Archive for the ‘Mystic’ Category

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 »

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 »

Allen Avery House (1874)

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 Posted in Groton, Houses, Mystic, Second Empire | No Comments »

The house at 17 Pearl Street, on the Groton side of Mystic, is currently the home of Dinoto Funeral Home. A sign on the house indicates it was built circa 1874 and was the home of Allen Avery, undertaker. As related in the Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County (1905), Allen Avery was born in 1838 and married Alice Babcock Hinckley in 1862. As the book continues:

Mr. Avery spent his boyhood days in Old Mystic, securing an excellent education in the public schools and at the academy at Mystic. Leaving school he worked as a ship joiner with his father in the Greenman yards, but in 1864, he embarked in an undertaking business at Mystic, in a store built by his father. Later, he purchased the store, and carried on an undertaking business for a number of years, but about 1884, he retired from that line, continuing, however, to operate his furniture store, which he had in the meanwhile established, until 1895. He is now engaged in the real estate business.

Apparently he lived in the house at 17 Pearl Street for no longer than twelve years, as the biography notes:

For the past seventeen years he has lived on the Stonington side of Mystic, in a house he built in 1886, so that he takes a deep interest in the affairs of the town of Stonington. For thirteen years he was a menber of the executive committee of the fire district. and was one of the organizers of the Hook and Ladder Company, which he served faithfully and ably as treasurer for twenty-one years. He is now vice-president of the Avery Memorial Association. which he served as president for two years. In fact there are few measures of a public character, designed to advance the interests of Mystic, in which he has not been concerned.

Colby-Tripp House (1864)

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 Posted in Houses, Italianate, Mystic, Stonington | No Comments »

The house at 36 Denison Avenue in Mystic was built in 1864 for John N. Colby. He was a ship and sign carver and decorator who also held a number of patents, including one with John E. Coffin from 1875 for a combined cane and umbrella. From 1866 to 1892, the house was the residence of Capt. George E. Tripp. He had married Lydia Stanton Spicer in 1855.