Sunday, May 9, 2021

Glastonbury Riverfront Park

Cris and I took a pleasant walk around Glastonbury Riverfront Park. Its a beautiful spot and made even more interesting by the fact that it was reclaimed from a former industrial area of huge oil tanks and steamboat docks!

History and Nature!

Wonderful informative signage tells the fascinating story of this floodplain as well as it former glory days as a bustling freight center 

Steamboats and Heavy Industry

Yes - there are even a few remnants of the freighthouse...



Ya gotta love a town that showcases its history!!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Traces of Old New England

It's amazing (especially in the area east of Hartford, CT) how much of "Old New England" still exists if you look for it. Water-powered mills were often the backbone of early settler communities and traces of old stone work and dams can be found everywhere

Mini Mill?

Early the smallest streams were harnessed for use. Right down the street from where we live this remnant is hidden in the bushes..

...and up the street a little way, I found this one:

Paper Mill Ruins

A little further north up the street (at the intersection of Quarry Road and Manchester Road), there's a larger dam remnant. 
Probably part of the waterwheel gear system

Old maps found online indicate it was a paper mill.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Curiosity's Rewards - Portland

I went to Portland CT at 8am to get my required car emission check - curiosity led me to the Brownstone quarry. It's a pretty cool place with an interesting history.

Short Video (pan)

About the Quarry

Quarrying on this site began in 1690 by James Stanclift, who contracted with the town of Middletown to build stonework in exchange for a deed of land. Commercial quarrying started in 1783 when the Brainerd Quarry Company began operations. During the peak of the brownstone era, more than 1500 workers were employed by the quarries, which shipped stone on their own ships for eight months out of the year. Portland Brownstone Quarries (Wikipedia)

Now a Park with lots of activities

  • The north quarry is a 27 acre brownstone quarry with beautiful views of 80 to 100-foot brownstone cliffs. Water depths range to 85 feet
  • The cliff jumping at Brownstone has two heights, one for jumpers who are under 18 that is around 30 feet and another for those 18 and up, which is even higher.

Brownstone Park (quarry in Portland CT)


1- Elmcrest Mental Hospital
Near the Automotive Center where I had my Emission Check is this curiosity from yesteryear. 

Online research 

It has a tragic story: "In 1998 a patient was killed while being restrained by an employee and the final chapter on this historic location ended in 2003." Abandoned CT - Elmcrest Mental Hospital

2- What??
On the way back home, this abandoned building caught my curiosity...

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Charter Oak Greenway

After riding the Cheney Rail Trail and a tasty lunch of hot chicken wings and a Two Roads Two Juicy IPA - I parked at Charter Oak Park for a bike ride on the Charter Oak Greenway.

I was intrigued by the musical instruments in the Music Garden and of course had to play a few :-)

The Bike Ride

After indulging in the musical garden, I finally started on my ride and headed east towards Bolton Notch. The first section was flat but there was surprisingly a lot of climbing involved!
A few highlights...
The ride along the stream in Charter Oak Park was the sweetest part!
This trail is part of the ambitious East Coast Greenway...
I turned around a bit after doing the loop and bridge over Rt, 534 and bombed the rest of the way back - heck it was 95% downhill!
Google Maps

I shot a few photos once back in Charter Oak Park - it is really lovely....

To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I'll be back!"

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Abandoned Road - South Glastonbury

I am strangely fascinated and drawn to sleuthing remnants of old abandoned train tracks and roads. Right nearby where we now live I noticed what appeared to be some kind of cut in the woods and of course I had to then research it on old maps and check it out in person.

this photo added on 4/19

Sure enough, there was a short stretch of roadway where Hopewell Road meets Chestnut Hill Road in South Glastonbury  CT.  Sometime after 1953 it was abandoned....