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CAS C41 jp. Gk --l; =77 [email protected]*rtefy Mystic Seapen A History of Connecticut"s Coast F 94 COASTAL ZONE S87 1982 INFORMATION CENJ"ER STATE OF CONNECTICUT William A. O'Neill, Governor DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Stanley J. Pac, Commissioner COASTAL AREA MANAGEMENT PROGRAM Arthur J. Rocque, Jr., Director Property of CSC Library March, 1982 S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NOAA COASTAL SERVICES CENTER 2234 SOUTH HOBSON AVENUE ChARLEQTON , SC 29405-2413 coastal ama This document was financed in part by a grant through the federal Office of Coastal Zone Management maim"menIt ast r "fCoa e Ma under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. 71 captd avenue hartforcl, corn 06115 V) C" A History of Connecticut's Coast 400 Years of Coastal Industry and Development Edited and designed by David Tedone i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special acknowledgements are due John Surowiecki, who researched and wrote the majority of this booklet, and Ellen McGrath, who collected many of the photos and contributed articles. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page SEASCAPE .............................................. I INDIANS, EXPLORERS, SETTLERS ........................ 3 COLONIAL EXPANSION ................................. 11 EARLY MARITIME COMMERCE .......................... 17 REVOLUTIONARY WAR ................................... 23 STEAMSHIPS, RAILROADS, TROLLEYS . .................. 29 SUMMER PLACES ....................................... 39 TRADITIONAL MARITIME INDUSTRY ................... 43 INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION ............................. 55 THE URBAN SEA ....................................... 65 PHOTO CREDITS ........................................ 74 Al SI, ng `ks- j!3 oaf, saw *-%,m Seascvc; Mention the shoreline to almost anyone and immedi- adapted lifestyles, changed livelihoods, created innova- ately visions of sailing, sunbathing, fishing and other tions, cooperated with nature, or perished along the recreational experiences are conjured up. We all have a calm waters of Long Island Sound. In the past thirty favorite beach, fishing spot, or picnic area-remnants years, such changes have meant the altering of the of our maritime heritage-in close proximity to Long natural character of our environment; so dramatic and Island Sound. But the shoreline of Connecticut also extensive have these changes been that 19th century cit- represents a broader facet of our lives and encompasses izens would hardly recognize the coast today. Many of our workaday world as well as our recreational world. our ports have literally become "urban seas" as trans- Our coastline is, and has always been, primarily impor- portation corridors, housing developments, factories, tant to us economically, and few people not directly and other institutions have come to surround them, related to local industries are aware of that importance. while many marshes and shorelands feeling the pressure We rely on the Sound and the coast for shipping, of suburban sprawl have been filled out of existence. energy development, transportation corridors, food In the last 350 years, Connecticut has made tremen- products, and living space. Many small and large manu- dous economic progress. Today, we are a technological facturing concerns are located by the shore; our coastal state with many modern factories producing sophis- population as a result is three times greater than it is in- ticated goods, and it is somewhat difficult to realize, for land, and four out of every ten residents live within the instance, that our forefathers once put to sea hunting coastal zone. Four of our five largest cities are also whales for a living. located by the sea. It is our intention here to provide a few glimpses into Why have so many interests converged on our shores, the past. In an attempt to highlight some of the major and how have they come to pass? patterns of development-which have helped transform Partly as a result of history, partly by chance, and the coast from the wilderness Adriaen Block found in the partly by mistake. Local cultures from primeval tribes to 17th century, to the bustling seaports and railroad mec- modem man have used, affected, and altered the cas of P.T. Barnum's time, to the dense industrial and natural resources of our coast, and each culture has left residential centers of today-we have uncovered some its unmistakable footprint-from the shell heaps left by fascinating photos, previously buried in archives and primitive people to the concrete slabs of highways and forgotten books around the state, and reproduced them mass housing developments of our own times. here. Perhaps it is only through a historical perspective The development of the coast is truly a "History of that we can understand our present environmental Connecticut" written on the land. Each and every age pressures and begin to comprehend the vast changes has been characterized by the way in which people used that our coastline and our culture have undergone. the land and water. Generations of Connecticuters have I [email protected] I f -A 'R 410 " v1:!;@'%7.;r' @44. H 1� -J1. - i,K F'ON-*' 4";; 1-0 its! '4' N -"24 q j A "i, 7 7777 71 z T 7" @V' 2. Connecticut Indians found coastal waters teaming with fish. 2 Indians, Explorers, Settlers The first inhabitants of the northeast were nomadic decimated by plague; these stretches of wilderness were hunters who had crossed the continent from the west hunting territories which were well known and well following herds of caribou. They were a hearty race, defined by natural landmarks. There was surprisingly some 12,000 years ago, who developed a formidable little economic and cultural commerce between the array of tools and hunting weapons and who regularly tribes in the coastal regions; certainly the influence of made long journeys through the dense forests, Approx- the Pequots was felt along the coast, and many tribes imately 10,000 years ago, the continental forests under- paid tribute to this warlike tribe. But trade and cultural went a subtle but major change. Conifer trees gave way exchange, although not unknown, were not practiced to hardwoods, and as the deer, fowl, and other forest very much. wildlife began to flourish, the North American natives The tribes did have one thing in common and that became less nomadic, By the 1600s, when the first was Long Island Sound. From it they took oysters, Europeans began exploring the New World, they found scallops, lobsters, crabs, soft clams, quahogs, mackeral, a string of sites along the coastal region with 50 to 150 halibut, cod, flounder (their chief fish food), skate, inhabitants each. The Indians lived relatively comfor- haddock, scup, striped bass, sturgeon (which they har- tably - digging for shellfish, hunting the wild fowl pooned at night from torch-bearing canoes), salmon, and deer, and never roaming very far away. shad, herring, eels, and lamprey. They even hunted In all, sixteen tribes lived in Connecticut, with at whales which now and then appeared offshore. Fishing least eight tribes controlling the coastal zone: the may have provided an easier and more certain sub- dreaded Pequots (the name means destroyer of men) in sistence than hunting, but the coastal tribes were not the Groton-Stonington area; the Mohegans in Mystic; only fish-eaters. the Niantics in Lyme and Waterford; the Hammon- They hunted deer, moose, bear, raccoon, rabbit, assets in Saybrook and Clinton; the Menunketucks in squirrel, pigeon, partridge, quail, turkey, ducks, geese Guilford and Madison; the Quinnipiacs in the New and crane. They were also proficient trappers and Haven area; the Paugusetts in Bridgeport and Stratford; caught wolves, foxes, wildcats and beavers for their furs. and the Siwanogs, a New York tribe whose territory ex- Wild berries and mushrooms could be had for the pick- tended into Greenwich and Stamford. ing, as well as beech nuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, Although historians still do not agree on the popula- acorns and sunflower seeds. In the spring, they tapped tion figures (they range from 6,000 to 20,000), it is gen- the maple trees and boiled down the sap for sugar. it erally acknowledged that Connecticut contained one of was no wonder that the Connecticut Indians stayed at the densest concentrations of Indians in America. Still, home; the Sound and the woodlands provided for all there was plenty of room between settlements, par- their needs. ticularly in the 1600s when the Indian population was The Indians, so adept at hunting, fishing and trap- 3 3. Seaside settlement shows quanset huts and racks for smoking fish. M 04 ping, were also an agrarian people who grew Indian or mixed corn, Johnny-cake corn, popcorn, beans, squash and pumpkins. One of their favorite foods was called yokeag or nobebick, yellow corn parched in hot ashes and pounded into powder, and it was said that three teaspoonsfW was enough for a meal. Indian corn yielded 1,200 to 2,000 grain seeds for each one sown, a European population soon expanded and the store of ratio that astounded the European settler; and one In- seafood did not, after a while, seem so infinite. dian acre yielded 60 bushels of corn, a rate of harvest The Connecticut Indians lived a simple, comfortable that Connecticut farms barely improved upon even as life, There were of course hardships, for even nature at late as 1860. The secret to the Indians' success was sim- its most generous can be destructive. Winters were less ple. He, actually she, (because the fields, except the harsh on the coast than in the hinterlands, but they tobacco fields, were the province of Indian women) did were by no means mild; and there were droughts, not exhaust the land. Indians let their fields lie fallow floods, storms and plagues to contend with. The Indian for years because there were enough clearings near their settlements, although relatively large, were not obtru- settlements to begin new sites. The European farmer, sive; they were dwarfed by the vastness and grandeur of although he had cleared larger tracts of land and the wilderness that surrounded them. replenished the soil with manure, was not so eager to let Tribes lived in family-sized wigwams called wetus, meadows go unproductive; he farmed the land as in- dome-shaped constructions usually made from elm tensely and as exhaustively as he had in the Old World. bark stretched over pole frames. The poles were actually The Puritans believed that there were "treasures" in saplings, green and flexible, which were bent into a nature, but these had to be "fetched thence by the semi-circle and the ends secured in the ground. A sweat of our brows. " The Indians took advantage of smoke-hole was left at the top and sometimes skins natural abundances as eagerly and thoroughly as the were added to the elm bark for extra protection against Europeans did, but they did not share the Europeans' the wind and cold. The huts were cozy, and sometimes penchant for development. Local tribes did clear fields larger ones - which resembled quonsct huts - were for sowing corn (Pyquag, their name for Wethersfield, built to sleep eight or ten families. means "cleared land" or "open field"), but never to The tools the Connecticut Indians made and used the extent that the Europeans did. They were at home were not highly crafted, certainly not as impressive or as in the forests, while the Puritans, who imagined durable as those made by their hunter ancestors. Their demons everywhere, systematically purged the land- hoe for example was just a clamshell tied to a stick; their scape of woods. The Indians also exploited the Sound clothing was also simple, as was their chief means of and the rivers as avidly as the first settlers did, but the transportation, the canoe. Nature, it seems, repre- 4 lans; sented a kind of paradigm to the Connecticut Ind X, it made no sense to them to do more than what was necessary to live in harmony with nature. It is easy to romanticize this kind of thinking, but the Indians who populated the Connecticut coast were not "noble X. savages"; they were simply a people who responded to their environment as best they could. Their way of life died out not because it was right or wrong, but because it was a victim of an accident of history: with the arrival of the Europeans the Indians' subtle mixture of casual- ness toward and respect for nature would be subsumed 4. Harpoons were carved from bone or antler. Fish was always a in the dauntless, inexhaustible, and often obsessive food staple. energy of the Puritans. Connecticut River, which he called "Fresh Water." He sailed up the river as far as the falls at Enfield before returning to the Sound. He then landed at Montauk The Voyage of Point in Long Island, . sailed past an island which he The Restless named after himself (it is still called Block Island, al- If it weren't for an accident - a fire of mysterious though the first explorer to discover it was Vcrrazano in origin - Adriaen Block would probably not have gone 1524), and eventually reached Cape Cod. From there he returned to the Netherlands, but not on the Restless, down in history as the man who first sailed Long Island which stayed behind and was used for further explora- Sound and discovered the Connecticut coastline. Block, tion by Block's mate, Cornelius Hendricksen. an intrepid Dutch captain who had on a previous New The Dutch, content to settle the Manhattan and World excursion explored the eastern coast from Maine Hudson River areas, did not share Block's curiosity and to Delaware, was, in 1614, concluding yet another sense of adventure and made only tentative attempts at voyage, trading furs with the Indians of Manhattan colonizing the new territory. In 1627, they sent Isaac de Island. When he returned to his ship, he found it in Rasiere to Plymouth to offer a joint commercial venture flames. But the resourceful Block was not dismayed; he between the Puritans and themselves. The Puritans, and his crew built another vessel, possibly the first ship after all, had always considered the Dutch as allies sym- ever built in America, and named it Onrust, or Restless. pathetic to their religious beliefs; and, in fact, before There was one problem: the ship only weighed six- the New World became a possibility, they had sought teen tons and Block wondered if it were seaworthy and always received asylum in Holland. The planters at enough to get him and his crew back to the Nether- Plymouth, however, would have no part of the proposal lands. Deciding that the craft needed to be tested, he and the Dutch were left to settle the Connecticut ventured up the East River, only to become trapped in a wilderness on their own. violent whirlpool which he christened Hell Gate - a name the passage still bears today. Beyond this torment of currents and rocks was a glimmering, deep blue body A Retreat for of water: Long Island Sound. Puritan Gentry By a combination of chance and skill, Block made it through the whirlpool and sailed along the coast of In 1632 agents of the Dutch East India Company Westchester County, probably more interested at this landed at Saybrook and purchased land at the mouth of point in scouting for new trade than in testing the ship. the "Fresh Water" from the Pequots who lived there. He passed the coasts of Greenwich and Stamford, The point had been called Pattaquasett by the Indians, darted in and out of the Norwalk Islands, reached New but the Dutch renamed it Kievit's Hook, after a bird, Haven, which he called Rodemberg for the red palisades now known as the,pewit, that nested in the nearby that dominated the landscape, explored the Branford swamps. In 163 3, Jacob Van Curler purchased from the River and finally came to the great placid estuary of the Indians (Pequots again) a tract of land upriver where 5 Hartford stands now; there they built a fort and named Englishmen who liked what the sachem had to say and it House of Good Hope. in 1632 sent an expedition up the Connecticut River to Two small forts, however, do not make a colony. The begin a new settlement near the Dutch House of Good English, who were quick to follow the Dutch precedent Hope. The Dutch offered no resistance and the settle- in Connecticut, did not consider the wilderness to be ment, known as Windsor, survived the harsh winter part of the New Holland. They believed in the doctrine and served as an example for other settlers, including of vacuum domicilium, in which unoccupied and un- those led by Thomas Hooker. used land was free to those who improved it. Elizabeth I Meanwhile, a group of fifteen English lords and gen- had, thirty or so years earlier, dismissed Spanish preteri- tlemen were given a special patent to settle in North sions in North America by saying that colonization was America. This group included Viscount Say and Seale, not quite the same thing as "their having touched only Lord Brooke and Colonel George Fenwick, and they here and there upon a coast, and given names to a few dreamed of creating a retreat for "men of distinction rivers and capes." The Dutch had done more than that and qualitie, " an oasis of culture and civilization in the in Connecticut, but, as far as the English were con- New World, complete with grand estates, liveried serv- cerned, not much more. ants, and English gardens. They named John Win- In 1631, a group of Connecticut Indians led by the throp, Jr. to oversee the establishment of their retreat in sachem (or chief) Wahginnacut visited Plymouth and Connecticut, and in November 1633 an armed con- Boston to appeal to the English that Connecticut was a tingent of Englishmen arrived off Kievit's Hook. virtual paradise that needed to be settled; the real There is a story about how the English crew spotted a reason for their journey, however, was their hope that parchment nailed to a tree - the Dutch claim to the English settlers might be a buffer between them and land along the river - which they promptly tore off the Pequots who had become more and more belliger- and replaced with a carving of a face with its tongue ent. Edward Winslow of Plymouth was one of the sticking out.. If the insult was ever noticed, it went un- All 5. Blocks ship, the Restless, fascinated the Indians. 6 T to cut out these tubular beads, seldom more than half V an inch long, and then they bored a tiny hole from end to end. The beads were strung on narrow strips of deer- skin and fashioned into bracelets, belts, and other orna- ments which were used as gifts and currency and in mystical rites and rituals (wampum, the Indians be- 6 A first meeting between Europeans and native Indians in Connecticut. lieved, "spoke louder than words"). When the Euro- heeded, because the Dutch, as they had upriver at peans came, they introduced metal tools which enabled Windsor, did not resist the English trespassers, and the them to make wampum much easier. In fact, on Long Dutch Kievit's Hook suddenly became the English Island, the English and Dutch actually employed local Saybrooke (derived from the names of two of the Indians to "make money," working them hard and founding gentry, Viscount Say and Seale and Lord paying them little. Across the Sound, the English Brooke). taught the Indians how to counterfeit wampum, dou- in March of that year, Lion Gardiner, a military bling the value of white beads by dying them black. engineer, arrived and began to supervise the construc- There was certainly enough land and water for both tion of a new arrison. The fifteen gentlemen who cultures to co-exist, but there were innumerable con- 9 flicts between them - mostly because they used their planned Saybrooke did not intend their settlement to available resources so differently. The English coveted be a military post for very long, and with the arrival of the cleared areas lying fallow and unproductive; they Colonel Fenwick it looked as though the idyllic com- built grist and saw mills which meant the damming of munity might become a reality. Saybrooke, however, streams and the curtailment of the Indians' stream fish- was not destined to become the retreat its founders had ing. The English wanted the salt marshes and bays for envisioned; instead, it became a place of broken harborage; and they let their livestock roam free, indif- dreams. ferent to the fact that their cattle or swine often The Fragile Detente destroyed Indian crops; and, most of all, they hungered for wood - for timber, fences, barrel staves, and for Aside from the brief but bloody Pequot War, the fuel - which eventually left the Indians without hunt- relations between the English and the natives of Con- ing grounds. necticut had always been considered cordial. Despite Firewood was virtually unknown in Europe in the the peace that generally prevailed, there was an undercur- 17th century, a luxury only the most wealthy could rent of hostility between the two cultures that stemmed afford, and so to the English settlers the miles upon not only from the Puritans' unfailing belief in their miles of woods in the New World must have seemed own superiority, but from their more pressing economic like a dream come true. The Indians used wood for con- needs. Both cultures were, by chance, agricultural and struction and for burning, but their consumption was water-oriented, and they both clung to the coastline negligible to that of the English pioneer who needed and major river valleys because there the soil was most from twenty to forty cords every year to fill the great fertile and the fish and game most abundant. There, fireplace that heated his home. If clear-cut, an acre of too, were the salt banks along the Sound used by Euro- land yielded a year's supply of fuel; multiply that by pean and Indian alike for preserving food; and for the the rapidly growing numbers of European immigrants English settler there also existed the promise of future and it is no wonder that as early as 1800 virtually the en- trade, coastwide and even trans-Atlantic. tire state had been cut at least once. Both cultures relied on the shore because it also pro- vided them, for a time, with their sole source of cur- rency - wampum. There were two kinds of wampum, The Bottom Line: English white and the more valuable dark. The white was cut Purchase of Indian Lands from the inside of the conch shell; the dark, ranging in color from blue to purple, came from the shells of When the English arrived they were extremely metic- quahog clams or mussels. The Indians used stone tools ulous about their land purchase; they made the Indians 7 N M A S S A H u Hartford 0 C 0 N N E C T I C U T R. 1. y i -0 C- -A ;at k 9LOCKUND CZI 50 '"MA 0 SOJJND A ONG IS D A N A rL.A N 44 A A kloLWA '71 "V Al (A A "4*7 V IF, M117-74or 7. Roger Ludlow cutting a deal with the sachem Nau-eu-wok for the purchase of Norwalk in 1640. some hatchets, spades, looking glasses, Jew's harps, hoes sign contracts, demanding that everything be kept and kettles. The Indians, seeking protection from the strictly legal, despite the fact that the price they paid for Mohawks, and witnessing the English defeat of the Pe- acres of prime land was ludicrously small. In some cases, quots in Fairfield, paid the settlers an annual bounty of the Indians who signed these fateful documents did not furs and corn. understand that they were giving up their hunting, New Haven-On November 24, 1638, the local sachem, fishing and planting rights to the lands they sold; they Momaugin, sold all the land in Quinnipiac, reserving had no concept of private property and believed they hunting and fishing rights in return for "twelve coats of were merely sharing the land with the newcomers. In English trucking cloth, twelve alchemy spoons, twelve other cases, however, Indians gave land outright to the hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and scissors." English as a means of protecting themselves from Branford-The deed of purchase in 1639 stipulates that hostile tribes. should the Indians "become affrighted . . . they may Everyone knows the story of Peter Minuit, who repair to the English plantation for shelter, and that there bought Manhattan for goods worth $24; the Connec- in a just cause ye English will endeavor to defend ye from ticut coastline was only a little more expensive: wrong.' I Greenwich-Greenwich Point was called Monakewego by the Guilford-The sachem queen of the Menuncatucks sold all Mianus tribe, and later Elizabeth Neck after Elizabeth the land from Kuttawoo (East River) to Oiockommuck Feaks from the New Haven Colony, said to have made the (Stony Creek) for " 12 coats, i 2 fathom of wampum, 12 purchase for " twenty-five fine coats." glasses, 12 pairs of shoes, 12 hatchets, 12 pairs of stockings, 12 hoes, 4 kettles, 12 knives, 12 hats, 12 porringers, 12 Stamford-Captain Nathaniel Turner of the New Haven spoons and 2 English coats. " Colony bought the land known as Rippowams for a Norwich-For nine square miles of land, John Mason and number of hats, coats and blankets. Thomas Tracy paid Uncas, Owanerc, and Attawanhood Norwalh-The area is named after Naw-eu-wok, the sachem "the full and just sum of seventy pounds." who sold the land to Roger Ludlow for "ten scissors, three New London-At a general court held in Boston in 1646john kettles, some coats, hatchets and hoes, and ten Jew's Winthrop, Jr. appointed a commission "to remove such as harps. " Indians as were will to the other (or east) side of the great Stratford (Pequonnock) and faiifield (Uncoway)-lbese river (Thames), of some other place for their convenient lands were sold to Roger Ludlow for wampum, a few coats, planting and subsistence, to the good liking and satisfac- tion of the said Indians." 