Groton, Connecticut
Groton ˈɡrɒtən is a town
New England town
The New England town is the basic unit of local government in each of the six New England states. Without a direct counterpart in most other U.S. states, New England towns are conceptually similar to civil townships in other states, but are incorporated, possessing powers like cities in other...

 located on the Thames River
Thames River (Connecticut)
The Thames River is a short river and tidal estuary in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It flows south for through eastern Connecticut from the junction of the Yantic and Shetucket rivers at Norwich, to New London and Groton, which flank its mouth at the Long Island Sound.Differing from its...

 in New London County
New London County, Connecticut
New London County is a county located in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of 2010 the population was 274,055. The total area of the county is , including inland and coastal waters....

, Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The population was 39,907 at the 2000 census.

Groton is the home of the Electric Boat Corporation
Electric Boat Corporation
The General Dynamics Electric Boat is a division of General Dynamics Corporation. It has been the primary builder of submarines for the United States Navy for over 100 years....

, which is the major contractor for submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 work for the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, and the Navy's SUBASE New London
Naval Submarine Base New London
Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy's primary submarine base, the "Home of the Submarine Force", and "the Submarine Capital of the World".-History:...

. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

 is also a major employer. The Avery Point section of Groton is home to a regional campus of the University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut
The admission rate to the University of Connecticut is about 50% and has been steadily decreasing, with about 28,000 prospective students applying for admission to the freshman class in recent years. Approximately 40,000 prospective students tour the main campus in Storrs annually...



Groton, Connecticut was established in 1705 when it made its separation from New London, Connecticut
New London, Connecticut
New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States.It is located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, southeastern Connecticut....

. Over the years Groton has become a very populated city with numerous monuments that makes it one of the most historical cities in the area. Many tourists come from all over to view Groton.
Groton has become a very popular town especially with all its attractions. People are mainly attracted to Groton because of General Dynamics
General Dynamics
General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...

 branch of Electric Boat, its history with the Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, battle memorials and Fort Griswold
Fort Griswold
Fort Griswold is a former American military base in Groton, Connecticut. Named after then Deputy Governor Matthew Griswold, the fort played a key role in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War...


Groton is the home of General Dynamic's Electric Boat Division, which has been supplying the Navy with submersibles since 1899. Electric Boat employs thousands in the Groton/New London area, but since the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, has suffered through many layoffs.

The Old Mystic Baptist Church which was founded in Groton, Connecticut was the first Baptist Church in Connecticut.

The beginning

A hundred years before the town was established, the Nehantic
Niantic (tribe)
The Niantic, or in their own language, the Nehântick or Nehantucket were a tribe of New England Native Americans, who were living in Connecticut and Rhode Island during the early colonial period. Due to intrusions of the Pequot, the Niantic were divided into an eastern and western division...

 (Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

) Indians were settled in Groton, Connecticut between the Thames and Pawcatuck River
Pawcatuck River
The Pawcatuck River is a river in the U.S. states of Rhode Island and Connecticut flowing approximately . There are eight dams along the river's length. The former USS Pawcatuck was named after the river.-History:...

s. The Nehantic Indians were brutally attacked by another band of natives. These invaders burned their wigwams, destroyed their cornfields and food supplies and a few possessions were stolen. Many of the Nehantic Indians warriors were tomahawked
Tomahawk (axe)
A tomahawk is a type of axe native to North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. The name came into the English language in the 17th century as a transliteration of the Powhatan word.Tomahawks were general purpose tools used by Native Americans and European Colonials...

. The survivors fled to Misquamicut, Rhode Island.

The newcomers to the land were the Pequots
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe
The Mashantucket Pequot are a small Native American tribal nation of the Algonquian language community in the state of Connecticut. Within the tribe's Reservation, in Ledyard, New London County, Connecticut, the Mashantucket Pequot operate Foxwoods Resort Casino, the world's largest resort...

