Forest Bennett Diaries

Manuscripts Collection 251

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Bennett, Forest
Title: Forest Bennett Diaries
Dates: 1935-1945
Extent: 11 v.
Abstract: Diaries reflecting personal and local events, including many comments on world politics and its effect on the New London, Conn., region. Among local events, Bennett records the Oct. 9, 1936 passage of the HINDENBURG over New London, the hurricane in Sept. 1938 which devastated southern New England, annual Yale-Harvard boat races watched from the New London bridge, events surrounding World War II, and events in nearby towns of Mystic and Niantic and his use of bridges in these towns for his commute to work after the closure of the bridge in New Haven.
Identification: Coll. 251

Biography of Forest Bennett

Forest Bennett was born and raised on Thames Street in Norwich, Connecticut. He was an employee of State of Connecticut. The diaries contained in this collection commence in 1935 and continue until Mr. Bennett’s retirement in 1945. Mr. Bennett not only notes personal events, but also includes many comments on world politics, and its effect on the New London region.

Among local events, Mr. Bennett records the October 9, 1936 passage of the Hindenburg over New London, the September 21, 1938 hurricane that devastates southern New England, the annual Yale-Harvard Boat Races watched from his bridge, and events surrounding the war in Europe and the United State’s eventual inclusion.

In 1943, the New London bridge closes and Mr. Bennett commutes to the Mystic River Highway bridge, and also occasionally to the Niantic River Bridge. During his two years in service at these locations Mr. Bennett comments quite freely on events in those towns also.

On December 31, 1945, after “23 years and 7 months (15 days)” Mr. Bennett retires from employment for the state of Connecticut and the diaries end.

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

Harvard University–Rowing
Hindenburg (Airship)
Yale University–Rowing


Mystic (Conn.)–History
New London (Conn.)–History
Niantic (Conn.)–History
Norwich (Conn.)–History


Boats and boating
Hurricanes–New England
Regattas–Connecticut–New London
World War, 1939-1945

Document Types:


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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 251, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.


Diaries; 1935-1945
1 Diary; 1935 May 1-Dec 31
2 Diary; 1935 May 1-Dec 31
3 Diary; 1937 Jan 1-Dec 31
4 Diary; 1938 Jan 1-Dec 31
5 Diary; 1939 Jan 1-Dec 31
6 Diary; 1940 Jan 1-Dec 31
7 Diary; 1941 Jan 1-Dec 31
8 Diary; 1942 Jan 1-Dec 31
9 Diary; 1943 Jan 1-Dec 31
10 Diary; 1944 Jan 1-Dec 31
11 Diary; 1945 Jan 1-Dec 31

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