9 V 8. Captain John Mason, immortalized in bronze, fought against the Pequots during the period of colonial expansion in Connecticut. 10 Colonial Expansion New Haven, New Earth young minister was more inclined to Puritanism than Before the Pequot War the shoreline west of he realized. The English dissidents knew this and tried Saybrook was, for the English, terra incognita, an to get the well-respected preacher on their side. They unknown land. The Dutch had long since investigated finally succeeded but only after Laud became Arch- the area, but no settlements began there. When Cap- bishop of Canterbury and Davenport realized that the tain Mason and his men were chasing Sassacus into Fair- Church of England would no longer tolerate his brand field, they were impressed by the beauty of the area, of Anglicanism. He went over to the Puritan side, crossed the Channel to Holland disguised as a mer- particularly where the Quinnipiacs lived. "It hath a chant, and later ventured to New England to establish fine River," reported Captain John Underhill, "fit for his "Bible State." the harboring of Ships and abounds with rich and While he was a much-admired theologian, Daven- goodly Meadows." This area would become, in a few port did not have the practical mind needed to organize years, the "Bible State" or "Newhaven" of Anglican an expedition to America; for help he turned to his dissenter John Davenport. friend, Theophilus Eaton, a London merchant and a Unlike Saybrook, which was intcnded to be a kind of man of "fair estate and of great esteem for religion, and New World spa for elegant ladies and cultured wisdom in outward affairs." It was the combination of gentlemen, New Haven was to be a theocracy, a com- zeal and business sense that made the Davenport-Eaton munity governed by religious principles and populated venture a success. by an "elected" citizenry. Its founder, John Daven- port, was a learned, serious man (the Indians, who ap- 9. English settlers cleared the dense forests with an inexhaustible parently never saw him without a book, called him zeat "big study man"), a minister and reformer who, when he was in England, wanted to "purify" the Anglican Church without actually becoming a Puritan. As a preacher in London - at St. Stephen's Church on Coleman Street - he had gained a reputation as an elo- quent and convincing orator, but it was church politics rather than his ministerial talents that got him into trouble with the Anglican authorities, particularly William Laud, Bishop of London. Davenport was accused of harboring Puritan sen- timents, which he denied vehemently; nonetheless, the 1111 V J regimen and dedication to order, but for its prosperity. Underlying New Haven's Puritan stringency and respectability was a solid foundation of capital, for New Haven became one of the wealthiest settlements in America in the 1600s. Saybrook's _7 Struggle As New Haven prospered, Saybrook, the first English @'j settlement along the Connecticut coast, declined. In 1639, when Colonel George Fenwick arrived there with his wife, the former Lady Alice Apsley Boetler (the trip If over had been their honeymoon), the future of 10. Theophiluf Eaton'y home, New Haven. Saybrook seemed assured. Other members of the In 1638, Davenport and his followers purchased land Puritan elite were sure to follow. But Fenwick and Lady from the Quinnipiacs and spent their first year in New Alice were not so certain that the primitive life that Haven putting up temporary shelters. Eaton became Saybrook offered was really what the 15 English the first governor of the new colony and asked surveyor gentlemen really had envisioned when they accepted John Brockett to lay out a plan for the community; the the Warwick Patent. The Fenwicks decided to stick it result was the famous "nine squares" which included a out, yet their ten-year stay at Saybrook was plagued by meetinghouse green, which still stands today, although disaster. without the meetinghouse. While Eaton was busy with The Pequots made life miserable for the colonists and the practical details of the settlement, Davenport, as one of the "seven pillars" or leaders of the colony, was busy forming a state based on the " perfect rule" pro- vided by the Scriptures. They created, in fact, a settle- ment in which one's civil rights and responsibilities were wholly dependent upon one's standing in the church. Only church members, the "pillars" decided, shall be burgesses, and that they only shall choose magistrates and officers among themselves to have the power of transacting all the public civil affairs of this Plantation. " The New Haven elders strove to build a society based on civil order and adherence to Puritan principles. It was, however, a closed community and would not ad- mit anyone "whether they came in by purchase or otherwise" unless they met the approval of the "seven pillars." Its justice was swift and relentless; an Indian named Napaupuck, for instance, was found guilty of murdering an English settler and the next day he was decapitated and his head displayed in public as a warn- U-ij ing to all potential lawbreakers. The combination of business sense and religious fervor embodied by Daven- port and Eaton continued to direct the growth of the settlement, which became known not only for its 11. John Davenport. 12 _4=, T N10"Ntn" J "F, @W' 7- ap, 7 12. New Haven Colony fortification in 1625. Original "nine squares" outlined in the center ofa salt marsh still exist today. East and West rocks are easily distinguished. forced them to live virtually like prisoners behind the communities to seek a life elsewhere along the Connec- walls of Gardiner's fort. After the Indians were ticut coast. New Haven, in particular, began to expand defeated, life became a bit more bearable, but with the along the shoreline until it became a Puritan empire in victory of Cromwell in England it became clear that miniature, the New Haven Colony, which comprised none of the "men of quality" would ever come to the new settlements of Guilford, Branford, Milford, Saybrook: the Puritans now controlled England and Stamford and Southold, in Long Island, for a time vied there was no longer any reason for the Saybrook with the Connecticut colony for civil authority in the founders to emigrate to the New World. They were state. needed at home to fill important posts in Cromwell's Under the leadership of Henry Whitfield, a gifted Interregnum Government. Anglican preacher who, like Davenport, finally em- In 1646, Lady Alice died after giving birth to a braced Puritanism, Guilford was founded almost as a daughter, Dorothy, and was buried near the fort over- carbon-copy of New Haven, complete with its own looking the Sound (her tomb at Saybrook Point was "seven pillars" and meetinghouse green. The settlers moved during the construction of the Valley Railroad in of Guilford, however, considered themselves only 1871). Fenwick was crushed by this last, most bitter dis- friendly neighbors and religious allies of the New appointment, and with his children he returned to Haven Colony, and were not politically part of the England (accepting a position in Cromwell's govem- mother settlement until the threats of Dutch and In- ment), never to return to Saybrook again. Before leav- dian attack made unity a necessity. ing, he sold the Warwick Patent to the Connecticut Branford - the home of a Dutch settlement in the Colony, and the settlement eventually began to pros- 1620s - was claimed for settlement by Samuel Eaton, per, not as a retreat for upper-class Puritans, but as a brother of the governor of New Haven. But Eaton strategic gateway to the Connecticut River. returned to England to find recruits for the new colony, found none, and never returned to Connecticut. Mean- The New Haven Colony.: while, the handful of settlers who had moved from New Haven to Branford (called Totoket by the Indians), New Settlements asked Abraham Pierson to lead them in building a com- munity. Pierson agreed, and the settlement, named New Haven and Saybrook spawned a "second Branford in 1653 (after Brentford near London), pros- generation" of pioneers who left these two established pered in the shadow-of the fast-growing New Haven. In 13 soul. " The new colonists had a reputation for being quarrelsome, and not only because of their feud in Wethersfield; in 1657, Quakers arrived in Stamford to settle in the area, but the residents drove them away, is- N suing an edict against "the cursed sects of heretics." The Ludlow Settlements (Norwalk, Stratford, Fairfield and Greenwich) N11 Not all new settlements along the coast originated in New Haven. Roger Ludlow, the founder of the towns of Norwalk, Stratford and Fairfield, was, in fact, a thorn in New Haven's side. Ludlow, who fought under Mason in the Pequot swamp battle, was impressed by the Fair- C field area and returned in 1639, only a year after New Haven was founded, and purchased land at Pequon- 13. The wily Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans. nocke (western Stratford) and Uncoa (Fairfield). 1667, Pierson took the majority of his flock with him to Ludlow's attempts at colonization infuriated the new found Newark, New Jersey, leaving Branford a virtual settlers at Milford, who considered his ambition a form ghost town until 1680 when it regained its original of poaching, but the veteran of the Pequot War was populati o*n. vindicated by the General Court, for which, incidental- In the summer of 1638, Reverend Peter Prudden, a ly, he served as a magistrate. His feud with New Haven resident of New Haven, went to Wethersfield to lasted until 1654 (he insisted that the New Haven Col- preach; there he won an enthusiastic following, many ony would not support Fairfield against the threat of a of 'whom wanted to join him in the creation of a new Dutch attack), when he returned to England to act as a settlement. The next year, after land was purchased representative of Cromwell's government in Dublin. around the mouth of the Wepawaug River ten miles The Captain Islands off Greenwich are named for west of New Haven, Prudden, his New Haven congre- Captain Daniel Patrick who, along with Robert Feaks, gation, and a small number of his devoted Wethersfield purchased Monakewego (now Greenwich Point) from followers marched from New Haven to form a new com- the Mianus tribe in 1640. The Indians, however, sud- munity which they called Milford. The town was or- denly became unfriendly and the new settlement ganized in the New Haven manner, although their aligned itself with the Dutch for protection. In 1643, restrictive policies were not as rigid. Milford remained Captain Patrick led an expedition against the Indians an independent colony for a while, but eventually peti- but came up empty-handed. While his force was dis- tioned New Haven to become a part of the burgeoning banding at Stamford, a Dutch soldier, calling Patrick colony. They were refused because of their liberal at- an incompetent leader, killed him in a heated argu- titude toward church membership, but soon a com- ment. A combined Dutch-English force, led by John promise was reached and Milford became part of the Underhill, Pequot War hero who had settled in Stam- Colony in 1643. ford, defeated the Indians at Maspeth. Captain Nathaniel Turner, an agent for New Haven, bought in 1640 a tract of land known as Rippowarns, later to be called Stamford. The next year the area was Saybrook's Offshoots settled by a group of argumentative Wethersfield dis- senters under Reverend Richard Denton, a "little Saybrook, like New Haven, was instrumental in the man," according to Cotton Mather, "yet he had a great settlement of other shoreline communities after the 14 Pequot War. In fact, nine modern Connecticut towns pendent settlement. In 1839, East Lyme came into be- have their origins in the community that Fenwick and ing; in 1855 Old Lyme was incorporated as a town. Gardiner established. Saybrook itself was divided a number of times, and The area that is now Clinton and Killingworth was today, there is no political entity that goes by that called Homonoscitt by one John Clow, Jr. who peti- name. The first area to separate was Chester in 1836, tioned the General Court to settle 30,000 acres of land followed by Westbrook, the Old Potopaug quarter of west of Saybrook. The government of Saybrook con- Saybrook, in 1840. In 1852, Old Saybrook came into tended that the land had been purchased from Uncas, being and in 1854 Essex separated from Old Saybrook. the Mohegan sachem, by Colonel Fenwick, but the In 1947 the town of Saybrook gave up its historic name Court ruled in Clow's favor. Uncas, seeing that he and became Deep River. could sell a parcel of land twice over, claimed remuneration from Clow, discovering the fact that he The Founding of had already sold the land to Fenwick. The new settlers found it expedient to pay Uncas again and soon families New London arrived from Guilford, Hartford and Saybrook. In 1667 Homonoscitt was renamed Kenilworth, which eventual- Even after the defeat of the Pequots the area sur- ly became Killingworth. In 1838, the southern part of rounding the Thames River was thought of as Indian Killingworth was incorporated as Clinton. country. In 1644, John Winthrop, Jr., son of the gover- Although Lyme's first settler was Matthew Griswold nor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and future governor in 1639, it was in 1663 that a number of Saybrook of Connecticut, decided to establish a colony in the residents decided to begin a plantation on the eastern land of the Pequots. He is considered the founder of bank of the Connecticut River. The next year the two New London, but he never really lived there, being a communities came to an agreement, known as the kind of roving diplomat (when he finally settled down "Loving Parting," and Lyme was founded as an inde- it was on Fisher's Island, off New London, which he had claimed in 1640). By 1650, however, the future of the new settlement seemed shaky, yet in that year four- teen families arrived from Gloucester under Richard Blinnman and gave the town new impetus. Soon New V I London was a major shipbuilding center and port, and in the 19th century it became one of the three great whaling centers in the world. IJ Like New Haven and Saybrook, New London spawned other communities: Groton in 1705, Ledyard in 1836, Montville in 1786 and Waterford in 1801. The tract of land which would become the community of Norwich was first purchased from Uncas in 1654 by Thomas Tract and none other than Captain John Mason. The first settler of Stonington, which would become famous as a steamship junction, was William Cheeseborough of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, who was charged with trading with the Indians and repairing their weapons. He was cleared of the charges and given arft a grant of land. r4 14. Winthrop's Mill, the nation's oldest grist mill, huilt in 1650 in New London. 15 4" N, V, Or 1:7N, -4t, 4 J1.1 @v, @j % t [email protected] 15. Fine sailing ships of the period, used to trade with the Weft Indies. 16 Early Maritime Commerce Of all the American colonies, Connecticut was, Rhode Island-built ship (called "the Great Shippe"), perhaps, the least dependent upon Britain, partially loaded it with local products and, despite gloomy because its people prided themselves on their self-suf- auguries from the ship's captain who did not believe ficiency, but mostly because England wasn't terribly the craft seaworthy, set sail on a winter day through a interested in what Connecticut had to offer. Agricul- channel chopped out of an icebound New Haven har- ture was the main occupation in colonial Connecticut, bor. Months passed and there was no news, good or but it wasn't the kind of agriculture practiced in other bad, until one day a "ghost ship" appeared beyond the colonies, like Virginia, where there was a single and harbor looking very much like the ship the townspeople lucrative tobacco crop. Connecticut's farmland was not had fretted over for so long. Before their very eyes, as the most fertile in the New World anyway; in fact, the the story goes, the ship sank, as if destroyed by some best farming soil in the state was taken over by the first monumental storm, and with it sank the hopes and am- wave of Europeans who settled on the shore or along the bitions of New Haven to become a major port. river valleys. Certainly Connecticut's farmers, merchants, seamen One 17th-century wit once called Connecticut "a and tradesmen did not appreciate being a colonial cask of good liquor tapped at both ends, at one of backwater, but they managed to survive. They survived which Boston draws, and New York at the other, till lit- King Phillip's War - instigated by a chief of the Wam- tle is left in it but lees and settlings. " The observation panoag tribe in Massachusetts - although they paid was no exaggeration; between the premier port of dearly in lives and money; they also survived the threat Boston and the growing port of New York, Connec- of Major Edmund Andros, governor of New York, who ticut's coastline towns, even New Haven and New Lon- in 1675 appeared before Saybrook with several armed don, seemed doomed to limited, incidental trade. New sloops demanding the colony be annexed to New York. London was actually authorized as an official British (The dispute was finally settled and Connecticut gained port, but the trade there was local, never trans-Atlantic. a symbol of its independence, the Charter Oak, where Connecticut maintained a lively coastal trade with Mas- the Charter of 1662, which insured Connecticut's ex- sachusetts and Rhode Island, but any ship involved in istence as a colony, was hid after being snatched from direct trade with England left from or came into under Andros' nose.) Only when Connecticut's agricul- Boston. ture shifted from crops to livestock, when manufactur- New Haven, as early as 1647, had different ideas and ing became an economic force, and when the seaports wanted to bypass Boston to establish a direct trade route grew and prospered in the Caribbean trade, would the with England. The town elders purchased a 150-ton colony emerge from the shadow of English neglect. 