Mystic River Historic District
The Mystic River Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
Mystic is a community on Long Island Sound in southeastern Connecticut across from the eastern end of Long Island. The community is divided by the Mystic River, the section on the west bank being in the Town of Groton and the section on the east bank being in the Town of Stonington. The Mystic River Historic District addresses that part of Mystic that is in the Town of Groton; Mystic in Stonington (Mystic Bridge Historic District) is the subject of a separate but complementary National Register district nomination.
On the west bank of the river (Groton) there is a local Historic District (1974). The boundaries of the local Historic District and the National Register district encompass many of the same buildings but are not identical. The boundaries of the National Register Mystic River Historic District have been drawn so as to be less jagged than the local Historic District's, and so as to include certain contemporary buildings that were omitted from the local district.
The community of Mystic developed because of 19th century ship building and associated activity along the Mystic River. Most of the actual shipbuilding was on the east bank. The west bank was given over to a commercial strip, some ship building, and other industrial activity, and, primarily, to many fine homes. Of the approximately 470 sites and structures in the Mystic River Historic District, more than 265 are 19th-century houses built in the Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne styles popular during these years. As community growth and change essentially came to an end with the end of wooden ships, Mystic River remains largely a 19th-century town in layout, mass, scale, and architecture. 27 structures are considered not to contribute to the historic character of the district.
The local topography is hilly, and the buildings have been constructed to accommodate the changes in elevation. There are many outcroppings of rock, forming promontories, cliffs, and hills that the streets and buildings must take into account. Houses may be at grade at one end and have a high exposed basement at the other. Sometimes a flight of steps ascends from the street to the first floor entrance above the exposed basement. Sometimes a house appears to be one story taller at the rear. The changes in elevation in some instances require the use of retaining walls to hold a house, or its yard, in place. The local granite rock has been used for such retaining walls, and for stone fences.
In addition to stone fences, there are a number of fine cast-iron fences, and several noteworthy wooden fences. The stone walls, stone fences, cast-iron fences, and wooden fences collectively form an element of considerable visual impact in the district. They run along the streets and between the houses, sometimes up or down hill, forming an important part of the streetscape and a significant element in the community's image.
There are two sites of historic importance in the Mystic River Historic District. One of these relates to the massacre of the Pequot Indians in 1637 by a group led by Captain John Mason (1600-1672). Mason's men spent the night before the attack in Mystic, and then conducted their attack there. Both locations are somewhat indefinite, but the site of the massacre is within or very close to the Mystic River Historic District. There is an 1889 statue commemorating the event in the district, at the intersection of Pequot Avenue and Clift Street. It is a colonial male figure with sword in hand, executed in bronze, on a high stone pedestal.
The second historic site is the location of Fort Rachel on rocky promontory overlooking the entrance to the harbor. There a single twelve pounder repulsed a British attack in 1814, and perhaps saved Mystic from being burned, as were other port towns along the Long Island Sound coast of Connecticut. The location of Fort Rachel is definitely known, on Fort Rachel Place.
U.S. Route 1 is the Main Street of Mystic, running west from the bridge over the river. Located on this street are shops, restaurants, offices, banks, and the Baptist Church. Along the river south of Main Street are located marina, small boat yards, and other small industrial activities. Along the river north of the bridge is a fine residential street. West of the river the whole area is residential.
Main Street for two blocks from the river to Water Street has most of the commercial activity. There are four buildings, 2-4-6, 24, 26, and 30, in the Italianate style, and one, 39-41, in the Italianate Revival style. 2-4-6 Main Street is an unusually well preserved example of a wood Italianate commercial building of considerable elaboration. Its paired, molded pilasters, paired windows under pedimented caps, and decorative cornice and pediment are an asset to the street. The structure has the further feature, found only in seaside locations, of being supported in part by piles sunk in the river.
It was in this context and general background that the local Historic District boundaries were established in 1974. The basic purpose was to identify, and to encourage historic preservation in a 19th-century residential community whose existence was tied to the sea. While the purpose of the National Register Mystic River Historic District is the same, the boundary line is somewhat different. The local District extends for five properties further south on the west side, only, of Noank Road, and for 16 properties further west on the north side, only, of Route 1 (New London Road).
The price paid was a jagged boundary line, the less than ideal arrangement of including in the district one side of the street only, and the inclusion, mixed in, of houses that did not contribute to the historic character of the district.
