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  1. Rob says:

    I grew up maybe 20 minutes from Berlin. I nevew knew anything about that town, I know nobody from the town. I know more people from Berlin, Germany actually. It’s just one of those places that was an enigma, wrapped inside a riddle, and sprinkled with secret sauce. I now am more enlightened thanks to CT Museum Quest

  2. Rob says:

    Never liked that movie either. So exactly where is this sign?

  3. EdHill says:

    There’s one in Old Saybrook on Old Chalker Beach road.

    I thought there was a website out there that listed them.

  4. Steve says:

    The first picture was taken at the Berlin Showcase Cinemas parking lot in Berlin.

  5. Rob says:

    My sister went to that Mutter Museum, I believe she said it was freaky.

    As for this place, I lived walking distance to it for 9 years and short driving distance prior to that, never did visit (though, unlike most people, I did know it was there)

  6. Rob says:

    One of my father’s claims to fame, he drank with Hemingway a few times in Key West and Havana when he was in the navy in the 1950s.
    This is one of those books I say I need to read, but never have. Maybe I will now.

  7. Rob says:

    Hopefully I will remain E coli free. I think if I ate there regularly, though, I would soon join the dead people in the crypt (leaving the readers anxiously waiting for what is to come)

  8. Rob says:

    There is a St Stephen of Hungary Roman Catholic Church pretty close to me. It’s 9 blocks away, about 1/2 mile. You can learn more about St. Stephen here, from the church’s web site.

    Robert Stephen

  9. KO says:

    NICE. The bell part, that is. I kid. Without boring anyone, I will mention that in the 10 months I worked as a Coventry Police officer I was up to my own bells in Nathan Hale, Hale, Hale hero, Hale Hale Hale unsolicited conversation, etc. My only regret is I have but one life to give if I have to hear another Nathan Hale story from a member of the darn Coventry Hysterical Society. Nice people, but geeze. I gots places to be this year people.

    Another little known fact was in 1991 I was honored with the SAR medal for military excellence during my brief association with UCONN ROTC. I had never heard of them before that time either.

    Keep up the good work Steve. I will check in again this week.

  10. Rob says:

    There is that really old cemetary right downtown, they have graves from the 1600s there. It’s sort of neat. I pretty much have nothing to add…..

  11. Catherine says:

    LOL-this was a pretty funny post-you are a nut Steve!!!!!!

  12. Bill says:

    there are those who would argue that the tree in the parkinglot at Uconn’s westhartford campus is actually bigger.

  13. Steve says:

    Really? I’m very familiar with that tree as I used to play b-ball there across the bridge and also took a few classes at the WH branch -AND I happen to live only a couple miles away.

    By my own eyes I determine the Pinchot Sycamore to be bigger. Heck, I’ll go take a picture of it right now and post it up here.

    Here you are. A mere baby white oak. And here it is in relation to a 2003 Jetta and lamp post. Yes, it’s a big tree. But Gifford Pinchot spits on it.

    By the way, this page alone accounts for the bulk of CTMQ’s Google hits. Maybe because it was the first post… or maybe because people really do care about CT’s biggest tree. I choose to believe the latter.

  14. honeybunny says:

    were those crinkle fries (the ripply kind)?
    i love those kind.


  15. Catherine says:

    LOL! Moonshining in Connecticut!!!

  16. Catherine says:

    Hmmm-I wonder how many Tums and Pepcid AC are popped before entering this joint???

  17. honeybunny says:

    Did they look like the Darlings from Mayberry?


  18. Catherine says:

    Well, I enjoyed reading this whilst drinking my first cup of tea on Labor Day at 7:15am-very entertaining-the parts that stick out the most? The senile tour guide and the creepy life-sized doll of a Grandmother!

  19. honeybunny says:

    The creepy shrunken-head grandmother had a real “Bates Motel” vibe going on.

    Was that RobY giving the double thumbs up?


  20. honeybunny says:

    The only thing missing from the last photo was a
    “Raspberry Beret” ~~


  21. Jenny says:

    I’m inspired to go to church or buy some life insurance…I’m not sure which one!

    I have to admit that this is the first Museum Quest that I’ve read, but it was very entertaining! Thanks, JO

  22. Rob says:

    I will concur, it’s definitely worth seeing Connecticut museums rule!!!

  23. honeybunny says:

    I love that you documented RobC’s first CTMQ thumbs up.


  24. honeybunny says:

    I can’t squint that much.


  25. Catherine says:

    where do you find these places to come up with?????? This reminds me a litle bit of a place in Bridgeport, CT that I used to let my kids bomb down on their 3 wheeler trikes when they were little-it’s a monument to Italians and is off Park Avenue-kind of creepy like this one only not dedicated to the Holy Land,however, it is lit up like a Christmas tree around the holidays and for some reason kids love it!

  26. Rob says:

    When the Daily Show went to Holy Land to explain the Middle East crisis, I nearly died laughing. One of the 5 best things ever to appear on my TV.

  27. Bill says:

    i’ve gotten in for free a few times telling them that i just wanted to take my son to see the trains upstairs.

  28. honeybunny says:

    I liked the picture of you sitting in the little wooden box. It kinda looked like you were in a soapbox derby.


  29. Rob says:

    Speed racer…

  30. Steve says:

    I was thinking Spaceman Spiff. He’s far cooler.

  31. Chris says:

    Hey there

    Yup its me, Chris, The Nayantaquit Trail Manager.

    First let me apologize about the confusion you had when you missed the turn that should have headed you down the hill rather then straight as you went past the NG marker. I had never had anyone else tell me about this problem and I will look into it and see if it needs to be address.

    As for the forest road you accessed into the park. It has been graded so all should be fine. Unfortunately I have no control if/when the state will maintain their roads. After a year of issues and terrible driving surface, the problem was fixed, although apparently after your visit.

    I happened to find this article you wrote while doing some searching to pass on information to a scout troop that will be doing some work there with me soon. I was quite surprised to see it and must say thank you for a overall favorable position on the trail condition. I do my best to keep the trail in the shape it is in, and try to do the improvements when I can get the help, such as on this past Trails Day and with the scouts.

    Trails Day is always the first Saturday in June. I will again be hosting another event this coming year. I have not yet decided if it will be a hiking or working event however. In either case anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the forest.

    thanks again

  32. Rob says:

    I could have said Speed Buggy, actually I’m not sure who is worse. I actually have some of my baseball cards still at my mom’s house in a Speed Buggy lunch box.

    I proudly carried a metric system lunch box, I think that was in 1st or 2nd grade, I can’t find a picture of it. I guess I was a young internationalist….or a dork at 7? I will go with the former

  33. honeybunny says:

    In the first picture it looks like you are doing a phoon. Ha.


  34. Steve says:

    Hm. I had never heard of phooning until now. Turns out, I’ve been phooning at least since the Delaware Highpoint back in 2002. Check it out.

    What’s phooning? It’s great!

  35. Melody says:

    This is the second time you have been in my neighborhood and you didn’t stop by.

  36. Rob says:

    “In reality I cleaned up a couple stray Heineken bottles and rested for a few minutes before continuing on my way.”

    And collected 10 cents, need to actually recycle them…

  37. Rob says:

    The CBS Morning Show on Sunday, they have a thing about suns (watch it and you will understand), had a story about the popularity of lists. It was interesting, they interviewed the editor of Men’s Health, those guys really love lists

  38. John G Eppler says:

    Good article, I enjoyed it. We own a “Hubbard-built” home in Old Wethersfield, that has been in our family since 1946. My Grandparents were only the second owners, purchasing it from the original owner that Hubbard built the home for….

  39. Rob says:

    No deep philosophical meaning, I’m shallow, it’s just that I find old pictures interesting. What were their lives like, that sort of thing, though the one 1880s lady was pretty darn attractive.

  40. RobY says:

    Totally RANDOM side note for you . . .

    I was walking Austin (my Dog) yesterday and started talking with one of my neighbors, this woman Lynn who grew up on Thayer and still lives in the same house (and they have a goat!). Anyhow she was getting ready to head out to Luna Loca at Margarita’s (every full moon they do a charity fundraiser), so I asked what charity was the benefactor of the evening’s celebration. . . The museum, and she had to go b/c she’s Vice President of the museum (this would’ve been helpful to know when we were there!!!!). Anyhow I was telling her a little about our experience at the Collinsville Museum and she let me know what might have put the “bee in Helen’s bonnet”.

    Apparently they started doing guided tours because there was a team of two men who would come to the museum, one would talk and distract the tour guide while the other would steal items from the museum. Now I guess this was a few years back, and there is no description of the two “men” but the old timers are still really sensitive about it! Hence the watrchful eye we were under while there!

  41. Lillian F.B. says:

    I have a Whirl Wave
    Electric clothes Washer
    Landers, Frary, & Clack
    New Britain, Conn. U.S.A.

    Will visit museum soon.
    Wish to sell the Whirl Wave to the Industrial Museum.

  42. honeybunny says:

    The book is as beautifully flawed as the characters in it. The intentions are always so much better than the reality.


  43. Catherine says:

    I thought this story was pretty cool-not knowing whether this was fact or myth makes it much more mysterious!

  44. Catherine says:

    This was a really good write-up for a very cool place. My Dad absolutely loves this place!

  45. honeybunny says:

    I think you and the Mrs. made the right decision.


  46. Laura and Bill says:

    We viewed this tree by chance on an outing yesterday. We were totally impressed by it. The tree must be well over 300 years old. It could be well over 500 years old. Not that we are experts by any means, but the limbs themselves are massive. Imagine the stories it could tell.

  47. Mike Kelly says:

    I thought that the Pinchot was in Weatogue 06089,
    not actually in Simsbury?????


  48. Steve says:

    Ah, the ol’ CT towns vs. parts of towns debate. As you poke around this site, you’ll find me scratching my head quite often at this conundrum. I know that Weatogue is part of Simsbury. I even have friends that live there. Where it begins and ends, however, is beyond me.

    Someday I’ll figure it out… maybe.

  49. honeybunny says:

    random dolls sitting around freak me out.


  50. Rob says:

    Randomly, the other one (named Ponka) is in Santiago, Chile.

    Like I needed another reason to go back to Chile??

  51. KO says:

    Hey- you might have more luck contacting the Coventry Historical Society and working that angle. Perhaps EdHill can show them a little cleavage for the cause and you can get them to pull some strings for you. Just a thought.

  52. Lizardqueen says:

    Oh the EdHill cleavage would have worked wonders. It’s what actually caused the fall of the Berlin Wall. True story.

  53. dunetunes says:

    I didn’t know Ed had cleavage…
    I learn something everytime I read this blog!

  54. honeybunny says:

    I heard Chihuly loves this place.


  55. Wayne Springer says:

    Did you notice or ask your friend if there is a USGS benchmark at R.I. hipt. If so where is it.Thanks, Wayne

  56. honeybunny says:

    I love Pacifico beer.


  57. Ed says:

    Walt Kelly was a lefty liberal socialist who was the first to inject politics into his strips. He attacked McCarthy, Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, etc. Nixon even had his phone tapped.

    He was the precursor to Doonesbury. I had a bunch of his collected works growing up and it rocked. Shaped me into the raving liberal I am today.

  58. Ed says:

    As for the museum you captured it pretty well. It’s more of a old ladies living room full of collectibles but she leaves the door open for people to come inside. She did make a good point about the racist Americana. Its part of our past and we can’t ignore it. We need to confront it. Spike Lee has a huge collection of this stuff. I was very upset at the lack of star wars stuff. She said she had a huge bunch of boxes and sold them all once to a group of collectors. I guarantee the women sold 5 grand worth of stuff for a hundred bucks.

    I imagine my wedding there one day. Nothing is more romantic than spending your wedding night being watched by a thousand lifeless dolls eyes.

    THE John Wright!

  59. Rob says:

    I think Oprah has a huge collection as well.

    No Star Wars stuff, I may need to bust out my twin pod cloud car when I’m home this weekend

    Ed’s jealous….

  60. Catherine says:

    I liked this one-lots of twists and turns in it but mostly I cracked up at the line about “fitty’s” cousin!!!

  61. Andy says:

    As a charter member of the “vast CTMQ readership” I’ll take a shot at what type of antique car is pictured above. Looks like a 1924 Ford Model T Fordor Sedan, original price $685.00…That’s close enough.

  62. Catherine says:

    I can’t believe I lived less than 15 minutes away from this train station, passed by it many times en route to other destinations and never took the train ride or visited this museum! I always witch hazel tobe a cheap astringent-I guess it has other uses!!!

  63. Catherine says:

    Interesting about the voting process-one black ball and your career is down the tubes!

  64. Catherine says:

    I laughed my way through the majority of this piece on the doll museum-very entertaining. Actually my youngest sister had a collection of Raggedy Ann dolls which my brother picked the eyes out of-nice! What she didn’t have in there was a “golliwog” doll-these were huge when I was growing up and of course, totally inappropriate!

  65. Catherine says:

    They’re talking about opening up the tracks through to Middletown for these trains-it’s all vounteer work but I’ve seen the old tracks-that’s a nice ride along the CT river.

  66. Caitlin says:

    The burger is actually put on the grill first, then the slices of cheese are placed on top of the burger and are fried while cooking on the burger. There are menus, they’re just on the walls. Shady Glen does serve malts and because of the recent increase in the price of dairy products, the prices of the food have increased as well so this review just needs a few updates.

  67. honeybunny says:

    I actually own the NASCAR Barbie.
    I am waiting for Mattel to come out with the Mammy Barbie.


  68. honeybunny says:

    Steve – you can’t wear white after Labor Day.


  69. Steve says:

    I had to look it up, but yeah… Golliwogs would fit right in at this museum.

  70. Rob says:

    One of the women in Avenue Q (we went to see that last winter) was a UCONN graduate. Using her puppetry skills, I guess.

  71. Lizardqueen says:

    But how much wood could a Wood chuck if a Wood actually COULD chuck wood?

    And FYI- the museum is pretty kid friendly. They do fun Sunday activities and stuff for for dorky kids and their dorky parents.

  72. Catherine says:

    Hasn’t this town ever heard of frogs legs as a delicacy?????

  73. honeybunny says:

    What kind of diploma does one get in Puppetry -
    a Lamb Chop Sheep Skin?


  74. honeybunny says:

    That is one big bone.


  75. honeybunny says:

    Did you ever see that awful movie called “Frogs” with Ray Milland and Joan Van Ark? Even it was better than this.


  76. SHERIDAN says:

    Hi, Just woundering on your trip on the southern approach to Warren Den, did you ever hear of Hospital Rock that is close by?

  77. Rob says:

    My sister lives in the house that Googel, one of Sisti’s partners, owned. That’s all I can add…..

  78. Kathy P says:

    I used to drive by that bridge all the time when I headed that way for
    work, not heroin… and was always curious why
    a) the giant frogs and b) such a new bridge in a dumpy (sorry Willimantic) sad town…
    Great work, and entertaining as always!

    Willimantic Brewing IS a great spot…and worthy of more than one small beer next time…

  79. Lizardqueen says:

    Wow, if you’ll go to this then let me recommend the always thrilling “Rochambeau Marker” in beautiful Andover, CT.

  80. Steve says:

    Oh, you can be assured that CTMQ will do something – not quite sure what – with that whole Rochambeau Trail.

  81. Paul says:

    Especially interesting since it seems that James Chaugham was born on Block Island, RI the site of famous and infamous navigational aids/lights.

  82. Catherine says:

    Well it’s kind of nice to hear that for once they weren’t trying to oust an Indian and they actually made him feel welcome! I wonder how many of the children’s children still live in that spot?

  83. Catherine says:

    I had to laugh at some of the comments in this one-I think you’ve been watching too much of Jurassic Park!!!!

  84. Steve says:

    I urge y’all to click on Paul’s name above… I don’t know him, but he sure knows how to take a picture.

  85. Bill says:

    walking at people’s is fun…i’ve taken my 4 year-old out to the “caves” a few times through the back way…it’s a walk that he can handle and that i enjoy.

  86. Amanda says:

    I’ve been looking everywhere to find out why the old wethersfield prison was demolished… does anyone know why???

  87. honeybunny says:

    You won’t like it if: You thought my title meant something else…yea. that was me.
    I should have suspected that it wasn’t when you mentioned the Damian appearance!


  88. Joe says:

    A pair of strong porters in the cooler beats a full house of Porters anyday.

  89. Joe says:

    I really liked this one until I saw Rob’s picture…wasn’t there a picture of a homely old woman that could have been substituted?

  90. Joe says:

    And to think I lived in East Hampton (the high school mascot is the Bellringer) for 10 years and missed both hot spots…or maybe not. I have been to O’Neill’s!

  91. honeybunny says:

    I love when Damian is in the pictures. No matter what else is going on he is always the center of attention. And rightfully so.

    In the last picture of him and Hoang it looks like Damian is clapping. YEA.


  92. Lizardqueen says:

    I thought EdHill wrote the title.

  93. honeybunny says:

    Your Dad has nice legs.
    just saying.


  94. J A says:

    Hi there,

    Love your quest and your website! Just wanted to say that I hope you visit us at Kidcity in Middletown before your little one outgrows us! I know you’ve got a lot of places to go, but I just thought I’d formally extend the invitation. By the way, you seem to be prime candidate for the reciprocal card for the children’s museums (6 in CT, that’s a lot of admission — or do you check passes out of libraries?) You can learn more at Kidcity or at, which lists all the children’s museums in the country (or most of them.) We’ve been to several dozen around the country, but that pales in comparision with your goals! Good Luck! -Jen from Kidcity (you mentioned Wes, are you an alum?)

  95. Scott Harrison says:

    Steve – Great review, but you forgot one of the famous “deaths” at Lake Compounce. In July 1989, the infamous Milli Vanilli was outed there while singing the wildly popular “Girl you know it true” single.


  96. honeybunny says:

    “I told my guide I simply had to attend to my wife and child and took leave of her.”
    How Olde English of you ~~

    Be of good cheer Steveth.


  97. Chris says:

    It sure was a great day for a hike. Sunny sky, warm weather and great vistas. Cant ask for more then that… unless you have a “blind date” at the top, and I still showed up even after seeing your pic’s on the web pages….

    As I told you in advanced… no beer at the Oktoberfest! and yes the parking lot fills up for this ‘fest thats why I planned on getting there early. At 10am there were 14 cars I counted, at 1:30pm over 100 just at the Heublein parking area.

    Thanks again for the plug and a link to my trail out in Lyme.

    See ya on the trail

  98. Chris says:

    I’ve been to this tower/museum about 8 or 9 times and I still learned something about this place from your posting. I didn’t know the history with Gillette Castle. I go to Gillette often also.
    Anyhow, another nice write up.

    see ya on the trail

  99. Rob says:

    That fact about Eisenhower, I did not know that.

    That is a nice hike and the view is very nice, the gun shots from the gun range down in the valley add to the ambiance.

  100. Lawrence Ierardi says:

    As a teen ager I liked to hike to the high point near the Channel 30 Tower along the Blue Tail and look over the valley toward Hartford. On at least three occasions I stopped at a place on the trail which runs parallel to Route 6 toward Plainville and examined dates, names and initials carved in a large flat rock area which ovelooks Route 6. I later learned from an article in the New Britain Herald (around 1960, I think) that this area was know as Hospital Rock. Its among several curiosity sites I visited when I lived in CT including Dudley Town (before it was closed to the public). I am 71 and hiking is a bit of a chore since I have had an artificial knee installed in my left leg but, come spring,I may want to take that hike one more time before I am called to the bigger hiking trail above. It will mean a trip to CT from NH but, if I am fit, I could give it a try but I will not go alone. Contact me and perhaps we can peruse some Survey maps for the spot. I note that a lot of quarrying has gone on in that area, I hope that the rock is still there.

  101. Steve says:

    Lawrence –

    I’d love to get a peek at Hospital Rock. By all accounts, it’s still there but certainly not marked. Since I was with my wife, looking under the leaves for a couple hours wasn’t about to happen. Once when I ran into a woman who used to be on the CFPA board out in Barkhamsted one day, her first question was, “Did you find Hospital Rock yet?” like it was THE test of CT coolness. I was shamed.

    If you make it down here, we’ll check it out. It’s very close to my house (I’m in West Hartford) and it would be fun.

    As for Dudleytown, oh it’s still there. They changed the road name and put up a bunch of warning signs, but it’s there. Hike the Mohawk Trail and you can’t avoid it (which is kind of funny to me.)

  102. Liz says:

    Steve next time you are up here give a shout out to your girl. I grew up in those woods, learned how to climb trees there, as well as learning how to swim in the Case Pond. We had the most bitchin’ tarzan rope, you would not believe it. I’ll be hiking up there later today and am game for it anytime. The pink trail is a good one for running. On the back side of Case there are some fun old caves that my boys can fit through.

  103. Rob-Y says:

    If you guys get a sitter and want to have a schmancy night out give us a ring and we can show you some great eateries in the Litchfield Hills, including the Mayflower Inn!!!

  104. Hilary says:

    As an avid reader and someone who earns her living from politics, I read this for the first time last year out of guilt for never having read it. Ahhh…it was all I thought it would be. I loved it! This:

    “The book is always said to be about Willy Stark but it was (to me) about Burden’s journey more than Stark’s.”

    is 100% accurate and what makes the book so fascinating. Man’s obsession with power makes Willy’s motivations somewhat clear but what motivates his loyal staff? How far are they willing to go and at what cost?

    I’m just so happy this book lived up to my expectations.

  105. Hilary says:

    I sort of love that you haven’t read Catcher in the Rye and On The Road. Those are such cop outs from guys who claim to read. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hit on at a bar by some jerk namedropping those books.

    Way to be unique!

  106. EdHill says:

    Alton Brown had a special on the countries best, as in best pie, best pizza, best bbq. Pepe’s wasn’t even in his top 3. I hated him for about a week but honestly, how can I stay mad at him?

    my favorite TV use of Pepe’s was when Gene Siskel got to interview Meryl Streep so they did it in Pepe’s. Apparently she went to Yale. Seemed kind of odd to be honest.

    The Clam pizza really does live up to the hype. They shuck fresh clams for every one so it’s super fresh. And the mix of olive oil and lots of garlic. Its out of these world. Although the winter clam pizzas are not as good. I think the clams are just out of season and smaller or something.

    I took my GF at the beginning of our courtship to Pepe’s. I had raved about it for the longest time. Growing up my dad would go to meetings in NY and on the way back would always pick up a few pies, so I grew up on it more them most people in Hartford did I suppose. Since she’s a vegetarian and doesn’t like shellfish we couldn’t get the famous clam so instead we got a veggie pizza. It honestly wasn’t fabulous. Good mind you, but after I had raved and we had waited in line for so long, I had to explain to her that it really is better than this.

  107. Chris says:

    Why wait hours for a pizza when Dominoes delivers in 20 minutes? Not that I have ever had either – but just asking?
    Hey just get a booth at Pepe’s and have Dominoes delivery to you there. How do you suppose that would go?

  108. Hilary says:

    I have been to both Pepe’s and Modern. Yay me!

  109. Joe says:

    I have waited for hours also. After a UCONN-Yale football game was the longest…that took a 6-pack. But there is no question that “The Spot” is on a pizza platter all it’s own. My kids were taught to say (and believe) “Pepe’s brick oven pizza rules!” with enthusiasm.
    And for my money, it’s the white pie with clams, bacon and garlic. And of course something hoppy to wash it down.

  110. Kathy P says:

    My first meeting in Atlanta, the gentleman asked me where I lived and I said Charlotte. He then said, with a full mouth of marbles, and a drawl only other southerners can understand, “thats the baycon capital of the world”. in a split second, I said to myself, “the bacon capital of the world?? Is it true? can it be? I love bacon! But that cant be! I need him to repeat that” I asked him to repeat, and this time, he said, with effort so that I might understand, but this time I was reading his lips, “the banking capital of the world”.
    Thank god I didnt tell him how happy I was because I loved Bacon!
    true story…

  111. honeybunny says:

    bitchin’ tarzan rope! Perfect.


  112. Abacus says:

    I can confirm that as of a month ago Keeney Road was indeed in working order. I benefited from your warning and stayed the course (puncheon and all) for the full loop. I then drove to the Uncas Pond parking area, where I picked up the blue/green connector trail and followed it up to the loop and onto the blue/yellow Crossover trail. Adding that up-and-back made a total walk of 6.2 miles(the Connector trail is not 1.1 miles as the Walk Book shoes, it’s more like .7 miles).
    A much better map can be found on the DEP website at:

  113. honeybunny says:

    I am glad to see you have made some new hiking friends and that they did the right thing in taking a picture of you when you were stuck.
    Thumbs Up!


  114. dee says:

    there’s one on whitney ave by edgerton park in new haven.

  115. JM says:

    Hi, your website is great. Your museum write-ups are very entertaining and informative, and I think all the museums would benefit from photos of their exhibits and descriptions. You are a great source for some little known museums, and your information for some of them is much better than what they have on their websites.

    If you get down to Fairfield County, here are two one-day ideas:

    Westport/Fairfield: Earthplace, Wheeler House, Connecticut Audubon Birdcraft Museum and Fairfield History Center. All are a short way off the Post Road {Route 1), although you would likely be best off with three in one day.

    Norwalk – All the Norwalk museums are pretty close to each other, and your son would love Stepping Stones and the Maritime Aquarium.

    Enjoy your adventures!

  116. honeybunny says:

    Frog Rock is uber cool.
    That eye follows you everywhere.


  117. Steve says:

    Scott, thanks.

    I never knew that but it’s totally true.

  118. Liz says:

    Down the road a piece, still on rt. 66 going towards East Hampton, is Eagle Rock. Same side of the road, looks like the same artist too. We go by the two of them quite a bit and get all giddy every time.

  119. stan pelletier says:

    i grew up in south windsor, connecticut. i remember the tobacco fields well. they were my playground for many years. the fields were owned by the consolidated cigar corporation. in the summer, workers would be brought up from puerto rico and from west virginia. about half a mile from my house was a barracks for the west virginia boys. i would hang out with them throughout the summer and the cooks would often feed me and give me free coca colas. adjacent to almost every field would be a tobacco barn. when i turned fourteen i was deemed old enough to would in the fields. i remember scooting through the dirt rows on my butt rubbing suckers off the plants. suckers were small buds growing from the main leaves and the stalks and hinder the growth of the main leaves. i remember picking the lowest and biggest leaves and placing them in the baskets which were then taken to the barns. i remember the large reservoir used to irrigate the fields, it had an island in the middle, my friends and i would skinny dip in the reservoir and built a raft to get out to the island, there were lots of turtles and frogs. the thing i remember most is how the tenting looked like snow, for miles and miles, during the 60’s and 70s. by the 1980’s tobacco field lay barren, then sold to developers for housing devolments. i left connecticut in 1972 and havent been back much since.

  120. Chris says:

    I have to say I am surprised and disappointed with your report this time.
    One must agree that Mystic is a smaller aquarium (though not the smallest I have ever been to.) And it is not necessarily a great place for the “Grown-Ups” to spend a day, but with a little one leading the way with excitement and wonder running from tank to tank yelling, ‘eish, eish” it is a great family place.
    We have a membership and go often, (only a 20 min drive for me) and always have a great time! With the warmer weather it is even more fun when it becomes a day trip with a visit to the village which you can walk to from the same parking lot, to the Seaport down the road and also to the downtown shops.

    A hint with the pictures of the tanks, keep the flash off and extend the exposer and pictures come out better.


  121. honeybunny says:

    That turtle looks like a snake.
    That EdHill looks like a turtle.


  122. Catherine says:

    hey I might have to try this one myself-it’s very close by and looks like a beautiful spot!

  123. Catherine says:

    well I hadn’t seen Damian in a while so it was a treat for me-he’s a cutey pie!! oh and the article wasn’t so bad either!!

  124. honeybunny says:



  125. honeybunny says:

    My comments really add that special something to your reviews.

    Your welcome ~


  126. Chris says:

    Ive always felt that this plethora of rock would be better named Judges Boulders or just Hey Those Rocks over there!

  127. Steve says:

    It bothers me greatly that it’s not “Judge’s Cave.” It was their cave after all! But the real name (or original name) was Three Judges Cave, so I guess that’s why it’s not possessive. Which also bothers me because there were only two judges who actually hid out here, as Dixwell just hung out with them later.

    Not that I’m a grammar nut, but this did bother me as much as the fact that it’s not even a dang cave.

  128. honeybunny says:

    two thumbs up for Andy.


  129. Rick says:

    me too. Looking for the hospital rock. Anyone have any clues. ?

  130. Dave says:

    I live in Southwick.just north of Granby.We tell everyone about”THE TREE”

  131. bill says:

    what, no shots of Dakota’s in avon?! surely their sunday brunch must count as a monument to gluttony. and they have a great big bear.

  132. Boop says:

    Dos Equis lager is my favorite. Extra lime, please!

  133. Rob says:

    That’s obscene.

  134. Rob Y says:

    I drive past it every day. Truly ridiculous, so the fine for simple trespassing is $77, when do you want to sneak in and snap a CT Museum Quest pic on the front stoop???

    I’m game if you are!!! I have a spare Conservation International” T-shirt I’d be happy to gift wrap and leave for him.

  135. dick hemenway says:

    Once again, Shakespeare’s words give us some insight into our world today – Act II, Scene IV, of King Lear: Lear: “O, reason not the need: our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous: Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st, Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,– You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!”

    Your reference to the Newport Mansions was dead on. That was an age of excess, when status was gained by conspicuous consumption. I would offer the opinion that we are living in a similiar age of selfish excess, and have been since the “me first” Reagan years, spurned by supply-side economics, with its “trickle-down” effects. Due to the affluence of the 90’s, most of America has been on a spending binge that has gone far beyond our needs.

    What do we need huge cars, mounted on truck frames, with 18 cup holders, tv screens, seats bigger than sofas and engines that get around 8 miles to the gallon for when we all got along fine with sub-compacts for years. What do we need $150 sneakers and $100 jeans (pre-ripped and worn out) for. The list is long and revealing of our values as a society.

    This mansion is just a more visible example of a pervasive characteristic of our modern American culture, with each person indulging in selfish excess according to their means (ignoring, by the way, the effect of it on the rest of world). If they had more means, they would indulge on more excess regardless of the “need.”

  136. Sharon says:

    Willimantic is a great town!!!!! Proud to live there.
    I don’t agree that it is a sad dumpy town, if you take the time to check it out, you will be pleasantly surprised at all that we have to offer. Most rural towns do have their share of drug abuse, but it has been our priority in the past several years to correct this, we have come a long way baby!!!

  137. honeybunny says:

    This is my favorite (non-Damian) story.


  138. honeybunny says:

    Pffft! :karatechop:


  139. CTXGuide says:

    The Metacomet Trail probobly runs right by this guys property. I have been looking for an overnight camping spot in that exact area for backpacking the trail. Unfortunately, both the public and private landowners have been turning a cold shoulder to the cause. Maybe this dude would be willing to offer up a concession for building a strip-mall of a home where nature once stood… a concession in the shape of a free public camping area perhaps?

    This topic also brings up another of my pet pieves. Land Trusts are great ways to save nature, but they are also greatly limiting available land for building. This has the side-effect of increasing the cost of owning a home and making it fairly impossible for average Joes to become home owners. I’m not saying that I’m against land trusts, just stating an observation. Now this guy uses up land for what not only could have been a moderate land trust, but property for what could have been 20 seperate homes. Nature as well as property for new homes (plural) has now become a bit more scarce.

  140. honeybunny says:

    I love curiosities, oddities, and freak shows. When I was growing up they had them as side shows at the Fair. The 5 legged cow was always a hit.


  141. Laura says:

    By the way, just for information about heublein,inc. it was sold to grand metropolitain PLC by RJR Nabisco in 1987 and in 1997 merged with guiness to create diageo.

  142. dick hemenway says:

    Great coverage as usual! I hope you are not suggesting that jackalopes are “fake!” In addition to seeing many of them at a distance in the woods – they seem to be attracted to the smell of Jack Daniels coming from a fishing lodge late at night – , I have seen many stuffed, usually in small sporting goods/tackle shops, almost always in close proximity to mounted fur bearing trout which I suppose you would, being a city folk, also mistakenly classify as “fake.”

  143. Rob says:

    A friend of mine at UConn was from Canterbury. She talked about how her friend owned a Christmas tree farm, never anything about a landfill that I can remember.

    Is that really the quiet corner, I thought that was farther north near Putnam? This is sort of desolate middle eastern part of the rectangle, Connecticut being the rectangle.

  144. honeybunny says:

    No snipe?


  145. Chris says:

    I have made deliveries up there many times, but never stopped in the “Haul of Fame”, (the boss frowns upon using Co. time doing things like that)
    Having a similar impression about the place, mostly because of its location (the dump) and the junk outside you accurately described, I have wondered what was really in there, now I know I might make a stop when I get the chance.

    did you happen to drive across the bridge over the river? its a nice scenic view and in sharp contrast to the fact there is a dump just yards away, oh and the superfund site just down the road… The last report I remember said no contaminates have reached into the river , but I still wouldn’t eat the fish there!

  146. CTXGuide says:

    The ATV infestation is exactly why I promote the idea of creating ATV-only trails. There are extremely few ATV trails in the state, but there are lots of ATV riders. The result is obvious.

    Even though I do not enjoy ATV’s myself, I have realized that there should be recreational opportunities available for everyone. When we try to restrict usage without providing ample and appropriate venues, the restricted areas get abused.

    See for a description of the Shenipsit Trail regarding mountain bikes and ATV’s.

  147. Steve says:

    CTXGuide is right – and I should have mentioned the same. I’ll even admit that after seeing the four yahoos tear by us, I turned to Rob and said, “Y’know… I’ve never ridden an ATV nor do I want to… but it does look like fun.”

    My plan would be to let them ride to their heart’s content on all the right-of-way power line swaths, which are abundant enough. In fact, the Tunxis crossed a nice, big, giant, 100 yard wide, several mile long one that would work well.

    CT is a small state with limited forested land – especially in the middle of the state. So I get it… but when looking at the picture above of their damage, I must question their judgment.

    (Then again, you can also question my judgment and my aversion to gloves no matter the conditions.)

  148. Mulv says:

    Hey! I found your blog!

    I had to read this book in college. I remember liking it because it was, at least ostensibly, about human relationships, rather than politics. I was so tired of all the heavy-handed political allegories being foisted upon me that this was a breath of fresh air.

    So, basically, I agree with Hoang.

    Is Capote’s In Cold Blood on this list? I’m reading it now and it’s the awesomes.

  149. Mulv says:

    So Dicole is the original Brangelina?

  150. Mulv says:

    I can’t believe Women in Love and The Rainbow are on here, but not Lady Chatterly’s Lover. That defies logic.

    Catcher in the Rye sucks.

    To The Lighthouse is fantastic.

    And, don’t get me wrong, I love The Great Gatsby as much as anyone, but no. 2? Really? I don’t think so.

  151. PearlBlackDragon says:

    I wonder if Chase knows that by building this monstrosity he is breaking two of the new deadly sins.
    -Ruining the environment
    -The excessive accumulation of wealth
    Good job Chase!

  152. chick110 says:

    This reminded me of a favorite oddity that we used to take all our relatives to when they came to visit us in San Jose. We used to go to the Winchester Mystery House where Sarah built obsessively because the ghosts told her to. Many, many hallways leading nowhere, cabinets an inch thick, stairs an inch tall and going on and on all in the “correct” numbers. Eventually Sarah died, so the building stopped. Maybe we all should keep this guy off our death lists so he’ll be sure to die soon.

  153. HicksPub says:

    Eh, karma will catch up with him. Perhaps he’ll end up living in a thimble. In hell.

  154. BILL says:

    I am also looking for Hospital Rock. If anybody can give me directions or coordinates I would be extreme;y grateful. Thanks. –BILL

  155. Mulv says:

    Litchfield County represent, yo!

  156. Rob says:

    My father who grew up in New Haven always was partial to Modern.

  157. Katie says:

    Hey! I found your little tid bit of RM funny. RM is Southington’s little kept secret. There is NO parking anywhere, which is annoying. The reason is that a few neighbors in that area feel as though it will get crowded and a bunch of teenagers will go up there and do drugs. I find it very selfish of them to have so much control over a mountain. Most of the people who go up to ragged mountain are families who just want to enjoy the last simply beautiful part of Southington.

    One question is have you been back to RM? And if so, where did you park? lol!

  158. honeybunny says:

    I love the “when he loves something, he puts his hands up on his face and squeals”. I am going to start doing that too.


  159. Lara-Wine Lady says:

    Hi Steve:

    I’m glad you read The Great Gatsby. It is one of my all-time favorite books. I also read Tender is the Night (recently), but the GG still reigns king. Don’t feel shame about not having read it before; we all have some of those books that people can’t believe we haven’t read.

    I won’t say much, but I just wanted to put in my two little cents about your comments of James Gatz. It’s too bad you saw him as vapid and vain, a man without morals. I didn’t see that at all. I saw him as lost, insecure, in love, immature, unloved, and lonely. Is that too sympathetic? People start wars because of their insecurities, they can also build big houses and put on big personalities. Yes, he broke the law, but I think what Daisy did was even worse. Tender is the Night also shows the collapse of the main character–another man people love and admire–Fitzgerald himself succumbed to his own furies. It makes one think twice about taking that time-share in the Hamptons for the summer….

  160. Steve says:

    Interesting… My wife, too, felt the same as you towards Gatsby and admonished me for feeling no remorse upon his demise.

    It’s not that he was into black market booze selling – and of course Daisy’s crime(s – as I’ll include adultery here) were worse than Gatsby’s.

    I’ll grant you your adjectives (insecure, lost, unloved, lonely) but I blame the man himself for all of that. He had a gregarious personality, no? He was handsome and intelligent and could sway people quite easily. So, to me, he was just a bit of a loser with misplaced values.

    BUT Lara, we both know that my opinion is indeed the minority one!

    And btw, as for the Great American Novel, I’m still sticking with “All The King’s Men.”

  161. Loucindy says:

    I agree with all your points, except one. I actually don’t see why high school teachers teach this book so much. It seems more appropriate for college.
    I have never met a tenth grader who got this book. They all just resent having to read it. It’s a book where you are not supposed to sympathize with the characters, and they don’t understand how to read the novel without being able to do that. Heck, even a lot adults who read this book don’t get that.
    And just curious, why did you put this one off so long?

