One of the first stops on my road trip was to visit the Old town Mill in New London, CT. Located just a ways north of where the ferry gets in, the mill sits right underneath and between the North and South bound lanes of 95. In the photo below you can see the Southbound land of 95 looming not to far in the distance and the shadow on the mill itself is from the Northbound lane.
If you google “Mill Street, New London, CT” you can see it’s location easy enough. Mill Street is very small. Here is what you’ll see. The mill is just above the red circle with the A. If you look closely, you can see it’s roof. (Click on the image to see it close up)
James Rogers (2 Feb 1615 to 16 Feb 1687, husband of Elizabeth Rowland) my 7th Great Grandfather came from Milford, CT to work the mill and so the Rogers family established itself in the are of New London, CT.
While researching this post, I came across an interesting article on the Mill from The New London Day from 2 Oct 1986. Here it is: (FYI, she says it’s easy to find because of good signage but don’t believe it. I saw one sign off the main road but completely missed the turn I was supposed to take. I only found it because I drove down roads that went under 95 and using that logic it was pretty easy to find. Not much traffic there so I could drive slow till I spotted it.)
Here is the Mill and James Rogers mentioned in History of Montville:
History of Montville, Connecticut Formerly the North Parish of New London from 1640 to 1896, by Henry Augutus baker, 1896, Pager 176-178
JAMES ROGERS the first came to America in the ship Increase,” from London, in England, in 1685, at the age of twenty years. He is first known at Stratford, New Haven county, where lie married Elizabeth (1) daughter of Samuel Rowland. They afterwards removed to Milford, where his wife united with the Rev. Mr. Prudden’s church in 1645, and he in 1652.Their children were, baptized at Milford. Mr. Rogers had dealings in New London in 1656, and, liking it as a place of business, fixed himself permanently as an inhabitant of the plantation there, previous 1660. Here he soon achieved property and influence, and was much engaged, both in the civil and ecclesiastical affairs of the place. He was six times elected representative to the general court.
Governor Winthrop had encouraged his settling in New London, and accommodated him with portion of his own house lot next the mill, which afterwards leased to him. On this lot Mr. Rogers built a dwelling house of stone. He was a baker,and carried on the business on a large scale, often furnishing biscuit for seamen and thee colonial troops, and between the years 1661 awl 1670 had a greater interest in the trade of that post then any other person in the place.
His landed possessions became very extensive, consisting of several hundred acres on the Great Neck, a tract of land at Mohegan at the place called Pamechog, now called Massapeag, several house lots in town, and twenty-four hundred acres on the east able of the river, which was held in partnership with Colonel Pyncheon of Springfield.
James Rogers, the ancestor of a great throng of descendants, was an upright and circumspect man. At his first settlement in New London, both himself and his wife united with Mr. Bradstreet’s church. They, however,after a few years, became dissenters in some sort from the established Congregational church and joined the Sabbatarians and were afterwards called Quakers.
There is no account of any dealings with him and his wife on account of their secession from the church. . Of his latter years, little a known.Mr. Rogers was born about 1615, and is supposed to be the son of Rev.John Rlogers of Dedham, in England, who died in 1636, and his descendants hold to a tradition that he was the grandson of the Rev. John Rogers of London, who was burned at the stake in Smithfield in 1555, during the reign of “Bloody” Queen Mary. . Recent genealogical researches have,however, thrown much doubt as to this lineal connection of this stock of Rogers with that of the martyr.
James Rogers died at New London in February, 1687-8, when the government of Sir Edmund Andros was paramount in New England. His will was therefore proved in Boston. The first settlement of the estate was entirely harmonious. The children, in accordance with his earnest request, made an amicable division of the estate, which was sanctioned by the general court, May 12, 1602.
2. Samuel, b. at Stratford 12 Dir. 1640; m. 17 Nov., 1061, Mary Stanton,day of Thomas Stanton.
3. Joseph, b. at Stratford 14 May, 1646; m. about 1671, Sarah ______
4. John, b. at Stratford 1 Dec., 1648; m.17 Oct., 1670, Elizabeth Griswold, dau, of Mathew Griswold.
5. Bathsheba, b. at Stratford 30 Dec., 1650; m. 4 March 1669-70, 1stRichard Smith; 2d, Samuel Fox.
6. James, b. at Milford 15 Feb, 1652;.m. 5 Nov., 1674, Mary Jordan, dau,of Jeffrey Jordan.
7. Jonathan, b. probably at Milford 31 Dec., 1655; m. Naomi Burdick, dau.of Elder Burdick of Newport, R. I.
8. Elizabeth, b. probably at New London 15 April 1658; m. Samuel Beeby.
Here are some more photographs I took at the mill and a few old postcards that have older but similar views of the mill.
I also came across this paperwork from the National Register of Historic Places on the Mill. Has some interesting onfo on it. Natl Reg Historic Places – Old Mill in New London
Unfortunately the mill wasn’t open to go inside when I was there but it wasn’t locked up either. I went on into the fenced area and walked around the exterior to take these pictures. No one was there at all when I stopped by.