Are More Places To Visit In The Connecticut
Vacation in Connecticut
and New London Connecticut: Seafaring a Cut Above
Tree in Autumn, Litchfield Hills, Connecticut, USA
and New London Connecticut: Seafaring a Cut Above by John Pelley
Stop and visit the Chamber
of Commerce Visitors Center in Olde Mistick Village, a quaint shopping
center with off the wall boutiques. Get some wonderful advice. Besides
the famous aquarium which has both indoor and outdoor exhibits and the
hands on exploration of Mystic Seaport, which offers costumed docents and
craftsmen describing 19th century life in a shipbuilding seaport, take
a drive across the river and explore the homes on the waterfront. Not only
are you afforded views of crowded Mystic Seaport with hundreds of children
roaming the ships, buildings, and other exhibits, you also have the narrow
waterfront streets to yourself. Drive at a walking pace, admiring the homes
of the citizens. Each house has a plaque naming the original owner, occupation,
and date of construction. There were carpenters, captains, sail makers,
doctors, clergymen, merchants, tavern keepers, mechanics, etc. This is
a real treat, not only being far from the madding crowds, but also seeing
the 19th century actual houses where these men and their families lived.
From the exterior construction, size, architecture and surrounding landscaping,
these were prosperous men.
in a River, Mystic, New London County, Connecticut, USA
Leaving the quiet waterfront,
visit the rest of the town, passing by Mystic Pizza, where the 1988 movie
was filmed. The rest of the town climbs into the surrounding hills, offering
views of the Mystic River and the Long Island Sound. On the way out of
town on Rte. 1 find a small cemetery dating from the War of 1812.
Stop at Stonington, CT; another
surprise. Once again the streets are very narrow with the homes of people
in the seafaring business. One notable home is of Captain Edmund Fanning
who was the first one to fly the United States of America flag around the
world in 1798-9 aboard the Betsy.
A little known event which
occurred here is a fierce battle against the British. Holding off the landing
parties from three British ships the local citizens of Stonington and Mystic
held off the invasion. A lighthouse at the point still stands from the
days of the battle. The cemetery you passed is the home to these brave
men from Mystic. The men from Stonington are interred in a likewise historic
cemetery in their town.
Across the Pawcatuck River,
the dividing line between Connecticut and Rhode Island, you venture into
Westerly, RI. See the carousal at Watch Hill Point. This merry-go-round
was built in 1870. Each horse is hand carved out of a single piece of wood.
Their tails and manes are real horse hair. The horses swing out when the
carousal rotates giving the illusing of flying. The carousal still is in
Wheel Against a Summer Sky, New London, Connecticut, USA
Next visit New London. New
London is also the boyhood home of Eugene O'Neill, Monte Cristo Cottage.
Overlooking the harbor, O'Neill, the only playwright to win the Nobel Prize,
used this setting for two of his plays, Long Day's Journey into Night and
Ah, Wilderness. Signage in Connecticut is wonderful, until you get into
the towns. The founding fathers assume that you know what street you are
on. They are very good about giving the names of the cross streets, but
are remiss on the main streets. You might have a difficult time finding
Pequot Street, where O'Neill's home was at. Use a map.
Trumbull's House, War Office.
In the heart of Lebanon, CT, find the home of Jonathan Trumbull, the only
colonial governor who sided with the revolutionaries. London was situated
midway between Boston and New York. His home was the meeting place of more
than 1,200 strategy meetings. Perhaps the most important one was with Washington
and Comte de Rochambeau before the battle of Yorktown.
His neighbor happened to
be Dr William Beaumont, the "Father of Physiology". He observed and documented
the digestive process in human beings through a wound to the stomach of
a patient, which did not heal properly.