Introduction, Sources and Acknowledgements

State Pier postcard

This account of New London's Connecticut State Pier and its neighbor, the Central Vermont Railway Pier, salutes the ambitions and abilities of the New Londoners who promoted their city as a modern shipping center on one of the finest harbors of the East Coast.


The story has been told for well over a century in the form of articles in New London's newspaper, The Day, from the first ideas for an ocean terminal in the late 19th century to news reports, beginning in 2019, about a new and radically different use for the piers.

The origins of the State Pier and key developments in its checkered timeline are also woven through the pages of Gregory Stone's The Day Paper, a history of the newspaper which is also a political and economic history of the city it serves.

Special thanks are extended to The Day for permission to reproduce photographs and quote liberally from more than 100 years of reporting on the subjects of this exhibition.

The curator is indebted to Laurie Deredita, Ted Hendrickson, John Ruddy and Susan Tamulevich for their assistance.              

-----Brian Rogers, Online Exhibitions Curator, March 2021                                                     


Books in the Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library from which much of this exhibition has been drawn are listed below


Robert G. Albion, William A. Baker and Benjamin W. Labaree: New England & the Sea. Middletown, Published for Mystic Seaport by Wesleyan University Press, 1972

John Rogers Bolles: New London, A Seaport for the North and West and Outport of  New York: Its Great Commercial Advantages. New London, Power Press of George Starr, 1872

Connecticut Historical Commission: Historic Resources Inventory for Buildings and Structures, "Connecticut State Pier," 1985

Connecticut Legislature: The Report of a Joint Select Committee of the Legislature of the State of Connecticut, on the Proposed Navy Yard at New London.     New Haven, Babcock & Sizer, State Printers, 1862

Michael Krieger: Where Rails Meet the Sea - America's Connections Between Ships and Trains. New York, Metro Books, 1998

John Ruddy and Julia Bergman: "State Pier, New London's 'Ocean Terminal,' Never Lived up to Expectations." New London, The Day, April 7, 2019

Gregory N. Stone: The Day Paper - The Story of One of America's Last Independent Newspapers. New London, The Day Publishing Company, 2000

Gregg M. Turner and Melancthon Jacobus: Connecticut Railroads - An Illustrated History. Hartford, Connecticut Historical Society, 1989

U. S. National Park Service: National Register of Historic Places. "Central Vermont Railroad Pier, New London, Connecticut." 2005

Walter W. Woodward: Prospero's America - John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2010

Introduction, Sources and Acknowledgements