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Connecticut's Mystic Seaport: A Photo Essay

Updated on November 12, 2018
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

The Mystic Seaport lighthouse on the banks of the Mystic River, surrounded by replicas of buildings in 1876.
The Mystic Seaport lighthouse on the banks of the Mystic River, surrounded by replicas of buildings in 1876. | Source

The Museum of America and the Sea


Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut is a beautiful historic tribute to the whaling days of days gone by. The Seaport is a living museum based on a 19th-century coastal village. Mystic Seaport's historical interpreters are living in the year 1876. They stroll the grounds of the seaport, demonstrate maritime occupations and skills, perform sea shanties on the town green, and get children to take part in many childhood games of the period. There are a few streets that have replicas of shops and homes, a chapel, a church and an old schoolhouse, as well as the tavern in the center of town. There are exhibits halls that tell of America's Maritime heritage, including sailors of this century. Visitors old and young can board maritime vessels to see what it was like to be a crew member of a whaling ship in the 19th century. They can also climb aboard the Charles W. Morgan and watch the restoration of the oldest wooden whaling ship in America.

Activities for Children

I grew up about 25 minutes driving distance from Mystic Seaport. It was one of those tourist attractions that people brought visiting out-of-state friends and relatives whenever they came to visit. It is an especially entertaining destination for children because they can take part in hands-on, entertaining activities and being so small can easily maneuver around the nooks and crannies in the old whaling ships that are open to the public. In the summer months, there are outdoor plays in which children from the audience are chosen to participate. There is a children's museum as well as an activity room, and an outdoor playground with a wooden boat that children can climb on. The Mystic Seaport is a popular place for local schools to take students on field trips, for homeschooling groups to visit, and Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops often take outings there as well.

Holidays at Mystic Seaport

At Christmas, there are tours called, "Lantern Light Tours" which take place after dark and participants are transported to various spots around the village to experience life the way it was on Christmas Eve in the late 1880s. They carriage stops at one house where the family (actor) are gathered around the fireplace in the main living area and stories are told of Christmases past. Another stop is at the town tavern where each guest can have a refreshment of some sort and a fiddler is playing and all the guests are taught a dance of the time period and encouraged to participate. It's a wonderful experience. On Memorial Day each year, visitors to the Seaport can participate in a church service and then follow a wagon filled with flowers followed by actors in period costume down to the waterfront. A proclamation is given about Memorial Day and honoring all of those who have given their lives for their country, and then each person is invited to take a sprig of flowers off the wagon and throw it into the Mystic River in honor of someone they knew who died in a war. It's a very meaningful experience.

The Beauty of Mystic Seaport

This photo essay shows not only the village but the beauty of a coastal town from that period. Mystic Seaport is an enchanting place to visit, even without stopping at all the exhibits. Because of it's proximity to water, it is a peaceful place to sit on a bench and catch the cool breezes coming off the river, and escape for a day, or just an hour or two, to a peaceful and scenic village of yesteryear.

The Joseph Conrad, originally built in 1882, that is available for guests to climb aboard and explore.
The Joseph Conrad, originally built in 1882, that is available for guests to climb aboard and explore. | Source
A view out of the Tom Claggett Boat Shed onto the Mystic River, with the current town of Mystic,CT in the background.
A view out of the Tom Claggett Boat Shed onto the Mystic River, with the current town of Mystic,CT in the background. | Source
A view of the waterfront while sitting at the outside tables at the Spouter Tavern. The Tavern is open daily in summer hours and serves sandwiches, soups, beer, wine and soda.
A view of the waterfront while sitting at the outside tables at the Spouter Tavern. The Tavern is open daily in summer hours and serves sandwiches, soups, beer, wine and soda. | Source
A huge anchor sits in front of the The Village Congregational Church. Very plain inside, it stays true to churches of the time period.
A huge anchor sits in front of the The Village Congregational Church. Very plain inside, it stays true to churches of the time period. | Source
A grape arbor in the backyard of one of the historic homes of the village.
A grape arbor in the backyard of one of the historic homes of the village. | Source
Sweet William grows in abundance in one of the gardens in the back yard of a house in the village.
Sweet William grows in abundance in one of the gardens in the back yard of a house in the village. | Source
The boat playground for children offers a nice break for kids and parents alike.
The boat playground for children offers a nice break for kids and parents alike. | Source
The village green, with a gazebo offers a convenient place for gatherings and demonstrations.
The village green, with a gazebo offers a convenient place for gatherings and demonstrations. | Source
Beautiful flowers bloom all around Mystic Seaport's gardens and fences.
Beautiful flowers bloom all around Mystic Seaport's gardens and fences. | Source
A traditional horse and buggy ride around the village is available for an extra charge.
A traditional horse and buggy ride around the village is available for an extra charge. | Source
View of the waterfront stores and homes open to visitors to step back in time and see demonstrations of maritime occupations and skills.
View of the waterfront stores and homes open to visitors to step back in time and see demonstrations of maritime occupations and skills. | Source

© 2012 Karen Hellier

Comments

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    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      Simply wonderful. Made me want to see it for myself.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Angel19862,

      I highly recommend it. And about 1 mile down the road there's the Mystic Aquarium which is a really great place to visit as well. The town of Mystic is very quaint, and a walk along Main St. is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. I would reserve a long weekend in the Fall if you want to make the most of your time if you do make it here!

    • Angel198625 profile image

      Amber Lynn 

      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed this huba dn the pictures were great! I have never been in that area before, but if I ever do, this is now on the list of things to do!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      teaches12345,

      I was not familiar with Sweet William but fortunately all the flowers in the garden were marked. It's a cute name which I will now remember. I wonder who the original Sweet William was that the flower was named after??? Yes, the anchor is huge, and a favorite photo spot for kids!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      The Sweet Williams are such a simple flower but so pretty. Your photo does it justice. The anchor is huge and I wonder how a ship could have stowed it without sinking! Great hub post and so enjoyable.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc...LOL, for some reason I thought you were in New York state! Sorry. That would have to be quite an ice cream cone!

      Lizam1, thanks for reading and commenting.

      donnah75, thanks for reading and the vote of confidence!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Beautiful pics, Karen. Voted up and beautiful.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      Beautiful photo hub Karen. Enjoyed reading.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Karen, I'm 3000 miles away...that's quite a distance for an ice cream cone LOL

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      AtlasSue,

      Yes, the leaves change color along the river. It IS beautiful...all 4 seasons though have their own special beauty though because it's New England.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. You don't live that far away...what are you waiting for? Drop down and visit us sometime. There are lots of ice cream stores in town for you and Bev to visit!!!

    • AtlasSue profile image

      AtlasSue 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful photos. This area must be gorgeous in the fall.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great pictures and tour, Karen; thanks for a look at a part of the country I have never visited.

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