The Groton Submarine Base is an actual base located on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut. This is a national landmark where visitors today can still look on in awe of real submarines used by the U.S. Navy. This is the U.S. Navy’s primary submarine base, and it has even been called the “Submarine Capital of the World.”
The Groton Submarine Base dates back to the year 1868, when the state of Connecticut gave the U.S. Navy 112 acres along their river to build a new station. Why this extra donation? The federal government was not paying for it, and duty called! In 1872, two buildings and a pier were built, and it continues to be seen in Groton and part of Ledyard. It wasn’t until 1915 that more additions were added, including four submarines, a monitor and a tender.
The base is located in Groton to this day, though the main office is elsewhere in the New London area. Currently, the base takes up 687 acres of base space, along with 530 more acres for housing, and a homeport. What can visitors see above the Groton Sub Base? The Nautilus is the first nuclear-powered submarine and it was declared a landmark in the early 1980s. There are tours permitted to the public on most days.
If you want more history and fewer submarines, you can check out the Submarine Force Library and Museum. This museum is found on the Thames River and is part of the legendary CT submarine base. In fact, it is the only submarine museum operated by the U.S. Navy. Here, guests can enjoy artifacts, old documents and old photographs of U.S. Navy and submarine history. In all, there are 33,000 artifacts to view at this facility. Come enjoy a living piece of American history!