Mystic Seaport – America’s Leading Maritime Museum Part I


Since the 1600’s Mystic, Connecticut has been renowned for the craft of shipbuilding.  People from all over the world visit this historic area. Today, Mystic Seaport is America’s leading maritime museum.

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In the Henry B. Dupont Preservation Shipyard ships are still being built and restored.

You can see an example of  a 19th-Century fishing schooner, the L.A. Dunton (1921); historic vessels Joseph Conrad (1882) and the Roann (1947); and climb aboard to explore life on the newly restored whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan (1841).

Visitors can stroll the lanes of this 19th-Century Seafaring Village and learn about the daily lives of the inhabitants from docents dressed as villagers from that era.

I especially enjoyed the Children’s Museum which offered many hands-on activities for children and adult children like me.

The Seaport also presents special programs and exhibits which I’ll be writing about later this week in Part II.  For additional information and schedules of events, you can go to their website at


39 thoughts on “Mystic Seaport – America’s Leading Maritime Museum Part I

  1. Oh wow! This looks wonderful. I’ve checked the map and it would be an easy drive from here so I am putting it on my ever-increasing to-visit list for the New Year. The sea and seafarers are a constant call for me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From now until Christmas they have a guided Lantern Tour throughout the night. it centers around a Christmas mystery and you visit the different homes and businesses and listen in as the townsfolk discuss the mystery. It ends on the C.W.Morgan Whaling Ship.It isn’t that far from Boston and we live close by. I’l be writing about the special exhibit on loan from the National Maritime Museum in London in my next post. Brains would love it as it centers around the Quest for Longitude.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That is too kind! The Bean returns with us … she is extremely excited (as am I to see her – it’s been two weeks which is two weeks too long). We will so look forward to meeting you x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She’s staying with my mother who will be spoiling her terribly but she will let me know she is displeased when I see her! She will be happy to discuss with Roxie, I am sure ‘my humans treat me unjustly’ will be the topic of the day I’m sure!

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    1. The first time I visited, I was a girl scout and we took the train. I’ve been at other times and the Sunday before Christmas, they open it to the public for free. Everything is decorated for Christmas and there is group caroling on the town square in the evening led by singers in costume. It is quite lovely.

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    2. Oh, and they also hold traditional holiday “bakes” in an early 19th-century kitchen in the Buckingham-Hall House. You can make pies and cookies and get a set of recipe cards hand-set and printed on an antique press. I think you would really like that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wasn’t that where they filmed “message in a bottle” with Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn.. He is a ship builder… I loved that movie.. Paul Newman’s last role I believe..

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    1. I’m not sure about Mystic, but scenes from that movie were filmed in Chicago. They tried to shoot it on Tangier Island, Virginia but members of the town council objected to the original script and wanted revisions. Then they tried Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts but couldn’t get a permit to build the house on stilts near the dunes. So they had to go with Maine and North Carolina. In 1973 the tv movie, Man Without a Country,was filmed there; in 1987 scenes from Mystic Pizza; and in 1997 scenes from Amistad. I think they should have tried Mystic from the start. They could have avoided a lot of aggravation.

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    1. It’s a step back in history and a nice place t0 spend the day.
      I’ll be writing about the special exhibits and planetarium in the next post.
      The villages of Mystic and Stonington nearby are very quaint. And there are some vineyards in Stonington. Wine tasting is also a great activity.

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      1. Another faceless angel bit the dust and ZuZu is missing. I think Roxie conned her into another game of hide and don’t seek.
        Lucy! Did you know there’s going to be a TV Special starring us this Wednesday night? How cool are we? Love, Ethel.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so interesting. I’ve just finished reading a narrative nonfiction called “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick about the Nantucket Island whalers in the early 1800s. It relates the fascinating story of the “Essex” which is reported to be the inspiration for Moby Dick. There is a film soon to be released based on the book. I don’t intend seeing the film. The richness of the research and storytelling in the book might be lost for me in the film. The physical demands of being a mariner (and the emotional demands on the families) in that era were incredible. Seeing this museum no doubt would’ve given an insight into that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Ron Howard directed that movie about the Essex. He was at the seaport a while ago researching the background on the history of the Essex, particularly that last voyage. The headlines at that time read: “Opie’s in the House”. I don’t think I’ll see it either, although Charley is interested.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You brought back some beautiful memories for me. Visited Mystic Seaport many years ago.
    I am enjoying the discussion about the movies associated. Such a treat when a good discussion erupts form a post. Well done. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love interactive historic places and am glad that this post brought back good memories for you. Yes, the comments are one of the best parts of blogging for me. I’ve had some really interesting “conversations” (sometimes at 2,3,4AM) with people far away, across oceans. I look forward to them and learn so much each time. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This museum is exactly the sort of place I like to visit. I’m fascinated by all things nautical, and this museum has so much to offer. The children’s museum is and excellent idea, lovely and colourful and so educational. If we ever get over to Conneticut, Mystic Village would be on our list of places to visit. Lovely post, Clare and beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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