Welcome to our Gallery page

Here we will have a Featured Photo
and a growing catalog of interesting historic images

* Please respect our collection  —  All Rights Reserved © *

Our  Newest  Exhibit  Features  Packers  Tar  Soap


This product was developed and manufactured
in Mystic, Conn.  from 1869  until  1965
And is still manufactured today in Illinois

Packers Pine Tar Soap  was sold and shipped all over the world
including on boats that were built right here in Mystic


When he was 16, Daniel went to sea and after learning the ropes he  voyaged to France on the packet ship Emerald – then later traveled to Key West with Captain Charles H. Mallory of Mystic.  At 21, he became Master of the schooner  The Plume  of Mystic, sailing to Florida.
In 1851, gold rush fever enticed him to California where he spent 3 years mining with little success, however he noticed that one thing in short supply was SOAP – so he began making and selling it. Business was brisk – and he soon ” cleaned up ”  –  so to speak ! !
When he returned to his home town of Mystic in 1868,  he began making  Packers All Healing Tar Soap at his new home on High Street.

Sales, Distribution and Advertising were managed in New York City
by Edward Allen Olds, an early partner, when they incorporated in 1872 
His family eventually bought out Packers share in 1899
and was largely responsible for its ongoing success.
As the business grew, they moved in 1883 to Water Street  near the Emporium building.
In 1895, orders totaled $70,000 which led to planning further expansion in the modern brick factory in 1906

The  Roosevelt  Avenue  Factory  – front & rear –  Circa  1918
The  Packer Building  still exists today in Mystic

Mystic’s young ladies in the wrapping and packing room where they
worked a 10 hour day, six days a week and only earned less than $5 !!

 Examples of beautiful early advertisements and trade cards

In the 1890’s  Cutaneous Charm  and  Florida Water Soap were added

In  1914  this new liquid tar soap  SHAMPOO  was added

 In the early 1900’s – Packers Pine Tar Soap was one of the first
products of any kind to advertise on a national scale in the USA

Come in to the  I C R C  gallery soon to learn more
including the Recipe and detailed manufacturing
process – and also see many more interesting old
advertisements  for  this  ” Made  in  Mystic ”  product



*  *  *  *      B R E A K I N G     N E W S      *  *  *  *

After many, many decades  –  the schooner  RUTH  has finally returned to her home port of Old Mystic, Conn  
she has weathered the ages rather well and will now get some
long overdue tender loving care and attention by the  I C R C  staff
Come in soon to inspect this magnificent vessel in person


The Eldredge Museum no longer exists although some of his curios have survived

This is the  RIVERVIEW  from the museum and also was the name of the Eldredge estate

Here you are looking up the Mystic River circa 1900
On the left is Charles Q Eldredge’s dock and boats
Left to Right are the Enoch Burrows mansion, the old stone bank (moved to the Seaport 1948)
the Mystic Woolen mill, various homes and on the right is the former Leeds shipyard
In the distance is the almost barren top of Quoketaug Hill



 As part of the Groton Tercentennial in 1935, the Fort Hill Indian Historical Association was created by Eva Butler and other local historians. It was decided to build a museum located where the Pequot Sachem Sassacus had his village on Fort Hill in Groton. The land was donated by Frank Merritt – – so were all the building materials and labor. Judge Billings Crandall of Ledyard donated the fireplace from the Stoddard house built in 1752 at the wharf north of Gales Ferry. Charles White of Groton supplied wood from the Caleb Burrows house. The summer beam came from the old Whightman – Haley mill and the door handle came from the old Gales Ferry store and tavern. Chimney stones came from the old Valentine Wightman house which was the first Baptist parsonage in Conn. All these pieces came together and many volunteers built the museum that you see below, which opened in 1936.

Despite good intentions and aside from the site location and a handful of minor artifacts, there really was not much of anything “indian” about this whole project. The museum enjoyed early popularity for a few years with local students, scout groups and wayward tourists, then soon became difficult to staff with volunteers. World War II caused disruption everywhere and this little museum was a casualty, being last open in 1946.


