Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Old Saybrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,242 at the 2010 census. It contains the incorporated borough of Fenwick, as well as the census-designated places of Old Saybrook Center and Saybrook Manor.

Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Saybrook Breakwater Light
Official seal of Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Seal
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°17′38″N 72°22′57″W / 41.29389°N 72.38250°WCoordinates: 41°17′38″N 72°22′57″W / 41.29389°N 72.38250°W
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
CountyMiddlesex
Metropolitan areaHartford
Settled1635
Incorporated1854
Government
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanCarl P. Fortuna, Jr (R)
 • SelectmanScott Geigerich (R)
 • SelectmanSteven Gernhardt (D)
Area
 • Total21.6 sq mi (55.9 km2)
 • Land15.0 sq mi (38.8 km2)
 • Water6.6 sq mi (17.0 km2)
Elevation
39 ft (12 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total10,242
 • Density682.8/sq mi (263.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06475
Area code(s)860/959
FIPS code09-57320
GNIS feature ID0213484
Websitehttp://www.oldsaybrookct.org/

History

In 1644, shortly after establishing their first settlement at Governors Island, Dutch settlers established a short-lived factory at present day Old Saybrook. The trading post was named Kievits Hoek, or "Plover's Corner". Kievits Hoek was soon abandoned as the Dutch consolidated settlement at New Amsterdam. In 1633, Fort Goede Hoop (Huys de Goede Hoop), was established at present-day Hartford.[1]

The Pequot siege of Saybrook Fort took place from September 1636 to March 1637 during the Pequot War.

Following the August 1636 Massachusetts Bay attack on Manisses, Pequot, and Western Niantic villages, the Pequot retaliation fell on the English at Saybrook. During an eight-month time period, the Pequot killed and wounded more than twenty English at and near Saybrook Fort. The English were attacked when they ventured far from their palisade, and the Pequot destroyed English provisions and burned warehouses while they attempted to interrupt river traffic to Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford. During the Siege and Battle of Saybrook Fort, the Pequot and English assessed each other's military capabilities, and adjusted counter-tactics. Each side’s tactical modifications show a high degree of sophistication, planning, and ingenuity. Lessons learned during the siege of Saybrook escalated the Pequot War in Connecticut Colony, and indirectly resulted in the attack and destruction of Mistick Fort (May 1637).

The Saybrook Colony was established in late 1635 at the mouth of the Connecticut River, in what is today Old Saybrook and environs. John Winthrop, the Younger, son of the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was designated Governor by the group that claimed possession of the land via a deed of conveyance from Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick. Winthrop was aided by Colonel George Fenwick and Captain Lion Gardiner. As the principals of the group who had planned to settle the colony were supporters of Oliver Cromwell and remained in England during the English Civil War, the colony struggled. In 1644, Fenwick agreed to merge the colony with the more vibrant Connecticut Colony a few miles up river, which purchased the land and fort from him.

The design of the Flag of Connecticut comes from the seal of Saybrook Colony. The seal was brought from England by Colonel George Fenwick, and depicted 15 grapevines and a hand in the upper left corner with a scroll reading "Qui Transtulit Sustinet".

In 1647 Major John Mason assumed command of Saybrook (Colony) Fort which controlled the main trade and supply route to the upper river valley. The fort promptly and mysteriously burned to the ground but another improved fort was quickly built nearby. He spent the next twelve years there and served as Commissioner of the United Colonies, as the chief military officer, magistrate and peacekeeper.

In 1659, almost all settlers from Saybrook under the leadership of Mason, purchased land from Uncas, sachem of the Mohegan tribe, removed to and founded Norwich, Connecticut.[2] In 1661 there was a witch trial of Saybrook residents Margaret Jennings and her husband Nicholas, who were accused of causing the deaths of Marie Marvin and others. The trial resulted in a finding that they were probably witches, but there was not sufficient proof to execute them.[3]

On October 9, 1701 the Collegiate School of Connecticut was chartered in Old Saybrook. It moved to New Haven in 1716, and was later renamed Yale University.

Turtle - the first American submarine - was invented in Westbrook Connecticut in 1775 by David Bushnell; a replica is housed at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.

The General Assembly created the separate town of Old Saybrook from Saybrook in 1852. Old Saybrook was partitioned again in 1854 when the northern part became the town of Essex.[4]

Later development

In early 2007, plans were established to return the former town hall building to its original use as a theater. The theatre was completed in 2009 and is named "Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theater".

The town has committed spending almost $2 million on the renovation, and at least $810,000 is to be contributed by the state. A committee is attempting to raise another $2.5 million, partly for the renovation and to add two wings, but also for an endowment. The structure was originally built in 1901 and was a theater until the 1940s. After renovations, the theater will seat 250, and Hepburn memorabilia will be displayed there.[5]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56.0 km²), of which, 15.0 square miles (39.0 km²) of it is land and 6.6 square miles (17.0 km²) of it (30.45%) is water.

