Connecticut, Where We've Been

Mohegan Native Americans

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Mohegan Native Americans

Note: The spelling of Connecticut has perplexed me since my childhood and if I ever needed to spell it, I would muddle through, usually getting it wrong or use autocorrect to fix it for me. This trip pushed me to finally find a catchy way to remember it. If you instead read it as, “Connect – I – Cut,” now it all makes sense!

After a brief stay in New York, we continued eastward into Connecticut. We had three days to explore this beautiful state, not enough in my opinion, but we have to press on since the seasons wait for no one. 

We took the opportunity to learn about the Mohegan Native Americans that once inhabited the land. Their reservation contains a small portion of land in Uncasville on which they have a museum, church, and casino and probably more that we didn’t have the opportunity to see.

The Tantaquidgeon Museum was built by John Tantaquidgeon, a member of the tribe, as a place for others to learn about the Mohegan people. He believed that it was through education about other cultures that “it is harder to hate someone that you know a lot about.” 

John’s daughter, Gladys, traveled all around the U.S. collecting Mohegan Native American artifacts for the museum. Her travels took her through the Dakotas so I imagine we will probably be hearing about her again once we reach those states.

The house in the picture below was her house.


This statue of Gladys is carved out of a solid piece of wood.  She lived to be over 100 years old and is remembered by her people as a kind-spirited woman.

The Mohegans lived in wigwams. These simple huts were made by interlacing and binding branches for the structure and overlaying it in bark. Inside there was a fire pit and a central hole for the smoke to escape. This would be the place to cook and gather together to tell stories or play music.

One of the staple foods of the Mohegan people was corn. In the central glass container is a ground corn product called Yokeag. It is known as “traveling food” or “journey food”, hence the term “journeycake” or “Johnnycake,” which refers to the fried, pancake-like patties made from mixing it with hot water, salt, and sometimes, sugar. Many of the Mohegans still eat it today as a topping on ice cream.

The day we went, a school group was getting a tour from the tribal members running the museum. He was working on hollowing out a canoe using fire. The process, when working fulltime on the project, takes about a week to complete. When it is finished being burned out, the sides will be shaped and it will be covered in pine pitch for waterproofness. 


Truck Troubles

We were scheduled to go to Hartford the next day, but when we got into the truck, to our disappointment, it wouldn’t start. We gave Good Sam a ring and they were surprisingly good at getting us a quick tow to the dealership. A couple of new batteries and a rather pricey bill later and we were on the road again, but without enough time to make it to Hartford.

If you get a chance to go, we were planning to see the Mark Twain house, the Harriet Beecher Stowe house, and the Noah Webster house and library. Maybe next time!




Mohegan Sun Casino

As a rarity on the east coast, we were able to find a place to boondock in the parking lot of the Mohegan Sun Casino. Parking is permitted up to 7 days at a time, by permit only. The permit is free and can be found on their website.

The parking lot is not level and we ended up popping a zerk fitting on the gooseneck hitch as we were detaching – I’ll just add that to Ben’s repair list.

There were probably another 15 RVers enjoying the free spot to overnight at the lot as well.

Our Verizon phone signal was at 3 bars. Starlink was downloading at 118 and uploading at 11.

Many thanks to our hosts!