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North Stonington Village Historic District


The North Stonington Village Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Description

North Stonington Village is located about 8 miles north of Long Island Sound in the south central portion of the Town of North Stonington. The Shunock River flows through the village and is joined by Assekonk Brook near the village center. Main Street crosses the Shunock River twice, both above and below the junction with the Assekonk. Stone-arched bridges carry the road across the stream at both points. Downstream of the bridges, a steep ravine has been cut by the river. A large millpond has been created here by a stone dam constructed about 1860. Upstream of the Main Street bridges, the remains of a smaller dam of late 18th- or early 19th-century date are still extant. Main Street is intersected by Wyassup Road to the north and Rocky Hollow Road to the south. Babcock Road joins Wyassup Road from the east, and follows the northern edge of the river ravine. Historically, a variety of mills dependent on water power were found along the watercourse of the Shunock River from the late 17th-century to the early 20th-century. Some evidence of these sites persists to the present day. The village is primarily residential in character. In addition to dwellings, the North Stonington Town Hall, United States Post Office, Congregational and Baptist churches, town library, and retail stores are present. Buildings are fairly densely distributed near the center of the village, the density decreasing towards its boundaries. Associated with many of the homes are lots once used for general agricultural purposes. Property lines are defined by stone walls or fences. Most of the former open fields are now covered by second-growth forest.

Within the boundaries of the North Stonington Village Historic District are 58 major structures together with numerous outbuildings. Most of the extant building stock is residential in character. The majority of the existing structures were built in the late 18th- and early 19th-centuries. The predominant construction material is wood. Building height varies from 1-1/2-2-1/2 stories. White is the most common color used within the village, while red, yellow, and other colors are also used. Architectural styles represented in North Stonington Village include the Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Downingesque, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Bungaloid styles, as well as vernacular architecture difficult to define stylistically. Early 19th-century buildings tend to be located near the street line, while houses and buildings of the mid-19th century and later are set back from the street. Ornamental trees and shrubs have been planted near many of the houses. Only a few picket fences are to be seen. Millstones have been re-used at 32 Main Street as driveway markers. Another millstone has been set upright at the village center within a small lawn enclosed by a cast-iron fence. The village maintains the atmosphere of a small, rural New England community.

The earliest surviving house in North Stonington Village is the William Sisson House, built in 1776 in the Georgian style. Located off Main Street, the Sisson House faces Assekonk Brook. The house has a five-bay facade with a central doorway flanked by pilasters supporting an entablature. Above the door is a five-light transom. Windows have 12-over-8 double-hung sash. The hipped roof has a center chimney. Examples of the Federal style include the Luther Avery House of 1781, the 1792 William Avery House, and the Noah Grant, Jr. House, built in 1790 and remodelled during the 1830s. These have facades five bays in width, central doorways, and gable roofs with chimneys to either side of the center. Both the Avery houses have one-story porticos over the entrance with an open-bed pediment supported by narrow columns. The Noah Grant, Jr. House has a front entrance with side lights and transom. Narrow pilasters support a broken pediment above the door. The central bay of the facade is defined by two-story pilasters. At either corner are additional two-story pilasters. The second floor window above the entrance has narrow sidelights. Wooden corbels are set under the eaves.

A series of 1-1/2-story frame dwellings along Main Street date from the early 19th-century, local examples of a vernacular style prevalent throughout Southern New England. The T.S. & H.O. Wheeler store, built in 1809, has a Federal door surround, but is otherwise devoid of ornamentation. This building had been moved from another location on the same lot in the late 19th-century, and was converted to the Town Hall in 1904. The transition from the Federal style to the Greek Revival style is marked by the present post office, formerly a store, built between 1816 and 1828, and the Holmes Block, the northern portion of which dates to about 1820. Both buildings are placed with the gable end facing the street. Attic windows in the pediments of both are triangular in shape. The post office has modillions under the eaves, while the Holmes Block has corner pilasters. The addition to the south of the Holmes Block, constructed about 1840, once had pilasters across the facade which supported an entablature with eyebrow windows. This addition is built on pilings above the Shunock River.

