New London County Historical Society, Inc.

11 Blinman Street, New London, CT 06320

Phone: 860-443-1209

Upcoming Events

2208, 2011

NLCHS Annual Meeting ~ 18 September 2011

By |August 22nd, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on NLCHS Annual Meeting ~ 18 September 2011

The Work of Women on the Home Front: Handwork and Organizing During the Civil War
Please join us for the 141st annual meeting of the New London County Historical Society which will be held at the Shaw Mansion, Sunday 18 September, beginning with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at 4 pm followed by the business meeting at 5:15.
Lynne Bassett, an internationally known expert on 19th century textiles, will be the featured speaker sharing her research on the work of Ladies Aid Societies in Connecticut towns during the Civil War.

During the business meeting of the society board members and officers will be elected. In addition to the usual reports, the board has recommended amendments to the bylaws which will be voted on by the membership. Please  go to NLCHS Proposed Bylaws Revisions 2011, a pdf document, to review and print out a copy of the “marked-up” revisions. These changes substantially update the current bylaws to contemporary legal standards.

The presentation will begin at 6 pm. Bassett, a textile and costume historian, is author of: Massachusetts Quilts — Our Commonwealth, and, Textiles for Clothing of the Early Republic, 1800-1850, and has worked as a curator of textiles for Old Sturbridge Village and the Connecticut Historical Society.

Regarding her […]

207, 2011

Recent Acquisition

By |July 2nd, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Recent Acquisition

A recent gift to the New London County Historical Society is this 1940s counter display for the Radway Dairy, a business that was located in New London. It’s a motorized advertising piece — the head of the cow goes up and down, as does the chicken, and the scroll in the middle rotates as well. It stands about 2.5 feet tall and is constructed of painted wood and sheet metal with paper images glued to the surface.

2006, 2011

Explore New Bedford’s Whaling History

By |June 20th, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Explore New Bedford’s Whaling History

Bus Trip! with NLCHS Staff and Fellow Members
New Bedford MA, although a much larger city, has many things in common with New London: its whaling history, its 19th century prominence, its beautiful historic homes, its ethic diversity and its active waterfront. Plan to join us on Friday 19 August, for a tour to New Bedford to explore this interesting and lively city and two of its great museums. A special point of interest at the Whaling Museum will be the recently opened exhibit  on the Azorean and Cape Verdean connections to New England through the whaling trade.

Included in the tour is motor coach transportation from New London (or Stonington — we’ll pick you up), with commentary provided by our own whaling authorities; admission to the New Bedford Whaling Museum with a special guided tour by Senior Curator Michael Dyer; lunch at a waterfront restaurant; and a tour of the historic Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Gardens.


1606, 2011

Rick Spencer Sings the Hits of the ’60s (that is, the 1860s)

By |June 16th, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Rick Spencer Sings the Hits of the ’60s (that is, the 1860s)

I’ m certain that you have sung a song by Connecticut-born composer Henry Clay Work, as it was he who wrote the song, “My Grandfather’s Clock,” in 1876. Work is just one of several professional composers who got their “big start” during the years of the Civil War.

On Wednesday evening 20 July, bring your lawn chairs and join us in the garden of the Shaw Mansion as Rick Spencer presents a program on the “Greatest Hits of the Civil War: America’s Earliest Professional Songwriters.” The garden gates will open at 6:30 pm and the show will start at 7:00, (we’re expecting a lovely evening). Members will be asked to make a donation, for others, the concert will cost $5. (We are also calling it the “Eve of Destruction” concert, as 21 July marks the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run.)

Rick was a long-time member of the staff of Mystic Seaport working as a chanteyman and as a member of the quartet, Mystic Seaport’s Forebitter. More recently he was site administrator at the Hempsted Houses and now serves as the executive director of the Dr. Ashbell Woodward House museum of the Franklin Historical Society. In addition to being […]

1606, 2011

26 June ~ Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day

By |June 16th, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on 26 June ~ Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day

Come to the Shaw Mansion for Connecticut’s Historic Garden Day
Sunday 26 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. In the morning Susan Munger will host garden tours and there will be a presentation on the surprising connection between the Shaw Mansion gardens and one of the earliest proponents of  “modernist” landscape design, Christopher Tunnard, born in Canada, trained in England, and teaching at Yale after the Second World War.

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 11am to 3:30 pm.

