The story of Whitehall Mansion begins in 1771 when Dr. Dudley Woodbridge purchased a plot of land from Lieutenant John Gallup and began building Whitehall Mansion on the site where a tavern and stagecoach once stood. The house served as Dr. Woodbridge’s office and clinic for many years. It’s been speculated that the attic served as refuge for runaway slaves while the basement was home to a small tavern at some point.
Dr. Woodbridge married Sarah Sheldon and the two raised a family of nine children in Mystic; Benjamin, Lucy, Charlotte, Sally (Sarah), Samuel, Elizabeth (Betsy), Joseph, William and Dudley Jr. The children all married and moved away with the exception of Lucy who never married and Benjamin who passed away at age 12.
Dr Woodbridge died in 1790 followed by Sarah in 1796. At that time the mansion fell into the position of the Rodman family who were related to the Woodbridge’s. Between 1825 and 1850 the Rodman’s resided in the mansion until 1850 when they moved to Hartford. Shortly after the move, the family sold the property and mansion to Joseph and Mary Wheeler. The year was 1852.
The Whitehall Mansion would remain in the Wheeler family until 1962 while their youngest daughter Florence Grace, who was born in the mansion in 1886, resided there.
In 1962 a highway expansion project threatened the Mansion. To prevent a demolition deemed necessary to make way for the new Interstate highway expansion, the Mansion had to be moved and undergo a massive restoration. The Whitehall Mansion was given to the Stonington Historical Society by Florence Grace Bentley Keach. Through the work of the Stonington Historical Society and the donation of $15,000 and 5 acres of land from Florence Grace Bentley Keach, the building was saved and moved to its present location. The restoration efforts continued until complete in 1965.
The Mansion remained in the care of the Stonington Historical Society until 1996 when it was purchased by Waterford Hotel Group. After a minor renovation, Whitehall Mansion opened its doors to the public as the premier Historical Inn in Mystic Connecticut.