. The Pequots were a branch on the Mohawks of who were most feared. They were brave and heartless. They had little sympathy which allowed them to create horrifying types of torture for their enemies. They wrote their names in blood and fire all over but also in Groton, Connecticut. As the Pequots population grew it forced them to move eastward into the Connecticut Valley. But soon enough they began to rampage through the villages of the River Indians. The Peqouts finally rested and made their headquarters in Groton, Connecticut. They built 3 villages at Groton Heights, Fort Hill, and Mystic. This was all prime Indian country. They land supplied them with all they needed to survive, and there was game of all kinds.

Life was hard for the Peqouts, without having more modern weapons and tools to work with. They made canoes from burning out the insides of a straight tree trunk. The rivers in Groton were the Pequots form on transportation:
Groton has navigable water on three sides. On the west side, deep Thames River; on the east, the Mystic with shelving shores and a safe anchorage. On the south Groton borders on Fishers Island Sound; a ragged, rocky shoreline with many coves and inlets and three splendid sandy beaches at Eastern Point, Bluff Point and Groton Long Point.

Between the rivers the land was undulating and rough, until you got to the center, Poquonnock Plains, which was a nice smooth stretch of land that went to the sound. To the North of Poquonnock lied the center on Groton until 1836.

The summer on 1614 was the first time the Pequots ever met the white settlers. They started trading furs for the settler’s goods. Things like steel knives, needles and boots. In 1633 the Dutch bought land from the Pequots and permission for River Indians to bring their fur for trade. Meanwhile the English bought land for settlement away from the local tribes. The Dutch had unintentionally killed the Pequots Chief. This created a need for revenge by the Pequot tribe, so they attacked. Soon after attacking the new leader of the Pequots Sassacus
Sassacus was a Pequot sachem....

 realized that they were in grave danger because the English hated them and so did the surrounding Indians. The Pequots had been expelled from their land by white settlers. They too could see how beautiful the land was. The land was covered in forest and flowing with wildlife and all types of birds and animals that they have never seen before.

In 1630 John Winthrop the Younger had stayed in Groton to take care of the manor while his father led 100 puritans to Boston. He became a business agent for the colonists but soon after in 1631 he sailed a ship to come up with remedies. He became New England’s first recognized scientist.

The first settlers of Groton had to be farmers because they needed to provide the necessities of food and clothing. The land that they had to work with though made it very difficult to start off. The land was mainly made up of rocks and trees. Because of the earlier glaciers it wiped away all of the top soil. Therefore all of the rocks and trees had to be removed before any work could be done to the ground. Livestock was also very important to the settlers. Cattle were great for providing dairy; pigs and sheep for wool and animal protein; and the oxen did the heavy farm work. In 1660, Gray wolves in the area started to become such a problem that the settlers offered to give 20 shillings for each wolf that is killed. Since the land was poor and they were settled right on the water it left room for commerce and trade.

Groton became an oceangoing town. Most of the community began to build ships and soon the first traders made their way to Boston and Plymouth to trade for food, tools weapons and clothing. John Leeds was the earliest shipbuilder as a sea captain from Kent, England. John Leeds built a 20-ton brigantine, a two-masted sailing ship with square-rigged sails on the foremast and fore-and-aft sails on the mainmast; Thomas Starr built a 67-ton Square- sterned vessel; and Thomas Latham launched a 100-ton brig with mast standing and fully rigged on the Groton Bank. The sturdy ships built in Groton made very profitable trades with the Caribbean Islands. Many ships lost lots due to storms but the profits were worth the risks.

American Revolution

Rough times were brought to Groton when the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 ended and the Sugar Act
Sugar Act
The Sugar Act, also known as the American Revenue Act or the American Duties Act, was a revenue-raising act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain on April 5, 1764. The preamble to the act stated: "it is expedient that new provisions and regulations should be established for improving the...

 of 1764 and the Stamp Act of 1765 came into play. Once Parliament closed down the Boston port it crippled Groton’s commerce.

