Connecticut Coast: A Town-by-Town Illustrated History


Connecticut Coast is a richly illustrated history of the Nutmeg State’s storied shoreline, from New York State to Rhode Island. Researched and written by a longtime expert in Connecticut history, it comprises a brief narrative on each of the twenty-four shoreline communities, accompanied by the area’s best historic photography. Sidebars sprinkled throughout present lighthouses, fishing and shellfishing, transportation, storms, and more—from the legendary Savin Rock Amusement Park to stylish Jackie Kennedy ...

See more details below
Hardcover (First Edition)
$29.95 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $3.02   
  • New (8) from $18.20   
  • Used (4) from $3.02   
Connecticut Coast: A Town-By-Town Illustrated History

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$15.99 price
(Save 44%)$28.99 List Price


Connecticut Coast is a richly illustrated history of the Nutmeg State’s storied shoreline, from New York State to Rhode Island. Researched and written by a longtime expert in Connecticut history, it comprises a brief narrative on each of the twenty-four shoreline communities, accompanied by the area’s best historic photography. Sidebars sprinkled throughout present lighthouses, fishing and shellfishing, transportation, storms, and more—from the legendary Savin Rock Amusement Park to stylish Jackie Kennedy christening the USS Lafayette in Groton.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For more than a quarter century, award-winning author/journalist Diana Ross McCain has been chronicling the rich history of Connecticut. In this extensively illustrated hardcover, she applies that expertise to the twenty-four coastline towns of the Constitution State. Connecticut Coast also contains a generous sprinkling of diverting sidebars on historic architecture, local trades, and famous disasters. Written to be read by non-historians.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762747238
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 974,455
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Ross McCain has written about Connecticut’s past for more than twenty-five years and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. A frequent contributor to Early American Life and Connecticut magazines, and The Hartford Courant, McCain wrote the award-winning publication To All on Equal Terms, the story of Connecticut’s official state heroine, Prudence Crandall. Her most recent book is It Happened in Connecticut.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

