Situated at the confluence of the Nashua and Squannacook Rivers, Groton was originally known as Petapawag, a Native American name for swampy river. Here, for thousands of years the Algonquin-speaking Nipmuc and Nashaway tribes lived.
European settlement began when trader John Tinker followed Indian trails from the Bay area and settled near the mouth of Nod Brook on the Nashua River. By 1655 a formal settlement called The Plantation of Groton, named after Groton in Suffolk, England was established.
Attacked in 1676 and 1694, Groton was eventually resettled and its population grew, supported by industries including a soapstone quarry, a large hop-growing industry, a brick factory, a saw mill, a grist mill, and a pewter mill which produced tea pots, plates, cups, and buttons.
Today Groton retains it rural character with more than 30 percent of its land designated as publicly accessible protected open space and over 100 miles of trails.