On September 6, 1781 a battle of the American Revolutionary War, The Battle of Groton Heights
Battle of Groton Heights
The Battle of Groton Heights was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on September 6, 1781 between a small Connecticut militia force led by Lieutenant Colonel William Ledyard and the more numerous British forces led by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and Lieutenant...

, was fought. The battle was fought between a small militia detachment led by William Ledyard
William Ledyard
William Ledyard was a lieutenant colonel in the Connecticut militia who was killed in the American Revolutionary War....

 and numerous British forces led by Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold V was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces...

. No one at Fort Griswold
Fort Griswold
Fort Griswold is a former American military base in Groton, Connecticut. Named after then Deputy Governor Matthew Griswold, the fort played a key role in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War...

 had been expecting anything especially after there had been 6 years of false alarms. At sunrise a force of 1700 British regulars landed on both sides of the Thames Rivers mouth.

The fleet had sailed from Long Island the evening before and only a sudden shift in the wind prevented a surprise night attack-it was 9 a.m. before the transports could come close to shore to land the troops.

Benedict Arnold led an 800 man detachment which destroyed stockpiles of goods and naval stores.
Benedict Arnold had been unaware of the orders given to spare most of the town. He was also unaware that one of the ships that they were to destroy was filled with gunpowder. Upon ignition the ship burst into flames and created an uncontrollable fire. The fire resulted in setting fire to 143 buildings which should have been spared.

Later on a British force of 800 men were moving towards Fort Griswold which was garrisoned by 164 militia and local men. The British sent a flag of surrender to Fort Griswold but William Ledyard refused and returned the flag. Therefore the British assaulted Fort Griswold.

The memorial for the Battle of Groton Heights was put up in 1830 for the 88 men and boys who were killed at Fort Griswold. Fort Griswold is currently the only standing intact memorial left from the Revolutionary War. The 135 feet (41.1 m) monument has become the towns’ symbol and is now featured on the Groton town seal.

Early 19th century

Shortly after the Revolutionary War Groton started to re-establish its commercial activities. Shipbuilders began to build again; in 1784 Victory was launched; 1785 Success was launched; and in 1787 five sloops were built along with the 164-ton Nancy. Shipbuilders along the Mystic River
Mystic River (Connecticut)
The Mystic River is a estuary in the southeast corner of the U. S. state of Connecticut. Its main tributary is Whitford Brook. It empties into Fishers Island Sound, dividing the village of Mystic between the towns of Groton and Stonington. Much of the river is tidal...

 were the busiest ship builders. These ships went on trips to Florida and the profits returned made Mystic the most thriving part of the town. Groton had been putting out many vessels but in 1723 came big shipbuilding. It was the largest merchantman built before the revolution weighing at, 700 tons. Ships were being sailed to Lisbon and England. But soon enough England and France were fighting. Since the United States took a neutral position and continued trade with both sides, profits were large. Between 1784 and 1800, 32 vessels were built in Groton. And then 28 to 1807 when business came to a sudden stop with the Embargo Act.

June 1812 had arrived and the United States declared war on Great Britain. We had a small navy yet most of the sea power was landlocked in the Thames River. This frightened the people in Groton for fear the repeated affairs on 1781. So they all fled inland for safety. For those that didn’t flee they demanded protection and militia. These residents built a fort on a hill of rock that held on cannon and maintained constant guard. The fort was named Fort Rachel, after a woman that lived nearby. The British never attacked but created a blockade that ruined Groton’s trade.

August 12, 1814, the day after the British attacked Stonington, some men from Mystic lured a British barge to Groton Long Point which gave them 2,600 dollars in prize money. The men in Mystic acquired a sloop in which they later sold the cargo for 6,000 dollars. Seventeen Mystic men also tried out a new weapon, the spar torpedo
Spar torpedo
A spar torpedo is a weapon consisting of a bomb placed at the end of a long pole, or spar, and attached to a boat. The weapon is used by running the end of the spar into the enemy ship. Spar torpedoes were often equipped with a barbed spear at the end, so it would stick to wooden hulls...