14.Guilford With more than 450 historic buildings and thousands of acres of pastures, meadows, fields, and forests, Guilford evokes the romantic vision and traditional values of classic New England as few towns can. The town green, surrounded by dozens of structures of varying sizes and ages, is reminiscent of a table around which generations of families have come together. The stately white First Congregational meetinghouse at the head of the green—its steeple rising above all other buildings—is the venerable paterfamilias presiding over the gathering. One of Connecticut’s oldest towns, Guilford was established in 1639 by a band of 350 English Puritans under the leadership of the Reverend Henry Whitfield. Its original boundaries included what is today the town of Madison. The Guilford coast’s lack of a harbor deep enough to accommodate large sailing vessels prevented it from developing into a major colonial shipping port like New Haven or New London. From the original seed of settlement near the coast subsequent generations pushed inland. Within a century parts of town farthest from the Sound had been settled. Dozens of Guilford men marched off to serve in the war for independence from Great Britain that erupted at Lexington and Concord in 1775. More than two dozen died. On two occasions the fighting came literally to Guilford’s doorsteps. In the summer of 1776, the enemy British gained control of Long Island—so close to Guilford that its shore is visible on a clear day. Redcoat raiders came ashore at Sachem’s Head on June 17, 1777, but succeeded only in burning down a house and barns before the townspeople forced them to retreat. On June 18, 1781, three British vessels deposited a force of 150 men on Leete’s Island. Residents repelled the invaders in a skirmish that left two Guilford men dead. Women on the homefront contributed to the war effort as well. Lyman Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a boy in North Guilford during the Revolution. He recalled how the women of the household spun flax and wool into yarn from which “they made all sorts of linen work, tablecloths, shirting, sheets, and cloths. If it hadn’t been for this household manufactory we never should have succeeded in the Revolution.” The half century following the American Revolution saw a massive exodus from small Connecticut towns of people seeking fresh land and opportunity on far-flung frontiers, including Vermont, New York, and Ohio. Guilford avoided the drastic decline in population experienced by so many communities, although it was reduced in size by nearly half when the eastern portion broke off to become the town of Madison in 1826. Guilford did feel the impact of other changes in the years preceding the Civil War. The controversial crusade to abolish slavery throughout the United States roiled and finally went to the membership of the First Congregational Church. In 1843, 123 members who supported abolition broke away to form a new congregation. The abolitionists built their own house of worship, the Third Congregational church, a short distance away on Park Street. Sixty-two sons of Guilford, some still in their teens, died in the Civil War precipitated in large part by the controversy over slavery that had split the First Congregational Church. They fell on the legendary battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, Petersburg, and Chancellorsville, among others. Guilford lacked the rapid streams that energetic entrepreneurs in other parts of the state used to power new mills and factories during the nineteenth century. The arrival of the railroad in 1852 did provide a small shot in the arm for local manufacturing. With an efficient method of shipping now available, several factories sprang up. The Knowles Lombard Company packed hundreds of thousands of cans of tomatoes each year. The most enduring was the I.S. Spencer Company foundry. But Guilford never became home to a major factory or industry that attracted floods of immigrants and transformed such cities as Bridgeport, Waterbury, and Hartford into urban behemoths. The quarry that spans the Guilford/Branford boundary became an important economic resource, attracting immigrant workers from Italy and Scandinavia to join the small number of Irish already settled in town. The Leete’s Island Quarry supplied the pink granite used to construct the eighty-nine-foot-tall pedestal of the Statue of Liberty between 1884 and 1886. Train travel also made Guilford a convenient destination for city dwellers seeking the tranquil beauty of the shore and the countryside for vacations. Several shoreline resorts were established to cater to tourists, including the Sachem’s Head Hotel. Private cottages were built as well. Lodges sprang up around Lake Quonnipaug in the northern end of town. Guilford experienced relatively little change in the half century between 1880 and 1930. Its population was essentially static, hovering around 2,800. A stagnant population and economy provide little incentive or money for replacing old buildings with new homes, or factories, or businesses. That reality, along with the 1920s rerouting away from the town green of the Boston Post Road, today’s Route 1, which subsequently became the focus of most commercial development, had the happy effect of saving many historic structures from the wrecking ball. The baby boom, a thriving post-war economy, construction of the Connecticut Turnpike (Interstate 95) in 1957, and the movement of families out of cities into new suburban developments following World War II were major transforming events for Guilford. The town’s population skyrocketed, quadrupling from 5,092 in 1950 to 21,298 in 2000, as people who worked in New Haven and other communities moved to Guilford.. Many different groups have worked hard—and continue to work—to maintain a balance between the recent juggernaut of residential and commercial growth and preservation of the historic buildings and rural landscape that embody Guilford’s centuries-old heritage. Guilford has four historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and boasts one of the largest number of eighteenth-century houses in the nation. In addition, more than half of all land in town is open space that provides the rural, often agricultural, environment essential to maintaining the town’s historic character.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Greenwich Stamford Darien Norwalk Westport Fairfield Bridgeport Stratford Milford West Haven New Haven East Haven Branford Guilford Madison Clinton Westbrook Old Saybrook Old Lyme East Lyme Waterford New London Groton Stonington

Read More Show Less


Connecticut Coast is a richly illustrated exploration of the vast, varied, and unique heritage of the Connecticut coast. A surf-and-turf sampling of the Nutmeg State’s storied shoreline, it covers twenty-four towns from New York State to Rhode Island with a compelling narrative by historian Diana Ross McCain and archival images from the Connecticut Historical Society.

These towns have seen changes both transformative and trifling in the 370 years since the first Europeans arrived here. Images of assembly lines and  roller coasters, circus elephants and “fat cat” entrepreneurs, battlefields and serene town greens are sure to evoke a kaleidoscope of memories. Also included are features on such shoreline icons as coastal fishing and shellfishing, lighthouses, coastal weather, and more.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)