Manual A Walking Tour of North Stonington, Connecticut (Look Up, America!)

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TLGV is a nonprofit charitable organization established in They are advocates for the fragile and irreplaceable resources of The Last Green Valley. Founded as a grassroots organization, and built upon a proven track record of success and partnerships, TLGV is ensuring a natural and cultural legacy for generations to come. During the past 25 years, the Last Green Valley has been sponsoring walks which began as Walking Weekends in October and which have morphed from one weekend of guided walking tours to a month long event called Walktober.

Video QuickTour: Stonington, CT

Walktober honor has been bestowed upon only a small number of walk leaders over the past few years, and this year we introduce a dynamic duo from Norwich as they join this extraordinary club! All Norwich Walktober experiences are gathered and strategically scheduled to offer attendees memory-making visits. The flames and smoke from this hill alerted Randall and his men to react and move quickly to Stonington Point to repulse the attempted raiding party that intended to put Stonington Borough to the torch.

The s and s saw continued growth of Milltown as a commercial center, to include the building of two fulling mills to process the town's prodigious wool production, as well as a tannery , an iron works, cabinetmaking shops, and multiple grain mills and stores to serve the large factory workforce. The town's overall population rose from 2, shortly after incorporation to over 2, by the s, and commercial activity during this period was facilitated by the opening in of the New London-Providence Turnpike, which today is known as Route It was also during this period that the Wheeler family accumulated much of its mercantile wealth through its stores and trading connections.

Dudley Wheeler — was the most prominent member of the family at this time; in addition to owning two stores in town, he also was extensively involved in the wool export business and during mid-century worked out of an import-export office in New York City. Over the next century, the Wheelers left their mark on the town through a number of legacies including providing large donations to the Congregational Church and the school system. Wheeler's son Dwight donated one of the family's stores to become the town hall in today this building is the Old Town Hall.

Unfortunately, the impressive Wheeler home located across the street from the town hall was destroyed by fire in and never rebuilt; today the location is occupied by a parking lot. Another leading businessman during this period was Stephen A. Main —86 who like Dudley Wheeler established himself as a local businessman and mill owner before moving to New York City to work in various commercial enterprises. The commercial boom in the town was by no means limited to just a few families, and permitted the construction of many ornate homes in Milltown and elsewhere, many of which have survived to this day.

Almost as soon as the town established itself as a commercial center larger, even, than Westerly , however, it was quickly bypassed by the effects of the Industrial Revolution , which favored larger towns astride similarly larger rivers to erect huge mills. North Stonington's population plummeted from the late s as people left to work in Westerly and Norwich.

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By the town's population had dropped to 2,, and by it was down to 1, Adding to North Stonington's decline in population was that an increasing number of the town's youth were joining the wave of migrants heading west to try their fortunes on the frontier. Adventuresome townspeople had been attempting this before the Revolution—an early attempt to settle the then-wild Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania in the s ended in disaster—but in the s small groups began leaving to help settle new towns in upstate New York and, later, Ohio.

Out-migration through the late 19th and early 20th centuries ensured that the town's population would remain on a gradual, downward slope, despite the fact that the families still tended to be large. While men from North Stonington joined several Connecticut regiments during the Civil War , the best-known of these was the 21st Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers because its "G" company consisted completely of North Stonington residents.

The 21st, arriving in Virginia , saw its first major combat in late during the Battle of Fredericksburg , endured heavy casualties at Drewry's Bluff in , and participated in Grant's drive on Richmond in mid- to late Attrition was so high among officers in the regiment that North Stonington resident James F.

Brown, who entered the war as commander of "G" company, ended the war as a lieutenant colonel and commander of the regiment. Hubbel, who enlisted in the regiment from North Stonington, earned the Medal of Honor for capturing a large number of Confederate soldiers while leading a small raiding party in The Civil War created a large market for woolen products for the Army, leading to a temporary resurgence in mill activity in North Stonington. The factory existed only until , but the change in the community's name to Clark's Falls was permanent.

The foundation of the old factory remains, a short distance southwest of the center of Clarks Falls, which is at the intersection of Route and Clark's Falls Road.