Several examples of the Greek Revival style are found in North Stonington Village. The William M. Wheeler House of about 1838 is typical of the less pretentious Greek Revival home both within the village and in the southeastern Connecticut area. The gable end, which faces the street, is three bays in width. Corner pilasters support an entablature and pediment. The pediment is finished with flush boards instead of the clapboard siding of the rest of the house. A fanlight window in the pediment lights the attic. The panelled front door has sidelights and transom. Pilasters supporting an entablature form the door surround. The two churches of the village contrast strongly in design. The Third Baptist Church, constructed in 1833, reveals strong influence by the Federal style. A three-bay facade is defined by fluted pilasters. Entrances are placed in the two side bays. Fluted pilasters framing each door support open-bed pediments. Above each door are semicircular fanlights. The pediment at the gable end of the building is finished with flush boards and features a circular window framed by triangular molding. The cornice has dentils. A square belfry tower has a pyramidal roof. The North Stonington Congregational Church, built in 1848, has a monumental portico with a pediment and entablature supported by Ionic columns. Pilasters are set at the corners of the facade and where the portico meets the main structure. The church rises in three stages to the spire. The influence of the Greek Revival style can also be discerned in the former schoolhouse at 9 Wyassup Road. The gable roof is of low pitch. Within the pediment is a circular window opening. The facade is four bays wide and features rectangular windows with 9-over-9 double-hung sash. The building has recently been altered by the addition of a brick chimney to the facade. A louver has replaced the original pediment window.

The rural cottage designs popularized by Andrew Jackson Downing and others are also manifested at North Stonington Village. The finest example of this is the house at 13 Rocky Hollow Road constructed in the 1850s. The facade is symmetrical, with two gables let into the roof. The entrance projects slightly from the facade. Pilasters flank the door. Above the pilaster is a closed, steeply pitched pediment, windows have paired, double-hung, 1-over-1 sash with molded labels above. The second floor windows are round-arched and set within the gables. Construction is of board-and-batten. Several other houses are similar in design, although none explicate Downing's principles so thoroughly. The Italianate style is well represented by the Dudley Stewart House at 32 Main Street, built in 1860. The gable ends of the house have open-bed pediments. Dentils and scroll-shaped modillions are set beneath the projecting eaves. The peak of each gable end is decorated by a pendant with a finial above. The scrollwork on the porch is probably the work of a local carpenter and of interest. Several other houses of Italianate style are to be found in the village. Many homes, even earlier ones, have mid-19th century carriage houses associated with them. The carriage house to the Andrew Baldwin House at 63 Main Street is one of a number of these. Like the Holmes Block addition, it is built over the Shunock River.

Late 19th-century architectural styles are less common in North Stonington Village. The hotel built about 1900 by B. Ripley Park is an example of the Colonial Revival style. Its large scale, gambrel roof, and dormers are distinctive characteristics. The first floor has been altered through the addition of large bow windows and a modern door. Vinyl siding has been added to the facade and dormers. The Richardsonian Romanesque style is represented solely by the Wheeler School and Library, built from 1900-1901. Characteristic of this style is the use of differing materials, pink granite for the window surrounds and belt courses, blue-pray granite for the remainder of the building. Round-arched second floor windows are also typical. The recessed main entrance is flanked by polished columns of red granite. Several early 20th-century Bungaloid style houses are also present within the North Stonington Village Historic District boundaries. The small scale of these homes is compatible with that of the earlier houses in the village. Other 20th-century buildings included within the district are of interest for their function rather than style: the North Stonington Grange, built in 1908 and the North Stonington Town Garage and Gas Station, built in 1930. A few homes of post World War II date are inconspicuous through their placement away from the street.

Since the early 19th-century, North Stonington Village has remained a residential district. The village has also functioned as the location for town services, religious worship, retail merchandising and industry. During the 19th-century, the village was an important retail, center for the outlying farms of North Stonington and for residents of other nearby towns. Buildings which once functioned as stores include the Post Office, the Old Town Hall, the Holmes Block, and the houses at 37 Main Street, 78 Main Street, and 3 Wyassup Road, respectively. Stores tended to be concentrated near the center of the village. At least three former stores are no longer extant.

