N o r o t o n Y a c h t C l u b

Boats have been speeding through the Long Island Sound to the Noroton Yacht Club since it was officially founded in 1928, and the club house (pictured at left) was built in the following year. Later, the yacht club purchased the 160-foot breakwater and pier on the Goodwives' River from Noroton Shores Inc.

It was Noroton Shores Inc. that dredged the Goodwives' River in 1926, and created the current harbor.

But Darien's rich history on the seas began long before the first sailboat race was recorded at the Noroton Yacht Club in July, 1907.

Ships sailed in and out of Darien's main port at Rings End Landing throughout much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, carrying farmers' goods to the city, and importing essentials for the townspeople of Darien to purchase. But even ordinary trade had the potential for excitement.

In June, 1778, during the American Revolution, a British boat appeared in the harbor and captured a small American boat called the Eagle, which was being loaded with 260 barrels of flour for the Continental Army. Three of the men on board the ship were taken prisoner and exchanged in New York for British prisoners of war.

This was not the only pirating incident on these waters.

"During the War of 1912, Henry Webb had his little boat captured by the British, and they put him back on shore, and said he could get his boat back for 400 Spanish dollars," said Kenneth M. Reiss, author of The Story of Darien, Connecticut. The British hung around out there, and ransomed his boat."

Webb returned to the shore, where he was able to borrow the money from John Bell, Jr., a merchant who operated a store at the landing. The British returned Webb's boat, the Argo, in exchange for the money.