New England

Connecticut - Maine - Massachusetts

New Hampshire - Rhode Island - Vermont

Music to accompany this page:
Weekend in New England, by Barry Manilow

The history of New England is long and varied. John Cabot and his son, Sebastian, are believed to have visited the New England region, along Maine coast in Map of New England1498. It was not until over a hundred years later, that regions in the area of Vermont would be explored and claimed for France, by Samuel de Champlain in 1609. It was years before the first colonies would be settled in New England. In 1620, the Mayflower landed on the shores of Massachusetts, marking a permanent English presence on the foreign soil. Dutch colonists established a fort and trading post in Hartford in 1633, but lost control to English Puritans. The Puritans also may also hold responsibility for the establishment of Rhode Island. Roger Williams founded Providence, now the state capital of Rhode Island, after being exiled from the Puritans in Massachusetts. The colonies tried to establish charters, and establish order with the regions, yet the craving for freedom from England held strong. Massachusetts played a prominent force in promoting this independence, resisting taxation in 1773. When the American Revolution erupted in 1775, the colonies banded together to fight for their freedom. Connecticut served as the major supplier for the Continental Army, earning the title to as the "Arsenal of the Nation." Maine was the site of the first naval action, when colonists captured the British ship, Margaretta. Minute Men in Massachusetts began the battle against troops at Lexington and Concord. New Hampshire delegates received the honor of being the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Rhode Island ignited the anger of England when they burned the British revenue ships Liberty and Gaspee. Ethan Allen led a troop that captured Fort Ticonderoga from the British in the early days of the war.

Mystic, Connecticut has been called a living museum of coastal life from the Mystic Lighthouse1800's. There are three tall ships docked at Mystic's Seaport, the largest maritime museum in the world. The Charles W. Morgan is a three-mast whaling ship, built in 1841. It was actively involved in the whaling industry until it's retirement in 1931. The Joseph Conrad was constructed in 1882, and served as a Danish training ship. It is known as being one of the smallest full-rig ships built, yet it completed a voyage around the world in Mystic Seaport1930. The last of the large ships is the L.A. Dunton, a two-mast fishing schooner built in 1921. After touring the ships, guests are welcome to browse through the shops, speak with local artisans, visit the Carousel Museum of New England, take a steamboat cruise or participate in demonstrations of everyday colonial seaport life, including rope making, barrel making, and boat building. Located nearby is the Mystic Marine life Museum.

Stonington is a much quieter fishing village than Mystic, nestled in Fishers Island Sound. Stonington VineyardsThe town area is lined with historic buildings, and classic white-spire churches. The Old Lighthouse Museum looks over the town from atop Water Street. It was originally built in 1823, and was moved to higher ground seventeen years later. Displayed within the museum are shipping, whaling and early village artifacts. From the top of the tower, Long Island Sound and three states may be viewed. Along the perimeter of the community is Stonington Vineyards. This fine seacoast winery specializes in chardonnay and French hybrid grape varieties. While they have only been established since 1979, they have received accolades of praise.

New England, continued...


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