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Santin Building

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This simple building was constructed in 1920 for Sebastiano Santin, an Italian immigrant who became a skilled automobile mechanic during the early years of the revolutionary shift to automobile transportation in the first third of the 1900s. His work was so much in demand that he opened this shop as Santin’s Garage, Mystic’s first automobile repair business. He soon prospered and opened in the same building the first local automobile dealership. Mr. Santin and his son Joseph sold Star, Durant, Flint, Studebaker, Chevrolet, and Oldsmobile cars here from 1920 to 1938, when the business outgrew this building and moved elsewhere.

The Santin family retained ownership and rented this building to other auto mechanics until 1950, when it was finally sold out of the family. That year the garage doors were sided over and the structure was converted into the Gingham Gate fabric shop, became a commercial landmark for residents and visitors alike for more than 40 years. From 1997 until its sale to Mystic Seaport in 2000, this building housed a Christmas shop. After a major rebuilding and remodeling, the building was reopened by the Museum as the Mystic Seaport Art and Custom Framing Gallery in 2001. Today this building is used for office space and is not open to Museum visitors.