New London County Historical Society, Inc.

11 Blinman Street, New London, CT 06320

Phone: 860-443-1209

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2502, 2010

90 Years for the 19th Amendment ~ Women’s Right to Vote

By |February 25th, 2010|Events Blog|Comments Off on 90 Years for the 19th Amendment ~ Women’s Right to Vote

The March Second Sunday program celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the League of Women Voters. Connecticut LWV President, Jara Burnett, will share the story of the effort to pass the 19th Amendment, approved in 1920, and the story of  the organization that pushed for that change: the National American Womens Suffrage Association, which became the League of Women Voters in 1920.

In its 90 years the non-partisan league has campaigned for increased understanding of public policy issues, efforts to achieve an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive to the people, and has hosted local and national candidates debates.

The program will take place at the Shaw Mansion beginning at 2pm on Sunday 14 March. The program is free for members of the New London County Historical Society and for members of the League of Women Voters, $5 for others. Refreshments will be served following the program.

The Shaw Mansion has been the headquarters for the New London County Historical Society since 1907, and is located at 11 Blinman Street, close to the intersection of Bank and Tilley Streets in New London.

2901, 2010

February Second Sunday ~ VNA’s 100 Years!

By |January 29th, 2010|Events Blog|0 Comments

A History of Social Service in New London County
February’s Second Sunday, on the 14th, will feature Mary Lenzini, Executive Director of the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut. The VNA is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and this will be an opportunity to look back at how far we have come in providing skilled nursing assistance in our region. Of course there have been vast changes in the nursing profession over those 100 years as well as amazing changes in medical practice.

As early as 1909 the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut was at work. Black bag in hand, equipped with enema bags, dressing supplies, thermometers and little else, these pioneers visited their patients on foot, by horseback, or by bicycle.

Charged mostly with caring for the poor, new mothers and children, psychiatric and homebound tuberculosis patients, their nursing duties were combined with a large dose of social work.

This Second Sunday program will take place at 2 pm at the offices of the VNA of Southeastern Connecticut, 403 North Frontage Road, just inside the Waterford border next to Springhill Suites and the New London Mall.

2408, 2009

Last Home Game 30 August

By |August 24th, 2009|Events Blog|Comments Off on Last Home Game 30 August

Sunday 30 August at Fort Trumbull
The Thames Base Ball club will host the Hartford Dark Blues for their last home game of the season on Sunday 30 August. The last two weekends saw a split match with the Bristol Blues in Bristol Rhode Island, and another split match (one win, one loss) with the Columbia Nine at Fort Trumbull.

Thames Base Ball Club 2009 Schedule
Sat 25 April v Bristol in NL
Sat 2 May v Newtown in NL
Sun 31 May v Waterbury in NL
Sun 7 June v Hartford away
Sat 13 June v Bridgeport in NL
Sat 20 June v Columbia away
Sun 12 July v Waterbury away
Sat 18 Jul v Newtown away
Sat 15 Aug v Bristol away
Sat 22 Aug v Columbia in NL
Sun 30 Aug v Hartford in NL
Sun 13 Sept v Bridgeport away

308, 2009

Introduction – New London’s State Street

By |August 3rd, 2009|State Street Exhibit|Comments Off on Introduction – New London’s State Street















Commerce and Culture: Architecture and Society on New London’s State Street  was an exhibit on display at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum from October 2005 to April 2006. Mounted by guest curator, Abigail Van Slyck, Dayton Associate Professor of Architectural History at Connecticut College, she put the students of her architectural history senior seminar to work scouting out the best images from all the local repositories to tell the story of the cultural and social history of New London’s downtown core.  The exhibit used photographs, maps, and objects to show the evolution of New London and its people through the changes that took place on this one street – from the period of the founding, through the growth of wealth of a busy port and regional commercial center, and including the difficult attempts to revitalize the downtown after it was commercially deserted for suburban malls.

The exhibit garnered an award of merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the Wilbur Cross Award from the Connecticut Humanities Council, and a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History.

While this attempt to translate that formal exhibit to the internet loses some of the impact of mural size photographs, we hope that as you […]

307, 2009

27 September – Tea and Tales with the Perkins

By |July 3rd, 2009|Events Blog|Comments Off on 27 September – Tea and Tales with the Perkins

~Tea and Tales at the Shaw Mansion~

A Living History Performance

The year is 1876…our Nation is 100 years old!

And you are invited to tea at the home of one of the most influential and respected families in the history of New London!

Come and meet Mrs. Perkins, the matriarch of the Perkins family and her daughter, Miss Perkins. As you enjoy tea and refreshments, they will share inspiring stories of their family with you and much more.

From family to fashion, from politics to patriotism, you’ll see in many ways how much times have changed…and how much they’ve stayed the same!

Experience the history of New London like never before!

