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Three Honors for Longtime Town Historian

Dr. Karl Stofko is recognized for decades of volunteer service to the town

The December 7, 2022, museum presentation "Mysteries of East Haddam" by Town Historian Karl Stofko was the 30th time, in a series of popular annual readings by Dr. Stofko of intriguing stories of the town's colorful past, he had uncovered, researched, and wrote for each year's event.

After this year's presentation, Dr. Stofko received three well-deserved honors: a town proclamation, a state citation, and the dedication of a new research room at the museum in his name.

Selectwomen Theresa Govert and Irene Haines presented two of the three honors given to local historian Karl Stofko.

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George Comer was born in Quebec in 1858.  His father was lost at sea and his mother couldn’t support the children, so George was adopted by an East Haddam family as a young boy. He lived in town for the rest of his life.

When he was 17, Comer walked from East Haddam to New London and joined a whaling expedition. That was the beginning of a 44-year span during which he spent time at sea.

Comer specialized in Arctic whaling and sailed as captain or master of a ship for the first time in 1895. Over his many trips to the Arctic, he became friends with the Inuit and an authority on their culture and environment.

He researched and collected for leading natural history museums and was the last of the many whaling captains who sailed out of New London. After retirement, Comer was elected to the Connecticut Legislature. 

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Photo of Gillette Castle by Carl Buschmann

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