From Historical Footnotes,February 1999

The following is a selection of general books about Stonington history. The earliest publication dates are listed, but many of the books are available in reprint editions at Stonington area bookstores or from the Stonington Historical Society, P.O. Box 103, Stonington, CT 06378.

Richard Anson Wheeler, History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut from Its First Settlement in 1649 to 1900, with a Genealogical Register of Stonington Families. New London: Press of the Day Publishing Company, 1900. The first full-scale history of the town; still valuable for historical detail and genealogical information.

Henry Robinson Palmer, Stonington by the Sea. Stonington: Palmer Press, 1913. Revised and updated by Henry Robinson Palmer, Jr., in 1957. A genial chronicle, centering on Stonington Borough.

Katharine B. Crandall, The Fine Old Town of Stonington: A Historical Tribute to the Founders and their Descendants. Watch Hill, Rhode Island: The Book and Tackle Shop, 2d ed., 1975. A vigorous narrative history, originally prepared for school use.

Williams Haynes, Stonington Chronology: Being a Year-by-Year Record of the American Way of Life in a Connecticut Town, 1649-1949. Supplement 1949-1976 by James Boylan. Chester, Connecticut: The Pequot Press, 1976. Great events and minutiae side by side through the years.

Katherine Post Palmer Mason, Emily Harrison Lynch, and Barbara Merchant Sindall, editors,Stonington Graveyards: A Guide. Stonington: Stonington Historical Society, 1980. Invaluable descriptions and listings that link names and dates to the statewide Hale Collection.

Grace Denison Wheeler, The Homes of Our Ancestors in Stonington, Conn. Salem, Massachusetts: Newcomb & Gauss, 1903. Rambling but especially valuable for descriptions of farm-country houses, many of which are gone.

John J. Trask. Stonington Houses: A Panorama of New England Architecture 1750-1900. New York: The Ivy Press, 1976. Descriptions and photographs of Stonington Borough structures.

Mystic River Historical Society, Old Mystic in Days Past. Mystic, 1979. Brief survey.

James H. Allyn, Major John Mason's Great Island. Mystic: Roy N. Bohlander, 1976. History of Mason's Island from its settlement in 1670.

Irja Niemi and Jean Palmer North, editors, North Stonington: A Panoramic View: Old Houses and Village Buildings. North Stonington: Democratic Women's Club of North Stonington, 1976. Brief survey, with photographs.

Norman F. Boas, Stonington During the American Revolution. Mystic Seaport: Seaport Autographs, 1990. Valuable monograph on a critical era.

James Tertius de Kay, The Battle of Stonington: Torpedoes, Submarines, and Rockets in the War of 1812. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990. Definitive account of the most memorable event in Stonington's history.

Richard Michael Jones, Stonington Borough: A Connecticut Seaport in the Nineteenth Century. Xerox University Microfilms, 1976. Dissertation with valuable details on the sealing and whaling industries. Available at the Woolworth Library.

William N. Peterson, "Mystic Built": Ships and Shipyards of the Mystic River, 1784-1919. Mystic: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1989. Authoritative account by an expert.

Everett Barns. History of Pawcatuck River Steamboats. Westerly: Westerly Historical Society, 1932. Includes Herbert A. Babcock's account of building sailing vessels on the Pawcatuck, 1896.

Anthony Bailey, In the Village. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. Classic description of life in Stonington Borough.