17 The West Indies Connection Connecticut's attempts to trade with England may have failed miserably, but by the 18th century one trade route, and a very profitable one, emerged: the West Indies. British Jamaica and the Leeward and Windward Islands (especially Antigua, Barbados and 2 Grenada), French Guadeloupe and Martinique, Spanish Hispaniola and Dutch St. Eustatius were the ports of call for ships from New London, New Haven and the smaller coastal communities such as Norwalk and Darien. (In fact, Darien got its name because one of its most influential citizens became rich trading on the Isthmus of Panama, then called Darien.) Connecticut merchants traded directly with the .1210 J Islands, rather than making it one stop in the triangular 16. The ghost ship, New Haven. routes popular at the time. An odd marriage, it might edented prosperity. The success of the trade was based seem, between the "Land of Steady Habits" and the on the decision of the Connecticut farmer to shift his tropical paradises of the Caribbean, but it was a mar- emphasis from crops to livestock. Connecticut's horses, riage that lasted almost into the 1900s. On the islands mules, cattle, swine, sheep and poultry were in great one could find a trading post that looked more at home demand by Island merchants and planters, who return- in the middle of the town green than amid palm trees ed sugar, salt, molasses, fruit and bills of exchange. and white beaches; and one could also notice the in- Molasses was the most lucrative commodity because the fluence of the exotic Caribbean in the new-found Connecticut-Caribbean connection was actually only worldliness of the Connecticut shore town. Merchants part of a trading cycle: the molasses and other products like Nathaniel Shaw of New London, whose ships from the Indies were used by Connecticut merchants to touched at almost every Caribbean port, helped open buy English manufactured goods from neighboring col- the Connecticut coast, dormant and isolated for so onies. Connecticut re-exported, in the coastwide trade, long, to the rest of the world. between two-thirds and three-fourths of the molasses it At the beginning of the 18th century, the Caribbean imported from the West Indies. So while Connecticut trade grew steadily; by 1750 it employed well over half was still not rewarded with a direct trade route to of Connecticut's tonnage; and in the years immediately England, it obtained English goods without the bother before the war, when the island markets expanded, the of trans-Atlantic voyages. Connecticut coastline experienced a time of unprec- Throughout the colonial period, the Island trade was 17. Coastal trade uas an important colonial industry. a staple of Connecticut's economy. There were wars, the French and Indian War for one (1754-1763), which Connecticut merchants survived quite handily by supplying the British with provisions while simultan- eously carrying on an illicit trade with the French; and there was a serious recession that lasted from 1763-67 [email protected] . . ... due to British restrictions and the closing of all French vT Z, ports except St. Lucia. But the coastline merchants never really suffered a depression. After the Revolution, Connecticut ships found the won Caribbean ports, especially the British ones, less friend- ly; America, after all, was now an independent country @7' 18 and had to compete with Britain and other powers in the open market. Although they continued trade with the Spanish, French and Dutch possessions in the In- dies, Connecticut traders were for the most part W_ squeezed out of the British trade. The rise of New York as a national port and the emergence of ports in the American south didn't help matters either. The only R exception, oddly enough, was the port of Norwich, which happily experienced a post-war boom in the F Island trade. In 1793 war broke out between France and England, 18. Pirates were common in Long Island Sound. one which would rage until Waterloo in 1814. The to the influx of new people who came to the town to do Caribbean became a battleground and consequently business. Shipwrights, fishermen, and merchants came Connecticut's trade decreased dramatically. Jefferson's to live and raise families in the town which would re- embargo in 1807, and the War of 1812, with an accom- main Connecticut's busiest port until the decline of panying British blockade, further crippled Connecti- whaling late in the 1800s. cut's Island ventures, and the golden age of trade In the years before the Revolution, Connecticut shore between the coastal towns and the West Indies was towns grew more affluent and more cosmopolitan. over. There were attempts to revive the connection as Food was plentiful, not only the meat and produce sup- late as the 20th century. One firm, the Gilbert plied by area farmers, but the fish, clams and oysters Transportation Company out of Mystic, was begun in the Sound provided; many imported goods, especially 1906 on the premise that the West Indies trade could those items from the Caribbean, were also available to be made profitable once again. The head of the coastal consumers. What remained of the Indian popu- organization, Captain M.L. Gilbert (who- was only 29 lation (they numbered only 1,363 in 1774) lived on years old, having begun his life at sea at the age of reservations in Stonington, New London, Groton, seven) collected a fleet of sloops, convinced that these Lyme and Norwich; and except for black slaves (there sleek craft were more economical than the steamship in were about 5,000 in 1774) and a scattering of Dutch hauling cargo from the Caribbean. The venture seemed and French, the population was exclusively of English to be successful, and, anticipating the building of the descent. Panama Canal, looked forward to a boom, but the com- Families were generally large, almost always Puritan, pany folded after ten years. The West Indies trade, so and invariably hard-working. Schools established in lucrative in the formulative years of the Connecticut and around the seaports provided a curriculum that coast, could not be revived. mixed the practical with the spiritual, and a boy grow- ing up along the shore either looked to the farm or the sea as a means of livelihood. Girls, who learned the The Calm skills of housewifing, had no such option. Around this Before the Storm time, however, a third alternative was gradually emerg- ing, that of manufacturing. Life along the coastline of colonial Connecticut was The farming-trading cycle which had been the heart one of change, often radical change. By the 1720s the of Connecticut's economy since the arrival of the first once sleepy ports that opened to the Sound became settlers could not sustain a growing population for very hubs of activity. New London, for instance, became long. The number of people who lived in the colony - something of a boomtown, almost a prototype of only 800 in 1636; 2,000 in 1640; and 30,000 in 1701 - Dodge City of Old West fame, for cattle drives, begun had jumped to nearly 200,000 by the census of 1774, inland by the new livestock breeders, ended in the making Connecticut one of the most densely settled of streets of New London where the animals were put on- the American colonies. Most of these people lived in board ships bound for the West Indies. Shops, small the shore communities. Of the six most densely popu- manufacturing concerns, and inns sprung up catering lated towns in 1774, five were in the coastal zone: New 19 Haven, 8,295; Norwich, 7,327; New London, 5,888; engine. Stratford, 5,5 5 5; and Stonington, 5,412. The other was During the middle and late colonial period, people Farmington with 6,069. In the years between 1756 and along the Connecticut coas 't believed they had in many 1774 New Haven's population increased 63 percent, ways fulfilled the dreams of the early settlers. Towns Stratford's 52 percent and New London's an incredible along the Sound grew, prospered, and began to 86 percent, almost doubling its citizenry in less than 20 develop a local identity: New Haven, a busy port, was years. With the increase in population came an increase also the home of Yale University (a distinction first held in maritime activity, which in turn spurred the by Killingworth and then Saybrook before the school economic shift to small manufacturing. decided to move); Stonington was called the "nursery The colonists had always avidly purchased English for Seamen" because the town, home of one of the first manufactured goods, especially clothing, and as early as whaling franchises in 1647, provided so many seafaring 1640 the General Court passed a resolution urging the masters; Saybrook gave its name in 1708 (not long after local manufacture of woolen cloth. Mills appeared in it lost Yale) to a famous and controversial plan of Stamford in 1700 and Guilford in 1707, and in 1760 church government and discipline called the Saybrook Christopher Leffingwell began a stocking-weaving busi- Platform; Norwalk became famous for its stone pottery; ness in Norwich, but the English competition was too and Norwich, known for its shipbuilding, was also the established to be undermined by local efforts. home of Daniel Lathrop's apothecary shop, patronized Early Connecticut industry varied from nail-making by country doctors from is far away as Waterbury. to pewterware, but one of its first and most famous in- The shoreline was changing rapidly, expanding, dustries was clockmaking. The first clock built in Amer- becoming more and more in touch with the world, ica is said to be the handiwork of Thomas Nash of New becoming more and more economically diversified. But Haven in1638, and he created a precedent which other the greatest change of all was fast approaching as col- masters, often from Europe, followed with considerable onists along the shore and everywhere else in America success, among them Ebenezer Parmele, who installed a were beginning to feel the ponderous weight of the tower clock in Guilford's meeting house, and Thomas British crown. Harland whose Norwich complex busily produced clocks for over thirty years. Harland, something of a The Adventures of mechanical genius, also built Norwich's first fire Captain Kidd Come allyeyoung andold, you're welcome to mygold, For by it I've lost my soul, and must die. Ballade of Captain Kidd Connecticut's coastline; with so many hidden coves and secluded estuaries, was a favorite haunt for smug- glers and pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries. The history of Long Island Sound is filled with tales of dar- ing midnight entries into busy ports, boardings on the LIP open sea and chases across the Race. The tradition even extends into the modern era; the port of Stonington, for instance, was a major rum-running location during Proh ibition in the 1930s. The Sound can also claim dubious credit for the greatest pirate of them all: Cap- tain William Kidd. Toward the end of the 1600s, Long Island Sound was so beleaguered by pirates that the Earl of Bellomont, 19. Captain Cliffordf barque, "The Wandering Sprite." governor of New York, was ordered by the Crown to 20 suppress the illegal activity and make the Sound safe for commercial traffic. Bellomont appointed a respectable young seaman who lived with his wife in Manhattan to do the job, and the choice turned out to be the worst he could have made. The young man's name was William Kidd. Seduced by the romance and profit of a pirate's life, Kidd soon became the scourge of Long Island Sound, preying upon commerce and raiding shore com- munities for provisions. His new profession took him F, around the world and his reputation for treachery grew, until he became a legend in his own time. At the turn of the century Kidd was offered a full pardon by Bello- cl mont and eventually surrendered to him. But the %A promise was not kept and Kidd was arrested and sent to England to stand trial. Kidd maintained that he was not a pirate at all, but a privateer, who only attacked If ships belonging to the enemies of England. The English court was not impressed and Kidd was hanged in 1701. Before his fateful surrender, Kidd was supposed to have buried some treasure on Gardiner's Island off Long Island, and to have told Bellomont himself that A he expected to find it when he returned after his par- don. Kidd, of course, did not return to Gardiner's Island, and neither Bellomont nor anyone else has ever claimed to have found Kidd's booty. There are spots along the Connecticut coast which Kidd, burdened with treasure, was supposed to have % visited. Sachem's Head in Guilford is one (the name goes back to the Pequot War when Uncas, a member of --- Mason's party pursuing the retreating Pequots, killed a 20. Captain William Kidd, the notoriour pirate. local sachem and placed his head on a pole because the River there is derived from "Buy Rum"), the second in- poor chief could not or would not give him information volved seamen in all the coastal ports, especially New as to the whereabouts of the renegades); another is a London's whale boat men who were commissioned to rock formation called Captain Kidd's Punch Bowl in prevent smuggling and illicit trade, but who were, in the Thimble Islands off Branford. , There are local fact, actively engaged in it. legends about people who have found treasure chests Connecticut merchants and seamen found smuggling there, yet the stories, like those about Kidd himself, an easy way to fatten their incomes. In 1781 there was have never been substantiated. so much contraband being run into New London that There were pirates on the Sound after Kidd's death, the government had twelve sloops patrol the waters be- but the cold expediency of British justice tended to take tween Saybrook and the Race. New London merchants the romance out of piracy. Still, there was always smug- welcomed this early version of the coast guard, because gling and this form of "moonlighting" by coastal they acted as a deterrent to pirates, but they had little if seafaring men remained popular. Even during the Rev- any effect upon smuggling operations. Piracy had olution, smuggling, called "illicit trade with the declined somewhat in the 1700s, replaced by privateer- enemy," was lively, for some Connecticut seamen had ing (nothing more than a sanctioned form of piracy), no qualms about trading with the English. There were but the smuggling trade prospered. In war or peace, two major routes: land and sea. The first was the old boom or depression, smuggling was a constant in the rum-running route through Greenwich (the Byram life of coastal Connecticut. 21 fit TF F, do -idol 14 _J 4 A 4," Sfer- mp CIO) IbI A. :4 @'C 7 0% 5x [email protected] '4 N, 0000 it ?:Very ixotW_,*'Hf or A 4 21. Map depicting the Revolutionary War battle in New London. 22 Revolutionary War With the coming of the Revolutionary War, the nor- One observer, appalled by the fact that so many were mal routine of the Connecticut shoreline was disrupted. making profits during the war, asked a very pertinent There were shortages, salt especially, which was used to question; "Will your army continue to defend you on preserve meat, while paper money issued by the state the field when their wives and their children are famish- depreciated rapidly. Some trade was carried on, but few ing and crying for bread at home?" ships risked the British blockade to reach the Caribbean Despite hoarding farmers, illicit traders, and black- isles. There was also some trade with America's new market profiteers, communities were generally united European allies, Holland, Spain and France; in 1777 in the Patriot effort, meeting quotas for troop provi- four ships left New Haven harbor bound for Bordeaux sions and forming committees to assist the families of and in Hartford there were newspaper advertisements soldiers. Life was immensely difficult for the people for French goods, suggesting that the British blockade who lived along the coast, but their struggles were off- had a few cracks in it. set by a sense of purpose which managed to carry them As the war progressed, trade became more and more through five anxious, often desperate, years of war. difficult. "God knows," said one New London mer- chant, "whether we shall ever be in a situation to Carry 22. Coaf tal trade continued despite hea ty losses throughout the War. it (trade) again, no business now but preparation for war, ravaging villages, burning of towns, etc." Some merchants tried to sell their ships, others went out of business, most went into privateering; and citizens, no longer caught up in the bustling mercantile life, could only complain about the price of food and worry about the possibility of a British invasion. Early in the war, the General Assembly enacted laws against hoarding, which was upsetting an already falter- ing economy. Instead of selling produce at market prices, farmers would hold back, creating a greater de- mand for their goods, until people were willing to pay higher prices. The families of men who had gone to fight suffered the most; a soldier's pay did not have very much purchasing power in so inflated a market. 23 War on the Sound: employment to coastal shipbuilders and seamen, but Connecticut's Privateers the backbone of the Patriot maritime effort against the British was privateering. Privateers were independent If the war seemed one-sided in Britain's favor, it was seamen who were willing to risk their lives and ships in because of the size and reputation of the English Navy, an occupation that was both patriotic and financially the largest and most experienced in the world. The rewarding. Some privateering vessels had only one English ships, although instrumental in a number of owner, but most ventures had several backers, in order coastal raids, were primarily used as a containment to spread out the risk. force, blockading harbors, patrolling rivers and coastal If a prize was taken, the bounty was split in two, with areas, and supplying the British troops. There was no the Connecticut government getting half and the such thing as an American Navy when the war began, owners, captain and crew sharing the other half. On although one was soon organized and during the war some ships there were awards for the first one to sight mounted an impressive record against the English. an English vessel and for the first to board one; and Individual colonies, too, formed their own militia- there was sometimes compensation for sailors who suf- navies, and Connecticut, whose navy was created in fered disabling wounds. The profit was high, but so was 1775, commissioned a fleet of thirteen ships to do bat- the risk and danger, and once in a while success could tle with the English. The most successful Connecticut contribute to a ship's demise, as in the case of the New naval vessel was the Defence, a brig commanded first by London sloop Eagle, which took seven quick prizes and Seth Harding and then by the daring Samuel Smedley a large number of English prisoners, who eventually of Fairfield. Under Smedley the Defence cruised the rebelled, took over the ship and killed the entire crew Atlantic from Newfoundland to the Windward Islands, except for two boys. bringing prizes totaling over half a million dollars into Although privateering was active in New Haven, Connecticut ports. Saybrook and Darien, New London was a virtual Both the Connecticut and national navies gave hornet's nest. Over 100 privateering vessels hailed from 77, 7 '0 MW i j- 23. David Bushnell's "Turtle," a forerunner of todays submarines, was used to drillholef in British frigates during the Revolution. Bush nell.a recluse inventor, lived and worked in Connecticut. 24 through New York and via the Race, and it remained tight in 1776 and 1777. Months passed before coastal privateers could claim a prize and many, in fact, were captured by the British. The blockade relaxed somewhat in 1778 as British attentions shifted to the south, and the next few years privateering was at its peak. In the course of the war, Connecticut sent out be- tween 200 and 300 privateering vessels, and while there is no doubt that the losses inflicted upon the British j greatly aided the Patriot cause, no port, not even New London, grew rich from privateering. By the end of the war the escapades of the privateers became legendary, so much that privateering actually interfered with military recruitment; men would rather risk their lives at sea than as lowly privates in the military. While privateering made some wealthy, most of its investors lost money. It was a [email protected] business, but it was the only business available. Because trade was at a standstill, merchants could either let their ships stand idle or use them for privateering. They usually chose privateering, though trade was far more lucrative, far less dangerous, and merchants and seamen alike longed for the day when trading would once again return to the 24. Benedict Arnold. coast. that town at one time, bringing in a total of nearly 300 Invasion of the Coast prizes. Many of these were very valuable, such as the Lively Lass of London, captured by the Recovery and Connecticut was not the scene of a great or strategic American Revenue with a cargo worth $200,000; and the Hannah, the greatest single prize ever captured, valued at $400,000. New Londoners were a hearty and daring lot. The New London ship S py, for instance, sailed up the English Channel through the very heart of J the English fleet to avoid being captured; and Captain Ebenezer Dayton and Captain Jason Chester captured five British vessels off Fire Island and brought them 4 were so adventurous they almost seem fictional, but back safely to New London. The exploits of these men despite their successes, the British were not willing vic- tims, and no one's luck held out for very long. Even the dashing American Revenue, which took 13 prizes in oil il 9, two years, was not invincible and fell to the British frigate Greyhound in 1779. The privateering ventures were organized, in part, to harass the British blockade of Connecticut ports. The British had no difficulty in maintaining the blockade, 25. An early photo of Benelct Arnold's house in New Haven. since Long Island Sound has only two outlets to the sea, The building was razed in the 1960.r. 25 t" VV, "i Mn ON 26. Fort Griswold, Groton, the scene of a major Revolutionary War battle. 27. Fort Hale, New Haven, a Revolutionary War fort. 7-, 26 battle during the Revolutionary War, but it did not and shops, 130 homes, flour mills, saltworks, go barns escape the attention of the British army. Even before and five ships. The raids proved costly to the colony, the War began, Connecticut Patriots feared an attack although very few people actually lost their lives. The by sea, so much so that in 1775 the General Assembly tactical diversion failed, however, since General placed seventy men at New London, thirty at New Washington did not move his army into Connecticut as Haven, fifteen at Lyme and forty at Stonington to the British had hoped. guard these vulnerable towns. Throughout the war, the The next invasion was the last and the most brutal: shoreline was the victim of raids by Tory marauders, the British destruction of New London. It was a raid usually from Long Island, but after the British gained that was as ironic as it was bloody, for commanding the control of New York, Patriots believed a full-scale inva- assaulting forces was none other than Benedict Arnold, sion was imminent. who had helped repel the first British invasion - Their fear came true, in April 1777, when Major Tryon's raid in Danbury. The expedition, 32 ships General William Tryon, governor of New York, landed strong, arrived in New London Harbor in September at Compo on the Saugatuck River, and marched inland 1781, the same harbor which had just seen the arrival of to destroy Continental, supplies at Danbury. The raid the Hannah, the richest prize ever brought into port by was successful in that many of the storehouses were New London privateers. About goo troops, including burned, but Connecticut troops, led by Benedict regulars, American Tories and Hessians, landed on Arnold, harassed Tryon's men until they were forced to both sides of the Thames River. New London fell quick- return to New York. As it was, British casualties were ly to Arnold's divisions; the British burned 140 build- close to 200, while the Americans lost only twenty. ings and all the ships in the port except for the few The coast was relatively quiet for two years, until schooners that fled upstream to safety. Even the houses February 1779 when Tryon returned to the Sound, of suspect Tories were burned, including that ofJames stopping at Greenwich to destroy the saltworks there Tilley, a friend of Arnold's who was, in fact, entertain- and pillage the area. In July a British force commanded ing the general at dinner at the time. by Tryon and General Garth attacked the New Haven On the other side of the river, in Groton, a bloody area as a decoy maneuver to lure General Washington's battle was taking place. Colonel William Ledyard, com- Army away from its stronghold on the Hudson. The mander of Fort Griswold, after refusing twice to sur- British met resistance from local troops, including a render, finally succumbed to the superior British force. number of Yale students and some militia under the With the fort taken, a British officer cried out: "Who leadership of a young Aaron Buff, but these were only commands this garrison?" Ledyard answered, "I did, skirmishes. The British seemed a bit confused as to their sir, but you do now," and handed his sword over to the purpose in New Haven, and did little more thin biirn officer who promptly stabbed him with it. The rest of some storehouses, harass some citizens and drink rum. the Americans at the fort were killed, including those The British force under Tryon had more success in already wounded, some of whom were placed in an am- East Haven, even though the presence of Connecticut munition wagon and blown up. The brutality of the in- militia and artillery forced them to retreat. Tryon and vasion angered the Patriots and embarrassed the Garth then descended on Fairfield and nearly razed the British. The attack itself was of questionable success; defenseless town; after crossing to Long Island for sup- British losses were high, and privateering, which had plies, they returned to the Connecticut coast to ravage prompted the attack in -the first place, continued even Norwalk, destroying two churches, nearly forty stores as New London lay smoldering in ashes. 27 r Fp, rn, fo; --Wry W-VI 'aw cl -.;i a a i3 `,I& Y"iv gigg A91601M 5, R 2" @74 A If Q W O-P,q," 28. Steamship travel wax sometimes dangerous, but passengers traveled in style. This is the posh interior of the "Bristol." 