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Where to Buy Mystic Seafarer's Trail

Mystic Seafarer's Trail is available in the following Connecticut and Rhode Island shops and: Online as e-book or paperback: ( Amazon ...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Amelia Earhart Married in Noank, CT, 82 Years Ago on 2/7/1931

When I discovered that Amelia Earhart married George Putnam in Noank in February of 1931, I couldn't wait to learn more--such as why she was such a reluctant bride and how, in the days before global warning made headlines, could she have gotten married outside as portrayed in the 2009 Amelia movie starring Hilary Swank?

Excerpt from my new book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail:
Learning I was including Amelia Earhart's wedding in a book about the area, Mary Anderson, Curator of the Noank Historical Society, said, “You tell everybody that the wedding scene portrayed in the movie [Amelia] is inaccurate. My husband’s grandfather, the Groton probate judge, performed the ceremony, and my father-in-law, Robert Anderson, a young Noank lawyer at the time, attended as a witness. Before and after the ceremony, Amelia spoke to him about a new kind of aircraft she was promoting. When the judge congratulated her after the ceremony, calling her Mrs. Putnam, she replied, ‘Please sir, I prefer Miss Earhart.’”

Amelia Earhart met George Putnam, an arctic explorer, publicist and heir to the GP Putnam publishing company, in 1928 while employed as a social worker in Boston. Putnam had become famous as the publisher of Charles Lindbergh’s book about his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Now George Putnam was helping sponsors look for a woman to become the first woman to fly the Atlantic in the trimotor Fokker, Friendship, previously owned by pioneering aviator and polar explorer, Richard E. Byrd. Amelia was interviewed by the flight sponsors in New York City at the offices of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Publishing Company. Upon concluding the interview in George Putnam’s office, George accompanied Amelia to the train station. Shortly after returning to Boston, she received the offer to make the historic flight.
Putnam, who was reportedly smitten by Amelia, brought Earhart to Noank to visit with his mother, Frances Putnam, and on November 8, 1930, he convinced Amelia to visit Groton Town Hall to apply for a marriage license.

Wanting to follow Amelia’s trail, I visited Groton Town Hall to see if I could learn anything from looking at the license. Just before I entered the building, a friendly, owner-less golden retriever greeted me. Calling the phone number etched in his tag, I assured the owner I would hold onto him until she could drive over to collect him.

As I sat on a bench with the dog at the entrance of the 1908 brick building, I pondered what Earhart was thinking before she stepped through that doorway more than 80 years earlier. My first trip to Groton Town Hall occurred two years ago when we first moved to Mystic. It wasn’t for any life-altering reason—I was just required by law to register my hound Bailey for a Connecticut dog license.

Amelia, on the other hand, was apparently extremely apprehensive when she entered Groton Town Hall. She wasn’t sold on the idea of marriage in general (her parents had divorced six years earlier in 1924) and had rejected other marriage proposals, including Sam Chapman’s, whose proposal included the insistence that his wife not work outside the home.
Once freed from my dog sitting responsibilities, I visited the Registrar of Vital Statistics office, the same office where I applied for Bailey’s dog license.

When I told the clerk I was looking for Earhart’s marriage license and gave her the
wedding date, she found it immediately. “We’ve had many requests for that,” she

To learn more about Amelia Earhart, the fib I discovered on her marriage license, and certain events leading up to and following her wedding in Noank, see my book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail, available online and in area shops.

About Mystic Seafarer's Trail:
While searching for the Seven Wonders of Mystic with her beagle/basset hound, author Lisa Saunders uncovers the secrets behind the Titanic's shoes, Captain Sisson's hunt for gold, and Amelia Earhart's Noank wedding. But will she ever find an adventure of her own--one that will make her thin and famous? Enough to afford a housekeeper? When walking the Mystic Seafarer's Trail (which Lisa designed for those who don't like to go uphill), she meets a blind sailor who invites her on a long, winter voyage. Can this plump writer defy squalls, scurvy, and her fear of scraping barnacles to survive this epic journey?
Mystic Seafarer's Trail, can be previewed by clicking on the "LOOK INSIDE" feature on Amazon. It is also available in area shops that include, A Taste of New England, Bank Square Books, Franklin's General Store, Carson's Variety Store, and Monte Cristo Bookshop (a new shop in New London).


