‘This is sacred ground’: Historic park in Groton defaced by vandals

New London

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH)–  A historic state park in City of Groton and the site of a significant battle in the American Revolutionary War is defaced by vandals.

From the top of the hill at Fort Griswold in Groton the view toward the Thames River is picturesque and looks undisturbed. 

But folks strolling the grounds below made a somewhat explosive discovery on the other side of the building where gunpowder was once stored.

“It was very disturbing,” said neighbor Howard Tinney. “This place is for knowledge not for vandalizing.”

Two sides of the historic building are defaced. The word ‘shooter’ along with the letters JDA and BLM are among the graffiti.

“It’s reprehensible what happened up there. That’s a place of honor,” said City of Groton Police Chief Michael Spellman. “We are aggressively following leads in this case.”

Chief Spellman doesn’t usually comment on active cases but this is causing many to speak out.

“The very founding of our country was at stake there,” said the chief. “Men fought and died for what became the United States.”

“This is sacred ground,” said Mayor Keith Hendrick, (D) City of Groton.

There’s even a mural in the municipal building depicting the Battle of Groton Heights where Colonel Ledyard was felled by his own sword and traitor Benedict Arnold guided British forces in the revolutionary war attack. 

“We have generations of people that are tied to the Battle of Fort Griswold that live here in the city of Groton,” said Mayor Hendrick.

City police believe this happened sometime at the end of last week. They are assisting the DEEP in its investigation.

The DEEP tells News 8 it is disappointed by this damage and with the possible help of volunteers will try to get it cleaned up as soon as possible.

“It’s done and we just have to fix it and keep it from happening again,” said Tinney.

He is hoping his two granddaughters who often play there never see the historic site like this.

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