duBois Beach is owned by the SVIA who sub-contracts the management of the beach to the Stonington Community Center (COMO). The beach is located at the southernmost end of Water Street in Stonington Borough. Its use is reserved for residents of the Borough and COMO members who purchase annual beach memberships. The general public can use duBois Beach for a daily fee. For beach membership information, please contact the Stonington Community Center through their website at www.thecomo.org or by telephone at 860-535-2476.
Maintaining duBois Beach is not inexpensive. Winter weather often plays havoc with the sand which inevitably needs replacing. There are costs incurred by renting the portable bathroom, maintaining the wooden pavilion and water fountain. Lifeguard, gatekeeper and maintenance personnel salaries must also be taken into account. Dodson's Boatyard has generously donated their services to repair, install and remove the swimming raft each season.
In 2012 and 2013 a major restoration was done to the beach and the pavilion. The beach suffered serious erosion after several major storms. Beautiful new benches were installed in 2012.
History of duBois Beach
Creating a beach for the residents of the Borough of Stonington was a major objective of the SVIA in the late 1940's. When property at the end of Water Street owned by Richard Baum became available in 1950 (which included what is now known as the Point House, the small parcel south of the Point House, and the two joined parcels across Water Street), Coert duBois, then President of the SVIA and Dana Burnet, Secretary, made their decisive move. They agreed to purchase everything for the cost of $20,000. In the words of former Borough resident and local Westerly Sun reporter Elizabeth Trumbull in 1960, "Mr. duBois was able to raise $5,000 almost immediately to secure the estate. For the balance, he and Mr. Burnet put their faith in Stonington on the line and signed personal notes." Their plan was to sell the Point House and its lot for $15,000 to pay off the notes and keep the other parcels, which by a year later they had done.
Now owning the future beach property, the SVIA, under the Presidency of Mr. duBois, began the process of raising money to pay for fashioning a beach out of the two western lots. Mr. duBois was largely responsible for raising the total of $50,000 and he, a career diplomat who had retired to the Borough, is credited with making the beach project a truly cooperative community wide effort. As an example, after meeting with Mr. duBois, the Portuguese community set up a committee and after a house-to-house campaign, raised $2,500 towards the beach fund.
The beach itself required 500 truckloads of sand, and when another 10 to 20 were needed, the contractor Samuel Romanella donated them as his own personal contribution to the beach.
Dana Burnet, at ceremonies dedicating the beach to Mr. duBois in 1960, said "He (did not) want the beach to be simply the gift of a few of our wealthier citizens though we owe a great deal to the generosity of those same citizens. But Coert wanted it to be the people's beach and the people responded. Our local industries responded; the automobile agencies and others all helped with goods or services or money, or all three. The churches helped us. So did the local unions, the fishermen, and various local fraternal, social, religious, and patriotic societies."
The SVIA beach was dedicated to the memory of Coert duBois on Thursday, August 4, 1960.