A Tool in a Museum Yearns to Work


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To the Editor:

Shelved behind glass. Resting on a pink velvet pillow. With curated light shining just so. To gather dust and live the sad life of captivity… like a beluga whale at Mystic Aquarium. There is a concerted effort to relegate a large portion of one of the greatest tools in the region to such a fate — Allyn’s Point.  

A tool? Most think of a shovel, rake or hoe. Those are fine for small problems. The kind a common person takes on.  Bigger problems require bigger tools: 165 acres.  Freight rail connected.  State highway adjacent.  Water 26 feet deep. 800 foot pier.  115kva power lines. Uncommon physical assets, in the hands of an uncommon person, Jay Cashman.

There’ve been calls to designate Mount Decatur as a historic site.

Public discussion seems focused on only parts of history. Fort Decatur was a blip.  A blink.  In more than one way a pimple.  Worth noting, but no Fort Griswold, and certainly not all that defines the place.

Robert Allyn started shipping and trading from the property in the 1650s. Later Cornelius Vanderbilt and his brother used Allyn’s Point as an incredible transportation asset. Stephen Decatur chose to build his fort there for three reasons location, location, location. Put it to work.  Along came Dow.  

Each used the property to help make this country what it is, the greatest.  Jay Cashman’s just the next to pick it up.  It’s nothing but a tool. Tools don’t belong on the shelf. They belong at work.  You want the country to remain great?  Don’t take our fucking tools away. 

Tell the whole history of Allyn’s Point: Belton Allyn, Decatur’s chain, the Vanderbilts, blevy maps, and all.

Kevin Blacker
Noank, CT