North Stonington, Connecticut

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North Stonington is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 4,991 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 55.0 square miles (142.4 km²), of which, 54.3 square miles (140.7 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (1.20%) is water.

Principal communities

On the National Register of Historic Places

Town History

Before the mid-17th century The land of North Stonington, located at the southeast corner of the State of Connecticut, was sculpted by the rise and fall of glaciers during a series of Ice Ages, the most recent of which lasted until about 10,000 years ago. As in many other areas of New England, the town has plenty of reminders of these waves of glaciation, in particular the many stones from which the town and its older sister, Stonington, derive their names.

Until the 17th Century the Pequots, along with the Niantics and Narragansetts, were the human residents in this area of southeastern Connecticut and adjacent parts of Rhode Island. We know little historically about Native American settlements and activities in what later became North Stonington. First of all, by the time Puritan settlers arrived in the area in the mid-17th Century, there were few natives (primarily Pequots) left as many in the area died from diseases spread by white traders and explorers for which the Native Americans had no immunities. More natives were killed or dispersed during the Pequot War of 1637. Finally, the Puritans were devoted to what they regarded as building Christ’s Church in a strange and dangerous wilderness, and had little interest in chronicling the history and ways of peoples they regarded as heathen savages.

The Pequots’ imprint remained in the town, however. The first white settlers kept a number of their names for the town’s main geological features, including the Shunock Brook−the town’s main water course−as well as Assekonk Swamp and Wintechog and Cossaduck hills. Further, Colonial authorities eventually allotted two reservations of the Pequot tribe, including in 1683 a plot of land on the eastern bank of Long Pond adjacent to Lantern Hill, in the south-western corner of the town. While it remains in the realm of speculation where 17th Century Pequot settlements were located in North Stonington, it is possible that the area in which the Village of North Stonington is currently located might earlier have been a key settlement for them, given the proximity to moving water and generally flat terrain conducive to agriculture. Typically the first Puritan settlers in New England established their settlements in what only a short time earlier had been occupied by Indians who had perished from disease.

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