You go to get a prescription filled and you know the druggist. Same thing at the post office.”

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