Walter Colster

Walter Colster came to the village around 1905. A talented photographer, Walter set up his shop on Church Street West. In the 1909 commemorative issue of The Westport Mirror, it stated that he had a “fine gallery which is well equipped with the best cameras, etc. and turns out first-class photos”.

During the early days of Westport, Gypsy caravans would frequently visit towns and villages in the area. Colster’s photography studio can be seen behind the man with the bear, dating this photo of Church Street to sometime after 1905 when Walter moved to Westport. At the end of the block, you can see the Wardrobe House hotel.

With this closer view, you can see the sign for Walter’s shop on the side of the building, and attached to the front wall beside the windows are samples of his photography in frames. This building was most-likely destroyed in one of the Church Street fires (the fire of 1915 started in McEwen’s bakeshop across the street, and the fire of 1923 originated in Blair’s store where a Masonic meeting had been held earlier that evening).