New London County Historical Society, Inc.

11 Blinman Street, New London, CT 06320

Phone: 860-443-1209

Upcoming Events

2004, 2010

Ribbon-cutting for Accessible Bathroom

By |April 20th, 2010|Events Blog|Comments Off on Ribbon-cutting for Accessible Bathroom

Friday 30 April, the New London County Historical Society will celebrate the completion of a $60,000 construction project to add an accessible bathroom and classroom to the 1845 wing of the Shaw Mansion. A reception will be held from 4:30pm to 6pm with the ribbon-cutting slated for 5:15.

The project was supported by grants from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, The Frank Loomis Palmer Fund administered by the Bank of America, and through a matching grant from the State of Connecticut’s Community Investment Act, Historic Preservation Funds, administered through the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Consulting architect for the project was Rick Gipstein of Lindsay Liebig Roche Architects of New London, and the contractor was LaBossiere Builders of Norwich. Short-term funding assistance was obtained through the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer).

The project has transformed what was once the 19th century servant’s hall and  kitchen, and a small lavatory stuffed into a closet in the 1970s, into a large classroom and commodious bathroom which meets ADA guidelines. The entire first floor of the historic house is now accessible to visitors, with the bathroom accessible from both the inside and outside of the building. This will […]

1004, 2010

This Treasure Matters

By |April 10th, 2010|Events Blog|Comments Off on This Treasure Matters

“Pride and Prejudice” cast members at the Shaw Mansion participated in a campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Faced with budget cuts eliminating Preserve America grant program, the National Trust has asked historic sites from around the country to send in their photos with the message that THIS TREASURE MATTERS. Between shows on Saturday, the cast were only too happy to pose for the photos that were submitted to the National Trust. See the photo slide show at http://www.preservationnation.org/take-action/this-place-matters/TPM-slideshow.html Mr. Darcy, portrayed by Daniel Dykes, and Jane Bennett, portrayed by Julie Rattey, share the message for the New London County Historical Society.

204, 2010

State Historian Walter Woodward to Speak at April Second Sunday

By |April 2nd, 2010|Events Blog|Comments Off on State Historian Walter Woodward to Speak at April Second Sunday

“New England’s Other Witch Hunt:  The Hartford Witch Hunt of the 1660s and the Changing Patterns of Prosecution.”

Walter Woodward, Connecticut’s State Historian, will be making a presentation based on his just published book, Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676. The presentation will take place on the Connecticut College Campus in Blaustein 210, on 11 April at 2pm, in a program co-sponsored by the Connecticut College history department and the New London County Historical Society.

The book is full of provocative insights. While some are familiar with alchemy, the common knowledge is usually limited to the idea that alchemy was a magical quest to turn lead into gold. Woodward leads us to understand how alchemy was much more than that, “an important contributing factor in the development of modern chemistry and experimental science.” In this work Woodward shows how Winthrop’s alchemical knowledge, and connections emanating from his participation in the Royal Society, empowered him locally, as a favored Connecticut governor, and at the Royal Court in England.

Combining religion, metallurgy, healing, an entrepreneurial spirit and political will, Woodward is able to enlighten the reader with how those elements intertwine. Winthrop’s efforts to found a NEW London […]

2903, 2010

Nationally Recognized Painting Experts Survey NLCHS Collection

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

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a “We the People” grant to the New London County Historical Society to fund the creation of a preservation plan for the 55 oil paintings in its collection. Nationally recognized painting experts, Lance Mayer and Gay Myers, independent conservators associated with the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, are conducting an intensive survey of the collection in order to create the plan.

James Leach, Chairman of the NEH writes, “The goal of the ‘We the People’ initiative is to support projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history.” The society’s collection has a number of outstanding components with six Ralph Earl portraits commissioned for the Shaw family in 1792, and a large number of ships’ portraits and ships’ captains’ portraits associated with New London’s whaling years. In the Thomas Shaw portrait, Earl included a view in the background of Fort Trumbull with a large American flag flying over it. This alone makes this painting an important document of our nation as there are fewer than 100 images of the American flag that have been identified as being created prior to 1800.