  162. Tim says:

    I cannot agree enough about the unfortunate letdown I experienced just today at the Mystic Aquarium. It was a lovely sunny April day today about 60°F but it couldn’t stop the cloud of resentment I felt for having been fed a bunch of hooey about how great this aquarium is over the years… Maybe my expectations were just too high…maybe not. I have seen many far better aquariums (New Orleans, Monterey) come quickly to mind. I will say that we didn’t see everything, for instance we didn’t attend the areas such as the Challenges of the Deep or movie theater. It must be said that this is a small aquarium. I will give them credit that I think the most beautiful outdoor exhibit space is the new Alaskan coast area (with the lovely rocky pacific coast feel and terrific ways of viewing the belugas from the rocky beach, to small bubble windows to the larger main viewing windows. But that’s a lot of space to watch two whales swim in a circle. Overall the other exhibit spaces are rather small and lack significant numbers of interesting species for my taste. I will also mention that the largest central indoor tank with the two lovely large green morays was the only other real highlight for me,.. but still that just isn’t enough somehow.. esp at $22 per head- thanks goodness

  163. Lara says:

    I really appreciate this review of The Great Gatsby by your mystery reader. I am not so sure I would lend the figure of Gatsby the role of penitent wanderer because I do feel he was driven by love more than spirituality. As Tender is the Night still resonates with me, I sense that it’s Fitzgerald looking out over the pier, more consumed with his crumbling place in society and damaged marriage. It feels like to me that he searched to understand human nature and couldn’t reconcile his discoveries. It’s his soft and succinct descriptions that are really so great and effective, but maybe too subtle for high schoolers, who knows.

  164. kathy says:

    Eagle Rock in Marlborough used to also be a frog rock back in the 60s. Used to get off Wilbur Cross parkway at exit 67 to avoid the Berlin Turnpike. Had to go through Wesleyan Univ and travel rt 17 to rt 66, which wended its way through Marlborough, and eventually Willimantic, then rt 195 to campus. Passed that frog rock every time I took that route.

    Great website!

  165. honeybunny says:

    I like pictures of Damian better than reviews of books.


  166. dick hemenway says:

    Steve, no need to keep my identity a secret, I will stand and take my licks for my opinions. Those who can write, write; those who can’t become literary critics, and those who can’t become literary critics go to work for Reader’s Digest. Anyway, it is surprizing what ideas you can get after 4 years study and a degree in English.

    Now if you want a really fun American novel to review, read “As I Lay Dying,” by William Faulkner. Not one of his most well-known, but, to me, his funniest and most saterical. Includes the following Chapter (this is the whole chapter): “My mother is a fish!”

    Don’t forget to stop at Food and Books just off Rt84 in Union Connecticut for a unique dining experience (ignore grease stains on pages).

  167. dick hemenway says:

    They don’t all it the “Terrible Twos” for nothing. But cheer up, it only gets worse as someday they become teenagers. If you think Damian can scowl now, wait 10 years when you become a major embarrassment to him. Great review!

    Having been born in 1944 (I now understand that I am NOT a Baby Boomer though I always thought I was – they start in 1945), I am truly amazed by the number of places like Kid City that there are today, and the incredible opportunities there are for parents to provide fun, interesting and age-appropriate learning activities for their children. We had the Public Library in Beverly Mass, which, in the late 1940’s, was not really a fun place for kids. You had to be very quite and sit very still. Thankfully that has changed, and libraries are great places for kids today. You might consider reviewing some CT libraries.


  168. Steve says:

    Dick, meet Lara. Lara, meet Dick. Don’t let your 40+ year age difference ruin a good literary debate! I love it.

    I guess my whole thing with Gatsby’s unrequited “love” is that it wasn’t real, true love to me. It was a fiction (just as 99% of the spirituality Dick has written about is) built upon another fiction.

    He was financially wealthy, but morally (spiritually) bankrupt – think about it, the guy’s ENTIRE life was a lie. One can’t have true love if one isn’t even true to himself. So maybe that dang green light on the pier is the truth he’s been seeking since he stopped being James Gatz.


    1) “As I Lay Dying” is # 35 on “the list,” so it will be read at some point. I tend to fear Faulkner for no other reason than someone told me to do so years ago.

    2) Food and Books in Union is indeed a CTMQ Curiosity that I’ve passed a hundred times and never made the effort. There’s some good hiking up in Union (and really nothing else other than lost kids in woods it seems) so in due time…

  169. Lara says:

    “That dang green light.” I’m going to remember that one.

  170. honeybunny says:

    darn it – I was kinda hoping for a ‘Blue Velvet’ ear discovery.


  171. honeybunny says:

    Ha – I thought this was going to be about Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott. Silly me.


  172. Rizzle says:


  173. T-Bag says:


    The only thing that makes me happier than knowing we’re both working through this list is to know that we’re also, apparently, doing it in tandem. The last book from the list I read was also The Great Gatsby, so I much enjoyed your review of it.

    And I agree with you that Gatz was a loser.

  174. VB Runner says:

    DISGUSTING! Who needs a cajillionaire house like that???? This man has seriously exited reality. How about putting your excessive wealth to good use–feed some starving countries, help the homeless, fund cancer research……oh, wait, that would mean he would have to think of someone other than himself! Okay, maybe I’m being a little harsh. Since I know nothing about him, other than that he is building a garishly enourmous abode, I should cut him a little slack. He probably has made some charitable donations (to claim as tax deductions). :)

  175. Carey says:

    Thanks for re-discovering Connecticut! We are visiting there this summer and you will make our travel plans even easier. Thank you!


    I am currently a Buckeye and used to be a Nutmegger.
    (Translation= I now live in Ohio and grew up in Connecticut and will bring them to see the CT sites this summer!)

  176. Steve says:

    ^ That is my favorite comment thus far on the entire site.

  177. bill says:

    i’ve been going here for the last 25 years or so (my parents would drop me and my friends off there, they wouldn’t leave us at the mall). i still like the trails, they are easy to walk and offer enough variety, that you don’t get too bored or have walked all the trails after .75 miles. my son likes it there because we have had good luck spotting deer on the trails.

    oh and when i was a kid, the log hut/house was through a door into a room and it just filled the room.

  178. James says:

    My great-grandfather Gerard Murphy was a Wethersfield resident and worked as a prison guard there, retiring ceremonially as a deputy sheriff for Hartford County. Here are a few details (circa the 1930s) about the Wethersfield prison as related to me by his daughter, my grandmother:

    prisoners wore blue uniforms; there was sewing and laundry, among other shops where prisoners worked; prison population was approximately half white, half black – from all over the state, their cconvictions covering the gamut from minor to most severe – good-sized population, 600 (?) or so inmates; my grandma as a young girl brought her class for annual tours of the place, and watched movies with her friends in a theater there that was alternately used by the public and then the prisoners; executions there (hangings/electrocution); occasional escapes, usually thwarted soon after; during flood of 1936, guards took prisoners out on boats to help…no shackles, just the watchful eye of a shotgun…everyone behaved; my great-grandfather once attacked my crazed, blade-wielding prioner…group of inmates saved his life.

  179. Jen Alexander says:

    Hi There CT Museum Quest! I’m the founder of Kidcity — thanks for visiting us on your tour of CT museums!

    As the mom of four, I certainly related to your post. As the previous comment noted, it’s worse when they are teenagers (because it is harder to pick them up and carry them to the car, and they are less easy to distract with a hand-stamp!).

    On the topic of what constitutes a museum: lots of children’s museums struggle with this debate. For my part, I think that one aspect of a museum is a place where you learn through multiple senses and are engaged on an emotional and aesthetic level. Another aspect of a museum is to collect and organize artwork or artifacts to make a particular point or offer a particular experience. I guess that I think Kidcity meets the first definition, but is less clear on the second.

    So yes, we are not quite a “museum”, but I think we are closer to a museum than to a school (on the purely educational side) or a park (on the purely recreational side). In fact, I think of what we do as creating a sort of theater or movie set to jumpstart our visitor’s imagination and playfulness — so maybe it’s more like a performance without an audience or live role play — and I could go round in this circle all day!

    By the way, I thought I’d mention that my two favorite museums (both outside of CT) are the City Museum in St. Louis, MO and the Vasa museum in Stockholm, Sweeden. Worth the trip and I bet you’d enjoy them!

    Best regards,

    -Jen Alexander for Kidcity

  180. Loucindy says:

    What’s even more interesting than the small number of people on this list is that only one of them (Katherine Hepburn) was actually born in Connecticut.
    What about historical figures like Eli Whitney, Noah Webster, and Harriet Beecher Stowe? They have a legitimate claim to be on the state’s hall of fame.

  181. Rob says:

    No Nathan Hale?? Isn’t he the Connecticut State Hero?

  182. Barbara Barooshian says:

    I would like to find a list of the jewelers in Berlin, Germany prior and up to 1934. I would like to know where I might find a map listing the businesses at that time.

  183. Rob says:

    Mass Mutual’s building in Springfield (review available on looks a lot like the Aetna building. Was that an architectural coincidence or was it the idea that colonial-revival style building helped the practice of insurance?? Ideas to ponder….

  184. roger says:

    thanks for the great story it helped find the park for no child left inside

  185. Reggie delarm says:

    Hello. I just found your wonderful website! I am a potter and for over 30 years I have been making old styles of pottery here in Torringford CT. I also live in my families old brick house c. 1820. I have been learning more about the brickyards in my area and found your web site when trying to learn more about brick houses.

    Do you know of an expert in the building of early CT brick houses? I wonder if my bricks were made up the road from me at our local Hayden brick yard, and whether brick homes were designed and build by common farmers or did they hire an archetect or brick mason… where can I find out more about the building of these early brick houses… also I have been looking for old ads in newspapers around 1800s and cant seem to find any..

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Reggie

  186. Wayne says:

    Wow-I have been going upto that area for over 50 years, down that road. As a kid I was on the grounds seeing it.
    I belive there was a town dump right next to it that we used to bring our garbage to.

    I have been dying to see it for years!
    As an adult I was naver able to spot it from the road. I will try and look for that guard rail you mention.

    Comments welcome!

  187. Steve says:

    No me?

  188. Sarah says:

    I am with Roger. It helped me find the park for No Child Left Inside. I can’t wait to go on Saturday!!!

  189. Keri says:

    Disgusting, unnecessary, dispicable, selfish, greedy….Typical Overly-Wealthy American?

    No, VB, you’re not too harsh.

    Other than the beautiful landscape (which wankers like this guy obviously have NO concern for),Willimantic Brewery and other oddities (you forgot Gravity Hill in Sterling CT, Old Trinity Church in Brooklyn and That haunted insane asylum in Willington…..) I wanna leave CT!!!!

  190. Chrissy says:

    Hey there… I’ve been meaning to make a blog like this for a while now! It’s been on my “someday” list, but most likely it’ll get started this summer when I have more time on my hands. :) I’m one of those crazy people who loves tiny little museums and hiking trails and… well, you seem to get it. ;)

    Anyway, I love Cedar Hill, so much so that I’m one of their volunteer tour guides. You should check out some of their upcoming events. If you liked it during the day, check it out at night when they have their annual Halloween tour! I’ll be there…

  191. dick hemenway says:


    Great report as usual, but your readers might be interested in the Park River’s more colorful (or smelly) past as The Hog River – an appropriate name at the time

    For great background stories like this I suggest that you subscribe to the Hog River Journal, a Hartford Public Library publication

  192. Ginney Dilk says:

    Glad you enjoyed the paper schoolhouse and thank you for the publicity. I just have a few comments….

    1. Replacing the outhouse with a functional, handicap accessable facility that resembles the original will require not only the building but a new septic system. I’m afraid it will cost more than $50.

    2. The wooden building that the Brick School replaced was located to the west of the present structure. It was not located where the Brick School is now.

    3. The paper in the foyer with the grammar problems was written by Mabel Hall, the lady who talked the town into letting the historical society buy the building for $1, organized and managed the renovation and wrote the booklet The Brick School” to raise funds for the renovation. The foyer paper is an enlarged copy of what she wrote in her book. It may not be the best grammar but she gets her point across.

    4. I’d settle for a driving map to all of the one-room schools; I don’t want to renovate or take on any more buildings!

    I too associated one-room schools with the western US and was surprised to find out how long the school remained open.

    Come back for another visit. This years display includes pictures and artifacts from all 10 of the Coventry School Districts.

    Ginney Dilk

  193. Stephen Shaw says:


    I’m glad you visited, but I’m sorry to hear that our volunteers for the day were not as hospitable as they should be. Must have been a bad day or they were just hungry.

    The Schoolhouse is now opened from May thru Oct, Wednesday thru Sunday from Noon to 4pm.

    We have a new exhibit about Nathan Hale which will have a grand opening on June 28, 2008, so come back and visit again as there will be more to see.

    By the way it’s the SAR who own and maintain the Nathan Hale Schoolhouses in the East Haddam and New London and the War Office in Lebanon. We are very thankful for the support of the DAR with all three museums.

    Stephen Shaw
    Property Steward, Connecticut SAR

  194. Lara says:

    Hold up–I just read this for the first time. How can you call a place spartan if it’s filled with antiques and wine bottles everywhere? I mean, there’s an antique coffee mill and yarn spinners! And I wasn’t perplexed that you came into the winery, it was a Sat early afternoon in February after all….;) I also wasn’t embarrassed to be reading LOTF…you were! Hey man, there’s no shame in getting to a classic later in life, maybe if you never heard of a major title before, then there’s cause to hide your face….

  195. Mitchell Llorens says:

    Where is this cemetery located? or the name markers. I have walked the cove area where the Prison was located and all around the DMV, and all I have seen nothing, perhaps the Cemetery is behing the fence, which is state property. Can you elaborate on the location, thank you.

  196. Steve says:

    If I remember correctly, there is a huge house B&B type thing at the intersection of Hartford Rd and State St. Park in their drive/lot and walk across the field, parallel to Hartford Rd. Look for the inlaid stone in the 1st picture above and the marker is to the left of that, towards the far end.

    I think.

    By the way, that last picture of me was taken totally as a joke but now it just creeps me out.

  197. Jeff says:

    Greetings form Florida:
    I read your journey, interesting! As a child in the 70’s I remember my dad taking me hiking on the Blue Trail and Elmere Reservoir in Meriden. In fact during the 1940’s my dad and his two best friends discovered a natual rock formation in the shape of a French Poodle dog overlooking the Elmere Reservoir. My dad sent a photo and story into “Ribley’s Believe It or Not”. The picture you took of the water tank, I remember passing it on the way to the “French Poodle Rock”. If you go back look for the “French Poodle Rock. Though, it’s hard to find. You have to know what to look for.

  198. Jeff says:

    Oh yeah, I also have fond memories of Castle Craig. I sure do miss Connecticut.

  199. Rob says:

    I was in Indianapolis a few years ago for work and they have a Civil War display that also has a tree with a cannon ball in it. Is that state museum display 101?

  200. honeybunny says:

    the dude in the “Faceless objectified cliched woman ripping the heart out of the poor, innocent bloody crying guy” run-of-the-mill stuff picture looks like Duff from Charm City Cakes.


  201. Rob says:

    I would vote for the Miranda as well, though any place that hands out a cravath wins automatically???

    Or a box

  202. lynn says:

    very entertaining and informative. we’re visiting it today and no longer have a romantasized version of what we’ll be seeing. we’ll go in w/ low expectations and take it from there.


  203. honeybunny says:

    i have always enjoyed pictures of big cannons.


  204. dick hemenway says:


    A couple of comments.

    1. The State Troubadour is currently Pierce Campbell –

    If you want the complete, up-to-date list of Connecticut State Symbols, see our ConneCT Kids Connecticut State Symbols page which I always keep current –

    Thomasina Levy was also a ConneCT Kids Visiting Artist –

    2. You did not mention that the food at the LOB cafeteria is great, and the prices are low. Nothing but the best for our legislators.

    3. You also did not mention that there is free public parking, though it can be limited during legislative sessions. It is a great place to park and see the CapitoL, LOB, Supreme Court Building and Capitol grounds. The parking (on the ground floor) is accessed through the back of the LOB garage.

    4. I have always thought that the LOB and Capitol are great places for kids, with lots of things to see and plenty of space to run around. Just don’t overdo it with heavy history lessons. But you have guns, flags, ship models, bells, statues, fountains, the people mover, tours, a large park, a carousel and the Bushnell Theater nearby.

    5. No Freebies??? At the right time there are plenty and there are always some – maps, information, tours, ConneCT Kids bookmarks… etc. There are often trade and nonprofit groups that set up in the walkway between the LOB and the Capitol that hand out many free items. Maybe there were none there when you went.

    6. Maybe the tour service is open 9-4, but I don’t think the Capitol and LOB ever close, at least I have never been there when they were, and I have been there pretty early and late.

    Great review as usual!!


  205. dick hemenway says:

    As through a glass, darkly?


  206. bill says:

    when i have money like that, i’m going to buy a neighborhood and level it. way cooler than just taking down trees.

    and no heliport? what a poser!

  207. Mitch says:

    Thanks Steve, i know the marker you are talking about and the house you are talking about, the grass most be covering the grave stone markers, because they are not visible, but now that you have given me an idea i think i can look and find them, I’ll let you know when i do.. by the way don’t worry about the picture, at least if profs that they exist.

  208. honeybunny says:

    Damian is getting so big.


  209. Mike says:

    Are there any pictures of the Old Connecticut State Prison, before or during the DMV construction period? Perhaps a news story in the mid-1960’s?

    Thank you.


  210. Chris says:

    Only one thought from me on this one…

    What’s with the shirt and tie?

  211. Rob says:

    The place was pretty freaky.

    I don’t care if you are the most Catholic Catholic in all of Catholicism, to have your wedding pictures taken here is weird and, dare I say, a bit tacky.

  212. Lise says:

    Reiki and paranormal, silly? My we will have lots to discuss over a good ale later this month, my friend : )
    Perhaps the ghost that comes to our home often, will be around to greet you and as for the reiki.. it does something good. Maybe not physical healing, but ask hospice folks that have received reiki in their last months & days of life. Perhaps its human contact, maybe sharing of energy- who knows. Something is happening for certain. Soothing a soul, maybe.

    But to be able to provide someone in their precious last days with something that calms, soothes and puts a smile on a dying persons face cant be all that “fake”. Just my opinion!

  213. Dave S. says:

    I was looking for more information on the C.P. Merwin brick company of New Britain and Berlin.

  214. Betsy says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles. As a former resident of Wethersfield (Griswaldville section .. our house was built by a Griswald!) it’s fascinating to see how they have developed their local Museums. Back in my day they only had the Silas Dean House and the Webb House.

    Oh, and “Wethersfield Red” onions are still available as heritage seeds. Historic sites all over the country use them in their heritage gardens because their history is so well documented. I think the company is “Comstock Ferry.”

  215. copygodd says:

    the firm where i used to work did a lot of consulting for foxwoods. the head of the department hated the casino people, and would give them the most ridiculous bids hoping they would say she was too expensive, but every time they just ponied up the cash. yeehaw!

  216. Rob says:

    I posted a similar diatribe (I say diatribe in a good way) on my blog, yes the one I never post to. I was there a few months ago, my friend who goes there way too often comped us a bunch of rooms to celebrate his divorce. I gave the Pequots some money, but not as much as some others in my group. Anyway, I agree the place is a horror show of people spending money they don’t have and can’t afford to lose. Casinos are depressing, Las Vegas is the worst city in the US, IMHO, and legal gambling causes more problems than any revenue that may come in and go towards social programs.

    I think the biggest casino is now in Macau. You can read this New Yorker article on the dirty dealing, huge Republican backing, war mongerer who made his billions there.

  217. Gabby Fenn says:

    Shame on you, you passed up the best winery in Connecticut! You should visit Connecticut Valley Winery, rt 202 New Hartford Ct. They have the best wine hands down!!!! For the record, they are a part of the wine trail because I visited 2 weeks ago and got my passport stamped.

  218. martinet says:

    Hey Mr. Spelling Bee Champ–I learned very young (in the very first article in which I learned about mnemonic devices) that you can always remember capital/capitol because a capitOl has a dOme. Love your site–I’m planning visits here and there for the family based on its recommendations.

  219. Larry Cebula says:

    Never did I think I would see someone blogging the Metacomet Trail! I pieced together the trail all the way to Mount Monadnock in the 1970s when I was a teenager in Tolland. What I remember best was the poor trail marking, often being lost, breaks in the route when a landowner decided to put up No Trespassing signs, and the sounds of lawnmowers and dogs barking in the back yards that you look down on from the 500 foot high trap rock ridge.

    It was not for naught however–I through hiked the AT in 1980.

    Nice blog!

  220. Larry Cebula says:

    I did this section in February–I faintly recall finding a west facing ledge to cower under near the castle to enjoy the concentrated late afternoon rays. Looks nicer in the summer.

  221. Kate says:

    Hey Steve!
    We took this ferry last year just for the heck of it! Meg was quite excited about the “boat ride.” My parents use it quite often as well. Fun times!

  222. Dad says:

    The historic sign for this ferry only claims it is “the second oldest ferry in continuous use in Connecticut,” not the nation.

  223. Chris says:

    The Oldest Ferry? I expected to see an old, beat up, falling apart wooden boat that I wouldn’t trust holding my backpack. Now that would be old… This however is just the longest continuous river crossing service. Then again continuous is sort of a misleader since they are closed several months during the year. Not that I hadn’t previously known this, I just didn’t want another CMQ fan to plan a family Christmas ferry ride only to be disappointed once they packed the family in to the car drove 90 minutes just to get there, with all the kids crying and screaming the whole way, “are we there yet” then discover the crossing is closed and we wont make it to the Essex Steam Christmas Train. That could ruin the holiday spirit. Not that I have done that… no not me.. oh and whats the big deal about bringing a fishing pole and doing some trolling while your making the trip. How would I have known that a fish would get caught on the prop and break it, then shut down the ferry for weeks? Next time I will try fly fishing. That should be much better.

  224. Harriet Peavey says:

    26 C’mon Cheney light my fire; very interesting as my husbands middle name is “Cheney” after his grandmothers maiden name. I was looking for the identification of a tool which has printed on it “PATENTED THE STANELY WORKS NEW BRITAIN CONN. It is a combination of two cylinders with three ball bearings inside the middle one , which would grab a rope or wire which was shoved inside holding it secure. it has a long loop that swings like a bail from the large end. there is also a steel pin with ridges and has a ring in the end of it, when it is inserted in the narrow end of the cylinder unit is held secure by the bearings. it could be used for connecting and securing a cable or rope. any leads would be appreceated. What is it for?
    Thanks for your time Harriet


  225. Catherine says:

    definitely my favorite beach-tons of wildlife-they’ve renovated all the boardwalks and once in a while you will see these weird little plane things-looks like a person riding one of those bikes where you are almost horizontal except they’re way up in the air with a motor and a very small canopy atop that-looks absolutely terrifying!

  226. Beth says:

    Have you looked into the Airline Rail Trail…… still being developed, but beautiful area- hey I have to brag a little- we don’t have much east of the river!

  227. pete says:

    Park on Sheldon Street, across from the intersection of Andrews and Carey. The small stretch on the south side of Sheldon is in regular use (look for the cleared brush). There aren’t a lot of spaces,but as long as everybody is respectful of the neighbors you can park on the street, even up onto the Moore Hill, without worrying about getting towed. From there, walk north on Andrews for about 100 yards, past the last of about 4 houses on the east side of the street, and look for the obvious trailhead. The trail crosses a small stream, passes the south side of Hart Pond, and then heads up to the Main Cliff. That is the only approved parking and access from the Southington side. Enjoy!

  228. Pat Natusch says:

    Glad you enjoyed (I think) the brick schoolhouse. Just remember that when you give grammar lessons – cemetery is spelled with all e’s. Next time stop and visit the Strong Porter Museum on South Street. We’ve trying to renovate an entire barn!

  229. Steve says:

    I very much enjoyed my visit last year and Ginny was wonderful.

    I fixed the (one) misspelling of “cemeteries” in the post. It must be mentioned I did correctly spell it a couple other times!

    But you got me, and I deserved it. Touche.

  230. Miles Stone says:

    Thanks for a candid review of the area.

  231. Reed Ide says:

    Well, I can’t join the hike, but did think Larry Ierardi would get a kick out of knowing that Serge Kochen and i were talking about him over the weekend (July 26-27) as we took a quick nostalgia tour through Stafford Springs and drove up to the high school and around the town. There is no more Stafford Press, and we are all aging! Best Wishes!!!! –Reed Ide

  232. Fran says:

    Thanks for the history of the lake… Enjoyed reading it, and I do remember the infamaous Milli Vanilli…lol But still liked the song…lol

    Ex Southington kid now in Raleigh NC

  233. Catherine says:

    LOL-I had a good laugh at this post-I’ve always wanted to visit that vineyard but always come up with some excuse why I can’t stop by-I think I would have been a bit intimidated by BiyY Pizza dough lady and then been a bit cheesed off with the attitudes but hey-you have to win that trip to Spain right???

  234. honeybunny says:

    Always love the Damian pics – the llama face is my fav of this batch.
    The Karate Kid Dad – very funny.


  235. Rob Y says:

    Glad you guys made it the famous Flamig Farm! Thought you might also be interested that a few years ago the farmer began making his own biodiesel (refined used cooking grease from local restaurants) and runs all the farm equipment on it. They’re taking the “sustainiability” idea to a whole new level. Good stuff.

  236. Heather Taylor says:

    My husband and I like to take trips to the various CT wine vineyards around the state and we have noticed that there are no books that go into detail about the history behind these vineyards. WE would like to start writing and compiling a book together about all of the CT vineyards not just the ones that give enough money. Do you have any suggestions as to who we should contact in relation to this?

  237. dick hemenway says:


    When I taught English in Southington (9th grade) we would not study a book like the Bridge of San Luis Rey in isolation, but as part of a set of works – fiction, nonfiction(including current events), poetry, art – that all dealt with themes either overlapping or complementary to the main work. When reading this book, I might suggest such complementary materials as “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel (and the poem Musée des Beaux Arts by w. h. auden)and almost any nonfiction work dealing with a natural disaster. I would certainly look at this work of fiction in terms of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. I am certain that you other readers could suggest other works. Control is an illusion. Our lives are ruled by sequences of random events that include our own decisions – shall I stop for coffee or get some at work. Or are these events planned – “We are turned round and round like yonder windlass and fate is the handspike”.

    Only in hindsight can we see that …”I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

    Look back at your life and map the major turning points, especially those that might have brought you to The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

    Great review as usual!

  238. Amicus says:

    “. . . and we shiver when the cold wind blows.” One of my Bill Monroe favorites for decades now.

  239. Debbie says:

    Just visited and can attest to the fact that this is a great place to bring the kids – or just go yourself as I did. You will definitely gain an appreciation for what education was like in the “olden times.” Ginny Dilk encouraged me to sit at one of the school’s wooden desks and write with the old “nubbed” quill pens. There is a great exhibit of all the old schoolhouses in Coventry, many of which I recognized, having driven by them frequently but never knew of their original use. They also have a nice collection of old textbooks as well as some newer publications from various town’s historical societies, one of which I’m definitely going to buy for myself. It’s a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon – and there’s a little park up the road a piece for a family picnic afterwards!

  240. danana says:

    Well, that was a nice little adventure – I started out at the school house, visiting the town I used to visit as a kid – my aunt and uncle had a nice little house in Granby, with a fence, a big back yard and everything. I still have fond memories! As I read, I had to venture over to the Coolest Tree, from which I had to detour onto the Pinchot and the Linn-Baker Trees (a good laugh there, my husband is still wondering what that was all about), then circle back to the school house. After reading this and some of your other entries, I get the idea that it’s time to plan another trip to CT…

  241. Steve says:

    But… On the New Britain side there is ample and approved parking on West Road with a giant sign and all that good stuff. (Though the poster above has emailed me to say that it is a “smash and grab” crime area – and having driven by it, I can totally understand that I guess… which stinks.)

    In fact, this is the best trailhead for the Ragged Mountain Trail – a CT400 (825) hike to be done. I’m going to wait to do it in the snow though, I think. (Criminals usually stay home in snow.)

  242. ATVbackpacker says:

    My husband and I are avid hikers, backpackers, and nature-lovers. We love hiking Connecticut’s trails. But yes, we also like to ride our ATVs on occasion. Your characterization of the ATV riders you ran across as “four idiots on their ATV’s” (though you then admit that these people were perfectly courteous) is an elitist stereotype that’s just plain off base.

    First I’d point out that when ATVers and hikers share the trails, it can be a positive and safe experience. One day my husband’s blood sugar went extremely low. At the time, I was praying an ATVer would come by to get us to safety more quickly – I feared that I was either going to have to carry him a few miles (which I’m not really capable of) or that I would have to leave him alone and hike out for help. Fortunately, we made it back before things got quite that bad, but it would’ve made me feel better had I run across someone riding an ATV. Another time, a girlfriend and I were hiking in the Wolcott area and an ATV rider stopped to warn us about a “big cat” they’d spotted on the trail we were headed down (we changed our route).

    Most importantly – as others have pointed out here – your knee-jerk anti-ATV rhetoric doesn’t resolve the issue of how we can share our public lands in ways that allow all citizens to enjoy them.

    If the concern is that ATV usage makes hiking / snowshoeing more difficult on trails that are illegally used, create a legal alternative and enforce the rules. If you want zero environmental impact on trails, obviously, you’ll have to fight against allowing use of trails by people who hike with crampons, for example, mountain bikers, horseback riders, really any humans… think about all of those dayhikers who aren’t well-versed in the “leave no trace” ethic – what they leave behind is far worse than ATV tire ruts.

    The problem is that (as other commenters here pointed out) – unlike the accommodations made for mountain bikes, horses, and other trail uses – there an NONE made in CT for people who want to enjoy the outdoors using OHV. Legally, this state was supposed to create spaces for this form of recreation and they have not done so.

    In CA, where we lived for a while, there were OHV state parks. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where we’ve registered our ATVs in various years (state registrations are expensive and not reciprocal, so we basically decided where we would be going one year vs. another), there are some multi-use trails designated for ATVs. Supposedly, CT is working on creating appropriate spaces for law-abiding citizens to use their ATVs. This will reduce the impact on the environment and still allow people to recreate in the outdoors however they want to do so – be it hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, riding horses, or riding ATVs.

    In fact, we’ll be doing the world a favor once we give ATV riders appropriate spaces in CT – not only will they be less liable to use trails illegally, but users like my husband and I will be contributing registration fees to CT for trail maintenance / state park upkeep and – on a larger scale – will reduce the carbon footprint of our hobby since we will no longer have to trailer our ATVs several states away just to use them.

  243. Steve says:

    ATV –

    1) CTMQ is written by Steve (me) who is one of the commenters you agree with re: shared space.

    2) Riding ATV’s on CT’s blue trails is ILLEGAL.

    3) I completely disagree with you about dayhiker litter being worse than ATV damage. When I hike, I pick up the (very little) litter I come across. To undo the ATV damage in some of the pictures above would take, literally, about 20 years or more.

    4) I am an elitist.

    5) Seriously, thank you for your thoughtful comments and thanks for reading.

  244. Catherine says:

    I really admire your approach to Damian’s condition-it must be one of the most difficult things to explain to others and of course people are quick to judge but often don’t take the time to imagine there might be a reason for certain kinds of behavior. Unless you’ve been a parent it is impossible to imagine the incredible love you can feel for your children-when you hear things like mothers lifting cars off their infants, people scoff but unless you’ve been there and experienced what it’s like to have this little bundle of joy in your life, no one can explain the lengths you will go to for that child! With two incredibly loving and supportive parents, Damian is in the best place he can possibly be!

  245. KO says:

    Bubbers is in good hands with you and Hoangers. Just knowing what good people you are individually, and better exponentially as parents together, Boy-Damian will no doubt flourish as you guide him forward through the coming years, not to mention every hole-in-the-wall museum in the nation.


  246. Catherine says:

    I was just on this trail 2 weeks ago! It’s beautiful spot! Finally I’ve walked on a trail you have written about:-)

  247. dick hemenway says:


    It is a little hard to tell from your picture with the reflections on the glass, but it looks like an angler fish, named so because it dangles a small bit if skin (artificial bait) attached to the end of a spine sticking out over its mouth to attract small fish that it then sucks into that wide mouth. I could do better with trout any day!

  248. Theron Knapp says:

    Steve, This is great! I have been to Hammonasset so many times and have never even seen this. I will stop by the next time I am there. Thanks for the article.

  249. honeybunny says:

    I guess the mice are happy to have that sign up.


  250. honeybunny says:

    in the first picture you “vogued” – so ANTM.


  251. Marlen F says:

    Glad you enjoyed the farm, come way out west to western Nebraska, and see a real farm.. heheh, by the way, the Flamig line did not die out, as I am a Flamig, although its a different line…someday I will have to come to Simsbury and check out this Flamig farm..Cool blog here I liked it..

  252. Richard Murkland says:

    Great article on one of my favorite places in Connecticut! I especially liked the “Cool picture at the actual Meigs Point” link at the end. :D

  253. c_dog says:

    Shake the hand
    that shook the hand/
    of P.T. Barnum
    and Charlie Chan

  254. Shannon says:

    You have a beautiful family! SMS is not something any of us would choose for our families. But all we can do is provide/teach the best we can. And along the way, we have met great friends. And though we do not all have exactly the same circumstances across the board with our children. We all still have an unspoken understanding of each other. God Bless!
    Shannon, Ken, Taylor and Blake

  255. honeybunny says:

    Damian knows how to “strike a pose.”


  256. Missy Longman says:

    What a gorgeous little boy Damian is! Our daughter, Sienna, is 2 years and 4 mos and she also has SMS. Life is challenging, but it does go on. Sienna was our first-born, also and we have a one-year old little boy. It sounds like little Damian is in good hands. You certainly have the right attitude about it all. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are just looking to reach out.

    Missy, Dan, Sienna, and Sean

  257. Rob says:

    This was a really impressive museum, a lot of interesting stuff.

  258. Rob says:

    No hissing cockroaches? Then it can’t compare to the Nature Center we went to (which had the Osprey cam)

  259. Mulv says:

    Check you out famous Amos. Gosh, and to think I virtually knew you when.

  260. Scott says:

    Hey, Steve.

    This is your best post ever. Thanks for opening the window into your world a little bit.

    As a father of three, I can attest that parenting isn’t easy under any circumstances, let alone when understanding what your child is going through is near impossible. I hope that you and Hoang continue to find the strength necessary to cope with the most challenging times.

    And, I hope our paths cross in the real world sooner than later.


  261. Leigh says:

    There is also one near the high school in Trumbull- or at least it was there a few years ago. It does not say “Progressive” on it – Just picture of E.T. with the “Buckle Up” saying.

  262. Lisa Jacobs says:

    I just stumbled across your site and review of the Berlin museum while doing some research (on, you guessed it, tin). As a member of the Berlin Historical Society, I gotta say…I love your little review :) It was great to see the place through the eyes of a non-native.

  263. Lori says:


    What a beautiful window into your life and the blessing you have been given in Damian. God has entrusted in you and Hoang a rare opportunity to look at life from a different perspective and find joy in many events the rest of us get to take for granted.

    Your ability to paint the picture of your CTMQ experiences and bring to life sites and stories is a new discovery for me and something I am enjoying immensely. I can only imagine the ways in which you are able to put those skills to use in helping Damian succeed in his quests.

    God bless you both and thanks for sharing a little personal side of you and your family.


  264. Jen says:

    When I first read Rochambeau Trail I thought R0-cham-bo trail? Someone’s developed a nature trail based on the principles of Rock-Paper-Scissors? Awesome! But alas, it is some French general or other.

  265. martinet says:

    We love the Nature Center and always take our kids there on our yearly excursion to Hammonasset. This year we were grateful to find a lovely wall poster with a picture and explanation of the very same pinkish jellyfish (”lion’s mane jellies”) that we had seen floating in the waves the day before.

  266. Larry says:

    Nice report.-I’ve never hiked this section of the trail.I’m going to go back to read the various links you put in.-I’m fascinated by rocks and other things that are marked by history.-Especially if you find them out in the middle of the woods.

  267. Larry says:

    I have added your trails subpages to my blog.-I’m much into birding but enjoy hiking as well.-I’m interested to see which of the trails you hike have good bird habitat.-I’ve also been to a lot of CT’s museums as part of my job so I’ll be interested in that portion too.

  268. wolfson says:

    when i was 14 i was recruited from mediera beach juinor high (fl.) to pick tobacco in simsbury con. we stayed at an old nike missile camp.we we were paid 1.05 per hour , or 10cents a bent. we paid 14 dollars per week for room and board . we took field trips to many places close to our camp. we would go to a shopping plaza every thursday(maybe it was wednesday).sometimes it would be the mall in hartford.this was in 1969. i also went in 1970 and 1971. in 1971 i saved over $650. i used this money to buy a 1967 chevelle super sport in my junior year in high school. some of us could pick between 150 and 200 bents per day. we would run from the end of one row to the front of the next row because we could make more on piece work. some kids would fool around in the fields. they would pole pirche ,walk on the netting over the fields, tie string to rock,tie the string to the next leaf to be picked so when the leaf was picked the rock would hit the picker. there were many other antics.

  269. Greg N. says:

    If you follow the trail that goes deeper into the woods near frog rock you can find some old building foundations. Old rusted tools litter the ground . Interesting to see if you are into that sort of thing.

  270. Twelve Mile Circle » Blog Archive » The Southwick Jog - maps, geography, travel says:

    [...] Curiosities at Connecticut Museum Quest [...]

  271. Caroline..."The" Caroline says:

    You can’t even imagine our excitment at our CTMQ debut! I’ve arranged for an agent and an entourage. Scott especially liked your making fun of me continuously. It’s his favorite pastime.

    I learned more about the musuem reading it from you then from being there. I didn’t even know I was part of a punk movement –I would have broken more things.

    That was a great day. We had a lot of fun and look forward to being returning characters. Scott misses you.

