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Fort Saybrook Memorial Park- Old Saybrook CT

In 1614 the Dutch explorer Adrian Block became the first white man to enter the river Quonitocutt, or "Long Tidal River." The Dutch were active traders and claimed much of the river area for New Netherlands. By 1632 they had established a small trading post and renamed the area KIEVETS HOOK. In 1631 the Earl of Warwick, as president of the Council for New England (which granted the legal permission for all English settlement in the new world), signed the "Warwick Patent," an unique deed conveying a vast segment of New England to a group of fifteen Lords and gentlemen. These men were seeking a potential place of refuge in case the Puritan Revolution then raging in England should fail, and the King be restored to the throne.

In 1635 the Warwick Patentees commissioned John Winthrop, Jr. as "First governor of the river Connecticut." Winthrop then hired Lieutenant Lion Gardiner for a period of four years to build a fort and lay out a town. Upon arrival in Boston from England, Winthrop learned that the Dutch were also planning to occupy their trading post permanently. He immediately dispatched a small vessel with 20 armed men under the command of Lieutenant Edward Giibbons and Sergeant Samuel Willard to seize military control of the Point.

Thus was established Fort Saybrook, Connecticut's third oldest settlement (after Windsor and Wethersfield), and its first military fortification.. Winthrop and Gardiner spent the winter at Massachusetts Bay assembling men and supplies. Gardiner arrived in March, 1636, to commence building a permanent strong palisado fort for protection of the prospective settlers The settlement was subsequently subjected to constant attacks by the Pequots.

In April 1636 the Gardiners' son David was born. His was the first recorded birth of a white child on the Connecticut frontier. Also in this year George Fenwick, one of the original patentees, visited the fort. He did not return until 1639, at the expiration of Lion Gardiner's contract. Fenwick then took up his position as second governor of the Colony, and moved with his family into the Great Hall of the Fort. In 1644, Gov. Fenwick, acting as agent for the other fourteen Warwick Patentees, sold the Fort and Saybrook Colony to the Connecticut Colony. The Saybrook seal transferred in this transaction is now the seal of the State of Connecticut. In 1645 Capt. John Mason became commander of the Fort.

In 1647 the original palisado fort with all its buildings burned to the ground. A new fort of much simpler construction was built on adjacent "New Fort Hill". This second fort served as the main line of defense against expected Dutch attacks in the 1650's, and against the Bntish raids during the Revolution and the War of 1812. During the 1700's and 1800's Saybrook grew, prospered and became an influential municipality of the state. In 1870 the site property was acquired by the Valley Railroad in order to lay track to Saybrook Point. "New Fort Hill" was levelled, and the resultant fill was used to build a railroad causeway to Fenwick. In 1940 the successors to the Railroad conveyed the property to the State of Connecticut with the stipulation that it be used for "monumental purposes only."

from wikimapia

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 5, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Kevin Stewart
    • Camera: EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY KODAK EASYSHARE ZD710 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA
    • Taken on 2012/07/23 10:16:52
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 6.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO125
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash