What Exactly is a “Hoxie” Anyway?

Whaler's Inn Hoxie House
Courtesy of “CT History Illustrated- Mystic Seaport Collection”

The Whaler’s Inn consists of 5 buildings; the Main Inn, Stonington House, Noank House, 1865 House, and the Hoxie House. While most of their names may seem self-explanatory the word, or rather name, Hoxie may be new to non-natives. This name seems to pop up quite a bit around town with landmarks such as the scenic overlook off I-95 north, downtown’s B.F. Hoxie Engine Co Fire Department and the upcoming river park and boathouse adjacent to the Mystic Seaport Museum all sporting the Hoxie name. All this begs us to ask the question; “What Exactly is a Hoxie Anyway”? Or rather who is the Hoxie Family?

 

From Hawskie to Hoxie

Using our super sleuthing skills, we learned quite a bit about the name and its origins to, not only Mystic but New England in general.  In 1650 Lodwick Hawksie settled in Sandwich, MA; part of the Plymouth Colony. He was a young man when he came from Scotland and took up trade as a hatter. He simplified his last name to Hoxie and became a prominent member of Plymouth society. The family continued to grow and made its way to Westerly, RI and Mystic, CT.

Forefather of Mystic

Benjamin Franklin Hoxie is the man behind the namesake of the building on The Whaler’s Inn property. Growing up in Shamrock, RI, he moved to Westerly, RI in his young adulthood working at, family member, W.A. Hoxie’s store. Soon after he quickly made the move to Mystic with an interest in the lumber business. He took up business with Joseph Cottrell (for which Cottrell Street, adjacent to our East Main Street location is named) and George W. Ashbey, a local shipper. After spending some time out in California, he returned to Mystic and took up shipbuilding with Maxon, Fish, & Co. The company built schooners and brigs to be used in the coasting trade. After selling his shares he built the Washington Hall building located on the corner of Cottrell and East Main Street. After this business proved successful he began construction on the Hoxie House, a secondary retail space, and lodging establishment, in 1861.  This building was to be constructed on the former site of the U.S. Hotel (c 1818) which had been destroyed by fire in 1858.  Unfortunately, another one of the “great fires of Mystic” destroyed the Hoxie House in 1975.

Hoxie in Current Day Mystic

Our current Hoxie House was built in the same spot as part of The Whaler’s Inn in 2002 with rooms being recently remodeled in late 2017.  While we have kept the original name, we have taken some liberties adding modern luxury amenities such as air-jet tubs, gas fireplaces, and nautical chic furnishings.  Photos of the upgraded rooms can be seen here! B.F. Hoxie was one of the forefathers of Mystic, forming the fire department here in downtown and owning several successful businesses.  Like the owners, management, and staff at The Whaler’s Inn, Benjamin Franklin Hoxie loved Mystic and continuously made strives to help it flourish. He passed away at the ripe old age of 89 leaving his legacy behind.  Hoxie’s dream for the Hoxie Hotel was to be a luxury hotel that would attract an upscale clientele and help transform Mystic into a summer resort destination.  We are honored and proud to help that legacy live on here in current day Mystic.

Special thanks to the following sources:

Mystic Fire Department:  http://www.mysticfd.org/history.php

Wheeler, Richard Anson.  Press of the Day Publishing Company (1900). History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London