Meyer and Myers clients have ranged from the Guggenheim Museum to the Art […]

2503, 2010

CT Commission on Culture and Tourism Features Shaw Mansion

By |March 25th, 2010|Events Blog|0 Comments

“From Stone House to Glass House,” an exhibit on the historic preservation movement in Connecticut, opens 1 April in the CCT Gallery, in the offices of the state’s Commission on Culture and Tourism. The Shaw Mansion and its preservation by the New London County Historical Society is featured as one of the earliest examples of historic house preservation in the state.

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.

1712, 2009

NLCHS Awarded NEH Grant

By |December 17th, 2009|Events Blog|Comments Off on NLCHS Awarded NEH Grant

NEW LONDON: The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a “We the People” grant to the New London County Historical Society to fund the creation of a preservation plan for the 55 oil paintings in its collection. Nationally recognized painting experts, Lance Mayer and Gay Myers, independent conservators associated with the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, will conduct an intensive survey of the collection in order to create the plan. Having a plan in place will make it possible to seek additional funding for the conservation and treatment of specific paintings in a future funding cycle.
 
James Leach, Chairman of the NEH writes, “The goal of the ‘We the People’ initiative is to support projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history.” The society’s collection has a number of outstanding components with six Ralph Earl portraits commissioned for the Shaw family in 1792, and a large number of ships’ portraits and ships’ captains’ portraits associated with New London’s whaling years. In the Thomas Shaw portrait, Earl included a view in the background of Fort Trumbull with a large American flag flying over it. This alone makes this painting an important document of our nation as there are fewer […]

2110, 2009

Murder at Darling Hill ~ November 2nd Sunday

By |October 21st, 2009|Events Blog|0 Comments

Was Justice Served? You decide.
Sunday 8 November, please join us at 2pm at the Stoneridge Retirement Community auditorium in Mystic for a special Second Sunday program.

Judith duPont has written an historical account that reads like murder-mystery fiction. But the facts are these: in the evening hours of 19 April, 1874, 17 year-old Irvin Langworthy was murdered in his home on Darling Hill in Stonington (near where present Route 1 ascends what is now know as Lord’s Hill). An attempt was also made to kill his older brother Courtland who was found in his bed in a pool of blood. Suspicion almost immediately fell upon hired farm-hand Bill Libby, but there were some who suspected the Langworthy family.

The brutal murder led to sensational newspaper coverage in the New London Evening Telegram, the Mystic Press and the New York Times. The case was tried in New London County Courthouse and Libby was given a life sentence. But was he guilty? Join us as we look more deeply into this case and we learn more about the community as we see how they reacted to the ongoing saga.

Please read Murder at Darling Hill before duPont’s presentation. She will review the evidence, newspaper accounts, and trial transcripts, but she […]

610, 2009

October 2nd Sunday ~ Whaling Office Debut

By |October 6th, 2009|Events Blog|Comments Off on October 2nd Sunday ~ Whaling Office Debut

Sunday 11 October ~ Second Sunday Program
Come to the Shaw Mansion on Sunday 11 October for the unveiling of the new Whaling Office exhibit on the second floor. Furniture from the Williams & Haven Company office and the Perkins & Smith firm, combined with ships portraits, signal flags, scrimshaw, shells and curios from distant lands and seas, give life to a recreated office from New London’s history as the second largest whaling port in the world.

Ships traveled to all of the seven seas in search of whales and elephant seals. Managing the distant vessels was the work of whaling agents and firms such as Benjamin Brown, Stoddard & Learned, Williams & Barns, Frink Chew & Co., and Lyman Allyn, as well as the Perkins & Smith and Williams & Haven firms. Working from their wharf-side offices along Bank Street they outfitted the vessels, purchased supplies, sold the oil and paid the crews and the owners their share of the profits. These are the men who started the banks and the ships’ biscuit companies. Their wives and daughters are the ones who started the reformed-minded Seamen’s Friend Society, the children’s aid society and the hospital.

One of the Perkins & Smith firm’s ships, the GEORGE HENRY, returned from a cruise to Davis Straits north of […]