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The following is a brochure published by the Masons Island Company in 1914.
THE SOUND SHORE OF NAUYAUG
ON that May morning 277 years ago when a pathetically small band of pioneers struck their desperate blow against the savage Pequots for the preservation of their homes, their leader, Capt. John Mason, turned his face to the glory of the rising sun and looked down the beautiful valley of the Mystic to a green gem at its mouth, a large wooded island in the sparkling waters of the Sound. He did not forget the vision in the desperate hours and days which followed, and 14 years later, in September 1651, the first grant of land in this section by the General Court was this island to the man who had remembered and loved it. This reward for noble service he made the seat of the Mason family, and today a heroic-size statue of the redoubtable warrior stands on the site of the old stronghold on Pequot Hill in Mystic and gazes down the valley of the Mystic to “this noble farm” (Miss Caulkin’s History of New London, 1860), which succeeding generations of Masons have preserved and zealously guarded against change.
Thus Masons Island has come down to this day a bit of unspoiled New England of the old type. After the death of Andrew Mason in 1912, one of the two hermit brothers, the last of the Masons, his property was acquired by the Masons Island Co. It is fortunate that this spot of unique and unspoiled natural beauty fell into the hands of those who will perpetuate its attractive features against the enjoyment of all for years to come.
MASONS ISLAND is south shore, and the prevailing summer winds are off the water. It was designed and developed as a summer home for you by the greatest of architects, Nature. The trees are there, the rocks are there, the hills and shore are there just as Nature lavishly placed them. The Masons Island Co. has not tried to enhance these natural beauties; but has provided facilities for the enjoyment of them. Convenient food and water supplies, mail service, adequate landings, bathing places, and a scheduled ferry, these in addition to the old “Riding Way Bridge” to the mainland at Mystic, contemplate the desirability of Masons Island as a summer resort.
The natural conformation of Masons Island makes it unequalled for a summer cottage colony. Its high ground, rolling in natural terraces, insures perfect drainage and a sea view from every site. Stretches of rough, rocky shore, sandy beach, great ledges rising steeply out of many feet of water, and quiet inlets with ancient oaks growing to the water’s edge, constitute the shore-line. There are no flats; high tide or low tide, Masons island is the same. The central portion of the island is heavily wooded, the east and south shores are bold slopes, studded with tremendous boulders and clumps of ancient cedar trees. Poggy Bay is an excellent yacht anchorage with numerous landings and docks. The Nauyaug Yacht Club, a flourishing organization formed and maintained by residents of the island, is located here. The tennis courts are in a natural amphitheatre overlooking the ocean.
A hundred yards from Poggy Bay and many feet above it is a small, fresh-water lake, a curious and attractive feature of the island.
An old chart explains Poggy as meaning a small whale
Although the Mason estate was not settled until the summer of 1913 there are already over twenty cottages on the island, and the other property owners plan to build this spring. All these people from Maine to Virginia have sought Masons island on which to build their summer homes. The Masons Island Co. has no stock for sale, and is not a land-booming concern, it aims simply to direct and to encourage the growth of Masons Island as a restful vacation spot for discriminating people; and by exercising a proper supervision to maintain the same high standard of population which it ‘now possesses.
East of Poggy Bay Nauyaug Point extends its bold length for half a mile into the clear, deep waters of Fisher’s Island Sound. Craft of all descriptions from the splendid yacht to the picturesque Noank fisherman returning from the Banks pass within the proverbial mariner’s ‘biscuit toss’ of Nauyaug. West of Poggy Bay is Money Point, a small hill with slopes wooded with old oak and cedar trees, and broken by several ledges. This was the summer camp of neighboring tribes of Indians, where they secured and dried their winter’s supply of clams and fish. Numerous flint implements have been found in the shell heaps. Tradition has named this point as one of the myriad hiding places of Capt. Kidd’s ill-gotten wealth.
East of the lake is a bluff crowned with a fine grove which old charts name the “Chowder Forest.” Beyond this the land slopes away to the “Storm Coast,” the east shore of the island. North, on a high knoll, is the Mason homestead, a large old farmhouse of the best New England type; beyond, one mile from Nauyaug, is the Riding Way Bridge to the village of Mystic.
FROM LAKE TO SEA
ON POGGY BAY
THE location of this island is in Eastern Connecticut at the mouth of Mystic River, separating that picturesque body of water from Fisher’s Island Sound Two miles farther out the sound merges with the Atlantic. Six miles to the east is Watch Hill; six miles to the west, New London and Long Island Sound, truly the “Yachtman’s Paradise.” Half a mile away (eight minutes by ferry) is the quaint old fishing village of Noank, with its picturesque shore-front and famous artist colony. Off the other end of Mason’s Island is Mystic, a beautiful New England village of 6000 people, the business center of the summer life of this section. Noank and Mystic are on the main line of the N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R., and are traversed by the electric road running from New London to Westerly, Watch Hill and Norwich.
Everywhere one sees the hills and shore dotted with summer homes ranging from the magnificent estate of M. F. Plant to the simple bungalow. Masons Island was first settled a few years ago by a few artists and nature lovers who secured permission from Andrew Mason to live a few weeks at a time on this lovely land. Those who know the works of the best American landscape painters will recognize many bits of Masons Island when they visit it.
DIAGRAM AND LOCATION OF SECTION NO. 1.
“New England’s Ideal Island”
The MASONS ISLAND CO.
85 State Street
NEW LONDON, CONN.
G. F. TINGLEY, MYSTIC, CONN.