  272. honeybunny says:

    “but that’s what CTMQ is for: The whole story.”

    that’s why i come here.


  273. Twelve Mile Circle » Blog Archive » The Southwick Jog - maps, geography, travel says:

    [...] The Southwick Jog at Connecticut Museum Quest [...]

  274. Rebecca Walch says:

    Do you know who, in 1661-1664, owned the land that Three Judges Cave is on?

  275. c says:

    All these years… I thought that little thingy was just a Gay MAss trying to penetrate into CT. Hehe

  276. c says:

    Norwich Bulletin article

    Oct 22, 6:50 AM EDT

    ‘Notch’ dispute revived between Conn., Mass.

    SUFFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A centuries-old dispute between Connecticut and Massachusetts over a border area known as the “notch” is heating up again.

    At issue: shifting water levels in a border lake, and how much Connecticut “notch” lakefront homeowners must pay their neighboring state.

    About 170 Suffield homeowners face bills from Southwick, Mass., for new dock and boat permits. The money will pay for police patrols on the lake.

    But Suffield officials say the lake has risen since a 1913 survey, putting its eastern side within Connecticut’s borders.

    Disputes over the notch, also known as the Southwick Jog, date to Colonial days.

    Massachusetts gained part of the area, which dips into the otherwise uniform border, in 1804 to compensate for losing several towns to Connecticut in the 1600s and 1700s.

  277. Steve says:

    haha, awesome. Five days after my adventure, the dispute arises again! TAKE BACK THE 5 FEET OF WATER!

    And I’m disappointed no one has mentioned my Initech coffee mug or candy cigarettes.

  278. Caroline says:

    How is it that you are more afraid of dogs than bears?

  279. Steve says:

    Y’know, I didn’t even think about that while writing this, but it’s true. The dog was actually twice as far away as the mama bear – and may have even had an electric fence, AND I was very close to a road/houses as compared to the bear encounter.

    And yet… yes, I was far more scared of the dog. Of course, dogs can be aggressive and bears are merely defensive, so it really does make sense.

  280. B-Side says:

    What a lame bear. I bet it totally lost bear street cred for not killing you.

  281. Anonymous says:

    It would have been a really great story if you had only stuck to the museum and it’s trucks, and not published the politics and FALSE information provided to you by your “guide”.

    You can’t really blame your “guide”, as he was only repeating to you what HE had been told. Like anything else, there is usually another side to the story………

    First off, when you do unethical things, (like polluting, mis-managing, and squandering money) there are usually concequences. Also, you tend to call attention to yourself with the “authorities”, and get yourself into a huge mess of trouble.

    Second, when you borrow a huge amount of money from a “so called friend” to help bail you out, it’s not called a “partnership”, it’s called a LOAN! Loans have terms (like you are expected to pay them back), and usually have collateral (sometimes, trucks). They usually have a time frame in which they are supposed to be payed back. Sometimes, “so called friends” will extend that time frame. When that time frame doubles or even triples with no attempt to make good, it’s usually time to do something about it.

    I happen to know that the “collateral trucks” were hand picked by the museum’s owner, and the price was set for each piece by him as well.
    Do you really think he would let 7.5 million dollars worth of trucks go out the door to satisfy a “a mere few hunred thousand dollars” loan? Doesn’t something smell wrong to you there?

    That is absolutely ridiculous! This “so called friend” will be lucky if he re-coops a small fraction of his money in rusted out “junkers”.

    I think it is pretty unproffessional to publish that someone is a “jerk” or a “shyster”, only based on hearsay, and one side of the story coming from a third party.

    No, I am not the “so called friend”, and he has no idea I am even writting this. I’m just an innocent bystander who happens to know both parties, and happens to have witnessed the truth first hand.

  282. Steve says:

    The commenter is correct and I have edited the story to clarify our guide’s words versus my own. I have removed the words “jerk” and “shyster,” as I happen to probably most likely agree with Mr. Anonymous.

    The Yaworki’s have a documented history of pitiful environmental stewardship and as I did originally write, the stories about the lawsuits and loans to “so-called friends” did not add up.

    CTMQ apologizes for not making this clear.

    CTMQ does not, however, apologize for being “unprofessional,” as I am unabashedly so.

  283. Kate says:

    Hey, my mom was raised in Jewett City. But don’t tell her that I told you. She never, ever admits it to anyone!

    Totally craving some good ol’ wine these days and this added to it! I’m glad that you both enjoyed your trip there!

  284. sami says:

    this does not really help, i looked at this Website for some H/W & i’m sorry but it does not help
    i’m in year 11 by the way so bother me

  285. Anonymous says:

    I too apologize for being so harsh, and for my use of the word “unproffessional”.
    You are obviously a stand up guy.

  286. Joe says:

    I remember the Old Cider Mill from my youth when I lived in Glastonbury from 1957 – 1962. The cider press was powered by a horse. It was the most delicious cider I have ever tasted. Perhaps it is the fond memory of the past but I have yet to taste a cider that compared. Of course living in San Diego for the past 20 years, I don’t often come in contact with real New England cider. If you looked at the state of the apples that were used to make the cider, you might not have tasted it. EVEREY apple, notmatter what condition, made it to the press. Maybe that’s why it tasted so good. The zing from those over-ripe apples mixed with some good Macs and maybe a crab apple or two gave it that distinctive flavor.

  287. honeybunny says:

    I love cake.
    I want to order one.
    But which one?


  288. Richard Proescher says:

    I have fond memories of working in the Dickerson Witch Hazel plant as a young man in 1963. I work on a conveyor belt that put labels on bottles. Coming from the South, it was quite an experience to be in a New England red brick factory. Fresh air, I remember was an anathema; therefore all the windows remained closed. I remember falling asleep on the conveyor belt after my lunch break. I remember being told that seaweed was used as insolation when the plant was built. I left my emplyment there the day Kennedy was assasinated.

  289. Karla says:

    I grew up in Higganum (a section of Haddam) which no one, not even people in CT, have heard of, so I was so happy to see that you went and that you enjoyed it! I think the last time I was in the Thankful Arnold House I was probably in elementary school, but I remember having a good time. And yes, the Haddam Historical Society’s website is excellent! I discovered it a few years ago when I was in one of those “so, what happens if I google my hometown?” web surfing moods.

    I sat in at your session at NEMA which is how I knew about your website, and given your interest in house museums, I was hoping you had been to the Thankful Arnold House.

    Keep up the good work! As someone who grew up in CT and used to always say “there is nothing to do here!!” I’m inspired by your ambition to debuke that theory!

    Karla Leandri Rider
    Museum L-A
    Lewiston, Maine

  290. Alfredo Santos says:

    For a couple summers in my youth (back in the late 50s/early 60s while attending Ludlow High School in Ludlow,MA… I used to work at farms owned by Hathaway-Stein Tabacco Company… back bracking work under that cheesecloth netting but memories…. awwwww…. Probably by today’s standards that would be considered child abuse!

    Good memories!


  291. Catherine Rosich says:

    Thank you for putting together this very exciting and useful website! It is a thrill to read about all of the fantastic museums in Connecticut. Not only do we get to read about your experiences but gain great insight into where we “museum lovers” may want to go next! It would be a pleasure to have you visit the Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center. Our regional history exhibit is brand new with many interactive features that engage all ages in the joy of learning. If you decide to visit us let me know that you are coming, it would be a pleasure to meet you and your family.

  292. linda sturgill says:

    i have a cousin who is a decendant of mary and soloman webster and she is the spitting image of mary who is known to have lived in the lighthouse

  293. Steve F. says:

    My parents and my brother used to stop here and have a picnic lunch on our way back from Springfield, Mass. to Maine after visiting my grandparents when I was a boy in the 1950’s. I was about 10-12 and my brother was just 2 or 3. Sometimes my grandparents would follow us and have lunch and then go back. Those were great times!


  294. Rob says:

    Fisher’s Island is weird, I went to a wedding there in 2004. Very pretty (and fun wedding), but no one seems to even know it’s there. And it’s not small either, much bigger than Block Island I think.

    BTW, the kids who live there go to school in New London, take the ferry every day.

  295. Tom says:

    Ah yes, the telephone thing. That’s how I first found out about Fishers Island several years ago. It is (or was at the time) a distinct LATA, one of the very smallest.

  296. Bill says:

    There are no grave stone markers there only the one memorial stone stating the date of the prison. It is partially enclosed by a stone wall that is flush to the ground. The Hartford Ave side of the fence is now mostly covered by brush and trees that have encroached on it over the years.

    For those who are looking for it, the best way is from Hartford Ave walking down the fence line between the field and the Wethersfield Yacht club.
    Cheers, Bill

  297. Catherine says:

    Hey-you were in our back yard more or less! One town up and you could have visited exciting Trumbull!! This is actually a very cute zoo-I took my kids when they were very young and visited again with a young friend of mine last summer. The carousel didn’t always used to be there-they renovated it from it’s original spot in Bridgeport and it’s a big hit there in that little zoo!

  298. Steve says:

    Thanks for the clarifications!

  299. bill says:

    drove home tonight and every light in that place was on. i could live on his electric bill.

  300. Rob Forbes says:

    Great stuff, Steve. Keep on truckin’!

  301. Frank Ierardi says:

    Would like to know largest pike taken from Bantam lake
    and how big can they grow ?
    Thank you

  302. T.B. says:

    What a cute idea. My husband and I have so many wine glasses from all the vineyards we visited up and down the eastern seaboard that we’re giving some away. We just don’t have the room for them all. I call them “brag tags”, but there’s only so many glasses one can store!

    You said Chamard wasn’t very nice to you. I am wondering if you are the person my husband and I met at Heritage in October as we sat outside on the patio to begin our wine tasting. We sat across from a very nice couple and we talked about the vineyards we’d been to along CT Wine Passport tour and which ones are our favorites. The couple told us Chamard wasn’t very nice! If you are not that couple, then you’re actually the third person that has told us about a less than pleasant experience at Chamard. Our first experience there was that we didn’t like the wines. Upon returning the following year, we actually enjoyed them. We thought their rose was exceptional and bought a bottle. We did have to wait a bit for the tasting as a tour was beginning. But they were pleasant to us.

    As I understand it though, Chamard is fading away. It may soon be a thing of the past.

    Anyway, loved your photos.

  303. tyra says:

    I grew up eating at Shady Glen. It was always a treat to get take out from there and an even bigger treat to eat there. The murals on the walls, the “real” sodas…the ones with the selzter and the syrup added at the soda fountain, the menus on the walls, sitting at the counter…I could go on. The ice cream was made there, the chocolate chip ice cream had chunks of Munsons chocolate, then the hill on the side that thousands of kids have rolled down after they ate their ice cream.There is also a Shady Glen at the Parkade (down by Broad St for those who don’t know)that was good but never the same as the original one.Anyway my point is this is a great family place. They have had some people that have worked there since I was a kid.(thats a good 30 years at least).If you want a gourmet burger go someplace else. But if you want a good greasy spoon burger, served with a side of great atmosphere and a little tradition then you will love it!I still do and so do my 4 kids.

  304. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    Thanks to this entry, I’m now perpetually looking for the notch. While walking the kids to school this morning I saw a car parked along the street with a Connecticut license plate (not something common ’round these parts) and stopped to make sure it had the notch. I’m afraid to ask what that says about me.

    Take back the notch!

  305. JT says:

    Going off the top of my head, I think all the CCC camps were named after former CT governors and the one at (what is now) Burr Pond was called Camp Wolcott. I would guess that would be the origin of the name

  306. VivianLea Stevens says:

    So…have you seen the huge portrait of the Leatherman in the Derby Public Library? It’s on exhibit in the Local History Room over the fireplace. They also have a small collection of articles about him and his travels. If you go, mention I sent you…I use to be their Local History Coordinator and am consulting with them on a collections management project!

  307. Steve says:

    I must admit, I have not been to the Derby (CT’s smallest town!) Library as of yet. Though I certainly will go now.

    The Leather Man was an amazing guy, but googling him proves to be rather, um, interesting to say the least.

  308. Constance Dubois says:

    I want to thank you for putting this on the internet…I’m a descendant of James & “Molly” Chaughum….10 generations down….I’ve been doing extensive genealogy research on this line and love to be able to see the actual place…..THANK YOU~
    The family website is above…..this is only for family members~
    I’ve added your info into my genealogy database….will be sourced to this page~
    Thank You once again

  309. Miles Stray says:

    I have a minature pallet jack including a minature pallet that is maked “THE YALE AND TOWNE MFG. CO PHILADELPHIA, PA. It is most likely a salesman sample as it fits into a carrying case with a handle. I’m not sure of the origin or age but my father worked for, then was the owner and president of, Charles A. Templeton Industrial Supply in Waterbury, CT. Age is uncertain but it’s been in my posession for over 50 years. In cleaning out the house and disposing of various items, I can’t bring myself to throw this out as it may be of value to someone in a museum of industry. If your organization has any interest or can refer me to a source that might be interested in such an item please let me know. I can take didital pictures to send to any interested party.

  310. matthew says:

    The Charles W Morgan is presently undergoing a three year restoration. The ship was hauled in October.

  311. matthew says:

    I saw Airline Trail and assumed you meant the Shoreline Trail. I learn new things everyday.

  312. Alex says:

    I went to college at ECSU, which is about a 3 minute walk from here. We went here every thursday night. The waiters were always so awesome, plus we didnt have to worry about drunk driving since we could walk with ease back and forth. Furthermore, try the “beer butter” next time with some bread. Amazing.

  313. SteadyJohn says:

    I came to your site here after seeing your “tornado” photo at Brownstone Birding. I am not sure about your photo but I do like your museum lists. I didn’t have time to thoroughly peruse your list to find it, but do you recall a “Submarine Museum” here in Middletown on Washington St. I think is was a privately run affair in someone’s home. I don’t think it’s there any longer because the sign has been taken down. I will link to you on my “Conservacity” blog.

  314. SteadyJohn says:

    Whoops! You are really way ahead of me; I just noticed your article about the “Sub” museum; great work!

  315. Gary Masters says:

    I admire what you had to say. Your families unrivaled determination and devotion to your son is heartfelt. Thank you very much for sharing your family with me.

    Gary, Gina, and Logan(SMS 5)Masters

  316. honeybunny says:

    Damian always makes me smile. And always will.


  317. Holy Land U.S.A. - Waterbury, Connecticut « Road Trip Memories says:

    [...] The Holiest Land at Connecticut Museum Quest [...]

  318. KATHRYN SHRIVER says:



    The old place belonged to grandpa in those days. Today it belongs to the State of CT.
    I have painted it as it looked when I was a small child, spending the day there with grandpa.
    While he worked I would go fishing in Phillip’s pond that had belonged to grandpa’s folk
    generations before me. I loved to go through the brook in the wagon as the water flew
    around, splashing every where. Today everything is changed. the State planted thousands
    of trees,changed the brook and the road. This is NOW known as Patcheug forest
    memory of Pearl Pratt his great granddaughter

  319. Cristina Carde says:


    I used to live in the house next door to this house with my roommate in 2005 to 2006. We were always intrigued by this place and always wanted to look inside but we never got the chance to since it was closed. However, I found your article to be interesting. It is very sad to see how neglected a historical treasure like this has become. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if there was anyone allowed to enter the building at night. There were plenty of times that my friends and I would see lights on in the house along with shadows of people moving around during the time we were there. I always had a feeling that there was always someone watching us whenever we passed by when walking our dog. I hope that someone comes forward to help restore this house. It’s a part of New Haven history that we should remember.

  320. Tom says:

    I call a “creepy doll alert” on the post-apocalyptic potty photo!

  321. Raph says:

    Ski Sundown was known as Satan’s Ridge before it was purchased in 1969.

  322. Steve says:

    Thanks, Raph! This is true… and better yet, two more Tunxis Trail hikes and I will walk right down Satan’s Ridge. (This area is just north of Satan’s Kingdom.)

    From Ski Sundown’s site:

    1969: Channing Murdock, founder and president of Butternut Basin in Great Barrington, Massachusetts buys the abandoned Satan’s Ridge Ski Area area in the summer of 1969 and renames it Ski Sundown.

  323. Rae says:

    This page is AWESOME. So is the rest of the website, actually, but I’m commenting here to report on the progress of the “Notch Revolution.”

    There is now a group on Facebook called “Take the CT Notch Back” — ’tis a bit crude, perhaps, but nonetheless a wonderful addition to any Nutmegger’s groups list.

    I was going to mention the Initech mug and candy cigarettes, but I suppose I’m a few months too late.

    In the spirit of the Notch Revolution, I also think Connecticut should take back Fisher’s Island from those thieving New Yorkers. Look at its proximity to CT and NY and tell me we weren’t gypped! But that is another topic for another time, I suppose…

  324. Steve says:

    Thanks, Rae. The Fisher Island travesty is mentioned here in a rather random post I wrote about a shifting sandbar that we’re stealing from RI.

  325. Irene McHugh says:

    Hi Again: This (once again) your “lovely older lady” from Cedar Hill Cemetery. Your post about Damian really hit home. I hsve a daughter (now 36 years old) who has never been diagnosed. She is undersized (about the size of a 10-year old). She is very intelligent, everything goes in but she can’t process the information and communicate back in the normal fashion. As you will find, I’m sure, you will develop a kind of telepathy with Damian and be able to communicate in ways unique only to you. As for behaviors other people don’t understand, I once took Gretchen to the Stop and Stop on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford against her will. She responded by stripping naked in the first aisle. Needless to say, that was the shortest shopping trip on record! I just want to say that you will have a difficult and sometimes frustrating journey ahead but will receive rewards far beyond anything you ever imagined. KEEP THE FAITH!! God gave Damian to you for a purpose!

  326. jane george says:

    i know how hard it can be, as you know tilly keeps me on my toes and sometimes stretched well beyond my limits of patience! you both sound like wonderful parents and i know damian is blessed to have you both. i have found it is easier for me when i remind myself to ‘let go of normal’ does that make sense? i have my lowest moments when i think ‘it shouldnt be this hard’ or all the ‘i wish this or that!’ but at the end of the day that was not to be and i am trying hard to accept that. somebody once said its ‘normal with a twist’ and thats so true. i love my tilly as much as i can see you love your gorgeous boy and with love we can all move mountains. love and hugs to all of you. from a mummy who really gets it! xxxx

  327. c to the lo says:

    i first read this when i was 17. through my teen-goggles, this was my handbook for life. it was a celebration of fabulousness and brett was my role model.

    oh, i miss feeling that way. it broke my heart when i read it this time around: you mean he’s critiqing them? he thinks they’re shallow? i’m not supposed to drink that much every day?

    is it okay to pity them and want to be them at the same time?

  328. Kate Frank says:

    Wow! I had no idea this existed…

  329. JERRY DOUGHERTY says:


  330. Steve says:

    Thanks. The problem with that site is that the coordinates are for a spot NW of Essex, about 20 miles SE of East Berlin.

    East Berlin is generally in the
    41.617175,-72.730651 area.

    My search continues…

  331. Kerri says:

    I’ve been to the Little Falls but not the Big Falls. When I went, it was summer, and the final part of the trail, right next to the falls, was a bit difficult to do with kids. This post makes me want to visit now, while there’s snow on the ground.

  332. Tom says:

    I was at Wadsworth Falls on New Year’s Day. They have a good event where you can get a tour of the mansion’s ground floor, hear a music performance, eat snacks, and warm up from the cold.
    The trail to the Little Falls is treacherous. From one direction it’s a steep slope with poor footing. From the other direction, you have to cross the stream coming from the falls and there’s no bridge. The Little Falls are narrower, but have a greater drop. I particularly recommend the Yellow Trail that parallels the stream.

  333. Courtney Molter says:


    I would like to take my Engineer boyfriend to the Museum on Friday, January 23rd. What are your hours of operation, if any, on that date? Is there a co-pay and if so, how much? Also, can we have a tour guide?

    Thank you in advance for your response!

    Courtney Molter

  334. Scott Graves says:

    I was also a student at Madeira Beach jr. high in 1970 and went up to pick tobbacco in Conn. A teacher named Ben Szaro took a group of kids up there every summer. In the fairly small town of Seminole Florida many of the young men had been to Camp Nike to pick tobacco. It was a great adventure for us and something I will remember forever. Camp Nike was between Simsbury and Avon and as mentioned above was an old Air Force base. I drove through Simsbury in 1994 and other than an old tobacco barn on the corner I didn’t see much I remembered. I would like to visit again, this time staying longer and visiting the old site of camp Nike. I believe there is an office complex there now. I’m in my mid-50s now but still have good memories of my time as a 16 year old in the Conn. river valley.thanks- Scott Graves 6580 Seminole Blvd. #541 Seminole Fl. 33772

  335. Scott says:

    Suffieldians might wonder why part of Route 190 was renumbered to Route 168 in 1975. The reason: a new interstate highway, I-190, in Worcester, Mass. The part of Route 190 extending into Southwick now had a numbering conflict, and as a neighborly courtesy, Connecticut extended the new number across the state line.

    If not for The Notch, Route 190 would have existed entirely in Connecticut, and would not have needed to change.

    For 50 states’ worth of border fights, see “How the States Got Their Shapes” by Mark Stein.

  336. Kerri says:

    The Alaska fact is apparently not widely known because one time I was at this event where they had a trivia game going, and I felt compelled to correct the guy running it– Alaska is also the Easternmost point of the U.S.

    Great post!

  337. Helen says:

    I love Westmoor Park so much! It is my favorite place to visit, such a great place to have here. FYI the goose in the picture is “Doc” (a Canada Goose) and there are plenty of signs discouraging children from petting the animals so as not to get bitten. “Doc” is not a domesticated bird so doesn’t know not to bite young children. They also have a new website which is so much better than the old one.

  338. Chris says:

    WOW, seems like we were there on the same day…. My wife and I eloped in Hawaii after 9/11, October 23, 01 (hey the rates were discounted big time!)

    Anyway, you described the whole scene as it is. The only thing you left out was the fishermen tying balloons to their fishing line so the wind would carry their bait further out then they could cast.

    So for me, I have been to the southern most point on the contiguous main land in the Fla Everglades, the southern most point in the continental US (key west), and also the southern most point of all the US.

    Thanks for the reminiscing

  339. sanity says:

    What do you have against someone building a house?

    You assert that if a home is not sheltering 2 orphans per square foot, it is obscene.

    Is it fair to assume that you are housing your 3,600 orphan quota, then?

    Why not just grow up, and stop complaining about how some people happen to have a bit more money than you? Certainly, it is no large crime of justice that you are not the wealthiest man in the world.

  340. Steve says:

    Dear Ironically Named Sanity,

    Why am I complaining? I thought I summed that up with the sentence, “Excessive waste and sheer selfish stupidity are two traits in fellow humans I abhor.”

    Do you have any concept how large this house is? It is nearly the size of the White House. For two old people.

    Chase certainly has the right to build this monstrosity, but it is also my right to call him an idiot.

  341. Dead says:

    cool :) yeah!!

  342. Mike says:

    Actually you are smoking a clay pipe – was it in the pipe box on the wall behind you?

    BTW – I like the CTMQ. Keep it up!

  343. Steve says:

    Courtney – Click on the NBIM museum’s website.

    Thanks for reading.

  344. Steve says:

    I’m not sure… I think it was solid and I also think it was on the mantle near the candles.

    I’ll let the mystery fester. Thanks for reading!

  345. Steve says:

    Haha – good point Helen. I guess I wasn’t clear that A) I was a derelict parent regarding “Doc” and B) Damian doesn’t exactly follow directions. He was fine though so I guess I could say no harm, ahem, no fowl.

    And thanks for the head’s up on the new site; a massive improvement for sure!

  346. Matt says:

    I support giving Southwick back to CT, but I think the name Southwick suggests it’s a Massachusetts town — shouldn’t it be Northwick, CT? Maybe we should get the name change first and then use its name as evidence that it belongs to CT.

  347. Kathy says:

    I have been trying to find old records of inmates to the original prison. I am looking for information on a Sidney Morton Douglass which would have been a inmate in 1953.

    Can anyone tell me where I can get ahold of a list of the names to verify with?


  348. Lisa says:

    Thanks for including the picture of the memorial plaque for Darin Findley in your article.. He was my little brother and it meant so much! Ragged Mountain was a favorite place of his.. my parents make the trek once a year in his memory – your tips will be helpful to them as they are not experienced hikers.. blessings to you!

  349. Rob says:

    I enjoyed the entry. Just a point of fact-its Reed’s gap, not Reed gap. It was named after a family from Middlefield way back when.

    Enjoy the trails,


  350. matt says:


  351. AJH says:

    “One thing Delaware never did offer me growing up was hiking.”

    What do you mean??! Orienteering with the Eagle Scouts and the like was never in Delaware? (maybe it wasn’t…) And Brandywine Creek State Park? “Hiking” does not have to mean “climbing”, does it?

  352. Steve says:

    Wow, I’m floored that you remember/know about my orienteering past.

    Your point is well taken, but still… hiking and Delaware are not words usually associated with each other.

  353. Nicole says:

    Go to the Prudence Crandall Musuem…Connecticut’s State Female Hero. She’s MUCH better than Hale!

  354. Steve says:

    Lisa, I’m sorry for your loss. I went back up Ragged in January and noticed Darin has a nice new sign up there. If you’ve never been up there, it’s easy to see how someone could get in trouble; something many here in CT may find hard to believe.

    Your brother’s memory is well respected and gives all of us hikers pause.

  355. King Whistle says:

    Dead on, Steve. The opportunities for beauty and solitude are remarkable given the trail’s proximity to everything.

  356. jason says:

    i have been to frank pepes and i thought it was immensly overrated, it was good but not the best. The BEST pizza is in bridgeport,ct and it is called Arthurs famous pizza and it is on park ave. if you were to go there it would beat pepe’s

  357. Elyssa says:

    I have gone here before and it is really cool! It was hard to leave! My mom did NOT like the snakes though.
    I would advise this place!:-)Bye

  358. Sigit says:

    Wow..Amazing Carousel Museum, someday I want to go there.

  359. Gail St.Mary says:

    I’ve driven by this elegant home several times and can’t believe someone has not come forward to help restore part of New Haven’s history. We all know what it’s like to sit in a history classroom trying to envision the past; BORING! Here is a perfect opportunity to share the past, re-live history, and enjoy a community experience, before it’s too late. Being an owner of a 1780 house, has been both challenging and a serene experience. Unfortunately, completely restoring it is not a financial option, but the appearence of some of my home’s originality brings a sense of wonder when life was peaceful and simple.
    It is very sad to watch such an awesome piece of history fade away. Are there any Pardee or Morris relatives out there who may share in this endevor?

  360. Steve says:

    I asked friend of CTMQ and director of the New Haven History Museum, Bill Hosley, what the deal was with this property. He replied, “The state never delivered on its bond package commitment and we can’t possibly resuccitate it without substantial $. It’s a great house, in a not so accessible neighborhood but the collections were never anything to write home about. It will almost certainly be sold with preservation easements to protect it.”

    Christina – I have no idea, but I’d guess that people would work on the house at night on a volunteer basis after work maybe. Either that or East Haven crackheads found a home.

  361. first meet - Page 5 - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums says:

    [...] GTG. A few years ago I put together a Saturday event for a company I worked for. We went to the Haul of Fame truck museum in Plainfield,CT. If you look it up on the web you will come across some articles written about people who have been [...]

  362. cathy nelson says:

    Try 12 Savage Hill Rd, Berlin
    the latitude and longitude
    according to Steve Morse converting addresses to/from latitude/longitude in one step.
    latitude longitude
    decimal 44.4430466 -71.4895957
    deg-min-sec 44° 26′ 34.9678″ -71° 29′ 22.5445″
    the plaque is in the swamp behind this house

  363. Tom says:

    Remember the little people and don’t let the paparazzi get you down.

  364. Teresa says:

    Nice blog! I’ve been finding and planting letterboxes along the blue trails, and was looking for more info on the Monroe section of the trail, which I haven’t been on in a long, long time. Looks like some good places to hide boxes, there, I just need to find out which areas are public land. The unknown leaves look like Sycamore to me. I can’t see the questioned shrubs too well, but I think they might be winged euonymous, an invasive species.

  365. Captain James Grant says:

    I couldn’t let you go with out setting you straight. The Rocky Hill ferry is the oldest ferry “service” having provided crossing at the site between Rocky Hill and Glastonbury. The Chester Ferry is the second oldest ferry “In Connecticut” Warner moved the site to the Chester site. Goodspeed had a ferry service at the same time where the Swing Bridge is now or just down stream by the airport. The ferries were both built in the 1950’s and the Chester ferry boat was featured in the Movie “Parish” a worthwhile watch if you are from CT. Claudette Cobert, Tony Dowd,Carl Malden were a few of the cast.

  366. Tom says:

    Whenever I see Beelzebub mentioned, I can’t help but think of the Dead Milkmen’s classic Beelzebubba.

  367. KO says:

    I know a famous person!!

    Make sure the next time we hang out you give me your best Marlo Thomas jump in the air freeze-frame right after I call you, “That Guy”

  368. Steve says:

    KO –

    You mean like the one towards the bottom of this post?

    I nailed that shot on the first take. A feat I am more proud of then completing the Mattabesett Trail.

  369. Scott says:

    I feel famous now too. Now I’m, “Scott, the guy who originally told me [CMQ] not to take pictures at the Butler-McCook House.”

    Just to clarify my comments from the conference, having left CT Landmarks, I’m not positive what their photo policies are at this point or if they have changed. My own personal stance on photography, however, has changed. I believe that there is more good that can come from allowing visitors to take non-flash photography on tour than possible harm that will be done to the collections. The explosion of cheap, digital cameras (especially on cell phones) combined with the wealth of social networking tools (blogs/ facebook) makes the sharing of photos a good thing; people get exciting about their visit and tell their friends through text and photos. And sharing positive experiences outweighs negative ones–like having people tell others about getting scolded on their visit.

    Flash photography can still damage delicate, light-sensitive objects. The French Wallpaper at the Phelps-Hatheway House is a perfect example of a museum collection that needs low light to survive another 200 years.

    Just my two cents.

    The dinner/ drinks offer is still on the table. We do live in the same town. =)

  370. Rob says:

    When I first saw Jack-in-a-box I was expecting some depressing highway in Modesto CA with you and Damian ordering out of some clown’s mouth, but not THAT Jack-in-a-box…..

  371. honeybunny says:

    Does Damian wonder why he lives in a land of Giants?


  372. William Hosley says:

    Norwich is almost singularly interesting. It’s a shame that those in government paid to stimulate tourism continue to overlook the authentic things that make Connecticut special. Norwich is loaded with them. Thanks for bringing this one to our attention

  373. chris says:

    I also jumped off Indian Leap!!!
    Well rapelled the cliffs. But it was just so cool…

    This spot is really cool after a few days of freezing weather with this mist freezing on the rocks.

  374. Soundbounder says:

    Excellent site!!!!

  375. corny says:

    i rule!!! i typed my name in google. this is what came up.

    ps CORNY RULES!!

  376. Bob B says:

    I am a graduate student doing potentially doing my thesis on managing these birds in CT. They are an invasive species that can cause agricultural damage and cost the utility companies a FORTUNE to deal with. I also own one as a pet and they are not a pleasant bird to live around. Unfortunately people do not research them enough and most of the time are completely one sided. Please do not sign the petition to keep them in CT.

  377. Tina Louise Harl says:

    Thomas Morris (1604-1673) was my grandfather and the patriarch of the Morris family in New Haven. I was born in New London, Conn., on the navy base, but I live in Kenosha, Wisconsin, now. Most Wisconsin buildings were built after the 1830s. Saving our American history is important. I hope this house can be saved. I would like to return to Conn. and see it.

  378. Pat Batchelder says:

    I, too, went to work at Thrall Farms outside of Windsor Conn. way back in 1957 and 1958. I had heard about it from a high school friend in Tamp Fl, and took the idea to my school in Clearwater FL. The farm we lived on was beautiful. The girls lived in a barn like dormitory, with sleeping cubicles upstairs and restrooms, showers and rec room downstairs. The boys lived up the hillside over the kitchen and dining room that also served as larger rec room. This was a beautiful working farm, with crops and sheep. We even had a picturesque pond that many of us got dunked in. Two of the owners children, Cynthia Thrall and her younger brother worked with us driving the bus and tractors. Our mornings started about 5:30 and the girls got on the buses and went to the sheds where we ’sewed’ 24 tobacco leaves on a lathe. For every bundle of lathes (48 or 50 I can’t remember) we were paid $1.00. If we did over 10 bundles in a day we got paid $1.10. The boys went on a separate bus to the fields and got paid by the hour. In the fields were migrant workers from Puerto Rico and Jamaca. The girls worked mostly with the Jamaicans. We were fascinated with their beautiful English accents and polite ways. They would bring the picked baskets of leaves into our shed and hang the strung lathes up in the rafters. We had to be very careful not to puncture the leaves as that would decrease their value. Our lunches were brought to the sheds for us. There was more food there than one could ever eat. I gained 10 pounds each summer. And I like many, developed a rash from exposure to the tobacco and Calamine Lotion became a good friend.
    It was an experience I will never forget.

  379. Miles Stone says:

    Join the Central CT geocachers for Trails Day 2009 at Day Pond.

    When: Saturday, June 6th.
    Demonstrations and information: 10 AM to 1 PM
    Family-friendly, potluck lunch: 1 PM
    Rain date: Sunday, June 7th.

    Event page:

    As always, enjoy the adventure!

  380. Andrew says:

    How many time zones are there in the place?

  381. joe says:

    this place is sssssssttttttttrrrrrraight out haunted

  382. Rob says:

    Hi Steve,
    I’m not 100% sure, but I think the “whatzit” in the photograph is a taxidermist’s form. The tanned skin would be affixed to the form. Looks like it might be for a squirel or a skunk.

  383. Radford says:

    Commenting usually isnt my thing, but ive spent an hour on the site, so thanks for the info

  384. Steve says:

    Yup! It’s been nearly 2 years, but Rob is correct. I can’t remember which animal it was, exactly, but I think it was a mink or fisher.

  385. Mike Horyczun says:

    Stephen, visit us sometime and say hello to me.

  386. judi soule says:

    Hi, just read your article about Ct. museums, will try to go to some of these, I never knew some of them existed. However, thought you might like to know (maybe you already know about this one), about the First Agricultural School which originally was in Cornwall, Ct., but a few years ago, the state helped fund the moving of this school to Kent, Ct., at the Sloane-Stanley Museum, which you didn’t mention I don’t think. Just thought you’d like to know, the school is very interesting, with many of the original books etc. still there. Not sure of the year of the school, but it was founded by a Mr. Gold of Cornwall. The school is not open very often, except the last weekend in September, when the Connecticut Antique Machinery Show is held at the Sloane-Stanley Museum every year for 2 days. Hope this was helpful to you.

  387. Tom says:

    That’s hardcore. I would have been that person who turned around earlier in the week. No, on second though I would have been the person who stayed home and sat by the fireplace.

  388. Bara says:

    RE: New Britain Local History Room

    Having been born and grown up in the 1940/-1950s New Britain, I found this article very interesting. The New Britain in which I grew up was a most wonderful place! My fondest memories are of those days in New Britain. The last time I visited, still having family living there, was about 10 years ago and I left feeling very, very sad. The place I’d known and loved for the first 30 or so years of my life has vanished. No more wonderful Main Street, the trees in front of the main library chopped down and I don’t know what’s become of the magical Hawley Memorial Library, the “childrens’ library”. While I understand New Britain is enjoying a period of regeneration, I still can’t help but mourn for the wonderful city of my youth. I would like to correspond w/current, or even former, residents of “The Hardware Center of the World.”


  389. vijay pinch says:

    Yours is a worthy quest. And you are clearly a genius. I especially loved the narrative about the train room. Hilarious!


    I am the chair of a volunteer committee at the New Haven Museum and Historical Society, owner of the Pardee-Morris House. I have a particular interest in improving this site in the hope of once again being able to attract visitors. I would like to work with people in the neighborhood who might be interested in visiting it, attending events at the site (inside and outside), possibly volunteering,etc. Please reply or call me at home. I’m in the phone book.
    Thanks so much for your interest in this wonderful, but unfortunately neglected, treasure.

    S/ Louise

  391. Leatherman Caves « Susan McCaslin says:

    [...] Leatherman Portrait [...]

  392. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    Hey, I had ancestors named Thankful too! I’ve also recorded Mercy, Desire, Experience, Patience, Hope, and Marlboro. Those old New England families sure knew how to come up with some creative names.

  393. angie says:

    Does anyone have any information on the old mill house and Chapel just off Day hill Rd. that turns into old town st. just over the lyme line??? I have been looking to find some history on it…the house is 1780 and chapel was rebuilt in 1900??

  394. Mrs. Golia says:

    Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a student at Totoket Valley Elementary School.I would like to ask you if you would like to give my class a brochure or two for our Eco Fair that is coming up soon. My class is doing a booth on where our recycleing goes. So if you have any information on that we would be very happy, and thank you!

  395. Tom says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the new DC highpoint, and if it’s any consolation, I haven’t had an opportunity to return in search of it either. And I have basically no excuse! I’m hoping to reach the summit sometime this summer.

  396. A Trail by Any Name « Lizr128’s Blog says:

    [...] Mattapeaset, according to the Mashantucket Pequot Research Library. Another variation, Massa-sepues-et seems to mean “at a great rivulet or [...]

  397. Rafaele says:


    The census bureau publishes a manuscript and releases it to the public 70 years after the date of the census. So the census manuscript for 1920 was made available in 1990, for 1930 in 2000, and so on. I don’t know if there’s any way, at this point, to get the records for 1953. You may want to try newspapers for stories about particular crimes.

  398. paxton says:

    Yeah go back here in spring the falls of which there are impressive. At the view sign walk right to the top of a rock outcropping look down and down stream and there they are. About a 20 footer. Further down the unmarked discontinued there is a larger slide but you gotta kind of look through the woods for it. it is very near the first falls. Lots of other minifalls here as well. Love the site and blog. I am the head of the young members berkshire chapter amc and am quite knowledgeable if you need any ideas about the hidden hills are just cross the border

  399. L Waller says:

    Great article. Hope it encourages folks to visit sites that we often overlook or take for granted.

