in the Groton Bank Historical Association is open to all who are interested in the history, promotion and maintanence of the historic character to this settlement on the east bank of the Thames River.
Annual dues are $15/individual and $20/family.
To become a member please
contact membership chairperson, Denise Descheneaux, or GBHA president, Thomas Althuis listed at the end of this section.
2010-2011 Meetings and programs of the Groton Bank Historical Association:
Spring/Annual Meeting April 11, 2011--"Growing up in Groton Bank"--A
panel of long-time Groton residents will share their rememberances of life growing up in Groton Bank. The panel,
currently in formation will include residents who were born here up to 9
decades ago. They include: Sue Hewitt Bennett, who grew up
on Cottage Street; Miles Halliwell who grew up on Beckwith place; Archie Chester; Horace Newbury; and Mario Peruzzotti, who
grew up on Morgan Court. Archie and Horace grew up on Eastern Point but to vertually all Grotonites, Groton
Bank was the "metropolitan center" in which all spent considerable time. Panelists will relay their activites, childhood
pranks, rememberances of neighbors and people they worked for or with, and changes occuring in our neighborhood
over the decades. Come join and add your recollections to the fun.
- Winter Meeting, Feb 7, 2011--"What's Happened to Restore the Groton Monument"--This
past summer the 135 foot high Groton Monument was enclosed in a large cage of scaffolding with blue "curtains".
Joe Capasso and Ed Ciarleglio from GL Capasso Restoration Inc., the New Haven structural restoration company, will describe
the problems they found and what they did to fix them. Joe, president
of the company, trained in Italy as a mason and founded the company when coming to the U.S. in the mid-1960s. Known
for his skills in historical restoration, he oversees the company's projects. Ed, the project estimator, has been
in the masonry and waterproofing industry all is life and is considered one of the most knowledgeable in the construction
field. Connecticut's DEP awarded GL Capasso a $500,000 contract for the project which should be completed in the spring
of 2011. Capasso's many restoration projects include historic buildings at Yale, Amherst College, schools and churches.
|Groton Monument under restoration 2010
- Fall Meeting of Nov 8, 2010 --Bill LaRoue of the New London Maritime Society will speak
about the Custom House Museum and the Polaris Expedition originally led by explorer Charles Frances Hall. In 1871, Hall,
who had no sailing experience, set out to be the first to reach the North Pole having named Groton's arctic whaling captain
Sidney O. Budington as his sailing master. The expedition set a new record reaching northern latitudes. But troubled
with personnel and management problems, dissention of crew and staff, and Hall's suspecious death, it ended short of the Pole.
The ship was wrecked and the the crew rescued. Bill LaRoue will discuss this intriguing story and a new Custom House
exhibit being built about this venture.
- This story relates to the
history of Groton Bank. Sidney O. Budington was a member of Groton Bank's noted family of Buddington sea captains.
His uncle Waterman Z. Buddington of 91 Broad St. had been in the coastal and West Indies trade; uncle James Monroe
Buddington of 149 Monument St. had rescued the British ship "Resolute" in 1855; and J.M.B.'s son James Waterman Buddington
of 141 Monument St and later a mansion somewhat north on that street, made the last whaling voyage from New London returning
in 1909. S. O. Budington had lived in Center Groton and Pleasant Valley and by the 1860s owned the Groton Bank property
at he corner of Broad and Cottage Streets.
(Note: In contrast to others in the family S. O. B. spelled his name
with only one "d".)
Meetings and programs of the Groton Bank Historical Association for 2009-2010:
- Spring/Annual Meeting--April 19, 2010: Edward Baker, Executive Director
of the New London County Historical Society spoke about Privateering During the American Revolution. The
highly successful commerce-raiding privateers from both sides of the Thames Harbor were a factor leading to the
British attack on New London and Groton Heights on September 6, 1781.
- Last Fall's Meeting--November 16, 2009 was a member and neighborhood potluck Thanksgiving
dinner with Dr. Kevin McBride, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut and Director of Research
at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center . He spoke spoke about "Thanksgiving Myths and Facts"
regarding the occasion in Indian-Colonial times.
- Winter Meeting--February 8, 2010: Speaker was Jim Streeter, Groton Town Mayor,
Groton historian and author of the recent book "Groton Historical Bits and Pieces". Jim discussed topics in his
new book including a few about the Groton Bank area.
Restored/Renovated houses discussed on April 27, 2009:
Upcoming Meeting for 2011-2012--(See
Summaries of Prior Meetings:
Spring/Annual Meeting: April 27, 2009
"House Restoration Experiences at Groton Bank"
Winter: February 2, 2009
"Research Needed to Obtain Historic Building Plaques"
Horace Newbury and Tom Althuis
Fall: November 17, 2008
"Celebrating Thanksgiving in Early Times"
Leslie Evans, Curator Avery-Copp Museum
February 2, 2009 "Carrying out
Research to Obtain Historic Building Plaques
In response to many inquires about obtaining "Groton
Bank Historic House Plaques" that display the original owner-occupant and the date of construction, Horace Newbury and Tom
Althuis spoke about the research process to determine this information. In the past about 90 of Groton Bank's several
hundred historic houses or buildings have been researched and have plaques on them. Information on the original owner-occupant
and age of the structure relies on Groton Land Records, knowledge of the architectural style of the structure, and information
that can be gleaned from maps, old pictures and other sources.
GBHA Officers/committee chairs are:
Thomas Althuis, president, 5 Meridian St., Groton, CT 06340
Naomi Otterness, vice president, 71 Silas Deane Rd., Ledyard, CT 06339
Donna LaBranch, treasurer, 111 Monument St., Groton, CT 06340
Barbara Frucht, secretary and newsletter editor, 300 Brandegee Ave. # 106,
Groton, CT 06340
Sue Bennett, historian, 935 Eastern Point Rd., Groton, CT 06340
Denise Descheneaux, membership chairperson, 118 Thames St., Groton, CT 06340
Newbury, historical plaque research chairperson, 279 Thames St., Groton, CT 06340
This web site is sponsored by the Groton Bank Historical
Association, Inc. (GBHA). GBHA’s objective is to research and promote the history of Groton Bank and to maintain
the historical architecture and village character of this area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To accomplish this GBHA publishes information about Groton Bank and sponsors several historical-educational