Welcome to the SVIA
Welcome to the Stonington Village Improvement Association. The SVIA is one of the most active all-volunteer organizations in our area. Our mission statement is:
Enriching the quality of life in the village by encouraging and supporting activities that enhance our many cultural and recreational gifts for the benefit of all
Stonington Borough lies on a small peninsula roughly a mile long and a quarter-mile wide just about midway between New York City and Boston. A well-protected harbor adjoins the western shore. The Borough has never been a laid-back, unassuming town where nothing exciting happens. During the War of 1812, a British invasion was repulsed by a group of courageous citizens. Starting in the early 1800's and for a hundred years thereafter, Stonington was an important transfer port between the railroad and the steamers on the busy Boston-New York route. Hotels and other service businesses flourished along with ship building and whaling. It was a thriving, hectic mini-city. In the early 1900's, many of the town's residents were employed at the Atwood factory, manufacturing and shipping textile machinery worldwide. Stonington was always self-contained, having stores and services of all kinds -- everything was here.
The SVIA was formed in 1899 by a small group of caring residents wishing to maintain the Borough as "a nice place to live and work." Contributions by residents and non-residents alike allow the present day SVIA to maintain that tradition. Activities and projects include maintaining duBois Beach at Stonington Point and Mathews Park, running a weekly Farmers Market, and hosting the annual Christmas Stroll. The SVIA continually supports special projects around the Borough such as the installation of Little Free Libraries, renovation of Cannon Square, maintenance of Wayland's Wharf and the restoration of the COMO Pond.
Centrally located in the small Stonington Borough business district is the former residence of poet James Merrill, now owned and maintained by the SVIA. Merrill's apartment, largely intact, is home to our ongoing "Writer-in-Residence Program" sponsored in his memory by the SVIA.
You can see that the Stonington Village Improvement Association is an active organization. But there is always room for more volunteers, and certainly financial contributions. Both are most welcome. The SVIA is looking forward to seeing you at one of our many events.
Board of Directors
Kathryn Burchenal, President Bill Rutherford, Vice President
Beth Black, Secretary
Charlie Hatton, Treasurer
Rene Boelig Dodie Bump
Denise Collins Anne Eaton Cynthia Elliott
Bryan Jackson Julia Leeming
Francis Pandolfi Ruth Saunders Laura Sawyer Janet Vaskas