The structures associated with industrial and craft activities of the late 18th and early 19th-centuries have vanished almost entirely. Those examples which have survived have been adapted to other uses. The Holmes Block, occupied by a coffin maker in the early 19th-century, later accommodated a variety of local business. A former goldsmith's shop has been added as an ell to the rear of 35 Main Street. It is likely that some of the residences along the western portion of Main Street may also have served as cabinetmaker's shops. Of several blacksmith shops on Main Street in the 19th-century, only one remains, on the eastern boundary of the district.

Industrial activity along the watercourse of the Shunock River was quite intense and has left a number of physical remains. Remnants of the upper dam are still in evidence, consisting of loosely laid stones. Below the dam, the banks of the Shunock have been carefully lined with stone. A "drain" or "canal" from the upper dam carried water to a grist mill and fulling mill on the east side of Wyassup Road. Little evidence of this "canal" remains, its site having been at least partially filled in. Heavy undergrowth also obscures the site. The stone bridge over which Wyassup Road crossed the canal was removed in 1981 by the town highway department. The grist mill and fulling mill supplied by the canal were later replaced by a woolen mill, which in turn was replaced by the Park Hotel about 1900.

Several other industrial sites were associated with the upper dam. A bark mill located on the canal provided tannin for nearby tan vats. A nail shop, also on the canal, apparently made use of waterpower to manufacture nails. North of the canal was a carding shop. Waterpower was also supplied to several cabinetmaker's shops along Main Street through a system of small "drains." The present Town Green, created in 1976, was the site of both blacksmith's and cobbler's shops. Nearby on Main Street were a cabinetmaker's shop and a hatter's shop. No physical evidence of these sites is still evident. It is probable that the structures associated with these sites were not of a substantial nature and did not have foundations likely to survive. This fact, and the passage of more than a century, may account for this lack of physical evidence.

The middle dam powered a sawmill on the north bank of the river and a triphammer works on the opposite bank. On the south bank of the millpond was another hatter's shop. Again, there is no physical evidence of these structures. Construction of a 20th-century garage and roadway along the south bank may have disturbed the sites of the hatter's shop and the triphammer works. On the west side of Main Street, just south of the pond, stood a blacksmith shop and a smoke house, neither of which used waterpower. This site is now covered by a town parking lot. Foundations on the south side of the parking lot may represent those of a dwelling which stood on the same lot. Downstream of the dam were located a dyehouse and turning shop, which the writer was not able to assess. On the north side of the ravine, a two-story mill building housed machinery for a cotton mill by 1815. Foundations probably associated with this building are evident on the steep slope of the ravine.

The lower dam, still extant, is intact and contains a large millpond. On the north edge of the pond, traces of a canal are visible. This canal carried water from the gristmill to another mill near the site of the present lower dam. The canal was evidently abandoned when the present dam was constructed about 1860. Associated with the dam were a number of late 19th- and early 20th-century industrial structures. The primary use of the site was for wood products: sawn lumber, spokes for cart and wagon wheels, shingles, lath, and large timbers for shipbuilding and railroad use. A photograph of about 1900 reveals the structures on the site and some of the products. A gristmill also operated on the site. A concrete containment structure for a water turbine survives, together with some of the gearing. Near the containment structure are found numerous surface artifacts: belting to drive machinery and discarded millstones. Uphill from the dam is a depression where a blacksmith shop stood, furnishing iron tires for the wooden wheels produced nearby. A complete iron tire rests on the surface here. Next to the road is the site of the Wheeler House, which was remodelled in the late 19th-century. This burned about 1955. The cellar hole and foundation are still visible. The dense underbrush which covers this entire area and most of the Shunock River watercourse prevented more detailed field investigation.

Evidence of the Norwich-Westerly trolley line, constructed in 1906 and abandoned in 1921, remains near the southern boundary of the district. The trolley right-of-way is still visible in some of the open lots. The tracks, although removed, were of the same gauge as the main railroad line between New York and Boston. A concrete bridge over the Assekonk Bridge is the most obvious reminder of trolley transportation in North Stonington.

