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Mystic spreads out along the bank of the Mystic River. The town is a bit of an oddity in Connecticut. It has no government to speak of but is run instead by the towns of Groton and Stonington. It is a very pretty place regardless of its political setup. Mystic River Bascule Bridge, according to a plaque on one of its railings. At first, you think the word “Bascule” refers to a person. It turned out the word, French for “seesaw,” actually referred to the mechanism that raised the bridge’s span to allow river traffic to pass under it. A pair of 209-ton concrete blocks hung from steel cables at one end of the bridge. To raise the span these counterweights dropped, pulling up the span enough to allow boats to pass. According to the town’s website, this happens every hour at exactly 40 minutes past the hour during warm weather or more often if boat traffic demanded it. Rather amazingly, I thought, nearly 1,200 vehicles pass over this bridge every day. It was built nearly 90 years ago, making it one of the oldest spans on Route 1. Mystic is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in New London County, Connecticut, in the United States. The population was 4,001 at the 2000 census. A historic locality, Mystic has no independent government because it is not a legally recognized municipality in the state of Connecticut. Rather, Mystic is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River, and also known as West Mystic) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River). Historically a leading seaport of the area, the story of Mystic's nautical connection is told at Mystic Seaport, the nations's largest maritime museum,[citation needed] which has preserved a number of sailing ships (most notably the whaler Charles W. Morgan) and seaport buildings. The village is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of the village.