28 Steamships, Railroads, Trolleys The first steamships to sail up and down the Connec- In 1822, Connecticut responded by prohibiting New ticut coast - small, noisy, smokey contraptions - York-owned vessels from entering her ports, which must have caused many of the old sailors who lived prompted the Fulton company to by-pass Connecticut along the Sound to scratch their heads in disbelief. altogether and make Providence the main terminal. It Here were vessels that needed no sails and didn't ap- seemed as though the Connecticut boycott had done pear at all seaworthy; moreover, they were fire-breath- little more than deprive the coastal towns of the Boston- ing beasts that consumed cord after cord of wood. The New York traffic, but the Providence connection had first steamboat, Robert Fulton's Clermont, which sailed one formidable drawback. To get from New York to up the Hudson in 1807, was not an impressive-looking Providence, a steamer had to pass Point Judith on the craft, but it did work, although not very efficiently western edge of Narragansett Bay, which had tradi- considering all the fuel it used. tionally been a navigator's nightmare. Here the Sound, As it turned out, the ships that followed the Cler- the Bay and the Atlantic combined to create a turmoil mont were some of the most elegant vessels that ever of currents which made the most seasoned sailor put to sea. Before the steamships arrived on the Sound, respectful and the most ebullient passenger sober. one traveled along the coast by sloop or by coach on The dispute between Fulton and Connecticut was bumpy, pot-holed highways. The steamers, with their finally settled when the Supreme Court declared the luxurious decors and promises of breath-taking speeds, monopoly unconstitutional and a fierce competition changed all that; traffic between New York and Boston arose among rival companies with each attempting to increased dramatically, mostly because of the ludicrous- attract fares with low prices, luxurious salons and record ly low fares (a steamship ticket could, at one time, be times. Yet the traveller knew that the steamship ac- bought for a dollar), and towns along the coast - New counted for only half the journey; the other half, which Haven, New London, Norwich and Stonington in par- had to be traveled by coach, was long and tedious. ticular - thrived as stopping-off points. Whep the railroads began operations the journey from It wasn't until 1815 when Elihu S. Bunker, captain of New York to Boston was shortened and made infinitely the steamship Connecticut, attempted successfully to more comfortable. pass through Hell Gate against the tide that a "New In 1837, the Stonington Railroad connected the once York to New Haven" line was possible. In a few years, a sleepy whaling village with the Providence-Boston line Boston to New York route was established, with New and created the so-called "inside" line from Boston to London as the terminal (the trip from New London to New York. Now passengers from New York could travel Boston was made by coach). There was one major prob- by steamship to Stonington - avoiding the dreaded lem, however, and that was a legal one: Fulton peti- currents of PointJudith - and then continue by rail to tioned and received a monopoly granting him exclusive Boston. The Providence line, also called the "outside" rights to operate steamships in New York state. route, felt its reputation damaged as a result, in that it 29 '00 OH" U @0 Os 7 @N ON 19 -4 Z 41- -m s 3 lz 29. The steamship "Long Island," loaded with passengers. had enjoyed a privileged position as terminal since the The steamers, despite their convenience, were con- Connecticut boycott of New York ships. The Stoning- sidered unsafe by many travellers, and at the beginning ton group accepted and bought the sleek Lexington of the Age of the Steamship, it was a frequent sight to from Cornelius Vanderbilt to run as their flagship; the see a steamer towing a sailing vessel filled with Providence group countered with a brand new steamer, passengers who were too fearful of the new ships to theJohn W. Richmond. board them. As it turned out, the more modem Richmond won After steamships became respectable, racing sub- by an hour's time, but the race really proved little. The sided. Nonetheless, there were still a number of tragic "inside" and "outside" lines competed with each accidents which kept some passengers wary. On other until 1875 when the Providence and Stonington Thanksgiving Day in 1846, the Atlantic, considered the Steamship Company was formed, uniting the former largest and finest vessel of its day, was wrecked on the rivals. The merger proved extremely successU and the rocks at Fishers Island after a fire broke out on board. In P&S proved it was the biggest money-maker of them 1880 the Narragansett and the Stonington - two flag- all, grossing over one milion dollars a year. ships of the Providence/ Stonington line - collided in a fog near Cornfield Point; the Stonington returned to Racing was a popular sport among the steamship cap- port unaided, but the Narragansett caught fire and tains, much to the dismay of their passengers. But sank, losing 80 people. because people wanted to get from one place to another The most shocking accident occurred when the Lex- in a hurry, steamship lines prided themselves on the ington went down a few years after its famous race with speed of their fleets. If these races seemed irresponsible the Richmond. It was on a freezing January night in and dangerous, it's because they were just that. Racing 1840 when its new coal-fed engines became so hot that taxed the boiler systems of steamers and consequently, they set part of the cargo of cotton on fire. The blaze explosions were not uncommon. The New England, for spread quickly and the ship, engulfed in flames, was instance, engaged the Providence in an impromptu race abandoned. Passengers crowded into lifeboats which up the Sound, and won, but in Essex harbor on the were almost immediately swallowed up by the cold Connecticut River the ship's overheated boilers ex- angry waters of the Sound. The death toll reached 120 ploded and fifteen people were either killed or injured. people and only a few survived, those who stayed alive 30 clung to the unburned bales of cotton. Steamships lasted well into the 20th century, but with the mercurial rise in popularity of the railroads and later the automobile, the steamers were relegatcd to ferrying and pleasure cruises. When steamships ruled the Sound, travelling was an adventure. Certainly there were, on the larger vessels, pickpockets, thieves and prostitutes, but the thrill of riding on the sparkling white and green-trimmed Connecticut or lounging in the plush salon of the Lexington must have been ample compensation. The steamships took the Sound by storm in the early 1800s. By the 1900s, they had become so deeply en- trenched in the life of coastal Connecticut that they were still used and appreciated long after they had 30. Bridgeport ferry. outlived their usefulness - almost as though the peo- good, and may result in great injury and injustice to ple who lived along the shore, who grew up with the private property." glamour and grandeur of the steamers, did not want The first in-state line connected New Haven with the Age of Steamships ever to come to an end. Meriden in 1838, and Hartford a year later. The line, operated by the Hartford and New Haven Railroad, proved to be a typical railroad construction in Connecti- Railroads cut during the early 19th century. it was a north to south route, linking inland cities with coastal ports and The people who lived along the coast in the early encouraging the growth of small towns along the line 1800s were not, at first, agreeable to the idea of rail- (New Britain, which fought to have a depot in Berlin, roading. The Sound and the rivers, they thought, took became a major industrial city, while Newington, traders and travellers where they wanted to go and that which refused to allow the railroad within its boun- seemed sufficient. Yet the mercantilism which daries, did not). One important north to south line, the dominated the period was too overwhelming a force to Housatonic Railroad, opened up western Massachusetts disregard and Connecticut, although a leader in manu- to the Sound, forming a connection between New York facturing, found itself far behind the times in the area and Albany via Bridgeport. This railroad, which of transportation. Connecticut had a relatively com- became one of the first to transport large quantities of plete system of turnpikes, but they were not the most milk to New York City, was instrumental in creating an comfortable means of travel. There was one stagecoach industrial renaissance in Bridgeport. Led by railroad route from Boston to New York, and it meant a tire- some journey of more than forty hours - which was 31. Steamer "Maniseej," Noank. considered a good run over seemingly impossible ter- --------- D rain. Merchants soon realized they could not survive with- [email protected] U out railroads; business was burgeoning, growing at an incredible rate, and.the new markets - especially New ohWO-M York City - demanded safe and speedy transportation. Still, the people of Connecticut procrastinated, suspic- ious of the new-fangled engines. The charter for the It New York and Stonington Railroad was finally granted [email protected] by the General Assembly in 1832, only after a long debate on the merits of trains. Some critics saw them as iron monsters which would "produce more harm than n 31 lit, promoter Alfred Bishop, Bridgeport also became the would directly connect the shore towns with New York southern terminal for the Naugatuck Valley to City, had yet to be built. Everyone knew that the line Winsted, which proved to be a wise investment because was an economic necessity. The economy of the Con- of the local brass industries. necticut shore could not survive without the business of. On the other side of the river, Norwich and New New York City, and so capital was not difficult to ob- London became part of the New London, Willimantic, tain; the problem was geographical. and Palmer Railroad, but the construction of the line The coast was not made for railroads. There were was hampered by the rugged geography. A 300-foot dozens of rivers and streams to bridge, acres of wetlands tunnel, for instance, just north of Norwich had to be to fill, and many hills and promontories to scale. Yet bored through a bed of solid granite. By the time the the coastal route, being flattest, was also the easiest in line was completed, in 1850, four other lines were com- Connecticut - one which followed traditional overland peting for the area's textile business, and the line was routes such as the Boston Post Road. The project eventually taken over by the Central Vermont Railroad. seemed an impossible one, leading a number of New It was, however, northern New England's only direct York entrepreneurs to invest in the Long Island Rail- rail connection with Long Island Sound. It operated road as the major line between New York and Boston. trains drawn by steam engines until 1950. The Long Island Railroad, on the other side of the Other north to south lines followed: the New Haven Sound, stretched from New York to Greenport, along and Northampton Railroad was built along the old terrain so flat it was practically a railroad builder's Farmington Canal connecting New Haven with Plain- dream. From Greenport there were steamship connec- ville and Northampton, Massachusetts; the Norwich and Worcester Railroad opened Putnam and northeast- t1ons to Stonington and then the rail connection to em Connecticut to coastal trade; the Danbury and Nor- Providence and Boston. it seemed, even then, like a walk Railroad prompted the growth of South Norwalk ' roundabout way to get from one city to the other, but soon to be a point on the New York-New Haven line; the investors believed that the coastline of western Con- the Connecticut Valley Railroad posed a particular necticut was too dffficult to span and that the threat of threat to river steamship travel when in 1871 it con- competition from an all-rail Boston to New York route nected Hartford with Saybrook; and the New Haven seemed distant. and New London became well known as the Shore Line. The Long Island Railroad was reputed to be speedy; By 1840, Connecticut had made up for its early but then the Sound crossing had to be made, and it was distrust of railroads by connecting its towns and cities generally agreed that the stretch between Greenport through a complex network of rails. The lines were and Stonington was one of the most hazardous parts of mostly north to south routes and it was obvious to the Sound. When the plans for the New York and New everyone that the most important line, one which Haven Railroad were announced in 1844, the Long 32. Shoreline railroads created tremendous changes along the coast. Island Railroad stockholders waited for the next venture Towns from New Haven to Stonington suddenly became to fall on its face. Of course, it never did. The New cosmopolitan. Haven line began operations in 1848, and two years [email protected] later the Long Island Railroad, unable to compete, went bankrupt. The seventy-four mile route from Harlem to New "AM Haven - the last link in a railway system that con- nected Maine with Georgia - was a formidable engi- neering feat. The line included almost two miles of bridges, including six drawbridges, and when there there were ledges and hills to were no rivers to cross, 4 span. There were other less concrete setbacks as well; first of all, the venture turned out to be much more ex- pensive than predicted, placing a considerable financial 7 strain on its backers; and second, the railroad's entrance IL 32 J 33.A locomotive of the 0 period, noisy but pow- erful. t -,,@ @ @ 0, - @@ , @ - ',@ , I " @- , ,, '04 0- '@AXNAA, [email protected]@ . . . . . . . . . .S-1 N [email protected] At- V F into New York City was opposed by the Westchester chant for buying up everything in sight. It not only Turnpike Company and the Harlem River Railroad, swallowed up a number of steamship companies but it both demanding subsidies. Even when it reached also bought out trolleys and other railroads - the completion, the new line was plagued with troubles. In Housatonic and Naugatuck lines among them - and in 1853, a train crowded with physicians returning from a 1872 it merged with the New Haven and Hartford Rail- medical convention plunged through an open draw- road, forming the New York, New Haven and Hartford bridge in Norwalk. And later, the railroad's president, Railroad, popularly called the "Consolidated." Later, Robert Schuyler, was implicated in a stock-watering the "Consolidated" absorbed the Boston and New scheme and fled to Europe with over one million dollars York Air Line, which was the most direct route between of the railroad's money. the two cities, cutting though Willimantic and The new railroad afforded towns like Greenwich, Putnam. Stamford, and Norwalk the opportunity to flourish, not The train was known to eastern Connecticut residents only as industrial centers but also as suburbs of New as the "Ghost Train" because its locomotives were York City. Bridgeport and New Haven became hubs for painted white. By the turn of the century, the "Consol- idated" had control of every connector line along the a number of railways which accelerated their already Boston-New York route and a collection of other lines lively economic growth. The [email protected] Haven Railroad, as well. From 1872 to 1875, the stockholders of the rail- despite its questionable business practices, met with road, mostly people from Connecticut, enjoyed unprec- success because it provided the traveller with a comfor- edented dividends. The line was so successful that at table, speedy, and scenic ride. A good portion of the one time the railroad's annual revenue was three times ' if track was spec ically laid in full view of the Sound and that of the State's. quite often a railway passenger could sit back and watch By 1903, the Connecticut ownership of the railroad as the train passed a stretch of wetland or a sloop cut- gave way to New York interests, particularly those con- ting through coastal waters. trolled by the magnate J. P. Morgan. The policy of ex- Through the 19th century, the New Haven Railroad's pansion and monopoly, which had been responsible for greatest competition came from steamships, which still the New Haven's success, was now conducted with a appealed to travellers because of their opulence and vengeance until the railroad became a giant con- comfort. The Railroad found that the most effective glomerate, burdened with a host of unnecessary and way to compete with steamship lines was to absorb unprofitable enterprises. With the advent of the auto- them, and the company became famous for its pen- mobile, the railroad struggled, surviving the depression 33 line ran across salt marshes and along shores causing less 7 disruption to our marshes than the subsequent con- struction of paved roads which were begun in the twenties and thirties. Travel by trolley soon became outmoded; and the car and the bus took over the func- tion that the trolleys once served. The Rises and FaUs of Stonington Surprising as it may seem, it was the small whaling village of Stonington that first introduced the Connec- ticut shore to the modern era. In the borough tucked away behind Fishers Island and seemingly far removed 9 1, from the forces that were transforming towns like Bridgeport, New Haven, and new London into full- fledged cities, the first railroad line in Connecticut was completed, a modest few miles connecting Stonington with Providence. The day, November 10, 1837, was given over to celebration. It marked the inaugural trip of the newly formed Stonington Steamship Line, known as th 'e "inside" line and later on, after its repu- 0- tation was assured, as Old Reliable. The Narragansett, flagship of the new company, was heartily cheered by the people of Stonington who envi- sioned a new era of prosperity ahead of them. Their 34. A Branford trolley. borough, after all, had become the terminal for the and war years with loan after loan, until finally the Boston and New York traffic, a necessary link with the federal government took over the railways under the most travelled route in the northeast. A parade wel- auspices of Amtrak. comed the first passengers and escorted them to the Shore communities, however, remained dependent village's newest and grandest landmark, the Wada- on the railroads, not only for commerce but also for pas- wanuck Hotel, a structure of incomparable luxury and senger service. Today, despite the presence of super- highways, commuter trains run steadily from the coastal 35. Trolley tracks running into East Haven, circa 1900. suburbs into New York, and the old shore line from New York to Boston via New Haven and Providence is one of the most frequently used lines in the mt. Troffeys --------- NOWNIMM, In the early 1900s, many of the shoreline towns were serviced by an interurban trolley system. In the New Haven area, cars ran every 43 minutes between New Haven and Branford. Once across the Quinnipiac River, the traveller would find himself in the open country of WAX-2 East Haven, which then had only 1,800 residents. It is U now a community of over 25,000 people. The trolley 4, 34 C --------------- 36. Bridgeport trol- leys during rush hour traffic. -4 2 1A *lip A IL 71- 11, WIM U-i -,As-xmi *A [email protected] 37. Trolley bridge over the Ham- monasset River. 7J 35 elegance built to house the armies of travellers that but at a price. When the passenger and freight service would pass through the village (the hotel was torn down was expanded, some Stonington residents, appalled by in the 1890s, and today the Stonington Free Library the noise and chaos of the trains, wondered if they stands in its place). hadn't made a mistake in trading tranquility for in- For all the cheering and hoopla that accompanied the dustry. As Stonington grew, so did its doubts, and as arrival of the Narragansett, the people of Stonington trains continued to pour smoke and sparks from their were still wary of the ugly monster which railroad men enormous stacks, memories of the village's peaceful called a locomotive. Railroading was still a daring idea past seemed more remote. in 1837 (there were only 2,000 miles of rails in the The Stonington Company offered fast and safe serv- U.S.), and the villagers, fearing what the noisy machine ice from New York to Boston, but after the Civil War, would do to their peace of mind, would not allow the it merged with the Neptune Line and formed the Mer- locomotive to enter the village under its own power. chant's Steamship Line. The merger had a devastating The first cars to carry the Narragansett passengers to effect on the people of Stonington, because Groton was Providence and Boston had the dubious distinction of selected as the terminal for the new firm. Stonington's being hauled to the steamboat wharf by horses. None- economy degenerated and its citizens who had, despite theless, the day was a historic one. Boston was now only their misgivings, come to depend on the steamships 14 hours from New York, and Pointjudith, the scourge and trains for their livelihoods, complairied bitterly of the "outside" or Providence line, had been success- without success. It was no longer financially practical, fully avoided. In eight years, the venture had become they were told, for the railroad to run through their an established success and attracted no less an en- village. Groton, more in the mainstream of the Sound ttepreneur than Cornelius Vanderbilt, who saw the traffic, was a better site. potential of the "inside" route and took over the line. In the same year, the pier at Groton burned down The ordinance prohibiting locomotives was eventual- and with it went the Commonwealth, one of the flag- ly rescinded and a new roundhouse was built. And the ships of the Merchant's Line. The company subsequent- prosperity that the new line promised did come true, ly returned to Stonington. Later on, two other ships, _;r 38. Bridging the rivers of I -A; - --------I Connecticat was a ma- jor feat. This is a draw J bridge in Niantic. H? f4 36 39. Waiting for P, 17 the ferry, 4wo Bridgeport A circa 1880. 11V6 I'? [email protected]", -46, 7 [email protected], the Commodore and Plymouth Rock, met fates similar again there was a fire and a reprieve. When the New to the Commonwealth, and the Merchant's Steamship London docks burned, the line returned to Stonington, Company dissolved, leaving Stonington's wharves emp- but only for a few months. Stonington had lived the ty once again. last of its lives and on August 20, 1909, the steamship The New York, Providence, and Boston Railroad pier was closed forever. The roundhouse, repair shops, were dismayed by the bankruptcy and formed the Ston- and water tanks fell into disrepair, and the trains and ington Steamship Company. The village, which seemed switches were soon overgrown with weeds. to have as many lives as a cat, again became a hub of The people of Stonington had always been ambi- activity. In fact, this new life proved most lucrative, for valent about industry and development, and after the in 1875, the "outside" Providence Line merged with steamships and trains were gone, they returned to their the Stonington firm creating the P&S, the Providence former peaceful existence. Without the financial base and Stonington Steamship Company, which brought the steamship company provided, the village suffered unprecedented wealth to the community. As before, throughout the 20th century. The Hurricane of 1938 the village had to pay the price of prosperity, and when destroyed the fishing fleet and weeks later, the Amer- the railroad tripled the size of its facilities along the ican Velvet Company, the town's biggest employer, Stonington pier, there seemed to be as many railroad closed its doors. Unemployment was rampant and cars in Stonington as people. residents suffered through the Depression without The two ships of the P&S, the Narragansett and the much hope for the future. During World War II, when Stonington, were the pride of the shore, but on June fishing was given special priority by the government, 11, 1880, they collided in a fog near Cornfield Point, prosperity once again returned to the village, and the resulting in one of the worst steamship accidents in the Stonington cat it seemed had a few more lives left. Sound's history. In 1892, the P&S built two new After the War, Stonington became a residential com- steamers, the Afaine and the New Hampshire. They ran munity, no longer isolated, thanks to the automobile, until 1904 when "Old Reliable" - now under the con- and no longer a depressed area. Today, it is one of the trol of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Rail- wealthiest areas in the state and one of the most attrac- road - combined with the New London Steamship tive. In fact, one would be hard pressed to believe that Line and moved the terminal to New London. Once the quaint village was once one of the busiest little again, Stonington's wharves were abandoned, and once towns in the east. 37 Z OAR [email protected],? h WN A fit, [email protected] 4W A ill" MWO 04 @V. Aff- fl M, Wf- L 7 a, 40. Boating in New Haven Harbor. 