, to rid themselves of the unwelcome guards. They brought the torpedo from New York; it was 30 feet (9 m) long, 7 inches (17.8 cm) in diameter, and had a 12 feet (4 m) crossbar at one end. The men failed to sink the HMS Ramillies
HMS Ramillies (1785)
HMS Ramillies was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 12 July 1785 at Rotherhithe.In 1801, she was part of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker's reserve squadron at the Battle of Copenhagen, and so did not take an active part in the battle.In August 1812, Sir Thomas Masterman...

. On their first attempt the torpedo went into the water; on the second attempt the explosive caught on the Ramillies’ cable and exploded. All the men made it safely to the shore while being fired at by the British ship and the American sentries at Eastern Point.

Groton received word that the war was over on February 21, 1815. The land-locked frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

s left the Thames in April, leaving Groton to resume its marine pursuits.

After the War of 1812 whaling
Whaling in America
The origins of whaling in the United States date to the 17th century in New England and peaked in 1846-52. New Bedford, Massachusetts, sent out its last whaler, the John R. Mantra, in 1927.-History:...

 became a very important part of Groton’s economy, but most of the expeditions were still for seal skins. Before 1820 sealers went to Antarctica, where their ships would drop them off. They would kill the seals and then prepare the skins for some weeks, until their ship returned for them. By 1830 whaling had become Mystic’s main business. By 1846 Groton became second among the world’s whaling ports. Whaling was difficult and dangerous, but boys would go out to sea to make their fortune nonetheless, in the hope that some of them would eventually come to command a vessel.

In 1865 Ebenezer Morgan made one of the most profitable voyages. He sold his cargo for 150,000 dollars. Three years later he raised the first American flag on Alaskan territory and there he collected 45,000 seal skins. When he retired it was said that his estate totaled up to 1 million dollars.

William H. Allen, another son of Groton, spent 25 years commanding a whale ship. Old sailors said that:
"Whales rose to the surface and waited to be harpooned." When he retired he spent 12 years working as a selectman.

Late 19th century

In 1849 the discovery of gold in California
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands , and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to...

 created a demand for speed that resulted in the creation of the clipper ship
A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century that had three or more masts and a square rig. They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area...

 — a fast sailing ship with multiple masts and a square rig. The most important vessel built at the Mystic River Shipyard was the clipper ship Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson (clipper)
The sailing ship Andrew Jackson, a 1,679-registered-ton medium clipper, was built by the firm of Irons & Grinnell in Mystic, Connecticut in 1855. The vessel was designed for the shipping firm of J.H. Brower & Co...

. In 1859 it sailed from New York to San Francisco in a record time of 89 days and 4 hours. Both clippers and sailing packets were built in the shipyards of the Mystic River at that time. The Mystic shipyards started building ships with a greater cargo capacity after the Civil War.

Gideon Welles
Gideon Welles
Gideon Welles was the United States Secretary of the Navy from 1861 to 1869. His buildup of the Navy to successfully execute blockades of Southern ports was a key component of Northern victory of the Civil War...

, during the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, wanted 3 experimental ironclad
Ironclad warship
An ironclad was a steam-propelled warship in the early part of the second half of the 19th century, protected by iron or steel armor plates. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, La Gloire,...

 steamers to be built in private shipyards to be used against the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

's wooden fleet. A company in Groton was chosen to build and bomb-proof steamer designed by C.S. Bushnell
Cornelius Scranton Bushnell
Cornelius Scranton Bushnell was an American railroad executive and shipbuilder who was instrumental in developing ironclad ships for the Union Navy during the American Civil War.-Background:...

 of New Haven. 100 men were hired and a big shed was built so construction could continue rain or shine. The ship was ready for launching in 130 days. There were a lot of skeptics on whether the ship would corrode once it hit the salt water or sink but there were very few who thought it might float. Thousands came to watch Galena’s
USS Galena (1862)
USS Galena — an ironclad screw steamer — was one of the first three ironclads, each of a different design, built by the Union Navy during the American Civil War....

 launch on Valentine’s Day 1862. Reporters commented that she floated like a duck. When it came time for the Galena to enter battle she was pierced 13 times. Thirteen of the crew members were killed and 11 were wounded from flying metal fragments. During the Civil War, 56 steamships were built for government service in shipyards on both sides of the Mystic River.

