The Legacy of Steamboats on the Thames ~ 2013 Cruise

Plan now to Join us for the 2013 Cruise on the Thames River, sponsored by Cross Sound Ferry

Saturday 19 October, 2013

Boarding at Cross Sound Ferry Landing begins at 12:30 pm ~ Departing 1 pm ~ Returning to the wharf at 4 pm

Cruise on the Cross Sound Ferry SEAJET (or JESSICA W) from New London to Norwich and back with the New London County Historical Society

Tickets can now be purchased for our Fall Foliage cruise of the Thames River. Members: $45.00, Non-members $55.00.

Purchase tickets on the web at our Constant Contact event listing. Or call the Shaw Mansion (401.443.1209) during the day with your credit card information or send a check to us at 11 Blinman Street, New London, CT 06320.

Join us for an extraordinary afternoon of fall colors, wine, and hors d’oeuvres while revisiting the legacy of steamboats on the Thames River. A free wine-tasting will be offered by Gordon’s Yellow Front Wine and Spirits aboard the vessel during the cruise with special offers of case pricing available only for orders taken that day.

Bill Peterson, Senior Curator Emeritus from Mystic Seaport and author of Mystic Built, will share his knowledge of the history of steamboat travel to Norwich. From a summer steamer who carried day-trippers to Watch Hill to a full Long Island Sound steamer commuting to New York, they all traveled the Thames River to Norwich. Steamboat music will resound through the vessel.

Also aboard will be a number of “people from the past” portraying the late 19th century. Hors d’oeuvres, both sweet and savory will be available at several stations on the boat.

Tickets may be purchased with a credit card by calling the Shaw Mansion 860.443.1209; or send a check with your order. Groups pricing is available for groups of ten or more ~ call to get additional information.

Or visit this website link.

THE ROCKETS’ RED GLARE — Wins National Award

NASHVILLE, TN—June 2013—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that a collaboration of the New London County Historical Society, Mystic Seaport, the Stonington Historical Society, the New London Maritime Society, and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for The Rockets’ Red Glare—Connecticut and the War of 1812. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The Rockets’ Red Glare featured a “three-fold” approach to sharing the impact of the War of 1812 on the state, including an exhibition at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, a companion book published by the New London County Historical Society, and a website. While the exhibition closed in January 2013, the book is still available for sale from each of the partners in the project, and the website is available at “warof1812ct.org”. The exhibition showcased historical objects from each of the partners’ collections. The 12’ x 18’ American flag that flew over Stonington during the attack by the British navy in 1814, a treasured artifact in the Stonington Historical Society collection, was a highlight of the exhibition.

Fred Calabretta, of Mystic Seaport, was the guest curator for the exhibition, and Glenn Gordinier, also of Mystic Seaport, was the primary author of the book. The exhibit design was the work of Jeff Crewe of Mystic, and the book designer was Trish LaPointe of Old Mystic. The website was primarily the work of Andrew German of Mystic and Joel Bergeron of  Old Mystic. Edward Baker, of the New London County Historical Society, was the project director.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer eighty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.  The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history.  From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.

Wine and History ~ Cruise the Thames with the NLCHS

Saturday 20 October, 2012

Boarding at Cross Sound Ferry Landing begins at 12:30 pm ~ Departing 1 pm ~ Returning to the wharf at 4 pm

Cruise on the Cross Sound Ferry SEAJET from New London to Norwich and back with the New London County Historical Society

Tickets can now be purchased online for our Fall Foliage cruise of the Thames River. Members: $40.00, Non-members $50.00.

Join us for an extraordinary afternoon of fall colors, wine, and hors d’oeuvres while learning the history of the Thames River as a refuge for Commodore Stephen Decatur during the War of 1812. A free wine-tasting will be offered by Gordon’s Yellow Front Wine and Spirits aboard the vessel during the cruise with special offers of case pricing available only for orders taken that day.

Several authors of the NLCHS published book, THE ROCKET’S RED GLARE: The War of 1812 and Connecticut, will take turns at the microphone sharing some of the important connections between the war and the places we will be visiting. Music of the War of 1812 will be featured between speakers.

Also aboard will be a number of “people from the past” portraying the 1812 period. Hors d’oeuvres, both sweet and savory will be available at several stations on the boat.

