To The Manor Born

In 1639 an Englishman named Lion Gardiner singled out a piece of the New World and removed his family thereto—his very own island off the Connecticut coast. And despite invasions of pirates, treasure hunters, and British soldiers, Gardiners Island has remained in the hands of that family ever since. Because of Lion’s shrewd investment his descendants have indeed been

Robert David Lion Gardiner is a large landowner on Long Island, a successful developer and an impassioned preservationist. What makes Mr. Gardiner exceptional is that he also represents the eleventh generation of a family which has continuously owned the same land since 1639, making the Gardiners the oldest nonaboriginal landowners in America as well as the first American family to found a still-flourishing fortune based primarily on land. Were Long Island still a province of Great Britain, as it was for nearly a hundred and twenty years, Mr.Read more »

When Bridgeport Was Beautiful

For most Americans who pass that way today, Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a place to get through as soon as possible. Belching smokestacks, bumpy pavement, grimy houses, dingy stores, an apparently bombed-out railroad station—except for a few acres of “urban renewal” that’s the traveller’s impression; and one is puzzled by the motto still cherished by Bridgeport’s denizens: The Park City. But the prideful epithet must once have been deserved, bespeaking a pleasant suburban community on Long Island Sound, with lush green trees, elegant homes, delightful vistas.Read more »

Fort Griswold

Fifth in a series of painting for
AMERICAN HERITAGE

One of the ghastliest incidents of the Revolution took place at Groton, Connecticut, during the last engagement of the war in the north. Seventeen hundred British, Hessian, and Tory troops under the command of Benedict Arnold—now a British general after his defection the year before—set out against New London, on the west side of the Thames River from Groton, to seize a large supply of military stores there.Read more »

Gracious Record Of A Connecticut Family

Life in a small urban community in America in the 1880’s could be exceedingly pleasant, particularly if one was a leading citizen with the means to enjoy it.Read more »

Tall Tales From The Land Of Steady Habits

In 1781 an embittered American clergyman, a Loyalist living in exile in England, published a book entitled General History of Connecticut . It was, in fact, an amalgam of actual happenings, righteous tirades, and wild fantasies. The author, the Reverend Samuel A. Peters, was born in Hebron, Connecticut, was a graduate of Yale, and, after being ordained in England, was in charge of the Anglican churches of both Hebron and Hartford.Read more »