Experience the New London County Historical Society and the 1756 Shaw Mansion


Wednesday-Friday 1 – 4 PM
Also in Summer:
Saturdays 10 AM – 4 PM

Founded in 1870, the New London County Historical Society is the oldest historical organization in eastern Connecticut. The Shaw Mansion, located near the intersection of Bank and Tilley Streets in New London, has been our home since 1907.

During the Revolutionary War the mansion served as Connecticut’s Naval War Office. A visit here will provide a unique opportunity to learn of the role of privateering and State navies in the American Revolution. Exhibits of artifacts and manuscripts from the period have the power to bring that struggle to life.

The wealthy merchant, Captain Nathaniel Shaw, began building the granite mansion in 1756 using the labor of French refugees, the Acadians, exiled from Nova Scotia and dispersed to Connecticut towns during the time of the French and Indian War.

The house and grounds were owned by five generations of that one family before being sold to the Historical Society in 1907 to be our headquarters. The unique combination of an undispersed family collection intimately tied to the region’s history, and an early collection of resources focused on the entire county–a county with an amazingly rich heritage linked to its maritime past–makes this truly a community treasure.

• Visit Historic New London County for an adventure into America’s Past.

• The Shaw Mansion survived Benedict Arnold’s 1781 rampage.

• View the extensive museum collection and research the archives.

• Thousands of documents and manuscripts to trace your family genealogy.

• Be sure to visit our gallery at Picturing New London.

The mission of the New London County Historical Society is to inspire residents and visitors to appreciate the past and draw upon Southeastern Connecticut’s rich heritage as a key to understanding the present and planning for the future.

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