Tickets may be purchased with a credit card by calling the Shaw Mansion 860.443.1209; or send a check with your order; or get registered online and pay with credit card, paypal, or a follow-up check. Groups pricing is available for groups of ten or more ~ call to get additional information.

Connecticut and the War of 1812 Website Launched

Militia Camp ImageOn the 200th anniversary of the declaration of war against Britain, the New London County Historical Society launched a new website “Connecticut and the War of 1812.” Available at: http://warof1812ct.org, the internet resource is a third component sharing information about this important turning point in the state and the nation’s history.

“THE ROCKETS’ RED GLARE” commemorates the bicentennial year of the beginning of the War of 1812 and was created by a partnership of the historical society with Mystic Seaport, the Stonington Historical Society, the New London Maritime Society, and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. These museums and historical societies have worked together in creating a book which has just been released, and an exhibition which opened at the Lyman Allyn on Friday 6 July.

Edward Baker, Executive Director of the New London County Historical Society, describes the website as, “A little bit of the book, and a little bit of the exhibition,” whose aim is to share this information as broadly as possible. “If you search through most books on the War of 1812 and look for references to Connecticut you won’t find many. But if you look at our website and check just the listing of British ships stationed off of New London you’ll see this was not a minor effort.”  Web visitors can navigate the timeline to see the number of local events and how they intertwine with national and international events.

Creating the website was funded through a grant from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. The book and exhibition are supported by grants from the Connecticut Humanities Council, the Coby Foundation and the Edgard and Geraldine Feder Foundation.

While most Americans were shielded from the war, the people living along the coast of Connecticut were repeatedly attacked and actively engaged. In the last days of the American Revolution almost the entire town of New London was burned by the British (under Benedict Arnold) and the defenders at Fort Griswold in Groton were massacred. Just thirty years later, the same enemy is visible on Long Island Sound every day for almost two years. “That is the reality we are trying to bring to our local audience,” added Baker.

The exhibition showcases items from the collections of each of the partners. The 16-star American flag that flew over the defenders of Stonington is featured in the exhibit. The victories of our tiny Navy against the largest Navy in the world fostered a sense of national identity that had not previously existed. The War of 1812 inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” and laid the groundwork for a national patriotism that is still felt today.

“Miss Perkins” invites you for a tour

Miss Perkins at the door… well actually, it is Jennifer who portrays Miss Perkins who will be greeting you at the door and providing a tour of the Shaw Mansion with a special perspective.

Jennifer Emerson has done a great deal of research to create the role of “Miss Jane Perkins” as she lived in this house in 1876 (and sold the house to the historical society in 1907), and we have offered “first-person interpretive performances” staring Jennifer in the role of Miss Perkins. These “Tea with Miss Perkins” performances have been very popular over the past three years. The cast of characters grew to include the maid, and “Mother” – Mrs. Perkins, and occasionally a brother or two.

The tours on these Saturdays, however, will feature Jennifer in the “third-person” sharing with our visitors some of the intimate knowledge she has gleaned in her research. Although Jennifer will be in her “period attire” (as her dress and accessories are accurate to the time we prefer that phrase to “historic costume”), she will not be trying to maintain the role of Miss Perkins. So you won’t be seeing the ghost of Miss Perkins, but you will be gaining some truly hidden information.

This unique opportunity to learn more about our community and our past is only available for a limited time. This will be an ideal time to return to the Shaw Mansion and bring your visitors for a “limited edition” experience.

24 June ~ Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day at the Shaw Mansion

Come to the Shaw Mansion for Connecticut’s Historic Garden Day

Sunday 24 June join us at the Shaw Mansion for  Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day. Your $5 admission to the gardens will provide opportunities for learning and enjoying the garden in the current, or the 19th century. Connecticut Master Gardener Trainer Susan Munger will host garden tours and share her expertise. A local Croquet Club will set up their wickets on the lawn and share some of the secrets to this game (as played by the serious-minded competitors).

In the afternoon, “Miss Perkins and friends” will entertain with period music, a “Language of Flowers” tour and perhaps a game of croquet.

There will be plants available for sale, and strawberry shortcake for everyone!

Open 12 noon to 4:00 pm.