War of 1812 Exhibit Awarded “Best in the State”

The Rockets' Red Glare: The War or 1812 and Connecticut by Glenn S. Gordinier
The award-winning “Rockets’ Red Glare” is available for purchase at the Mystic Seaport bookstore.

POMFRET, CONN.  – The Association for the Study of Connecticut History (ASCH) has honored “The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut” with two awards. The Bruce Fraser Award, recognizing the finest public history presentation in the state in 2012, was presented to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, where the exhibition was displayed from July 2012 through January 2013. The Betty M. Linsley Award, recognizing the best work on Connecticut history published by a historical society in 2012, was presented to the New London County Historical Society for the companion book to the exhibit, of which Glenn Gordinier, the Robert G. Albion Historian at Mystic Seaport, was the primary author.

“The Rockets’ Red Glare” was created by a partnership of the New London County Historical Society with Mystic Seaport, the Stonington Historical Society, the New London Maritime Society, and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum to commemorate the bicentennial of the beginning of the War of 1812. The organizations worked together in creating the exhibition, the book, and a website. Fred Calabretta, curator of collections at Mystic Seaport, was the guest curator for the exhibit, and Mystic Seaport Exhibit Designer Jeff Crewe was the exhibit’s designer. The exhibition showcased historical objects from each of the partners’ collections. The 12’ x 18’ American flag that flew over Stonington during the attack by the British navy in 1814, a treasured artifact in the Stonington Historical Society collection, was a highlight of the exhibition.

In presenting the Bruce Fraser Award, ASCH Chairman Peter Hinks commented on the exemplary nature of the exhibit, saying, “Working with a limited but exciting pool of documents and artifacts that included the famous Stonington Battle flag from 1814, the designers smartly deployed all to stage a rich narrative of a Connecticut assailed and transformed by the era’s naval, commercial and political frays.”

Awarding the Linsley prize, Hinks praised Gordinier’s expert guidance as well as the insight of numerous scholars. Speaking of the project, he remarked that the collaboration made it possible: “Key to the exhibition’s merit is its modeling of how a consortium of some of the state’s numerous local historical societies can combine their resources, knowledge, and energies to serve the people of the state through commendable public history.”

The project also received a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History at their annual fall meeting in September.

The book and exhibition were supported by grants from Connecticut Humanities, the Coby Foundation, and the Edgard and Geraldine Feder Foundation. Creating the website was funded through a grant from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

Press Releases

Mystic Seaport Lantern Light Tours Begin November 30

Holiday Tradition Takes Visitors Back to Christmas Eve, 1876

Mystic, Conn. (November 14, 2013) – Mystic Seaport will open the 34th season of its Lantern Light Tours on Saturday, November 30.

A New England holiday tradition, Lantern Light Tours is a 70-minute progressive play that takes its audience back to Christmas Eve, 1876. A cast of almost 70 people, including actors from Connecticut, and neighboring states, tells a heart-warming holiday story.

The Lantern Light Tour plot is changed every year and the writing and production planning begin in February.

Visitors join a group of 16 to tour the Museum’s 19th-century village on foot, stopping at designated points to take in the next chapter in the story. As in years past, this year’s production will include a traditional tavern dance, a sweet treat, a horse-and-carriage ride, and a visit from St. Nicholas.

Performances are November 30, December 1, 7, 8, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22 and 27. Tours begin at 5 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes.

Two tours on Saturday, December 14, have been set aside for deaf and hearing impaired visitors. A sign language interpreter will be accompanying both the 7 p.m. and the 8:45 p.m. tour for the duration. To purchase tickets for these tours, please call 860.572.5331 (online ticketing is not available for these tours) and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Advance reservations are strongly recommended for all Lantern Light Tours. Tickets are $30 for adults ($25 for Mystic Seaport members) and $23 for children ages 5-17 ($18 for youth members). Lantern Light Tours are not recommended for children under 4 years old.

Tickets can be purchased online at mysticseaport.org/lanternlighttours, or by calling 860.572.5331.

The tour route covers uneven terrain and tour-goers will walk or stand for the entire production and are advised to wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather. Visitors are asked to indicate the need for a handicap-accessible tour at the time of reservation.

About Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free.