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The town of Stonington is located in New London County, Connecticut, United States, in the state's southeastern corner. It includes the borough of Stonington, the villages of Pawcatuck, Lords Point, andWequetequock, and the eastern halves of the villages of Mystic and Old Mystic (the other halves being in the town of Groton).
The first European colonists established a trading house in the Pawcatuck section of town in 1649. The present territory of Stonington was part of lands that had belonged to the Pequot people, who referred to the areas making up Stonington as Pawcatuck (Stony Brook to the Pawcatuck River) and Mistack (Mystic River to Stony Brook). It was named "Souther Towne" or Southerton by Massachusetts in 1658, and officially became part of Connecticut in 1662 when Connecticut received its royal charter. Southerton was renamed "Mistick" in 1665:26 and again renamed Stonington in 1666.:36 Thomas Miner, Walter Palmer, William Chesebrough and Thomas Stanton were the founders. The town of North Stonington was set off as a parish from Stonington in 1724 and incorporated as a town in 1807.
The Stonington Harbor Light is a low stone building erected in 1823, and was the first lighthouse established by the U.S. federal government. In the 19th century, Stonington supported a small fishing, whaling, and sealing fleet, with some direct trade with the West Indies — enough in volume for it to be made a port of entry in 1842. The small granite Customs House faces Main Street just north of Cannon Square. The New London and Stonington Railroad Company was incorporated on July 29, 1852. The Groton and Stonington Street Railway was a trolley line that was created in 1904 to serve the Stonington area. The trolley was dismantled and replaced by buses in 1928.
In recent decades, Stonington has experienced a large influx of new home owners using historic borough houses as second homes.