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A Growing Legacy

What’s been around longer than Nutella, sliced bread, and telephones? Chelsea Groton Bank! July 3, 2024 marks the 170th anniversary of Chelsea Groton Bank. Our commitment to serving the people in our community and driving innovation are still focal points of our mission today, as they have been since day one.

Travel back to the year of 1854, when the population grew and businesses exploded in New London County. Trade was booming and technology was quickly advancing. Residents of the community needed a savings bank. Community members of the Mystic area united to create Groton Savings Bank. A few years later, in 1858, similar talks occurred in Norwich and Chelsea Savings Bank soon came to fruition.

The banks grew in tandem with the community, and branch expansion was needed to facilitate structural growth. “It was a big deal then making news on the front page of the town newspaper,” recounted Sherman Butler, long-time Mystic resident. “As virtually no new structures of any kind had been built in many decades. As a ten-year-old living on Pearl Street in 1952, I recall vividly the construction of the federalist style brick structure that would be the new home for Groton Savings Bank in Mystic. Now that “new” building itself is one hundred years old. Looks hardly a day.”

Community-minded and oriented, members of Groton Savings Bank and Chelsea Savings Bank set the foundation for decades to come; the banks would operate for the betterment of its communities and residents, unbeholden to shareholders. In 1981, conversations of merging the two banks gained traction. Saturation in the market and geographic limitations made it clear that it was the right decision to move forward together. The merger of the banks was approved and in 1982, they officially became Chelsea Groton Savings Bank, adopting the acorn as its logo.

Legacy on Display

During the reconstruction of the Groton headquarters building, it was decided a space was needed to honor the Bank’s legacy. And so, the old ledgers, news articles, and images have been organized and digitized. Banking machinery from the 1800s and 1900s was dusted off, and advertising printing blocks were brought out of storage. More than the physical items and timeline, the new Legacy Wall showcases the strong history and community commitment the Bank has maintained through several generations. Located on the ground floor of the Headquarters building, the Legacy Wall features bank milestones and community happenings from the local area. Stop by to see if you recognize events, community influencers, and historical names of past bank presidents while ‘travelling’ between towns!