Significance

North Stonington Village is a well-preserved example of an early 19th-century mill village once common in southern New England. Homes, churches, store buildings and numerous outbuildings survive, clustered along Main Street and a few subsidiary roads in a configuration typical of many early industrial communities. The village developed due to the availability of water power from the Shunock River, which flows through it. Although a grist mill may have been in operation near the present village by the late 17th-century, the full potential of the site was not exploited until after 1790. By the early 19th-century, the settlement was known as Milltown. Dams and a canal system, the remains of which are still visible, made full use of the waters of the Shunock River and its tributary, Assekonk Brook. Gristmills, a sawmill, fulling mill, triphammer works, cabinetmaker's shops, a tannery, cotton and woolen mills, blacksmith shops, and small handcraft shops flourished within the village General agriculture was also pursued within the village, which had a number of open fields attached to house lots. Several stores drew customers from outlying rural areas and nearby towns. Store owners supplied spun cotton to farmer's wives to weave into finished cloth. The resulting product was exported, the weavers receiving credit at the store. By the late 19th-century, the village economy had declined due to the competition of larger-scale, steam-powered factories elsewhere. Construction of a trolley route in 1906 brought a brief revival in the fortunes of the village and some attendant residential construction. Because of its few modern intrusions, North Stonington Village continues to reflect its 19th-century origins. The quality of design exhibited in the architecture of North Stonington Village is sophisticated, a result of the contacts many village residents had with New York and other urban centers. Materials and workmanship displayed in many of the village buildings are high in quality. Architectural styles represented in North Stonington Village include Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Downingesque, Italianate, Richardsonian Romanesque and Colonial Revival styles. The preponderance of small-scale, early 19th-century buildings lends the village cohesiveness. North Stonington Village may yield information of value concerning mill villages of the late 18th- and early 19th-centuries. The extant buildings and the presence of potential archaeological sites offers the possibility of scholarly research into the origins and development of the community. This is enhanced by the survival of account books and other documentation of the activities of village storekeepers and craftsmen.

Until 1807, North Stonington formed part of the Town of Stonington. The site of the present village of North Stonington was acquired by Samuel Richardson in 1682. In 1702, Richardson sold 30 acres, including what is now the center of the village, to Nathaniel Ayres. A gristmill was mentioned in the transaction. This was apparently located near or on the site of the gristmill and saw mill at the lower dam. Remaining in the Ayres family until 1740, the site was known as Ayres' Mills. After 1740, the mill and eastern portion of the village site passed through several owners until Nathan Avery purchased it in 1766.

The western portion of the present village was bought by Captain John Swan in 1756 and 1757, and later sold to Elias Hewitt. After Nathan Avery's death, his sons Luther and William operated the mills, which had apparently expanded in the course of the 18th-century. The location was known as Avery's Mills by the late 18th-century.

About 1790, lots began to be sold by the Averys and the two other major property owners. Between 1790 and 1840, the village developed to its present configuration. The stone-arched bridges over the Shunock River and the upper dam and canal system most likely date from this era. A variety of industrial sites were located alone the watercourse of the Shunock. Many of these used local products. Bark from trees supplied the necessary tannin for a tannery. Leather produced by the tannery was in turn used by local shoemakers. The triphammer works forced iron made at nearby Clark's Falls into stock for blacksmiths and a nail-making shop. Lumber from the sawmill was used for cabinetmaking, the most common early craft in North Stonington Village. Two hatter's shops may well have been supplied with felt and wool by the fulling mill. The gristmill made use of local corn and other grains. Much of the product of Milltown, as North Stonington Village was known during the 19th-century, was destined for local consumption. A cotton mill, established by 1815, and the woolen mill built about 1840, probably produced more for export from the local area.