  400. Joan Simonsen says:

    I’m interested in bringing my elderly and wheelchair-bound parents to your zoo. We are specifically looking for a butterfly house and also if you have an exotic bird house, such as hummingbirds.

    Do rent out wheelchairs for the day?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you


  401. Bill Kelleher says:

    How do I get in touch with the person who wrote this article?
    Bill kelleher
    Special joys Antique Doll & toy Shop

  402. Mindy says:


    Still enjoying the site since the last time we “talked”. Just wanted to let you know that we found hospital rock last weekend accidentally. Its off of the Metacomet a ways. Actually easier to get to if you hike directly up to Pinnacle Rock from Plainville. I’d be happy to give you directions if you ever want to go.

    Happy hiking,


  403. Rami says:

    This family donates a lot of money to various charities. Don’t hate the guy because he built a huge house and he wants it, why not?

  404. Rosemarie (Fadoir) Guerrini says:

    This was good to be back home..I remember all these trails on the map..I in Georgia just got email from nephew, Tom Fadoir in Texas about this webpage. Your “Steve in tub” was placed there for thirsty roaming cows by Tom’s brother, Edwin. Around 1965 he built a small pavilion with fence around it so leaves and cows could not fall in the pool..on the railroad ties..your picture showed with foundation around the spring water. My father, Michael and his brother, Joseph built the foundation and dug and buried a pipe line from there to our house by the road near the other concrete bridge ..across the color pink on the map around 1920. That bridge was built in 1939. There were not many trees from the pool to the road because my father cut and burn bushes and branches before every Springtime so there would be more grass for the grazing milking cows..few Jerseys..mostly Guernsey. The farm was much bigger then and now couple of pasture are gone because of all those trees.

  405. Steve says:

    The above comment is why I love writing this blog. Many thanks to Ms. Guerrini! It’s great to have my questions answered by such an authority.

  406. + 1 Loucindy... says:


    Here is your tenth grader that loved the great gatzby… +1. Many (& most) of my classmates also did.

  407. Laurie says:

    I’m an alum of NFA, a NEMA conference attendee, a ctmuseumquest reader, and a CT museum employee – glad you liked Slater! I took art classes at NFA from elementary school on, and through high school. You should head back in the spring – when they do the Student exhibition in the Converse gallery. Good stuff. Unique place. P.S. There’s 2 good pubs in downtown Norwich to grab a pint – Chacer’s and Harp & Dragon.

  408. doug says:

    You wondered why Stevens singled out Haddam in his poem. According to the notes in the Norton Anthology of English Poetry, Stevens said that “The thin men of Haddam are entirely fictious.I just like the name…In any case, it has a completely Yankee sound.

  409. Andy says:

    Another sterile gallery experience…I’m looking forward to your review of the Hillstead Museum, where paintings are displayed the way they were meant to be seen…Shall we hang the Degas by the settee or over the mantle?

  410. arshad umar says:


    Please, Suggest me that where can I get admission in Master degree in puppetry.
    I have done B.A.
    (3 years) Art master’s training (2 years diploma in arts) also.
    I am working for social change since five years through rod, glove
    ,string & shadow puppet and Muppet because the goal of my life is to aware the people on the issues like education, health, science popularization female feticides, and HIV/AIDS, by reaching to the unreached community . For working in a community which is completely UN aware on these issues is challenge. For taking this great challenge it is necessary to know the every pros and cons of the problems within the community and the exploration of the mind set of that community. Simultaneously this is also necessary that the strategies and approaches should be perfect. In this endeavor the Master Degree in the proposed subject will enhance my capacity must for giving optimum output in the field.

    Which University can give me admission & which will better for me.

    (Arshad Umar)


    [email protected]

  411. dick hemenway says:

    High Flight

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.
    Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
    I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
    And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

    Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
    No 412 squadron, RCAF
    Killed 11 December 1941

  412. Vincent Seneco says:

    My Grandmother Grace Morris, Daughter of Robert and Mary Woods Morris lived there as a child and I visited the homestead when it was open in the 70’s
    It’s a shame it cannot be maintained.

  413. Steve says:

    Gee, you’d think that 10th grader would have learned how to spell the title character’s name.

  414. Laura Pardee says:

    Hello my name is Laura Pardee and im a relative of George Pardee. My parents have picures of the house when you could visit the inside. I was just up there this weekend and it looked like it was in bad shape but not too bad. George made his money in the shipping business he was one of the first in the area. He help build the town of New Haven if u go to Yale University Library there is a section on the Pardee-Morris House. There is also a park by the water that is deticated to George.

  415. Kerri says:

    My guess was going to be a polar bear-weasel hybrid.

  416. Rob Butterworth says:

    Gosh, I’m blushing! Thank you for a great hike and wonderful write up. It’s always great to get out with someone who really enjoys the trails. Hopefully you’ll get more invites to hike with the other trail managers.

    I’ll leave you with the words of Edgar Heermance the father of the Blue Blazed Hiking Trails-”A good trailsman always leave the trail a little better than he found it”

  417. Steve says:

    Betsy –

    It’s Comstock, Ferre & Co. and happens to be the oldest continuously operating seed company in the US. So you know I visited!

  418. Ryan says:

    This is really cool. I too am trying to complete the 50 trails that make up the CT 400 Club. I only have 14 trails complete but several trails are nearing completion such as the Mattabesette Trail, AT, and Quinnipiac. All of the trails I’ve completed have been solo hikes. Unfortunately it’s taking me a long time to complete these trails. Once you walk 10 miles you must walk 10 miles back to your car. I wish I could hike 20 miles in one direction and complete the trail in one shot.

  419. josh says:

    you need to see the 40 something hudson on clarkhurst road in haddam neck

  420. Mark Carabetta says:

    I’ve had the honor of hiking various sections of the Cockaponset Trail with Rob, in spring, summer, fall and winter. I’ve never met anybody more dedicated to the trail. Once, we were hiking across an expanse of flat stone, where the blue trail blazes were painted right on the stone, and Rob pulled a whisk broom out of his back pocket and dusted off the trail, like a home plate umpire.

  421. Mike Conklin says:

    I have also had the great honor to hike a lot of trails with Rob. One thing that always impresses me is how he can kick sticks off of the trail and not skip a beat. Amongst our hiking friends Rob is our guide and sets the pace, it’s usually a good steady pace and we have named it “Butterworthy”

  422. Danger Dan says:

    I too have hiked with Mr. Butterworth. I am thankful for the knowledge I have attained about the respective trail or Connecticut history in general. Not only is he mindful of the trail’s condition, but of his guests and their hiking abilities. Rob is passionate about the CT trail system, but he’s not pushy when he tells you about CT’s forests and trails.

  423. PATTY says:

    I followed your link over from another blog I read and this is indeed a cool cemetery. I am one of those strange people who absolutely love cemeteries, thanks for sharing this one!

  424. Jamie says:

    You have a great blog and provide a real service for those of us who don’t actually live there but want to visit. I should probably just say, “Linda Sent Me”, and I’ll be back.

  425. Linda says:

    I came over to your blog the other evening via a search from people on my blog and I have to say that I am totally impressd and will be back time and time again so that I can find more neat little places in Conencticut to visit. Matter of fact, I was so impressed I did a post about your blog on my blog today – hope you don’t mind!

    Great stuff here – I honestly think the State of Connecticut should be paying you!

  426. katherine. says:

    I came by via Linda….I will use your weblog if I ever come visit Connecticut…

    when you’re finished there…come do California!

  427. chrissy says:

    we beleive our son tyler has sms his genetics doctor strongly agrees but his fish was neg so he is beleived to have the other deletion but theres only one lab that test for it i belive its called rai1 deletion i think any web sites or parents stories are great for two reason one i actually found this disorder on the web and brought it to the genetics doctor after many miss diognosis and finding out he has white matter missing in his brain along with many other problems number two is everytime i tell somone about this they have never hurd of it and i thought untill recently that there was knowone else with tylers complicated problems so thanks to all who are getting the word out

  428. Ival Kovner says:

    Would like to know if the museum still exists and if I may be allowed to visit it. thank you, Ival

  429. Bob Andrews says:

    The tireless Mr Butterworth is also the chairman of Connecticut Forest & Park Association’s Trails Committee and a key figure in all kinds of events put on for trail maintainers, hikers and the public. He has created a lot of the documentation CFPA trail maintainers use for trail and bridge building, blazing, etc.. And is a “hale fellow, well met.”

  430. Patti V. says:

    Hi, I also am here via Linda (author of Are We There Yet?)

    You have a great blog.

    My husband and I will be checking out some of these places in our state. He’s from the Hartford area and I’m from the New Haven area so we both know something about different parts of Connecticut.

  431. Katharine O'Brien says:

    I would appreciate the directions to the site of ‘hospital rock.’ I asked someone at the Farmington Historical Society for directions or a map and she doesn’t like to give them out because of vandalism. We’re residants of Farmington and really need clear directions, as I can get lost in my backyard!
    Thank you! Katharine O’Brien

  432. Ed says:

    I recommend the hebcake.

  433. honeybunny says:

    Excellent thumbs-up cake.
    Congratulations on the first century.


  434. EdHill says:

    Dang, I didn’t know there would be cake.

  435. Little Sis says:

    Congrats. We feel honored to have been part of your historic event. We look forward to doing more questing with you in future.

  436. Jenny O says:

    Kudos, my friend, kudos!

  437. Tom says:

    Congratulations on reaching your first 100!

    The cake bar is now set really high. I can’t wait to see how you will top this work-of-art for 250 and 500. Architecturally correct renditions of your favorite museum(s) with layers of different flavors? Mmmm… cake.

  438. A Bristling Son says:

    Ha… who knew the first comment on the post featuring cake would be from honeybunny?

    Congrats on the milestone…. Looking forward to reading about the next 80%… or making a surprise appearance on one of the quests.

  439. A Bristling Son says:

    I’ve seen that TOOL as well! And, yes, it is a confusing plate on an Audi. Is he a fan of the band Tool? Is he a manufacturer or building equipment? Is he just a large phallus?

    I need answers.

    (not really… but I had the same reaction you did when I saw that car the first time)

  440. KO says:

    uhuhuhu….you said “Wad”

  441. Boop says:


    The cake looked delicious, too :P

  442. Jack Marshall says:

    Steve, I’m glad you enjoyed this trail section. I have hiked this trail since it opened in the early 70’s and it has always been one of my favorites. In 2007, I was fortunate to have been named the trail maintainer for this section by CFPA. Years ago, there were views from both the Chinese Wall and Bear Hill but, in the intervening years, the trees have grown to obscure them. Good news for the forest at the viewer’s expense, I guess. If you hike the trail when there are no leaves on the trees, you will discover many great views, including the Connecticut River and the Hartford skyline. As to the markers on Bear Hill, I believe the second was placed in the mid 80’s. At that time the feds did a geodetic(?) survey. They erected a tower at the summit about 15-20 feet high. You could climb up it and get a great 360 degree view. I believe that’s when the second marker was placed. I have read all your reports on the Mattabesett Trail and found them most enjoyable. Keep the reports coming.

  443. martinet says:

    My husband’s mother, Pam Martineau of New Haven (born Pauline Morris), was a descendant of the Morrises who built this house. We’ve been there to see the house and its grounds but were not able to see the interior. We (in Willimantic) and our extended family in Pennsylvania (particularly Pauline’s niece) would be interested in efforts to preserve the house, although unfortunately none of us has much money and that’s apparently what this is going to take.

  444. Maggie says:

    holy expletive, i live off this street.
    That walter guy is my grandpa :)

  445. Rob says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for another great trail write up and for getting the word out about these wonderful little spots of the outdoors that are at everyone’s backdoors.

  446. Kim says:

    Maybe Mrs. Guerrini can answer this. Right before the pond/mini airport,where the “low flying aircraft” sign is–why is there what appears to be an old parking lot? Was the pond some sort of recreation area? I go to Sunny Brook frequently and have often wondered about the history of the area. I see where the old driveways used to be–it’s all very interesting.

    I’m glad I have an answer to the bathtub!!

  447. Steve says:

    I’m not sure about the road, but in an email Ms. Guerrini wrote (excerpted):

    Fadoir is..either Fay door or Fae door…
    The pond behind the model airplane flying sign on the not the beaver pond…it is a man made
    pond after the dam was built for swimming around 1965. It was a pasture before the pond.

  448. Linda says:

    Nice little story about the Pinchot Sycamore! I was just there the other day and snapped a quick picture. My nephew and I, in conjunction with my business/website are compiling a collection if you will of ancient trees in the state. We are starting in our hometown of Salem, CT but at the same time documenting others we find along the way. We were just at the New York Botanical Garden and took a few shots there at great old trees. There is an organization in Canada called Heritage Trees specifically focused on identification and preservation of old trees, and they have interesting information about the role of them ecologically.

  449. ron says:

    “His high pain tolerance is a bit concerning.”
    “He still points with his middle finger.”

    get him on skates. the flyers will need him soon enough.

  450. ron says:

    they come out much better with flour
    my favorite name on the rock has got to be C.B. BRONSON
    also someone carved the encircled word liberty

  451. ron says:


  452. ron says:


  453. Steve says:

    Sami – I’m sorry I couldn’t help. You’re in “year 11?” Gosh, I should have better addressed your plight then.

    Ron – re: the Ham Shoot, I know. I was kidding.
    re: Deer hunting… I wrote, “Hunting defenseless deer sounds boring” not “evil” or “cruel” or “unnecessary.” I’m all for culling the deer herd! I just don’t find it a fun thing to do. Heck, I’d want to bring back packs of wolves and bobcats to take care of the deer overpopulation. Of course, that begs the question of how much is “overpopulation” and how much is Humans continuing to build out into their habitat?


  454. ron says:


  455. Verna Tinh Sell says:

    Thanks for the update. It was a great piece to read. I’m excited to hear about the possible writing career. Keep it up!

    Love, Verna

  456. esteff says:


    thanks for the update. i love hearing about the adventures of damian and i am glad you guys are happier…



  457. May=Spring=Events Galore « Vernon Neighbor to Neighbor says:

    [...] a parent’s blog about museums in Connecticut – a great guide for when you’re wondering if the Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum is really worth the drive with the kids. Faith Middleton recently did a staycation guide to a lot [...]

  458. ron says:

    just a note there is a population of monks at willow brook




  460. Hiking Trails in Connecticut State Parks - (CT) - Page 2 - City-Data Forum says:

    [...] good resource for hikes (and museums) in the area… Hikes at Connecticut Museum Quest [+] Rate this post [...]

  461. Ryan says:

    I haven’t heard from you in a while so I doubt my gmail account isn’t sending mail out try my new comcast e-mail address.

    I may be able to help you on a few of your hikes without actually hiking with you. I work M-F at Connecticut College and get out at 2:30. I could pick you up at trail heads and bring you back to your car on some of these trails. Mainly the trails located in Southeastern CT.

    Let me know…


  462. Ashley says:

    im doing a report on nathan hale!ive learned so so much about him! and in school theres hardly anything about nathan hale! god, thankyou for internet!!lolz!

  463. Charlie says:

    Dear Angie–

    Go to the Rathbun Library, Main St., East Haddam. Upstairs in the research room they should have some info for you. The house is not a mill one. That pond was for raising leeches when a doctor owned the house.

  464. Steve says:

    Raising leeches? Awesome.

  465. Rob says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for another great write up! Regarding the Old Forest Trail-it was orignally a forest road and was abandoned for whatever reason. (Washed out and eroded perhaps?).

    Also, you are quite correct, those bridges don’t build themselves, but I didn’t build that one. I’m not sure who did.

    And yes, I am bursting with…..pride over the composting toilets!


  466. Rob says:

    Hi Steve,

    Two other things I noticed on a second read.

    I’d like to note to hikers that the blue/red trails are changing their blazes this year. They’ll still be blue/red, but it will be the familiar blue rectangle with a square of red at the bottom instead of the dot. The Wildwood and Old Forest Trails have already been reblazed and if the weatehr permits the North and South Pattaconk will be done in the next month or so.

    The second is minor. The dam is a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. It was also part of Rosoevelt’s New Deal, along with the CCC and NRA. No, not that NRA, the National Recovery Administration.

    Thanks again,

  467. Mark C says:

    Another good article, Steve.

    You are just scratching the surface of the man that is Rob. In addition to his work on the Cockaponset Trail, he has also provided trail care advice on an international level.



  468. Eric says:


    Thanks again for all of the fun write-ups and your great pictures along the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail system. The system is a Connecticut natural treasure, and Rob Butterworth is definitely a “Trail Stud” and amazing volunteer.


    Eric at CFPA

  469. Rob says:

    What, Canada? I thought that was a part of Michigan or something…..

  470. Laurie Giannotti says:

    OK, now can Rob work on installing our bath tub?!!

  471. Carolyn says:

    I also think Rob has a great butt, having hiked and biked behind him many times(no one ever gets in front of Rob on the trail or on the road). Great articles on Cockaponset!

  472. winky bergdoll says:

    I am a friend of your parent’s. It is great to see and hear the improvments in your adorable son.
    Our prayers continue for all three of you!

  473. KO says:

    Love the “Al Bundy” pose with the hand down the pants and rockin the Vans. Life is good!

  474. chris says:

    I had the same feeling when I first hiked this trail, many years ago. I have only been there one time, but it was unforgettable for contrast in solitude and aesthetics. The sights approaching while driving as compared to the sights while on foot really made it feel like two distinct places. Once I got to the top I was also surprised to see the lack of highways and buildings. I even walked barefoot in the stream a short distance and took a nice break on a hot summer afternoon.

  475. Sandy Betner says:

    The Art Pass was just launched, which allows admission to all 15 museums on the Connecticut Art Trail for only $25 … a $75 value! It’s a museum lover’s stimulus package! Children twelve and under are free when accompanied by an adult. The Art Pass is only available for purchase at For more informaton or to purchase, visit the website.

  476. Joe Gemma says:

    My mother-in-law, Gloria Ricci, used to go there in the 1940’s 1950’s with her parents and was thrilled to know it is still there. She drove by there this week and could no longer see it from the road and feared it was gone or destroyed.

    Joe Gemma

  477. Robin Dean says:

    Hello, I have very fond memories as a child. We were a family of 7 residing in Chaplin Ct. My parents would take us for weekend getaways to Mashomaquet State Park for great cookouts. On the way, my Dad always made sure we got to stop and see frog rock. It was a big deal to me. I love that rock and roadside park. My parents are both gone, but just seeing that rock makes me happy. It needs to be repainted, I would love to paint the rock. Please email me Nancy if you would like to see this happen. Thanks Robin P.S. Who can I contact?

  478. dick hemenway says:


    The Horse and Lion painting is by George Stubbs, “Horse Attacked by Lion,” dated 1770. George Stubbs was a British painter who was known for his pictures of animals, especially horses.

  479. ctderek says:

    how about the men in ely pond below clearing all the weeds everyday for these big mansions

  480. Jo Ann Jaacks says:

    Aren’t you wonderful for doing this website? I was born/raised in Somers, and have fond memories of the library. Now I just have to find a “random open time” to visit its new incarnation.

    And that’s just the beginning. With 3 grandchildren under 7 and my sister with 3 grandchildren under 6, we’re always searching for the most interesting/educational places to take them all. Your website is a HUGE help!

    Do come to the Northwest Corner soon, though. I live in Litchfield and await with bated breath your coverage of all our fine musuem offerings here.

    Best wishes to you!

  481. Uncle Jack says:


    Great job. Hey, we have 3 museums in Kansas…all devoted to wheat!

    Uncle Jack

  482. Jen says:

    OK, this is universal: “Do you want milk or juice?” resulting in nonsensical tantrum.” I will end up pouring milk and apple juice and then Elliot cries for orange juice.

    I’m happy to hear things are going well. Not sure how comfortable you are with play-dates, but there are a few good playgrounds in the neighborhood, if you don’t mind Elliot having a temper tantrum when we won’t let him go down the fireman’s pole by himself from 6 feet up.

  483. Tina R. says:

    I’m glad to read Damian is happier and hope you and Hoang are having fewer days full of worry for him. It stinks going through life’s rough patches, and afterwards you wonder how the hell you ever survived. But as you know, you do and it makes the good times in life even more enjoyable.

    Sending lots of strength & well wishes to you and your family & lots of hugs for Damian!

  484. Theron Knapp says:

    I am surprised we have porcupines in CT

  485. Nancy Howland says:

    I have two barbie houses that are made from the same company but are different. I have twin girls who are 21 now. I want to sell them. They are yellow and reddish-orange. I bought them in the 1980’s at a yard sale. Do you have any idea how much I could see them at a yard sale for?


  486. Jude says:

    Wow, first of all I can’t believe you revealed the location of where you found the fiddleheads. That’s supposed to be a closely guarded secret. And yes, harvest only from the ostrich fern; others will make you sick. The double boil is important or, if steaming, do so for a long time (17 minutes). The trick is to cook them long enough to remove the toxins without leaving them mushy. I’ve never had them with butter. Usually I go with a simple vinaigrette so as not to overpower them (maple balsamic is nice–and seasonal).

    Keep an eye out for ramps when you’re foraging next spring; they’re usually up a little earlier than fiddleheads. Fiddleheads, sauteed ramps, roasted asparagus, new potatoes, and deviled eggs–there’s no finer spring feast than that.

  487. Tom says:

    Just couldn’t post a comment on the fiddlehead article. Frankly, it frightened me. Ice cream is much more to my liking. Anyway, and to the point, your new twitter account works great with my reader. No more having to “guess” when you post something new!

  488. Jill says:

    I used to live 4 houses down from the Trumbull H.S. I’ll just have to go down & check to see if the sign is still there & then I’ll give you an update on the sign with E.T. on it.

  489. Edith B.Holloman (McArthur) says:

    I, Edith B. Holloman,formerly Edith B. McArthur purchased a burial plot at Indian Hill off Wahington Street in Middletowm. My birth certicate stated that I was born Jan. 9, 1942, but my real date is Jan. 9, 1939. Please note that my death certicate will state the I was born Jan. 9, 1942. My grave stone reads Jan.9,1939,
    I want it to remain as that.
    Thank You,
    Edith B. Holloman

  490. Lizzeee says:

    Reading your blog I’ve been reminded of when my daughter was young and we lived in Berkshire County, Mass. One of her favorites things to do (for hours on end) that year from 3-4 was to watch the Glass Blowers at:
    Berkshire Center for Contemporary Glass
    6 Harris Street
    West Stockbridge, MA

    On the downside it’s hot (lots of ovens), on the upside it’s a dry heat and free. Try to avoid going there within 2 hours on either side of a Tanglewood concert (traffic is hideous).

    Your boy is beautiful.

  491. A Bristling Son says:

    Damian likes Vans! & Turtles! & is too adorable for words. Glad things are going better for you guys.

  492. Aunt Pat says:

    I am fully convinced there is a recessive “museum” gene in the family. Yesterday I assumed the office of President of the Docent Guild of the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University in Atlanta GA. I write a column (titled the “Stone Column”, which is full of puns of course)for our docent newsletter, am attempting to set up a web-site for the guild, been know to play with maps and my GPS, love to “drop in” on locations on Google Earth and be nosey, hunt down on foot locations of obscure features not on the map, actually try to make everything I say in my tours and articles factual, took it upon myself to read a book a week in ’08 (and thereby putting a wayward neck vertebra totally out of whack which explains why I am not doing the same in ‘09), and generally annoy people with information. This can’t be coincidental considering I had zero influence on you as a child. If you ever need a consultant on Photography, or Ancient Art, especially Ancient Americas, here I am. Your Aunt Pat

  493. A Bristling Son says:

    Ah, don’t give up on them. I have a really cool memory of my father and I eating these at a restaurant in Vermont… but the timeline in my head is either messed up or they fed us frozen fiddleheads. But, I don’t believe anyone in Vermont would have done something ridiculous like that.

    Great… now, I have to call my father. Crap.

  494. Boop says:

    I’m so glad Damian is doing well. He is absolutely adorable!

  495. Ruthann Hubbert says:

    May 23, 2009
    Saw this site and enjoyed reading the story about the Thrall Tobacco Farms outside of Windsor, CT.
    I was among a bus load of girls from central PA who lived in the summer of 1959 in a Victorian house and worked for this same company sewing large tobacco leaves on a string. These were then tied to a lathe, that was then hung to dry. We did not work in the fields but went from barn to barn, where as sheds were filled, the P. Rican fellows would relocate the machines in the evenings to another shed and the next morning we would resume the sewing. One day when the leaves were wet from rain I could not get the stem in the clasp before the large needle severed a portion of my finger. Still have the scar.
    Our headmistress at the camp house was one of my schoolteachers from Middleburg High School.
    It was an enjoyable summer making friends and earning some money.
    I would like to make contact with others who lived in this camp. Please feel free to make contact.

  496. ef rider says:

    atvs are fun but not for everyone obviously. the ones that complain about them being ridden are mostly people that havent ever rode one. an atv does leave ruts on ocasion but other then the exhaust the atv leave little damage. there are people that litter trails atv or not. i totaly agree withe the general populous there needs to be spots allocated to the us of atvs in ct but the state doesnt want to concern itself with makin extra money with atv registration fee, some sort of fee to use the trails and the property taxs that are able to be made on the the atvs. the sport of atv riding is growing and connecticut could use extra tax dollars but is ignorant to the values income the sport can offer. this is mostly do to the people that hike and dont care about their neighbors/ the other half of ct that also enjoys the great outdoors but chooses to view it on an atv. i think if more people that were against atv use gave it a shot and welcomed them ct could be a better place

  497. Aunt Pat says:

    As my favorite state is New Mexico I wondered what NMMQ might be like. Wikipedia lists over 150 museums. I can think of some missing from their list. I have been to over 25 of them. All I would have to do is write up reviews and I’b be almost “20% Done” too. Unhuh. Okay, Okay, but the extra milage should count for something. – Aunt Pat

  498. Mindy says:

    I grew up in P-ville right around the corner from this awesome place. Being the huge nerd that I am, many hours were spent in here and the cool museum in the library. (Did you know about that one?) I love Plainville even if it is a little drunk and whitetrash…lol.

    Talk to so soon,

  499. Aunt Pat says:

    I always wondered what you kids thought of those strange mug-heads. Always wondered how my sister could raise three kids with those things always in reach, and never a breakage. What do you want to bet, among the grandkids will it be Rachel to make the first score! Aunt Pat

  500. kerea says:

    this movie waz the best thing i ever saw it made history seem more interestin then i thought it could have been or wat they said it waz like

  501. Lizzeee says:

    I grew up in Enfield and I remember this place. Back in the 70’s it housed the collection of Native tools and artifacts of some really old guy who admired the ways of the Native Americans.

  502. leonsamot says:

    That “elusive” Coventry museum will draw a good crowd this Saturday, May 30, 2009. when it puts on its annual show and sale. The field next to its barn will be filled with dealers (there is a waiting list of dealers wanting to set up at this show). Early bird patrons can enter for $15 starting at 8 a.m. Regular patrons can begin searching the tables for rare pieces (yes, even Pitkins) beginning at 9 a.m. The show promptly ends at 1 p.m. and will be held rain or shine.

  503. Mindy says:

    Oh how I love to see my name in print! Hope you guys had fun at our cool “museum”.

  504. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    You’ll alert your faithful fans when Freelance Dan publishes his CTMQ article, right? — I’m looking forward to the result.

  505. Deb says:

    I love your blog. I have worked as a museum curator of 12 years and am a native of Connecticut (although haven’t lived there for about 15 years). Your postings are so entertaining and really spot on. This one was made me laugh out loud.

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to your visiting the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk. My first internship was there.

    P.S. Your son is adorable. My son would also wear one sock on his hand when he was about two. It progressed to a sock on each hand and a winter cap, no matter the weather. He finally gave that up in time for kindergarten. Thank goodness!

  506. grizzly mattams says:

    here is a walk through video of judges cave that i did on a hike this past spring:


  507. LOUISE says:

    The actual name is The New Haven Museum. The old name, New Haven Colony Historical Society, was changed because it was felt that it did not reflect the New Haven of today. We are no longer the “Yankee City” although descendants of the original settlers are still around. New Haven today is a multi-ethnic city, with families of Irish and Italian origin, most of whom arrived in the early 20th century. Black people have always lived here, until 50 years ago largely in one area, the Dixwell Ave. neighborhood. The neighborhood where I grew up, The Hill, was Irish and Italian. Today it is largely hispanic. We recently saw the opening of a consulate of Ecuador in downtown New Haven.
    The New Haven Museum seeks to preserve the legacies of all these groups.

  508. grizzly mattams says:

    what a shame that tool is creating such a mess with the north terminus of the mt higby section. Seems so trashy and gross with all the rusted signage and keep out’s. Lets hope his misserably failed business venture forces him to sell to a much more enviro/hiker friendly owner. nice job with walk through.

  509. Tina Louise Harl says:

    I wonder if the New Haven television based show “Flip this House” would be interested in helping to preserve this historical CT building? Preservation and beautification of older New Haven buildings is stressed on the show. To renovate this former 1600s home of the Morris Puritan family would be saving a house, but even more importantly, saving a part of early American history. Plus, it would make a great show and could be a tax donation for “Flip this House.” What do you think, Louise Fitzsimons? (I descend from the original Thomas Morris line to John Morris to Capt. John Morris to Daniel Morris to Nathaniel Morris to Mary Morris–Morristown,NJ.)

  510. honeybunny says:

    I love mamsy.


  511. A Bristling Son says:

    If you are a fan of PostSecret, a return to this museum may be in order as they will have an exhibit here in a couple of months.

    PostSecret Art Exhibit
    Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT
    August 2009 – September 2009

  512. Kerri says:

    I grew up the next town over and had no idea there was a Vernon Historical Museum.

    This is my understanding– Rockville is the “downtown” area with rundown-once-pretty Victorian houses; Vernon is the area containing car dealerships, strip malls, and gross sprawl.

    I also swear by Rein’s Deli. Some people eat at Vernon Diner (VD) by choice during normal hours (i.e. not 4am when nothing else is open). They are insane.

  513. Steve says:

    Good point, Kerri. I was seeing how fast I could write a post and forgot to mention the present delineation between Vernon and Rockville.

    You nailed it. (There is a very nice area over at Valley Falls State Park though.)

  514. Dennis (Cumulus) says:

    I moved to Vernon in 2003. I don’t live in Rockville. I’m not sure where the exact borders of Rockville are, but when I do go to Rockville it’s more or less clear when you’re not there yet and when you are. OTOH, I’m still pretty vague on where Talcottville is.

  515. Kerri says:

    I am 99% sure that Talcotville is the area around the Cuno factory (near Golf Land), but I don’t know where the borders are.

  516. Steve says:

    I’m just waiting for the Dobsonville (another village in Vernon) crew to stake their claim here.

    Oh, and Bill Romanowski is from Vernon, so I better shut up about it already.

  517. Rob says:

    But he went to Rockville High….

    Yvonne and I went to Greenwood Cemetary in Brooklyn, really very pretty, a lot of nice big trees, ponds, views of Manhattan (also has escaped monk parakeets) and saw Louis Comfort Tiffany’s grave, rather plain grave considering who he was/what he did and some of the crazy ornate graves they have there.

  518. Rob says:

    “Um, does Renee Zellweger still warrant paparazzi?”

    Oh snap, she is goinjg to squint at you extra squinty…

  519. Rob says:

    Eaten there, never had that.

  520. GM vs. Penske: The Value of Saturn « AQPQ by Enterprise Man says:

    [...] > Geographical Corporate Conflicts. Culture clashes between large bureaucratic parents and small subsidiaries are not only political in nature; they are often based on geographical differences as well. Saturn’s Tennessee based management team, for instance, was both physically and philosophically distant from GM’s Detroit based executive offices. Similarly, US Healthcare’s managers were based in a modern, spartan office park in suburban Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, far from Aetna’s Hartford, Connecticut headquarters, housed in the world’s largest colonial revival-style building. [...]

  521. Tim says:

    I love this website and have learned a lot from it. I’m curious as to if anyone has ever been on mine island? When I drove past it, it looked mysterious and desolate. If I wasn’t in florida I would swim there myself, but it looks like only the hardcore would go there

  522. stew says:

    looking for waterfalls to possibly paint in Simsbury at the end of Sept 2009 while I am there for a wedding. Came across your notes & photos of your adventure. Hope to follow your path. If you have any resources or other adventures in this area please forward to my email. Being out of state I find it hard to locate places to go in advance.

  523. Robert P Forbes says:

    Hi, Stephen,

    I love this site. Amazing and entertaining resource.

    I would love for you to take a look at the for Locally Grown History website, a collaboration among more than 90 museums, historical societies, agricultural sites, and other organizations to bring attention to Northwest Connecticut’s neglected historical treasures. Most exciting to you, perhaps, will be the map (designed by Bill Keegan) which plots these places out. If you enjoy the site, please consider going over to the Locally Grown History Facebook page, where we post news, pictures and links (I am putting up a link to your wonderful page).

    All best,


  524. SageAlum says:

    Sessions Woods was purchased in 1981 from the United Methodist Church by the Department of Environmental Protection.
    From the Bristol Public Schools website:
    John Humphrey Sessions (1828 -1899 ) was born on March 17, 1828, in Burlington, Connecticut; he moved to Bristol in 1869. A year later, he bought the trunk hardware business that had belonged to his deceased brother, Albert J. Sessions, and also bought out his partner’s interest in the woodturning business. Sessions ran both businesses at the same time – with great success! In his trunk hardware business he produced trunk locks, hinges, and corner clamps; he also produced articles like door stops and furniture knobs, employing over 60 men which made his factory the largest in that business.

    Ten years later, Sessions bought the Bristol Foundry Co. on Laurel Street, taking his son, William E., into partnership. Making gray iron castings, in 1895 Sessions Foundry built a more modern plant on 30 acres of land on Farmington Avenue and employed over 400 workers. He was also one of the founders of the Bristol National Bank, becoming its first president. In 1884 in partnership with Charles S. Treadway, he formed the Bristol Water Co.; that same year he was elected as a state representative. Sessions and Treadway then started the Bristol Electric Light Company, which provided generating plants to run trolleys, another business that they eventually bought (The Bristol and Plainville Tramway Company). However, besides the utility service and public transportation that he brought to Bristol, Sessions was more than just a businessman. In 1880 he managed to persuade the parishioners of the Methodist Church to give up their land on West Street (across the street from Bingham School today) and to buy land on Summer Street. On this site they built the Prospect Methodist Church (across the street from the Messier building today). It is reported that the church was built largely at the personal expense of Sessions, while his sons donated the pipe organ, the carpets, and the upholstery.

    I don’t know if Sessions bought the land and donated it to the church, but that would be my guess. I’ll ask around and see what I can find out.

  525. Paul Bahre says:

    I live in Granby, but the sales tax in MA is cheaper, but Cigarettes are more expensive in MA 8.00 a pack vs 6.00 a pack in CT, sales tax in MA is 5% and CT it’s 6%. Gas is .20 cents a gallon cheaper in Southwick. I love living in a boarder town. I drink in Southwick and if I get drunk I head on in to MA if the Granby cops are across the street and if the Southwick Cops are at hand I do the oposite.

    Why don’t you F’n bitch about long Island, that should be a part of CT not New York. F’n New York stole it from us. Why don’t you bitch about Cox cable only showing NESN on the cable and not YES network. Simsbury has Comcast Communications and they provide for free both YES and NESEN. Barkhamstead just to the west of us has Charter Communications and they have both NESEN and YES networks for free. But here in F’n Granby all we get is NESEN and even if we buy the “Extra Innings” from MLB all the Yankee games are blocked out because MLB F’n Sucks beyon belief.

  526. Steve says:

    I like Mr. Bahre’s Dukes of Hazard style escapism. And believe me, those of us who live *just* too far from MA to make it worth our while to get cheaper gas are certainly jealous of you lot.

    As for your cable conundrum, that’s a whole other issue for another blog. Me? I think Comcast is one of the worst corporations in the known universe and I will never, ever sign up with them for anything. In fact, the whole cable industry is horrible.

    That’s why I’m a DirecTV shill. I get YES and NESN and MSG and MLBNetwork and YES+ and NESN+ I think too. Not to mention SNY and CASN to boot.

    And I probably pay less than you do.

  527. Steve says:

    Thanks, Sage… Good stuff!

    Interestingly (perhaps to just you and me), someone named Sessions, presumably the same family, had something to do with clockmakers in Bristol too. There is a large portrait of him at the Bristol Clock and Watch Museum (a great museum, btw, that I haven’t written up as of yet).

    I had planned to sort that out when I got around to writing about the clock museum.

  528. SageAlum says:

    Here you go Steve – direct from my Mom:

    Sessions woods was donated to the UMC by the Sessions Family (former owners of the Sessions Clock company) who were members of Pospect UMC and it was to be used as a camp. The conference sold it to The State of CT because they needed the money. They did have a better offer from a developer but decided to sell it to CT so that it would be kept as open space for people of the state to use.

  529. A Bristling Son says:

    Kind of looks like a Rhode Island treat called the NY System Weiner, also lovingly referred to as “gaggers.”

  530. Jordan says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Wait…

  531. Mindy says:

    Totally walking down the street and having some for lunch.
    Thanks Steve…

  532. SageAlum says:

    Next time you’re down in the Milford area, try H Mangels Confectioners for a comparision. They are excellent! Its a nice stop as you walk around the area by the town green, and there are plenty of things to see, including Simon Lakes Explorer submarine…

  533. A Bristling Son says:

    They really got lucky that water level was right in line with the mortar – much less arduous drilling. That was very convenient!

  534. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    Wow, that little thing is simply ridiculous. I was going to ask how you found it but then I got to the “secret” part. I’d never doubt the amazing powers of CTMQ so I know it’s not a joke… but it sure looks like one.

  535. Ed says:

    I was actually at the dedication ceremony of this heroes monument back in the ninties. I then proceeded to get sh*tfaced at the Maple afterwards.

  536. Boop says:

    You think that’s ugly, you should’ve seen the BRIGHT ORANGE monstrosity they built in Tucson, Arizona.

    It turns out that they didn’t get the homeowner’s association’s approval of the color so they had to repaint it a more neutral color. It’s still a monstrosity…

  537. Steve says:

    Seems like a rather crass way to celebrate “heroes.” Then again, you’re Irish.

