A Journey to Find My Way Home!
The bigger picture cannot be seen with closed eyes.
At one time the state employed a program to eliminate the white swans based on accusations that they chase other birds away. You be the judge.
Find your way home.
I stood on the riverbank several feet from a graceful mother swan, sipping from the murky-bottom water she thirsted for.
This picture doesn't nearly tell the story. The swan is just a part of the whole picture we can see with open eyes.
As the story unfolds, you will be able to see where the swan leads you.
Beyond the gems of the forest we call mushrooms, lining the path in colors, feeding the natural animals searching to store food for the winter. Through the baby trees we go to the fields of fern.
A common seagull swims with the swan's young.
Living peacefully among each other.
The photo above demonstrates that the swan gracefully accepts visitors, not just of the human origin but other bird species as well.
The state had taken upon itself to hire people to kill off the swan eggs that they believed would harm the natural beauty of the area.
Isn't it ironic what one considers beautiful?
This area has been home to families for many generations, literally and figuratively.
The swan family embraces visitors.
Caught on camera!
When you see things from the perspective of a mother swan, as shown above, she embraced the family visitors from China. They did not speak English, nor could they understand me except for a universal smile.
The graceful swan greeted a child just as the family greeted the swan's.
This is where it began.
You may know where you are from. When you are born in to a family, the tree grows bigger and stronger.
Or, you may have never known where your roots branched out. This is in essence, is the tree of life. Finding your way home through investigation. Who were your ancestors and what did they accomplish? What does it matter? It may just surprise you to learn that they aren't so different from yourself. In fact, in an eerie set of circumstances, you may stumble upon something that insinuates your predecessors directed you along the path which led you to where you are today.
Let's take a walk!
The path has two roads.
The path was long. After climbing a steep hill, the walk evened out.
Choosing the right path.
Having been here before and hearing tales from relatives about which way to turn, I knew the right path was to the left.
Still, the forest stood before us. What were the legends of the deep and the secrets that it keeps?
The light shone through the trees and brightened our way.
There it stood in front of us.
In front, around the bend we walked, stood the old foundation to the Governor John Winthrop Jr. homestead.
The house is long gone. In it's place is a white picket fence and a sign describing the details about the house that once stood there.
Gov. John Winthrop Jr. Homestead
Fun ways to go hiking in the woods.
Dress up like tourists.
Wear t-shirts from another state.
Pretend you aren't from the area.
Bring a camera and take lots of pictures.
Bring a picnic to the woods.
Don't forget bug spray!
Bring bottled water and refreshments.
Facts about John Winthrop the Younger
- John Winthrop the Younger was son of John Winthrop the Elder.
- John Winthrop the Younger studied at Trinity College in Dublin, and thereafter entered the Inner Temple to study law.
- In 1631, he followed John Winthrop the Elder, his father, to New England, USA.
- In 1634, after the passing of his wife and infant daughter, John Winthrop the Younger returned to England and re-married.
- In 1644, John Winthrop the Younger was granted land near Pequott for ironworks. (He also owned land on Fisher's Island as well as on Bluff Point State Park, Groton, Connecticut.)
- In 1657, John Winthrop the Younger was elected Governor of Connecticut Colony, serving as Deputy Governor in 1658. In 1659, he was re-elected Governor after the repeal of the one-term rule and served until his passing.
Fascinating facts about a Town called Groton
Groton in the country of England
Groton is listed in the books in the country of England as far back as year 1086. Granted to the Winthrop family.
Groton, Massachusetts, USA
Groton in the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America is named after a village, but was founded by John Winthrop the Elder, born at Groton Manor in 1587. Elected leader of the Winthrop Fleet, a founder of the City of Boston, and one of the first Governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Groton, Connecticut, USA
Groton, Connecticut, in the United States of America was named after a village to honor John Winthrop the Elder's son, John Winthrop the Younger after settling in the area in 1646.
There is said to be a mulberry tree planted by Adam Winthrop, the grandfather to John Winthrop the Elder!
Winthrop Homestead Facts
The original owner of the Winthrop Homestead was Governor John Winthrop, Jr.
Built in 1648, the first house was burned and rebuilt in 1708-1710.
The house was made from wood with a peak roof. It was two and half stories tall.
The central chimney was built from overseas bricks. It was built to hide woman and children when threatened against enemies. There was an underground exit in the cellar which tunneled approximately three hundred feet to the barn on the northwest.
The Homestead today.
Today, only remnants remain where the rocks once stood guarding the homestead. Basically an empty field with overgrowth covers the foundation that was destroyed in 1938 by a hurricane that ravaged the East Coast.
My great-grandparents once lived in the Homestead prior to the 1938 hurricane when my great-grandmother was pregnant with her first born. The hurricane was said to destroy all homes on Bluff Point where the remaining pieces of foundation speaks to history today.
Rocks can be seen strewn around the area where the Homestead Foundation once stood.
Heading back down the trail to the beginning.
The trail is full of dangerous rocks and turns.
Refuge to mountain bikers and hikers a like, this beautiful serene place gives me a feeling of hope.
It's a place of what once was, is still, and yet is to come.
From this place came ancestors who I have vague memories of knowing. Started by infamous men of time periods that graced colonies around the continent.
It's a place where I can say I belong. A place I can say I came from.
A way of life.
Today, Bluff Point State Park is a Connecticut State Park. The destination attracts tourists from all over. It's popular among residents in the Town of Groton, as well as neighboring areas.
Shell fishing is a way of life for many folks that live here. Some of the common types of product found at Bluff Point:
- Little neck clams
- Cherry stones
Some of my earliest memories were those shucking shell fish with my grandfather. Eating scallops succulently fried in butter, slurping oysters and cherry stone clams raw from their shells, and dipping steamed mussels in drawn butter.
I'm native to the way of life of living by the sea.
Yet, until now, I had not truly found my way home. A spot where I can look out and say my family once lived here. A prestigious memorial to those who made better days to come for the rest of us all.
Evidence remains today of the hurricane force winds that devastated the area in 1938.
I surround myself with beauty.
I see the star-shaped buds on the yellow flowers that grow as tall as me. They surround me on the path to home. An adventure I'm glad I had the chance to pursue.
No mysteries here. Only secrets within the forest hiding well beneath the overgrowth!
From the words of John Winthrop, the Elder, a city on a hill, indeed!