After the war there were dozens of excess war steamships, and after 1870 shipbuilding in Groton came to an end and moved up to Noank
Noank, Connecticut
Noank is a village and census-designated place in the town of Groton in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,830 at the 2000 census...

. One of the largest shipyards, Palmer Shipyard, had been established in Noank in 1827. A marine railway built in Groton in 1860 allowed them to pull vessels out of the water for repairs, which brought in a lot of business and money. The shipyard was running up to 1913 when one of the Palmer brothers died, but during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the shipyard was used again. Iron ships began to be demanded and these giant ships attracted workers to Groton. Housing was beginning to run short so Groton Realty had to hurry to build hotels and cottages. The ships which brought the workers in turn also brought more business to the Realty.

Groton, Connecticut used to consist of present day Groton and Ledyard
Ledyard, Connecticut
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,687 people, 5,286 households, and 4,101 families residing in the town. The population density was 385.1 people per square mile . There were 5,486 housing units at an average density of 143.8 per square mile...

. The center of Groton used to be the intersection of Route 184
Connecticut Route 184
Route 184 is a state highway in southeastern Connecticut, running from Groton to North Stonington.-Route description:Route 184 begins as a freeway from northbound Exit 86 of I-95 just north of the city of Groton. It crosses over Route 12 later at an interchange and soon becomes a surface street...

 and Route 117
Connecticut Route 117
Route 117 is a state highway in southeastern Connecticut, running from Groton to Preston.-Route description:Route 117 begins at an intersection with US 1 in the village of Poquonnock Bridge in Groton. It starts out as Newtown Road then changes to North Road...

. This was also where Groton’s first school, church, tavern and stagecoach shop were located. Ledyard separated from Groton to become its own town in 1836 and this area was no longer the center.

20th century

In the 20th century, the shipbuilding industry moved from the Mystic River to the Thames River. Electric Boat
Electric boat
While a significant majority of water vessels are powered by diesel engines, with sail power and gasoline engines also remaining popular, boats powered by electricity have been used for over 120 years. Electric boats were very popular from the 1880s until the 1920s, when the internal combustion...

 is the town's largest employer. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Electric Boat completed submarines every two weeks. In 1954, Electric Boat launched the , the world's first nuclear powered submarine. Presently, the Nautilus is decommissioned and permanently berthed at the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum. Due to the long-standing history of submarines in the town, and the fact that Groton has one of the largest submarine bases in the world, some people refer to Groton as the "Submarine Capital of the World". The National World War II Submarine Memorial - East including parts of USS Flasher (SS-249)
USS Flasher (SS-249)
USS Flasher was a Gato-class submarine which served in the Pacific during World War II. She received three Presidential Unit Citations and six battle stars, and sank 21 ships for a total of 100,231 tons of Japanese shipping....

 is located in Groton.
The Groton and Stonington Street Railway
Groton and Stonington Street Railway
The Groton and Stonington Street Railway was a trolley line that extended from Groton, Connecticut to Westerly, Rhode Island. The trolley line began service in 1904 and ended service in 1928.-History:...

 was a trolley line that was created in 1904 to serve the Groton area. The trolley was dismantled and replaced by buses in 1928.


There are two major companies in Groton: the General Dynamics subsidiary Electric Boat and Pfizer. The Electric Boat plant on the eastern shore of the Thames river employs 10,500 people in the community. Pfizer is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and the company maintains a 137 acre (0.55441982 km²) research and development facility in Groton.