A chief problem, then and now, in setting boundaries arises from the changing mix in quality as the distance from the river increases. In due course, but not suddenly, the housing stock becomes that which may be found in any suburbia. As the mixture changes, it is necessary to draw a line and say this is the end of the district, based primarily on the thinning out of historic structures while recognizing that some historic structures do indeed exist outside the boundary line. In the light of all these considerations, judgment indicates that the Noank Road and Route 1 projections do not belong in the National Register Mystic River Historic District.
Another major question raised in establishing Mystic boundaries is the question of how to regard possibly historic, interesting, well designed houses built subsequent to the time period primarily associated with the district. It may be argued that if the purpose is to identify, a 19th-century seafaring community, anything that doesn't fit that norm should be excluded, but such an approach probably is impractical. Some accommodation must be made with the passage of time and with contributions to the community made in later years. On these grounds the National Register Mystic River Historic District includes early 20th-century workers' houses on Burrows, Edgecomb, and Godfrey Streets, two well-designed, large modern houses (112 and 126 Clift Street) that are noncontroversial except for their age and occupy magnificent sites overlooking the estuary, and two starkly contemporary houses (40 Clift Lane and 50 Edgecomb Street).
Finally, at the south, the National Register Mystic River Historic District continues along the railroad to include land between the railroad and Noank Road, and is extended across School Street to pick up the 19th-century, former West Mystic depot. All of these differences are peripheral; the majority of sites and structures in the local Historic District and the National Register district are the same.
The most spectacular line of houses in Mystic is that along the west side of Gravel Street, just north of the center, and facing the water. The view of this range of houses, taken from Route 1 bridge over the river, is probably one of the most photographed scenes in New England. Exclusively white, and exclusively from the mid-19th century, these eleven houses incorporate many of Mystic's best features. Several of the houses are five-bay, 1-1/2-story cottages. Several are two-story, three-bay, Greek Revival houses with the gable facing the street forming a pediment. To round out the variety there is a Downing cottage, an Italianate house, and a Second Empire house. As the land in the back of the houses slopes up, several are on high brick or stone basements. This arrangement requires a flight of steps from grade to the first floor entrance above the basement. Across the street from the houses there is a few feet of land between the street and the water, that goes with the houses. This land is protected from the river by stone sea walls. The presence of the sea walls adds to the historic character of the vista.
One building in this group, 2 Gravel Street, was built in 1973, by the Sewer Authority. It is a one-story, square structure with semi-mansard shingled roof and white vinyl, clapboard siding. Each facade has two double doors in recessed bays, and the surrounding open space is paved, planted, and furnished with benches. It is a modern utility building that fits in well with its historic surroundings. The use of vinyl clapboard siding in this new building perhaps is to be expected, but throughout the district many of the historic houses have been fitted with aluminum, and occasionally vinyl, clapboard siding. In most cases introduction to such siding seems to be accompanied by removal, to a greater or lesser degree, of distinctive trim that gives, or did give, the houses architectural individuality and distinction. At the least, the relationship between the wall plane and the plane of trim such as window and doorway surrounds is often altered.
There are more Greek Revival houses in the Mystic River Historic District than any other kind. The mid-19th century popularity of the Greek Revival style coincided with Mystic's period of prosperity. The typical Mystic Greek Revival house has 2-1/2 stories and gable roof, with the ridge of the roof perpendicular to the street. Siding is clapboards, except in the front of the gable where flush boarding is used. The front facade has three bays, with a semi-round or semi-elliptical window in the gable end. The left or right bay is the doorway. Greek Revival trim includes projecting, molded eaves and cornice to make the gable end a pediment, and panelled pilasters at the corners of the house and flanking the doorway. Over the doorway pilasters is a more or less complete entablature leading to a flat corona. Side and transom lights, often oblong or alternating oblong and square, surround the door, which is often panelled.
The house at 16 Latham Street exhibits all these characteristics. In addition, it demonstrates three more features often found in Mystic — a picket fence, a high basement, and transition to the Italianate style. The house is on the southeast corner of New London Road; the wood picket fence runs along the edges of the two streets. The site slopes down from Latham Street in the easterly direction. On the east side of the house the brick basement is entirely in view and the basement floor is level with the back yard. In such houses the kitchen usually was in the basement. The Greek Revival doorway faced New London Road and is still there, as are the granite steps leading up to it but no longer used. A new doorway has been added in the middle of the long side, facing Latham Street. This doorway has a flat hood supported by heavy brackets. South of the doorway there is a two-story, three-sided bay in further expression of the Italianate mode to which the house became attuned as the 19th century progressed.
