The town of Stonington, Connecticut, in the southeastern corner of the state, include the communites of the Borough of Stoningtion, Mystic, Old Mystic, Pawcatuck and Wequetequock, the site of the first European settlement in 1649, in lands that had belonged to the Pequots. The town of North Stonington was set off from Stonington in 1724 and incorporated in 1807.
The Borough of Stonington occupies a point of land that projects into Little Narragansett Bay. The lack of through traffic or modern industry, together with the Borough's role as a fashionable summer residence since the Civil War era, have preserved its Colonial, Federal, and outstanding Greek Revival domestic architecture, while the activity of Connecticut's last remaining fishing and lobstering fleet save it from preciousness. There is a large Portuguese community.
In the waters off Stonington, the States of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island comes together.
The Stonington lighthouse, a low stone building, was the first lighthouse established by the U.S. Federal Government in 1823. In the 19th century Stonington supported a small fishing, whaling and sealing fleet, with some direct trade with the West Indies, enough volume for it to be made a Port of Entry in 1842. The very young Capt. Nathaniel Palmer, in charge of the sloop Hero was seal hunting in the South Shetland Islands in the winter season of 1820, when he was sent southwards to investigate, a volcanic eruption under the horizon, and sighted Antartica.
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GRAVE of WALTER PALMER
1585 - 1661
Walter Palmer was born in England as early as 1585 and came to New England in 1628. With is brother Abraham and nine associates, he went from Salem, MA through the wilderness to a place called by the Indians, Mishawam. The next year they were joined by nearly one hundred people and laid the foundation for the town, which they named Charlestown, in honor of King Charles the First, Jan. 24th, 1629. It is claimed that Walter Palmer build the first dwelling house there, where he resided until 1643, when he removed to Plymouth Colony and helped organize the Town of Rehoboth. Walter Palmer was a prominent man and was admitted a freeman in Boston, May 18th, 1631. In 1652 he came to Stonington to reside at Wequetequock. He died Nov. 10th, 1661.
He married in England prior to coming to this country but the name and family of his wife has never been recorded. In the old church records of Roxbury, MA the following appears: "Rebecca Short came to this county in the year 1632 and married Walter Palmer, a goodly man of Charlestown Church, joined Jan. 1st, 1633.
Photos taken by Margie Keller, 8/26/2004