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“Sole Searching” on the Appalachian Trail with Sam Ducharme

Wednesday October 16, 6-7:30 pm

This presentation by Sam Ducharme brings you on a six-month thru-hike with “Sam I Am,” a newly-retired prison guard who finds himself lost when his two sons leave for the Air Force and his K-9 partner passes away. With no hiking experience, he bought a backpack and a plane ticket to Georgia and started walking home to New England.

One month after deciding to hike the 2,189- mile trail, Sam takes his first step north. It didn’t take long to learn that the Appalachian Trail was a trail of people, or as they called themselves, “Trail Family.” With this new and quirky family from doctors to dropouts, the grimy layers of dirt accumulated from a career spent “inside” [a prison] slowly peeled away exposing “Sam I Am’s” shiny new layer of dirt, which was earned “outside” by hiking the Appalachian Trail.

This program is free and open to the public; no registration is required.

The MNL & Mystic River Historical Society Present: A Walk Through Helen Clarke’s Mystic

Saturday October 5, 10:00 am @ the Union Baptist Church


If you missed “A Walk Through Helen Clarke’s Mystic” in April, the MNL and the Mystic River Historical Society are offering the hour-long event again!

The free walk will feature a look at the Mystic of 100 years ago, based on the writings of Helen Clarke, whose diary was published by the historical society in 1997. Tour guides from the historical society will lead the walk.

Registration is required and must be done by Sept. 30; you may sign up here. This time the walk is limited to 60 people. There is no wait list, so sign up early to reserve your space. There is no rain date. It will be a lovely time of year to walk through downtown Mystic.

The walk will start at the Union Baptist Church parking lot at 119 High St. and will end at Portersville Academy, also on High Street, where there will be a display of Helen Clarke photos and memorabilia. Copies of the Helen Clarke diary will also be for sale.

We look forward to seeing you there!

DNA Genealogy Series @ the MNL!

October 2019

Join us for a fascinating DNA series led by Dr. Robert Spencer!

Introduction to DNA Genealogy: Monday October 7, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

In this first session we’ll discuss the strengths and limits of paper genealogy and the reasons why people turn to DNA. Then we’ll introduce DNA structure, inheritance, and mutation mechanisms, issues of forensic use, privacy, and how to choose among the different vendors and types of DNA tests. In each session, we’ll cover any case studies from the audience.

Families, Cousins, Ethnicity: Thursday October 10, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

99% of our DNA comes equally from each parent, and so each ancestor’s contribution is diluted twofold each generation, limiting our horizon to about 8 generations.  Here we discuss the common gaps and “brick walls” in building family trees, patterns of American immigration and westward migration, and inferred ethnic and national origins.

Ancient Migrations and Invasions: Thursday October 17, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

mtDNA and yDNA do not get mixed or diluted, and so give us a window to our prehistoric to feudal history.  Here we discuss Neanderthals, Homo sapiens movement Out-of-Africa, and major Asian and European migrations and invasions.  DNA shows how women survived but men decimated each other in the early Bronze Age.  We discuss the origins of surnames, extinction and founding events, and why clan wars make Irish and Scots DNA genealogy difficult today. 

Dr. Rob Spencer, a retired scientist from Pfizer, had a lingering question in his own ancestry. He did a DNA test in 2017, and has since gotten deep into the subject. He is now a “research blogger” at a very active Family Tree DNA website and maintains his own genealogy website.

Registration is required for these programs; please sign up for all three sessions here.

Organize your Office with Sandra Wheeler

Tuesday, September 10 from 6:00-7:00 pm


Sandra Wheeler – Professional Organizer and owner of organizing company For Peace of Mind – will share key steps to getting more organized in your office.

Set yourself up for success in your office at home or at work. Learn paper management – what and where to keep it.

This program is free and open to the public; no registration required.

The Visual Time Traveller: A Book Talk by Alison Hackett

Thursday, September 19 from 6:00-7:30 pm

Is it possible for 500 years of history to be reduced to bite-sized chunks of five years, incorporating twelve diverse facts that happened within that time-frame?  

Through her lecture, Alison Hackett, author of The Visual Time Traveller: 500 Years of History, Art and Science in 100 Unique Designs, will reawaken your curiosity, bring you through five centuries, draw you into a web of connections linking history, art and science since the Renaissance and construct a lens with which to explain the world in a way that is at once fragmented, modern and alive.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Mystic & Noank Library.

This program is free and open to the public; no registration is required.