There are several pairs of identical or nearly identical houses in the Mystic River Historic District. One of these is a pair of double houses in the Greek Revival style at 20-22 and 24-26 Water Street. These 1-1/2-story, two-family houses, parallel to the street, are on high granite basements. Each house has corner pilasters and narrow, oblong windows in the fascia under the eaves.
The style represented by the second largest number of examples is the Italianate. Several commercial buildings on the main street date from this period, as noted. There is a Tift House downtown, once a dry goods store, and a Tift house at 134 High Street, both Italianate. The home still has its square cupola with two pairs of windows on each side. The 1860 Italianate house at 15 Elm Street has unusual elements. Its siding is horizontal boards separated by grooves. Its first- and second-story front windows are tripartite, made up of three sections of two-over-two-over-two sash divided by narrow, panelled muntins under bracketed, flat, molded caps. Some Greek Revival houses received Italianate trim while keeping their Greek Revival characteristics, as noted in the case of 16 Latham Street, while others lost their Greek Revival trim entirely. Some Italianate houses have lost their distinctive trim, for example, 8 Orchard Lane, where the square, hipped roof configuration can only suggest what the original decorative elements probably were.
There are few 18th-century houses in the Mystic River Historic District, not because they have been torn down but simply because not many people lived in the area until the 19th century. One of the 18th-century structures, the 1758 Capt. Daniel Packer House, is at 32 Water Street. Now deteriorated and open to the weather, it is a 2-1/2-story, gambrel-roof house. The eaves of the gambrel are at the top of the first story. There is a central doorway with two windows on either side of the first story, but only three windows (dormer) in the gambrel at the second-floor level. A two-story, gambrel-roofed ell projects to the back (north) with a two-story gallery on its east side. The Colonial Dames November 30, 1929 volume, which has an excellent photo showing the house already was suffering from lack of maintenance, sets forth the family tree from the first owner to the then current owner (Keeler), and gives a description of the contents including "much mahogany old style furniture, tables and chairs — and beautiful china." This house was No. 38 in the WPA Federal Writers' Project Census of Old Buildings in Connecticut of the 1930. It was then owned by Mrs. Mary Packer Keeler and was described as being in fair condition. The State Register of Historic Places inventory form of June 8, 1967, noted that it was then owned by Edward C. Keeler and reported:
"House occupied by same family since its origin. The owner, an elderly widower, still has a fascinating assortment of documents, pictures and memorabilia pertaining to the history of family — a sea-faring one. His belongings and the interior and the small amount of grounds are all in great disorder and poor condition. A somewhat plain house, it nevertheless has distinctive lines, mantels in place (although fireplaces boarded up), stairway intact, and despite proximity of obstruction of view of harbor its appeal has interested painters and architectural historians through the years, according to the owner."
The Groton Historic District Study Committee in its July 1974 report said that this house once served as a tavern and lodging place for travelers using the nearby ferry to Stonington, and offered the comment that, "After a five-year vacancy, it is being restored for commercial use." The restoration is now underway.
Several 20th-century houses, of the many in the district, have been mentioned. There is also one large, new (1978) commercial building on the main street at 39-41 Route 1 (West Main Street), an Italianate Revival building. In plan it is a long oblong, perpendicular to the street, for occupancy by stores, offices, and apartments. The roof overhang on the front is supported by small brackets, the siding is clapboards, and the store fronts on either side of the central entrance are three-sided bays. There is a recessed loggia over the entrance, and on the front and west sides the building extends over the sidewalk, making a recessed walkway. The plans for the building, drawn by Mystic Architect Lyman Goff, received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Mystic Historic District Commission. They were the second set of plans submitted to the Commission.
There are several schools and churches in the Mystic River Historic District. Two school buildings date from the mid-19th century and, as might be expected, are in the Greek Revival style. The 1839 building at 74 High Street, known as Portersville Academy, was moved to this site in 1880, and used as a schoolhouse until World War I. It is a 2-1/2-story, clapboard building with a large, oval window in its flush boarding pediment. Twin front doors have simple pilasters and entablature. The 1860 West Mystic School at 381 Noank Road, 1-1/2-story, clapboard building on stone foundations, is basically Greek Revival but with Italianate touches. At the top of the pediment there is a short, square tower with curved moldings on its sides and with a low roof that overhangs. An embellished dentil course runs under the eaves below the pediment.