Top employers

According to the Town's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees
1 Naval Submarine Base New London
Naval Submarine Base New London
Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy's primary submarine base, the "Home of the Submarine Force", and "the Submarine Capital of the World".-History:...

2 General Dynamics Electric Boat 8,277
3 Pfizer
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...

4 Town of Groton 947
5 1109th Aviation Classification and Repair Depot 466
6 City of Groton
Groton (city), Connecticut
The City of Groton is a dependent political subdivision of the Town of Groton in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,010 at the 2000 census...

7 Mystic Marriott
Marriott Hotels & Resorts
Marriott Hotels & Resorts is Marriott International's flagship brand of full service hotels and resorts. The company, based in Washington D.C., is repeatedly included on the Forbes Best Companies to Work for list, and was voted the 4th best company to work for in the UK by The Times in 2009.As of...

Precision Castparts Corp.
Precision Castparts Corp. is a Portland, Oregon, United States-based industrial goods and metal fabrication company that manufactures cast metal parts for use in the aerospace, industrial, defense, and automobile industries. In 2009 they ranked 362nd on the Fortune 500 list, and 11th in the...

9 Pequot Health Center 169
10 Zachry Engineering 122


According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the town has a total area of 45.2 square miles (117.1 km²), of which, 31.3 square miles (81.1 km²) of it is land and 13.9 square miles (36.0 km²) of it (30.75%) is water.

Principal communities

  • Burnett's Corner — historic district
    Historic district
    A historic district or heritage district is a section of a city which contains older buildings considered valuable for historical or architectural reasons. In some countries, historic districts receive legal protection from development....

     located along Packer Road south of Route 184
  • Center Groton
  • City of Groton
    Groton (city), Connecticut
    The City of Groton is a dependent political subdivision of the Town of Groton in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,010 at the 2000 census...

     — located along the Thames River
    Thames River (Connecticut)
    The Thames River is a short river and tidal estuary in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It flows south for through eastern Connecticut from the junction of the Yantic and Shetucket rivers at Norwich, to New London and Groton, which flank its mouth at the Long Island Sound.Differing from its...

    • Groton Heights — historic district in the northern part of the city area
  • Groton Long Point
  • Long Hill
  • Mystic
    Mystic, Connecticut
    Mystic is a village and census-designated place in New London County, Connecticut, in the United States. The population was 4,001 at the 2000 census. A historic locality, Mystic has no independent government because it is not a legally recognized municipality in the state of Connecticut...

     (West Mystic) (06355) — part of the historic village is in Groton
  • Noank
  • Old Mystic
  • Poquonock Bridge
    • Fort Hill
  • Submarine Base area

Other minor communities and geographic features are: Bluff Point, Eastern Point, Esker Point, Jupiter Point, Mumford Cove, West Pleasant Valley.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 39,907 people, 15,473 households, and 9,980 families residing in the town. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,275.2 people per square mile (492.3/km²). There were 16,817 housing units at an average density of 537.4 per square mile (207.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.61% White, 6.95% Black or African American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 0.83% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.66% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 3.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.01% of the population.

There were 15,473 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 104.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $46,154, and the median income for a family was $51,402. Males had a median income of $36,204 versus $30,255 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the town was $23,995. About 4.9% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

4,908 207 5,115 25.93%
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

3,922 224 4,146 21.01%
Unaffiliated 9,856 595 10,451 52.97%
Minor parties 17 1 18 0.09%
Total 18,703 1,027 19,730 100%


There are many schools in the Groton area, from elementary schools to a college campus. There are several elementary schools in Groton, including Claude M. Chester Elementary, Charles Barnum Elementary, Mary Morrison Elementary, and others. There are three middle schools: Cutler, Fitch, and WestSide. There are two high schools: Fitch Senior High School
Fitch Senior High School
Robert E. Fitch Senior High School is a public high school located in Groton, Connecticut.The school has offered the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program since the 2004-2005 school year. By the 2006-2007 school year, 75 percent of students eligible for the diploma received it. The school...

 and E.T. Grasso/Southeastern Technical High School. Groton hosts the Avery Point campus of the University of Connecticut.