Earhart married Putnam 82 years ago on Feb. 7, 1931 in Noank, Connecticut

Mystic, CT— Mystic Seafarer’s Trail, the latest book by Mystic author, Lisa Saunders, includes little-known details about Amelia Earhart’s wedding in Noank, Connecticut, on February 7, 1931. Saunders’ research included interviewing the grandson of the judge who performed the ceremony.

Most accounts of Amelia Earhart's life barely mention her wedding, except to say she got married—reluctantly. The 2009 movie "Amelia," starring Hilary Swank, shows her getting married outside, despite the early February date.

Excerpt from Mystic Seafarer’s Trail:
Mary Anderson, Curator of the Noank Historical Society, confirmed what my breakfast companion Barbara told me—that Earhart was secretly married in a simple civil ceremony in the square, flat-roofed house I found on Church Street. Learning I was including this information in a book about the area, Mary said, "You tell everybody that the wedding scene portrayed in the movie [Amelia] is inaccurate. My husband's grandfather, the Groton probate judge, performed the ceremony, and my father-in-law, Robert Anderson, a young Noank lawyer at the time, attended as a witness. When the judge congratulated her after the ceremony, calling her Mrs. Putnam, she replied, 'Please sir, I prefer Miss Earhart.'"

Mystic Seafarer’s Trail is available as a soft cover in Mystic area shops and as an e-book through: www.amazon.com/author/lisasaunders (Media may contact Saunders directly for a review copy.)

About the Author: Lisa Saunders is a speaker and award-winning writer living in Mystic, Connecticut, with her husband and beagle/basset hound. A graduate of Cornell University, she works as a part-time history interpreter at Mystic Seaport and is a member of the Mystic River Historical Society. Her other books include EVER TRUE: A Union Private and His Wife (published by Heritage Books) and Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (published by Unlimited Publishing LLC).

For more information about Lisa, visit www.authorlisasaunders.com or write to saundersbooks@aol.com  


Book Details:

Subtitle: Secrets behind the 7 Wonders, Titanic's Shoes, Captain Sisson's Gold, and Amelia Earhart's Wedding

Authored by Lisa Saunders

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 29, 2012)

Softcover Price: $ 12.95

ISBN-13: 978-1480085848; ISBN-10: 1480085847

Saturday, February 2, 2013

FREE Mystic Seafarer's Trail today-Feb 4

I made the e-book version of Mystic Seafarer's Trail free today through Monday, Feb. 4, on Amazon. It includes little-known details about Amelia Earhart's wedding in Noank, CT. You don't need a Kindle to download it (it can go to your computer or phone). Visit: http://www.amazon.com/Mystic-Seafarers-Trail-Titanics-ebook/dp/B00A3RX85E

There is also a Mystic Seafarer's Trail map available at: Mystic Seafarer's Trail Map

If you don't want to down load it, you can read Chapter One and Two by clicking on the “LOOK INSIDE” feature, or you can read Chapter One below:

Wanted: Epic Adventure

Shortly after stepping out of my new home with my hound for our first stroll through the historic seacoast village of Mystic, Connecticut, a woman pulled over in her van and yelled, "Excuse me."

Assuming she was a tourist wanting directions to Mystic Pizza or some other attraction, I wasn't prepared for what she really wanted to know.

"Do you realize the back of your skirt is tucked into your underwear?"

What a debut in my new hometown—I don’t think this is what National Geographic meant when they named Mystic one of the top 100 adventure towns in the United States.

Once recovered from my wardrobe “malfunction,” I continued toward downtown Mystic with Bailey, a beagle/basset hound mix, to embark on a new life and shake off my old, sedentary landlubbing ways.