41. Griswold Hotel, Groton. L I L *A 4 'iew 42. Morris Cove HoteL 43. Outing by the sea, Old Greenwich. 44. Hammonasset House, Madison. 45. Bayside Inn, Morris Cove. o Ak REA- U- Vomw Summer Places When the railroads and trolleys first appeared along horse racing event was even held on the frozen Thames the coast, they fostered industry as well as tourism, and River in Norwich. Of course, simply enjoying the inaccessible towns like Branford, Stony Creek, and Fen- grandeur of the seascape was (and still is) a popular way wick soon became popular resorts. The Branford shore- to spend the day in any season. line in particular, with the Thimble Islands offshore, enjoyed immense popularity from the late 1800s until The "Newport" of Connecticut the outbreak of World War 1. Many spacious homes were built on the islands and the area was sometimes re- One didn't have to be a Vanderbilt or an Astor to ferred to as the "Newport" of Connecticut. Fashionable vacation in Connecticut. There were a number of hotels like the Hammonasset House in Old Saybrook, elegant hotels up and down the shore, including the the Bayside Inn at Morris Cove, and the Griswold Inn in Beach Park Casino in Clinton, Fenwick Hall in Fenwick, Groton were built to accommodate the influx of Ye Olde Greenwich Inn at South Beach, the tourists. The shoreline and Long Island Sound were after Rhondonolia Park House in Norwalk, the Montowese in all a natural recreational area, and as leisure time for Branford (called the "Queen of the Sound" by its local residents became a reality, locals took full advan- apparently satisfied patrons) and perhaps the grandest tage of the nearby resources. hotel of them all, the Griswold Inn in Groton, which Recreational boating began to develop in the late could accommodate 600 guests. 1800s, and small work boats were converted to pleasure The rates at these places-most of which were on the craft. One could take a short cruise in a catboat or a day- Sound and very close to a New Haven Railroad junc- long excursion on a luxury steamer. Passenger steamers tion-were very reasonable, although for the contem- regularly took vacationers across the Sound to Long porary vacationer, who no longer flinches at paying $40 Island and up and down the major rivers, like the Con- a night for a rather ordinary room in a rather ordinary necticut, Housatonic, and Thames. Hot summer days hotel, the rates seem unreal. A room at the Montowese, sent hundreds swimming in the coot waters of Long for instance, cost $3 a night and up and one at the Island Sound. Some of the more popular beaches were Griswold Inn went as low as $5. Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, Cosey Beach in The Sound was truly an American Mediterranean, as Branford, and Pleasure Beach in Waterford. Noah Webster had called it, and the Connecticut coast, Fishing was also a very popular recreational activity; for all its industrial growth, was an American Riviera. fishermen could take all types of fish from salmon, to New London was no longer touted as the whaling shad, to bluefish, to blackfish, to porgy. Even recrea- capital of the world, but as the "yachting playground tional shellfishing enjoyed a popular boom. During the of America." There was a gambling casino at Grand wintertime, the frozen waters of the major estuaries or Captain Island off Greenwich, and Pine Orchard, tidal marshes provided skating territory, and an annual where in 1894 the Young family built a mansion with 39 twenty-one rooms, ten baths and ten fireplaces, was known as Connecticut's Newport (Pine Orchard, in- cidentally, was originally called World's End, but the name was changed for obvious reasons). The turn of the century brought to the Connecticut shoreline a new kind of inhabitant-the summer resi- dent. Whether up for the season from New York or down from Middletown or Hartford for two weeks, they came in droves, buying or renting shoreline property, creating little unofficial beach districts in townships such as Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, and Old Lyme. In Madison, the coast was, before 1870, a de- serted stretch of beach, grown thick with wild beach 46. Double Beach in 1909. plums and other plant life. The first beach house was built in 1867, but when vacationing at the shore be- -14 came a way of life, Madison changed overnight. Ham- monassett House and Flower House, once boarding houses for men who worked at the shipyards, were Ji 4, made into summer hotels-the sign of an economic 0 turnabout which occurred in almost every coastal town and village outside the big cities. There were chinks then in the industrial coastline, V's 0. ALL. resorts and summer homes instead of factories and machine shops; but the difference was only superficial. The shoreline was developing rapidly, and whether it meant a new factory in Bridgeport or new cottages in Saybrook, it was still development: the wild beach plum became scarcer either way. The coming of the automobile changed the face of the coastline even more, making it possible for the shore to become the summer vacation spot for more and -Roads" more people. In the 1897 edition of the "Good handbook for Connecticut, the focus was on bicycling. 47. Coy bathing- beauties, Lighthouse Point Park, Haven 1905. Advertisements for bicycle repairs and supplies fill the 48. Lighthouse Point Park, 1925. book, suggesting how popular bicycling was as a means --- --- of shoreline travel. In the 1928 edition, however, the focus shifted to automobiles, and advertisements for garages and auto parts were in the majority. Hotels, M. such as the Crocker House in New London or the Wauregan in Norwich, advertised their rates ($I to $4 a day), their cafes, and entertainments, but they also made it quite clear that their facilities contained "our own garage in the rear of the hotel." Savin Rock One of the shoreline's greatest turn-of-the-century resorts, Savin Rock, boasted elegant hotels and fine AMMAELAA& 4o & ell! W. TM VAN *%I, tit" 0 1 W ibfIA04 11 @w_ A restaurants, and claimed that "many of Connecticut's best families make Savin Rock their summer home, and that on Beach Street can be found some of the finest houses in the East." But Savin Rock also appealed to the working family. " If you want to be merry and gay," its advertisements read, "pay it a visit for a little holiday, and a little money, you can have a grand #41 time. " Savin Rock offered the usual resort fare-swim- Ming, fishing, boating, and outings-but it was also the home of a prototype of Disneyland: White City, a spot "where troubles are forgotten and pleasure reigns supreme. To get to White City, one had to pass under a white archway, beyond which there were walks, benches, 'tickler" at Savin Rock. booths, and a view, which, the owners insisted, was one of taste and refinement. " In the amusement area there were bandstands, a promenade, a maze, a base- ball diamond where the Connecticut League played, and a game called "Baseball Man." If you could knock the baseball man from his perch with a baseball as well as his two wooden friends, Tommy and Jimmy, you would get a cigar. White City also contained the Hoosac Tunnel, a zoological garden with monkeys and parrots and other exotic creatures, a theater, a cafe, a dance hall, a "Myth Castle," a "Laughing Gallery," an "Electric Tower," a "Scenic Railway," and "The Chutes, with "its sailors working overtime to satisfy the demands of thousands who want to go down in 2 either a Yale or Harvard Boat." If all this proved too much for one day there was always "The Grove" where one could sit on a bench, . . .... eat some saltwater taffy or peanuts, or contemplate buying a souvenir (the most popular one was a clam shell with "Savin Rock" engraved on it). One could 50. View of the amusement park from the "Chutes. play pool at McDuff s Casino, spend fifty cents for a 51. Savin Rock restaurant along the hoardwalk. meal at Putnam's, take a walk down lovers' lane, visit S erry Lighthouse, or just feel the breeze coming in p from the Sound. Savin Rock was a popular resort in the sense that it was a retreat for people of ordinary means rather than a spa for the very wealthy. The advertisements and brochures at the turn of the century make it sound like a magical place, and no doubt it was. One would ac- tually spend a day-or longer-in a place devoted ex- clusively to pleasure. It was a place far removed from the routine of daily life, and yet, as the brochures em- phasized, it was only "twenty minutes by trolley from New Haven. 41 ........ ----- Z` 1, 441- Qt VI U g, M a, 7. 52. Whaling flourished in Connecticut. The men in this photo, taken in 1903, are severing the jawbone of a sperm whale. 42 Traditional Maritime Industry Shipbuil&ng When first settled, many of Connecticut's coastal sailed to Portugal and sold to English merchants in towns were small ports living by coastal trade and ship- Lisbon. Both Mystic and Noank prospered as important building activities. Shipbuilding was a moderately suc- shipbuilding communities during the whaling era, in cessful business as early as 1670, but the industry had the later part of the 19th century. Ships such as the little direct effect on the size and stature of the Connec- Charles W. Aforgan, a whaler which has been refur- ticut trading fleet because most of the ships built in bished and can still be seen at Mystic Seaport, and the New Haven, New London, Mystic, Fairfield, Ston- Wandering Sprite, a barque used to transport goods ington, and elsewhere, were immediately sold outside under the command of Captain Clifford, were typical the colony. wooden ships of the day. Yet vessels of -nearly every Connecticut builders specialized in sloop construc- description came from the Mystic and Noank yards; tion; the designers of these sleek ships were usually from fishing smacks to schooners and other large master carpenters who didn't work from detailed vessels. blueprints but from their own instincts and experience. Stonington, Mystic, and New London became impor- No two vessels were exactly alike, and some by virtue of tant whaling centers which relied on the local construc- the painstaking craftsmanship invested in them could tion of seaworthy ships. The whaling ships had to be ex- be viewed as works of art. By 1720, more and more pertly crafted vessels to withstand long voyages under English money was drawn to the Connecticut coast adverse environmental conditions, and to accommodate because of the low construction costs (unlike Boston, for the complex of work that routinely went on in search of instance, where timber had to be brought from great 53. FoAsr-masted schooner-a sleek, handsome craft. distances) and because of the increasing number of shipwrights who had taken up residence in the coastal towns. The influx of capital inspired the shipbuilder to con- struct larger and larger vessels until Connecticut builders, especially those in New London, earned a reputation for large ship construction, most of which were purchased by merchants from Bristol, England. The largest merchant ship of colonial America, a 720-ton vessel, was built and launched in New London in the 1750s; and another giant, the 570-ton Don Carlos, was launched there in 1775. Both ships were 43 7 7i 4 54. Schooner Venny DnBois" under construction in [email protected] the great whales. Ships even regularly sailed the Antarc- The Heyday of Whaling tic waters. During the Civil War, however, many Con- necticut Whalers were victims of confederate raids; the After Jefferson's Embargo of 1807 and the War of destruction of so many fine sailing ships coupled with 1812 had practically wiped out maritime trade along the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania brought the decline the coast, towns found it difficult to reestablish of the whaling era and with it the gradual disap- themselves as ports, and because the economic shift to pearance of many shipyards. manufacturing was only beginning, they seemed to Shipbuilding continued to flourish at Noank, never- languish for a time in a kind of economic limbo. Yet from 1820 to after the Civil War, circumstances theless, where ready access to fishing grounds created a changed dramatically with the incredible growth of a demand for vessels. Fishing schooners, a particularly new enterprise-whaling. Towns like Stonington, New elegant breed of work boats, were typically built in the Haven, Mystic, and Darien began to outfit vessels to late 19th century at Noank's Palmer Shipyard. In its hunt whales in distant waters and soon a whaling day, the Palmer Shipyard represented one of the largest hysteria took over the coast. By far the most active port wooden ship builders on the Atlantic coast. Steamers in Connecticut was New London, which gained an in- such as the Anne Wilcox, which was designed and built ternational reputation as one of the three great whaling by Deacon Palmer in 1881, were also produced by the ports-along with New Bedford and Nantucket-in the yard. Capable of transporting passengers and freight world. simultaneously, such ships made regular runs from the Actually whaling was not new to New Londoners who Connecticut shore to New York. had hunted the great beasts in Long Island Sound as Of course, building ships continues to be of early as the 17th century. The first New London vessel economic importance to Connecticut-a typical to engage in whaling outside the Sound was the sloop maritime industry centered at the coast. The range in Society which sailed off the coast of the Carolinas; other facilities is considerable: a small shipyard occupies the enterprises soon followed, including a company site of the Old Palmer Shipyard, and the building of devoted almost exclusively to whaling established in nuclear-powered submarines at the Electric Boat Divi- 1804. It was founded by Dr. Samuel Lee, who had in- sion of General Dynamics in Groton employs roughly cidentally been a local hero during a yellow fever 20,000 people. epidemic in 1798. Whaling was, at this time, only a 44 N small part of the town's maritime activity. In 1819, however, whaling suddenly became big business and by 1832, New London was established as one of the major ports when no less than 20 whalers set out from port bound for Arctic and South Atlantic hunting grounds. Whaling soon became the way of life for New Lon- -ait doners, and nearly every family living in the town was in some way connected with the business. The docks were alive with activity; agents were busy outfitting vessels, signing up crews, arranging insurance and back- ing, while stevedores unloaded thousands of barrels of whale and sperm oil and stocked large piles of whale bones. Whaling-connected industries flourished along the wharf, from shipbuilding to sailmaking, from the 55. New London whalers even sailed to Antarctic waters. manufacture of casks to the baking of biscuits. Young men served as apprentices to a number of whaling- oriented occupations, and people from different cultures-Indians, Portuguese, Blacks, South Sea 4- Islanders, and Western Europeans-collected in New London to sign on whaling ships. New London became a lively cosmopolitan, and very A wealthy, port and during its whaling days sent out 1000 vessels in search of the valuable whale oil and bone. It was a wide open town-particularly the Water Street area with its hotels and saloons that catered to sailors. On the heights overlooking the harbor there was a row of elegant houses, the homes of captains and agents who had made their fortune in the whaling trade. Although New London itself flourished, life aboard a whaling vessel was as unprofitable as it was difficult. It would be better, wrote one disenchanted whaler, "to be sold to a southern Planter . . . than to be doomed up the forecastle of a whale ship." Before the business 56. Crew of the whalingship "Margaret." reached its peak in the 1830s, whaling was a hard but rewarding business. A sailor didn't become rich, but at 57. The "Anne Wilcox" was built at Noanks Palmer Shipyard. least he was not victimized by greedy owners. Captains ran tight ships, many forbidding liquor on board, and on some vessels there were extensive libraries so hands might spend their off-duty hours reading. Crews in- cluded men of all nationalities and races, and sometimes there were women on board (considered good luck by New London seamen), because captains liked to take their wives and children with them on long journeys. Often families stuck with difficult sons would send them on a whaling voyage to cure them of bad [email protected] habits, but by 1830 crews were not so easy to find. The major reason for this was simple: whalers were poorly paid, and sometimes not paid at all. 45 t Crews did not receive wages, instead they signed on and carried crews from New London and returned with for a "lay" or percentage of the profits. The captain whale oil products, The New London-Pacific link lasted and first mate would get 1/8 apiece, the second mate until 1922 when the North Atlantic and Western 1/ 28, the cook 1 / 100, the common seaman 1/ 150. The Steamship Company discontinued service from New "lay" was not determined by profits the ship took in, London to Pacific ports. While whaling continues today but by what remained of the profits after the owners as a business enterprise, no whaling vessel comes out of took their share, and they usually took 2 / 3. Any money New London or any other Connecticut port. The last of owed to the owners-advances, purchases of clothing, the great American Whalers, the Charles W. Morgan, tobacco, or other expenses-was taken from a whaler's does reside in Mystic, where it is permanently berthed, share. So it was not, for the sailor at least, a very and here the heritage of our whaling past is kept alive. lucrative way to make a living. One Anthony Jerome sailed on a whaling ship from Oystering 1844 to 1847 and his share of nearly 7,000 barrels of oil The only fishing enterprise in Connecticut which taken was a suit of clothes worth eight dollars. Another sailor was known to have earned $2.50 after 22 months could rival whaling was oystering. Connecticut having aboard the Pearl, and on the next voyage earned been blessed with square miles- of natural oyster beds nothing at all. It was even possible for a whaler to owe found itself in the 1800s emerging as the major pro- money after a whaling trip which obliged him to sign ducer of oysters in New England, and one of the.major on for another. producers for the country. Some of the earliest reports The whaling boom along the Connecticut coast hap- we have from the settlers tell of the great natural oyster pened to coincide with a migration epidemic that was bounty. In some cases, enormous natural beds were leading some of Connecticut's ablest men and women found miles square. The oysters at times grew to enor- west, where land was cheap and the future held great mous proportions with meats alone tipping the scales at promise. The effect of the migration was sorely felt on five pounds each. Ship captains reported that in some those who stayed behind, particularly those in whaling instances beds had grown so thick that they formed towns like New London. Without seamen a vessel could reefs and blocked navigable waters. not put out to sea, and often anyone, experienced or it was a logical enterprise for European settlers, most- not, was hired to man a ship-including drifters, ly of British descent, to develop the oyster industry; adventurers, and often criminals. One of the favorite there was among the population an existing demand for ways of escaping the law was to sign on a whaler for oysters. At first, colonists simply followed many of the three or four years. Even so, one wonders whether the Indian customs for gathering oysters, but soon, as the law might have been more compassionate than the sea, population increased, they were consistently harvesting for a whaler's life was also' a dangerous one. Many ships them for sale. Beds were eventually leased and others were lost at sea, attacked by other vessels, or most com- awarded as grants from the King of England. monly "taken down by a whale." 58. A hage harvest of oysters, New Haven. Whaling declined in the latter half of the I 9th cen- tury mostly because petroleum, newly discovered in Pennsylvania, proved to be more efficient and cheaper fuel than whale oil. There were also, by this time, fewer whales, which meant longer, more expensive voyages to hunt them. The Civil War closed down all the whaling w- @Xkl "'y M-0 centers along the coast except for New London, and W- later the gold rush to California diverted men, ships, 'D X and money from Connecticut. "T, When whaling came to flourish in Hawaii and San 4 Francisco, steam navigation between New London and the Pacific became important. Steamers took supplies 46 ILI JP d Z, V a The first laws regulating the taking of oysters in Con- 0A RO necticut appeared in the early 1700s. One law restricted E OYSIMRS. lease rights to two acres per person to guard against monopolies. However, it was an easy matter for a local oysterman to have his wife, sons, aunts, and uncles sign up for two adjacent acres, and the monopolies con tinued. Another law which restricted the taking of g, oysters during months without an "R" resulted in the belief that oysters were inedible during May, June, July, and August. The "R" law was really no more than a 59. A typical New Haven oyster company. conservation measure, because oysters normally spawn during the warm weather months, and officials wanted to ensure propagation of the species. A, In time, oystering became an enormously popular sport-one which was not only fun but also financially rewarding. Ernest Ingersoll, writing in the 1800s de- q scribed opening day of oyster season along the Quinni- piac River "as a time of great excitement." Hordes of tongers; amassed on the riverbanks waiting for mid- night, which signalled the legal start. "As midnight ap- p roached men gathered all along the shore, " he writes. "And then a great bell struck a deep toned peal. It was like an electric shock. Waves of boats leaped out and advanced toward one another, as though bent on mutual annihilation. They were all compelled to move along as one, for none could resist the pressure of the 60. Oyster cullers. multitude. The more thickly covered beds were quickly In Connecticut oyster production peaked between cleaned of bivalves. The boats were full, the wagons 1890 and 1915. In 1911, 15 million pounds of oyster were fiill, and many had secured what they called their meats alone were harvested from the Connecticut por- ,winter's stock' before the day was done, and thousands tion of Long Island Sound. The industry directly of bushels of oysters were packed away under blankets employed thousands: boat captains, tongers, mates, of seaweed, in scores of cellars. " dredge operators, cullers, equipment maintainers, and Oyster companies grew and flourished along the others. Connecticut coast, specifically around the major Once ashore, the oyster fostered and supported other estuaries of Norwalk, Byram, Mystic, Connecticut, industries and occupations-from the loaders at the Quinnipiac, and elsewhere. There were as many as receiving wharves, to the shuckers and packers of the twenty growers and shippers in the Fairhaven section of oyster plant, to the shipbuilders, coopers, and other New Haven alone, and perhaps an equal number in equipment manufacturers, to the roadmen, teamsters, Norwalk. What New London was to the whaling busi- shippers, and railroaders. In many respects, the impor- ness, New Haven was to the oyster industry. Companies tance of the oyster industry to the economy of Connec- like F.M. Flower and Sons, F.F. Brown Co., Thomas ticut could not be exaggerated. It helped Jay the Oyster Company, F. Mansfield and Sons, Sea Coast groundwork for the local industrial revolution which re- Oyster Company, Northern Oyster Company, and quired the organization and management of labor H.C. Rowe Co., flourished through the 19th and into forces, the establishment of markets, and the creation the 20th centuries. of reliable transportation lines. 