Points of interest

  • Avery Point Light
    Avery Point Light
    Avery Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Groton, Connecticut, United States, on the Avery Point Campus of the University of Connecticut. It was the last lighthouse built in the state.-History:...

  • Branford House
    Branford House
    The Branford House is located in Groton, Connecticut. The house was built in 1902 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 1984....

  • Fort Griswold
    Fort Griswold
    Fort Griswold is a former American military base in Groton, Connecticut. Named after then Deputy Governor Matthew Griswold, the fort played a key role in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War...

  • Groton Monument
    Groton Monument
    The Groton Monument, sometimes called the Fort Griswold Monument is a granite monument in Groton, Connecticut.It is dedicated to the defenders who fell during the Battle of Groton Heights on September 6, 1781. Built between 1826 and 1830, the Monument stands 135 feet tall with 166 steps...

    , one of the oldest obelisk
    An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top, and is said to resemble a petrified ray of the sun-disk. A pair of obelisks usually stood in front of a pylon...

     in the United States.
  • Gungywamp
    Gungywamp is an archaeological site in Groton, Connecticut, United States, consisting of artifacts dating from 2000-770 BC, a stone circle, and the remains of both Native American and colonial structures. Among multiple structural remains, of note is a stone chamber featuring an astronomical...

  • New London Ledge Light
    New London Ledge Light
    New London Ledge Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Connecticut,United States, on the Thames River, at the mouth of New London Harbor in Groton, Connecticut-History:New London Ledge Lighthouse was built in 1909 on the Southwest Ledge...

  • Pequot Fort
    Pequot Fort
    Pequot Fort is the site of a former fort used by the Pequot tribe in present-day Groton, Connecticut used during the 1637 Pequot War. The fort was located on top of Pequot Hill along Pequot Avenue just north of the village of West Mystic...

  • Jabez Smith House
    Jabez Smith House
    Jabez Smith House is a historic house on North Road in Groton, Connecticut. The house is owned by the town of Groton, and is open to the public on weekends from April through November...

  • U.S. Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum, including
  • Edward Yeomans House
    Edward Yeomans House
    Edward Yeomans House is located in Groton, Connecticut. The house was built in 1713 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1978....

Notable people, past and present

Town residents or others closely associated with Groton:
  • Robert G. Albion
    Robert G. Albion
    Robert G. Albion was Harvard's first professor of Oceanic History and inspired two generations of maritime historians in the United States...

     (1896–1983), an influential maritime historian, died in Groton.
  • Brian Anderson
    Brian Anderson (skateboarder)
    Brian Anderson is a professional skateboarder based in San Francisco. He turned professional in 1998. He was Thrasher Magazine's Skateboarder of the Year in 1999, and won the World Cup match in Dortmund, Germany, the same year.He skates Girl Skateboard Company boards, Nike Skateboarding shoes, and...

     (b. 1976), a professional skateboarder originally from Groton.
  • Captain James Avery (1620–1700), Captain of the New London Company.
  • Doctor James Cook Ayer
    James Cook Ayer
    James Cook Ayer was born in Groton, Connecticut in May, 1818. The wealthiest patent medicine businessman of his day, Dr. Ayer was also brother of wealthy industrialist Frederick Ayer. In addition to his patent medicine business, Dr. Ayer was involved in textile production in Lowell, Massachusetts...

     (1818–1878), patent medicine businessman and industrialist.
  • Ambrose Burfoot
    Ambrose Burfoot
    Ambrose Joel Burfoot is an American marathoner, whose peak competitive years came in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon. After retiring from competition, he became a running journalist and author...

     (b. 1946), marathoner who grew up in Groton.
  • Dave Campo
    Dave Campo
    Dave Campo is an American football coach, a former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and currently secondary coach with the Cowboys.-High school years:...