Heartfulness Meditation with Marsha Thompson

Fridays at 11:00 am, Sept. 6 - Oct. 25

Join us for this exciting Meditation series at the Library! The class, which will go for one hour each week, will meet at 11 am for 8 weeks on the following dates:

Friday, September 6
Friday, September 13
Friday, September 20
Friday, September 27
Friday, October 4
Friday, October 11
Friday, October 18
Friday, October 25

Heartfulness is a simple and natural path of heart-centered wellness that fosters balance, peace and wellbeing. The introductory practices include a relaxation exercise and a Heartfulness meditation. This approach to wellness centers on using the heart to guide us on our journey to personal development. With continued practice, Heartfulness can enable you to achieve inner transformation.

Come experience guided Heartfulness relaxation and meditation with Marsha Thompson, a practitioner and certified trainer who enjoys sharing her practice with one and all who have interest.

This program is free and open to the public; no registration is required.

Artists’ Views of Mystic and Surrounding Towns: 1900-1950

August 2019

Artists have been coming to Mystic and the surrounding area for more than a century to paint the bucolic landscape, beautiful shoreline and regional views steeped in New England history.  For this exhibition, we have assembled a collection of some of our favorite paintings of local scenes from the Mystic area, some you will recognize immediately, and others we hope library patrons can help us identify the location.  

Mystic residents Jon and Jane Sproul have been collecting artwork from early members of the Mystic art colony for over 15 years and wanted to share some of their collection with library patrons.

This exhibit is free and open to the public; please call ahead to check the availability of the Ames Room.

The Mystic & Noank Library Presents the Fourth Annual Roode Memorial Concert Series

Summer 2019


This concert series is generously sponsored by the family of long-time Mystic residents Agnes and Carl Roode in their memory. Please join us to celebrate their love of music. All concerts will begin at 6:30 (doors open at 6:00) and will be held upstairs in the Spicer Reading Room. No registration is required. All are welcome.


Thursday, June 20, 6:30
Summer Solstice ~ Irish Harpist Aine Minogue

As traditional Irish music and dance continue to enjoy phenomenal success both here and in Ireland, Áine Minogue is an artist who has long explored its themes and who captures its very essence. Her voice reflects the lyricism and richness to be found in Irish music, mythology and poetry with a voice undeniably her own and a diverse group of instruments that add to the traditional flavor of her work.

Thursday, July 18, 6:30
Music Through The Decades ~ David Polansky

Using keyboard, trumpet, and vocals, David presents the music of George M. Cohan, Fats Waller, Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael and others - music inspired by the advent of the automobile, the two world wars, the Roaring 20’s, the great depression, and the wild west. David engages the audience, taking questions, performing requests, and telling funny anecdotes about famous musicians as well as some about his own life as a musician. A career musician, David has played with Sandler and Young, Phyllis Diller, Henny Youngman, Ray Bolger, Arthur Fiedler, The Platters, The Coasters and many more!


Thursday, August 22, 6:30
Evening of Bluegrass ~ Cabin Fever Band

We are a band of friends who love playing bluegrass. We started with a jam session in a local restaurant, one thing led to another, and here we are. We perform in the Southeastern Connecticut/Rhode Island area, and none of us has given up their day job yet!

Cribbage Players Have More Fun!

Meets Every Thursday at 3:00 p.m.

Do you know how to play cribbage or are ready to learn?

Cribbage is a great way to keep your mind sharp and meet new friends! For more information, contact the library at 860-536-7721.

Mystic & Noank Library Knitting Circle

Meets Every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

The Knitting Circle meets in the Ames Room every Tuesday afternoon and is open to the public.

Join us and bring your projects!

For more information, please call 860-536-7971.

Literacy Conversation Group

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00

Do you (or someone you know) need to learn English? Do you need more English in order to study for your U.S. Citizenship exam? Or to get your license? Or to talk with doctors, teachers, or lawyers? Then you've come to the right place! These Conversation Groups are a great opportunity to practice speaking English with other learners in a casual environment, and it is completely free!

No registration is required. Facilitated by Literacy Volunteers of Washington County.

Mystic & Noank Library Writers’ Group

Meets Mondays at 4 p.m. in the Ames Room

We welcome local writers for free-write sessions.

 Loosely based on the notion of stream-of-consciousness writing described by Natalie Goldberg in “Writing Down the Bones,” the sessions are broken into three parts of 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 5 minutes.

You’ll be surprised at the places you’ll go with the topics in these sessions. They give you an opportunity to express yourself, they’re therapeutic and they often lead to a lot to talk about after putting your pens down.

Open to all, no registration is required!