Mystic Oral School History

1826 - Jonathan Whipple, of Ledyard, has son born deaf; Whipple develops method to teach son how to speak

1869 - Grandson Zerah starts Whipple Home School in Ledyard teaching lip reading and the method to sound out words using illustrations of mouth positions in the form of an alphabet

1872 - State aid is received to help people afford the school

1875 - Whipples purchase property in Mystic from the

Silas E. Burrows family and the school moves there.

This is the current location of the Mystic Oral School

1879 - Zerah Whipple dies leading to a troubling

period for the school

1895 - The state investigates the school and finds 

irregularities 

1897 - State considers closing the school,

Alexander Graham Bell defends school; Mystic

residents consider becoming incorporators of the school

1898 - Articles of Association of the Mystic Oral School

for the Deaf Corporation were created - enrollment 34

1900 - Addition added to the existing building

1902 - Electricity and telephone added

1909 - State appropriates funds for a new dormitory,

opens in 1910

1912 - Enrollment 62

1919 - State buys school for $20,000

1925 - New dormitory added

1928 - Enrollment 115

1942 - Enrollment 161

1947 - Nursery school added

1959 - School becomes part of State Board of Education

1970 - Senior high school established

1980 - State closes school

2011 - State closes campus

Note: It took a good pupil 10 years to complete the

course of study, for many it took longer. As well as

the main speech training, academic and vocational

education was also provided

Information courtesy of Mystic River Historical Society

as follows and Town of Groton:

Barbara Bronson, 'A History of the Mystic Oral School for the Deaf', June 1968

Harold Hornstein, 'The Quaker Who Launched Mystic Oral School, New Haven Register,

22 September 1974

Robert H. Hamilton, The Mystic Oral School, Past-Present-Future, June 1975

  • Photo courtesy of Mystic River Historical Society, Inc., Mystic, Connecticut, Not For Reuse

19830010557.jpg
Mystic Oral School.jpg
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19830010138.jpg

Photo courtesy of Mystic River Historical Society, Inc., Mystic, Connecticut, Not For Reuse

Photo courtesy of Mystic River Historical Society, Inc., Mystic, Connecticut, Not For Reuse

Photo courtesy of Mystic River Historical Society, Inc., Mystic, Connecticut, Not For Reuse