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Madison Beach Hotel - West Wharf Rock Stories & Photos

After much deliberation, here are the long-awaited results of our West Wharf Rock Contest!



Honorable Mention


Honorable Mention and a $25 gift certificate goes to Hugh Adams for submitting the terrific photo of his daughter and son-in-law in a most dramatic, artistic, and athletic pose on their wedding day.  


View the Story 

Third Place

Third Place and a $100 spa certificate goes to Bruce Harvey for his Norman-Rockwellesque photo with Uncle Charlie, and the great story of his 55-year reunion with the rocks and, perhaps, his old shuttle driver.


View the full photos and story 


Second Place


Second Place and Brunch for Four goes to Erlen Marsh for her most romantic ode to the rocks;  an inspiring love story!


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First Place


First Place and the grand prize of an overnight weekend stay with welcome amenity, $100 food and beverage credit, and a $500 donation to the West Wharf Restoration Project in their name goes to Gail Spence!

Gail's last-minute entry included a whole collection of nostalgic photos, along with numerous personal stories, legends, and myths about her family's intertwined history with the West Wharf Rocks.  She even mentions Uncle Charlie!  Congratulations Gail, and thanks for the memories!


View all of the photos, descriptions, and the full story 


New England’s Most Famous Rock?

In these parts, we don’t have anything as imposing as Mount Rushmore, El Capitan, or Devil’s Tower.  We must be content with smaller formations.

Some in the northeast may assume (especially residents of Plymouth, MA) that Myles Standish and his mates aboard the good ship Mayflower sealed the answer to the “rock” question back in 1620.  It’s hard to argue Plymouth Rock’s symbolic role as the quintessential threshold of the new world, but even geologists would have to accept that at best it’s a one-trick-pony of a stone.  In theory, the fabled rock received a few leather-soled footprints from our nation’s earliest European settlers.  In reality, the Pilgrims landed many miles from the site of the landmarked rock in Plymouth…. It’s a nice story if you avoid the facts.

Residents and visitors of the Connecticut Shoreline have had affection for a real rock formation for many years.  The rocks have brought together family and friends, fishermen and artists, lovers and lost souls.  Kids have learned to crab, to fish, and to make friends on these rocks.  New love has been found, proposals have been made, and marriages officiated on these rocks.  Meditation, contemplation, and revelations have occurred on these rocks.  Sing-a-longs and drink-a-longs have been celebrated on these rocks.  Babies have been baptized and ashes have been scattered from these rocks.

The West Wharf Rocks in Madison, CT have come to be an emotional touch point for so many memories over the years that they seem to possess mystical properties. Whether the peak of summer sunshine or the depths of a mid-winter freeze, the West Wharf Rocks attract us.

However, like walls, rocks can’t talk.

The Madison Beach Hotel asks you to share memories, photos, experiences, and history from the West Wharf Rocks. These can be submitted for posting on a special area on the Madison Beach Hotel website for all to see, share, and learn. No memory is too fleeting or superficial and none too grand or significant.

Submit your story and photo below:

Need more space? Have multiple photos? Send them to


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