Thursday, May 30, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Fort Trumbull State Park
Friends of Fort Trumbull to welcome Norman Brouwer-
Author and Artist- as their May Speaker
On Thursday, May 30, 2019, Norman Brouwer will be the second speaker in our 2019
series- America on the Move- Transportation to Build a Nation. His topic will be
Steamboats on Long Island Sound.
Although Robert Fulton built the first commercially successful steamboat in 1807, it was
not until after the War of 1812 that steamboats began to ply the waters of Long Island
Sound. For 127 years, these vessels provided transportation links between New York,
Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In our area, the cities of New London,
Norwich and Stonington were the places to go to embark on a trip with these boats that
became increasingly elegant as the various lines competed for customers.
With the development of many industries in southern New England, these vessels also
carried raw materials to the mills and factories and finished products to New York and
Boston. As the competition for passengers and freight increased, these vessels became
known as “Floating Palaces”, with owners building some of the largest and most
majestic steamboats in existence. .
Mr. Brouwer, who is a freelance maritime historian living in Mystic, Connecticut, has
had a varied and extensive nautical career. He served in the Navy as an enlisted man,
graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy, and then became a deck officer in the
He has served as a volunteer at Mystic Seaport for the past ten years, working on the
Mystic Seaport Museum historic photo collections and as a consultant on their marine
painting collection. Mr. Brouwer, the author of Steamboats on Long Island Sound, will
talk on the Steamboat Era on Long Island Sound from early in the 1800s to the final days
around World War II.
The public is welcome to attend this free presentation, at 7 p.m., at the Fort Trumbull
Conference Center. New members are always welcome. Come early as seating is
limited. Bring a friend, stay for refreshments, and get to know us. More information
about the Fort and the Friends of Fort Trumbull is available at www.fortfriends.org and
on Facebook at Friends of Fort Trumbull State Park.