2305, 2011

Shaw Mansion to Participate in Blue Star Museums

By |May 23rd, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Shaw Mansion to Participate in Blue Star Museums

The New London County Historical Society is one of more than 1,300 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer 
NEW LONDON, CT – Today New London County Historical Society announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at

 In welcoming local military personnel, Historical Society president Deborah Donovan stated, “The Shaw Mansion is particularly connected to the local Navy and Coast Guard facilities as it served as the Naval Headquarters for Connecticut during the American Revolution. We can tell the story of state navies and privateers and their role in the Revolution with objects you can find nowhere else.” For examples she noted the Shaw Flag — a rare American Flag from the American Revolution — and treasures captured as prizes by Shaw privateers, including a Goddard tea table and silver service intended for […]

505, 2011

Checkhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”

By |May 5th, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Checkhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”

Anton Checkhov’s, “The Cherry Orchard” will be the next “parlor theatre” play presented at the Shaw Mansion. A production of Flock Theatre, preview performances are being offered 10, 11, and 12 May, with the official show opening scheduled for 13 May at 7pm. Evening performances continue at 7pm on the 14th, and 15th, and then each evening from the 17th to the 22nd. Matinee shows are available at 2pm on the 14th, 15, and 21st.

Tickets start at $25, with a discounted price of $20 for the preview performances. Call Flock Theatre for tickets at 860.443.3119.

A special dinner theatre performance is scheduled for Thursday 19 May as a fund-raising event for the Historical Society and Flock Theatre. Dinner at Dev’s on Bank, plus the show, plus coffee and dessert at Dev’s during the intermission AND a donation for two of your favorite organizations costs $75 per ticket! For menu choices and reservations please call Flock Theatre at 860.443.3119.

102, 2011

Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers ~ February Second Sunday

By |February 1st, 2011|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers ~ February Second Sunday

February’s Second Sunday program features Mary Donohue and Briann Greenfield, authors of a new book on Connecticut Jewish history. This book, the fourth in the Connecticut Jewish History Series from the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, focuses on the lives of Jewish farmers in Connecticut and has been published by the Society with funding from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Co-edited by Mary M. Donohue, Architectural Historian with the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and Briann G. Greenfield, Associate Professor of Public History at Central Connecticut State University, A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers begins historically with the migration of Eastern European Jews through America’s cities and then to the Connecticut countryside. Why Connecticut? How did these immigrants operate successful enterprises with little or no farming experience? Who and what helped support and sustain them? The story of the resilience and perseverance of these Jewish farmers and how they impacted their communities is told through historical data, oral history interviews and unique photo essays.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at $25.00, and Mary and Briann will be available to autograph. Refreshments will be served following the presentation.
Date: Sunday 13, February
Location: Shaw Mansion, […]

2401, 2011

NLCHS Announces History Day Scholarship

By |January 24th, 2011|New News|Comments Off on NLCHS Announces History Day Scholarship

The Board of Directors of the New London County Historical Society is pleased to announce that students from New London County who actively participate in the National History Day competition in Connecticut are now eligible for a $1,000 scholarship offered by the Society. The award will recognize the New London County student who advances furthest in the senior-level National History Day competition with a submission focused primarily on a topic of New London County history. National History Day Competition in Connecticut is supervised by the Connecticut Historical Society and will occur in phases during March, April and June 2011 at the District, State and National levels.

Please print the pdf announcement for information on eligibility, topics, criteria and registration.

Eligible Participants:  You must be attending and in good standing at a public, private, or home high school in New London County (Grades 9, 10, 11 or 12).

Program Competition:  You must actively participate in the 2011 National History Day Program competition, “Debate & Diplomacy in History:  Successes, Failures, Consequences” in any of the following categories (documentary, paper or web site).  In order to be eligible for this scholarship, your specific topic must focus primarily on persons or events that occurred in New London County.

Criteria […]

1412, 2010

Police Record Book 1854-1880 Donated to Historical Society

By |December 14th, 2010|Events Blog, New News|Comments Off on Police Record Book 1854-1880 Donated to Historical Society

The police record book listing every individual arrested for a crime in New London beginning in 1854 and continuing through 1880 has just been donated to the historical society. Essentially rescued from the trash as New London Police headquarters was in the process of being moved from its North Bank (formerly Bradley Street) location to its new building on Union Street (now the Stanton Building) in the 1950s, the book is simply an amazingly rich source of information.

There is an abundance of drunkenness, keeping a house of ill fame, visiting a house of ill fame, breach of the peace, and obtaining liquor under false pretenses;  but in many respects it is surprising how quiet New London appears. The first page covers July, August and September of 1854 — there are only ten entries for all of August. But on that first page, two thefts were by boys, one nine years old, both of whom were sent to the State Reform School in Meriden for two years, their “term” and “place of imprisonment.”

There are a host of research projects that this one source can provide the data for. Although it’s doubtful we’ll ever know the difference between intoxication, drunkenness, common drunk, […]