  538. SageAlum says:

    A Bristling Son-
    I wouldn’t have thought of that myself, but your comment gave me a great laugh! thanks!

  539. A Bristling Son says:

    Not at all what your post is about, but I got excited when I read about your zucchini pancakes and immediately identified as Zucchini Latkes! They are yummy. I have had them at Crazy Burger, in Narragansett, RI

  540. Rob says:

    The IRA are a bunch of white trash terrorists who are in bed with every terrorist group around. This is a stupid memorial. One of the things I always hated about the Irish Festival was the idiots wearing IRA Freedom Fighters t-shirts, most of whom have never stepped foot in Ireland

  541. Steve says:

    I just looked up the recipe for “zucchini latkes” and yeah, that’s pretty much what I made. Throw in some parm and some parsley though. But it’s the cuke sauce that makes it sing.

  542. A Bristling Son says:

    “Clock Jacks (Paragraphs are our friends)”
    –Absolutely C L A S S I C

  543. Dave says:

    The experts on the Wethersfield Prison are Frank and John Winiarski who live on Hartford Ave in Wethersfield.

    By the way the 2 jail cells were donated to the Town of Coventry back in the sixties and were returned to the Weth Historical Society last year.

    The brick buildings behind the DMV were part of the prison. I believe they canned food there. Prisoners who had some money were buried in the nearby Wethersfield Cemetery.

  544. Steve says:

    Great info, thanks Dave. You’ll note that the jail cells in question can be seen here, during my visit I locked EdHill up.

    Though I think there was only one. So maybe Tolland kept the other one?

  545. King Lear says:

    Did they tell you about the attic? Find out when THAT’s on the tour and go back. It’s THE quintessential New England attic that shows how we might get back to a world of perfect and total recycling and oil independence. These people never threw anything away and there are lot of really odd and unusual things to see there

  546. Cheryl says:

    Omg. Love ur blog! I just brought my 2 girls there for a hike. What a beautiful stream!!! Great pics by the way!

  547. Rob says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks once again for a great article. As usuaual I have a couple minor corrections (Aw, c’mon. You’d miss them if I didn’t make them)

    Correction the first-The stairs that lead to the vernal pool are only for use when it’s wet. They allow the staff to draw water samples for examination by the students. Please don’t go walking about in a dry vernal pool.

    Correction the second-The blazes will be changing over a period of about 10 years or so. They’ll be changed as the blazes need repainting and as man power is available. Sorry if I confused you on that one.

    I’m so happy that Damian enjoyed himself.


    p.s. That “Try this hike” column guy is a good writer!

  548. Loucindy says:

    East Hampton is the fifth town I’ve lived in since I’ve been in CT and it’s by far the…oddest. And you are right, “there really isn’t a whole heck of a lot to do.”

    But, anyway, I actually like the fact that the bridge in closed to traffic. I’ve seen covered bridges before, but this one was the first that I could walk inside and check out. It was kind of fun.

  549. Robin says:


  550. Annie Mason says:

    I worked as a tour guide at the Pardee-Morris House back around 1987-88. My “real” job was as a cataloguer at the Yale Center for British Art. I loved this weekend job…because it was so quiet. Didn’t get many visitors…but I was delighted to tour the ones that came. The house had some fascinating history, and so many were shocked to see the “ballroom.”It is so sad to see its demise. Happening too much. Our children may see a need to pour the “big bucks” into satisfying the egos of sports figures, but will not know the stories, the anecdotes, the artifacts, and the way of life of those that lived that life, in a time that goes before us. Truly sad.

  551. Aunt Pat says:

    Jez, This looks way too much like schoolwork. In the past three years I have read close to 100 books (I started keeping a log 18 months ago and only counting that I’m at 65). But, I get to pick the books! And most of them are from this current century.

    Classics,smasstics, when I gave myself the goal of reading a book a week last year I ruined some good books for myself because I was forceing it to a schedule. Find the balance. Goals and dicipline are a great tool, but reading should also be a special, personal time. Ticking off a list, somebody elses list, especailly some cultural concensis, averaged, list. Ahem, boring.

  552. Steve says:

    Good points all… but you see, my life is driven by lists. This entire blog is driven by lists. Lists give me comfort and structure. As this is supposedly one of the more well-respected book lists, containing several books we all “should” read, I figured it was a good one to pursue.

    3 per year, I think, gives us plenty of leeway to read other stuff at our leisure – or, if we’re being particularly lazy, allows us to “only” read three books in an entire year!

    Our goal is purposely non-cumbersome; although, truth be told, there have been several “races” to December 31st.

    In the end, we’re reading good books and that can’t be a bad thing.

  553. Mark says:

    Steve – Another good article featuring Mr. Butterworth, hiking and the CFPA. I suspect that despite the CFPA’s 10-year plan for changing the blazes, Rob’s trails will be totally re-blazed by the end of June. It’s just the way he is.

  554. Rob says:

    Looks like Mark has been reading the workparty schedule….

  555. Rob says:

    The fries were rather icky really, as I think I said that day, Wendy’s has better fries.

  556. Rob says:

    Brahma is undrinkable. I don’t know what it is, I find it vile. And I pride myself on my swill drinking ability, hell, I LIKE Haffenreffer.

  557. Steve says:

    The fries are ranked as a National Best. And all those sites linked mention how fantastic those fries are. Like you, I don’t understand. I can’t really judge hot dogs with sauerkraut (I don’t really eat hot dogs and I don’t like sauerkraut) but I can judge fries. And yeah, they weren’t that great.

    Expect a post on them soon…

  558. Mindy says:

    I enjoy that nerdy is a term of affection. As you know, I often describe myself that way! And I think Conny might be a girl sperm whale (that sounds weird) if I remember correctly. Steve (my hubby) and I went here not long ago even though we are childless. I hope we didn’t look too creepy.

  559. Mindy says:

    So say I wanted to know about these “secret” trails…Could the info I gave you earlier be used as collateral?

  560. Aunt Pat says:

    Have you read anything by Craig Childs? He is one of my favorites. As an avid hiker you might enjoy his work. In somewhat the same maddnes that drives you to do MuseumQuest, this guy must traverse deserts, extreem watercourses and the inpassible canyonlands of the Southwest. Perhaps he has a list of what are the most challenging hikes of the region, many of which have never been done before. He puts his life on the line constantly (unlike you). He also writes elequently about his experiences. I would suggest “The Secret Knowledge of Water” as a starter.

  561. aletheia kallos says:

    hi stephen
    nice going
    even tho i couldnt tell if you actually found the exact tripoint

    but if you did or ever do surely reach it & photograph it
    & or any other boundary multipoints
    i & a few other trypointing nuts would be most interested in whatever you may have to show or tell about it or them

    so please kindly tip us off in that event at either of the above addresses

    indeed join us as our honored guest if you would

    a recent connecticutie become mainiac

  562. dick hemenway says:

    Hot dogs are made out of lips and what?

  563. joanne b dunham says:

    I hope to get to Connecticut again when your the Hurlbut-Dunham Home is open.

  564. Kerri says:

    I need to go see the door knocker in person.

  565. museumgirl says:

    Hi – We recently visited CT and almost drove off the road when we saw your famous sign! Also read your article in Museum News. We have visited some of the sites you have written about, and look forward to visiting others. However, having second thoughts about trying some of those drinks (!) Keep traveling – have fun!

  566. Lori Leverett says:

    I attended Camp Homestead, the Thrall’s tobacco farm for youth for nine years. 1978-1987. My mother, Earlene Andress, attended camp in 57,58,59 and my aunt, Judi Andress, attended from 1960-64. My siblings Jodi, Kim and Robert also attended for many years. You could say it was a family affair for us. We all loved it. After 2 years as a camper, I became a supervisor. I recruited in the public schools in Florida in the hopes of bringing 70 girls and 100 boys along to camp with me. Those years in camp helped to mold me into who I am I went into the education business becoming a teacher and currently an assistant principal. Working at the tobacco farm taught me a work ethic..that kids today are not learning. Those were special years in my life and I enjoy remembering those times. I also enjoyed getting to know the Thrall family. When I recruited kids in Fl…one of the selling points to parents was describing the camp as a “family camp”…where all members of the Thrall family were involved. Again, camp was a wonderful experience and memory that will last a lifetime.
    PS. Pat Batchelder in the previous email…I think my mother went to camp with you.
    Anyone out there…let me hear from you. [email protected] or 2027 Hoof Print Ln. Lakeland, Fl 33811

  567. Angry At You says:

    i think that it is awful that u want 2 kill the birds!
    this is their home 2 u selfish S.O.B!

  568. Steve says:

    Actually, Angry, this is NOT their home. That’s the problem. Back at their real home, the climate is warm enough to support their nests in trees rather than the artificial warmth of the transformers they routinely destroy.

    They are an invasive species, just like multiflora rose and snakeheads. Most invasive species destroy the habitat they thrive in as there are no ecological or evolutionary counter-species to keep their populations in check.

    Your IP pings to Bridgeport, so I can only assume you’ve seen these birds, so I’ll give you a point. Unfortunately, your juvenile use of “2″ and “U” as well as calling me names takes away 2 points, leaving you in the negative.

  569. dec says:

    u dont know a things that went on in ireland with the troubles over the years with fathers, brothers killed and mothers and daughters raped and beaten, think about your mother, father, sister, brother then u will have a diffrent look at this. Bobby Sands and the other 9 wanted a united Ireland whats wrong with having a united country one goverment, one law and not the queens head on the money

  570. Dave says:




  571. SageAlum says:

    Maybe Super Duper knew the Sterns were coming… You may need to start phoning in advance!

  572. Tina says:

    I am a old lady doll collector (well I am only in my forties-but today I am feeling pretty old!)
    I loved your story!
    You are very secure in you manhood to venture into a pink house full of dolls. I have driven by the place with my husband and when I asked him to go inside, he thought I was insane for even asking!
    It was very funny having the artice written by a non doll collector. I agree that it is a shame they don’t have any Stars Wars dolls (maybe I’ll sell her mine ;)
    One interesting thing about the black dolls is that they are so scarce in good condition that they are usually worth 3 times more.

  573. Tina says:

    When I was in nursing school we visited this museum. It is a great museum for those in the medical field especially if you like studying the history of mental illness. Some of the items were very interesting (and creepy).

  574. Rob says:

    Mark was right. The weather co-operated and we were able to finish changing the blazes on the last blue/red trail in the Cockaponset. Now, if the weather will just hold off so we can repaint the remaining 7 miles of blue blazes!

  575. Rob says:

    A quick update. The weather has cooperated with us and all of the blue/red trails have been reblazed with the new “underbar” style blaze. Enjoy!

  576. SageAlum says:

    Gee, now I’ve got to Google to see what a water scorpion looks like…

  577. avgjoe says:

    your ignorance is typical of Western CT morons Go back to Stamford

  578. avgjoe says:

    Actually the sand bar is the reamins of an island that was washed away in the hurricane of 1938

  579. Steve says:

    Wow, is there an “East vs. West” Connecticut gang war? I had no idea – showing my ignorance again I suppose.

    What colors are we supposed to wear? Please help me as I don’t want to get shot next time I’m over in the East side.

    PS. We live in West Hartford, genius.

    (I just read the blog post again and I think your silly anger comes from the phrase “poor people.” And I guess you are too dense to discern my use of “poor” was not in reference to their financial situation, but rather their situation of having people like me taking pictures in front of their house at all hours. Typical Eastern Connecticut person.)

  580. Michelle says:

    In regards to the hike at Giufridda park… does anyone have any idea how that old, rusted car that looked like it fell from the sky 60 years ago got there? Very curious. Thanks!

  581. Public Relations says:

    Having just learned about your web site and goal to visit all CT museums, we at the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut would be pleased to treat you, Hoang, and Damian to a day at our museum. All we ask in exchange is a follow-up conversation, either in person or on the telephone. Over the past 3 years our focus has been to create a friendly, engaging, creative museum that is safe and accessible for all. We value your experience, both as a father and truly experienced museum visitor! When you come, remember to plan for a day: we’ll provide you with a beach pass, free of charge, to the nearby Hole-in the-Wall Beach on Long Island Sound – but please call ahead so we can put it aside for you. There is also a lovely state park and plenty of other family-friendly activities in the area, but you probably already know that. To find out more, please visit our site: http://www.childrensmuseumsect, or call our executive director, Christy Hammond at (860) 691-1111. Hope to hear from you soon!

  582. Beth Critton says:

    I am thinking of doing this walk on September 12 for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s CT Chapter New Members Day.

    I would guess that I will have about 8 people. Where do you suggest that we park at either end?

    Thank you.


  583. dick hemenway says:

    I think we need some more details about your fry rating system. Other than thin, light and pleasantly seasoned, you do not reveal much about the CTMQ French Fry Rating Matrix. Which fry qualities are included and the point system for each: crispness – 5 points; potatoe flavor – 10 points; saltiness – 3 points; color – 2 points; portion size – 8 points; oil quality – 6 points? Objective basis for comparison?

  584. dick hemenway says:

    To the best of my knowledge, the title of “Best Chocolate Ice Cream Maker” has always gone to Dr. Mike’s in Bethel CT. A little hard to find (look for the sign with the hand holding the cone and pointing) but well worth the effort

  585. Steve says:

    Good points, Dick.

    But as you know, CTMQ rating is the most arbitrary system known to man… As for fries (unlike hotdogs and hamburgers), at least I know what I like. I like crispy outsides with soft insides. I like medium sized and good clean oil. I actually like McD’s fries to be honest, but I’m telling you, the fries at Five Guys are probably the best I’ve had.

  586. Steve says:

    Dr. Mike’s is “on the list.” I passed it the other day but I was alone, and that’s just not as fun. Someday…

  587. Michelle says:

    I am not jealous like the way you think it sounds from the different responses. I believe that is the case with most if not all the “haters” but This really is crazy. Come on
    Why spend this money when the economy is the way it is. It just looks really bad.

  588. Tom says:

    You remind me of the guy who used to come onto our front lawn to yank fungus off an old tree trunk we’d been too lazy to remove. We thought it was a bit odd but, hey, he gave us a bottle of wine after each harvest. If you run into any nosy neighbors try mollifying them with a little booze.

  589. Lisa Burke says:

    Ooh…I didn’t know you were an abstainer of meat. That makes me happy! : )

  590. Steph says:

    Thank you for your sense of humor in writing this. I appreciate it. It was very light.
    I was actually looking for info. regarding Kayaking and where to put in.
    I guess we will just have to go to the parking lot and find out.
    : 0 )

    ~ Steph

  591. chick110 says:

    Is it bad that in the previous post I read “designed by Bill Keegan” to be “designed by Phil Keoghan”? I must be suffering from TAR withdrawal.

    I’ve been reading a few museum reviews at a time. They are awesome and maybe someday we’ll get up there to see some of them. :)

  592. Jude says:

    Oh wow, this used to be one of my favorite dining establishments when I was a kid (though I hated the unbearably long 30-minute drive it took to get there). There was nothing better than a Shady Glen cheeseburger. I’ve long since given up burgers, but now that I know you can order just the fried cheese as an appetizer, somehow the thousand-mile commute from Michigan seems like a piece of cake.

    You totally dropped the ball by not including pictures of the waitresses. It sounds like they’re decked out in the same outfits they wore in the early ’70s (a red-and-white-checkered number, if I’m remembering correctly). I can only hope . . .

  593. Anita Page says:

    question: Who is Captain John Francis House and where did he live. Was his wife Susanna?

  594. Steve says:

    This blog gets at least one comment a day from someone who clearly does not read the post they are commenting on. I find this another clear sign of the Apocalypse.

  595. Brandon says:

    I found your little anecdote about drinking for the first time on the AT in Franklin absolutely hilarious. I hiked 1600 miles of the trail last summer (Springer to Bennington, VT). Our first beer stop was Franklin. I have no recollection of how we got our beer, but I remember sitting in Ron Haven’s hotel sharing a 6 pack of Bud Diesel and feeling quite hammered after just 3 beers.

    Anyway… I’m a new transplant to CT and live in West Hartford as well. I ran across your blog and have read quite a few of your hiking posts. I bought the CT Blue Trails book and have done a few of the hikes in there. I love your blog and think it is great to get someone acquainted with CT. Thanks for writing!

  596. Brandon says:

    The current Courant building (haha) also used to be a Smirnoff Vodka factory. I learned that while hiking the blue trail to the Hueblin Tower.

    My fiancee works at the Courant and she takes pride in the face that Vodka used to be distilled there. It’s her favorite drink. Maybe they still have a hidden stash there and drink it late at night. This could be the reason for some of the crazy stories/mistakes that are often printed now.

  597. Kerri says:

    I’m sure you weren’t trying to make vegetarians fall even more deeply in love with Connecticut Museum Quest, but there you have it. I had no idea I could just get the cheese. Next time I’m in Manchester, I’m going to have to request fries with fried cheese on them. This made my day.

  598. andrea says:

    i was a patient at the IOL from 1979-83 (4 full years)
    i am now (and always have been) an artist.
    i went to hartford art school (university of hartford)and it was there where i finally started to use my artwork to tell my story (dark/trauma/light/and becoming strong..all of it.and all around and inside it-you know-all i saw went thru-but also-the search research history– now then all of it.
    when i saw this exhibition-what stayed with me the most was just the fact that this exhibit exists-and is being seen.
    my hope, now, is that like with the ongoing growth in various forms of research: that the exhibition will also grow. it is all part of the thing to not only assist and treat “mental illness” but to also allow for all sorts of growth.

  599. Mariana says:

    There’s a yellow-style sign (sans reference to Progressive) on the road in Panthorn Park in Southington, CT. :) We’ve often driven and walked past it thinking, “What on earth were they thinking — at why E.T.??”

    Now I know. I find it no less odd though!

  600. Aunt Pat says:

    I like the new map banner at the top of this intro page. I guess that’s a coffee cup at the corner? Much better than what looked like some sort of brown fungus consuming the state.

  601. Mike D says:

    As I tell my kids, it’s a tab to keep Massachusetts from sliding into the ocean!

  602. Ben says:

    school street in woodbury i used to drive past it every day when i went ohome on the bus

  603. Rob Y says:

    Hey Steve, the unnamed falls are referred to locally as “Northgate Falls” and yes it’s a great little swimming hole in the summer! I’m impressed you were able to follow that trail up, we used to Mtn bike down it in the early 90’s before they banned bikes.

    If you head back to the Simsbury Reservoir Trails in the summer, be aware, urban folklore says there’s a nude beach up there . . .

    (One of many dirty little secrets of Simsbury)

  604. Steve says:

    Darn, Ben. I was just there yesterday along Route 6 and noticed School St. going north and again south. I’ll be back out there though… Now let’s see if I can remember this.

    Keep the locations coming. I love it!

  605. Mike says:

    The one in Trumbull is still there and there is at least one other in the area. The first just has “buckle up” but the second also has the “Be Progressive…” part. both are the yellow diamond type sign. I just had my nephew photograph the Trumbull one if anyone wants to see it…

  606. Jenny O says:

    I am ashamed to admit that while I frequently enjoyed Dairy Bar IC in the cafe, I never went to the DB itself. Sad, but true. One bright spot to the story is that my first experience will be with my kids! GO HUSKIES!

  607. SageAlum says:

    I’m always on the lookout for a new cheese – how would this be with a nice glass of Reisling?

  608. SageAlum says:

    Love that squashed bug picture!

  609. Judy Daniel says:

    Having toured the house in the 70’s, we were anxious to return as we thought it was our 8 great grandparents’ home. Alas, it was a Tuesday, we could not get in. Took a few pictures and found out by reading your article–I loved the name of it–that our Buttolphs never lived there. When was that determined? Total bummer to our branch of the family.

  610. Andy Y says:


    As you’ve now strayed off just museums and trails and are trying to document every damn thing in CT, let me recommend some bread to go with the cheese. Friends & Company Restaurant( on the Guilford/Madison border, Route 1) bakes the best bread around, every day.

    Just pop in the front door, leave four bucks in the jar and grab a loaf of their herb bread. This stuff is spectacular. Every once in a while we’ll do a “bread run” and drive the 25 minutes just to get some. Skip the molasses bread, get the herb, you won’t regret it…

  611. Cumulus says:

    I sure hope they keep it. I can remember when I was at UConn I would sometimes be wondering what to do with myself on an afternoon and deciding to check out the current exhibit at the Benton. It’s a great asset to the University.

  612. Cumulus says:

    As I think you know, I hike the section between the powerlines in Glastonbury and the intersection with Birch Mtn. Rd. in Manchester a lot. I’m looking forward to hearing your take on that area.

    For an interesting experience my son had at the Birch Mtn. Rd. trailhead see my new thread on Rock on Top TRs.

  613. honeybunny says:

    do you think Damian would mind if I used “DA!” (”done”)?
    I love that.


  614. Joe says:

    Just went to both places and Rawley’s won hands down

  615. Natalie's Daughter says:

    Natalie Coolidge is a well known figure in the town of Killingly, borough of Danielson, county of Windham. Her contributions to this precious community are endless. The Historical Society is grateful for her use of the English language and knowledge in documenting the town’s history. Many of the articles and write-ups you have commented on came from her pen. Her continual efforts to document and share various tidbits of historical facts is greatly appreciated by the town folk. Thank you for your visual depictions of the Killingly Historical Society Museum and your witty commentary. If you visit again make sure you ask for Natalie’s recent contributions.

  616. Jim Cottrell says:

    How do I get a case of Cottrell beer? I just found this site today and have enjoyed reading about it. There is probably a family connection somewhere in the dim past as I have been told some ancestors came from the Rhode Island area. I have found my great great grandfathers burial marker in Reading, Massachusetts. His name is Joseph Cottrell and he moved to Kansas in the 1850’s. I think he was an Abolitionist, moving to Kansas to make sure that it become a Northern state rather than a Southern. He built a stable that later became a Pony Express barn. It is the only Pony Express home statpm sto;; stamdom. It is in Marysville, Kansas where many of my relatives still live; but no Cottrell’s. Bet your beer is good. The only New England beer we hear about here is Samuel Adams. Jim

  617. Christine Witkowski says:

    Thanks for the detailed and excellent write-up about the Park & Museum – sounds like you took full advantage of what we have here! (It’s also nice to know that those bookmarks are really getting used out there).

    We’d be happy to show you the Monkey Puzzle Tree on a future visit – it’s in the greenhouse (didn’t do too well outside), along with some other really interesting plants dating back to the Mesozoic with educational signs. We will also soon have a map of the Arboretum for those who want to explore the plantings further.

    Also note, unfortunately, we do not sell food here – sorry to disappoint anyone looking for a Brontosaurus Burger!

    Christine Witkowski
    Park Naturalist

  618. Steve says:

    Great to hear from you, Christine.

    Y’know… I had a picture of our books with the bookmarks in them but couldn’t find it in my haste to post this. But it’s true, we’re still using them now 4 months later.

  619. Twelve Mile Circle » Blog Archive » Junk Drawer - maps, geography, travel says:

    [...] he’s explored and reviewed several dozen. He’s noticed a disturbing pattern, though: Creepy Dolls. This is not a problem exclusive to Connecticut. I submit the following evidence from Watertown, [...]

  620. SageAlum says:

    But did you like the Chocolate?

  621. Don says:

    I read that the largest Black Oak tree in the Country was in East Granby, CT. It is not reported to be the largest tree in CT or even the largest Oak in CT but is supposely the largest of that species (Black Oak) in the Country. I would like to visit it but I can not find any information on where it is exactly. Another quest for you, perhaps?

  622. Zachery says:

    Hi I’m zac. I’ve noticed that if you take the skyride at lake compounce in southington. You can see atv trails. How do you get to those?

  623. Steve says:

    Don –

    Thanks. I haven’t heard that and can’t find any info either. In fact, this site says “The largest living black oak known measures 274 cm (108 in) in d.b.h. and 37.8 m (124 ft) in height. This tree grows in the Siskiyou National Forest, OR.”

  624. Steve says:

    This site does not condone the massive destruction that ATV’s cause.

  625. Aunt Pat says:

    Okay, we get our dark %70 Valrhona at Trader Joe’s, $2.99 for a 200 gram bar.

  626. Steve says:

    Sage – Oh. Yeah. It was pretty good. I think Yvonne and I had the same reaction which was, “Num num num, now let’s go get a beer around the corner at the SoNo Brewhouse.”

    Aunt Pat – Peasant.

  627. Brandon says:

    Where is this in Willimantic? I haven’t seen it yet. Since I work there 3 days a week, I’ll try to stop by one time and grab a case.

  628. Dave says:

    Thanks for reminding me of this local treasure. I need to get there this weekend to stock up, especially on some of the more unusual flavors.

  629. patricia hines says:

    I have had this pizza several times. I am orginally from Stafford Springs, Ct. I now live in Houlton,Maine and they have never heard of this pizza. Well I plan on introducing them to it during our Maine Potato Events the week-end of August 21st. Of course it won’t be nearly as good as Willington Pizza’s, but I will give it a good try.

  630. honeybunny says:

    I keep forgetting what an awesome thumbs up you do.


  631. Get up and get the hell out! « Quater Life Crisis says:

    [...] with me, you know you want to!….The next trip out is next Sunday! Perhaps to check out the Compounce Ridge Trail or to some of these here Curiosities…so if you’re ever down and know how to get a hold [...]

  632. caroline says:

    you came to norwalk on the sneak? that’s horsecrap, woody. horsecrap.

  633. Steve says:

    As Caroline surely remembers, that first attempted visit (the first picture with Hoang and Damian above) was the beginning of a full morning with her. But it was closed and we met down the street.

    And THEN we all went to the Norwalk Aquarium together to celebrate my 100th museum too.

    I never front.

  634. Don says:

    Here’s the web site where I found out about the East Granby Black Oak. It’s a cool web site for CT trees. I especially found the Constitutional Pin Oak info facinating and have visited a few already.

  635. Kerri says:

    Not Hartford’s Wurst Kept Secret?

    Couldn’t help it.

  636. Scott Q. says:

    Spent a good portion of the afternoon perusing your efforts and finally came around to Damian’s story.

    Although not faced with your challenges, we too spend an incredible amount of time visiting the less traffic’ed sites around our state and New England as a whole.

    I always thought I did it fexclusively or the kids but as I grow older, I relize that as much comes from my desire to stop and enjoy the small things with them in a way that my parents never did.

    I’ve taught them to take joy in even the smallest glory of each trip – while some are disapointing, most are not, and the collected experience is far from it.

    The family gag is how I always answer the “Where are we headed?” question – The Mud Flap Museum. All historical Mud Flaps and the story of their development. Anything else seems enthralling by comparison.

    Keep up your quest and may Damian be affected in many unforseen ways.

  637. erin says:

    It might interest you to know that the factory pictured above isn’t in Bridgewater — it’s in Brookfield, not far off of Route 7. There’s a small shop in the front of the factory. Its sales staff is extremely helpful and courteous, even at Christmas time when the store is often completely packed.

    You can, however, still buy Bridgewater Chocolate at the Bridgewater General Store, in (for lack of a better way of putting it…)downtown Bridgewater. I’ve heard that the store also makes fantastic sandwiches for lunch, but I haven’t had one myself.

  638. kerri says:

    For those who can eat peanut butter without going into anaphylactic shock, I recommend the chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

  639. honeybunny says:

    Chocolate Almond Joy.!


  640. Aunt Pat says:

    Me thinks they be Llamas. You did have the cow and sheep for reference. Llama – slender cow size, Alpaca – think sheep with long legs and neck. BTW, your site loads rather sluggish the past couple of days.

  641. Rosemary says:

    I happened on this page! I live in Old Lyme and had no idea we were a stop on the underground railroad. How exciting. Thanks for sharing some great ideas!

  642. Rob says:

    What, no racist mammie doll buttons? Weak

  643. JOE HORVATH says:



  644. Pamela E Tankard says:

    Entertaining article. Enjoyed the humor. Learned some American history too!

  645. Elaine says:

    I have always wanted to visit a fish hatchery…I have no idea why. Now that I’ve read about your experiences I no longer have that urge.(I’m cured!) I thought somehow that they would be just a tad more exciting?…Well, thanks for the info and for doing the research for me. I think I’ve dodged a bullet here. ha ha
    By the way, I love how you write…interesting topics; humor and pictures..everything I need.

  646. Elaine says:

    I’m have got to see this tree! And it’s going into my blog for sure.

  647. Cece says:

    You haven’t mentioned the CTDAR Governor Jonathan Trumbull House & Wadsworth Stable Museums!!!!!
    The home of the last governor of the Colony of CT, Governor Trumbull served throughout the Revolutionary War and was Governor of the State of CT as well!! The only Colonial Governor to support vocally and financially the struggle for our independence.
    We’re at 169 West Town Street in Lebanon CT and open on Fridays from 1 – 6 pm, Sat. from 10am – 5pm and Sun. from 11am – 5pm.

    The Stable was relocated from Hartford CT to save it from destruction. Formerly part of the Wadsworth Estate, Gen’l Washington’s favorite horse Nelson spent several days recovering from an injury. People like Washington, Lafayette, Rochambeau, Admiral de Tierny and others certainly visited their horses there when they met at the Wadsworth Estate to plan the Allied (French & American) forces attack on the British!

    We are certainly worth the drive from anywhere.

  648. Steve says:

    Cece – While I haven’t made it out to Lebanon yet, both museums are on the big list.

    Thanks for the input.

  649. Jess P says:

    Hey Steve-

    This is so great. Seems like you’ve been everywhere. We are always looking for fun, inexpensive things to do with the kids and now I have a resource to go to. The contact me link seems not work for me, so please let me know how I can reach you. Give my best to your family.


  650. J Hancock says:

    Mammy dolls are something that represents endurance and strength. Some children loved and adored their “mammies” more than their own parents! Why does EVERYTHING historical have to have a negative connotation???

  651. Errol says:

    James Gamble Rogers also designed nine of the twelve residential colleges at Yale and several impressive buildings in New Haven.

  652. RoseMarie Herdman says:

    My husband Roy and I visited the tree 8-23,2009.

    One beautiful tree. The setting is just breath-taking

  653. Don says:

    Just to keep the facts straight, the first quoted article is no longer accurate with regard to the statement that the bridge is “still carrying its own weight with the original timber superstructure.”

    The large steel beams on either side and underneath now carry a portion, if not all, of the loads. You can see them in the 5th picture. And although they do perform their function well, it’s unforunate that they did not do a better job (or make any attempt whatsoever) at cleverly hiding the strenghening steel members.

    It can be done and has been done sucessfully on many covered bridges. Trust me, I’m a Bridge Engineer by trade.

  654. Nancy Potter says:

    Last year, at age 70, I made a ‘hat of buttons’ in a Community College art sculpture class by sewing many buttons to a lace hembinding. The buttons were collected over the years by me, and some belonged to my grandmother. Is your museum display only those collected by you and your staff?

  655. Steve says:

    Thanks, Errol.

    I still have a few Architecture tours in New Haven (and of course Yale) to do. Now I’ll remember the connection.

  656. Steve says:

    Thanks Don… Good to know.

    It’s funny how wrong that article clearly is now that I compare it to my picture of the rusted steel beams.

    Gosh, I’m the first to tell readers never to trust ME, but when we can’t trust the supposedly smarter people I quote?


  657. Steve says:


    This blog is not associated with the Button museum at all. All I did was visit it.

    You’ll need to contact them, but I believe this was all one man’s collection as the article states.

  658. Nancy Potter says:

    Dear Steve,
    Thank you for the information.

  659. Rich says:

    I remember driving by this as a kid in the 70’s while driving from Oxford to Woonsocket.

  660. Don says:


    I’m a recent reader of your Blog and absolutely LOVE it. In fact, I have already commented a couple of times on your Blog. I too, have an atypical facination with maps, geography, etc. In fact, I’m refered to as the “Map Man” in my wifes 2nd blog.

    Anyway, I’m commenting here with some friendly advice. I’m sure you’ve had plenty of that with Damian. And, unfortunatley, probably a lot of not-so-friendly advice, as well.

    My oldest son (8) has Autism. His “remediation” has been nothing short of astounding, almost exclusively because of the tireless efforts of my amazing wife. She has chronicled our Journey with Jacob in her 1st Blog.

    I recommend giving it a read, if only for some insight and moral support into raising a special needs child. Within it you will see our experience with RDI, the remediation program we used with Jacob. I strongly encourage you to look into RDI as a remediation program for the behavioral aspects of Damian’s SMS.

    Best wishes, Don.

  661. Tim says:

    Hiked the Westledge Trail yesterday, abeautiful late August afternoon with low humidity and a great soft breeze in the woods. Perhaps a boring trail to you, but my wife and I really enjoyed the uphill workout and the walk back in time through the Pilfershire ruins. Agree with you completely about McLean connecting to SLT trails and the excellence of the later.

  662. Steve says:

    Tim – You’re right, I shouldn’t call it boring. It’s not. Looking at my peak foliage pictures now, in the summer, it looks anything but boring! And yes, anytime our trails take us “into the past” so to speak, it’s definitely cool.

    As to the McLean/SLT connector issue, I have been further assured more recently than this article that it just ain’t gonna happen.

    McLean wants to keep their trails and their land exactly as they are. Personally, I don’t understand that, but we must respect it.

  663. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    As cool as a Bell Pepper (approximately zero on the Scoville Scale)?

  664. Steve says:

    A pun is good.
    A double pun is reason for me to live.


  665. Twelve Mile Circle » Blog Archive » Lucky 7 & the Ghost Kid - maps, geography, travel says:

    [...] that said — and I am not making this up — "what states border Hawaii?" [2]Take back the jog! Steve’s blog is so good that I read it regularly even though I’ve been to Connecticut [...]

  666. SageAlum says:

    I’m not sure the Westbrook Lobster in Wallingford is as nice inside as your description of this one, but its a good restaurant, and we’ve enjoyed every meal we’ve had there. I think I’m going to have to skip my Teriyaki Salmon next time and try the lobster roll. I’m going for the hot one with butter – yummy!

  667. Brandon says:

    I too have never been to the Catskills. Looks like they have some great trails and great people. I bet Al has some great stories from all his treks.

  668. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    Re: the P-Funk reference… remind me to tell you the story about when my wife and I met George Clinton.

  669. Bill Burke says:

    I was 14 when I left western Pennsylvania for the Connecticut River Valley to work in the tobacco fields. My camp was very close to the Massachusets border. We had about 50 kids in camp. I was there between 1970 and 1972. Anyone with info on the camp or if it still there please contact me.

  670. krissie says:

    there’s one at the Exeter/West Greenwich School in RI

  671. Brandon says:

    I too love farm hiking. I have some pretty cool pics climbing hay bales in VA. My favorite of all hiking is balds or very open summits.

  672. Kellie says:

    I just saw one of these at some corporate park behind(or near) Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, there also used to be one at Western CT Sate University, or at least when I went there it was still there.

  673. Larry Stowe says:

    Thanks for the pictures and amusing commentary! The patchouli aroma has dissipated as of 9/5/09!

  674. Holly Fielder says:

    I have what looks or seems to be a ceramic box signed George Stubbls Amsterdam Holland..Ingraving on the peice say B.Clark. On the top of the lid there is a painting of a women and a man on a carrage being pulled by to horses, in the backround is some landscaping of trees. I am trying to figure out if i have an antique here. Im not sure who i am writing to or if a response is expected but hope this gets me some kind of answer.

  675. missy says:

    Since we are always on the hunt for something new and delectable, this sounded like the perfect treat to try. I went to the shop at 8:00 this morning, and was not disappointed. The owners were exactly as you described. They went out of their way to explain what each flavor was, since it was my first time there, and made me wait before I could leave, so that I could sample a lemon doughnut as they were being finished. I was glad I did! This is the kind of neighborhood business that we see on tv and in the movies, where the owners know their patrons and vice versa. It was definately a sweet way to start the day-in more ways than one!

  676. Mindy says:

    Just rereading again because I’m obsessed with the Metacomet and I just saw the bit about the Belize zipline. I actually went ziplining/caving in Belize in July! Too funny! I frightens me how much you think like I do sometimes…. Just kidding! Keep up the great work!


  677. Ian says:

    Wonderful winery that is close by! My girlfriend and I go here all the time, it’s our “go-to” vineyard in CT because of it’s location, ambiance, and wine. You can really bring anything to eat you want. We’ve seen people bring multiple pizzas and whole 5 course dinners! We usually just bring a picnic basket with some cheese and such.

    We have been to almost all of the CT vineyards, and keep coming back here.

  678. Ian says:

    The Cab Franc is really truly excellent. This vineyard is worth the drive alone for the fantastic scenery and picturesque setting of the winery.

  679. Thunderhead64 says:

    This story is Bull***t. Someone with nothing else to do………..
    The fact IS: The street has many natural springs on it. Years ago when it was just a dirt road,(and no name) the farmer’s and people would get there horse drawn carts/carriages stuck in the mud. And they would curse the road as “the devils road” in jest. This is from a women who lived on this road when her Husband built their home on it and raised there family in the early 1950’s. The women grew up in this town, and was friends with a family who still run a farm. They talked about this area and road from seeing and living here since the 30’s. That’s it, no big scary monster’s or devils………….
    Just Ol’ School farm stories…………………………….BOOH!

  680. Steve says:

    Thanks, Thunderhead64. I hope you at least read the whole page above to realize that this blog finds these juvenile “haunting” stories as stupid as you do.

  681. Nicole says:

    Do you guys buy lamps?

  682. Steve says:

    Do you read blog posts before writing comments? My word.

  683. bill says:

    i like how you kept the donut crumbs east of the river…where the trash belongs ;)

  684. bill says:

    we serve their blonde ale beer at Joe Pizza and it’s fun to hear how people order their beer.

    i’ll take a blonde hooker.

    bring me a hooker.

    (a glance at the wife) i’d like the blonde ale.

  685. chick110 says:

    How cool that you suffered through this to give your readers the scoop. I hope the cold didn’t linger long and you didn’t suffer any lasting effects from it. At least you didn’t get charged a massive amount and then feel ripped off afterwards. Loved the pic of the guy in the attic!

