Noank Harbor is contained within the town of Groton, Connecticut. Noank, an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to over 1800 people. Noank Harbor is about 2.6 nautical miles southwest of Mystic and some 73 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Providence, Rhode Island.
In 1614, the indigenous Pequot called the area they used as a summer camping ground "Nauyang," meaning point of land. At the end of the Pequot War in 1655, the Pequot were controlled by the British. In 1712, James Morgan won the Noank Harbor land through a lottery.
Elihu Spicer, Jr., and Charles Mallory created the C.H. Mallory and Company Steamship Line in Noank Harbor in 1861. In 1879, Noank Harbor became the home of one of the biggest wooden shipbuilding plants in the United States when owner Robert Palmer added steam railways to the plant. Over time, the Noank Harbor plant produced a thousand vessels that ranged from sound steamers to fishing boats. The Connecticut State Lobster Hatchery was established in Noank Harbor in about 1912.
The small Noank Harbor community started with traditions of fishing, boat-building, and lobstering. Today, it has more boatyards and shipyards than it has churches. The "Noank Smack" type fishing sailboat was first created here.
Noank Harbor is home to the longest continuously-running Memorial Day Parade in the United States.
In 1979, most of the Noank Harbor community was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and created as an historic district. Some 240 buildings and businesses dating back to 1840 are preserved in the district.