47 ke Sluices Ice harvesting was a labor-intensive industry and employed hundreds of men between the years 1880 The many bays, inlets, and tributaries which through 1930. Typically, the shallow tributaries mean- characterize the coast of Long Island Sound provided a dering to the Sound often froze during cold winters. natural resource for another healthy though shortlived Tidal marshes provided many opportunities for ice har- industry: ice sluices. Around the turn of the 19th cen- vesting and small sluices were located in them. To har- tury, refrigeration was virtually unheard of except for vest ice, first the snow must be scraped from the river or the conventional ice-box, which of course had to be pond. Then using a special sled with teeth, grooves periodically supplied with ice. Without the technology were cut orderly into the ice. Next came the saw men to produce ice artificially, residents of the day harvested who cut the thick ice-sometimes as thick as two feet- natural ice in the winter and typically stored it in well with handsaws resembling a lumberjack's. The ice insulated ice houses until summer, when the demand blocks were corralled with pokers, hooked, and pulled to was great. The ice was then shipped by schooner to the the ice house by a team of horses or several men. hungry ice market of New York, and to selected areas As one might expect, the ice business was seasonal like Hartford which could be reached by boat or barge. work while the industry lasted, but it often provided local farmers with a winter income, and turned ordinary water into a cash crop. Salt Marsh Hay In days gone by, the thick grasses covering salt marshes were often harvested with sickles and scythes. The cordgrass was used for hay and fed to livestock. It -6, was also used for house insulation and in some cases for gg,; thatched roofs. One salt marsh in Pawcatuck was used 'N extensively for hay during the Revolutionary War, and it was subsequently known as the Continental Marsh. wK The early settlers as well as the later colonists were sus- N. picious of salt marshes. They often viewed them as wastelands and believed that they were the source of diseases. Perhaps the reputation was caused by the mos- 'A quitoes which often bred in the salt ponds found in marshes. 61. Harvesting ice on a tidal river. In later years, when the breeding ponds were 62. Ice house, Fairfield 1920. discovered, ditches were often dug by hand to drain the ponds and diminish the mosquito habitat. This practice is still carried on today, however, the methods for cut- ting drainage ditches have been greatly automated and improved. It wasn't until the fifties that the important functions of salt mashes were realized. Menhaden, Salmon, Shad Although finfishing in Connecticut waters has not been the large commercial industry that shellfishing, particularly oystering, has been, there are several types of saltwater fish that have been economically impor- tant, contributing to the state's economy and providing 48 Ids, - food and income for many coastal residents. Connecticut and dwindled by the turn of the 19th cen- Two species of "anadromous" fish-those that are tury. The first dam on the Connecticut River in South bom and spawn in fresh water and spend their adult Hadley, Massachusetts in 1795 tended to obstruct the lives in saltwater-are the American Shad and the salmon run from the Sound up the Connecticut River. Atlantic Salmon. Both species are and were highly More darns were built in the 1790s, causing a sharp valued for food, the shad 'in particular for its roe. Both decline in the number of salmon available. Shad also species were frequently netted in Connecticut and were were affected by the damming of rivers. By 1860, familiar fare at the 18th and 19th century dinnertables however, enough interest was shown in replenishing the of Connecticut residents. Early English settlers on the salmon and shad populations in Connecticut waters banks of the Connecticut River, where the shad and that New England States fish commissioners began salmon made their annual trek up from the Sound, at cooperative efforts to hatch salmon eggs and place the first disdained the shad as a food fish. It wasn't until fingerlings in the historically active salmon rivers. The the mid- 1700s that shad even became a desired and val- Connecticut River received most of them after a fishway uable fish, fetching the princely sum of one pence each was installed over the Holyoke dam in 1873. Over one in 1733, and two pence each for a "good fat shad." million salmon fingerlings were stocked in the Connec- Thousands of barrels of shad were processed in Connec- ticut River and its tributaries. Although the number in- ticut during the Revolutionary War from 1778-81, to creased, the salmon still couldn't get above the Holyoke feed the troops. Dam because the fishway was misplaced: it emptied too Salmon fishing flourished briefly during the 1700s in far downstream and never seemed to receive enough -- -------------- a 7777 7- Pim I '@j- -Transporting saltmarsb hay across Mystic River, 1904. 49 k A, c haden fertilizer smelled to high heaven, causing many people to complain. And the area surrounding the island processing plants also stank of dead fish; one more reason why residents preferred to have the plants located on islands. In the end, the rise of technology and the new leisure class helped terminate the men- haden fertilizer business. Synthetic fertilizers and min- eral oils replaced the commercial uses of menhaden, 9 M. and mainland dwellers co-opted the processing island 64. Fishermen in Guilford tarring their nets, 1890. for recreational use. water. Like whaling, the full-scale finfishing business rapid- As early as 1874, commercial pollution of Connec- ly declined by 1900-a victim of the times. ticut waters was regarded by State fish commissioners as Today, finfishing is still carried out but on a much "the most serious obstacle in the propagation" of the smaller scale. Connecticut's only fishing fleet, made up shad population, a further problem which confounded of about 15 boats, sails from Stonington. But recrea- the shad industry. tional fishing surely thrives on the remaining bounty of Food was not the only reason for harvesting fish from fish-from bluefish to striped bass-along Long Island coastal waters. For many years shad and menhaden were Sound. netted, particularly in the eastern part of the Sound, and used for fertilizer. Fish used for this purpose be- came known as " mossbunkers. " Catching mossbunkers Coastal Quarries was a community-wide endeavor brought about by the Few residents think of Connecticut as a mining state, heavy demand from farmers. Summertime brought the yet throughout its history, Connecticut, and specifically huge seine nets out to the Sound, scores of boats, and the coastal area, has supported several profitable quar- hundreds of fishermen. They usually returned to the rying and mining operations. In the past, major mines docks with their nets filled with menhaden, shad, and and quarries were located in New London, Waterford, usually several other types of edible fish, though in less Branford, New Haven, and Stamford. Early settlers dug quantity. The plentitude of fish for food and industry iron-rich sledge from the peat bogs in North Haven and was evidence of the bounty of the Sound, smelted the minerals in a blast furnace in East Haven. Besides fertilizer, menhaden were used for their oil The iron was used to supply our forefathers with which had a commercial value in the tanning industry. materials such as nails, gun barrels, and tools. The East Menhaden were boiled in large iron pots until the oil Haven furnace ran for about twenty years until 1678, rose to the surface. By the mid-1800s, processing plants when the open bogs ran out of pig iron ore. had sprung up on the Norwalk Islands and on Shelter Sandstone, especially the reddish "brownstone" that Island in Groton. And the quality of the menhaden fer- graces Manhattan's elite townhouses, was the major tilizer produced was comparable to the famous Peru- rock quarried in Fairhaven for many years. There the in- vian guano. The industry had its drawbacks, however. dustry peaked in the mid-1800s, but had its roots much For one, the newly-plowed fields enriched with men- earlier. The same residents of New Haven Colony who 65. Fishermen's gear, Noank 1910. smelted pig irDn also cut local sandstone for grave markers. Since wood was so plentiful, and forests N U- needed to be cleared, little use was made of stone as building material. By the Revolutionary War, some 1 Fairhaven residents were beginning to use sandstone for home construction, but the shortage of black powder for blasting rock, which was also needed for guns, put fi% [email protected] the brake on the quarrying enterprise for a while. When Irenee du Pont, a French immigrant, perfected a high- @_Ii grade blasting powder in his Delaware workshop in "0 50 A V 'A m o"N"i I, n, IM v -7- 4vm % 41 66. Menhaden -processing plant at Latimer's Point, Mystic, turned fish into fertilizer for farmers. Even though the plant provided many jo bf, residents no doubt balked at the stench. 1804, the quarrying industry in Connecticut boomed. Crushed stone was occasionally used to lay roads. Called As the century progressed, sandstone became more ' macadam " roads, the chunks of rock were crushed by and more in demand for construction, especially for hand, usually by prison labor. The job of overseeing the churches, and the homes of prominent New Haven area construction of two miles of macadam roadway in New citizens. Between 1880 and 1890, several Yale Universi- Haven in 1854 was awarded to Eli Whitney Blake, a ty buildings were constructed from Fairhaven sand- Yale graduate and nephew of the inventor of the cotton stone. The stone was also shipped by barge across the gin. Realizing that the hand method was hopelessly in- Sound and used in New York City's fast-growing con- adequate, he spent four years developing the struction industry. Sandstone was also used for wharf mechanical jaw crusher, a machine which is still used foundations, pier and railroad abutments, and even the today. lighthouse which stands at the tip of Fairhaven's inner One of the first suppliers of stone to the crusher was a harbor. Built in 1840, it was made of brownstone and Fairhaven quarryman, Charles Wells Blakeslee. Blakes- painted white. When the Shoreline Railroad was re- lee started his business in 1844, at the age of 19, carting routed, the sandstone abutments of the Quinnipiac stone with a wheelbarrow. His first capital purchase, a River Bridge were transported to become the founda- horse, enabled him to haul traprock (basalt) to the local tion of the Yale boathouse. crusher. Later on, his sons joined him in business and The use of local rock in shoreline towns helped bring expanded to include quarrying, cutting, and crushing about a major innovation in the quarrying industry. stone. The company was incorporated under the name 51 67. Quarrymen from Millstone, IN Waterford. A 4 F4 NO 68. Eli Whitney Blake's revolutionary stone-crmsher, New Haven. W N A [email protected] 69. Quarry in Branford. 52 77 T A @ -7, Z, 70. A recent photo of the Norcrom Granite quarry, Stony Creek. "Connect Quarries" and survived within the family One West-Haven farmer, August Prehn, found a until 1976. quartz boulder on his property one day in 1886, which The sandstone quarries vanished because the supply was claimed to contain traces of gold, silver, and cop- dwindled, and other mines competed with the coastal per. Understandably excited, he found a number of in- ones. Reinforced concrete became preferred for many vestors to back him and soon opened three shafts in the uses, and it just became too expensive to dig sandstone vicinity of the discovered quartz. The operation, out of the ground. Perhaps most significantly, the land however, proved to be a bust; the investors lost their near the quarries was filling up with homes, and prop- money and the mine shafts were boarded up. Still, erty deeds in Fairhaven and elsewhere began carrying stories persist that precious metals can be found in the clauses that prohibited the use of the land for quarry- ground of West Haven. After the Civil War, Connec- ing. However, rocks weren't the only thing dug from ticut increasingly became an importer of minerals for Connecticut's soil. During the sandstone boom, the industry. The dense population and expense of explor- state was also an exporter of minerals. Mica, feldspar, ing have essentially finished off the mining and quarry- clay, and lime were mined for industry and export. At ing operations on the coast. Nonetheless, the one time, New Haven even boasted silver mines, which brownstone buildings still serve as a reminder of the are now unfortunately covered by the Maltby Lakes. heyday of the quarries. 53 k' Ft P" 211 L 04N, 'Ad* W-A @X 'Z r'4 j 71. Norwalk Iron Works. The developing towns of Greenwich, Stamford, and Norwalk were leaders in the metal industry. 54 The Industrial Revolution When the Revolutionary War ended, Connecticut Perhaps the greatest threat that faced postwar Con- earned a reputation not only for military efficiency and necticut was the emigration of its citizens. Because of dedication, but for its ability to supply the Continental the decline of agriculture, shipping, and shipbuilding, Army with rations, arms, gunpowder, and rum. Connecticut natives began to look elsewhere for their Because of the efforts of Governor Trumbull and the livelihoods. They moved to northern New England, three men who served as Commissary General-Joseph Pennsylvania, New York, and the Western Reserve of Trumbull, Elijah Hubbard and Jeremiah Wads- Ohio (an area given to Connecticut in 1787 by the worth-the Patriot armies were fed and armed; Con- federal government). No one knows exactly how many necticut, in fact, became known as "The Provisions people left Connecticut, but today probably more State." The distinction was more than just flattery, a descendants of Connecticut colonists live in the Middle thank-you note from a grateful nation, because the war West and West than in the state of their ancestors. effort forced Connecticut to shift its interests toward From 1789 to 1889, 34 men born in Connecticut served commerce and industry, a shift which, with the coming in the Senate as representatives of 14 other states, and of peace and independence, would shape its future 187 in the House from 22 other states. economy. In every decade between 1800 and 1840 the Amer- In the years following the Revolution, Connecticut ican population increased by about 33 percent, while had barely enough tillable land to support its popula- Connecticut grew only four or five percent. Those who tion. The maritime trade remained the most important remained in Connecticut were widely dispersed among commercial activity (although small compared to New the 117 towns, only six of which had more than 5,000 York or Boston) and the first major industry in the state inhabitants: Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, New was shipbuilding (its second was the distillation of London, Stonington and Norwalk. New London and rum). Shipbuilding, supported by government con- Stonington, however, shrank considerably because of tracts during the war, flourished until the 1820s in New the in'aritime depression in the early 19th century. Not Haven, New London, Norwich and Stonington; the until manufacturing became a genuine economic force largest port was New Haven's Long Wharf at 3,500 feet, did the migration of Connecticut natives stop and the and New London was the leading shipbuilder. But population begin to grow, aided by the influx of new while the coast maintained its trade with the Carib- settlers from Europe. bean, it did not develop a domestic market and could Despite the population drain, life along the shore not sustain the impact ofJefferson's boycott of English was changing, in preparation one might say, for the ships in 1807 or the War of 1812. The Caribbean trade industrial age to come. The first turnpike company, was a staple; it kept the coastal town active and their from New London to Norwich, was incorporated; banks people employed, but it was not enough to promote were opened in New Haven and New London; a fire economic growth. insurance company appeared in Norwich; and a fund 55 was established from the sale of Western Reserve land to set up a public school system. When the Industrial Revolution arrived in full force, the Connecticut coast was prepared not only to accept it, but to embrace it. There were no other alternatives. The fact that so many people left the state showed that a future of severe solution was simply to leave, yet for those who stayed, economic stagnation seemed inevitable. The easiest there was only one hope - manufacturing. Whitney and the Factory Village 7 k 11 "One of my primary tasks," wrote Eli Whitney about his new gunmaking scheme, "is to form the tools so that the tools themselves shall fashion the work and give to every part its just proportion - which when once accomplished will give expedition, uniformity and A exactness to the whole." The system - in which the parts of the gun were made to be interchangeable - 73. Eli Whitney looked so promising that the American government offered Whitney a contract to produce 10,000 muskets suaded," he said, "that machinery moved by water even though Whitney hadn't had any actual gunmak- would greatly diminish the labor and facilitate the ing experience. Instead of a single gunsmith making a manufacture of this Article." single weapon "according to his own Fancy," regulat- He chose one hundred acres along the Mill River, just ing "the size and proportion by his own Eye," there north of New Haven, a spot where New Haven's earliest would be workers who labored on individual parts, settlers had put their first gristmill, and in 1799 which would later be assembled into working firearms. Whitney began building his factory. He recruited about Whitney, at this time was already a famous man; he fifty workers, mostly from Massachusetts, and placed was the inventor of the cotton gin, which had not only those with families in five stone houses he had built on made cotton king in the South, but which had stimu- the site; those who were unmarried lived in a nearby lated the expansion of cotton manufacturing in the boarding house. Whitney, a bachelor himself, lived in a North. In his search for the site of his new venture, farmhouse across from the mill with three nephews and Whitney looked for one thing water. "I am per- a group of apprentices and servants. The main build- 72, Whitney's cotton gin. ing, where the gun parts were made and assembled, was two stories high and 72 feet long, and surrounding it were sheds and storehouses, a forging shop, and a com- _i6 munity store. Z Whitneyville, like the other factory villages, was a self-contained, self-sufficient, social unit, a community based on work and loyalty to the business. Whitney's experiment, as far as the government con- erned, was not an immediate success. tract was conc Beset by delays and disappointments, he could only deliver 500 guns; but after 1801, when the process was refined and the community settled, Whitney won uni- 56 A/1 versal praise for his idea. Guns could now be produced in mass and uniformly; with a tolerance of 1/ 32 on an inch, not much by modem standards but quite extraor- dinary in 1801. By 1815, Whitney's system of standard- ization was copied in every burgeoning industrial center in America. Around 1820, the typical manufacturing concerns of the shore towns involved the processing of agricultural products and the production of articles for local con- sumption. The towns had small grain mills, woolen and cotton factories and tanneries; only in Bridgeport and New Haven did manufacturing get underway on a 75. Whitneyville, 1826, larger scale. In Bridgeport there were saddle, carriage, book bindery, printing, and metal firms, and New first, a rural phenomenon. Factory villages like Whit- Haven's manufacturing was along those lines, but neyville, the first real manifestations of the industrial larger. In 1818, at least 130 firms or shops were in busi- age in Connecticut, sprung up like mushrooms in the ness in New Haven, the most important, of course, least likely places. being Whitney's firearms community just across the If you glanced at a map of the state you would find a border in Hamden. number of communities that have the "ville" suffix; The Connecticut coast had not yet become an in- Dayville, Uncasville, Yalesville, Dobsonville are only a dustrial region, but it was certainly moving in that few. There were, at one time, 203 "villes" in Connec- direction. In 1817, the Connecticut Society for the ticut, and each was a factory village with company-built Encouragement of American Manufacturing (later boarding houses, schools, churches, libraries and stores. called the Manufacturers Association of Connecticut) Only two have become actual townships, Montville in was formed. Its founders believed that Connecticut 17 86 and Plainville in 183 1, and some are no longer in I must either manufacture or dwindle into insignifi- existence, but all have in one way or another left their cance. " The state, they wrote in the preamble to their mark on Connecticut. constitution, "enjoys preeminent advantages for manu- The factory village was a manufacturer's utopia, or at facturing establishments. It has a comparatively numer- least it was intended to be. As it turned out, these little ous population - ingenious artisans - industrious communities were in marked contrast to the greens, habits - sufficient capital - excellent millseats.... neat houses and shaded avenues of the old Connecticut They are the last, best hope of Connecticut. " towns. The factory villages were drab, usually gerrybuilt Although we think of cities like New Haven and and unsanitary, and while they prompted economic Bridgeport when we think of industrialization, the shift growth in their respective areas, they did so at the ex- from an agrarian to manufacturing economy was, at pense of the people who worked in the factories and X.WRXTNXTIZ lived in the cramped, dingy dormitories or housing (:77",-, projects. ;01) Mat There were two major systems used in the establish ment of a factory village - the Rhode Island system and the Waltham system. The first, employed by Samuel Slater, recruited whole families, especially ---- -- children who were considered more agile and durable workers than adults. Slater was relatively humane (al- though certainly not by modem standards), but the system was abused by later manufacturers and was never popular in Connecticut. The Waltham system was in- troduced by Francis Cabot Lowell, it centered around the "moral" well-being of its workers, mostly young 57 7 ,, -rp-,-------------4J Barnum's East Bridgeport: , I,, R 7r, A Vision of an i6o, % Industrial Utopia q, Phineas T. Barnum was, of course, the world's greatest showman, the master of hokum, and the im.