No longer did I want to be known as the lady who always talks about losing weight but never does it. No longer would I sit around daydreaming about becoming thin and famous so I could hire someone else to clean my house. I had a real shot at it now that I lived in a place where I couldn’t help but fall into a swash-buckling adventure—the kind that might inspire me to write a bestseller.

Straddling both sides of the Mystic River in the towns of Groton and Stonington, the village of Mystic takes its name from an Indian word, “river running to the sea.” With its scenic views of tall ships, islands, lighthouses, and secluded coves, it has attracted such legendary honeymooners as Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It is a place where those who cross the oceans gather to swap stories and repair their boats. It is where famous explorers are born, visit, get married, or come to live.

To launch my career as an adventuress, I decided to walk Bailey to the haunts and homes of such celebrated adventurers as Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic; Dr. Robert Ballard, the discoverer of Titanic’s watery grave; Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the first aviator to fly over the South Pole; and Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer, who accidentally discovered Antarctica.

Now was the time for me to join their ranks, to start living life on the edge. Maybe I could become thin and famous like Amelia Earhart. Like her, I am fairly tall, my middle initial is M, I have a gap between my two front teeth, and until I looked it up, I couldn’t spell medieval either (more on that and her wedding day later). Unlike Amelia, I wasn’t skinny, but that was about to change. I would stop lying around reading about adventurers and do what it took to become one.

My husband, Jim, and I were transferred to the Mystic area by his company, which meant I had to quit my job as a full-time writer for a college and search for a new one in a community revolving around life at sea—not easy for a confirmed desk sitter like me. Finding the area already teeming with underemployed writers and publicists, I was grateful when my former employer hired me back as a consulting writer. Although freelancing allowed me to work from home in my pajamas, it offered no retirement benefits—hence the need to become famous. Being famous not only helps pay the bills, but it gives you an edge when trying to accomplish other goals.

Now was the time for me to follow in the path of prominent authors such as Herman Melville who went to sea on a whaler (a ship designed to catch whales and process their oil) when he couldn't find a job. Although he deserted and had to live among cannibals for a time, he found the inspiration to write his first novel. Further sea adventures, which included mutiny and hearing about a whale that rammed and sank the Essex, led to the creation of his magnum opus: Moby Dick. I, myself, could barely get through this “Great American Novel,” but somebody must like it. And now that I lived within walking distance of the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world, I felt that was a sign. Perhaps I could enlist on it as a deck swabber on some epic voyage. The house we purchased came with a brass, whale-shaped door knocker. That had to be a sign.

If following in the footsteps of a whaling writer didn’t work, there was always the chance I could get famous by finding a dead body—just like Bailey and our older daughter had. Although it didn’t make her into an international celebrity, I use it as a party stopper whenever I want to be the center of attention. Of course, I should really find my own body, preferably of a well-known person. Celebrities are always coming to Mystic to film movies or vacation.

Since I couldn’t count on finding a dead body, famous or otherwise, I decided to start small. First, I planned to compile “The 7 Wonders of Mystic”—something quick I could shout to the tourists who rolled down their car windows asking what they should see (besides my underwear).

National Geographic’s website suggests that Mystic adventurers bike what it calls the 25-mile Vineyard Loop that includes “some hairy climbs that stops at two of the best wineries.” Hairy climbs? I hoped to get thin, but did I have to go uphill to do it? I thought not.

Instead, I would conquer a trail of my own design—one that would avoid hills where possible—and call it the “Mystic Seafarer’s Trail.” It would include “The 7 Wonders” (once I figured out what they were), plus the stomping grounds of legendary explorers. It would encompass the Mystic, Stonington and Noank area and even include where Kate the acupuncturist weighed her newborn on a lobster scale after giving birth on a schooner and rowing to shore.

With so many potential wonders to consider and adventures to try, I had a lot of ground—and water—to cover. So, every afternoon, I checked my skirt and off Bailey and I went to follow a scent of our own.

Read Chapter Two by clicking on the “LOOK INSIDE” feature of the Mystic Seafarer’s Trail at: http://www.amazon.com/Mystic-Seafarers-Trail-Titanics-ebook/dp/B00A3RX85E