Archive for the ‘Groton’ Category

Mystic River National Bank (1931)

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 Posted in Banks, Groton, Mystic, Neoclassical | No Comments »

The Mystic River Bank was chartered in 1851 and became a national bank in 1864. The bank’s first building, a Greek Revival structure, was constructed on West Main Street in Mystic in 1851. It was replaced (on the same site) by a new granite structure, with two side wings, in 1931. The Groton Savings Bank, chartered in 1854, shared space with the Mystic River Bank until constructing its own building across the street in 1953. The Mystic River National Bank merged into the Hartford National Bank in 1950. The 1931 bank building is now a Bank of America branch.

Rufus Avery House (1787)

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 Posted in Federal Style, Groton, Houses | No Comments »

In the early hours of September 6, 1781, Rufus Avery, on watch duty at Fort Griswold, was the first soldier to observe an approaching British fleet. This force, led by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Eyre, eventually stormed the Fort in what became known as the Battle of Groton Heights. Capt. Avery later lived in a house at 142 Thames Street in Groton, built for him in 1787 by Henry Mason, another former defender of Fort Griswold. Around 1800, Rufus Avery had a second house constructed next door for his two sons. That home is now known as the Avery-Copp House.

Avery-Copp House (1800)

Saturday, October 1st, 2011 Posted in Groton, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

The Avery-Copp House, at 154 Thames Street in Groton, was built around 1800 by Rufus Avery for his two sons and their families. It was later owned by a cousin, Latham Avery, and then was inherited by his daughter, Mary Jane Avery Ramsdell. The house was Victorianized in the Italianate style around 1870. It passed to Ramsdell’s niece, Betsey Avery Copp and her husband, Belton Copp, in 1895. Their son, Joe Copp, kept the house virtually unchanged after his parents died, preserving it as it had been before 1930. After his death in 1991, at the age of 101, his nieces and nephews sought to make the house a museum. After a period of ownership by the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society, during which restoration work began on the house, it became an independant museum and opened to the public for tours in 2006.

Jabez Smith House (1793)

Monday, September 12th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Groton, Houses | 1 Comment »

The Jabez Smith House in Groton has remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1783. The original farmer on the property, in 1652, was Nehemiah Smith, who raised sheep and horses and grew flax and tobacco. His descendant, Nathan Smith, built the current house after the original house burned down. He then passed it on to his son, Jabez and two more generations of Smiths followed in the house. It was later used by Ann Graham Clarke of New York as a weekend retreat. She left it to the town in 1974 and, after her death in 1980, the house became a museum.

The Emporium (1859)

Friday, December 31st, 2010 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Groton, Italianate, Mystic | No Comments »

The commercial building at 15 Water Street in Mystic was built in 1859 by Isaac Randall and Dwight Ashby, who were both involved in the whaling industry. It has had many owners over the years, housing many different stores and also serving as a boarding house. Since 1965, the building has been known as The Emporium. It has a store on the main floor filled with unique merchandise and an art gallery on the second floor.

Union Baptist Church, Mystic (1829)

Sunday, December 20th, 2009 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, Groton, Mystic | No Comments »


Located prominently on Baptist Hill in Mystic is the Union Baptist Church, which is actually two different church buildings that were eventually combined. The origins of the church date back to 1764, with revival services held in Groton in 1764 during the Great Awakening. Groton’s Second Baptist Church was established the following year in Fort Hill. By 1825, the village of West Mystic in Groton was being developed. According to Groton, Conn. 1705-1905, by Charles Rathbone Stark, “The need of better facilities for those on the banks of the Mystic River led a number of public-spirited men to build a house to be used for the benefit of all denominations, the pastors of the various churches rotating in occupancy of its pulpit. The house was built in 1829 and by reason of the large number of sea-faring men contributing to its erection it was called the Mariners Free Church.” The architect of the new church was Deacon Erastus Gallup of Ledyard. Over time, the other denominations built their own churches in Mystic, leaving the Third Baptist Church, founded in 1831 by members of the First Baptist Church, the only group still occupying the Mariners’ Church. Meanwhile, the Second Baptist Church had moved from Fort Hill to Mystic, building a church on High Street in 1845. In 1861, the Second and Third Churches joined to form Union Baptist Church. The Second Church’s building was moved up High Street and joined to the rear of the former Mariners’ Church. The original steeple was lost during the Hurricane of 1938 and the Church was without a steeple until a new one, with a carillon, was built in 1969.

Leonard W. Morse House (1855)

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 Posted in Groton, Houses, Italianate, Mystic | No Comments »


The Italianate house at 9 Elm Street in Mystic was built for Leonard W. Morse around 1855. Morse was involved with starting a machine company, begun in 1848, which lasted until the Civil War and sold cotton gins and machinery for the southern states. The house was later owned by Albert L. Pitcher, who published the Mystic Times newspaper.