- presario who made Tom Thumb and jenny Lind a part JE K of American cultural history. But Barnum was also a popular and public-minded businessman who served his city, Bridgeport, as its state representative and its 'rA T M, A mayor. He was also one of its major landlords, and, ac M k, F1 z, 's V-4 , V, - @` L, -11 - - I ., cording to one Bridgeporter, one of its best: "P.T. Bar- 0 O,F KWv D&A A", - iX [email protected] Ji ii4, eems to be having a mighty big pull on the real W &w V4 nurn s N estate of Bridgeport, but he's all right. I, for one, A wouldn't kick if he bought up the whole town, for if you take notice, the minute he gets his hand on a piece 6,-,LV% XZ f T-1 o property he begins to improve it, every time. He doesn't buy up old hulks and let them stand for years an eyesore to everyone." It is impossible to think of Bridgeport without think- 55.; ing of Barnum. He loved the city and the people in it, and thought both had great potential. Barnum be- A Of lieved in hard work, but he also believed that a city OCEK must provide for a citizen's recreation as well as his live- 'coo, lihood. It is no wonder that Barnum gave Bridgeport a tract of land fronting Long Island Sound to be used for recreation; the gift became Seaside Park, and, if in a sorrier state these days because of years of water pollu- tion and the proximity of a dump site, it is still crowded on sum met weekends with people trying to escape the "T 76. Advertisement for health-food manufacturer, New Haven. city heat. After his fortune was made, Barnum settled in Bridgeport and became an amateur city planner, a man who had a vision of what a modern city should be like. In 185 1, he purchased over 200 acres of land, "a beau- tiful plateau of ground lying within less than half a mile women (the "nuns of Lowell" they were called because of the center of Bridgeport city," with the idea that this of their white gowns). Everything was done to make would be the nucleus of his new city of East Bridgeport. manufacturing appear respectable; at the heart of fac- Barnum insisted that his project was not simply a tory life was the church and school, but even Lowell money-making scheme; he had "East Bridgeport on came under heavy criticism. His moralistic and pater- the brain, " as he said, a desire to create a city from nalistic experiments were no less exploitative than the nothing, a city as aesthetically pleasing as it was in- others. dustrially stable and productive. As insensitive to human life as these villages usually According to Barnum, his partner, Wiliam H. were, they were never as horrible as the slums which Noble, "laid out the entire property in regular streets, would soon emerge when manufacturing began to find and lined them with trees, reserving a beautiful grove its permanent home in the cities. of six or eight acres, which we enclosed, and converted 58 into a public park.... Our sales were always made on "The arrangement," Barnum believed, "enabled the condition that a suitable dwelling-house, store, or many persons to secure and ultimately pay for homes manufactory should be erected upon the land, within which they could not otherwise have done." Barnum one year from the date of purchase; that every building thought that if the first settlers could build an attractive should be placed at a certain distance from the street, in community, others would want to live in it, and that his a style of architecture approved by us; that the grounds profits could be realized in the rise in value of the lots should be enclosed with acceptable fences, and kept which he held in reserve. The scheme, which he called clean and neat, with other conditions which would I 'profitable philanthropy," was enormously successful. render the locality a desirable one for respectable East Bridgeport was a growing concern; a foot bridge residents, and operate for the mutual benefit of all per- and later a toll-bridgc connected Barnum's new com- sons who should become settlers in the city. plex with Bridgeport, and in 1852 a coach-building firm erected a factory there. Later on, Barnum became a stockholder in a small clock factory in Litchfield known as the Jerome Clock Company. "Thinking of plans to forward my pet East Bridgeport enterprise," Barnum wrote, "it seemed to me that if the Litchfield clock concern could be trans- ferred to my prospective new city, it would necessarily bring many families, thus increasing the growth of the place and the value of the property." The decision to V movejerome Clock to East Bridgeport turned out to be a disastrous one. Believing the company was sound, Barnum invested heavily to back it, only to watch help- lessly as the bottom fell out. Barnum went bankrupt, an ordeal which he survived, but the dream of East Bridgeport was never realized. The area grew quickly, becoming the site of a number of large manufacturing enterprises, but it was an erratic growth, another example of urban sprawl; tenements sprang up, buildings were not maintained and the delicate balance of beauty and industrial pro ductivity that marked Barnum's dream city could be found nowhere. Barnum Avenue may have run through the heart of East Bridgeport, but, it was a city that no 77. Phineas T. Barnum. longer had Barnum's visionary stamp on it. The "rules" by which East Bridgeport settlers had to abide also included no-drinking and no-smoking 78. Barnum's dream city, East Bridgeport, 1864. 9, 2F" 77-5 Z Ri clauses; and so it was clear that Barnum was not simply developing a section of unused land, but was intent upon building an ideal community. The way he at- @41 01. @racted people to East Bridgeport was innovative to say the least, and the plan, brilliant for its time, is still being used by developers today. Barnum offered the first lots to working men and their families "at a merely nominal price," advancing part and frequently all the money necessary for building expenses and allowing the settlers to repay the loan in small installments. 59 [email protected], '11'[email protected],_" 71 came from Connecticut. That bicycle, those tires, these novels, call anddoor bells - allftom Connecticut type- writers on every side ftom our little state. F!" And if I lounge through residential streets summer evenings, I hear from many open doors and windows the sound of music. This may not be from a Connecti- IJ cut piano, although in most cases the ivory keys would be found to have been made in our state, but in many instances emanates fi-om a Connecticut-made grama- phone or phonograph. And what of the sewing 79. Iranistan, the legendary home of P.T. Barnum in Bridgeport. machine? Everybody knows that the earliest ones were made in Connecticut, and the latest improved ones are The Megalopolis made there now in great numbers. And last let me say that where my trousers are put away at night they go In 1902, a former Hartford newspaperman living in into a hangar of the best kind - made in Connec- Washington, D.C. became homesick for Connecticut, ticut. and in his now-famous attempt to keep his home state In the 19th century, Connecticut's population alive in his memory, we can get some idea of Connec- shifted from rural to urban at a startling rate, much ticut's manufacturing range, and how it emerged as one higher than in most states. By 1840, one-third of Con- of the great industrial areas of the world: necticut's labor force was employed outside agriculture, At my boarding-house Ifind the plated ware to be a figure twice the national rate; and by 1880, almost of Connecticut manufacture. The clock that tells me the three-fourths of the state's workers were involved in timeftom the mandepiece; the watch myfriendcar7ies; the hat he wears; his pocket knife, are allfrom Connec- ticut. At the office I write with a Connecticut pen and when I need an official envelope I find the original package ftorn which I take it bears a Connecticut mark. If I make an error and [email protected] to erase it, I do so with a steel eraser made in Connecticut, and my letterfinished I deposit in a corner letter box, stamped "New Britain, Connecticut. " This letter I am sure, when it reaches its @A% destination, is deliveredfrom a post-office box locked with a Yale key. My desk has a Connecticut lock and key although perhaps made in Michigan. In looking about the city I am attracted to a shop window glittering with swords, and read an ugly-look- it;g machette this inscription: "Hartford, Conn., U.S.A. " A Winchester or Marlin rifle, or a Colt's re Imad volver, al e in Connecticut. Ifindanother window, and still another, a supply of fixed ammunition from [email protected],` New Haven and Bridgeport, Axes, hammers, augurs, all kinds of builder's hardware, and in a shop close by - all made in Connecicut. Foulards, cottons, woolens, worsteas, rubbergoods ofallkinds, are near by - they are standard makes ftom Connecticut. The gas and elec- tric fixtures that show them off are of our manufacture VATF-14-(-) T . . . . . . no doubt. Do I want a button? Made in Connecticut. Hand me a pin. The box tells me it is from " Water- 80. Water Street in Bridgeport, circa 1890. bury, Conn., USA. " That automobile rushing by 60 . . . .. .......... . W"SN CLAMPED INA FOR14 A$M LIGHTEST AMD STRONGEST coast: New Haven, Bridgeport, Greenwich, Stamford AS RIGID AS.ASMIDMIlUCUT. METAL BACK MADE, and Norwalk. New Haven was the largest, with over 3,500 workers engaged in manufacturing (carriages, carriage components, rubber boots and shoes, 40 f [email protected] suspenders, shirts, clocks, ironworks ' machine shops, hardware), followed by Bridgeport with almost 2,000 T .. .. ......... workers. Stamford workers were employed in rolling LIG"TNESS&STREKTMOOMONED. mills and ironworks, while Norwalk's manufacturing TH E S E EL EC IT PO T YP'E S Aynt E specialized in hats, felt, and carriages. THE VW& E, Is Pr Greenwich, today a relatively quiet bedroom suburb, T was in 1850 a booming industrial town, the home of FOFJ,A Greenwich Iron Works and a number of hardware and DVERTISVE12 S clothing concerns. By the end of the century, the indus- MANUFACTURED Of4LY BY trial cities had declined to four, with Greenwich as the THE.&B'SHELDON-00., conspicuous dropout. Bridgeport was the headquarters HAVEN,00N[14. of such firms as Bridgeport Brass, Union Metallic Car- tridge (later to become Remington Arms) and Wheeler 81. Electrotype advertisement, E.B. Sheldon Co., New Haven. and Wilson Manufacturing (which later merged into the Singer Sewing Machine Company). non-agricultural labor. Likewise, state residents pre- In New Haven, there was the New Haven Clock ferred living in towns and cities; by 1840, half of Con- Company and the Winchester Repeating Arms Com- necticut's population lived in towns with a population pany. Stamford produced locks and hardware (the Yale of 2,500 or better (the national ratio was 11 percent), and Towne Company), pianos (Schleicher), typewriters and in 1880 this jumped to three-fourths (as opposed to and chemicals (Milk of Magnesia), and Norwalk was the national ratio of 25 percent). The urbanization of famous as a corset producer. Many of the companies Connecticut was most striking along the shoreline, that employed coastal workers are still in existence to- especially from Greenwich to New Haven, mostly day and the architectural legacy of the industrial boom because of the influence of New York. - factories, tenements, warehouses - is still a part of New York in the 19th century superseded Boston as the coastal landscape. the major port of the northeast; it had always been a The growth of industry created a demand for regional metropolis, the mercantile heart of an area that workers, one which coincided with the first waves of included northern New Jersey, upstate New York to European immigrants who had come to this country in southwest Connecticut, but in the 19th century it search of jobs. The immigrants soon changed the demo- became a national port, the gateway to the country and graphic composition of the state; the Irish, the largest a hub of transportation, commodity exchange, finance 82. Carriage- manufacture was one of New Haven's leading and communication. And when New York grew in industries. prominence, so did Connecticut's coastline. The 4, market was no longer limited, no longer regional; it ex- 1J, ? J tended to the newly settled communities of the far West, to southern markets and agricultural centers of the midwest. The Connecticut shore, which had for so long lived in the shadow of New York, now took advan- tage of its proximity to the city. Like eastern Massa- chusetts northern New Jersey, northeast Ohio and 1 7 1 southern Michigan, the coastline of Connecticut 77 became a complex of highly industrialized cities, it fed il- 111i'Att JAM., '1141 !Ill.'k New York, which in turn, fed the country. By 1850, five industrial cities had emerged along the its I a I 61 0 83. Roger's manu- facturing plant in Norwich. J5 Steamships and iff railroads transported goods. Z-5 84. B. Shoninger Co. of New Haven, makers of pianos and church organs. ME, I I Rut 45, 62 nationality of the first immigrant wave, accounted for radicals during the Revolution, was the home for dissi- one-fifth of the population of New Haven in 1870, dents who were called "Workies" and who supported while other cities and towns were experiencing similar the ten-hour day, improved factory conditions, univer- changes. From 1850 to 1870, Connecticut's population sal suffrage (for men), free schools and the end of cor- increased by 45 percent, primarily because of the im- porate monopolies. A number of trade unions were migrants, who flocked to the cities along the coast - organized, interested in raising wages and improving Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven - scratching out a working conditions, and in New London, a physician, living, working ten to twelve hours a day in factories Dr. Charles Douglas, helped form the first national and shops. The later groups of immigrants, who, unlike organization of wage earners, the National Trades their predecessors, did not speak English, lived in slum Union. In the 1850s, child labor laws were enacted, and neighborhoods which reflected their nationality, and by the ten-hour day became state policy, although the law the end of the century every city along the coast had its was weak and there were numerous violations. ethnic subdivisions, its Little Italy or Frenchtown. In the later part of the century, unions became a Economically speaking, the industrialization of the much more powerful political force; groups like the Connecticut shoreline represented a boom period, but Knights of Labor and later the American Federation of in human terms, the Industrial Age was tantamount to Labor, lobbied diligently in state and national govern- the Dark Ages. The manufactured goods which made ments, keeping legislators busy with labor laws for Connecticut famous were mostly the products of exploi- several decades. There were a number of strikes against tation: child labor, poor working and living conditions, shoreline companies, but none compared in bloodshed ethnic prejudice, and managerial indifference under- or destruction to those in other parts of the country. lined the profits which companies boasted of in their The industries which prospered along the shore were annual stockholder reports. A history of the last one also indifferent to the effects of their factories upon the hundred or so years of the Connecticut coast is certainly environment. The pollution of the Sound was inevi- the history of industry, but it is also the history of those table because so many companies along the coast who battled against industry's inhuman treatment of its engaged in heavy industry. At the turn of the century workers. As companies grew more and more powerful, economic growth was the exclusive standard by which its workers grew more and more dissatisfied with condi- progress was judged; there was little if any concern for tions until they began to organize into guilds and the environment. There might have been, at that time, unions. a satisfactory balance between industrial development The earliest form of labor unions were mechanics' as- and the natural landscape, but the balance was soon sociations, which were like the European guilds, con- upset when development continued unstopped and cerned primarily with the education and welfare of their unregulated. members. The General Society of Mechanics was It was only until the middle of the 20th century, formed in New Haven in 1807 and similar organiza- when the imbalance between nature and industry (not tions sprung up in Norwich and Hartford. These groups to mention the added influences of the automobile and were quite different from the reformist groups that the construction boom) became so great that people were forming in New York and Philadelphia in the realized that the coastal lands were being filled out of 1830s. New London, just as it had been the home of existence and that the Sound was becoming a dead sea. 85. Eli Whitney's famous musket, built on an assembly line, 1801. 63 7. -01 low tow, t U'- A4 741:@w L 86. Bridgeport Harbor, 1970. 64 The Urban Sea Ports and Harbors The Industrial Revolution, more than any single of the largest supertankers, call on Connecticut ports. event in recent history, changed the character of the They transport an array of cargoes such as lumber, sand Connecticut coast from agrarian to urban. Coastal and stone, chemicals, scrap iron, gypsum, lime, wood towns in particular absorbed many of the new industrial pulp, rubber, auto parts, manufactured items, tar and developments because manufacturing had historically asphalt, and some food products. By and large, how- been located near the water, which provided ready com- ever, major commodities are bulk fuels such as oil and merce for raw materials and manufactured goods. The coal. Nearly all our petroleum comes through New natural embayments of Long Island Sound fostered the Haven, Bridgeport, and New London, which supply growth of many ports and harbors which in turn thirty-four oil handling facilities. spurred the development of major urban centers. Com- One would be hard pressed to find a port without a merce, transportation, and industry have naturally been large oil storage tank - such tanks are perhaps the most centered around ports and harbors. Today, the state's dominant feature of ports today. In Connecticut, over three largest harbors are New London, New Haven, and one thousand storage tanks are located with a combined Bridgeport. They occupy strategic points along- the capacity of more than 14 million barrels of oil. Smaller shoreline and incorporate a few of the densest concen- trations of developed shorefront. 87. New Haven Harbor, New London Harbor comprises the lower twelve 01 miles of the Thames River. New Haven Harbor, the AN WC P 0* third largest in New England, occupies nearly five miles of shorefront. It has a thirty-five foot entrance channel and forms a basin for the Quinnipiac, the Mill, and the West Rivers. Bridgeport Harbor is actually a port area consisting of two harbors: the main Bridgeport Harbor ,'7- and Black Rock Harbor, which are about two miles apart. Together, these harbors are responsible for the lion's share of waterborne commerce entering and exiting the state. All types of ships and barges, with the exception A 65 Commercial fishing, like the menhaden fishery of days gone by, was once of great economic importance; however, it no longer represents a major commercial use of our coastal resources. For instance, in the ten years between 1950 and 1960, total finfish landings have declined substantially, from twenty million to five mil- lion pounds annually. Only one finfishing fleet remains in the state, located in Stonington. It is comprised of about 14 draggers and a dozen lobster boats. The shellfish industry - which mainly produces oysters - underwent a similar decline, primarily because of pollution and the economic vulnerability of such a labor-intensive business, yet it has enjoyed a slow and gradual resurgence since 1970. Around 1900, 300 88. Scrap metal, oil tanks, and seagulls. New Haven. growthers, hundreds of ships, and thousands of ports located on the north shore of Long Island Sound employers were associated with the oyster industry. To- include Stamford and Norwalk harbors, and ports along day, only seven natural growthers, 29 large vessels, and the Housatonic and Connecticut Rivers. two hundred employees constitute the oyster industry in Connecticut. Sportfishing, commercial recreation, and tourism are Fishing, Marinas, Tourism, growing in economic importance and helping to further and Submarines change the character of the shoreline. Charter boats for striped bass and bluefish operate out of many small har- Although Connecticut's dependence on maritime in- bors, specifically in the eastern half of the state. dustries vanished with the 19th century, a few indus- Thousands of summer cottages are rented to vacationers tries wedded to the sea still exist and help generate the in towns like Madison and Old Lyme, and tourist attrac- economy. Such water-dependent industries are a posi- tions like Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium draw tive and viable economic force which helps maintain thousands each year. Over 100 thousand power boats the integrity and heritage of our coastal resources. Com- and sailboats are presently registered in Connecticut, mercial fishing, shellfishing, sportfishing, marinas, making pleasure craft big business. These boats are ser- shipbuilding, and recreational facilities are typical com- viced by 164 commercial marinas which supply a host of mercial uses found along the coast. facilities such as boat repairs, restaurants, and filling stations. 89. Stoningtons fishing fleet. Although shipbuilding is not the important industry it was once, this water-dependent enterprise is still represented by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics in Groton. The company builds sophisticated nuclear submarines and employs over 20 thousand workers. [email protected] ;N01i4A11__ uiP Industry and the Coast The first industrial complexes in Connecticut were no more than mills, which were used to grind corn or wheat. They were always located near waterways because they relied on the force of running water for 66 Ax V, U A .,J;1, 90. USS Nautilus being launched in Groton, 1954. 