The public school now in use in the district is the 1910 Mystic Academy on Academy Lane. It is a three-story, solid brick building with sandstone trim constructed in the plan of a Greek cross whose axes are 78 feet long. The front door, on the north, is approached by high steps, and is protected by a flat hood supported by double, solid consoles. Above the doorway there is a two-story grouping of six windows, three at each level, between four panelled pilasters. The upper sash of the windows have conventional muntins and diagonal muntins. The two levels of windows are divided horizontally by a three-foot band of flush boarding that encircles the building and forms the fascia under the eaves of the east and west arms of the cross. The fact that the east and west arms of the cross are two stories compared to three stories for the north and south arms and central portion of the building makes for complex roof configuration. The east and west arms have dormers that augment the third story floor area. All sections of the roof are hipped. Similar roofs exist on the houses at 5 and 9 Prospect Street, constructed at about the same time as the school. The third floor of the school initially was the auditorium. It is now the media center, and a new auditorium has been constructed in a one-story addition to the south. The school's original boilers are still in place, though not used. Their elaborate cast iron fronts include the lettering, "School House Furnace Fuller & Ware Troy NY," and are embellished with pilasters and foliate motifs. Identity of the architect for the school is not known. A school has occupied this site since 1852.
The Union Baptist Church on the northwest corner of Library, High and West Main Streets has an impressive portico, that because of the church's elevated site and a curve in the main street, is prominently visible from several blocks to the east. The first church building on this site was the 1829 Mariners' Free Church, Erastus Gallup, architect, constructed in the decade after the disestablishment in Connecticut of the Congregational Church. The pulpit was shared by Congregational, Baptist, and Methodist preachers, but by mid-century the Congregationalists and Methodists built their own churches. In 1861 the Baptists moved another church to the site, arranging the two structures at right angles to one another in the T-shape that exists today, Evan Burdick, Architect. (Sources: Stark, pp.176, 180, 189, and church records at the State Library). The general arrangement and appearance of the clapboard church dates from 1861. It is Greek Revival in concept and proportions, but with Italianate elements. The two-story Ionic front portico has round arches with keystones. Encircling the church under the broad eaves there is a modified dentil course in which groups of five dentils alternate with a modillion. The spire was blown down by the 1938 hurricane. It was not replaced until 31 years later. The present spire, designed by T. F. Norton, is fashioned in fiberglass and is not a replica of the original.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 11-13 Pearl Street began as a mission in 1859. Plans for the present structure were prepared by A. G. Cutler of Norwich and the edifice was opened for worship December 25, 1867. (Stark, p.215). It is wooden Gothic, covered with shingles that have weathered to a dark brown, with a high gable roof. In the vertical orientation of the front facade, the eye is carried upward from the pointed arch of the porch's doorway, to a lancet window above, to the peak of the porch gable, to a roundel window in the gable end of the front wall of the church, to the peak of the gable, to a small open belfry and its shingled, pyramidal roof, to the cross at the top of the belfry. The interior, not elaborate, appears to be largely original with plain, wooden pews, and dado of narrow, beaded, vertical boards. Four triangular, wooden trusses are exposed in the high, open space under the roof.
Perhaps the most elaborate building in the Mystic River Historic District is the 1893 Mystic & Noank Library at the northeast corner of Library and Elm Streets. It is a big, colorful building. The principal building material is orange brick. The orange walls rise above rock-faced, brown sandstone foundations that are exposed on the east. Reddish brownstone is used for window trim and for belt courses. In the second floor, the window lintels are sections of a belt course. The high, hipped roof is red tile. A lantern at the top of the roof, a dormer, the eaves, the pediment of the entrance porch, and other trim are executed in wood but painted the green color of weathered copper. Beige terra cotta busts and surrounds fill the gable ends of two projecting pavilions. The melange of brown, reddish brown, orange, red, green, and beige somehow, perhaps because it has been there for 85 years, looks as though it belongs in this neighborhood of almost exclusively white buildings. In style the library is eclectic. The pronounced use of rough stone and the roof are Richardsonian; the busts of Minerva and Apollo, the gabled entrance porch with its flanking round columns, and the Palladian window are classical revival; while the overall flamboyant decorative effect is Queen Anne. Fine materials were used, including on the interior Numidian, Tennessee and Vermont marble, Italian mosaics, and leaded glass. Another feature of the interior is the stairway with wrought-iron balustrade and cast-iron newel posts leading up to the second floor where one room finished in oak retains original details. The book cabinets have friezes with shell escutcheons and ribbons. The furniture is in matching oak. Chief feature of the room is the buff brick fireplace surround, seven feet tall, with fluted Ionic pilasters that support a bracketed shelf. The brackets and ovolo shelf molding are enriched. The firebox has a cast-iron frame with broken pediment. Architects for the library were William Higginson and William B. Bigelow of New York.
