What is the history of the tower on Deer Run Road?
photo // Deborah Hayn
The round building, located off Gilly Lane (down the road from the Woodcock Nature Center), was originally built in the 1930s as a directional beacon for planes approaching the New York airports. At that time, the roof featured a circular track on which the light rotated, a standard practice
for navigational structures. The
site is approximately 650 feet above sea level.
In 1969, radio station WMMM-FM (located behind the McDonald’s on the Norwalk/Westport line) was granted a power increase to 50,000 watts. A suitable location for its new antenna was required. The broadcaster bought the site from Byington Construction and, after receiving approval from Wilton’s Planning & Zoning Commission, erected a new 135-foot antenna.
In 1970 WMMM’s parent company Westport Broadcasting Co., LLC, owned by David J. Flamm, changed the station’s call letters to the rather self-serving WDJF, a change that was kept for 14 years. In early 1984, the station’s call letters were once again altered, this time to WEBE, and the station (and format) was rebranded as WEBE 108 with the tagline “Hits of a whole generation.”
In 1985, WEBE’s broadcasting antenna left Wilton for its current home at the top of one of the smokestacks near Long Island Sound in Bridgeport. Today the tower houses Wilton’s police and fire communications antennas, cellular transmitters, and boosters for several commercial radio stations, including WRKI in Brookfield. The site is still owned by Westport Broadcasting Co