DescriptionThe Pequot Indians controlled the Stonington area until 1637, when an attack on their fort in nearby Mystic by Capt. John Mason opened the area for settlement. Conflict did not end, however. Colonial Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut all claimed the Stonington region until 1662, and the town twice was attacked by the British, once during the Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812.
The only Connecticut port with direct access to the Atlantic ensured Stonington's development as a 19th-century center for sealing and whaling fleets. It was also a transportation hub; for half a century trains from Boston met steamboats from New York. Mariners such as Capt. Nat Palmer—who discovered Antarctica on a sealing trip in 1820—sailed from Stonington, which became known as the “Nursery of Seamen.” Palmer's clipper ship Oriental later broke the speed record from New York to Hong Kong.
Attraction PlaceHoldersCaptain Nathaniel B. Palmer House