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Mystic Manor: 1940

November 1940. "House, late afternoon. Mystic, Connecticut." Also a late-afternoon moon. Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

November 1940. "House, late afternoon. Mystic, Connecticut." Also a late-afternoon moon. Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Edward Hopper was addicted to these

He painted dozens of houses like this one.

Another HOF-worthy thread

The thoughtful posts on this photo are hall of fame-worthy.

It's hard to overstate the sense of collaboration and community fostered by Shorpy's moderators and readers. Everyone's unselfish sharing of knowledge, sleuthing hints, and resources is a fine thing.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Not Needed

Based on the moon phase the date is probably the 7th or 8th of November 1940. The house faces west and has late afternoon sunlight. The moon in the image is in the southeastern sky. I determined the approximate date from the moon phase shown on this website.

[Excellent sleuthing. Two frames away from this photo of the house (a sequence that can be found here) is an image of "crowd listening to election returns" for the 1940 presidential election, which was held on November 5. If the numbers written on the negatives are in chronological order, the election night photo was taken before the house photo. -Dave]

The Morgan House

Looks like progress did this house in in the 1940s or '50s:

A number of pictures (circa 1930) of the house in winter at this site.

Gone shortly after?

According to Historic Aerials, the structure that was there in 1934 was gone by the next photographic record in 1957.

A shame, that was quite a house!

Shorpy members come through again

More fine sleuthing by the Shorpy brain trust in locating the site of the house.

Using the moon phase in the photo, I'll bet Neil deGrasse Tyson would be able to determine the day in November 1940 the photograph was taken.

I think I found the lot, but the house is gone

First I found another photo from the area by Delano; had to magnify significantly to locate the house at the "end" of the road, behind a statue in the middle of an intersection. Then I found the statue on Google maps, and noted that 25 Broadway is the address of a CVS store, which is just behind the statue when viewed from the church.

Found it!

Broadway Avenue between Main and Washington.

Alas, this house didn't survive - it's a CVS parking lot. The key clue was the gas station across the street - once they go in, they RARELY come out. The porch on the house next door has been filled in, but the brackets at the eaves are unmistakable. The signpost in front of the tree is likely directing drivers down Route 1 toward Stonington, Westerly and ???. Naturally, the grand house is gone but that little bungalow across the railroad tracks (with the gable facing us) still stands.

Your talents aren't wasted

Mystic Manor - I'm sure that a contractor somewhere will plagiarize this to name their next housing edition (or nursing home), Dave. If not, you have a new naming career ahead of you.

The Mansard Family

Many people are not aware that Jack Delano took a few pictures of the interior of this house. Example below.


Am I the only one who thinks houses with mansard roofs are creepy?
Undoubtedly Lurch will open the door and usher you in for your appointment with Sweeney Todd.

When a 60 year old house looked "old"

Unlike today when many houses 50-60 years old still have a modern or contemporary look, in 1940 a house from probably the 1880's really looked old compared to what was modern by that time so quickly were architectural styles changing. It also bears a vague similarity to what's called the Psycho House which is in reality a backlot stage set.


Is that Anthony Perkins' "Mother" in the second floor window?

I Can't Find It -- Darn It

As usual, I spent too much time trying to find this beauty, which strikes me as an unlikely teardown. But there are some hints I can leave for someone with better skills.

1. Delano took another picture of the house that is here:

2. That picture (also taken in late afternoon) shows a partially commercial street that is near the town's river. It is also likely the house faces west or southwest, based on time of day, and the position of the shadows.

3. The address is 25 ????? If it's Willow Street (my best guess), Google Street View doesn't go there.

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