Principal communities

Flora

Coastal Connecticut (including Old Saybrook) is the broad transition zone where so-called "subtropical indicator" plants and other broadleaf evergreens can successfully be cultivated. Old Saybrook averages about 90 days annually with freeze (temperatures of 32 F/0 C) - about the same as Baltimore, Maryland, or Albuquerque, NM, for example. As such, Southern Magnolias, Needle Palms, Windmill palm, Loblolly Pines, and Crape Myrtles are grown in private and public gardens.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18601,105
18701,21510.0%
18801,3027.2%
18901,48414.0%
19001,431−3.6%
19101,5165.9%
19201,463−3.5%
19301,64312.3%
19401,98520.8%
19502,49925.9%
19605,274111.0%
19708,46860.6%
19809,2879.7%
19909,5522.9%
200010,3678.5%
201010,242−1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

2000 U.S. Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,367 people, 4,184 households, and 2,920 families residing in the town. The population density was 689.5 people per square mile (266.1/km²). There were 5,357 housing units at an average density of 356.3 per square mile (137.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.75% White, 1.01% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.72% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.87% of the population.

There were 4,184 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $62,742, and the median income for a family was $72,868. Males had a median income of $48,527 versus $36,426 for females. The per capita income for the town was $30,720. About 1.5% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

2010 U.S. Census

As of the 2010 census, the total population was 10,242. There were 4,247 households and 2,923 families living in the town. 1,108 households had children under the age of 18. The population density was 682.8 people per square mile (263.6/km²). There were 5,602 housing units at an average density of 373.5 per square mile (144.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.9% White, .9% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.0003% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.

There were 4,247 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.4% under the age of 20, 3.4% from 20 to 24, 16.4% from 25 to 44, 33.5% from 45 to 64, and 25.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.1 years. The population consisted of 4,852 (47.4%) males and 5,390 (52.6%) females.

The median income for a household in the town was $80,347, and the median income for a family was $97,399. Males had a median income of $74,298 versus $49,913 for females. The per capita income for the town was $43,266. About 4.5% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.[7]

Transportation

Old Saybrook Station
The platforms at the Old Saybrook train station.

Old Saybrook's train station opened in 1873 and was rebuilt in 2002. Amtrak, the national rail passenger system, provides daily service along the Northeast Corridor to Boston, New York and points south. The high-speed Acela Express passes through Old Saybrook but does not stop; service is provided by the conventional Northeast Regional. The Connecticut Department of Transportation provides regular commuter service to New Haven and Stamford via the Shore Line East.

The Estuary Transit District provides public transportation services throughout Old Saybrook and the surrounding towns through its 9 Town Transit services.

Media

One radio station is licensed to Old Saybrook: WLIS AM 1420 (variety)

National Register of Historic Places in Old Saybrook

Notable people

Image gallery

Old Saybrook, Connecticut 2016 175
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 2016 176

Justin Smith Sweet House, 1710

Old Saybrook, Connecticut 2016 177

See also

  • Saybrook, Illinois is named in honor of Old Saybrook.

Notes

  1. ^ Tully, William B. (1884), "Town of Old Saybrook", The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885, J. H. Beers & Co., p. 282
  2. ^ Caulkins, Frances Manwaring (1866). History of Norwich. p. 57.
  3. ^ Mahan, Russell, Thomas Leffingwell: The Connecticut Pioneer Who Rescued Chief Uncas and the Mohegans; Historical Enterprises, Santa Clara, UT, 2018, pp. 57-61.
  4. ^ Connecticut Society of Genealogists: Old Saybrook
  5. ^ Wojtas, Joe, "Hepburn's Town to Honor Her With a Theater", The New York Times, "Connecticut" section, page 2, February 18, 2007
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "American FactFinder: 06475". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Awardee". mychfc.org. Retrieved 2018-04-26.

External links

Amtrak Old Saybrook – Old Lyme Bridge

The Amtrak Old Saybrook – Old Lyme Bridge is the last crossing of the Connecticut River before it reaches Long Island Sound. It is a Truss bridge with a bascule span, allowing boat traffic to go through. Its tracks are owned by Amtrak and used by Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Shore Line East trains traversing the Northeast Corridor. It can be seen from the Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge (Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1), as well as from various points on Route 154.

Black Horse Tavern (Old Saybrook, Connecticut)

The Black Horse Tavern is a historic building at 175 North Cove Road in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Built c. 1712 by John Burrows, this 2-1/2 story wood frame structure is one of few early 18th-century buildings still standing in Connecticut, built on land that was among the earliest settled in the area. Now a private residence, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

C.W. Vrtacek

Charles O'Meara (March 13, 1953 – October 20, 2018) better known as C.W. Vrtacek,was an American multi-instrumentalist and composer. He was a founding member of Forever Einstein and group member with Biota.

Fred Crane

Frederic William Hotchkiss Crane (November 4, 1840 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut – April 27, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York) played in Major League Baseball. Joining the Brooklyn Atlantics club in 1862 with teammates Joe Start and Jack Chapman from the Enterprise club, his best season was in 1865 when he scored 71 runs in 18 games (second, behind Start) for the undefeated champions.

