The Journey Home

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New London at sunset

We liked the journey home best of all.  The sun was in our eyes and low in the sky.  The water lay calm and peaceful as we moved effortlessly to the west and made the turn at Eastern Point.  Then the river journey once more.  All seemed dwarfed and domesticated after we left the bolder scenes behind us.  Perhaps picturesque is a better adjective.  A straight course up a subdued sheet of river water with its shadowed shores; then the curving dyke and the echoing hills repeating the splashing of the paddlewheels and the clanking of the machinery. Fretful children were at last quiet, the burn of the sun was gone, our eyes rested on the soothing dark green of trees.  

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The New London railroad bridge in late afternoon

Then the blast of the whistle as the clock face on the distant Norwich city hall came into view, then the clearly outlined wharves with steamers cooling off during the unloading of rumbling freight, and finally the old familiar faces of stevedores, cabmen, and omnibus drivers. Home lay at the top of the hill, a short ten minutes' walk on unsteady sea legs.

Any citizen of any age could have this experience for a small outlay.  No one can have it, at any price, today. 

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Below: New London Steamboat Co. tickets from the McGuire Library collection

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Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library