Tour the I C R C


Welcome to the tour of this important non-profit resource center in Old Mystic, CT. In 1965, friends of Eva L. Butler purchased the former historic Mystic Bank (1856 – see below) from the town of Stonington and incorporated as the Indian & Colonial Research Center  ~  I C R C

Eva L. Butler

Eva L. Butler (1898-1969)

The Center contains the works of Mrs. Eva Lutz Butler, a noted historian and anthropologist who collected a wide range of Indian, colonial, and genealogical materials for the better part of fifty years


The main building was originally the Mystic Bank, the old bank vault contains all of our colonial manuscripts, ledgers, and other primary source documents.  Our museum room’s display cases contain pottery, baskets, bead work and textiles fashioned by many native tribes with a new focus on our rich local Native American and Colonial history as well as the history of Old Mystic

Front West Front Vault Front Cases Front South


The center room is the administrative and computer workstation area where our volunteers spend many hours updating our files and archives as well as weekly business duties.  Volunteers are always welcome and appreciated to continue indexing and cataloging Eva’s work as well as many other necessary functions


Middle North DSC01347



Mary Virginia Goodman

Our back room is the Mary Virginia Goodman Memorial Room, dedicated to one of our founders and president of the I C R C for 18 years, as well as good friend to Eva Butler

This room houses Eva Butler’s notebooks. There are thousands of documents that Eva collected throughout her years as an avid historian. Volunteers and docents have divided Mrs. Butler’s work into Indian, Colonial, state, local, court records, and genealogy binders. In recent years, having moved into the computer age, we have painstakingly indexed and and referenced most of this valuable resource material and continue to update and expand our files and collections

This room also contains journals, periodicals, genealogy notes, scrapbooks, our large map collection,  hundreds of vintage photographs of local houses and stores as well as many early glass plate negatives, including the work of Mystic resident Elmer Waite. There is an extensive collection of arrowheads, projectile points, and stone tools from all over the country


Binders Stacks


The Mystic Bank building

Built in 1856, the bank had closed when banking ceased in the village in 1889. Title to the sturdy brick bank with attached carriage shed passed to the town of Stonington. Situated in the heart of the village, it was used as a district voting hall until construction of a new Old Mystic elementary school in the early 1960s. No longer needed, the old bank stood empty and forgotten

Officials at Mystic Seaport noticed the barred windows of the little brick structure and proposed to move the building down the road to the museum grounds where it would rechristened Ye Olde Jail. Led by Mrs. Jack Bucklyn, Old Mystic residents protested. For more than a century the old bank has been important to the village scene and they hated to see part of their heritage depart from Main Street, especially under false colors. The metal window bars had been installed after an attempted bank robbery in the 1870s and although tramps were occasionally locked up overnight in the district hall, the building was never a jail

This building is now officially recorded with both the National & State Register of Historic Places

 Historic Plaques