  686. Kacee says:

    Hi there! My name is Kacee and I’m a Hosmer Mountain store clerk (In Willimantic). Thank you for your great review, a few corrections though:
    -Although the Manchester store is great the original Hosmer outlet
    store is the Mountain st Store in Willimantic Ct.
    – Strawberry and Peach are two of our most popular flavors… maybe
    they just don’t suit your tastes?
    – Red Lightning (not Red Nightlight as you called it) is our new energy
    drink and is also a top seller. It offers a healthy, low caffeine
    alternative to gas station energy drinks. It is nothing really like
    Gatorade. our “Gatorade knock-off” is called Thirst Quencher and is a
    completely separate style of drink.
    anyway, thank you for all of the information that you have listed here!

  687. Ian says:

    Definitely a repeat visit. Love this place!

  688. Steve says:

    For the record, we DID revisit H-B earlier this year. It was excellent again.

  689. Cumulus says:

    You might have seen this, but I’ve written a couple posts in Rocks about a relo of the Shenipsit in Glastonbury:

  690. Rj says:

    I just had my first Hosmer Mountain soda today. The lemon-lime was pretty good. It reminded me of a company named Xtra-Soda out of Wolcott. They even had home delivery till they went out of business in 1979. Here is a link about it from the Wolcott Historical Society:

  691. Steve says:


    Had you read even the first paragraph or two, you’d know that you will have no luck getting help here. Sorry.

  692. Deb Hanna says:

    So there was no Peter Blinn carved chest? I know of one at Yale and the one I viewed at the Keeney Museum, on Mother’s Day, of this year. Blinn is buried over at the church. It is an important example of Ct. River Valley Furniture (I think it’s called that)

  693. Steve says:

    I never comment on my own stuff, but since this particular post has been linked recently by two disparate sources, I can’t help it.

    The pictures of us posing like corny models still cracks me up a year later. It was one of those jokes that rattle around in my head and never really escape for anyone to understand beyond Hoang.

    I think, IIRC, it was funny to us that we spent our (exceedingly rare) afternoon away among slag heaps and such. So we were acting as though we were along the Seine or perhaps at a chic-chic movie premiere or something. I forget, but it was funny (to us) at the time.

    So there you are: A rare insight into my addled brain.

  694. Steve says:

    Going purely from memory here because I’m lazy… I believe there is a Peter Blinn up in Somers at the Phelps-Hatheway house and another over at the Buttolph-Williams House in Wethersfield.

  695. mark given says:

    Dear Writer,

    What’s up with the snark? I am of Irish descent. Yeah the Irish were not well treated upon arrival. Which set of immigrees ever were? The Irish that came over were country people resettled with illness, illiteracy, and absolutely CLUELESS as to knowing how to live in urban settings. No wonder they were frightening! Do you know why they call Police Vans “Paddy Wagons??” Because at their advent of use they were usually transporting the new Irish after their fighting, drunkenness, and other social crimes. It was a TOUGH GO for the new Irish. Very tragic. SOOOOooooo …

    When they could rally around their churches (new) and be served by their priests, nuns, and community, they were proud and finding their way into cultural integration with the dominant culture. Let’s hear it for their churches!!! (And for the Italian, et al also!)

    The Portland Sign: “Come on over.”

    THis was not just a business and social invitation. It was also, in its day, a taunt! Do you want to know more??

  696. Deb Hanna says:

    I have a pic of the Peter Blinn chest I saw at the Keeney Center a while ago, if anyone wants a copy. I can’t download it here. I have it in my facebook page. The staff member scanned a pic for me. It’s worth seeing in person tho.

  697. Steve says:

    Dear Mark Given,

    Yes. I’d love to know more. I’d also like to know what article you read that contained “snark” and apparently upset you. 90% of the post is quoted from the church’s website, the official Freedom Trail brochure and the sign in front of the church.

    No one here disputes the Irish immigration story and it’s attendant tragedy.

  698. Cathy Floyd says:

    I spent the summer before my Senior year of High School (Tampa FL) in Tarriffville CT working for Culbro Tobacco Company in the fields and sheds. A group of my high school friends joined other girls from our area for the 24 hour bus ride to CT.

    Hard, hard work…but I mostly have fond memories of the time in the dorms and Sundays spent traveling to great places like NYC, Boston and Mystic Seaport. I think I made about $60.00 for the whole summer….

  699. centennial dentist says:

    I’m always afraid of bringing my kids to museums and such since I have this feeling they’ll break something. Got any suggestions for that?

  700. Lawrence Ierardi says:

    Hi, I found this site by accident. I was searching for Serge and this site,
    popped up. You found Hospital Rock. Great news. If you go again my advice it to take lots of photos because the area could be posted against “trespassers”. I think Connecticut needs a law to allow serious historical explorers access to such sites. The news about ATV’s concerns me. Many ATV owners are responsible folks but unfortunately not all of them are. Happy hiking.

  701. Six shooter says:

    I moved to Rhode Island in 2003 and left 2 years ago to drive truck. I only know about the place because I just drove by it today and decided to google the name. It sounds like a place I would love to visit except that there usually isn’t enough room to turn an 18-wheeler around at most places like that and there DEFINITELY isn’t enough room to part it along side the road.

  702. Devin says:

    I grew up in Glastonbury’s neighboring town Marlborough. These towns and all the surrounding country settings are sooo beautiful. As a kid I remember picking out pumpkins, eating apple fritters, pumpkin donuts and drinking their delicious apple cider (i usually got the hot cider), and of course checking out the animals. Places like the Old Cider Mill are one of the main reasons why Autumn in Connecticut is my favorite time of year. To this day I always tell everyone to go check out the Old Cider Mill. Every year i look forward to a nice crisp October Saturday or Sunday morning, get a fritter and some delicious hot cider, and my flannel or course….and I’m all set. You really do get a true feel of a real traditional New England setting…the Old Mill itself, the people and the colorful foliage-filled backdrop. For people like me who really appreciate a good New England Fall….this place has to be on your agenda list EVERY Autumn. The fritters, donuts and cider are great; but it’s really the whole “experience” of being there that gets me back there “every year.”

  703. Mulv says:

    Next time you’re in Litchfield, stop and eat at The Village restaurant on the Green. It’s not five star, but the food is good and I love the atmosphere. Also, if you ever get to Lake Waramaug, (you should, btw, it’s a great leaf-peeping destination) have dinner at Oliva’s in the center of New Preston. I used to run food there when I was in college. The mixed sausage pizza is to-die-for, unless you’re a vegetarian.

  704. Jude says:

    Oh wow, TSA-approved carry-on containers for holy water! Designed for those in-flight emergency exorcisms, I guess. And excellent stocking stuffers!

  705. Brad G says:

    I read Dan Deluca’s book this summer & really felt bad for this poor old guy. I will definitely put the Mattatuck hike on my “to-do” list so I can see a real “cave” (as opposed to say Judge’s “Cave”) Deluca’s book mentions a Leatherman cave in the Hanging Hills of Meriden. I’ll let you know if I find anything

  706. Tom says:

    West Rock is Hamden’s OTHER state park, and attracts far fewer visitors than Sleeping Giant, mostly dog walkers, fishermen, and mountain bikers. You will frequently find you have the trails to yourself, once you leave the Lake Wintergreen area.
    I have put in a few hundred hours of work at the park over the last two years, under the direction of Park Supervisor Lori Lindquist, blazing trails, pruning back overgrowth, cutting invasive species, and remedying wet trails.
    The Regicides Trail is not one of my trails and can be confusing to follow. Footing can be tricky in spots, due to the trap rock. Footing on any other trail is generally excellent, making West Rock a good place to hike in slippery conditions. The exception is the Red Trail up to the South Overlook, is steep and can be slippery when wet.

  707. Tom says:

    The damage from ATVS in some areas has been incredible, with trails eroded 3 feet below the adjacent terrain. ATVs with their motorized wheels dig ruts. Bottom line: if you are riding an ATV on state land, water company land, utility right of ways, you are breaking the law, as none of these entities allow ATV use. If you think it’s okay for you to ride an ATV in these areas, then it must be okay for me to show up with 15 people in your yard and have a barbecue.

    With regard to traction for winter, everyone seems to start with Yak Traks, but moves away from them as they are not strong enough for extended us. Stabi-Icers with the boot strap, or Microspikes are the way to go. The price is about the same as my deductible for a visit to the emergency room. Well worth the cost of avoiding such a visit. Just be careful on rocks, as the steel tips that grip so well on ice gives the same track on rocks as dogs have on a kitchen floor.

  708. Steve says:

    Thanks for the tips, Tom. I have since moved on past the YakTraks.

    Behold, the death of the YakTraks.

  709. Alan says:

    Reply to Steph,

    Pretty sure the resevoir status puts this out of the reach of kayakers.
    The sign even forbids swimming dogs.
    Enjoy the trail.


  710. Don says:

    Wait! You glazed right over this oddity: “In 1875, Norton and Pierce petitioned local legislators that their residences be “set off” from the town of Southington to the town of Bristol. A sheep roast was held in appreciation to those legislators and friends who helped secure the granting of that petition.”

    In looking at the map, Lake Compounce falls in the miniture version of the Southwick Jog. Are Southington residents just as upset at Bristol as Conneticutians are upset with Southwick?

  711. Brad G says:

    If I’m not mistaken, this is Airport Rd. I noticed this statue a couple of years ago & wondered how it ended of THERE. My recollection is that it was overgrown w/ brush etc. Your recent photo shows the area has been “cleaned” up a bit. Maybe it’s there on google, but swallowed up by the brush

  712. Steve says:

    Six Shooter – I assure you, there is PLENTY of room once on the property, to turn around your truck. Heck, there’s enough room to turn around one of those things that carry the Space Shuttle. I know it doesn’t look like it from that tiny road, but the property is HUGE.

  713. Real Hartford » What Do You Do with a Closed Down Landfill? says:

    [...] version of Waterbury’s Holy Land. It’s not my belief system, but judging by the number of churches in the area, I don’t [...]

  714. SageAlum says:

    I guess you’ll just have to bring Damian and a new camera here again!

  715. Rob says:

    I agree with Bara…I grew up in NB also, but in the 70s and 80s. Even that recently, it was a much better place than it is now; downtown is a wasteland. I never knew the city without the highway (72 and then 9), but just from aerial photos from 1965 that I found on the Connecticut State Library’s website (, I can see that they literally decimated entire sections of the city to put the highway through. It’s hard to tell from the aerials, but it looks like the place had to be BUSTLING in 1965! I’m curious to know if anyone knows a place online where I can find older maps of the city (I mean mid-to-late 20th century, not 19th century), just to compare them and see what streets/neighborhoods were destroyed.

  716. Ben says:

    The Chase family is one of the largest donators to charity in the state. David Chase came to this country as a penniless holocaust survivor, and now his family has a vast amount of wealth, which they use both to benefit the world and use for themselves (pretty typical, I’d say). Say what you like, but in my opinion it isn’t fair for us to yell at him for spending his own money and chopping down trees to build his home, because all of our homes were purchased and land needed to be cleared to create them. Sure, it’s a much larger scale, but everything is relative. There are homeless people in America living on a dollar a day who would look at our homes and say, ‘how could anyone build such a monstrosity!” You have a right to bash the Chases for having money, but just remember that there are just as many people who would bash you for your wealth just by living in suburban Connecticut.

  717. Steve says:

    Why would I bash Chase for being rich? I’ve not done that here. While his philanthropy is to be commended, I urge you to really take in how ridiculously immense this house is. It’s as big as the White House!

    No matter how one slices it, the Chase mansion is a wasteful ode to ego-driven madness.

  718. Dan Moore says:

    Slater is a jewel that is overlooked by many interested in Conn….especially eastern conn art,architecture and generally the material culture of eastern conn from the late 17th cent through the victorian era.The collection of Emmons paintings needs to be highlited from time to time and not buried in the lecture hall and the collection of the whole museum DESPERATELY needs to be catalogued.This place is a great source of information to collectors and amatuer historians like me and it has been an inspiration and a guide as to what and how I collect for many years.

  719. Brian Anderson says:

    I have an old line shaft milling machine that I don’t use anymore, would you be interested in it for the museum?

  720. Jim says:

    Check out a C-Town grocery store for some unusual food! Try the menudo… Watch out though, the one in New Britain had biting flies that took a chunk from my scalp!

  721. Monica McGuire says:

    I along with other girls from all over worked in the Connecticut Tobacco Farms for the summers of 1979, 1980 and 1981 when I was 14, 15 and 16 years old. I recall the town of Simbury. I developed the work ethic I have today sewing and picking tobacco. If you could sew more then 9 bundles of tobacco in a day you were making peace work and got extra money. I got to take home about $700.00. That was alot of money back then.

  722. Connecticut’s Largest Tree…. « ConservaCity says:

    [...] interesting information here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A Mother’s Wish for X-Mas Tree [...]

  723. bill says:

    I used to live in one of the house on Yantic st. After my brothre passed we moved away from there. However when I went there years later, I felt the richness of history of the area. Still today, I remember I wasn’t allowed over there without an adult. There is a high spiritual energy there, that the ordinary person couldn’t feel. It will forever resound for me. In my early 20’s I went there with friends and we heard drumming in the woods beyond the bridges. We wnet over and looked it had stopped atfer getting to a small clear with a tarp and food pacages laying around.The feel up to that point was awesome!! I will never forget it.

  724. michael miller says:

    i am a student at oregon state university and i am in a intro to visual arts class. for extra credit we had to write a response on carl andre’s stone field sculpture. our response had to do with a statement that had to do with, “i don’t think the stone field sculptre is art at all.”
    i responced and said that it was art. either it’s art or andre was just messing with people. (also a big fan of messing with people.
    i like the sculpure very well.

  725. DragonLover#1 says:

    Do you know what capital city is on the connecticut river? i forgot my history book and i need to know the answer….as u can most likly guess i’m just a kid. please get back to me now!! it’s do tomorrow!!

  726. Steve says:


    If you are really a kid and you are really desperate to know what capital city lies on the Connecticut River and you are online surfing the Internet and came to THIS site to write THAT comment but didn’t bother looking further… If that’s all true, you’re going to make me cry.

    PS. Stop typing “u” for “you,” learn your homonyms (due/do), and make yourself a better person by finding out rather easy answers yourself.

    PPS. “DragonLover” is a terribly weak online moniker.

  727. a bristling son says:


    You missed it, Steve. His actual handle is DragonLover#1. I’m not sure if that designation means he is first and foremost a dragon lover, or if he thinks he is the number one dragon lover in all the land (in my head, that last option was said in a terrible English accent as if said by someone acting in one of those ridiculous medieval fairs).

  728. Margaret Hill says:

    I was a patient there too 1984-85. The torture and degradation of the ill this museum documents were not a thing of the past then and are still going strong today. The cruelty and oppression have gotten subtler-beating is illegal now. But “helping” “professionals” can say whatever they want to and about their charges. My stay at IOL was a living nightmare. During my last stay in a Psych Hospital- 2008- (not at IOL) part of my treatment plan was being put through a mock execution. Say that Psych Hospitals dole out treatment, because they do of a kind. But don’t ever call it care.

  729. Jim Finnegan says:

    This is a great piece. We just completed a new website:
    I’ll link to this post.
    Also, can a I use a few of your photos for our site? We’re missing photos of some of the stones.

  730. crust says:

    two nice trails in Masamoquet Park Pomfret,with cool stops, the actual wolf den where Isreal Putman killed the last wolf in Ct. and nice rock formations, one known as Indian Chair.
    Close to the Airline Rail Trail.

  731. Jodi says:

    Well, I have to say it was pretty cool to read a blog about us! Who would have thought! I am so excited that you loved the place. Did you know we are family owned? My dad is a pretty cool guy…and most of the mounts you see in the museum were actually things he saw himself on hunts. You should meet him, you would love his stories! (He’s on life number 11). If you email me, I will send you and your fam some free tickets. Great blog! Can’t wait to read the rest of your reviews!

  732. Pico says:

    Steve, you have no idea. Open your eyes. Is it really morally right to just kill to solve problems? Invasive or not, they are here because of humans, that does not mean they should just die. There are SOOOOO many other solutions to this problem. hmm.. your annoying me, so I’m just going to kill you. GREAT solution.
    p.s.- Not everyone hates their squaking.

  733. Pico says:

    Whats your email? I’ll send you my research paper when I’m finished. You can read it and MAYBE, just maybe try to understand things from a humane viewpoint.

  734. Steve says:

    Pico – You can reach me via email by clicking on the “Contact” button on the top right-hand side. I’d be interested in your paper.

    As for your contention that I “have no idea,” I would challenge that. I have a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I don’t eat meat. I find factory farming to be reprehensible on every level. I have never understood the appeal of hunting or even fishing. I’m sorry I annoyed you with my stance on these birds and I appreciate that you are more “humane” than I am.

    What are the “SOOOO many other solutions?” Can I hook you and the first commenter up via email (assuming his is still valid)? Do you feel this strongly about other non-cute invasive animal species like the snakehead? What about the emerald ash borer? If not, why not? What’s your criteria and where does the cut-off occur on the bird-fish-insect scale?

    These birds are a real problem and show no signs of slowing down. I agree that they are here because of humans. However, I assume you also know they only thrive here BECAUSE of humans via the artificial warm nesting sites of transformer poles. Take away all the awful humans in CT and all their awful telephone poles and guess what? The birds die an awful freezing death.

    As for you contention that not everyone hates their riotous squawking, I suppose I can’t argue you there. After all, Katy Perry is very successful.

  735. Elizabeth B. says:

    Hi! -^.^-

    I had to do a debate paper for my Art History class at Southwest VA Community College either defending or attacking Carl Andre’s “Stone Field Sculpture,” and I just wanted to thank you for the informative information, and to let you know that it helped in writing my essay.

    For the record I chose to attack his sculpture; my reasoning was that even though his artwork is essentially his own vision, in this case it was a *commission,* and therefore partly someone else’s vision too, since they were paying for it. The client was obviously very unsatisfied with the final result, so much so that they tried to get out of paying Mr. Andre, which I believe they were within their rights to do so. He obviously held his own “creative vision” above what Hartford wanted, and since it was their lawn and their money, I don’t believe that was right.

    Thank you for writing! You were very helpful.

  736. Pico says:

    First of all, you are wrong about us being the only reason they are thriving in our environment. They are actually able to withstand our environment because they are used to colder weathers back in South America; they live in the mountains. I’m sure you know how temperature varies as climate increases because I’m sure you learned about it in class. Not only that but they have enough fat on their bodies to survive and are hardy birds compared to many other parrot species. Also, their nests are built with an extreme thickness that helps insulate and hold heat when they all sit together in their community nests. These nests hold heat whether on transformer poles or not. They did not just start building this type of nest because they found transformer poles in CT, this is how they have been doing it for generations and generations back in South America. Im sure they are attracted to the heat, but not all the quaker parrot nests in CT are built on transformers, their are other nests that are thriving just fine. Aka, they don’t NEED us. And we’re the assholes who took them and brought them here anyways. Trust me, I have the same education background you have, have taken all these wonderful classes, and that doesn’t change my view as to your ignorance towards these parrots, it only adds to it. Invasive species occur, they will always occur with the way humans live bringing species over on boats, planes, you name it. Yes some species will overcome others, problems always occur with human interference, and thats why we should just stay out, death is not the answer though. The world is just becoming a mix of species and only the fittest will end up surviving, that’s just how it is today, we suck for making it that way, but we did. For you to say that it is okay to kill these birds because they are annoying just makes me question why your even trying to be a vegetarian, whats the difference between killing them and killing others? Why not just eat all the quaker parrots that you think should be killed? Ew, your making me sick. Killing is killing. It’s all wrong and its not a feasible solution. As for other invasive species, yes I feel this strongly, are you kidding me?!!! Whats the difference? None, there is no difference at all, they all have this right of life. They are simply just trying to spread their genes into the next generation and reproduce like any other species main goal in life. As for the SOOO many other solutions, just do the research and you will find them, or even use your educated brain. The main problem is that people don’t want to spend the money on them, which is sadly how our society is. For example, spikes, they’re useful in many places, no bird will nest on those. Hmm what else, these birds do not like the color orange, use that as a way to ward them off. Build nesting platforms on top of the poles to encourage nesting there instead of the areas where they are unwanted, aka transformers. there are just so many other options other than death, but they all involve money, which no one cares enough to spend. I can respect you being against invasive species and not enjoying their presence, because specific species live where they live for particular reasons, and that should not be fucked with. But once it occurs, that’s just the way it is. what’s done is done. Again, death is not the solution and the strongest will survive. I just cannot respect you supporting the death of these innocent birds who are much smarter and much more personable than I believe you know of. That is why I am saying that you have no idea, that is why I’m becoming so frustrated towards this topic. You have no idea the feeling that these birds have, or at least you can’t look deep enough to identify the pain and fear of the gassing and slaughter that humans thrust upon them. I don’t know why humans value their lives more so than other species. I mean, while taking your evolutionary biology classes you should have learned how humans only came into play on this earth after billions and billions of species were here before us, and that our existence on this planet is microscopic compared to how long this planet has been around and how long other species have been around. Who are you to think your life has so much more value than these birds, or any other species for that matter? I just feel like your a hypocrite for even trying to be a vegetarian. To see the existence of these birds on my college campus makes me so thankful that they have been able to overcome the inhumane attempts to dispose of their species on our lands. Props to them if they can be the ones who win. Each time I hear that distinct squak, I know who is winning and it makes me so glad. I apologize if you never get the chance to appreciate life like I do, but I beg of you to at least try, because let me tell you, its frekin amazing! The life of a human, the life of a bird, the life of an insect, nothing becomes devalued.
    I just wanted to thank you for having this conversation with me, it has been great practice for my presentation that I am making, I am very confident in my beliefs now and I am happy to share it with others. I don’t see you as a bad person, I just think that you don’t understand yet. Good luck to you and I hope you can take what I have said and try to understand me and my values. Have a good night.
    btw- my name’s not Pico. That’s the name of my Quaker Parrot. Just type that and quaker parrot into youtube and you will understand. He’s actually best friends with a lovebird. You may begin to like him?

  737. Pico says:

    p.s. Steve- where did u go to school?

    p.s. Bob B.- they make AMAZING pets!

  738. Abacus says:

    To offset the impact of the abandoned car wander downhill to the left (northeast), not far beyond where the trail turns uphill off the old road, to find a very nice waterfall on Day Pond Brook.

  739. Bob B. says:

    Obviously Pico has done some one-sided internet homework. Like most people do. That’s the problem. People hear one side of the story and it fits into his/her interests and he/she runs with it. Pico, you should try reading professional papers on the matter. Papers that are written by people that are experts in his/her field and have done the research. I understand that people don’t want to kill thousands of birds because they see them as individuals. I also understand that humans brought the parakeets here and it’s our fault. I also understand that in CT monk parakeets do not really compete with native wildlife as much as other invasives because they build their own homes where other animals cannot. The fact of the matter is that all invasives should be treated as invasives. Whether it be a monk parakeet, purple loosestrife, or stray cats and dogs. Exotic species help every single American everyday but once that exotic becomes an issue to health, safety or convenience then it becomes an invasive that needs to be dealt with. I don’t know your background but it helps to look at both sides of the story. Here is a CT based non-profit’s website to help get you started. This organization is headed by a Yale MS and Cornell PhD whose focus is on eradicating non-native species to restore ecosystems and native wildlife.

  740. Pico says:

    Obviously Bob didn’t get the main point of my post. Please do not assume that I have done one sided research, because you are very wrong. I have ready many professional papers and experiments on this topic and my views stand as is. Whether you like it or not. I am pretty sure I have made it clear that I have a very large knowledge of what invasive species are and the damage they can cause. Again, repeating myself for the fifth time, my belief holds that killing is not an acceptable way of management. Again, there are other ways to handle these species if necessary. Also, I do not believe that people should interfere anymore than they already have. Eradicating non-native species in my opinion is just playing more into the puzzle than needs to occur. Whats done is done in my opinion, and whats done should remain. And if there is a health/ safety concern, then matters should be handled in an appropriate way. aka not killing to handle the issue, whether a bird or any other invasive species. If you do not understand my point here let me make it clear for you one more time: I am not arguing that invasive species are beneficial to environments, because they can completely change the ecosystem, I am arguing that when we change something, which we should never do, the species should not be penalized for it, and if necessary for health and safety, the appropriate matters should be taken, and death is not one of them. Do you understand my point now? Again for the last time: death is never a way to handle any issue. ANY issue.
    btw- I dont know what kind of relationships you have with your pets, but maybe you should consider spending more time with your birds, because with enough care and the appropriate attention, parrots make amazing pets.

  741. Steve says:

    Hoo boy.

    First, I wonder if certain browsers disallow paragraphs in the comments. I’m guessing yes and that’s very annoying to me. Anyway…

    Pico (sorry, that’s all I know to call you) – I think your position is valid as long as you remain consistent in it. This will prove very difficult as you get older as you’ll find life throws you many curveballs. I wish you luck in your idealistic pursuit.

    Also, when debating a topic, it hurts your position to assume what the counter-arguer may believe. I don’t think I ever suggested that “killing” these birds was the only solution. If your humane and not-too-costly solutions actually work, I’m all for them. Who wouldn’t be? Your misplacing your anger and letting your emotions get the best of you.

    You love birds. You love all animals. You are against killing and attempt to live a death-free life, though I assume you realize just how impossible that is. That’s great! You’re even attempting to save a species through intelligent intervention. My point is, you’re not going to convince anyone with a condescending attitude and arguments based on emotion.

    The sticking point seems to be whether or not these birds are living in a valid habitat. You’ll admit they arrived here artificially. You state that they can handle CT’s climate without human intervention. I’ll take your word for it… But so what? They are here unnaturally.

    I take great pains to keep my yard invasives free. (Plants). This is rather difficult to do, but I strive to do it. Next time I’m at SHU, I’ll walk around campus and look for signs of purple loosestrife eradication or emerald ash borer traps. I’ll hang around waiting for you to come by to explain how the emerald ash borer is a lovely beetle who merely hitched a ride from China and all those trees they are killing deserve to die because we brought the beetle here.

    Once in a while, although I agree we humans are but a speck in the godless universe, self-preservation becomes a bit more important than saving a fellow creature which is here artificially.

    (Of course, I suppose you could argue that we – assuming you are not of native american descent – are here artificially too.)

  742. Pico says:

    Thanks for your concern, and please don’t hang around my campus waiting for me to come by, that would be extremely creepy. I am well aware of the damage that other species can have on foreign habitats. I understand your beetle argument, and in my opinion, the trees will die and the beetle species will overcome. Im not saying that I want the trees to die off, but that’s just what happens when we introduce new species, maybe we will learn from it. The ecosystem can fix itself anyways, and different is not always a bad thing, the ecosystem has been changing for years, species have been migrating forever, and your right, even us. Well, I think that the monkeys should have killed us off when we first came on this continent, (no im just kidding but this is like what your saying), that its okay to just control species because they are non-native. Do you think we should murder immigrants too? (obviously I know the answer to that but I’m just making a point). I bet some new species will come in and eat the beetles eventually, therefore save the trees. Everything is connected in that way. Just because a species is here unnaturally, does not mean they should be killed for it. Mother nature can take care of that. Also, my “assumption” on you wanting to kill off the parrots was not just an assumption, your “bye bye birdie” comment was a very strong indication of your opinion on this topic. You saying: “If your humane and not-too-costly solutions actually work, I’m all for them”, makes it looks like you are contradicting yourself because you already made it clear that you want the birds out, so why would you now be okay with my solutions? You already know my solutions and they are not forcing any species out. As for my “idealistic pursuit”, I don’t believe that trying to stop killing is very unreachable or idealistic. There are many other people who are also against murder, under ANY circumstances. Honestly, it blows my mind how anyone could go around shaking swan eggs, slaughtering parrots, or smashing beetles to try and prevent them from living in a new environment. I understand it’s so save other species, but that will happen on its own, things will even off, and why kill to save?

    p.s. your inappropriate jab at my age makes your argument look weak, if you need to go to that level I am sorry. I do not need to justify my knowledge or experience to you, and like you said, you should not just assume things.

  743. Tim says:

    You should have crawled in. I crawled in yesterday and it was definitely worth it. Very cool. One of the most interesting features on the Metacomet. Way better than Tory Caves to the west.

  744. Don says:

    I agree, Willimantic (part of Windham) has some neat stuff, including the CT Eastern Railroad Museum. I see it’s on your list of museums to visit.

    You can see a local music video of “Windam My Hometown” by the Outriggers here

  745. Aunt Pat says:

    Gee, didn’t know the fried clams thing (at HOJO’s no less) was a continued family tradition. When your mom and I were kid’s that was our big night out, too. That and spaghetti at a place called Katie’s. Does your mother still hate parmesan cheese? Being much younger I felt so much more sophisticated wanting the parmesan. At least until I put it on your mother’s food just to get her mad.

  746. Dave says:

    Lenny & Joe’s has been a favorite of my family for years. It’s always a good choice.

    My Lenny & Joe Story: I was there one very busy night with friends, waiting for a table while sitting on the benches between the bar and the front door. The restaurant kept various timewasters available to help make the wait more bearable, and someone handed me an Etch-a-Sketch, with which I cranked out a quick doodle of the Fish Tale logo. Somehow, it got passed along to the bar without getting shaken, and when the bartender got hold of it, I got free beers for the night.

  747. fritz says:

    i love Ragged Mountain, that was one of the first hikes my boyfriend, now husband took!! great pictures!

  748. Don says:

    No. 15 is actually a Road Grader.

  749. David says:

    I was just perusing your blog and noticed that you missed us at Jones Family Farms Winery in Shelton. (We, too, give you the glass after your wine tasting!) We pride ourselves in giving friendly, exceptional service to all our visitors and would invite you to stop by for a visit soon! We’ll be open through the end of the year and in addition to our delicious wines, we’ll be starting the annual Christmas Tree season soon (we are primarily a Christmas tree farm!) so you can come get the perfect tree (cut-your-own or pre-cut) along with all the associated greenery to go with it (farm-decorated wreaths!), some hot apple cider and fresh-made cookies, and shop in our Christmas gift shop, located in the historic dairy barn – which is where our winery tasting room is located. Hope to see you soon!!

  750. Sarah says:

    I’ve called it the Snake Rock…it looks more like a snake.

  751. Fritz says:

    ‘Here is the answer to the question about that symbol’ link is broken :(

  752. Morrow Long says:

    Did you ever finish hiking the last 20 miles of the Metacomet trail?


  753. Steve says:

    Haha, no, not yet. Since it’s the only one I’m doing 100% with my wife, it’s a bit more difficult to plan. Plus, there has been an iffy/closed section in Granby for a while now.

    The trail’s not going anywhere.

  754. Steve says:

    But it has feet if you look closely!

  755. Barbara Wood says:

    I have lived here on Hell Hollow Rd. for 17 years, but never seen or heard ghosts. However, this road is hell to drive in the winter, and it was a good thing when they started to close it for theworst of the winter months. You could slid off the icey road and onto the pond in not careful, or very unlucky.

  756. Mike Adams says:

    Milton K. Adams is (not was, he is still alive) the author of 2 books about the history of Manchester. He and his late wife Jeanne Adams were tireless volunteers at the Manchester Historical Society. He also served his country in WWII and in the FBI. While I’ve not been to his “gallery” at the museum I can tell you that his family is indeed proud of him. Milton K. Adams is my father.

  757. Amanda says:

    Fun to read about your adventures! I just saw a trailer for the movie The Horse Boy, and thought of you. You mention Damian and the ponies… check it out, maybe?

  758. Sean O' Barr says:

    You are an uneducated asanine fool. Pardon my abruptness but you do not know the first thing about the Irish Republican Army. Otherwise, you would balance your opinion with the unionist/loyalist gun men, who even in peace and ceasefires, continue to ,without warning, bomb women and children. As far as your comment on IRA supporters in the the States; if you had taken the time to read anything about the Struggle you would know that the majority of the support and financial backing for the Easter Rising and the resulting Irish Republic came from Fenian supporters in the United States. It would suit you well to hold your tongue in matters that do not concern you.

  759. Greg Randall says:

    I am disappointed to hear the homestead was sold to a private entity that may not apparently keep it open. I still have some furniture artifacts I had considered offering to that historical homestead one day. Particularly a table that was brought West in a covered wagon when my family moved to Ohio from there. As it is I will pass it along to my nephews.

    Is there more information about our family during their life in Stonington that anyone could direct me to? I would like to explore the details. I had heard about the potential link to the underground railroad system. There are more than likely other tales that have been long lost.

    BTW in our local family cemetery both spellings exist using the “a” and the “e” along with an interesting story as to why. Apparently the second syllable of our name was supposed to have the emphasis but so many people accented the first syllable it made the name sound more like RAN’dull. Adding the “e” was intended to cause persons using the name to pronounce the name with more of an upbeat. I remember this well because whenever I mispronounced our name I received the lectures about it as a child from my grand parents. Apparently we were a fussy lot. : )

  760. Rachel says:

    As a homeschool family we find this site FASCINATING!!!! All of the wonderful things to see and do!!! Thank-You SOOOO much!!

  761. Morrow Long says:

    Thanks for the response, and for your writing. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts — and then following your hikes on foot.


  762. Anne Marinan says:

    That’s only the half if it!

  763. Jennifer says:

    Looking for information on a former guard who was convicted of drug trafficing in the prison in the late 1950’s. Can anyone suggest a place to look. This is a geneology/ genetics reseach project and this person is a blood relative.

  764. Alison says:

    I happened to come across this page while looking for pictures of the building. (I work there). I didn’t know there was a basketball court in the auditorium! Thanks for sharing. Also, I didn’t know the main hallway was 1/8th mile long. I just knew it took forever to walk from my department (by the sigourney st entrance) to the cafeteria!

  765. Rob says:

    I was in Caldwell, NJ last weekend (wedding) and they have a religious store, the Marian Shop (unfortunately, it was closed). Was smaller than this place.

  766. Tom says:

    I led an AMC hike today (Nov. 8, 2009) and we did the clockwise loop of Blue-Red to the Blue-Blazed Metacomet Trail and back on the Blue-Red. It was 5.8 miles total with 1,500 ft. of climbing. Between the constant ups and downs and the ever-present trap rock, we all felt like we did 8 miles. I would not recommend this hike in anything less than dry conditions due to the numerous sharp slopes. Fabulous views from the top. If you do, hike clockwise so you get the harder stuff and most of the climbing out of the way in the first 2.5 miles.

  767. john g white says:

    Hi – here are a few facts about the Whitestone Cliffs trail that most people are not aware of -

    About 30 or more years ago the state allowed an archery club to use the system for their ‘games’and the gazebo was constructed for them as a rallaying point. The woods beyond the gazebo are strewn with range markers, although most have now rotted away.

    There is an old quarry on the west side of the white cliffs that was used by the Naugatuck railroad in the 1840s, as a source of stone for the construction of bridge abuttments. An old map I came across showed a RR spur built up the side of the mountain about 300 yards or so to allow stone blocks to be lowered to the tracks below.

    The white cliffs and the area surrounding them are very active geologically. One day I was sitting on the cliff when I heard a loud thump and the bedrock seemed to move a bit. The area to the south of the cliffs also show such ‘activity’ because the earth has slipped in some places along the edge of the cliff overlooking Spruce Brook Road. That area also contains two large ground faults 30-40 feet long, eight feet wide, and 6-7 feet deep. The entire ‘disturbance’ is about 80-90 feet long, and minimized at the eastern end.

    Incidentally when you first enter the trail, about 70-80 yards from the parking area the trail turns a bit and become quite steep. The ridge above reveals a stone cellar depression of an old house. An old story tells of a man that may have lived there having been murdered by a local indian. This was supposed to have happened in around 1700 or so and although there IS a record of someone having been mudered in that general area by an indian, there is no solid evidence that he had lived in this particular area. So it is best to take the story with a grain of salt.

    I had seen bears in the area south of the cliffs. A few of them gather in a a small swamp area near a pine grove, and if you go there the odor of bear is unmistakable.

    In all, the white cliffs is an excellent hike and provided a real nice view if the valley below even though it is mainly of the highway – John White

  768. Heather says:

    I was wondering if you could help or point me in the direction of some one who could I live in either danilson or killing on the line I cam never remember in an old house from the 1800 that used to belong to the town dr i was told and would like to find out more any sugestions?

  769. Steve says:

    John –

    Great info, thanks. I love this stuff (obviously) and my plan for world (errr, CT) domination is to have comments like this from readers on every page.


  770. Jeff says:

    Went there today. My 8th grade daughter is doing a report for school. I pieced together your narrative with another piece, and was able to build a likely path. I said to my daughter and her friend, “You should be looking around now for an outcropping that would make sense; kind of like that one, over there.” And there it was!

    There were several teenagers on motorcycles and ATV’s, tearing through the woods. I’m guessing the typical vandalous teen would never bother to walk all the way in, but with motorized transport and today’s battery powered tools, I’m surprised they haven’t hacked the rock apart. You can see some carvings from 1965 which look like a chisel was used.

    Thanks for the tip on using flour to bring out the writing. The photos were much better.

    Someone blazed a tree at a major intersection with a big “H” and an arrow. It doesn’t point to the rock’s location, but it gives you the right path. I’m thinking of going back and covering it up. It shouldn’t be easy.

  771. A curious girl says:

    I would love to go to this Stanely-Wihitam house! It looks very interesting. I loved the website, thanks for putting it!

  772. Kara Seager-Segalla says:

    From the book, Pitkin Family of America, by A.P. Pitkin, it states, “In 1783, William Pitkin, Elisha Pitkin, and Samuel Bishop started a new enterprise, they having been granted by the Court the sole privilege of manufacturing glass in the state for twenty-four years. The picturesque stone walls of the old glass works, over a hundred years old, are still standing (1887) in Manchester, formerly East Hartford, near the home of J.R. Pitkin, Esq., and owned by him. Glass was manufactured here til 1830, and the process of manufacture was a great curiously to many who came a great distance to see it in the early times. This was the chief place of business in what is now Manchester, at the close of the Revolution. The settlement contained, beside the glass works, a smith shop, a pottery, a store, and tavern.”

  773. Steve says:

    Hey thanks to Jodi and her family! She hooked us up with free passes for 2010 and we definitely look forward to going back out to Goshen.

