Understanding Mystic and New England
We have several reasons we start our guided tours of Mystic at the Spicer Mansion. First of all it’s a beautiful, recently restored classic example of a sea captain’s mansion. The views from the “belvedere” are spectacular as the home sits on one of the highest points in the area. Watch Hill Rhode Island, Fishers Island, New York and of course much of Mystic are all visible.
The mansion, now a luxury 8-room inn, is also an emblematic symbol of the very earliest character and culture of what was to become America.
Soon after John Winthrop’s well funded and well-organized group founded the Mass Bay Colony in 1630 at Boston, homestead settlements began popping up along the seashore in coastal New England. Subsistence farming was a necessity, but early settlers soon realized the true opportunities were in exploiting New England’s two best natural resources: Fishing and Timber (for boatbuilding). Ambitious and resourceful early Yanks understood that the sea was where economic opportunity lay.
Those that seized those opportunities early on were the true founding families that shaped the character, industries and communities in early America. Stories like those of Elihu Spicer repeated themselves throughout New England. These merchants of the sea defined the early character of an emerging nation.