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Welcome to Mystic


Mystic is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in New London County, Connecticut. The population was 4,205 at the 2010 census. A historic locality, Mystic has no independent government because it is not a legally recognized municipality in the state of Connecticut. Rather, Mystic is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River, and also known as West Mystic) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River).

Historically a leading seaport of the area, the story of Mystic's nautical connection is told at Mystic Seaport, the nation's largest maritime museum, which has preserved a number of sailing ships (most notably the whaleship Charles W. Morgan) and seaport buildings. The village is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of the village.


Before the 17th century, the Pequot had established an empire across southeastern Connecticut.  For many years, historians believed that they migrated in the 16th century from eastern New York.  Archaeological evidence showing the presence of a people who lived in an area called Gungywump, somewhat northwest of the Mystic River, now suggests that the Pequot were indigenous to southeastern Connecticut.

The Pequot built their first village overlooking the western bank of the Mystic River, called Siccanemos, in the year 1665.  By that time, the Pequot were in control of a considerable amount of territory, extending toward the Pawcatuck River to the east and the Connecticut River to the west, providing them with full access to the waters.  They also had supremacy over some of the most strategically located terrain.  To the northwest, the Five Nations of the Iroquois dominated the land linked by the Great Lakes and the Hudson River, allowing for trading to occur between the Iroquois Nations and the Dutch.  The Pequot were settled just distant enough to be secure from any danger that the Iroquois posed.

 As the Europeans came closer in contact with the natives, along the coast of Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, they brought along with them diseases, such as small pox, plague, measles and other illnesses that depopulated entire villages, killing between 55 to 95 percent of coastal people.  The Narragansett tribe, who lived a considerable distance from the coast, were able to develop some resistance to European diseases, or the diseases evolved lower virulence as they were transmitted inland.

The Pequot were located between the English and the Dutch.  To the east of the Pequot, the English had begun to gain bits and pieces along the Massachusetts Bay during the 1620s.  Relations between the Native Americans and the English remained ambiguous and rather hostile at times as Separatists from the Church of England settled on the Plymouth Plantation.  Their relations, however, allowed the establishment of trade with the Plymouth colonists as far west as the Narragansett Bay, if not with the Narragansett nation itself. The English eventually began to trade with the Dutch as well.

Pequot War 

In 1632 the Dutch established Good Hope depriving the Pequot of a monopoly at the post; they brought in interlopers to the Pequot territory that they could not control raising apprehension among the two villages.  This destablalized the Pequots control of fur and wampum sources.  In 1634, just when the Massachusetts Bay post made its first appearance, hostilities escalated between the Pequot and Narragansett tribes. 

After a number skirmishes the Treaty of Hartford was drawn up stating the terms of the English victory.  On September 21, 1638 the colonists signed the Treaty of Hartford officially ending the Pequot War.  It outlawed the name Pequot, forbid the Pequot from regrouping as a tribe, and required that other tribes in the region submit all their inter-tribal grievances to the English and abide by their decisions.  Gradually, with the help of sympathetic English leaders, the Pequot were able to reestablish their identity, but as separate tribes in separate communities: the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot and the Paucatuck (Eastern) Pequot, the first Indian reservations in America.

By the first decade of the 18th century, three villages had begun to develop along the Mystic River.  The largest village, called Mystic (now Old Mystic), was also known as the Head of the River because it lay where several creeks united into the Mystic River estuary.  Two villages also lay farther down the river.  One was called Stonington and was considered as Lower Mystic consisting of only twelve houses by the early 19th century.  These twelve houses lay along Willow Street, which ended at the ferry landing.  On the opposite bank of the river, in the town of Groton, stood the village that became known as Portersville.

Through the 18th century Mystic's economy was composed of manufacturing, road building and maritime trades.  Agriculture was the main component of their economy since most of the citizens were farmers.  In turn, the colonists provided for their mother country with raw material resources that lead to the emergence of a colonial manufacturing system.  Land remained an essential source of wealth; though some land was very rocky and prevented early farmers from producing crops.  This however did not necessarily lead to poverty.  They grew corn, wheat, peas, potatoes and a variety of fruits.  They raised cattle, chicken, pigs and sheep.  They were hunters and fishers and were generally able to sustain themselves.  


TWC - Average Weather for Mystic CT


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,001 people, 1,797 households, and 995 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,192.7 people per square mile (461.1/km2).  There were 1,988 housing units at an average density of 592.6 per square mile (229.1/km2).  The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.8% White, 0.8% African American, 0.4% American Indian, 1.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander (i.e. 1 person), 0.3% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races.

There were 1,797 households out of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families.  35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.  The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 16.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older.  The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males.  For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $62,236, and the median income for a family was $70,625.  Males had a median income of $50,036 versus $32,400 for females.  The per capita income for the CDP was $33,376.  About 1.6% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.


A major New England tourist destination, the village is also home to the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploredon, and known for its research department, concern with marine life rehabilitation, and its popular beluga whales.  The business district on either side of the bascule bridge where U.S. Route 1 crosses the Mystic River contains many restaurants. Local sailing cruises are available on the traditional sailing ship, Argia.  Short day tours and longer evening cruises are available on the 1908 steamer Sabino departing Mystic Seaport.

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum and one of the premier maritime museums in the world. Founded in 1929, it is the home of four national Historic Landmark vessels, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the oldest merchant vessel in the country.  The museum's collections and exhibits include over 500 historic watercraft, a major research library, a large gallery of maritime art, a unique diorama displaying the town of Mystic as it was in the 19th century, a ship restoration shipyard, the Treworgy Planetarium, and a recreation of a 19th century seafaring village.


All information from Wikipedia






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