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A Journey to Find My Way Home!

Updated on September 16, 2013

The bigger picture cannot be seen with closed eyes.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The path was long. After climbing a steep hill, the walk evened out.

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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.

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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

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Fun ways to go hiking in the woods.

Weekend Ideas
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.
We wore our Cape Cod t-shirts on our hiking adventure. People thought we were tourists!
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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.

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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.

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Heading back down the trail to the beginning.

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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 markerMumford Cove, Groton, Connecticut -
Mumford Cove, Groton, CT 06340, USA
get directions

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:

  • Quahogs
  • Scallops
  • Oysters
  • Little neck clams
  • Mussels
  • Cherry stones
  • Lobsters
  • Flounder

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.

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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.

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The Realization.

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!

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    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi DDE! You leave awesome comments! Thank you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A Journey to Find My Way Home! what a lovely hub and you just know how to present just well approached hubs. A great attitude to knowing more about rocks Voted up and interesting,

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much Moonlake!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Beatiful hub I really enjoyed it and will share it. Voted up.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Hi Flourish! Thank you very much for your lovely comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Hi wetnose! I'm so thankful the state preserved the area and put up signs to make it an attraction in the middle of the forest. Prior to the 1938 hurricane, there were other cottages and houses on this land where people lived. After everything was destroyed, the state turned it into a park. People can walk, hike, bike, swim, fish, etc.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Brave, thank you for reading my article and asking me how it all comes together! The swan was a bonus. I hadn't intended to come upon her when I started out on my journey to the old foundation. But it fit in nicely.

      My great-grandmother was like a mother swan. So, if you follow the swan down river, she will lead you to the path where the foundation rests today. My great-grandmother, I believe, is part of how I became who I am. I only knew her for a short while. I was very young when she passed.

      She was originally from England. She lived in that Winthrop estate, and had to move after the 1938 hurricane ripped through the area and tore everything down.

      Anyway, the point is, when I saw the swan I felt like it was great-grandma leading me home to where my roots are. The swan, contrary to popular to belief that they are destructive, is very graceful. The swan here embraced this family from China. They couldn't speak English, but they didn't have to. She greeted them with love, and even bowed her head slightly. It was something my great-grandmother would have done. Therefore, the area embraces visitors such as the woman who I believe instilled a part of who I am today.

      I hope that helps describe what I was thinking in my head when I wrote this. :D

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Hi EP! Thank you! The swans were a bonus. I've been trying to capture them on camera for a few weeks now. The first time I went, they were there and I didn't have my camera. This time they were there buttering up to a family from China! It was a beautiful thing.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Hi Suzie! It's funny, but I've lived here my whole life. Sometimes I don't want to stand out as the one who to go to for directions when a tourist is lost. I had a little fun with my t-shirt. People thought I was the tourist! LOL Although I do enjoy helping people. I just find that I stick out like a sore thumb among the lost crowd.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Beautiful images and a fascinating stroll as you reconnect with your heritage. I like the suggestions that you present for hikes. This was very sublime. Voted up and more.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Wow, I enjoyed this marvelous hub. Interesting how those rocks have a history. I often wonder of things when I see things like that.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Crafty, you are on a writing roll lately! I must confess however, that I was confused as to how we got from swans being thwarted from bearing offspring to how they welcome visitors to the background on the Winthrop Homestead and how your family played into it's history. You offered some good information, but I was confused in how all aspects of your article related.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This is beautiful- both the writing and the pictures. You managed to take us all on the journey with you, exploring as if we were there. Great job on this. Thank you for sharing this. I loved it!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi CTTC,

      LOl, was thinking the same as Bill with your name!

      Great article, so enjoyed how you began with the swans and then took us on a journey through the woods, the history, the beauty of everything blending together. You really are an artistic writer it is a pleasure to read.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared on, thanks so much for a lovely trip and I laughed at the part about pretending you don't live there! I used to do that frequently! LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Anytime my friend! :D

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Crafty (wink, wink) :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      I'm getting myself in trouble with that Billy! People want to know.... :D

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My first hub of the day and it was a beauty, just like the writer. Well done.....wish I knew your name, but I'll just have to throw up a cheer for Crafty today. :)