The section of the district south of the main street next to the river has traditionally been the industrial area. Now the area mainly provides marinas and repair shops for pleasure boats. There is one factory that is operating, one that is empty, and one, the largest, known as Factory Square, that has been rehabilitated for apartments, commercial space, and a restaurant. It is a complex of several buildings with origins before the Civil War, all integrated into new uses. On the three-story structure, "mansard" roofs and third story balconies have been added, and in one place an atrium roof.
Overall, the spirit of the 19th century prevails in the Mystic River Historic District. The houses, public buildings, stores, and factories, all continue to display their architectural styles and workmanship from the last century. The hilly terrain, stone walls, and picket fences help maintain the ambience of an earlier era.
The importance of the National Register Mystic River Historic District derives from the completeness of the 19th-century community here preserved. Seldom are houses, public buildings, stores, and factories of a 19th-century town all in place, in good condition, and still in use, as they are in Mystic. The variety of architectural styles that the prosperous seafaring citizens employed in building up their community provide fine examples of the ongoing, 19th-century development of taste and design.
In terms of criteria for the National Register of Historic Places, the quality of significance in American architecture and history is present in the Mystic River Historic District because it possesses integrity of location, design, setting, workmanship, and association, embodies the distinctive characteristics of a period, and represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.
The location and setting of the Mystic River Historic District were a consequence, in large part, of the geography of the region. The Mystic River, so called, is not really a river, but rather is an arm of the sea five miles long. During the 17th and 18th centuries when towns were settled and developed along Long Island Sound at the mouths of rivers, for example, Essex and New London, there was no settlement of Mystic because there was no river mouth. As late as the early 19th century "...there were not above twelve dwellings on both sides of the river where now stand two large and growing villages, Mystic River and Mystic Bridge." (The Mystic Pioneer, June 11, 1859.) When shipbuilding, sealing, whaling, and trading with the West Indies did get underway development occurred at Mystic rather than farther up the estuary because the water above Mystic soon became too shallow.
Nevertheless, an event of major historical importance took place in Mystic during May 1637 with the defeat of the warlike and aggressive Pequot Indians by a group of 90 colonials led by Capt. John Mason. The Pequots had a fort, enclosed by a wall of logs standing on end. Inside were wigwams, with roofs of bark mats. Mason and his men set fire to the mats and a stiff wind spread the flames. As the Indians sought to escape from the fire in the fort, they were killed by Mason's group to the number, including women and children, of 600 or 700. (Van Dusen, p.38). Subsequent to Mason's campaign colonial settlement along Long Island Sound seldom was hindered by Indians.
The night before the engagement Mason and his men camped on Porter's Rocks, a granite outcropping north of the district. Why the name Porter was used has not been determined, but the term continued in use, and the community on the west side of the estuary, the subject of this nomination, was known as Portersville until mid-19th century. The school building at 74 High Street dates from this period and still carries the name of Portersville Academy.
Mason's victory was commemorated in 1889 by the erection of a statue by a State Commission at the intersection of Pequot Avenue and Clift Street. A competition to select the sculptor was entered by four men: Alexander M. Calder and H.K.Bush-Brown, both of whom became famous in their own right and because of their offspring; Karl Gerhardt, the protege of Samuel Clemens of Hartford; and J.G.C. Hamilton, who was associated with the Smith Granite Co. of nearby Westerly, Rhode Island. The local man won.
