The Day - Sound & Country - - FRONT PAGE -

It has been 12 years since the res­i­dents of the vil­lage of Noank opened their sea­side homes to share their his­tory and the beauty of vil­lage life. A walk­ing tour planned for June will give vis­i­tors an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy the area’s ar­chi­tec­tural and dec­o­ra­tive her­itage, the fra­grance of spring blos­soms, and views of Fisher’s Is­land Sound, with its week­end pa­rade of sail­boats and mo­tor yachts.

Two miles down­river from Mys­tic, and perched on the point of land where the Mys­tic River meets the Sound, Noank was a busy cen­ter of ship­build­ing in the 1800s, and many of the homes which grace the sto­ried streets and lanes had their ori­gins in that era. To­day, they stand as ex­am­ples of taste­ful his­toric restorations and, in some cases, parts of the orig­i­nal struc­ture are blended with mod­ern ad­di­tions. Many of­fer open views of Mys­tic River and Fisher’s Is­land Sound.

The June 16 House and Gar­den Tour will give vis­i­tors an in­side look at eight homes and three gar­dens. Among the homes are the Mor­gan Point Light­house (re­stored as a pri­vate res­i­dence in the early 1990s and usu­ally only view­able from the water), the for­mer Palmer Inn, the Cap­tain Peter Baker House and the or­nate Dea­con Palmer House, a strik­ing ex­am­ple of Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­ture.

The three fea­tured gar­dens are joint works of art cre­ated by the cou­ples who own them. Model train buffs take note— one gar­den boasts 800 feet of G-scale track in­ter­twined in its lay­out. Each site will have a team of vol­un­teers to greet vis­i­tors and to pro­vide back­ground about each prop­erty. Sev­eral Noank res­i­dents or­ga­nized the tour to sup­port Our Shore­line Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion (OSCA), a lo­cal non-profit group which helps se­niors re­main in their homes by pro­vid­ing tar­geted ser­vices and so­cial sup­port. OSCA is a “vir­tual vil­lage” for se­niors, cov­er­ing the ar­eas of Noank, Gro­ton Long Point, Mum­ford Cove and Mys­tic (both Gro­ton and Ston­ing­ton). Founded two years ago, it is part of a na­tion­wide grass­roots move­ment to help se­niors age in place and de­lay the need to move to as­sisted liv­ing.

With guid­ance from a co­or­di­na­tor, neigh­bors help other neigh­bors at­tend to ap­point­ments and light er­rands; con­nect with de­pend­able ser­vice providers (lawn main­te­nance and pet sit­ting for ex­am­ple) and ex­perts in el­der care (doc­tors, at­tor­neys); main­tain so­cial con­tact with their com­mu­ni­ties. Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, www.our­shore­linecom­mu­, its mis­sion is to pro­vide se­niors with “the sup­port and se­cu­rity of a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity in their own homes,” thereby cre­at­ing “a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity with­out walls.”

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