    Thanks, Jodi!

  774. Jude says:

    You went for the tomato/bacon/horseradish chevre eight paragraphs after mentioning you’re a non-meat eater? How quickly they fall . . . Thanks for the write-up. It’s on my list for the next time I get home. My sister’s going this weekend, damn her.

  775. Steve says:

    I deserve that… But as I’ve written all over the place, I put aside my mores for the good of this blog.

    And since all their stuff was local and properly fed and treated, I figured it was “good” bacon. But who knows…

  776. anna says:

    i got to learn all new sort of stuff about the creatures. i got to pet animals and really enjoed myself.i hope to come in the future.the white whales were beautiful there were full of joy it made me feel like they were being treated well. i loved it!!!!!

  777. jude says:

    First, I’m grateful for your site reorganization. Now I can safely avoid any more reading material on eighteenth-century gynecological tools (I did read about that stuff on YOUR site, didn’t I? Hmm …) and focus on the good Connecticut stuff, which, I’m happy to see, still exists.

    I bought this cheese a year or two ago and just ate it plain, straight from the package, after giving it time to breathe in my luggage on a couple of long-delayed flights. It was a little dry (after 12 unrefrigerated hours–pasteurization isn’t ALL it’s cracked up to be, I guess), so I can’t imagine bread of any kind would be a good accompaniment (though yay to Andy Y’s bread recommendation!). But cloudberry jam (which is the best Finnish invention ever apart from the sauna) would be perfect. And seriously, you wouldn’t eat something, anything, even remotely related to Phish? Isn’t it the point of Phish to ingest something … odd? (Off topic, off topic!)

    I knew this cheese was Finnish but didn’t know it’s traditionally made from reindeer milk. I’m pretty sure UConn doesn’t have a reindeer barn, so here’s my question: Can you make Juustoleipa (leave it to the Finns to pronounce an already difficult word in two different ways)with cow’s milk, which is kind of like making chevre with a non-goat animal? Or does the name simply refer to how it’s baked?

    More Connecticut farm-type stuff, please!

  778. Dennis (Cumulus) says:

    So Wilton’s not dry anymore?

  779. Rick Miller says:

    Hello All Former Tobacco Pickers/Draggers/Sewers;
    I stumbled across this site by accident. I too am a “survivor” of three yrs of tobacco work, two as a kid from FL (Lakeland) in 65 & 66 at the Nike camp in Simsbury with Ben Szaro, and one year as his asst camp director when I was in college in 71 or 72. So many memories of the cold mornings and hot afternoons, picking a big ball of black tar off your hands when you got back to camp.

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of Ben Szaro? He was an ex-Air Force sergeant I think, he had that short crew cut and very strict, organized, but a great guy. I also found out that the one and only Martin Luther King also picked tobacco in Simsbury in 1944 to raise $$ for college…what an honor to be included with him twenty yrs later!!

    I enjoyed the girls camps dances we had, the softball games, the trips to NYC, Hartford, Boston, etc…what an experience. I think it made us all more appreciative of the work ethic and money. I have to ask Stan Pelletier, if he still reads this site, if he has a relative named Ron LeFrancois of Bristol, Conn? If so, he and I became good friends, and even correspond until this day (I live in AZ, he in DC). My second yr at camp I lucked into the best job at camp….the houseboy job !! You stayed back at camp, did the laundry on those old washers with the ringers, mopped the barracks, etc. But you were done early, and got to laze around the camp by yourself. Anyway, thanks for letting me share a wonderful part of my life. rick miller

  780. Meet Bruegel, Cezanne, Chagall and DaVinci :: East Haddam Today says:

    [...] Related link: One man’s (somewhat odd) visit to East Haddam and the EHHS Museum [...]

  781. George says:

    I’ve looked for Hospital Rock on two separate occasions, but nevr located it. I’d appreciate directions. In return, I can offer a similar site with many historic shale engravings, which is about 3 miles in the woods near the MA/NY/VT corner called “the Snow Hole”. The trail to the snow Hole is like riding down Rte 95 with all the signs (signs, signs, everywhere signs), but the hike is well worth it if you aspire to visit the carvings. There is a cave there, which can be entered albeit relatively short and minimal.

  782. Jim says:

    saw the Industry museum on public access television! I want to check it out for myself :)

  783. Dennis (Cumulus) says:

    I’ve been to both Litchfield and Lourdes (although not to either grotto), and I have to admit that I think Lourdes is prettier. For one thing, Litchfield doesn’t have snow-capped Pyrenees in the distance.

  784. Debbie says:

    I have to ask – were all the running clocks showing accurate times?

  785. Shari Jabbar says:

    We have started a group on Facebook for Camp Homestead. Anyone can join. Please post some of your pics from camp and share your memories.

  786. Don says:

    I have very fond memories of going here as a kid and bringing my own children and grandchildren. It was a part of Autmn tradition and was ‘just something we did’. When I am far away from these things they really become appreciated. Wish I’d never left Connecticut. There is no place on earth even close to New England. Especially in the fall.

  787. Steve says:

    I’ve stopped updating this page. They did put a new sign with correct spelling and then I noticed it was stolen again in the summer of 2009, but then was back up in the Fall.

    I’m sure the cycle will continue.

  788. Felicia says:

    hi i came to this sight bcause my brother and i often hike case mountain and about 2 weeks ago we stumbled upon a few things that are of extreme intrest to us(our dad grew up here). The first was a stone staircase that leads to no where and the second is a small cabin. we stumbled upon these things by taking a trail we have not taken yet. we are very interested in the history of manchester and have many questions about these findings.. When was the cabin built? who built it? how did they get to and from the main road and cabin? we have so many questions i cannot list them all!! the reason i am sending this is because we love to hike and would like to go that way but dont want to get in trouble for tresspassing on anybodys property!! please get back to me with any info you can find. We tried everything we googled all types of stuff but there is no info about these specific things. Thank You for taking your time to read this…

    Felicia & Brother

  789. Mike says:

    My brother and I used to go hiking with the dog up at Pinnacle Mountain, the Nike Missile Base and Hospital Rock back in the late 70’s to early 80’s. He would toss cactus clippings around the area. He reasoned that they could survive year round in the yard at home (New Britain) they should survive out in the woods.

  790. Alison says:

    heyy i live in glastonbury and this place is the bomb!

  791. George says:

    I finally found it! It was worth the time invested in paper tracking the location to get a general idea on the location. I also got the GPS coordinates, but didn’t use them since that would be kind of cheating. Unfortunately, someone beat us to the rock the day after heavy rains and poured flour all over the wet rock. It really detracted from the visit. A hunter was also kind enough to leave all his trash near the rock including scent packaging, plastic trash bags and crap (literally).

    There are obvious signs of an archeological investigation in the area. Walk around a bit. There is more to this location than just the rock!

    I look forward to visiting again under better circumstances. Perhaps in the winter when traffic will be low.

  792. Jerry Mace says:

    I was hiking the near the old Nike Missle Site a week or so ago and met a couple that was looking for Hospital Rock. I had never heard of it but when I got home I Google’d it and found this site. I went back the other day and hiked the Metacomet from the Oval sign on Rte 372 in Plainville all the way to Rte 6 specifically keeping an eye out for Hospital Rock but never found it. Can you give me a hint … is it closer to Pinnacle Rock or to Will Warens Den or to the TV Towers?

  793. Ate too much turkey…want to go for a hike? « What Do You Say, Dear? says:

    [...] Three Middletown Mattabessett Loop Trails Blogroll [...]

  794. Margaret Donahue says:

    Judy Daniel! Are you my cousin??
    My mother was a Buttolph, and I have a hunch this house was indeed built by Sgt David Buttolph, a name and family of honor way back into the 600’s, and likely before in it’s present spelling, among a dozen or more spellings!
    St Buttolph (Botolph, Butolf, Buttolffe, etc)was a monk of the same general family as Beowulf of the poem! The first Buttolph of the New World arrived in 1635.

  795. Geoff Brown says:

    I think the claim is that the Canaan station is the oldest continuously operating UNION station — not the oldest operating station. The distinction that it represents the union of two separate railroad companies is what provides the distinction, I believe.

  796. Laura says:

    The Bruce Museum has been mentioned to me three separate times in the past week by different people having nothing to do with each other.

    EVERY time I imagine it’s all about guys named Bruce knowing full well it isn’t.

    This is a secret internet confession: While science, alchemy and art are fascinating, I’d bypass them in a flash to partake in a museum tour all about guys named Bruce.

  797. Randall Cooke says:

    I was just at the Randall House last month ( Nov. 2009 ) As per my fathers last wishes, With my 2 brothers and my sister. {We Are a direct Randall Descendant} *Via* ((William Vincent Randall )) We also visited the Old Randall/ Brown Cemetery. It was a Shame to see what vandals, and the ravages of time have done.. Who Knows what will happen in just the next decade. The Historical Names and figures there in will be lost forever ( Lucy Grant ) President Ulysses S. Grant’s Daughter is buried there. I saw where some little S.O.B. Spray painted a Nazi Cross, and KKK….. on one of the tomb stones..Looks like Bull dozers and other clearing equipment are moving ever closer to the family Randall/Brown Cemetery.. I hate to think. the grounds will be leveled.. and our ancestors paved over for a casino.. or Hotel.

    It was important to our Father for his children to know where we came from, and for our children to know.. But.. Cruel as time is.. Gravestones will be plowed for Developmental Greed. Loosing the history forever.

  798. Steve says:

    Mr. Cooke,

    Unfortunately, I see this type of thing all over the state – and this is a state that does attempt to salvage a lot of its history. You’d hope the Pequots would be sensitive to this type of affront, for obvious reasons.

  799. Steve says:

    Thanks, Geoff. That makes a bit more sense.

  800. Bruce Edwards says:

    Whoever wrote the previous article has the spititual awareness level of a cockroach-but that’s too insulting of the insect!The mockery,sarcasm and failed attempts at humor[I guess He fell a lot]belie an ignorance of subtleness rarely encountered in this age.Regardless of the writers’ own beliefs,her bone-headed comments are truly the seventh wonder of the world.Didn’t know they still made ‘em like that.Does anyone suspect she could discuss eloquently about the life of Bhuddha-Tagore or wonder about her musings on the Vedas?I guess she fell a lot.

  801. Steve says:

    I’ve always found it particularly odd that when a certain subset of folk attempt to be witty in their replies on blogs to which they disagree, they almost universally always purposely call male authors a she. I’ve seen it all over the place on the Intertubes, notably at wingnut websites and the like.

    Though I wonder, since you noted the Asian woman in the post, perhaps your mention of “Bhuddha-Tagore” [sic] was a dig at her? I don’t know.

    Rest assured, Bruce, if there was a similar Buddhist shrine in Connecticut, I’d visit and display an equal amount of ignorance and bone-headedness. I am secure in the knowledge that this post is not insulting at all (Jesus certainly DID fall during the Way, and the moss covered path here IS very slippery and steep in places), and was, in fact, rather complimentary.

    Regardless, thank you for stopping by the blog and spending nearly an hour here after you got so upset at the first page you read. I commend your ability to forgive – a trait rarely encountered in this age.

  802. Brandon says:

    There is another “interesting” painted animal rock that I saw on our drive to Hurd State Park down in East Hampton. It looked like an orange T-Rex. I think it was on the east side of 66 just south of 2. You can add that one to your list.

  803. Soundbounder says:

    That is such a beautiful area. The entire stretch is a great place to visit. I need to get back up there.

  804. Chris says:

    Selfish? Wasteful? Ego? Ridiculous?

    Look at you all spitting jealousy at someone who is successful and is doing rightly what they have earned … The house is barely finished and the landscaping hasn’t even started to be developed. I’m sure he will plant trees and make the yard beautiful just as the house is. The landscape was barren and full of mostly dead trees and vines….

    He has donated more money than any of you will probably make in your lifetime COMBINED. He started out with nothing, such as myself, and worked his way to where he is. Every time I see his house (and I live about 1/4 mile from him) I think about what it’s like to start from the very bottom, and to succeed into what he has.

    Drive around the mansions of LA for a while and look around–drive down Balfour Drive in West Hartford – some would say those are big and ridiculous…. Just because you SEE it every day driving by…

  805. Steve says:

    He’s actually maintaining a giant monoculture lawn, watered daily by miles of in-ground sprinklers. I guess that’s better than what you claim was “mostly dead trees and vines” – which is perhaps the most absurd thing any of the Chase apologists have claimed.

    Arnold Chase is indeed a very generous man. I’m not sure how many times I can state that.

  806. Lou Sorrentino says:

    Historical Importance of Beebe’s Mills at Devil’s Hopyard State Park –

    An Investigatory Report With Recommendations for Curatorial Action and Public Information (for footnotes see the full article in the CT History section of, July 17, 2008)

    Ordinary people like Connecticut’s Abner Beebe were violently abused simply for what they said in the Revolutionary War era by supporters of the cause of liberty. The Founders later established the Bill of Rights, in attempting to insure that similar abuses are not justified when protecting freedom.The story of Beebe’s Mills on both sides of Chapman Falls illustrates the conflicts of people on both sides of the Revolutionary War, and presents a useful way to teach history using archeological and colonial document research.

    Beebe’s Mills’ story has long been been known as folklore, but is now verified by a colonial document source not widely published until the 1960’s.(1) This confirms and adds detail to Dr. Abner Beebe’s 1775 Connecticut Gazette newspaper claims that “the people of East Haddam” did “damage to my person” and engaged in “violent destruction of private property” “as a result of late mentioned vote”, “to withdraw commerce”, because of his words of loyalty to Engand. He also specified that he was “abused by the Committee of Inspection of East Haddam.” (2) Then, as now, loyalty determined perspective. For example, Col. Joseph Spencer, in asking for advice in his 1774 letter to Governor Trumbull, wrote that Dr. Beebe was given “the new fashion dress of tar and feathers” by people who had high “zeal” “for what is called Liberty”. They visited Beebe several times, but he refused to say anything to give them “satisfaction”, and “without help from abroad”, Spencer was unable to protect him. (3) There is no record the Governor ever answered. This is not surprising, since the same source that verifies Beebe’s Mills’ story also describes Governor Trumbull being “as relentless as the Mob.” Rev. Samuel Peters, the Beebe family’s minister, had applied in vain to Trumbull for help after his house in Hebron was attacked and he was taken to “one of their Liberty Poles”. (4). When Connecticut’s General Israel Putnam tried to stop the Sons of Liberty’s similar abuse of Loyalists, George Washington reprimanded him, saying they were engaged in the “cause of liberty.” (5) The colonial account below verifies the Beebe’s Mills story, but judges those involved very differently. It is the last entry in Peter Oliver’s Origin and Progess of the American Rebellion 1781 manuscript, one purpose of which was to show how the Mob behaved, and so justify England’s violent response in war.

    “February 1775 – A Parish Clerk of an Episcopal Church at East Haddum in Connecticut, a Man of 70 Years of Age, was taken out of his Bed in a Cold Night, & beat against his Hearth by Men who held him by his Arms & Legs. He was then laid across his Horse, without his Cloaths, & drove to a consid­erable Distance in that naked Condition. His Nephew Dr. Abner Beebe, a Physician, complained of the bad Usage of his Uncle, & spoke very freely in Favor of Government; for which he was assaulted by a Mob, stripped naked, & hot Pitch was poured upon him, which blistered his Skin. He was then carried to a Hog Sty & rubbed over with Hogs Dung. They threw the Hog’s Dung in his Face, & rammed some of it down his Throat; & in that Condition exposed to a Company of Women. His House was at­tacked, his Windows broke, when one of his Children was sick, & a Child of his went into Distraction upon this Treatment. His Gristmill was broke, & Persons prevented from grinding at it, & from having any Connections with him. All these events occurred prior to the Battle of Lexington, when the rebels say the Rebellion began.” (1)

    East Haddam land records confirm the gristmill and sawmill at Chapman Falls were owned in the period by Dr. Abner Beebe. The fact that the mills are on opposite sides, but had common interests, can illustrate the Colonists’ dilemma. No matter what side people were on, business and family interests came first. The property on which the mills stand was deeded on 3/21/1774 by Abner Beebe to John Chapman, (6) his brother-in-law via Abner’s sister Ann, wife of John’s brother Jabez. (7) Beebe regained title to the mills after the conflict, escaping the legal confiscation of Tory estates late in the War. (8) A Jabez Chapman was also on the key East Haddam Committee of Association, modeled by the First Continental Congress in September 1774. (20)

    The Committee’s vote decided who was an enemy of the Colonies, and prohibited business being done with them, as both Col. Spencer and Peter Oliver said happened to Abner Beebe. Despite the fact that the Colonies were still English, such Committees were the real governing power; their will often enforced by mobs and riots. Episcopal ministers encouraged loyalty to the Church of England and it’s King. In 1774, when an English attack was a real possibility, this was very risky. Several in his Loyalist congregation were tarred and feathered, and one almost killed. Unlike the three Beebe’s who stayed, Rev. Peters fled when his house was attacked by a “Mob”, which he also called the “Sons of Liberty”. Although the Sons of Liberty started as a distinct group in the 1760s, by 1774 the difference between them and mobs became blurred in enforcing the Committee’s findings. Origin and Progress describes a similar 1774 decision to ban commerce as made by a “Mob Committee.” Rev. Peters said Spencer and the Governor encouraged such mob abuse. (9) (18) Rev. Peters said local leader Col. Spencer and the Governor of Connecticut encouraged such mob abuse (9) (14) Abner’s uncle Jonathan Beebe was very outspoken against the Revolution, declaring that British General Gage was right in shooting at the crowd in the Boston Massacre.The Committee voted Jonathan, Abner and his father William Beebe enemies. (10) With the prospects of no business, and the “new fashion dress of tar and feathers”, Jonathan Beebe was restored to favor when his confession was published in the Connecticut Gazette. (11) Abner’s brother Asa refused to recant, despite also being tarred and feathered, and left to settle in Vermont. He was a lay reader for Rev. Peters’ Episcopal Parish. (12) Jonathan Beebe was about 70 in 1775, so it is likely that Abner’s uncle Jonathan was the same Parish Clerk mentioned in Origin and Progress. (13) Rev. Peters escaped to live in London. Peter Oliver wrote his history in London’s Loyalist refugee community, so it is likely he heard Beebe’s tale there, since Origin and Progress records the same incident. (4)

    The first American publication of the mills’ tradition was traced to a Connecticut Advertizer newspaper article of 1881 which explained the “large millstone” which “most visitors at Chapman Falls have noticed” this way; “revolutionists broke open the mill and rolled the principal stone down the falls”. (16) This account closely matches that of Beebe’s mill in Origin and Progress which specifies that his “gristmill was broke and persons prevented from grinding at it”. Period context of this phrasing is revealing. By late 1774, a pending attack by the English was on everyone’s mind. Preventing them from being supplied by Loyalists like Abner Beebe was vital, so private property was often seized or made useless. In 1798 an English army colonel advised that “If an enemy should penetrate far into the country, the mills should be prevented from grinding by breaking the upper stones…On an enemy’s landing, the mills should be guarded and prevented from grinding…”. (17) A 1781 petition by people of nearby Longmeadow, MA describing similar incidents is worded much like Abner Beebe’s complaint of “violent destruction of private property.” The petition noted it was common to “Seize on private property where necessary, and in some Instances prevent people from using their property in such a manner as essentially to injure the whole…Many things were done by the people and their Committees, which could not be justified…” Throughout the Revolutionary War period, mills were key places of struggle for the control of local resources. General Washington at one point ordered his officers to remove the stones from local mills to prevent millers from grinding flour for the enemy.(18) These understandings of historical context and colonial era word usage provide independent confirmation of the 1781 account of Beebe’s gristmill attack by the Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice. In his final example of atrocities done by those he called the Mob, Peter Oliver notes that “His Gristmill was broke, and Persons prevented from grinding at it.” (at least removing it’s millstone)

    Over many years the tradition evolved to include myths. Such scenarios illustrate the importance of from the time of an incident. For example, folklore details of the early 20th century named Captain Aaron Fox as the Sons of Liberty leader who personally threw several millstones into the falls in the attack. (19) The local Aaron Fox was merely eleven at the time, and only became a Captain in the War of 1812.(20) The only other Aaron Fox who served Connecticut in the Revolutionary War was from far-away Fairfield County never became a Captain. (21) A review of the Fox family tree revealed a Eunice Beebe marrying East Haddam’s Aaron Fox. (22) Beebe’s assault occurred in front of his children, one of which “went into distraction”, as Origin and Progress specifies. (1) Purely romantic speculation demonstrating the development of folklore might find the young Aaron Fox meeting his future bride during the gristmill attack, and his heroic role passed on as family tradition.

    Another example of speculative folklore resulted in several post-colonial millstones now in the lawn at the caretaker’s residence near Chapman Falls being attributed to the event. The myth of “Aaron Fox’s millstone” and it’s related photo were erroneously published in the otherwise noteworthy guide to Connecticut State Parks titled A Shared Landscape. (23) Recent archeological evaluation revealed “quarter-dress” design markings from a later period on the two millstones in the lawn, excluding them as related colonial era artifacts. Their relatively intact condition and later design suggest Beebe’s sawmill as their place of origin. This left a “sickle-furrowed” stone first documented in 2002 as being down-slope from the gristmill in the falls the only colonial era millstone found nearby. The condition of the sickle shaped grooves on the face of the millstone is revealing. They are not completely worn down, despite many years in the falls. This point could indicate it was thrown in to prevent grinding. It could be that any of the dozens of foundation stones were replaced in a later period, or that the colonial millstone was thrown in for an unrelated reason, but there is no evidence to support either unlikely possibility. The position and condition of the millstone, and the colonial document evidence, all seem to verify linkage to the story. (23) Revolutionary War Historian Ray Raphael concluded; “You don’t have to have absolute certainty in this arena. We use physical artifacts as a means of telling significant tales, and that can certainly be done in this case.” With these understandings of the archeological evidence, the colonial era millstone found downslope from the gristmill is reasonably linked to it. (24) In fact, the millstone story was so compelling that it had to be removed from the falls for the safety of the many people who took the risk of climbing over the fence to see it, and avoid vandalism. (25) The millstone is now planned to be on loan from the DEP, as part of an exhibit of the East Haddam Historical Society. The Beebe’s Mills story received national attention in the New York Times article of 1/25/04 titled “Uncovering A Millstone Who-Done-It.” (26) A joint panel of historical and archeological professionals, the DEP, and lay persons, then decided to commemorate Beebe’s Mills’ history. (27) The Connecticut State Archeologist later re-confirmed that decision. (28) An independent investigative study was then announced. (29). In 2007 colonial document research verifying the mills’ story was confirmed by the Connecticut State Historian who wrote this was “exactly what is needed to help clinch the argument.” (30) While no one piece of the evidence verifies the whole story, when considered together, the evidence is compelling. Re-evaluation of the millstone by an independent Staff Archeologist of the Kentucky Heritage Council concluded “You can still comment in interpretative materials at the park that the position and condition of the millstone seem to verify the story.” His examination of photos of the archeological evidence found the sickle furrowed millstone fragment to be the only one with design markings from the colonial era. (23) Revolutionary War historian Ray Raphael commented; “We use physical artifacts as a means of telling significant tales, and that can certainly be done in this case… Again, you’ve got a juicy piece of material history there, and in my mind reasonable linking to tell a big story.” (31) The Connecticut State Archeologist turned out to be correct when he first concluded that ”We have the mill, we have the stone and we have a wonderful story to go with it. It talks about people’s attitudes toward each other at the beginning of the Revolutionary War and to tie it to an artifact is pretty cool.” (32) As a result of further research, at least three artifacts have been reasonably linked to the story; the gristmill, the colonial era millstone, and the sawmill. With the conclusions of the joint panel re-confirmed by stronger evidence, and the validation of independent histiorical and archeological experts, application was made for inclusion of the Beebe’s Mills and the colonial millstone on the Connecticut Historic Register, and an exhibit at the park commemorating the site. Beebe’s mills at the top of Chapman Falls, and the colonial millstone, have definite links to the stories of real families on both sides of the Revolution. The verifiable archeological and historical evidence combined teaches history in a compelling way. This project can create a special relationship of time and space for public education and tourism that can be very effective in promoting the state park and it’s history. (33)

    Recommendations for curatorial action and public information: 1-Posting of interpretive signage in kiosks at Chapman Falls and several other locations in Devil’s Hopyard State Park to reflect this history of Beebe’s Mills, and directing vistors to the East Haddam Historical Society to view a related display. 2-Revision of the park’s website history synopsis, and promotion via other media outlets. 3-Pamphlets and flyers with similar information for distribution at the site and other State Parks. 4-Lending of the colonial millstone to the East Haddam Historical Society for use in the related display. 5-Planning of a larger commemorative display, possibly at the sawmill site, as originally decided by a joint panel, to include the Connecticut Council On Culture and Tourism, the Researcher, the Office of Historic Preservation, the State Parks Division, and any other appropriate members. 6-Inclusion of Beebe’s Mills and it’s extant artifacts, such as the colonial millstone, on the Connectcut Historic Register.

  807. Chris says:

    It will take time for the landscaping to grow in, but if you look at it from the Google satellite you can see MANY MANY trees that were planted.

  808. Dave says:

    Taking back the Notches would be a good start, but to make Connecticut whole we will also need to seize Block Island.

  809. Steve says:

    Agreed. But we should start with Fishers Island since they are Connecticut in everything (zip code, Area code, school system) but taxes and name. Then Plum Island. Once we’ve completed the takeover, we’ll move on to Block (named for, of course, Adriean Block, the Dutchman who “founded” what was to become Hartford.)

  810. Tamerah J. Duncan ( Cowles family ) says:

    I have been researching the Cowles side of my Family History – I am in Awe !! I am Very Proud to be a descendant !

  811. Tom says:

    Take back the Baby Notch! — but don’t take Plum Island until they shut down the anthrax lab.

  812. Jude says:

    I like the notch as is. There are enough rectangles and squares (as well as other pejoratives)in the Midwest. No more property acquisition for Connecticut until it (re)creates just one single habitable city. It’s unconscionable for a state with that much money to have such miserable urban dwelling spaces. Just my opinion, and y’know, well, maybe a small island would be okay.

    Good read, Steve.

  813. Jim Dungate says:

    I noticed you mention there are only three Stein and Goldstein working carousels in the U.S.. Does this include the newly restored (May,2009) Nunley’s Carousel housed at Museum Row in Garden City, New York? The restoration was done by a company in Ohio, and in my opinion, is above and beyond first class. My father would take my siblings and me to Nunley’s when it was located in Baldwin,Long Island back in the 50’s. It is a jewel in Long Island’s crown. I am a retired art teacher and so far, I have completed four paintings of the carousel horses. Nice memories.
    Jim Dungate

    P.S. I would send you pictures of my paintings, however, I need to have one of my children help me.Computers are new to me.

  814. Aunt Pat says:

    Being married to a Polymer chemist those plastic roasting bags are totally forbidden at our house. No bag makes for much better gravy from the browned dippings. Fresh herbs from my garden are a big help, too. I say all this having just had one of your mother’s bagged turkeys. Glad to see you and Hoang have started a new tradition. Hey, and a little nice wine doesn’t hurt either.

  815. Dave says:

    You can’t imagine how happy I am that there are still small local turkey farms still around. Big agribusiness hit the Connecticut River Valley pretty hard in the 70s and 80s. There used to be (at least) four turkey farms within a few miles of Enfield; today not a single one remains, and the newspaper ads that once advertised “fresh native turkeys” for sale in the local supermarkets now advertise Butterball and Shady Brook Farms.

  816. Cecil O Williams says:

    I am from Sierra Leone and lived with my family in Manchester, CT and work in Hartford. I would like my family and I to be part of this great history. My wife and I work for the Hartford Public library and would like to let the Amistad connection in Connecticut be a yearly celebration in the library. This is a great part of history and should be pass on to generations with us being part of such great history.
    Cecil O Williams

  817. Mark Ó Taidhg says:

    you wouldn’t understand unless you grew up in N.Ireland at the time, even i was born to late to witness all the harassment and oppression from the police and British army. both sides had there reasons to fight whether loyalist or republican but the main reason the troubles had started was because loyalists were burning Catholics out of their homes i think that gives justification to fight back. many of the bombings Omagh for instance (because i was there) was not the same I.R.A as any of the hunger strikers, it was a splinter group the R.I.R.A. Innocent Casualties of war are expected just look at Iraq and Afghanistan today or Hiroshima in 1945 if dropping a nuclear bomb on a city full of civilians is not terrorism then i don’t know what is.

  818. Bloomfield, Connecticut—As Beautiful as its Name Implies! « OneSixNine: Two Girls Tackle the Nutmeg State says:

    [...] it’s cold out! — but we haven’t decided the rest of our day.  Bummer that the farm implements museum met an early demise, but there appears to be some nice looking and/or architecturally [...]

  819. Dr. Eckhard Trox says:


    indeed a nice website!

    Can you tell me something about german or european influence on the production of military buttons in Waterbury between 1830 and 1900?

  820. John W Shove says:

    When tasting the ‘Old Yankee Ale’, I wonder if that’s how beer/ale was back in Ben Franklin’s day..Good stuff!! I like to support the Conn breweries…so much beer, so little time…tsk, tsk…..haha!! I like SOME of the Sam Adams products, but NOT the ‘Boston Lager’..the long-lasting foam/head on Cottrell’s OLd Ynkee Ale is a tell-tale sign that the ale in the glass is GOOD STUFF…oh, yes..enjoying it RIGHT NOW!! Thanks!!

  821. Manny says:

    I’ve been to this house on numerous occasions. I recall one time my buddies and I were walking to the rear end of the house where the alleged murders took place and after about 5-10 minutes of walking around we see an old man and he starts running towards us. Of course we all ran away and left. Now I’m not sure if this was an apparition or if it was the man living next door who could have possibly seen us exploring the vicinity, but regardless it was one hell of an experience.

  822. Mark Johnson says:

    Is the facility rent ready?

  823. BillieJean says:

    I drive by this everyday and am still amazed at it…cant help but take your eyes off the road. In all honesty, it is ridiculous! Talk about showing off what you have. Being successful is great but having to show yourself off with a home of almost 51k sq. ft. on top of a mountain is unreal and absolutely insane! Just because you are able to doesn’t mean you must flaunt it. And why keep every light on in the house because you can afford it? What about conservation of energy people?!

  824. Dennis (Cumulus) says:

    First you say, “a fat little woolly bear caterpillar which I noted had a very, very small brown band … If this guy was to be trusted, we’re in for a very mild winter”. Then you say, “a narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter”.

  825. Chad says:

    I think the place known as “Hosmer Mountain” is on Mountain St. where the store is (Rte. 32 going towards Lebanon). Its the giant hill behind the store.

  826. Syria Low says:

    Hi, I tumbled upon your blogs about Damien totally by accident, while goggling for some clues to a letterbox. ( In fact you might try letterboxing with Damien, since he likes hiking. West Hartford has tons of them around. )

    I enjoy reading about Damien and following his story. The ELC school here in W. Htfd is wonderful. My daughter went there too for preschool. She had Miss Suzy. Wonderful place! Now she is 11!! Although she was not special needs; she also had her moments. And she was a puzzle to figure out as she was growing up. And she was my second-born. I did all the same things that worked with my son, and they didn’t work with her. Sigh!

    I’m going to check some of the places you mentioned in your blogs this coming new year. Thanks for writing. Love it and all the pictures too!
    Hugs to Damien!! :-D

  827. Susan Lapins says:

    Thank you for the photos and for this website. Frog Rock was our lunch spot on the way to Chatham, Cape Cod, from Caldwell, NJ, in the 1950’s. My parents, Jan & Stan Kohler, could turn a long trip and lack of funds for restaurants and fancy hotels (Chatham, and indeed our home town, have gone frighteningly upscale) into a fever pitch of anticipation for myself and sister Nancy. I was fortunate to find references on the internet and rediscovered it with my husband. Thanks especially to the Thurber family for maintaining it. I do prefer the natural rock, but understand the need for green paint. Do you need funding for cleanup of the site?
    Susan Kohler Lapins (Virginia)

  828. Dave Caranci says:

    I was born and raised in North Providence in 1948 and I remember this little park as a young boy when my Dad used to stop there on our “Sunday drives” in the 1950s. We often ate a picnic lunch there and played all over the rock and surrounding picnic area.

    I travel to Providence once or twice a year to visit relatives if I’m in New England and never fail to note it on the side of the road. I have even stopped occasionally and picked up garbage. Glad to see that others have the same fond memories I have.

    Dave Caranci (North Carolina)

  829. Nicholas Cottrell says:

    We’ll I was serching my name in a yahoo serch engine, and I came apon this… wow I wonder if I’m blood related? I just wanted to say that I am stoked that there is a Cottrell Brewing Comp. thats awsome!

  830. David says:

    Bumped into your site when looking for info on Pachaug. Great descriptions on your hiking trips. I love to take a topographic map and follow all the old trails that are forgotten about around our area. We live in Pachaug between Jewett City and Voluntown. I have worked in the museum community for almost 40 years and have a deep interest in both, self identified museums, and formally recognized Museums. Your blog has been book marked for future reference and comments. Thank you!

  831. David says:

    I can not help myself but I must speak out on this. You seem to use a plethora of negative terminology pointed towards the people of “northeastern” CT. The use of terms to describe the people of that corner of the state as “redneck” and “white trash” is less than complimentary. It also seems that you are painting a picture that illustrates that everyone in this area lives in a “trailer park” or the equivalent, and that the only available medical care is through a “hick country doc”.

    Secondly, you said, “There is essentially nothing there unless you like gambling (Two gigantic casinos), NASCAR (Waterford Speedbowl)”. If you identify northeastern CT as being Windham County, which would be a fair assumption, then all the referenced venues in the past quote are located in New London County which is in southeastern CT. I should add that in New London county you also have Connecticut College, the US Coast Guard Academy, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. Mashantucket Museum and Research Center, to name only a few resources of academia, the arts, and entertainment.

    Take my comment only as polite criticism and not as an anger rebuttal. I like your blog as a whole and was originally drawn to it due your comments on hiking and museums which I follow as an avocation and profession.

  832. Steve says:

    David is right to criticize this post. I’ve thought about rewording some of the older posts like this one over the years, but haven’t for a few reasons.

    Please know that the first few highpointing posts were written many years before CTMQ was a glimmer in my eye. I wrote them in a diary style for 5 friends to read at the time and they were meant to be “humorous” and trite. This was written in 2002, almost 5 years before I began this blog – look at that full head of dark hair! I wasn’t married, I didn’t have a kid and I certainly knew very little about NE CT.

    I can’t really apologize for that, as that was my ignorance at the time. Through this blog and my travels and maturity though, my attitudes and commentary has changed drastically. I’ve come to love the quiet corner and all it has to offer – in its own unique way.

    And I think that’s why I leave these old posts “as-is.” Poorly written and rife with forced insults, it’s sort of a reminder of my impetuous youth.

    I appreciate your open-mindedness about this post and hope you continue reading. I can’t promise you won’t find other insults here and there, but this blog has been a true journey and my appreciation for all that CT offers has grown immensely.

    (Note: My criticisms of South Carolina in that post remain steadfast.)

  833. David says:

    I appreciate your humble response. It is a pleasure to hear someone admit to their impulsive comments, as I have made many myself. I will continue to follow your adventures as they come and think about them as I travel the back woods of eastern CT. Be well and stay safe.
    Thank you.

  834. honeybunny says:

    I just love Damian photos.


  835. Mike Kelly says:

    I was working for a company in East Haven, delivering fireplace parts. I was taking my lunch near a seth thomas store in thomaston. I went in and I decided that if I ever have a son, I should buy him a watch. I was 20 at the time and just out of the army in 1975. I bought a ST pocketwatch that had a train on the back, and a bunch of stuff that on the front that represented the American Industrial Revolution.

    I am 55 now, and I am holding that watch in my hands now. I have two sons, so I will be buying another pocket watch for one of them.

    I had learned that the company was moving down south, because of lower taxes. I am wondering what happened after that? I look around on the internet to try and find the same watch, but have not found any yet. My watch has never been wound up, ever….but its swiss made innards are sure to function properly.

    I will have to visit the Museum someday.

    Thanks for your site.

    Happy New Year (2010)

  836. Aaron says:

    Thanks for all the great photos of the trails, the rich persons house at the end of the long driveway where you park “567 Firetown rd” isnt actually rich it was built approxiamately 200 years ago and was the original caretakers house of the mclean game refuge. I had lived there for about 4 years in the early 90s. I never knew what the name of the ruins were pilfershire but ever you ever return and leave the trail to the first large foundation and then turn to the left theres a dark thicket of trees that gave me an eerie feeling and i could never get the courage to look inside. I have since moved away and cannot reach it but look in the thicket, you cant miss it because its a 12 ft high wall of intertwined vines

  837. Steve says:

    Thanks Aaron; boy, that house sure is in a beautiful spot.

    I do plan on poking around the Simsbury Land Trust Trails in the area in 2010, so perhaps I’ll take you up on that challenge.

    And speaking of the SLT and my comments in the original post and here in the comments, I have an update. I’ve recently learned that the McLean Game Refuge is actually a National Natural Landmark (there are 8 in CT in total) and perhaps that is their very valid excuse for the Refuge not wanting to connect to “outside” trail networks.

    Note: You didn’t hear it from me, but right near the area Aaron is speaking of, there are a couple trails linking over to the SLT properties. Shhhh.

  838. melody says:

    hi a few of us girls here at the program called fresh start on the the iol property would like to know as much information as possible about the building we live at on 17 essex st which was i believe the childrens building we have strange things happening and if you could give us any history would greatly appreciate it your website is great.thank you melody

  839. d obare says:

    The mammie dolls are racial motivated toward africian americans of the past. The development of the dolls came from cartoons of black people in 1600, 1700, and 1800s. The cartoons made remarks about africian american women that were slaves who in most instances were house slaves who took care of slave owners children. These cartoons developed more negative images during this time. The developement of the cloth dolls and cermanic dolls became popular due to these cartoons. The mammie dolls are resurfacing now by causians and miseducated africian americans as heritage dolls. They are apart of africian american heritage however a negative image. They have increased sales after the election of Barack Obama by causians by right wing conservatives. Don’t believe me google it for yourself.

