When Stonington's four founding fathers first laid eyes on the bucolic shoreline inhabited by the Pequot tribe, it was impossible for them to predict that the future state of Connecticut would produce nearly four centuries of American history. What became their sleepy coastal borough flourished from a stony town into what is now known as Stonington. Fishermen, whalers, and sealers would lead a boom in the 1800s, shaping a lifestyle that still persists as a testament to the area's heritage. Stonington survived major wars, an economic depression, and catastrophic hurricanes to thrive as an intimate yet welcoming community that harbored major motion pictures such as Mystic Pizza, Amistad, and Hope Springs. The town became a haven for Pulitzer Prize poet James Merrill and sustained a 1990s tourism revitalization that transformed it into one of New England's most precious hidden gems. Today, delectable seafood restaurants, charming shops, an abundantly rich historical heritage, and a picturesque seaside ambience put Stonington and its history at the quintessential forefront of every excursion to southeastern Connecticut.