THE MAURICE LAGRUA PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION: EARLY IMAGES OF STONINGTON

Steamboat Days

Borough Street Views

At Work and Play


Maurice LaGrua was born in Stonington to a family of Sicilian heritage. Maurice and his siblings attended schools in Stonington and he caddied at the Stonington Manor Inn Golf Course just north of this site, and in time became a committed golfer.

Maurice went to war and served in the Army, landing in France on D-Day. He attended the New York Institute of Photography from 1945 to 1946, and in time, he returned to Stonington and worked as a local photographer. He married Winifred Glover in 1962 and together they ran a popular gift shop at 121 Water Street.

Maurice operated his dark room and studio on High Street in Westerly, RI. In addition to photographing the people and places of Stonington, including school photos, sporting events, family groups and events, weddings, and christenings, he also collected  vintage photographic negatives and glass plates depicting scenes of Stonington, some dating back to the 1890s. For many years he photographed the older homes in Stonington Borough and sold the prints as postcards. He also printed many of the vintage images from his collection and sold them in the shop.

In 1997, Winifred and Maurice LaGrua made a generous donation to the Stonington Historical Society in response to the Library's Fundraising initiative. The photographic facilities at the Woolworth Library are named in honor of Maurice. Soon after the new library opened, Maurice also donated to the Stonington Historical Society his collection of antique Stonington glass plates and negatives. This collection has been catalogued and labeled and is a mainstay of the photo collection of the Society. There are diverse images of many facets of Stonington history, from railroads to steamboats, mansions to shanties, and many feature the inhabitants of Stonington.

Reproduction of these images may be ordered from the society. Please send inquiries to:

Richard W. Woolworth Library
Photo Collection
Stonington Historical Society
P.O. Box 103
Stonington, CT 06378

Be sure to identify the title and subject of the photo and indicate the size you would like reproduced: We will provide pricing and other information.

Be advised that these are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the permission of the Society.