Concurrent with the development of Hilltown as a manufacturing center, the village prospered as a mercantile center. The arrival of farmers with timber, hides, corn, and other products for the mills and craftsmen also stimulated a thriving retail trade. As many as six merchant stores operated within the village at one time. Customers were drawn from outlying farms in North Stonington and from nearby towns such as Stonington, Preston, and Westerly, Rhode Island. Store owners were often involved in the cottage weaving industry, an important source of income for farm families. Major Dudley R. Wheeler, a store owner active from 1815-1888, was a pioneer in the production of indigo blue ginghams. Raw cotton purchased by Wheeler was spun in Rhode Island. The cotton yarn was then dyed either in Rhode Island or locally. The dyed yarn was distributed by Wheeler to home weavers. Finished cloth was exchanged by the weavers for credit in the store. Wheeler would then ship the cloth to markets as distant as South America. By the 1840s, due to mechanization of the industry elsewhere, Wheeler had both the spinning and dying performed in North Stonington rather than Rhode Island. Wheeler invested his profits in New York banks, developing close ties with the New York business community. Other store owners practiced similar methods. Wheeler's store still remains, located near the center of the village. Other former stores include the Hollies Block and the Post Office.[1]

The cottage weaving industry of North Stonington collapsed prior to the Civil War due to the competition of cheap factory-woven cloth manufactured in both the United States and in England. Home weaving was replaced in the local economy by "slopwork." Pre-cut cloth from New York firms was sewn into various articles of clothing: overalls, pants, coats, shirts, and other items. This industry flourished from about 1850 to 1875.[2] The Civil War also created a demand for cheap cloth for the Union army. This cloth was produced in quantity by the woolen mill. Despite such activity North Stonington declined in population from 1830 to 1910, dropping from 2,840 residents to 1100.[3] The availability of richer farmland in the west, and the growth of large-scale, steam-powered manufacturing in areas with ready access to coal shipments contributed to this decline. The major industry of Milltown, the woolen factory, closed during the post Civil War era, probably during the 1880s.

Industrial activity continued, however, throughout the 19th-century. A sawmill and gristmill were located at the site of the lower dam on the Shunock River. Stephen Main purchased the site in 1856, and apparently constructed the present dam about 1850. Prior to this, a canal supplied the mill site with waterpower. In 1888, Burrows Ripley Park purchased the Stephen Main property. Park, a wheelwright and blacksmith by trade, produced sawn lumber, shingles, lath, ship and railroad timbers, and other wood products A spoke shop produced turned spokes for wagon wheels, which were made on the site and furnished with iron tires made in an adjacent blacksmith shop. The varied activity carried on at the site is evident in a photograph of about 1900. Park also installed a water turbine to power his mill operations. Remains of this machinery are still present. Park also built the large Colonial Revival hotel building on Wyassup Rood about 1900. His plans to generate electricity with waterpower were interrupted by his death.[4] By the 1920s, the mill site fell into disuse.

The completion of the Norwich-Westerly trolley line in 1906 assisted the local economy by providing transportation for local products. Built with the same gauge as the main rail line between New York and Boston, the trolley facilitated transfer of goods without delay. A small net increase in population in the 1920 census, and the construction of a number of homes in this period, is indicative of the moderate success of the trolley route. Although the line was abandoned in 1921, construction of a state highway shortly thereafter helped ensure adequate access.

In the late 19th and early 20th-century, North Stonington Village benefited considerably from the philanthropy of members of the Wheeler family, children of Major Dudley R. Wheeler. The Wheelers had prospered due to out-of-state investments in banking and iron furnaces. The Wheeler School and Library, was the gift of Miss Jennie Wheeler in memory of her brother Edgar H. Wheeler. The school occupied rented rooms from 1889 until 1901, when the present building was completed. Henry D. Wheeler donated his father's former store to the town of North Stonington in 1904. The building was converted to a Town Hall.

North Stonington Village retains its essentially 19th-century character. The absence of major development within the village has contributed to its survival. Most of the non-industrial structures within the boundaries have remained in good condition. Two dams and significant portions of the canal system which provided waterpower to the mills remain. There are also abundant surface indications of archaeological potential near the lower dam. Founded on varied small-scale manufacturing and merchandising, North Stonington Village continues to reflect those origins.