Norwich Historical Society - Connecticut - Walktober

A few other mills in Milltown North Stonington village and Laurel Glen survived until the early part of the 20th century. After the Civil War, the population of North Stonington—like most of rural New England—continued to dwindle, so that by , after just over a century since its incorporation, the number of residents stood at only 1,, less than two-fifths than at the town's height during the mill era.

The town's youth continued to migrate to the big cities to earn their fortunes, or to join the wave of pioneers flocking west to settle the frontier. As people left the town, land prices steadily deflated, enabling some farmers with means to buy up large tracts throughout North Stonington and adjoining towns. One such land baron and renowned town character, Lafayette Main, amassed such large holdings through the western end of town as well in adjoining towns that when asked how many acres he owned, would reply, "I really don't know.

I have never been over half of it. Some of the people who left North Stonington during this era went on to become leading citizens elsewhere in New England. Otis Randall, born in and a scion of one of the town's founding families, become a professor of mathematics at Brown University and was that institution's dean during Finally, Ellen Fitz Pendleton was the sixth president of Wellesley College , presiding at that institution during The Wheeler School and Library, with a building erected in , offered free secondary education to town youngsters and also took in outside boarders.

The library was on the second floor. In , North Stonington replaced the 15 one-room schools with a consolidated school for the primary grades.

Things to Do in North Stonington, CT - North Stonington Attractions

Secondary students attended Stonington High for a time, then in a new Wheeler High School opened. In succeeding years a junior high and elementary school were built nearby.


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Today the original building still serves the town as its library. In the early 20th century progress arrived to re-stitch the town economically with the outer world, first in in the form of a trolley line that traversed North Stonington on its way from Westerly to Norwich.

The trolley line ran for 15 years, until bankrupted by the opening of the Route 2 highway for automobiles on the old Westerly-Norwich stage road. Its extra heavy underlayers of gravel has never required repair. For a generation this highway was the primary automobile route to Providence and Boston along the southern coast of New England. The establishment of paved highways through the town in the s and s laid the foundation for the rapid population growth and dramatic economic changes wrought after World War II in North Stonington and elsewhere in New London County.

During the s and s, North Stonington became a bedroom community for the postwar defense industry and military community of southeastern Connecticut, including such companies as Electric Boat , Pfizer , and Underwater Sound Laboratory. The town became readily accessible to anywhere in late , when Interstate 95 was built and two exits were opened in North Stonington. Starting in the s, a number of "tech parks" opened in North Stonington's southeastern corner, adjacent to I The dramatic growth in the town's population had a direct impact on the size of the school system; whereas in the late s the average graduating class ran in the teens, by it had more than doubled to 42, and was 51 in School population since then has mirrored that of the town's gradual increase, and the graduating class of was 65, although Wheeler remains one of the smallest high schools in Connecticut.

The town's rapid residential growth led to the development in of planning and zoning restrictions and guidelines as citizens became increasingly anxious about the potential for overdevelopment destroying the rural nature of the town. Population growth in the past thirty years has continued, but at nowhere near the break-neck pace of the s and s; today, the main challenge to preserving North Stonington's historically rural character comes less from housing subdivisions and more from big commercial development ideas.

The town, because of its access to I, rural charm, and after its proximity to the Mashantucket casino in the adjacent town of Ledyard , has attracted numerous would-be developers who have advanced as-yet unsuccessful entertainment park schemes for the town. North Stonington residents and visitors cherish the town for its beauty and historic value. In the village was added to the National Register of Historic Places , based on 58 existing homes and other buildings from the late 18th and early 19th centuries within its environs.

Two houses located elsewhere in the town, for their age and historic value, are also on the register: Showing results in neighboring cities. History Museums , Specialty Museums. Tanger Outlets Foxwoods Mashantucket 3. Grand Theater at Foxwoods Mashantucket 3. Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket 3. Stonington Vineyards Stonington, CT 2. Morgan Mystic, CT 5. Rainmaker Statue Mashantucket 3. G Spa Mashantucket 3.


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