Twenty-nine years ago, Pat and Bill Bayne bought a beach cottage in the Black Point Beach Association in Niantic. Built in the 1950s, the modest two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,600-square-foot retreat needed some work, but they fixed it up “enough,” enjoying the beach every summer with their neighbors — young families like themselves with 30 children between them. With adults and children alike making lasting friendships, the Baynes decided to retire here, selling their primary residence in Burlington in northern Connecticut, and making the move to the shore. Here, they knew everybody would want to come back again and again.
“The idyllic community was a throwback to the childhoods that we had remembered,” says Pat Bayne, noting that both she and her husband grew up spending summers at their grandparents’ beach cottages in Old Lyme and Waterford. “Kids came and went, and everyone always had an ear open, whether it was for your kid or someone else’s. Every year, how far they could ride their bikes changed, and curfew times got pushed back later and later. They developed lifelong friendships and so did we.”