New London County Historical Society, Inc.

11 Blinman Street, New London, CT 06320

Phone: 860-443-1209

2707, 2009

a Tomb Stone for R. Christophers

By |July 27th, 2009|Hempstead Diary|Comments Off on a Tomb Stone for R. Christophers

[August 1731] Tuesd 13. I was at home most of the day & Cutting Some letters in a Tomb Stone for R. Christophers Esqr. Adm Mowed al d. Wednsd 14 fair. a Shower aftern. I was at home al day. I made 2 pr letters & Mended fence &c. Ad hilled Corn. Thursd 15fair. David Minerd Mowed. I mowed Some & Raked Some & adm Mowed & Raked. a good hay day. fryd 16 fair. … Saturd 17 fair. I was at home al day Raking & Stacking. Mr Coits Mingo helpt. wee Stackt about 4 Ld.

We could use “a good hay day” right about now after two months of rainy summer weather; the wettest June and July since records have been kept by the National Weather Service. Of course that service didn’t exist for Joshua Hempstead, so the hay that Adam mowed on Tuesday got rained on on Wednesday (Adam was put to work hilling the corn on Wednesday probably due to the threat of rain). But good weather on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the combined labor of four men, including two slaves, resulted in stacks of hay equaling four cart loads being put up. Interesting to note here that both […]

1707, 2009

Maps of State Street 1850 – 1951

By |July 17th, 2009|State Street Exhibit|Comments Off on Maps of State Street 1850 – 1951


Click on the map year for zoomable Maps of State Street.
1850 • 1868 • 1884 • 1901 • 1912 • 1921 • 1951

A Century of Change

Stretching uphill from the harbor to the dignified courthouse built in 1784, State Street has been the organizing spine of New London since the town’s founding in 1646.  Yet, most of the buildings standing on State Street today have been erected since 1850, when New Londoners began a wholesale reorganization of urban space that continued well into the 20th century.

Although the economic prosperity of the whaling industry and the arrival of the railroad in 1849 were important enabling conditions, this urban reorganization was not just a matter of New Londoners using new-found wealth and easy access to metropolitan centers to do more of what they had always done.  Instead, this remaking of State Street involved a more substantial rethinking of the character of urban space.

While houses—large and small—once sat in close proximity to artisans’ workshops and general stores, Victorian State Street was increasingly subdivided into three zones: an industrial swath along the waterfront, a green and leafy neighborhood of genteel villas and cultural institutions near the courthouse, and a commercial district in between.

Functional specialization affected […]

307, 2009

Tuesd the 4th

By |July 3rd, 2009|Hempstead Diary|Comments Off on Tuesd the 4th

[July 1738] Tuesd the 4th fair. this morning about 6. Clock my Daughter in Law Stephens wife was DD of a Son in a hopefull way to do well. I was at home foren mending the Cart. aftern in Town Executing Deeds of Conveyance for ye ministry Land to Divers persons. Adam began to Mow before ye Door.

A different view of the fourth of July, 40 years before it became known as Independence Day. Here we see some of Hempstead’s typical shorthand: foren, or fore-noon, for morning, and aftern for afternoon. The wife of Hempstead’s son Stephen, Sarah Holt Hempstead, was “delivered of a son,” Thomas, in 1738 who didn’t do as well as was hoped. A second son named Thomas is born in 1740.

Adam is Hempstead’s slave, whose work is recorded in the diary on a very regular basis. But in this case, Hempstead is recording something a bit more significant, the beginning of the hay mowing season. In 1728 Adam’s first mowing is recorded on 1 July; in 1732 on 10 July. In the seasonal realm of farm work this marks the beginning of one of the most labor intensive and all-summer-long tasks. A good mower would have been expected to mow about […]

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)