A second event of local historical importance was the repulse of a British attack during the War of 1812. Because the community was so small, it was a relatively unattractive target for the British compared with larger towns such as New London and Newport. Nevertheless, on June 12, 1813 an enemy cutter approached the Mystic ship channel. For defense the community had a single twelve pounder, mounted on a rocky promotory, called Fort Rachel. There was powder for the gun but no ball. Spikes, scrap iron, and pieces of chain were substituted therefor. After the gun was fired the first time the cutter retired, only to send its launch toward shore manned with a detachment to scale the cliff. By the time the launch came within range there had been time to reload, and upon the second firing the launch was sunk, thus ending the incident. (Todd, pp.111-112). The location of Fort Rachel on the granite heights between Ft. Rachel Place and Water Street is easily identifiable, although no trace of the fort remains. The site now is notable for the presence of three houses of architectural interest, two Greek Revival and one Colonial, in a state of disrepair. The association of the Pequot massacre and the Fort Rachel engagement with the district adds to its significance.
During ensuing years of the 19th century, after the War of 1812, Mystic developed rapidly. In addition to becoming a center for shipbuilding, Mystic became the home port for sealing, whaling, West Indies trade, and coastal trade generally. Prosperity brought on by these activities came to an end with the advent of steel ships of size and draft beyond the capacity of Mystic harbor. As no other development replaced the building of wooden ships and associated port activities, the Mystic River Historic District continues to have today substantially the same structures, and the same landscaping, fencing, street furniture, and road widths that it did during the 19th century. These components embody the distinctive characteristics of the period, and represent a significant and distinguishable entity.
The many Greek Revival and Italianate homes that remain from that era are the strength of the district. But examples of other styles should not be overlooked; for example, the Queen Anne house at 3 West Mystic Avenue, the A.J. Downing cottage at 9 Mystic Avenue, and the Second Empire house at 17-19 Elm Street. The Shingle style that was quite popular in resort communities along the Connecticut shore, was not so popular in Mystic because in the 19th century Mystic was not a resort community. Nevertheless, two interesting examples of the Shingle style may be found at 23 Library Street and 17 Godfrey Street.
The many ships' captains who made their homes in the district contributed in various ways to the history of the community. The house at 16 Latham Street, of interest because it embraces so many architectural characteristics (transitional Greek Revival/Italianate style, sloping site with a full brick basement, and picket fence) adds historic interest as the home of one Captain Crary who, by local tradition, during the Civil War commanded the Union ship of highest cargo value of all Union ships lost to the Confederacy. Another ship's captain who benefitted the town in a more tangible way was Capt. Elihu Spicer, Jr. born in Noank, who after he became wealthy and moved to Brooklyn, remembered his community of origin by giving to the town the elaborate and expensive Mystic & Noank library.
While the town received most of its economic support from shipbuilding and from trade and commerce associated with the sea, there was some manufacturing, the most prominent example being that conducted in the buildings now rehabilitated as Factory Square. Operations began under the name of Reliance Machine Co. on this site in 1848 with the manufacture of cotton gins, an enterprise that terminated with the advent of the Civil War. To go along with the cotton gins, the firm had manufactured boilers and engines to run them. For a time boilers and engines were made for the wooden steamers Mystic shipyards were building. Thereafter, the premises were used by the Sanborn Machine Co. (later the Standard Machine Co.) for the manufacture of bookbinding machinery, and by Davis-Standard Co. for plastic molding presses until becoming vacant in 1963.
The National Register Mystic River Historic District is a statement of a 19th-century community whose life was tied to the sea. The architectural development displayed there and the relationship of homes, stores, public buildings, and industrial sites combine to form a district of unusual integrity.
Virginia B. Anderson, Maritime Mystic, Mystic: The Marine Historical Association, 1962. Has a good general bibliography. The name Marine Historical Association has now been superseded by Mystic Seaport.
Thomas S. Collier, A History of the Statue Erected to Commemorate the Heroic Achievement of Maj. John Mason, published by the (State of Connecticut) Commission, 1889. Copy in the possession of Mrs. Carol W. Kimball, Mystic, CT.
"Mystic & Noank Library, Inc.," 1975. Pamphlet at the library.
Report of the Historic District Study Committee, Town of Groton, Connecticut, July 1974.
Charles R. Stark, Groton, Conn. l705-l905, Stonington: Charles R. Stark, 1922. At the State Library.
Charles Burr Todd, In Olde Connecticut, New York: Grafton Press, 1906. At the State Library.
Albert E. Van Dusen, Connecticut, New York: Random House, 1961.
Carol W. Kimball, The Groton Story, Olde Mystic: Boy Scouts of America, Troop 476, nd (1965?).
† David F. Ransom, Consultant, Connecticut Historical Commission, Mystic River Historic District, Town of Groton, CT, nomination document, 1978, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.