Dedicated to Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the
History of Old Saybrook
The Old Saybrook Historical Society welcomes and invites you to navigate our website and discover what we have to offer! The rich history of Old Saybrook found in historical homes, artifacts, documents, letters, etc. was in danger of disappearing or being destroyed if an organization to implement the preservation of these items was not formed. A group of twenty concerned citizens decided to address this serious problem by creating the Old Saybrook Historical Society in 1958. Under the able direction of the first president, Frank Tinsley, a noted historian, author and scientific illustrator, a formal Constitution incorporating the Society was established in 1966.
Hart House is open May 15 to December 15 for tours by appointment.
June 15 to August 31 - Saturdays & Sundays 1:00 to 3:00pm
This is a wonderful article by the Old Saybrook Historical Society, Inc. about the history of 300 Main Street, home of the Kate!
A bit of Lynde Point Lighthouse history from our friends at the Old Saybrook Historical Society, Inc.
Did you know that Old Saybrook was home to the 1st woman pharmacist in Connecticut? Anna Louise James, or “Miss James,” owned & ran James Pharmacy for over 50 years on Pennywise Lane. Learn more about this groundbreaker: bit.ly/37bxvvB
Old Saybrook Historical Society, Inc. Connecticut Humanities
"OLD SAYBROOK —The sixth annual Old Saybrook Historical Society, Inc. Achievement in Historical Preservation Award was presented to Jessica and Lincoln May for the restoration work on their Dudley Building on the corner of Main Street and Dudley Avenue. The Mays own Saybrook Hardware as well as the entire building, which houses three other Main Street businesses.
The annual award recognizes extraordinary individuals or groups who have contributed to the preservation of the rich history of Old Saybrook."
Congratulations to Jessica and Lincoln on this recognition!
Scarecrow14! Haunted creatures are hanging out at the Old Saybrook Historical Society, Inc. 🧟
Vote today for your favorite scarecrow. Text scarecrow and ID number to 877.944.3266
I was wondering who were the original owners of the Ford dealership on 1 ford drive.
Does anyone have any history of Chief Walter Patti and all his accomplishments?
Here is an article about Connecticut River's Worst Ice Jam in twenty Year, Jan 25-6, 1957. By Roger Epply, 1993.
The coast guard icebreaker is little publicized as an important "assist" to vessels on the Connecticut river during the winter months. Not all of this aid is sensational and headline-making but it is, nevertheless, extremely important to the vessels involved, and a valuable activity of the Coast Guard personnel.
The icebreaker is a stubby, powerful craft that smashes through ice-choked channels, breaking way for river traffic. Usually the icebreaker precedes the vessel it is assisting, clearing a way directly ahead of the tanker or tug.
the mode of the icebreakers operation is interesting. It crushes the ice flow, rather than cutting it, by smashing it with the ship's bow. To withstand shock, this bow is covered with steel plates over an inch and one-half thick. The plates are slanted back so that the bow will ride up onto the ice. After impact, water ballast is shifted forward so that tons of weight bear down upon the sheet ice, breaking it under impact and pressure. The cutter then backs away for another assault.
Such an icebreaker played an important role on Friday, and Saturday of the week of January 20, 1957. She was name Manitou, but was officially known in the coast Guard as CG Cutter W 60. The Manitou is 110 ft. long has 1000 HP diesel-electric motors, and operate out of the Third Coast Guard District, New York. She was commanded by Chief Boatswain H. J. Hacker, and had been patrolling the river for over a week before the big ice jam started.
The O.S.H.S has a wonderful research library for your use. However, because of Covid it is currently open only by appointment. We have a number of materials that are useful to those who are researching the Old Saybrook area including those towns that were originally part of the original Saybrook Colony.
We have the Vital Records of Saybrook from it's inception up through 1937.
We have a great assortment of local family histories, genealogies and maps.
There are collections of pictures of most of the old houses of Old Saybrook, as well as a wonderful post card collection.
There are family files with various different materials including manuscripts and family trees.
We have the Probate records of the town from 1898 to about 1940. These are the original copies of the records that were in the town Hall.
