Archive for the ‘Stonington’ Category

Ebenezer Morgan House (1853)

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Mystic, Stonington | No Comments »

The house at 61 Denison Avenue (formerly 14 Denison Avenue) in Mystic was built in 1853 for Ebenezer Morgan. This may be the Ebenezer Morgan (1831-1903) whose career is described in the Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County, Connecticut (1905):

In early life he worked in the old Irons & Grinnell yard as a ship carpenter, later in the Greenman and Mallory yards, in the latter serving as a superintendent, but during the last forty years of his life he was employed in the Light House Department on the Atlantic coast, and for several years was superintendent of construction in the Third Light House District. By his uniform courtesy and characteristic integrity Mr. Morgan commanded the respect of all who knew him. He was well known in Masonic circles throughout the State, being a member of Charity and Relief Lodge of Mystic: Palestine Commandery, of New London; and Pyramid Temple, Mystic Shrine, of Bridgeport. He had taken the thirty-second degree. He was a trustee in the Methodist Church. Like other members of his family, he was a man gifted in many ways, and he developed talents in ship construction which brought him many important contracts. He designed and built the famous yacht “Dauntless,” the property of Mrs. Colt, of Hartford, and was also the builder of the steam yacht “Britanique,” a vessel 240 feet in length, owned in Baltimore. He was the superintendent of the great work of dredging in the Potomac river and filling in land around the Washington Monument, and under his superintendence the Erie Basin Dry Dock was constructed.

Capt. Joseph W. Holmes House (1851)

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Mystic, Stonington | No Comments »

The brick house at 35 Church Street in Mystic was built in 1851. A sign on the house indicates it was the home of Capt. Joseph W. Holmes of the Corolanus. Joseph Warren Holmes (1824-1912) was noted for being the captain to have made the most voyages around Cape Horn (84). He also sailed around the Cape of Good Hope fourteen times. In 1865 he bought a larger house at the corner of High Street and Old New London Road in Mystic. According to the Biographical Review, Vol. XXVI: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of New London County, Connecticut (1898):

It is doubtful if Captain Holmes’s record as a mariner is paralleled by that of any other. For nearly or quite sixty years he has followed the sea. No vessel under his command has ever been lost or shipwrecked, and not a man of all his crews was ever lost.

The same book elaborates his career: at the age of seventeen, having made several early voyages,

in the spring shipped on the bark “Leander,” under Captain Bailey, with whom he made his first voyage around the world, completing the circuit in twenty-two months. The “Leander” was engaged in whale fishery in the South Atlantic, South Pacific, and Indian Oceans. At twenty-one he became master of the same bark, on which he made three voyages, the second and third of twenty months each. Leaving the ” Leander” in 1847, he went in the “Coriolanus” on a whaling trip to the Indian Ocean, followed by a voyage to the Arctic Ocean, where the ship was filled in sixty days. He continued to engage in the whale fishery until 1854. After leaving the “Coriolanus,” Captain Holmes was successively commander of the “Fanning,” “Frances,” “Haze,” “Twilight,” and “‘Seminole”; and for the past ten years or more he has had charge of the “Charmer,” a full-rigged merchantman, which sails from New York to San Francisco and foreign ports.

The house at 35 Church Street is nearly identical to the neighboring house, built in 1846 at 33 Church Street, but without the covered front portico and enclosed side porch that were later added to the earlier structure.

Francis H. Rogers House (1846)

Monday, August 7th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Mystic, Stonington | No Comments »

At 33 Church Street in Mystic is a brick house built in 1846 for Francis H. Rogers. This is likely the Francis H. Rogers who married Angeline E. Benedict of Sharon in 1839. He may be the Francis H. Rogers who was master of the brig Whig depicted in the painting Brig Whig Boston Francis H. Rogers Entering & Leaving the Port of Palermo.