    , NFL coach, and a graduate of Fitch Senior High School.
  • Waightstill Avery
    Waightstill Avery
    Waightstill Avery was an early American lawyer and soldier. He is noted for fighting a duel with future U.S...

     (1741–1821), North Carolina politician, soldier in the American Revolutionary War, participant in a duel with Andrew Jackson.
  • Silas Deane
    Silas Deane
    Silas Deane was an American merchant, politician and diplomat. Originally a supporter of American independence Deane served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and then as the United States' first foreign diplomat when he travelled to France to lobby the French government for aid...

     (1737–1789), a delegate to the Continental Congress and the United States' first foreign diplomat, was born in Groton.
  • John J. Kelley
    John J. Kelley
    John Joseph Kelley was the winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon and the marathon at the 1959 Pan American Games and a member of two United States Olympic Marathon teams. He was often dubbed John "The Younger" to avoid confusion with Johnny "The Elder" Kelley, the winner of the 1935 and 1945 Boston...

     (1930-2011) winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon, member of two U.S. Olympic Marathon teams.
  • Husband E. Kimmel
    Husband E. Kimmel
    Husband Edward Kimmel was a four-star admiral in the United States Navy. He served as Commander-in-chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Because of the attack, he was removed from office and was reduced to his permanent two-star rank of rear admiral...

     (1882–1968) U.S. Navy rear admiral and commander of the Pacific Fleet, died in Groton.
  • William Ledyard
    William Ledyard
    William Ledyard was a lieutenant colonel in the Connecticut militia who was killed in the American Revolutionary War....

     (1738–1781), commander of Fort Griswold and killed in the attack on it, was born in Groton.
  • John Ledyard
    John Ledyard
    John Ledyard was an American explorer and adventurer.-Early life:Ledyard was born in Groton, Connecticut, the oldest son of John and Abigail Ledyard and the nephew of Continental Army Colonel William Ledyard...

     (1751–1789), an international explorer, was born in Groton.
  • Fran Mainella, National Park Service Director, 2001–2006, a graduate of Fitch Senior High School.
  • Paul Menhart
    Paul Menhart
    Paul Gerard Menhart is a former pitcher for several teams in Major League Baseball.He attended Western Carolina University. In , he played for the Toronto Blue Jays; the following year, he moved to the Seattle Mariners; and in , he played for the San Diego Padres.-Sources:...

    , Former Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher, a graduate of Fitch Senior High School.
  • Lou Palazzi
    Lou Palazzi
    Louis Joseph Palazzi was an American football player who later officiated from 1952 through 1981 as an umpire in the National Football League...

     (1921–2007), an NFL player and umpire, was born in Groton.
  • Thomas Rogers
    Thomas Rogers (locomotive builder)
    Thomas Rogers was an American mechanical engineer and founder of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey...

    , (1792–1856) builder of innovative locomotives, was born in Groton.
  • Samuel Seabury (1729–1796), the first American Episcopal bishop was born in Groton.
  • Elijah F. Smith
    Elijah F. Smith
    Elijah F. Smith was the 8th mayor of Rochester, New York.Smith came to Rochester from Groton, Connecticut in 1826 when he opened a store, Smith & Perkins, on Main Street. He became involved in city affairs and served as an alderman before 1840 when he was elected Mayor...

    , 8th Mayor of Rochester, New York
  • Tookoolito
    Tookoolito known as "Hannah" among whalers of Cumberland Sound, was an Inuk woman who served as translator and guide to Charles Francis Hall, an Arctic explorer involved in the search for Franklin's lost expedition in the 1860s and 1870's...

     (1838–1876), famous Inuit
    The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

     guide to Arctic explorers, lived in Groton and is buried there in the Starr Burying Ground.
  • Cassin Young
    Cassin Young
    Cassin Young was a Captain in the United States Navy who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.-Biography:...

    (1894–1942) U.S. Navy captain, awarded the Medal of Honor.

External links

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