91. Localfisb store. power. Such small industries were completely depen- industrialized region of the coast - southcentral Con- dent on the availability of water. Today, our industrial necticut - is the site of Armstrong Rubber Company, complexes are much grander and, powered by electrici- Bic Pen Corporation, Cheesebrough-Pond's, Federal ty, no longer depend on water for power. Nevertheless, Paper Board Company, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Up- because of the historical relationship between industry john Company, and many other small and large manu- and waterways, many industrial concerns are still found facturing firms. bordering the Sound and major rivers, even though Today, manufacturing is extremely important to they could be located inland. Connecticut, with thirty-nine percent of the coastal In fact, the greatest changes in coastal land use have population employed by manufacturers. And the trend occurred in recent years because of the proliferation of continues. Most new industrial developments have manufacturing industries. They include the production located near highways - along Interstate 95 in Green- of machinery, primary and fabricated metals, transpor- wich, Stamford, Milford, and Branford, along Route 8 tation equipment, chemicals, and food products. in Shelton, near Route 52 in Norwich, and along In- Commercial and industrial proliferation have greatly terstate 91 in North Haven. contributed to the economic growth of coastal munici- 92. New Haven Harbor. palities. Shopping centers, office buildings, and other facilities have rapidly accumulated in the last two decades, crowding the coast. Between 1960 and 1970, coastal communities experienced a whopping 133 per- cent increase in commercial land use. The communities each gained an average of 740 acres of commercial development each year. Ji Many nationally known industries are located in kN' coastal towns. Greenwich alone houses American Can, 1 10, AVCO, Arnold Bakers, and U.S. Tobacco. At the other end of the state, in Groton, we find at least two large -etc manufacturers: Charles Pfizer Chemicals and the Elec- tric Boat Division of General Dynamics. The most 67 Z N_ Hunicanes reducing civilization to a pile of splintered wood and wrecked buildings." As early as September 16, 1938, One aspect of shoreline life that causes alarm is the U.S. weather experts announced that a full-fledged sudden and dramatic fury of the sea brought about by hurricane had developed in the Caribbean. No one was severe storms and hurricanes. Inevitably, when such a particularly alarmed, because most tropical storms get coastal storm occurs, widespread destruction and occa- blown out to open ocean. However, by the 20th, the sional death often follow. In the past fifty years, the storm began to curve northward. A North Atlantic high Connecticut shore has experienced no fewer than seven pressure center, located dose to the shoreline, hurricanes, and scores of severe storms. (Hurricanes are prevented the hurricane from moving northeasterly, severe storms with winds exceeding 64 knots.) There is out over the Atlantic and away from the American no way to predict when and where the next hurricane mainland. Meanwhile, another high pressure center was will slam into our shores. They form erratically, but al- moving eastward across the U.S., leaving a narrow sec- ways in the warmer months: September 21, 1938; tion of of warm moist air pointing straight at New September 14, 1944; August 31, 1954 (Carol); Septem- England. By the following day, the hurricane was rush- ber 11, 1954 (Edna); August 12 and 19, 1955 (Connie ing at 70 miles per hour, with gusts over 100, up this at- and Diane); August 27, 1971 (Doria); and August 10, mosphefic corridor toward the Connecticut shore. 1976 (Belle). There were no accurate weather reports about the Perhaps the most destructive hurricane ever to hit storm; radar had yet to be invented and ships in the Connecticut was the Hurricane of 1938, when, as one Atlantic had moved out of its path. New Englanders source put it, "the Sound broke loose over the land, were worrying about the unusually heavy rains of the past few days, which threatened to push the overbur- 93. An OU Saybrook House after the Hurricane of 193& dened rivers to flooding. No one had the slightest inkling of the hurricane or its force until it was too late. September 21 was a hot, extremely humid day. As the air pressure fell people remarked to one another that their ears felt funny. By one o'clock in the after- noon, the winds along the Connecticut shore had picked up to gale force. Within an hour, torrential rains began to fall. Soon after a fast moving wall of water smashed against the shores of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The winds and water tore through houses and other buildings, pushed boats and small cottages many yards inland, twisted train tracks and demolished nearly all the boats along the shore. Chunks of shoreline property were actually tipped away 0-1 and washed out to sea by the hurricane's fury, altering the configuration of many parts of the coastline. The storm raised the Sound tides ten to seventeen feet above 94. New London Railroad tracks after the 1938 Hurricane. normal. Since few, if any, residents knew of the approaching A storm, most people went about their usual business, Vw oblivious to the destruction that lay ahead. In the early afternoon, a New Haven passenger train, the "Boston- ian, stopped as it was passing through Stonington. On the tracks ahead lay a house and a cabin cruiser, flung Q there from the Sound by the hurricane. The train's engineer uncoupled the engine from the rest of the cars and slowly pushed both the house and boat off the 68 tracks, then hooked up to a single passenger car and hibit, Futurama. The exhibit showed people what life dining car. Since the tracks ahead were too weak to sup- would be like in the future (actually 1960) with a com- port the train, the passengers moved into the two cars plete and well planned highway system. Gone would be and spent the night eating, drinking and entertaining the traffic jams, crowded intersections, and other an- each other, cut off from the rest of the world. The track noyances of daily driving. It was a vision which the gradually twisted and buckled, causing the last two country eventually accepted, and in 1956 the federal coaches to flip over on their sides close to the flood government embarked on a large-scale network of high- waters. Miraculously, no one was killed. ways, 41,000 miles in all, which would join forty-two Other parts of the state did not fare as well as those state capitals and ninety percent of all cities in the U.S. train passengers. In all, 85 persons died as a direct result with a population of fifty thousand or more. It was of the storm, and state property loss totalled $100 called the National System of Interstate and Defense million. The entire coastline was affected - Fairfield Highways, and Connecticut, like other states, linked up County reported damages of $1 million and more. The to the network. eastern part of the coast, lacking the buffer of Long The Connecticut shoreline, however, had its own Island, suffered greater losses. In the six-town area com- transportation problems. Around 1920, the traffic prising Westbrook, Madison, Guilford, Branford, Old along Route 1, or the Boston Post Road, was so con- Saybrook, and Lyme damages totalled more than $7 gested that a new highway had to be proposed. The million. New London was hit full force: in addition to new road was designed to avoid towns and cities and be- boats and buildings being destroyed, a fire caused by came the Merritt Parkway - one of the most attractive the storm destroyed about $4 million worth of and advanced highways in the country. Yet even after property. 1938, when the Parkway wzs completed, traffic along The hurricane didn't stop at the coastline but moved Route I continued to be high. up into the interior of Connecticut, through Middle- Route 1, according to a seasoned traveler in the late town and Hartford and up through northern New thirties, "was one of the first long-distance roads to be England before petering out around Montreal. completed in America, and at once became one of the most popular. But unfortunately, for the dreams of its early protagonists, once built, the road established itself High and Low Roads as one long slum. Today, with its miles of hot-dog stands and filling stations, its omnipresent billboards, At the 1939 World's Fair on Long Island, the most and its thousands of trucks and buses crawling from popular attraction was the General Motors highway ex- traffic light to traffic light, it is the worst introduction -773 E, t, UkAkMt, -, [email protected], la, t NO yi, - 1- @n- - "'15 4- - in-, [email protected] A. 95. Bridge over coastal waters. 69 facilities are evenly distributed among the western, cen- 0 tral, and eastern coastal regions, with a noticeable lack in the Connecticut River Estuary area. The availability of electricity to many rural areas via transmission lines has facilitated residential growth along the coast as well as inland. The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit The economic growth spurred by commercial and in- dustrial development was accompanied by increasing residential use of the shorefront and inland areas. To- day, residential dwellings occupy one-quarter of the 96. New Haven Harbor. state's available shorefront property. Rising land values and a lack of undeveloped shorefront land have stimu- to southern Connecticut that the motorist could lated more residential growth inland. Within the possibly find. " coastal communities, residential land use between the Most of the congestion was caused by trucks, which years 1970-75 accounted for nearly half of the total had replaced the railroads as commercial carriers, and so newly developed land acreage - a statistic which has another shore route was planned. A road that would had dramatic consequences for the coast and for the closely approximate the line of the New Haven Railroad people who live there. would be a commercial boon to the cities along the One of the things Connecticut is famous for is a stere- coast, connecting with the New York Highway system otype: the independent, inventive, irrascible character and serving the coastline for at least twenty years. In the called the Connecticut Yankee. Connecticut also pro- late fiffies, Connecticut began a four year program vided the country with a more modern stereotype: the which suddenly brought the coastal towns and cities suburban commuter. More stories have probably been closer to each other and the rest of the country. With written about Fairfield County than anywhere else, and the completion of the Connecticut Turnpike (Interstate more about the suburban man than anyone else. The 95), the shore became part of a national network of suburbanite has been characterized, even satirized, as a highways. Highway construction in the 1960s seemed a person whose life is defined by social obligations, train way of life to people along the shore, many of whom were not exactly happy with the inconvenience that came with it. The new thruway brought more com- P, merce into the cities, but it also brought more trucks, lva more noise, and more pollution. W Power Plants r M ou =v [email protected] Mmv Water as a power source was a major factor in the his- torically intensive use of the coast. Today, electric gen- crating plants located on the coast utilize Long Island Sound and major rivers as a water source for cooling. 1 Currently twenty electric generating stations operate within the coastal municipalities. Three are nuclear- powered with a fourth under construction. These 97. United Illuminating Elearic Generating Plant, New Haven. 70 schedules, status-seeking, and keeping up with the neighbors; and he has been defended as someone who managed to create, no matter how tenuous, a semi- balance of order in a chaos of violence, corruption, and indifference. No matter how we view the stereotype of the suburbanite, he is to us what the Connecticut Yankee was to the last century, a typically modern char- acter, representative of our fears and wants. The most western part of the Connecticut shore has been considered a suburb of New York City for over a century, but it has been in the last fifty years that the 9& Dramatic shot of coastal housing density, Old Lyme. idea of "suburbia" has become part of our conscious- shoreline cities. ness. Between 1920 and 1930, the population growth The suburban boom also coincided with the post- along the coastline registered a major change. Cities World War II "baby boom" which created problems like New Haven and Bridgeport grew at expected rates that most of these towns could not readily handle. - less than ten percent - because of the consistent in- High-density home building meant, among other dustrial growth there. But much more surprising was things, an increase in services, from garbage collection the increase in population in Stamford, New Canaan, to the construction of new schools and roads. Along the and Norwalk, which grew at a rate of more than twenty- Sound recreation became a big business, and the cities, five percent, and Greenwich, Darien, and Fairfield being depleted by the suburban exodus, began revitali- which grew at an incredible rate of forty-five percent. zation programs which involved more development. The suburbs were taking shape. The stretch of land from Greenwich to New Haven As New York grew more and more hungry for edu- was the scene of an almost unbelievable frenzy of build- cated, white-collar workers, its traditional satellite com- ing. Housing developments, apartment complexes, munities found on Long Island and in Westchester condominiums, commercial centers, and shopping County were not sufficient, and the greater metropol- plazas dramatically changed the face of the coastline. itan area of New York spread into Connecticut and Even the summer resort communities, which had re- New Jersey. By 1950, the commuter was a familiar per- mained peaceful townships - at least after the summer sonage, someone who worked in the city and lived in ended - felt the pressures of suburbanization. the "country" ostensibly reaping the benefits of both Milford, one of the earliest resort areas, has over the last worlds. Some suburban towns even grew into cities; twenty years become highly urbanized, mostly along Stamford, for one, forged its own identity, and by the Route 1 and the Connecticut Thruway, while Madison fifties began competing against New York - a David remains a favorite summer retreat for thousands. North against Goliath - as headquarters for national corpora- Madison has grown into a residential community in its tions. Yet the people of Westport and Darien, for in- own right. Even the river community of Chester, which stance, worked hard at keeping their communities essentially residential, avoiding the lure of commercial 99. Many condominium and apartment complexes have been built and industrial development. along the coast. Suburbia is also not limited to the New York- oriented towns - the so-called Gold Coast of Fairfield County. In the ten years between 1920 and 1930, towns like Hamden, West Haven, Stratford, Orange, East Haven, and North Haven mushroomed, becoming the suburbs" of the industrial centers of New Haven and Bridgeport. While the railroad prompted the growth of Fairfield County as New York's suburb, it was the highway system which gave rise to the residential devel- opments that dot the landscape around the larger 71 a IF V A A 6 4 d, t 4 MIM Ai 100. Branford beach scene. had been spared the onslaught of suburbanization has nent recreational feature on the coast. In addition to been discovered and is experiencing a population boom the 164 commercial marinas, there are 63 private yacht of its own. Many other towns such as Old Saybrook and clubs and eight public marinas together supplying over Old Lyme have undergone housing changes brought on 25 thousand berths and slips. Some 23 state boat ramps by the winterization of summer homes. accommodate more than 100 thousand registered boaters in the state. The largest stretches of sandy beach found in Con- necticut have generally been kept in public ownership. Fun and Games: Yearly, some three million residents sunbathe, swim, Coastal Recreation and carouse at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Hammonasset State Park in Madison, and Rocky Neck The rapid and intense growth of the population liv- State Park in East Lyme. Bluff Point State Park and ing in coastal Connecticut - and in the state in general Harkness Memorial State Park in Groton, and Silver - created a strong demand for recreational use of Sands State Park in Milford, are also publicly owned; coastal resources. Although many recreational areas though undeveloped, they offer recreational beach op- have existed along the shorefront for many years, they portunities to many residents. too have changed in character in the last thirty years. Connecticut, in comparison to Massachusetts, Rhode Today, boating facilities are perhaps the most promi- Island, or New York, does not have an abundance of 72 tant. Tidal wetlands, for instance, provide natural areas for fishing, shellfishing, bird-watching, and biological research as well as open space. Nonetheless, the com- '0" petition for coastal lands among residential, industrial, transportationall and recreational interests has had adverse impacts on many wetlands, and Connecticut T has lost over 15 thousand acres, or fifty percent, of its 2 Or [email protected] wetlands since World War 11. Wisely and fortunately, ; some areas have been preserved - such as the Wheeler J Wildlife Sanctuary in Milford and Barn Island Fish and Wildlife Sanctuary in Stonington for recreational, biological, and aesthetic uses. 102. Fishing in B, idgeport Harbor. 'A [email protected] Z 101. Mystic boat shou. sandy beaches. The state totals only 78 miles of sandy beach, and most of that beach is broken up into small pocket beaches. Municipalities own about 23 miles of sandy beach. Those beaches range in size from short, 100-foot stretches of sand with very little available park- ing to highly developed beach areas offering a full `le range of recreational facilities. A good example of such a large, developed municipal beach is Seaside Park in Bridgeport, which incidentally was left to the people of the city by P.T. Barnum. t The coastal area offers other recreational opportun- ities which are not as well recognized as the traditional boating, bathing, and fishing and yet are just as impor- 73 PHOTO CREDITS Photo I Coastal Area Management Program (CAM) 34 Courtesy Frank Rowsome, Jr. 2 CAM 35 CAM 3 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from 36 Courtesy New Haven Colony Historical Society New England Indians, C.K. Wilbur 37 CAM 4 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from 38 CAM New England Indians, C.K. Wilbur 39 CAM 5 Travelers Insurance Co., Hartford 40 CAM 6 From Uncas and the Mohegan Pequot, Arthur Peale 41 CAM (Boston: Meador Publishing Co., 1939) 42 CAM 7 Courtesy Norwalk Historical Society 43 CAM 8 From Groton, Connecticut: 1705-1905, C.R. Stark 44 CAM (Stonington: Palmer Press, 1922). 45 CAM 9 CAM 46 Courtesy New Haven Colony Historical Society 10 CAM 47 Courtesy New Haven Colony Historical Society it John Foster, Reverend John Davenport, Yale Uni- 48 CAM versity Art Gallery 49 Courtesy New Haven Colony Historical Society 12 Mills Collection Conn. State Library, Hartford 50 From Savin Rock and White City (New Haven: Weil 13 From Uncaf and the Mohegan Pequot, Arthur Peal Novelty Co.) (Boston: Meador Publishing Co., 1939) 51 From Savin Rock and White City (New Haven: Weil 14 Mills Collection, Conn. State Library, Hartford Novelty Co.) 15 CAM 52 Charles H. Martin Collection, courtesy A/V Services, 16 Connecticut State Library, Hartford Mystic Seaport 17 New Haven Redevelopment Agency 53 CAM is From The Story of the American Sailor, Eldridge S. 54 Courtesy A/V Services, Mystic Seaport Brooks, (Boston: D. Lothrop Co. 1888). 55 CAM 19 CAM 56 From Whaling Industry of New London, R.O. 20 From Pirates and Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast, Decker (York: Liberty Tap Book, 1973) E.R. Snow, (Boston: Yankee Publishing Co., 1944) 57 CAM 21 Mills Collection, Conn. State Library, Hartford 58 CAM 22 From New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial, 59 From New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial, Harold Hornstein, ed., (New Haven: New Haven Harold Hornstein, ed., (New Haven: New Haven Bicentennial Commission, 1976) Bicentennial Commission, 1976) 23 Courtesy Submarine Library, Groton 60 From New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial, 24 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from The Harold Hornstein, ed., (New Haven: New Haven Whaling City, R.O. Decker Bicentennial Commission, 1976) 25 CAM 61 CAM 26 Story of the Battle of Fort Griswold 62 From This is Fairfield, Elizabeth V.H. Banks, 1960 27 From Connecticut: 1639-1895 (Newark: Consoli- 63 Courtesy A/V Services, Mystic Seaport dated Illustrating Co.) 64 From Oxpasture to Summer Colony 28 Courtesy A/V Services, Mystic Seaport 65 CAM 29 Courtesy New London Day 66 Courtesy A/V Services, Mystic Seaport 30 Courtesy New Haven Colony Historical Society 67 Courtesy New London County Historical Society 31 CAM 68 From New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial, 32 CAM Harold Hornstein, ed., (New Haven: New Haven 33 CAM Bicentennial Commission, 1976) 74 69 Photo by Nathaniel W. Gibbons. Courtesy Yale 81 CAM Peabody Museum of Natural History, from Discov- 82 CAM ery, 15(l), 1980, p. 28 83 Courtesy Americana Review, Scotia, New York, 70 Photo by Brian J. Skinner. Courtesy Yale Peabody from Sam Tuttle's Picture Book of Old Connecticut Museum of Natural History from Discovery, 15(l), 84 From Connecticut: 1639-1895 (Newark: Consoli- 1980, p. 28 dated Illustrating Co.) 71 Courtesy Americana Review, Scotia, New York, 85 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from from Sam Tuttle's Picture Book of Old Connecticut Yankee Dreamers and Doers, Ellsworth Strong 72 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from Grant Yankee Dreamers and Doers, Ellsworth Strong 86 CAM Grant 87 CAM 73 From New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial, 88 CAM Harold Hornstein, ed., (New Haven: New Haven 89 CAM Bicentennial Commission, 1976) 90 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from The 74 From New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial, Whaling City, R.C. Decker Harold Hornstein, ed., (New Haven: New Haven 91 CAM Bicentennial Commission, 1976) 92 CAM 75 Courtesy Globe Pequot Press, Chester, CT, from 93 CAM Yankee Dreamers and Doers, Ellsworth Strong 94 CAM Grant 95 Photo by JR. Selleck, Long Island Sound Study 76 From Connecticut: 1639-1895 (Newark: Consoli- 96 CAM dated Illustrating Co.) 97 CAM 77 From Struggles and Triumphs; or Forty Year's 98 CAM Recollections, P.T. Barnum (Buffalo: The Courier 99 CAM Co., 1882) 100 Photo by Ingbert Gruttner, Long Island Sound Study 78 Courtesy Americana Review, Scotia, New York, 101 CAM from Sam Tuttle's Picture Book of Old Connecticut 102 CAM 79 Courtesy Americana Review, Scotia, New York, Page 60 Extended quote from Ruth O.M. Anderson, From from Sam Tuttle's Picture Book of Old Connecticut Yankee to American: Connecticut 1865 to 1914. 80 From Connecticut of Today (Temple Court, New (Chester: The Pequot Press, 1975), pp. 43-44 York: Acme Publishing and Engraving Co., 1891) 75 V [email protected] 3 6668 00000 7692 @