North Stonington Village Historic District contains architecture of a surprisingly high quality. The earliest extant homes are straightforward examples of the Georgian and Federal styles, such as the William Sisson House of 1776 and the 1781 Luther Avery House. Simple five-bay facades with a central doorway are characteristic of these buildings. Ornamentation is found only around the entrances. The Noah Grant, Jr. House is an exception, with 2-story pilasters on the facade and a broken pediment over the door. Built in 1790, the Grant house also features a second floor window with sidelights, and unusual wooden corbelling. The Grant house displays some strong affinities with the Third Baptist Church, a Greek Revival building with marked Federal influence built in 1833. Here again the facade is divided by 2-story pilasters. Entrances are placed on either side of the central bay, however. The gable end faces the street and contains a pediment with a circular window. This contrasts vividly with the Greek Revival North Stonington Congregational Church, where a monumental portico is supported by Ionic columns. The Congregational Church also features a spire of good proportions. Several store buildings of the early 19th-century are vernacular structures which are transitional between the Federal and Greek Revival styles: the Post Office, the Holmes Block, and the Wheeler store. All buildings have the gable end facing the street. The Wheeler store has a Federal style doorway in the center of the facade and is otherwise devoid of ornament. The Holmes Block and the Post Office have pediments with triangular windows. While the Holmes Block has corner pilasters, the Post Office does not, having instead modillions under the eaves. Several houses within the village exemplify the more modest Greek Revival domestic architecture of the period. The William M. Wheeler House of 1838 is typical of these: the entrance has a panelled door with sidelights and transom, the door surround consisting of an entablature supported by pilasters. Corner pilasters support the pediment, which has a smooth finish. An elliptical fanlight graces the pediment. An interesting late example of the Greek revival is the former schoolhouse at 9 Wyassup Road, with a low pitch cable roof and circular attic window in the pediment, built about 1870.

Several of the buildings dating from the mid- and late 19th-century exhibit a concern for appearance. Frequent commercial contact with New York and other urban centers may account for this. Store and mill owners often visited New York on business trips. Some, like Burrows Ripley Park and Stephen Main, lived and worked in New York prior to returning to North Stonington. Rather than an isolated rural community, North Stonington Village enjoyed numerous connections with the outside world. This is reflected in the sophisticated detail of several buildings. The Downingesque house at 13 Rocky Hollow Road, built during the 1850s, exemplifies Carpenter Gothic principles. Of board-and-batten construction, the house is symmetrically designed with a central entrance and two gables piercing the roof line. Windows are paired, with molded labels above each pair. The second floor windows are round-arched. An enclosed entry has a steeply pitched gable roof. The pediment of this porch is supported by pilasters flanking the door. Several other houses in the village are similar in design, although none explicates Downing's principles as well. These may have been vernacular imitations of the house at 13 Rocky Hollow Load. Another building of high quality is the Stephen Downey House at 32 Main Street, built in 1860 in the Italianate style. It has elaborate scrollwork pendants and finials at each gable peak. The cornice has dentils and scroll modillions. Windows are paired, the first floor windows having hoods supported by brackets. Paired attic windows are round-arched. A one-story porch has scrollwork with pendants of unusual design, perhaps the invention of a local carpenter. Other houses in the village in the Italianate style are not as elaborate, but are still of architectural merit.

The Wheeler School and Library, built from 1900-01, is an excellent example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The use of blue-pray granite in the construction of the building, with pink granite window surrounds and belt courses, is similar to the use of differing materials in other Richardsonian Romanesque buildings. Local materials have been used with great advantage to the appearance of the building. The entry with polished red granite columns is unusual, providing a striking contrast with the rough exterior of the building and breaking the Richardsonian tradition of an arched entry. The Park Hotel, also built about 1900 is an early example of the Colonial Revival within the village. The large scale of the building, its distinctive gambrel roof, and roof dormers are characteristic of the Colonial Revival. Unfortunately, the first floor windows and entrance have been altered recently, and vinyl siding added on the facade.

