The Underhill Society of America
The Underhill Society of America

Mystic, CT
October 1-3, 1999


The 1999 Underhill Meeting in the old seaport town of Mystic, CT was a smashing success! This historic seaport in SE Connecticut was a grand place to gather. The fall foliage had not reached its peak yet, but the experience was none the less exciting! And for my wife Helen and I it was a lovely experience to be in this place with so many family members and friends.

The Mystic Hilton Hotel and the Seaport Motor Inn were good home bases for our activities. The Mystic Aquarium was right across the street, but I didn't get any reports from anyone visiting there. On Friday afternoon the tables setup for registration, Kentucky information (for our next meeting in 2000) and Heritage Corner sales were teeming with activity. Many of us met others from all over our land for the first time. Those who either didn't know about it, or do not own a computer, saw our website for the first time! Our president, George Underhill, graciously offered his laptop computer for this purpose and I set it up in the welcoming area for all to view.

Our 2 greeters, Helen Underhill on the left, and Diane Underhill.

Greeting arrivals are Diane Underhill, left foreground, and Don Underhill with coffee in hand.

Gloria Tucker, left, and Robyn Ham were ready and waiting to sell Heritage Corner items.

Sam Mitchell, N. Robert Underhill, Mel Underhill and Carl Underhill listen intently in the Board meeting.

George Underhill and Harold Campbell at the Board chairman's table.

Don Underhill, Everett Underhill and Gloria Tucker expressing their views.

The Executive Board met, privately, during the welcoming activity period. Present were George Underhill, president; Don Underhill, vice president; Everett Underhill, vice president; Sam Mitchell, finance; Harold Campbell, recording secretary; Gloria Tucker, membership; Carl Underhill, genealogist; N. Robert Underhill, historian & editor of News & Views; Mel Underhill, webmaster; Ann Underhill; Robyn Ham was at the Heritage Corner table selling our wares; Jeff Underhill, editor of the Bulletin, had not arrived yet. This was my introductory meeting and I was highly impressed with the knowledge displayed and the manner in which the agenda was progressed. The enthusiastic discussions, both general and those preceding a vote, were to the point. When rules were needed, Carl Underhill hauled out Robert's Rules. Where clarification of issues was necessary, Harold Campbell provided it. The "enthusiasm" was ably moderated by George Underhill, who, upon seeing the hour was late, marched us through the items on the agenda as rapidly as possible. Alas, not rapidly enough for me! George somehow, and rather swiftly, convinced the majority that I would be capable of gathering articles for News & Views and organizing them in my computer for publication. Had I not accepted the challenge, I most likely would not be physically able to write this article today!

These guys look eager in the chow line.

The early birds get the bacon!

On Saturday, the Breakfast Buffet was delicious and there was plenty for all! It provided us the energy for the bus tour to follow and the fellowship around the tables was delightful. The Annual Underhill Meeting was held toward the end of the meal, with president George Underhill calling for the opening prayer from a member and following with his remarks. Each board member gave a brief report and the current board was re-elected by the membership for another term.

Looks like Everett is thinking "Bob, let's quit talking and eat"!

Don, Carl and George are perhaps pondering seconds over a cup of coffee.

Will everyone please stop talking so we can proceed with the Annual Meeting and get to the bus tour?

Ann and George Underhill board the bus with eager anticipation!

On the guided bus tour of Stonington we saw the Monte Cristo Cottage (Eugene O’Neill’ s boyhood home), Connecticut’s State Hero Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, the 1678 Joshua Hempsted House, the 1678 Nathaniel Hempsted House, Olde Mystic Village (included a walking tour) and a visit in the Pequot Indian Colonial Museum & Research Center.

Our tour guide is in the foreground and she was both amiable and informative. George is schmoozing while others board the bus.

George just wouldn't sit down! We finally got started on the tour though.

Beautiful shores, with lavish cottages and sailboats.

The lighthouse at Stonington.

Very inviting, but no room at the Inn!

The Charles W. Morgan at sunset.

Before dinner, on Saturday, we were given a private tour of the 3-masted bark Charles W. Morgan, a whaling ship built in New Bedford, MA in 1841. The Morgan sailed for 80 years and is the sole survivor of the 19th century Yankee Whaling fleet. It was previously owned and operated by the family of president George Underhill's mother. The group I was in was led by a colorful and knowledgeable shipbuilder that knows every crack in the vessel. And to us mid-landers his New England accent is marvelous.

One of our ship guides, the one I mentioned that led my group. He knows every board in this ship.

The wheel house of the Morgan. The whole wheel assembly is mounted on the tiller and moves left and right as the wheel is turned!

We adjourned from the ship for dinner at the Historical Seamen's Inne Restaurant & Pub, adjacent to the dock and the historic village along the shore of Mystic River. The menu included steamed lobster, steamed clams & mussels, grilled sausage, grilled half-chicken, grilled NY sirloin steak, corn on the cob, red-skinned potatoes, coleslaw, NE breads, watermelon and beverage.

One of our lovely New Jersey families at dinner.

A good time to relax and settle down for a good dinner.

Guy talk about the great weekend. In this scene, Wisconsin and New York share a chat.

The Wisconsin lad's mother, Hope Conley, has her own chat and is obviously enjoying it.

This Texas duo has a big smile for the camera.

Joanne Fontanella, Director, of The Indian & Colonial Research Center.

The after dinner agenda included Joanne Fontanella, Director, of The Indian & Colonial Research Center;  Charles Clemmons and Guy Perrotta, co-producers of the PBS documentary Mystic Voices, an account of the Pequot War and the Underhill connection. Charles and Guy began their presentation with a film clip of the documentary and updated us on the progress of the project, then answered questions from the membership. I have placed a link to their project website on our "Internet Links" page.


Charles Clemmons, right, and Guy Perrotta, co-producers of the PBS documentary Mystic Voices.


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