There is something there for just about everyone.
As the Archivist of the Old Saybrook Historical Society, I am VERY Proud to be descended from at least ONE of Saybrook's most prominent citizens, Nathaniel Lynde, Esq.
Nathaniel Lynde came to Saybrook upon the death of his father Simon Lynde, of Boston, Massachusetts when his father left him his estate in Saybrook, which consisted of about 650 acres of land in Fenwick, Fenwood and Cornfield Point. He also owned quite a bit of land on the " neck' specifically where the cemetery is now located. He donated land and books to the Collegiate school which would become Yale College.
Nathaniel was very wealthy, but after his death and his land was divided up among his heirs, they didn't manage his wealth too well, much of it was either lost in land speculation or useless business enterprises that never made a profit. The area which is now Fenwick became " New Saybrook and the land was divided up into parcels for summer cottages and the Fenwick Hall which is no longer in existence. There are still many descendants that live in the area and still own portions of the original land in Essex and Chester, but I do not know any Lynde family members that live on the Neck or in Fenwick.
The Saybrook Round House - What was it?
The six stall 1871 round house at Saybrook Point was constructed of wood and was destroyed by fire on Tuesday night, June 4, 1895. It was replaced with a six stall brick round house that was first used on Monday, December 13, 1895, but after 28 years, it was reported that the round house was going to be dismantled.
The land that it was built on, was it purchased or taken by eminent domain ?
The land was purchased by the railroad company, none of the land was taken.
What was the name of the first steam Engine ??
Engine #1 - J.C. Walkley
Engine #2 - Hartford
Engine #3 - Middletown
Engine #4 - Haddam
Engine #5 - Essex
Engine #6 - Lady Fenwick.
Who built the railroad ???
The prime contractor was Dillon and Clyde of New York City whom subcontracted most of the work to smaller contractors. The majority of the laborers were of Irish decent.
The following is information that was requested by the North Cove Park Committee of Old Saybrook, regarding the railroad that was once prominent in Old Saybrook. The following will be questions and answers to them: FYI.
Question: What was the date of the first run ?
Answer: The first run was a northbound, by invitation, trip from Saybrook Point to D**e station (near Colts Patented Fi****ms factory) in Hartford on July 29, 1871. Train service between Fenwick and Saybrook Point was eventually abandoned on Sunday, September 16, 1915. The right of way between Fenwick and Saybrook Point Junction ceased on Monday, April 18, 1931. Train service between Saybrook Junction was abandoned on July 18, 1922. The last piece of track between these points was removed on January 7, 1927.
Here is how the Original Saybrook Colony was chopped up into Seven Different Towns:
1635 - Settlement at Saybrook Point by Lieutenant Gibbons and Sergeant Willard as the advance party for Governor John Winthrop, Jr.
1636 - First use of the name "Saybrook" in letter from Lion Gardiner to John Winthrop.
1648 - Saybrook divided into quarters - east side of Ct river, later Lyme; Oyster River Section, Later Westbrook, and Eight Mile Meadow, Potopaug (later Essex, Deep River and Chester)
1659 - The General Court approved a petition from a group of 20 families form Saybrook to establish a plantation in Norwich.
1665 - Lyme broke off from Saybrook in a " Loving Parting"
1678 - New Meeting House for the First Ecclesiastical Society vote in Saybrook.
1722 - Second Ecclesiastical Society formed in Centerbrook
1724 - Oyster River Quarter formed the Third Society.
1740 - Fourth Ecclesiastical Society authorized for Chester.
1836 - Incorporation of Chester as a separate town.
1840 - Incorporation of Westbrook as a separate town
1852 - Essex and Old Saybrook set off from Saybrook (the area named Deep River) and incorporated as a new town under the name of Old Saybrook.
1854- Old Saybrook incorporated as a separate town from Essex.
1855 - Old Lyme incorporated from Lyme.
1945 - Name of remaining lands (still claiming the original 1635 settlement date) changed from Saybrook to Deep River.
INFORMATION FROM: OLD SAYBROOK SOCIETY ARCHIVES