After many years of deterioration it became an eyesore and a fire hazard until it was salvaged, dismantled and moved in 1978 to Ashaway, Rhode Island. It was then reconstructed by Stephen Mack with several modifications such as the chimney addition you see below, more windows in the rear and was used as a studio and office for the past forty years. This is a classic example of many New England “Yankee” values and practices.




   ?   Can anyone help identify the location of this gigantic upright erratic boulder  ?

This unidentified image was found with others from the Mystic area, probably on the Stonington side but not sure. This massive boulder was approximately 25 feet tall and at least 15 feet wide The large tree might not still exist however the stone wall could ?  The road likely still exists but would be paved and twice as wide – which may have necessitated the removal of the massive boulder ?   Any information, clues or suggestions might help to solve this mystery.  Please contact us with your information

Update – – Several people have suggested that this boulder might be in the vicinity of Deans Mill, which back in the horse and buggy and even early automobile days was a popular destination for a Sunday drive and picnic – – – Now, some splendid clues have been found

I C R C  historian and researcher Marcus Mason discovered an unpublished memoir describing  just such an excursion in great detail as they passed along the way. It describes going along the Pequot Trail “past the second Stanton gate from which a long narrow lane leads to the old Paul Stanton house and from there a path leads through rocky pastures to the breast of the dam at Dean’s Pond. It is a shorter route, but today we give preference to the longer and more picturesque road and passing on soon come to the old Copp place with the ancient colonial farmhouse. Almost as large as the house is a massive granite boulder which stands between the house and the highway, forming a part of the front yard fence, and and just below it on the opposite side of the road stands one of the few hemlock trees to be found in this section, a splendid specimen. Now the highway dips into a little hollow where it crosses Copp’s Brook. At the top of the next rise, Lover’s Lane leads from the highway to the pond a half a mile distant”

Today the old Copp farmhouse is long gone but as one passes along that section of the Pequot Trail, there is a metal gate that leads in north a short distance to a well head. This is where the the Copp farmhouse used to be and just at the edge of todays paved road there are the remnants of rocks that were blasted away when they widened the road. Across the street there still exists several giant hemlock trees and not far behind them are several other glacial erratic boulders of varying sizes as well as stone walls

The upright boulder in the old photos no longer exists because it would sit smack dab in the middle of the road today – – but just imagine how unique and interesting that would be to have to drive around this ancient massive specimen – – and maybe even stop and take a selfie ! !



1 3 0 +  Years  Ago  –  Just  prior  to  the  Election  of  1 8 8 8

This  sensational  &  comical  broadside  appeared  around  town

for  an  arousing  event  that  was  .  .  .  .  .  not  to  be  missed

that  is  –  providing  you  brought  your  chewing  gum  ! ! !

This was not a ruse or a joke, as Belva Lockwood was a very real and serious person

A pioneer lawyer, politician, peace activist, writer and suffragist according to her

Wikipedia Biography.  Somehow, I imagine that the  Impassioned Yawps  of the

Long Tongued Orator  –  Miss Hannah Lee , might have been the real highlight

of the evening  –  that is unless you are really into triumphal parades

That  Are  Just  Too  Lovely  For  Anything

Oh ,  IF  we  could  only  turn  back  the  hands  of  time



IF anyone can find any information about  Miss Hannah Lee  Please let us know



OM Fire Truck

In 1941,  this was the Old Mystic Fire Department’s newest piece of equipment

but previously it was a Cottrell lumber truck before being converted by Albert Welles



Evas Map
This map was hand drawn by Eva Lutz Butler based upon her extensive local research

Come in to our new gallery and view an interesting selection of maps from our collection

1867 map

To celebrate our Golden Anniversary – 50 years of making the past present
we created a photo exhibit titled  Commonalities

Initially displayed at the Mystic & Noank Library in the fall of 2015
and subsequently at the newly created  I C R C  Gallery

For those of you that can not visit us locally we proudly present them here online

Photo List


Library 1

Library 2

Library 3

Library 4

Library 5

Library 6

Library 7

Library 8

Library 9


   *  Copies of these iconic images can be purchased from  I C R C  you can contact us directly by
phone  860 – 536 – 9771 or email us  or click the link to see our
policies and fees to determine the cost according to size, usage and format