The Groton Monument was built between 1826 and 1830, and is the oldest monument of its type in the country. Built of granite quarried locally, the Monument stands 135 feet tall with 166 steps. There is a marble memorial plaque with the names of the defenders who fell during the Battle of Groton Heights on September 6, 1781.
The Spanish-American War Cannon in front of the Groton monument was taken off the Spanish flagship, the Marie-Teresa. The cannon fired upon American ships as the Marie-Teresa tried to steam out of Cuba’s Santiago Harbor during the Spanish-American War.
The Civil War Memorial was erected by Civil War Sergeant Robert Gray to honor his comrades-in-arms. A recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, he served with the 21st Regiment, Connecticut volunteers.
Close to the Groton Monument is the Veterans War Memorial. It reads “The City of Groton, successor to the borough of Groton, has not forgotten the courage, valor, and sacrifices of its veterans of all wars.”
The Memorial Gate was dedicated in 1911. A plaque details the fate of each defender of Fort Griswold on September 6, 1781.
The Monument House Museum
The Monument House Museum built in 1830, served originally as the monument caretaker’s house. The daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) began meeting there in 1894, and members started donating items for display in the new museum. The Memorial Annex (upper room) was added by the DAR in 1906 to accommodate the growing collection.
In the museum you will find cases displaying artifacts from the battle and other periods of Groton’s history. The Revolutionary War exhibit houses many fascinating artifacts, including a painting depicting the battle. There is also a model of the Fort as it looked on September 6, 1781.
The “Attention Universe” stained glass window was dedicated in 1902 to honor Jonathan Brooks. Only 14 at the time of the battle, he was one of the first New London residents to venture out after the burning of the town. Every year he would go to Groton and join in the anniversary commemoration of the battle. One year, with near hurricane conditions, no one came, so he shouted “Attention Universe” and told his story to the wind.
Memorial Day through Labor Day
Wed-Sun 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Traveling South: From I-95 South take Exit 87 (note: this is a left-hand exit) to traffic light. Turn right onto Meridian Street . At next traffic light turn left onto Mitchell Street . Proceed up the hill to second right, Park Avenue .
Traveling North: From I-95 North (Route 349) take Exit 87 to traffic light. Turn right onto Meridian Street . At next light, turn left onto Mitchell Street, then turn right onto Park Avenue.