Mystic’s historic eras
Mystic’s current charm includes major attractions such as the Aquarium and the Seaport, and an eclectic mix of unique galleries, shops and eateries. Being spread along the river and adjacent to the rocky coastline provides an often stunning physical beauty but what can really grab you as you walk and tour the town is the palpable sense of a rich historic past.
Europeans started putting roots down in this part of New England about 370 years ago. Each generation faced unique challenges to survival. Native Americans, weather, wars, and an economy often driven the by the overarching omnipresence of the the sea.
what can really grab you as you walk and tour the town is a palpable sense of its rich historic past.
One way to get a handle on that past is to think in terms of the phases or eras the area has passed through. In her excellent book “History of Mystic, from Pequot village to tourist town”, Leigh Fought organizes that history into 5 helpful eras.
- The rise and fall of the Pequot nation culminating in the English attack of 1637
- English colonization and settlement up and through the American Revolution and War of 1812
- The golden age of shipbuilding and maritime pre eminence
- The transition to a manufacturing economy
- The development into a vacation destination
Each of these eras has left a mark in some way on the town and on the surrounding areas. There are stories of heroes, villains, and scoundrels within each. The street names, the names etched on buildings, the placards on historic homes and the images in museums and galleries all leave traces of these eras. Let’s take a walk through Mystic and see what we can unearth!