The Celebration

The Mystic River Bascule Bridge, the oldest of its kind in the United States turns 100 this summer! This famous Bridge has had a long history dating back to the 1800’s, but the current Bridge (Bascule Bridge stands for a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continually balances a span or leaf), was first opened on July 19, 1922! One of the top 5 reasons visitors come to Mystic every year, the Bascule Bridge has been connecting communities such as Groton and Stonington for a century, while also providing a landing place for the towns and the people who represent the Mystic Region. For the 100’s of members that represent the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, we can’t wait to begin this once in a lifetime celebration!

Beginning in April 2022, the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, the Mystic River Historical Society, and Foxwoods Resort Casino are partnering with a host of for-profit and non-profit organizations to commemorate the Mystic Bascule Bridge’s 100th Year! Events will occur all Spring and Summer leading to a ceremony, dedication, and Fireworks Display over the Mystic River on October 15, 2022.

The Scholarship Fund

As part of the commitment to this event and the local community, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce have created a scholarship program available to incoming high school seniors from the four neighboring schools around Mystic: Stonington High School, Fitch High School, Grasso Technical High School and Westerly High School in Rhode Island. The deadline for applications is September 1, 2022, with the four winners announced at the Mystic Bascule Bridge Dedication on October 15, 2022. For more information on the scholarship program, please click here.

April 2022

The celebration begins this April with The Mystic River Historical Society inviting the public to the opening reception for “100 years of the Mystic River Bridge,” from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at the Groton Public Library.

The exhibit, which features photos and memorabilia celebrating the centennial of the Mystic bascule bridge, will run from April 1 through Oct. 31 and is free and open to the public during regular library hours.

The opening reception will include a short program at 2:30 p.m., featuring Historical Society President Steve Menno, and Betsy Boucher and Marilyn Comrie, who curated the exhibit.

The celebration continues with a presentation by the Town Historian on the History of the Bridge by the Mystic River Historical Society at the Mystic Congregational Church at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27th.

Groton Town Historian James Streeter will present “Mystic River Bridges – Past and Present” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, in the parish house of the Mystic Congregation Church.

The program is part of the Mystic River Historical Society’s monthly lecture series and is being co-sponsored with the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce as part of the centennial celebration of the Mystic drawbridge.

The bridge will be 100 years old on July 19, 2022.

A native of Groton, Streeter is the author and co-author of six books on Groton history. He is a member of the board of directors of the Mystic historical society and a former mayor of the Town of Groton.

The lecture is free to society members. A $5 donation is suggested for nonmembers.

The doors open at 7 p.m. for refreshments and mingling. The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m.

May 2022

The Owners of the Whaler’s Inn Mystic have generously donated the former Mystical Toys building at the base of the Bascule Bridge in Stonington to the GMCC for use as a Visitor’s Center through Fall 2022. In May, we will open the space to the public complete with a poster presentation/historical perspective of the Mystic Bascule Bridge, fun activities for both kids and adults, Signature Bridge Anniversary Items for purchase, discount Mystic attraction tickets, Just Mystic Apparel and an energetic if not spunky Mystic Visitor Center staff to answer your questions and guide you through your Mystic experience…and there’s so much more. Stay tuned for hours of operation, promotions, and your key to Mystic events!

Saturday, May 7th brings the opening of five other Special Locations dedicated to telling the story of the Bascule Bridge, sponsored by Levine Distributors. Bridge Poster Displays (4’ x 5’ canvases) will be placed in groups of five throughout Mystic as a way of showcasing the celebration, educating those interested in its history, and keeping everyone informed of the events and happenings this summer and fall. Locations include Hilton Mystic Lobby (Coogan Blvd), Mystic YMCA (Harry Austin Drive), Olde Mistick Village (Coogan Blvd)), Mystic Seaport (Greenmanville Avenue), and Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, CT.) You will also be able to find these locations on our Bridge Anniversary App.

On Tuesday, May 10th, the GMCC and S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar will host a reception for sponsors on the patio overlooking the Bascule Bridge.

On Friday, May 27th the GMCC opens the BRIDGE TRAIL, 50+ stores found throughout Mystic that have created special, limited time Bridge Anniversary Items, Promotions and Offers designed to help defray the costs of Bridge Anniversary Events and help build the Bridge Scholarship Fund for years to come! A complete list of stores, locations and promotions will be available here as well as on our Bridge Anniversary App that you can also download here at no charge. The Bridge Anniversary App is your source for all things happening in Mystic, so visit often to find out the latest events and promotions for Every Season! The BRIDGE TRAIL is open through October 15th, 2002.

June 2022

On Saturday, June 4th, our Commemorative Bridge Anniversary Magazine hits the stands at various locations around Mystic as well as the Mystic Visitor’s Center at the foot of the Bridge. This 48-page perfect bound glossy magazine, written by the Mystic River Historical Society, takes us back 100 years through historic photographs never before seen, stories and interviews from former Bridge Tenders, perspectives from local and past residents, newspaper accounts and events in history on how the bridge played a roll, the destruction of the 1960 Stonington fire, those who fought the blaze and so much more. You can reserve your copy starting May 1st with the opening of the Mystic Visitor’s Center downtown.

Saturday, June 11th kicks off our Bridge Anniversary Photography Competition! Submit your best, most iconic picture of the Bascule Bridge on Instagram and be eligible to win overnight stays, dinners for two, Bridge Trail Anniversary products and so much more. Details to be provided soon. The winners will be announced on October 15th.

October 2022

Saturday, October 15th is the official Bridge Anniversary Dedication and Fireworks Celebration! Head to Mystic River Park late afternoon (Time TBD) and be a part of history as community leaders and special guests honor the oldest Bascule Bridge in the United States and a symbol of our transportation and communication history deeply rooted in southeastern Connecticut. We’ll be working on the agenda, but we expect a dedication from members of our state and local governments, a celebration of Bridge Tenders from the past and present, the announcement of our Bridge Anniversary High School Scholarship winners, coloring, and photography contest winners, and so much more. Then, grab your camera and meet us along the banks of the Mystic River where our Fireworks Celebration, sponsored by Foxwoods Resort Casino, takes place around 7:30. (Time TBD). A once in a life-time event deserves a once in a lifetime celebration…

Come back to the website often as new events are added and new information unfolds!

Calendar of Events:

Wednesday, April 27: Lecture on the History of the Bascule Bridge by the Mystic River Historical Society at the First Congregational Church of Mystic!

Sunday, May 1: Opening of the GMCC Tourism & Visitor Information Center at the foot of the Stonington side of the Bridge!

Saturday, May 7: History Locations open at Hilton Mystic, Mystic YMCA, Olde Mistick Village, Mystic Seaport, and Foxwoods Resort Casino!

Saturday, May 7: Bridge App/GMCC Events App is available to Download!

Tuesday, May 12: Sponsor Reception, S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar!


Saturday, June 4: 100th Anniversary Commemorative Magazine is available!

Saturday, June 11: Bridge Anniversary Photo Competition Begins!

Tuesday, July 19: Mystic Bascule Bridge 100th Birthday Announcement

Saturday, October 15th: The Official Bridge Anniversary Dedication & Fireworks Celebration!

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