The North Stonington Village Historic District is a cohesive and unified entity. The relatively small scale of the buildings, ranging from 1-1/2-2-1/2 stories in height, and the presence of buildings of primarily 19th-century date, contribute to this cohesiveness. The white color of many of the buildings is an additional unifying factor. The North Stonington elementary school, the only major intrusion in the village area, has been excluded from the district boundaries. These boundaries include all extant 19th-century buildings and several lots once used for agricultural purposes. Also included are the industrial sites along the Shunock River, which may have archaeological potential.

North Stonington Village also represents an historic resource which may yield information of value regarding early industrial communities. Residences, outbuildings, and former stores, together with two houses of worship, remain in the village. Industrial sites along the Shunock River offer the potential of archaeological investigation. The approximate location of most of these sites is known. Later sites of the late 19th- and early 20th-century are still evident due to surface indications. The engineering structures designed to use the available waterflow to maximum advantage are also of importance: the upper and the lower dam, and the canal system which carried water to the mill sites.

The research potential of North Stonington Village is enhanced by the existence of substantial documentation of the activities of store owners and craftsmen. Account books and ledgers exist for several North Stonington merchants, including J.H. Browning, Dudley R. Wheeler, and Ephriam and Russell Wheeler.[5] Account books also survive for many of the craftsmen of the village: the Oliver Sisson account books, with information on cabinetmaking, are at the Winterthur Museum, the accounts of William Slocum, blacksmith active from 1815-1840, are in private hands. Also in private hands are the accounts of Cyrus Williams, a mill owner and tavern keeper. The diary of an 18th-century North Stonington resident, Captain John Swan, one of the major property owners, is at the Connecticut State Library. Many other account books and other documents remain in private hands in the community. With the extant physical evidence of the village, these represent an invaluable resource for the study of an early mill village.[6]

Footnotes

  1. Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County, Connecticut. Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co.. 1905, page 418.
  2. Tryon; Mrs. George W. "Westerly's Neighbor," Westerly Sun, May 28, 1928:

    "The women added to the family income by doing "Slop work" that is, making men's clothes, overalls, pants, coats, shirts, etc. for the market. Many a piece of furniture of which the "old families" are justly proud to-day was purchased with the Slopwork money earned by these busy women. This industry flourished from about 1850 to 1875. New York firms shipped huge boxes of cut material to the local store proprietors, who gave it out and collected the garments when made, and, if possible, paid for the work in goods from the stores."

  3. North Stonington Population:

    1810, 2524; 1820, 2624; 1830, 2840; 1840, 2269; 1850, 1936; 1860, 1913; 1870, 1759; 1880, 1769; 1890, 1463; 1900, 1240; 1910, 1100; 1920, 1144.

    From Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of New London County, Connecticut. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1882, page 135. Also, Registered and Manual of the State of Connecticut, Hartford: Secretary of the State, 1921, pages 644-5.

  4. Interview with Atwood Anderson, grandson of B.R. Park, August 23, 1981.
  5. Goody, Susan, "General Storekeeping and Cottage Weaving," manuscript prepared in 1975 as a research intern with the Education Department of Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut 06355. See page 40 for a bibliography of account books of stores.
  6. Blodgett, Richard E., Jr. of Main Street, North Stonington, Ct., manuscript bibliography of extant North Stonington account books.
References

Anderson, Atwood, Interview, August 23, 1981.

Blodgett, Richard E., Jr. "Bibliography of North Stonington Account Books, Etc.," manuscript in possession of author, Main St., North Stonington.

Blodgett, Richard E., Jr. "Map of Milltown, 1790-1840," manuscript map in possession of author.

Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of New London County, Connecticut. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1882.

North Stonington: A Panoramic View; Old Houses and Village Buildings. Democratic Women's Club of North Stonington, 1976.

Register and Manual of the State Connecticut. Hartford: Secretary of State, 1921.

Tryon, Mrs. George W., "Westerly's Neighbor," Westerly Sun, May 28, 1928.

† Dale S. Plummer and John Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, North Stonington Village Historic District, North Stonington, CT, nomination document, 1981, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

North Stonington Village Historic District Map

Street Names
Babcock Road • Caswell Lane • Main Street • Old Stonington Road • Rocky Hollow Road • Wyassup Road

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
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