Performance Dates:

August 9th & 23rd

September 6th & 27th

Limit: 20 seats per performance

$15 per person

For tickets call:

(860) 443-1209

Special Tea for Girls and their American Girl Dolls ~ Tuesday 11 August at 2:00 pm

$25 for a girl and her mother (or father) $10 each for additional girls (free admission for dolls)

306, 2009

Nathaniel Shaw 13-Star Flag – National Treasure

By |June 3rd, 2009|The Shaw 13-Star Flag|Comments Off on Nathaniel Shaw 13-Star Flag – National Treasure

Sometimes it just takes new eyes to help you “discover” treasure.  We’ve written in the past about the 13-star flag in our collection that was restored, reframed and hung for the exhibit that marked the 225th anniversary of the Burning of New London.  Late in the summer 2007, a new member, Gary Gianotti, visited the Shaw Mansion to do some research on Norwalk privateers.  Seeing the flag and hearing of its history he was very impressed because he was aware of just how rare that flag might be.  In the following weeks he contacted national-level flag experts and became even more excited.

When the historical society purchased the Shaw Mansion to be its headquarters in 1907, the 13-star flag was discovered in the attic of the house.  Jane Perkins, who sold the house to us, was the great-great granddaughter of the original builder, Capt. Nathaniel Shaw.  Miss Perkins told Mrs. Dudley Bramble, Regent of the Lucretia Shaw Chapter of the DAR, that the flag belonged to the Naval Agent, Nathaniel Shaw (Jane’s great-great uncle), and Mrs. Bramble documented the conversation.

The flag was on exhibit for a long time on the landing to the second floor, framed and sandwiched between two panes […]

306, 2009

Baseball Fever 1866

By |June 3rd, 2009|Baseball Fever 1865|Comments Off on Baseball Fever 1866

Some discussion regarding the growth of baseball in the post Civil War period inspired some delving into New London County newspapers to see what was happening locally.  The evidence is clear that New London County caught base ball fever in 1866.

Reading through the New-London Daily Star issues for the summer and fall of 1865 only one small reference could be found.  The editor, Mr. Ruddock, had reported on a number of sail boat races and regattas, and on the 16th of June, reported considerable “interest in the college regatta which is to take place at Worcester” between Yale and Harvard.  In addition to the boat races on Friday afternoon, the glee clubs of both colleges would give a joint concert and, “Friday morning the Harvard nine will play the Yale nine at base ball.”

Moving ahead to early 1866, the Mystic Pioneer, reports on June 2, an account of a match in Worcester, “from a correspondent:” “Mr. Editor: – As the young men of Mystic are much interested in the game of base ball, I send you the particulars of the match game between the Nicean nine of Amherst College and the University nine of Brown University which was played this […]

306, 2009

Captains Walk

By |June 3rd, 2009|State Street Exhibit|Comments Off on Captains Walk

Installed in 1973, Captain’s Walk was a bold attempt to revitalize State Street as shoppers began to abandon downtown stores in favor of automobile-oriented malls.  From Washington Street to Main Street (renamed Eugene O’Neill Drive), this pedestrian mall was fitted out with planters, benches, kiosks, and awnings all carefully designed to enhance the shopper’s experience.

Within a few years, however, there were serious concerns about the mall’s efficacy.  A 1977 poll found most city residents in favor of reopening the street to automobile traffic—something that eventually happened in 1990.  Although many of its traces are still visible today—especially in street paving—Captain’s Walk is often blamed for having “killed” State Street.

If Captain’s Walk looms large in State Street’s history, it was not the first attempt to manage the impact of vehicles on the urban environment.  From the 1920s on, city officials implemented a wide range of technologies to control the presence of automobiles on State Street.

306, 2009

20th Century

By |June 3rd, 2009|State Street Exhibit|Comments Off on 20th Century

Long residential in character, the upper end of State Street was transformed into a green and leafy bower in the second half of the 19th century.  While lower State Street accommodated the commercial activities and avenues of vice that Victorians associated with the masculine realm of the city, upper State Street was devoted to respectable pursuits that complemented the female sphere.  Religion (in the form of the First Congregational and First Baptist churches), culture (in the form of the Public Library of New London and the Lyric Hall) and genteel recreation (housed in the private Thames Club, the YMCA, and the YWCA) were all well represented on upper State Street.

In the early 20th century, this character began to change, as commercial blocks continued to march steadily up the hill.  While structures like the Plant (now Dewart) Building housed professional offices, they nonetheless brought a distinctly urban character to upper State Street, a process that reached its peak in 1926 when the Williams house was demolished to make way for the Garde Theater.

306, 2009

Upper State Street

By |June 3rd, 2009|State Street Exhibit|Comments Off on Upper State Street

The New London County Historical Society has collections in several areas of interest to those wishing to learn more about the county in earlier days. The largest collection is of photographs, both of people connected with the county and of various scenes in it.

Information on this area of our collection will be updated soon.

A Sample of Pictures of Upper State Street