Gene Gossage

Ezra Eugene Gossage (February 17, 1935 – May 1, 2011) was an American and Canadian football player who played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Philadelphia Eagles. He won the Grey Cup with the Tiger-Cats in 1963. He played college football at Northwestern University and was drafted in the 1958 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles (Round 28, #328 overall). He died in 2011 at the age of 76.

Humphrey Pratt Tavern

The Humphrey Pratt Tavern is a historic house at 287 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Built in 1785, it was associated with the locally prominent Pratt family for many years, and served as a tavern and stagecoach stop in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

James A. Lewis

James A. "Jim" Lewis (April 20, 1933 – February 22, 1997, in Old Saybrook, Connecticut) was the Libertarian Party's Vice-Presidential nominee (1983) in the 1984 U.S. presidential election, sharing the party ticket with David Bergland. The ticket received 228,111 votes (0.25%) to finish third overall.Lewis, from his home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, made campaign stops across the United States during his campaign, and co-authored a book with Jim Peron, entitled Liberty Reclaimed.In 1987 Lewis ran for the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nomination finishing third with 12.8% of the vote at the 1987 Libertarian National Convention. Lewis finished behind nominee Ron Paul (51.3%) and Russell Means (31.4%).Lewis had earlier (1982) run for U.S. Senate in Connecticut as a Libertarian finishing fourth (receiving 8,163 votes (0.8%)) and had served from 1981 until 1983 as a representative to the Libertarian National Committee.

Lewis graduated from Babson College in 1958, and spent many years as a salesman for the General Book Binding Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

James Pharmacy

The James Pharmacy is a historic building at 2 Pennywise Lane in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Built in an evolutionary manner beginning about 1820, it is significant as the home and workplace of Anna Louise James (1886-1977), who was the first African-American woman pharmacist in the state, and owned the pharmacy for some time. It is also the birthplace and childhood home of author Ann Petry, who was James' niece. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, and is a contributing element in the Old Saybrook South Green district.

Jedidiah Dudley House

The Jedidiah Dudley House, (also known as the John Whittlesey Jr. House) is a historic house on Springbrook Road in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Built in the second half of the 18th century, it is a good example of period architecture, and is notable for its association with a family of ferry operators on the nearby Connecticut River. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Joe Wood (1944 pitcher)

Joe Frank Wood (May 20, 1916 – October 10, 2002) was a professional baseball pitcher. He appeared in three games in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox during the 1944 season. Listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 190 lb., Wood batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Shohola, Pennsylvania. His father, Smoky Joe Wood, also was a major league pitcher.

In three pitching appearances, including one start, Wood posted a 0–1 record with a 6.52 ERA, 13 hits allowed, five strikeouts, three walks, and 9 ⅔ innings of work.

Wood died in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, at the age of 86.

John Whittlesey Jr. House

The John Whittlesey Jr. House is a historic house at 40 Ferry Road in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. With a construction history estimated to date to the 1690s, it includes in its structure one of Connecticut's oldest surviving buildings. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Old Saybrook station

Old Saybrook is a regional rail station located in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It is served by both Amtrak Northeast Regional intercity trains and Shore Line East commuter service.

Parker House (Old Saybrook, Connecticut)

The Parker House is a historic house at 680 Middlesex Turnpike in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It is a roughly square 1-1/2 story wood frame structure with a gambrel roof, built in 1679 by Deacon William Parker. It is believed to be one of the oldest houses in the state, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge

The Baldwin Bridge is a concrete segmental bridge composed of eleven spans crossing the Connecticut River between Old Saybrook, Connecticut and Old Lyme, Connecticut. The bridge carries Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1, with an average daily traffic of 82,500 vehicles.The bridge carries eight lanes of Interstate 95 and US 1 traffic, 4 in each direction. In addition, there is a bike/pedestrian walkway on the north side of the bridge adjacent to the southbound lanes.

Samuel Eliot House

The Samuel Eliot House is a historic house at 500 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Probably built in 1737, it is a well-preserved example of Georgian residential architecture, and one of Old Saybrook's older buildings. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Saybrook Breakwater Light

Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is a sparkplug lighthouse in Connecticut,

United States, at Fenwick Point at the mouth of the Connecticut River near Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It is featured on the state's "Preserve the Sound" license plates.

"That outer lighthouse is the symbol of Old Saybrook," town First Selectman Michael Pace said in 2007, when the town was making plans to buy the lighthouse from the federal government.The lighthouse is also known simply as "Breakwater Light" or "Outer Light". It is one of two built off Lynde Point in the nineteenth century. The other lighthouse, known as Lynde Point Light or more commonly as "Inner Light", is 75 years older than this lighthouse. The two lighthouses mark the harbor channel at the mouth of the Connecticut River.

Saybrook Manor, Connecticut

Saybrook Manor is a community [1] and census-designated place (CDP) in Old Saybrook, a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,133 at the 2000 census. The Saybrook Manor section is generally the area south of U.S. Route 1 between the Westbrook town line and the Oyster River.

U.S. Route 1A

U.S. Route 1A is the name of several highways found in the United States.

Vin Baker

Vincent Lamont Baker (born November 23, 1971) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He appeared in four consecutive All-Star Games. He currently serves as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.

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