Mystic River Historical Society
The Mystic River Historical Society, founded in 1973, owns an ever-growing collection of Mystic-related historical books, maps, photographs, and other documents and artifacts contributed by the community. It houses these collections in the William A. Downes Archives Building, erected by the Society specifically to provide a safe environment for them. It maintains part-time archival and curatorial staff available to assist researchers and to continue the organization and cataloging of the collections. In addition to the Downes Building, the Society owns the 1839 Portersville Academy, purchased from the Town of Groton in 1975 and partially restored. This historical building serves as the Society's education and outreach space. A schoolroom of the 1840s has been recreated upstairs, and historical displays form a backdrop for educational activities downstairs.
The society offers exhibits, lectures, tours, research library access, and educational programs.