Palmer, Capt. Nathaniel B., House - Stonington CT
Posted by: nomadwillie
N 41° 20.551 W 071° 54.441
19T E 256744 N 4580859
Quick Description: Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer House is a historic house in Stonington, Connecticut that was the home of Nathaniel Brown Palmer (1799-1877). Palmer was a seal hunter and a pioneering Antarctic explorer.
Location: Connecticut, United States
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 2:14:18 AM
Waymark Code: WM67YD
This 16-room Victorian mansion was built in 1852 by two brothers, Captains Nathaniel Brown Palmer and Alexander Smith Palmer. Majestically sited on a high rise of ground overlooking the upper end of Stonington harbor, "Pine Point" offered sweeping water views in all directions. From its octagonal cupola, the family could identify ships arriving from distant ports. Meticulous craftsmanship of the ornate woodwork testifies to the work of shipwrights.
Once threatened by demolition, this magnificent home was purchased by the Stonington Historical Society in 1994 and is now preserved in all its beauty. Memorabilia pertaining to Nathaniel's discovery of Antarctica and the Palmer brothers' adventurous lives, as well as other Stonington family portraits, furnishings and artifacts are on display.
Nathaniel Palmer, born in 1799, and his brother Alexander, born seven years later, went to sea at an early age. Nathaniel became a ship's master before his 19th birthday as did Alexander by the time he was 21. They were young men who ventured into the most desolate regions of the world in search of profits from sealing and whaling.
During a voyage to the South Atlantic in 1820-21, Nathaniel, captain of the 47-foot sloop Hero, pressed southward in search of new seal rookeries. On November 17, 1820 he sighted "land not yet laid down on my chart." He had discovered a place which would later become known as Palmer Land on the continent of Antarctica.
For the next twenty years the two brothers distinguished themselves as career captains sailing packet and clipper ships to Europe and the Orient. In 1840 Alexander was presented with a gold medal by Queen Victoria for rescuing the crew of the shipwrecked Eugenie. After his retirement from the sea, Alexander served as a representative and senator in the Connecticut Legislature. He died in 1894.
Nathaniel, known around the globe as "Captain Nat," turned his talents to ship design and building, and during the 1840s and 50s owned shares in some of the fastest and largest clipper ships. Nathaniel died June 21, 1877 in San Francisco and was brought home for burial in the family plot.
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