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Helluva seafaring family, the Holmes of Mystic

When you take your walking tour of Mystic, you’ll likely cross Holmes Street at some point.  When you do, think about this extraordinary seafaring father/son duo.  In a previous post on “Badass Sea Captains”,  I mentioned Joseph Warren Holmes — he’s the one who rounded the horn 84 times and never lost a ship or a crew member.  What a guy right?   Well as I continued my research, it turns out Joseph was the 8th child of another badass — Jeremiah Holmes.

Jeremiah had a strong dislike for the British because they forced him into the Royal Navy.  There he learned to skillfully operate cannon, and the British would come to regret that when the War of 1812 came to Mystic and Stonington.

Originally born in nearby North Stonington, Jeremiah went to sea at age 18, ended up on a whaler that was captured by a Privateer and was “pressed” into service in the British Navy.  The British needed sailors so they would basically kidnap guys and make them work on warships.  He tried to get out, but spent 3 years at sea in the Royal Navy.  During this time they trained him quite extensively to operate ships cannon.

He finally escaped and returned home to marry Ann Denison (family of one of the original colonial settlers), and several years later found himself leading creative and spirited battles and skirmishes agains the British during the War of 1812.   Having an experienced operator like Jeremiah was huge in the Battle of Stonington, he was a true hero of the war.  The cannons he fired are sitting in a park in Stonington today.  You can see them on our 3 Villages Tour.

For a unique walking tour, food tour, historic tour or guided tour of Mystic, Stonington or Noank, please contact [email protected] the founder of Mystic Revealed.