Plymouth Cordage Company Ropewalk (1824)

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 Posted in Industrial, Mystic, Stonington, Vernacular | No Comments »

Preserved at Mystic Seaport is a section of the original ropewalk of the Plymouth Cordage Company of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1824 by Bourne Spooner, who had learned the art of ropemaking in New Orleans. He opposed slavery, so he set up his business back home in Plymouth, hiring free labor. Spooner ran the company until his death in 1870, producing rope for many kinds of vessels, including the Great Republic, the largest clipper ship ever built. By the late nineteenth century, the company had become the largest manufacturer of rope and twine in the world. The company remained in business for 140 years. The ropewalk remained in operation until 1947, when changing technology led to the end of its use by the company. In 1951, a 250-foot section of the 1,000-foot ropewalk in Plymouth was saved and reassembled at Mystic Seaport. It came with its machinery, which is no longer powered but is set up as though it were still functioning in order to illustrate the process of spinning rope.

American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailor’s Reading Room (1841)

Saturday, July 1st, 2017 Posted in Italianate, Libraries, Mystic, Organizations, Outbuildings, Stonington | No Comments »

One of the buildings at Mystic Seaport is set up to represent the American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailor’s Reading Room. The Society was incorporated in 1833 to provide moral and religious alternatives to the saloons, boardinghouses and brothels frequented by sailors while in port. The organization is best known for the libraries it placed aboard American ships for the use of sailors. The Society’s records are now held the Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport. This historic organization is interpreted for Mystic Seaport visitors in a building erected c. 1841 as a work shop and tool shed by Clark Greenman of the George Greenman & Co. Shipyard. Starting in 1951, it was used as the Seaport’s Children’s museum, before housing the Reading Room exhibit. The building originally stood where the Treworgy Planetarium was built in 1960. It was moved to its current location in 1959. Read the rest of this entry »

Enoch Burrows House (1791)

Thursday, June 29th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Houses, Stonington | No Comments »

Born in Groton, Enoch Burrows (1770-1852) was a merchant who was part-owner of a shipyard on the east bank of the Mystic River. He served as a selectman in Stonington and in the Connecticut General Assembly. In 1791, Enoch Burrows married Esther Denison at the Denison Homestead called Pequotsepos. The couple moved into a new house, located at 30 Main Street in Old Mystic. As related by Grace Denison Wheeler in The Homes of Our Ancestors in Stonington, Conn. (1903):

The long flight of marble steps which leads up to the front door came from Mr. Burrows marble quarry, located in western Massachusetts near Pittsfield. From the same quarry was brought the marble to build the new City Hall in Philadelphia, which occupies four blocks. The house also contains a marble sink and a large stirring dish, all from the same quarry, which was brought down the Connecticut river in some kind of a water craft, and landed at the dock before the door. Mr. Burrows was a large landholder, owning many beautiful farms and Mystic Island, originally called Ram’s Island. He married Esther Denison, daughter of Grandmother Jane; she was a very energetic woman, a housekeeper and homemaker of New England’s best type, large-hearted, generous, sociable and entertaining, an excellent cook, and gave much attention to all appetizing things which please the eye and appeal to the palate. She had a good force of domestics to execute her commands, and when her table was seen covered with china, glass and silver, and loaded with choice viands, one needed no second invitation to partake of her hospitality. Her husband was a man of commanding figure, six feet two inches in his stockings; genial, kind-hearted and capable, and in his later years, in his home in West Troy, New York, was called Judge Burrows. Their son, Silas, afterwards lived here; he was interested in shipbuilding, and engaged in commercial pursuits in New York, and was also in the whaling and sealing business. He made several visits to Brazil and Hong Kong, China, where he established a commercial house; he left there in 1859 for the last time and made his home in this village, where he died in 1870. His children occupied the house as a summer home at various times, and it now belongs to his grandchildren.

Later used as a nursing home, the house is once again a private residence.

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Burrows House (1825)

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Houses, Mystic, Stonington | No Comments »

The Burrows House at Mystic Seaport, built between 1805 and 1825, was originally erected on Water Street, on the Groton side of the Mystic River. In the 1860s and 1870s, it was the home of Seth and Jane Burrows. By that time the house had been raised above a new story in which Seth Winthrop Burrows sold groceries. The house was dismantled in 1953 to make way for a bank and then reassembled at Mystic Seaport. Read the rest of this entry »