  840. Debbie says:

    Great outdoor and Damian pictures – I’ll have to check this place out!

  841. Rick says:

    Not that it is important but Jay’s wife name is Loraine not Lorrie.

  842. jude says:

    “(and before I started my new job)”

    You have a job?

  843. brian josephson says:

    I have a 1875 eugene buninghause barber chair, all wooden , tilting with
    head rest , whicker back and cloth seat, with a cast iron eagle in the base
    I think for a weight, might you know someone interested in the chair, my father was in the barber and beutiy supply bussiness al my life and he bought the bussiness from freinds or family please call or email

  844. brian josephson says:

    please respond

  845. Steve says:


    I’ll try to be nice. I (the writer of this blog) have nothing in the world to do with anything in the world having to do with old barbershop chairs or collectibles.

    I write a blog (the very one you posted a comment on) about museums in CT. There used to be one dedicated to old barbershop stuff but its closed and the guy who ran it lives 2000 miles away.

    Friendly advice: Please, to you and to everyone, Please actually read articles and blog posts before commenting on them.

    In return, I’ll remove your phone number that you published for the world to see.

  846. ebbie says:

    hey man, what the hell? why didn’t you put the quote on the sign?

  847. honeybunny says:

    That was quite a yarn.


  848. John Bossidy says:

    I was 10 when my family moved into its new house on Buckland Road. Because we were on the west side of the Silas Deane Hiway, our church was Corpus Christi. I became an altar boy there, and spent many Sundays accompanying the curate, Father Glynn, to the old prison for Mass.

    I recall how deep into the massive building we had to travel to arrive at the small hall where we set up for Mass. Not too many prisoners attended the service, yet all seemed very dejected and prayerful. I recall their uniforms were tan at the time. Later on in the 1940s, we would play at least one baseball game per summer inside the open exercise yard, with the high and oppressive prison walls being the boundaries of the narrow and deep field. The prisoners had a few excellent ball players, and they always gave us a good game, beating our young team several times that I played. The most memorable facet of those games was the exuberant cheering of the inmates in support of the visiting players and the terrible and profane razzing of the prison players.

    Yet, all the inmates seemed to laugh loud and long and appeared to really enjoy the games. I don’t remember any home runs being hit over the prison walls, but many foul balls would fly over a near wall that was surrounding home plate. All the “cons” would jump to their feet when one went out and loudly offer to go out to retrieve it. The guards would simply laugh and tell them to sit back down and enjoy the game. On the few occasions when I would be in close contact with a prisoner, such as when we were exchanging places on the field between innings, their comments were friendly, their attitude the same, and I always felt they really appreciated our presence and competition. I was an outfielder, so I had few chances to chat with a prisoner except when I’d appear at the plate for my turn to bat.

  849. Hiromi says:

    Thank you for the interesting story.
    I am analyzing the Pequot War for my senior thesis and found it very interesting!
    Well, I could find the current plaque for the Mason monument but I cannot find the old one. Do you know any website or anything that says what was written on the plaque?

    Thank you.


  850. honeybunny says:

    I am partial to the Home Depot dog myself.


  851. Shawn and Rachele Pelletier says:

    On our way back from Willimantic, Shawn and I decided to stop there. He had visited it many times as a child and remembered Frog Rock when we passed it. We had a blast, and took pictures with the frog. I had never been there and had only heard of it so it was cool to finally see what everyone was talking about when they said Frog Rock. We plan to bring our little one when she gets older and it isnt so cold.

  852. Jack Dempsey says:

    Like your thoughtful site—You might be interested in a different conception of what happened at Mystic and in The Pequot War by a look at the samples from “MYSTIC FIASCO: How the Indians Won The Pequot War” (2004) by myself and co-author, archaeologist and painter David Wagner at the above website….The whole work will be posted in revised form this coming spring 2010 at , as well….Thanks! Best Regards, JD

  853. Ben G Szaro says:

    I ran across this website by accident. My father was Ben Szaro, the teacher who took kids up from Seminole to work in the summers. To Rick Miller, he passed away in October of 2003 at the age of 82. I worked with my Dad as camp houseboy when I was in high school in ‘69 and ‘70 at Camp Nike (Culbro Tobacco CoO and again in ‘71 at the Thrall’s Camp in Windsor …yes it was a good job. During those years, I roomed at one time or another with both Wolfson brothers; I also remember Scott Graves and at least one of the Pelletiers from Windsor. In college, I returned with my Dad to the Consolidated Cigar Co’s camp in Suffield CT in ‘74 to work in the fields as a supervisor…my younger brother got the houseboy job. The following year, ‘75, was my Dad’s last year taking kids up. By then, my two brothers, my sister, and I had finished high school and left home, so my Mom and Dad didn’t need the money from a summer job anymore. He spent the next 15 summers touring the US with my Mom in a camper.

    I liked the Northeast enough (to this day I can’t stand the summer heat in Florida) that I went to college in Massachusetts and now live not far from the Connecticut/Massachusetts border in upstate NY.

    A few years back, I drove through Simsbury and Suffield, and was surprised at how much it has changed. On the way there, I passed the tobacco museum, but didn’t stop. I now wish I had; maybe next summer. The road between Simsbury and Avon, where Camp Nike was located, was unrecognizable except for the Heublein tower looming over the vallyer from Avon mountain. The road itself is now crowded with housing developments and condo villages. I ate lunch at a McDonald’s in a shopping mall in Avon,which in the 60’s was just woods. I made my best efforts to find Camp Nike, and found the road leading to the Nike missile silos, which are still there, deep underground; Camp Nike itself is now a Condo village. I also climbed the Heublein tower on top of Avon mountain, where I had gone with my Dad and some friends from the camp (Stan Stone and Charlie Cramb) on many hikes in the late ’60’s and early 70’s. The tower itself was closed back then, but is now open to the public. It’s worth the trip. Although it was mid summer when I visited, there wasn’t a sign to be seen of the cheesecloth covered fields that filled the valley in the 60’s and 70’s. I guess that’s why there is now a museum.

  854. Pam says:

    I also really enjoyed this one and was not depressed by it much at all. I thought the ending was really good and Francis redeemed himself enough during the book to make up for everything that had happened in his checkered past that I grew to like him. You wrote a very good review. :)


  855. Bob says:

    Anybody that is into old truck and heavy equipment should check this place out. I was up there a couple times, as recent as 01/16/10 and it is a awesome collection of history. I will go again when its warmer.

  856. Mike says:

    I was curious about the Mattabesett Trail In North Guilford. I own an ATV. I was curious about taking it there and riding it for the day as part of my recreation sport. Is it allowed? Or Can i use the trail for this purpose? Can you please email me back with a response. thank you very much.

    Mike Torre

  857. Lorraine Stub says:

    I am also a member of The Berlin Historical Society and your blog story about our cherished museum warmed by heart. We knock ourselves out creating ever changing displays and educational programs, not only at the museum in the old Peck Library, but at the Berlin Fair (first weekend in October). The most frequent comments we get from first time visitors are “Wow, we had no idea all this was here!” and “Your Historical Museum Barn is the best thing about the Berlin Fair.” Among the subjects of extensive displays we’ve constructed in recent years are The Leather Man, The Berlin Trolley, Berlin Cemeteries, Cider Mills, Dairies, Street Histories, Noted Berlin Artists, Vintage Wedding Gowns and The Yankee Pedlar. We also produce a different themed DVD each year using photos from our archives. Soon you will be able to check in on what we are doing through our website.

  858. Lorraine Stub says:

    I enjoyed your account of visiting The Industrial Museum. Sadly, Warren Kingsbury died January 14, 2010. Warren was a former mayor of Berlin, CT with a passionate love of history and community. He was a dear, sweet gentleman who will be greatly missed.

  859. ron says:

    NJN, NJ’s PBS network, runs NJN “classics” on their extra digital station and I watched this show from 1981 about the shad industry on the delaware and how there isnt one now. it was interesting yet depressing.

    in a neighborhood in philadelphia they are now having a shad fest though since they are gradually coming back.

  860. Vaughan says:

    very interested also trying to find a depth chart for teh lake

  861. Suzette says:

    Thats just what it is, a windy road to be careful of and nothing more. The whole ghost thing is an invitation to bring people in and nothing more

  862. mich says:

    Iwas introduced to monk parakeets in fall 2008 by 2 professors at Southern CT State U. The chairman of the biology department has been studying them for 20+ years and have testified in court against having the UI killing them. Instead we really need to study and undrstand them. I have been doing an independent project on them and will probably do a thesis on them. They build nests in the New Haven area primarily in White Pine and some have taken to Oak and Maple trees. Occassionally, I have seen some nests in white birches. They are a fascinating species and so far I haven’t read where they have done any crop damage to the area. Sparrows I have noticed have actually assisted the monks with building their nests and do share one of the other open chambers with them. I have done 2 presentations on them at SCSU. I have also done a little research of them in FL near the Tampa area and hope to go back there and study them and compare them with the ones in the north. I have read numerous articles and thesis papers on them. My study is actuallay on nesting behavior and what they use to build their nests and what type of material they use for bedding. All of this is fascinating to me. So before anyone feels they should be eradicated because they are noisy or their population is increasing or any other reason they should look at the big picture, look, watch, and listen to them. Observe them and see how interesting they are when they carry twigs twice their size and weight and weave them into an existing nest or the start of one. Thank you Dr. Smith and Dr. Ramirez for opening my eyes and mind to them.

  863. Aunt Pat says:

    Gee, i remember eating shad as a kid in Delaware. Like you said, shad has a lot of little bones, a really bad fish to feed a kid. Kinda ruined me for fish until nearly adulthood. I recall an impass with your grandfather. I refused to finish my fish one night (probably because of the bones). My father threatened that I would have the shad for breakfast if I didn’t finish it then. Yuck, fish for breakfast! Who knew I would marry into lox and bagels!

  864. Steve says:

    More importantly, THIS is where I dragged your sister for her first CTMQ experience?! I’m awesome.

    (Rest assured, we went to a much more mom-friendly place right down the road after this… Gillette’s Castle.)

    Oh – and I married Vietnamese… How about fish sauce for breakfast.

  865. Jon says:

    I believe that Barbara Allan used to live there:

    PS – I found this site via the magazine article.

  866. honeybunny says:

    Nice Mise en place.


  867. Mulv says:

    Ha! I love that you included a link to Rod and Todd Flanders. I used to cover Flanders quite a bit and, in my head, I always pronounced it Flanderesssss a la Homer Simpson.

  868. Dick Zitkus says:

    I am searching for the shelter rock in the Satans Kingdom area of New Hartford. Can anyone help me locate this area ? Send to my E-Mail address

  869. ROBERT BUSHNELL says:


  870. Steve says:

    What in the world gave you the impression that this blog has anything in the world to do with your family reunion?

  871. Steve says:

    Maybe someone can find this sometime and help you out. I have no idea… But there is a little trail called the Shelter 4 Loop off of Satan’s Kingdom Road near the River:

  872. Jenny says:

    I think Steve Wood “is awesome.”

  873. Dick Zitkus says:

    Nice Video–I do plan to hike these trails when its a little warmer! Thanks for the info.

  874. honeybunny says:

    I like Steve’s “oddball sense of humor”.
    Thumbs up.


  875. Caroline says:

    I’m sorry I donked your head, bubbers. So I remember my state of mind that day was not the rosiest…but did I actually leave the house without shoes? I’m not wearing shoes in those pictures. Did I forget to put them back on after the Kid Rock shark tank incident?

    Good write-up and congratulations on 100+ and your new-found fame. Can you link your twitter to your fb status please. I miss all of your updates–or at least keep the emails going.

  876. Tom says:

    Wow – great article! I also enjoyed comparing the profile with the original CTMQ experience.

  877. Mindy says:

    This must be the guy you were telling me about that followed you to our little museum! Great job as always!

  878. T-Bag says:

    I want more pictures of your “athletic, 36-year-old frame.”

    But seriously, this is really awesome. Next up: Time Magazine.

  879. Twelve Mile Circle » Blog Archive » Maintenance Update - maps, geography, travel says:

    [...] Steve of CTMQ, who often posts comments on the Twelve Mile Circle, was profiled in Connecticut Magazine this month. Check it out! [...]

  880. Hiro says:

    What a fun article! Congratulations — mostly on the “athletic frame.” I’d kill for someone to say that about me.

  881. zoe peterson says:

    this is a very interresting museum i am doing a project on connecticut and this place will just top it off with a great grade thank you guys for being so specific about your museum it really helps. I was thinking about that saying that is on the top of this page “I saw Anne Hatheways underwear drawer. Very funny, Do you think i should put that on my project iam in the 6th grade by the way. But thanks once again for the wonderful description. sincerely,
    Zoe Peterson

  882. Linda (Gudding) Hoffner says:

    Is this cheese the real reindeer cheese? My grandpa always got it sent to him from Sweden,and my father hasn’t had this cheese since he past 12 years ago. My brother and I would like to get our father some for his 84th b/day in March. If this is not the real thing do you know where I may get some. Thank you for your time.


  883. Steve says:


    No. As the above post says,”They use the milk from the dairy herd, pick it up from the Kellogg Dairy Center, and pasteurize it themselves.” No reindeer in sight.

  884. Lisa Rickis says:

    Was one of my favorite books- I loved the character names Rachel and Hannah. I remember thinking one day they would make great names for my daughters..

  885. Debbie says:

    Loved this writeup, I’ve got to get a trip planned here!

  886. Brent M. Colley says:

    Read your article in CT Magazine today. We gotta meet up.

    I’m in the process of connecting Connecticut towns and cities to Mark Twain for the Twain 2010 Centennial…there is no doubt in my mind that you know of connections that no one else in CT knows of.

    I’ve connected 55 towns and cities so far: /2009/10/connecticut-mark-twain-connections.html

    Let me know if you have anymore. This describes what we are trying to accomplish in 2010 and beyond: /2010/01/twain-themed-connecticut-tourism.html

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  887. Verna Sell says:

    Congrats Steve-I’m glad you’re destroying the myth! It’s a stunningly beautiful photo of you.

  888. Steve says:

    Nah – you’re wearing flesh colored little flat sandal things. There were other pics of you where they were more evident, I promise.

    I’ll be sure to do 200 down your way too. we’ll make it a tradition.

  889. Morrow Long says:

    The Salmon River Trail in winter (Jan 30, 2010):

    Comstock Bridge, Salmon River, abandoned car, icy/snowy stream.

  890. Tom says:

    What a great find! Thanks for all the details. I’m gonna hike it today. 2/2/10

  891. Jude says:

    And you can add this to Cato’s list of accolades: Max McCalman devoted an entire chapter of his last book, Mastering Cheese, to this farm. That’s some impressive press.

  892. Shirley Sutton says:


    Today was my 5th trip to H.R. – it is always exciting. It was snowy, but I brought a brush so we could see some of the inscriptions. UNFORTUNATELY, someone had used something permanent on the rock to better read the inscriptions. This has diminished the historical value of the site. It is due to this kind of selfish and thoughtless act that some people won’t reveal it’s location.

  893. sandy says:

    Fun reading through the eyes of a child and
    his father. Somewhat long I found but gave
    some history i new nothing about so I feel
    more educated now. I love walking the trail
    by the river best and maybe xcountry skiing
    soon there.

  894. Jude says:

    Great article! For die-hard Steve fans, see also: (though, inexplicably, it fails to mention the athletic bod, err, “frame”).

  895. Angela says:

    Just a thought about removing the bitterness. Try to soak them in very mildly salted luke warm water with a touch of baking soda in it. My gradmother taught me that with other bitter vegitables and you get the smae effect of a first boiling without boiling so the veggie doesn’t go mushy. Then I would go through with the first boil (which would now effect as the second boil) and they should be fine. Fiddleheads are one of my favorite things but I’ve only had them pickled. You’ve inspired me to give them a try for myself. Good luck and let me know if this works for you.

  896. Boe says:

    Mr. Chase may indeed be quite a philanthropist and that is commendable. But that’s a big azz house – which begs the question…”did he really build it for himself and his family, or did he build it so the public could comment incessantly on it?”

  897. will says:

    the guy has money so what! Last time I looked democtats did not lemit how much one person could make!!!!!!!

  898. RobM says:

    Well Steve, thankfully everyone else has the right to call you an idiot as well. So the man built a very nice house. So what. He lives in a society that is capitalistic and he can do as he pleases. And he should be able to do as he pleases. This is a free country, and I am proud to live here. If you don’t like it, move to Canada….and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

  899. frugal freak says:

    What a hero! We are in a consumer driven economy and the chase family has created jobs for all these carpenters, heating contractors, building supply stores etc. He will be paying average people who may be otherwise utilizing unemployment to run the household, cook, clean, security guards, landscaping, run the movie theater. These will be manual labor jobs… no higher education required. He will be paying huge taxes to the town for them to educate the children and take care of the elderly. And then the town will likely sometime in the future be given this house to become a major money making tourist attraction. I think this house is just what we need right now…jobs… so you can prosper as a by-product of his well funded fantasy and you will be able to take care of your own families and develop your own dreams. I am sure he will be a great person to work for. Embrace him Connecticut! He is giving you more than you understand.

  900. christine says:

    If Obama can pledge 120 million of the tax payers money (money that we don’t have) to Haiti, then I guess it’s not so obscene to build a super structure to continue to line the pockets of those who need it the least.

  901. Sandy says:

    I was at UConn in the 60’s (I know i am old!) but one had to stop at Shady Glen for their awesome cheeseburgers and ice cream on our way back to campus! (This was just before I-84 so we had to take Rt44,etc. to get to campus…a long trek from Fairfield campus, but Shady Glen made it so worth while! I go back once in a while and love,love that it is still like it was then! A treasure for sure!

  902. Steve Mueller says:

    Question: Is this the same Frank Chiarenza, Yale alumnus and terrific professor of Chaucer?

  903. Ty says:

    I would think I am the only visitor that looks at your site and reads your hikes to try and find new undeveloped boulders and cliffs to climb. In CT most of the cliffs have been dicovered for climbing, but there are a lot of boulders that have remained under the radar which are right on or next to hiking trails. I have looked at every picture to try and find boulders in the backround that look good for climbing. Like the pictures on the Tunxis trail helped me find a few new climbs.

    I figured I should ask if anyone has seen other cool rock formations on public trails around Bristol? The Mile of ledges has some good rocks tucked back in the woods but I want MORE!

  904. Russ Cohen says:

    Hello – I encourage you to join us for the “Foraging at Fisher Meadows” walk I’ll be leading this spring in Avon, CT. Details will be posted on the web pages of the two co-sponsorsm, the New England Eild Flower Society ( and the Farmington River Watershed Association. You’ll learn (among many other things) the right way to identify fiddleheads and prepare them for safe and delicious eating.

  905. Henry Jacobs says:

    David Chase, whose money built that house, rose from a door to door salesman holocaust survivor to a mega-wealthy businessman. He went from living in a small apartment in New Britain to being able to build a castle.
    He had guts, creative instincts and a natural flair for financial success.
    What he lacked was a heart. He would take the last dollar from a friend or an unsuspecting person foolish enough to trust him. He was so driven to be Ozymandias that he put his better side away in favor of ruthlessness. Like other financial barons, he preferred a legacy of ostentatious wealth to one of kindness, compassion and generosity. The public donations are a mere form of public relations. “Look upon my works O ye mighty and despair…”

  906. Linda says:

    You can find out more about the jail on the Historical Society’s blog (including a slideshow of images) at and more about loyalists during the Revolutionary War on the Historical Society’s Web site at

  907. Fred Stephan says:

    The spelling of the name is Brace/Stephan

  908. Steve says:


    I just love how I got a comment on this page, perhaps the one most devoid of any pertinent information.

  909. Tony says:

    I agree with Chris. I live in walking distance from his home and it is great. Good for him! Build a bigger home if that what makes you happy Mr. Chase. It drives my property value up! A ++ Pal. Also for all of you people complaining about the size…and its the size of the white house. All garbage. All the homes YOU live in…people took those trees down as well. Just because you cant build a bigger home do not rain on an individual who worked his ass off to provide that for people in his life. You have no idea his financial background, his power or the contribution that has come out of his pocket. And one last thing for all you people who say “donate to the hungry”. You should donate to the hungry and dont spend other peoples hard earned coin. All the money in the world cant help so back off! Cheers to Chase and welcome to the hood my friend!

  910. Steve says:

    Please explain to the rest of us dummies how Chase’s mansion drives up your property value. Just curious.

  911. Tony says:

    Maybe im wrong steve….but when you live on the same road and there are equally as nice of homes if not nicer it makes your road more appealing/desirable and people want to live here. Who wouldnt want to buy property in this area opposed to some random road where homes are in “fix up condition.”

  912. dick hemenway says:


    Great job of boiling this one down to the essentials!

  913. honeybunny says:

    Even the Damian stare is cute.


  914. zack says:

    have you been to the hebron maple fest?

  915. Cumulus says:

    You went farther than I’d thought from your email. After you passed the blue/white intersection near the power lines you were on trails I hike more weekends than not. One thing I found interesting was phrase “The Shenipsit climbs a very steep 5 meter section to attain the ridgeline”, interesting because it does not have words like “forks off to the right of the obvious trail and looks like it’s going to bypass the ridge until it suddenly turns left and” in between “Shenipsit” and “climbs”. I wonder if you left the trail at that point. It’s easy to do; I did it for months before I noticed a blue blaze on the correct trail. (With some recent reblazing it’s more obvious southbound, but still tricky n’bound.)

  916. Robin E says:

    Great website – lots of help with family etc. thanks for all your work

  917. Leeanne says:

    I tried several Cato Corner cheeses while judging a specialty-foods competition this afternoon. My favorites were the Black Ledge Blue and the Dairyere. Just unbelievable. Can’t wait to visit the farm when the weather warms.

  918. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the great info on Randall’s Ordinary. I too was disappointed that it wasn’t open when I visited in the fall of 2009. I did sneak up there and take a few pictures of the cemetery as I have relatives buried there. Such a shame to see it setting deserted like that.

  919. jerry smith says:

    went to conn in 1964,65,and 66. worked for culbro tobacco div.Barney Dudack was the field boss.stay in simsbury at the old buildings for one year then at the nike missle bass for two.

  920. Steve Silva says:

    I recently completed the Mattabesset and it really is beautiful. The rock formations and vistas are well worth the hike. I completed it during the winter months and I assume there are some resticted views during the spring through fall season. Nice job with the documentation of your journeys!

  921. Tom says:

    There’s no harm in a small but strategic evasion. We convinced our son that his birthday was a week later one year (before he was old enough to comprehend a calendar) to match our travel plans. As you mentioned, “it’s just easier” and in this instance he got to spend his “birthday” with his grandparents. All was fine.

  922. nick says:

    thanks everyone for posting these pictures and locations.
    if anyone happens to come across any of the “flyers and educational posters and print ads ” for this campaign could you please email. thanks!

  923. Jude says:

    Sugarers are my favorite people. Here’s my complaint about reverse osmosis, though: While it cuts the boiling time in half and allows sugar makers a semblance of a “normal life” during the sap-flowing weeks because they’re no longer collecting and boiling 24/7, it deprives maple-season appreciators (like me!) of those midnight hikes with the dogs to their neighbor’s sugar house for a midnight nip of syrup and, if you’re really, really lucky, a shot or two of Wild Turkey.

    It’s also a lot harder to ski under sap lines than it is to ski around trees with buckets hanging from them (admittedly, I’m a lousy skier).

    I’m glad you visited Lamothe’s and happier still that Hoang came around by the end of the trip.

    Ice, dog shit, mud, and sap–happy spring!

  924. jessica says:

    HAHA your comments are hilarious…they made me laugh and I’m all by myself….I felt a little stupid, but so what. ;)

  925. Scott Lonkoski says:

    Keep up the good work, I really enjoy your writing style and you’ve inspired me to visit many places I never would have known about. On a side note, I’m not Catholic or very religious, but a few years ago a few of us went and got our bikes blessed. Very surreal, we rode right in and up to the Grotto, a priest (I assume) tossed a little water on us (no doubt from Patrick Baker & Sons plastic water bottles made in China). As it turns out it was a great and safe riding year, hmmmm.

  926. ron says:

    sport – a practiced skill that elevates the heart rate due to physical exertion – running, jumping, lifting, etc. when you finish you need a shower and a nap.
    contest – same as above but the winner is decided by judges – figure skating, gymnastics, etc.
    game – a practiced skill that requires talent but not physical fitness – golf, darts, pool, curling.

    im into nordic combined as my odd winter olympics sport.

  927. Jessica Robinson says:

    Dear Jude,

    Actually using a Reverse Osmosis machine does not mean we do not work 24/7
    WE still have to collect sap EVERYDAY! Sap must be processed within a 12-24 hour period. During “sugaring season” we work 24/7… boiling into the late hours of the night to ensure a very fresh product.

    We work very hard to produce the best possible product.

  928. Vicki Kufta says:

    I have a lithograph copywrited 1897 by MF Tobin, New York. It is signed by a G.H. Randall. It is titled Old Mansion on the Hudson where Dr. Schuckberry wrote Yankee Doodle. do you have any information on this piece?
    I measures about 18 x 9.

  929. Steve says:

    Another commenter who didn’t read a word of the page.

  930. TC says:

    Probably Samuel Comstock of Wilton, CT. Born 1740 and died 12/1/1824. Served in the French & Indian War then swerved thoughout the Revolutionary War in the division of the Commander-in-Chief …. although the family history only shows he was promoted to Major on 10/10/1783. Served at White Plains, Valley Forge, and Yorktown. tcs

  931. miguel sartori says:

    hi,, i bought an old trunk,, undernis dirt, i found one the locks you have in your trunks lock, is th eone exatly under the sign trunk locks in picture number five,, could you addres me in how to get more information about lock, will love to have an idea of how old the trunk is…

    thankyou so much!!!

    great idea the museum of locks!! is an anusual databank!!


    Miguel Sartori

  932. Scott Graves says:

    Checked on the site as I do from time to time and enjoyed seeing the response from Ben Szaro Jr. I remember seeing your dad’s obit. and in fact I still have it. He died at sun city center if I remember correctly. I too tried to find old Camp Nike site in 94 but did not have the time to do proper search. Thanks for your response – you may also remember Peter Celeste and his brother Joe, Guy Poteat, Daryl Robinson and other Seminole vets of Nike experience. Thanks to your dad for giving us all that adventure. Scott Graves [email protected]

  933. JohnRennolds says:


    I have a Waterbury Button I am trying to ID. I is a Virignia State Seal button. It is 2 piece, and is made of silver. Can you direct me to any reference material?

    R/ John Rennolds

  934. iwan thiessen says:

    we have been going in the past to Roseland pizza in Derby,Ct that people craved about, but then someone told us to try out Carminuccios pizza in Newtown and we must admit that it is just as good if not better then Roseland, besides at Carminuccios, they have the same dishes/plates and they take credit cards, the help is nice and friendly and if you meet the owner Eddie Martino, he is very outgoing and funny.
    We hope that they will be there for a long time to come.
    best wishes
    I.T. Family

  935. stefan michael says:

    Does anyone have any pictures or information of/on a music store (I remember it as the Italian Music Emporium) that was located on Main St. (near the corner of Lafayette St.) a couple of shops to the right of the old Palace Theater (and diagonally across the street from the original location of Capitol Lunch)?

  936. Chaia says:

    We just returned from hiking to the southern tip. I laughed so hard reading your post because I believe my friends and I had nearly the same dialogue during our trek to see the green sand beach…which truly was amazing! We walked alot of our hike because we were afraid we would tear up our rental. I was just sure that we were going to come upon a pile of skeletons from others who didn’t quite make the long hike in the desert like terrain. The winds were whipping the sand in our face the entire time. The waves were huge on the green sand beach but we decided to body surf anyway. It was truly beautiful….worth every bit of effort and sandburn than we incurred. I too feel exhilerated! Thanks so much for your post. It is a perfect ending to a perfect day!

  937. Dave says:

    Clyde’s makes a hard cider they call “Yellow Jacket” which has orange juice concentrate added. It’s the only product of theirs I’ve tried that is undrinkably nasty.

    Not wanting to pour it down the drain, I used it as the first step in curing some bacon. It came out great.

  938. Aunt Pat says:

    The green pile with megaphones reminds me of the Geico bundle of money that stares at you. Yeah, that’s art!

  939. Neil says:

    Any idea when this will be? I’d like to put it in my calendar!

  940. George Marions says:

    Thanks for the information.
    I appreciate it.
    Qual’d on USS Salmon (SSR573), 1060.

  941. Lisa says:

    thank you for posting this. We have been hiking here for years and agree with everything you have said. Have you ever wandered to the right, i believe its the yellow markers? Its gorgeous, its a hike for sure with a surprise at the end. We have never seen any wild animals? have you?
    thank you

  942. Jason says:

    I would like to find the rock to satisfy my own personal curiosity. I have been to Tory’s Den, Devil’s kitchen, the Tory Prison , the Witch Rock and several of the Leatherman caves all without having publicized anything about them. Why? Don’t imagien there is much of a market for my thoughts on such things. I just really dig quirky hisprical sites like this. If you want to ask me questions so that I may prove my worthiness please shoot me an email. thanks.

  943. ann says:

    I care!! and read your hiking posts on a regular basis, especially before I do a hike. Keep writing.

  944. Steve says:

    Thanks, Ann.

    (What I meant was that no one cares how I spend way too much time figuring out the most efficient way of hiking every bit of every trail and then re-thinking later about how to best present the hikes.)

  945. Jenny says:

    What will be the name of your family band? Your comment about that picture made me LMAO! Ahh Woody, you’re the best!

  946. Craig says:

    Wow, thanks for the info. I grew up right near Bristol/Burlington line and have been hiking in Sessions Woods, Mile of Ledges and Barnes Nature Ctr, but never knew they actually all connected. Thanks for taking the time to do this (I’m sure you enjoy it) and letting everyone know about these awesome trails!

  947. dark bob says:

    “As you all know, the book follows 16 year old Holden Caulfield from his last day at his WASPY prep school (the third he’s been booted from for poor grades/behavior)” -the guy who wrote this page


  948. Chris says:

    Another great write up. we are one of the “50,000″ or so that just go to picnic and also feed the gold fish at the pond that you pass as you drive in.
    Did you walk/hike any of the trails on the property? or the old railroad?

    Also, I was surprised not to read about a visit to the 3rd floor art gallery. some great pieces in there.

  949. Steve says:

    dark bob –

    Thank you for your correction. Although I purposely sprinkle the book reviews with small factual inaccuracies so when kids copy/paste my stuff, they get nailed.

    And the plural of parenthesis is parantheses so when admonishing someone for a minor error: get the information correct.

  950. Steve says:

    I know. I certainly should have mentioned the art gallery – by then Damian was all done with the castle and I was kind of hurried through it, but you’re right; there are some very nice pieces up there. Especially if you like cats!

    We didn’t get a chance to hike around unfortunately. But I’ll get back there someday and walk around and post a separate report… Just to see if there really is a tunnel there still!

  951. Jonah Cohen says:

    Despite the name, Conny the sperm whale outside The Children’s Museum is a guy. With toothed whales (like sperm whales or dolphins), males grow to be a good deal larger than females, and Conny’s 60′ length marks him as a dude. The opposite is true, btw, for baleen whales like humpbacks or blue whales, where the females are larger. And on July 28th, TCM will be having a birthday party for Conny. No presents required.

  952. Southington Connecticut’s Barnes Museum « The Barnes Museum says:

    [...] to Connecticut MuseumQuest for a delightfully irreverent review of the [...]

  953. Kip Maxwell says:

    Can you help me out?
    I’m looking for a key for a CORBIN DESK DRAWER LOCK.
    info on the back of the lock is, HB7.
    This lock is also used on wwii u.s. feild desk.

    Thank You,
    Kip Maxwell

  954. Steve says:

    Kip – You should contact the Corbin company, the Lock museum or even the New Britain Industrial Museum. This blog has nothing to do with either.

  955. Mike says:

    My grandfather was a guard at Wethersfield. He retired as a captain. I just retired from the Indianapolis Police Dept. after 26 years and carried his whistle while I was on the job. I have some Pictures of the inside of the prison, I would guess from the 30’s. They show boxing football and holiday decorations. they also show my grandfather and other guards in the yard.

  956. shirley ottaviani hnottavange says:

    I was at Camp #2 in Simsbury, CT. the summers of 1979, 80 and 81. My husband and I were the directors at this camp. In 1979 we had girls, 1980 boys and in 1981 girls again. We also went up in 1984 and headed Camp Soutwick for boys. I also worked in the sheds the summers of 1970 and 1971 and supervised in 1972 while staying at Camp Stateline in West Suffield, CT.

  957. Ralph says:

    Dear Mike
    Sure you can take your ATV there! Why not? I would suggest starting at the top of Bluff Head and then head dead east really fast. Have a great ride and tell me how it works out.

  958. judith Greene says:

    Are you aware of any dentist from Waterbury,Ct. who was also a sculptor?

  959. Corey says:

    Haha…so true…this place is LAME…I went there about 20 yrs ago as a kid…prob was the same since then…

  960. I am d0N says:

    You people are retarded! Stick to a salad!

  961. Steve says:

    I wonder, dON, when you Googled “super duper weenie,” what were you looking for, exactly?

    Since that’s what you did even though you apparently hate hot dogs. It simply doesn’t make sense that you were looking for something about the restaurant.

  962. deadhead1217 says:

    What’s wrong with hippies?! Friendship pond sounds like a friendly place not a ‘hippie’ place…and your ‘mystery’ fish is is a sea robin..although it does have some spines, it will not harm u and it even sings if held correctly with gentleness and care…hence the name sea robin…and im a proud hippie and i know all that…

  963. Richard says:

    “Nice work ATV’s” What in the heck are you talking about? There is NOTHING there that wasn’t there before, or nothing that is NOT natural! If you do not give us areas to ride legally, you will find us riding ILLEGALLY.. Which I do NOT do because I would like to keep my ATV.

    [Quote=Strictly Dirt]
    Let’s not forget the people that move into new developments, with no regard to the area they are moving into. These are the people that call the police to complain the first time they hear that someone is riding a dirt bike and the noise annoys them. The funny thing is they moved into an area where people have been riding for years. Remember neighbor, “You moved into our neighborhood, we didn’t move into yours”.

    Also, thanks to the lawmakers and legislators who have closed our public land to offroad riding! They have gone as far as to give the D.E.P. the power to come on to your property without a warrant and issue tickets to all riders who have not registered their dirt bikes. Last time I checked this was still the United States.[/quote]

  964. Richard says:

    “Oh no.. The ruts the ruts!” Well, if you give us trails that are MAINTAINED, you darn treehuggers won’t ahve to worry a out the ruts, then will you? Go to ANY MX track and look at how well they are groomed. Such as ski areas. same thing..

    I had no choice but to move back out here from New Mexico and the oppression is outrageous when it comes to ATV’s. Not many people out west complain about ATV’s. This is ridiculous!!! No wonder why many younger people like me choose to love here. Cost of living is high and there is nothing to do for recreation, and don’t give me that “Oh, just don’t ride then” crap! I suppose you would rather your children be fat, lazy and sit INSIDE all day and play stupid video games! Get out and ride a Dirt bike or a quad and tell me it is NOT a workout.. If you ride HARD for 3-4 hours, you won’t be able to walk for a couple days. Complete cardio workout.

  965. Richard says:

    Here’s an idea.. Incorporate the ATV trail maintenance Fee in with the registration! Wooooooow what a great idea! Too bad it will never happen in this darn state. Maybe $20-$40. Take 2000 registered ATV’s and some volunteers, to drag a chain box behind their quads and POOF, maintained trails. *rolleyes*

  966. Steve says:

    I think Richard has a number fair points, and while I certainly can’t blame him for not following this sprawling debate over several pages here, I feel the need to tell him that I agree with most of them.

    However, some rebuttals: It is impossible not to specifically blame ATV’s and motorbikes for the damage on this particular set of trails. There is absolutely no question, and I think a few of the pictures sort of show that. Of course, there are herd paths in New Hampshire where equal damage has been caused by a combination of human traffic, fragile environment, and poor trail planning.

    Comparing the wide open spaces of NM to the 2nd most densely populated state in CT is a bit of a stretch. There is no comparison.

    Suggesting that others get outside and off their butts on a post about hiking in a section where the author describes hundreds (and ultimately thousands) of miles of hiking is a bit silly.

    As for your idea, it’s been tried. And it failed. It was a combination of not enough land, over-regulatory state officers, and other, cheaper, better alternatives in MA relatively close by. My idea has always been to allow riders to use the endless powerline cuts around the state.

    But, for the same reasons the DEP disallows it, the power companies don’t want the inevitable lawsuits from the idiots that plague our earth.

    As for now, riding on blue trails is illegal in CT.

  967. Richard says:

    ^ As far as getting outside and off your butts, I’ve had someone tell me before “Well there are other options” ie: don’t ride. That’s where I got hat from. I think most who have never ridden an ATV are seriously missing out. My cousin has no interest at all in ATV’s and I let him take my quad around the yard. He got off the quad and said: “Woah, that was fun!” I had tyhe quad out for five minutes that day and someone was already complaining about me tearing up the neighbor’s yard. First of all,t he neighbor has an ATV, and second of all I was basically coasting through his driveway and onto the trail that connects the yards. I was seeing if he was home and if he would mind if I road his small loop in his back yard. He wasn’t home so I didn’t.

    THere ARE a couple of bad apples tthat ruin it for the rest of us. It was happening out west. People would camp out at red sands and leave their trash or build fires and throw their beer bottles in the fire where they melt and break. There were talks abotu shutting down Red Sands for a long time.

    And please, don’t damn a society of people because of one or two of those bad apples. I am a respectful rider who believes in the “No foot print” idea. I just like getting muddy and playing around in some pits, well away from other people. Instead of complaining next time you see an ATV in the pits, go park and watch them. Watch what they do and keep an open mind that they are having fun. (As long as they are not legitimately tearing something up) and also, we have to kick up dirt at times to turn the quads to avoid flipping over and consequently having the quad land on us. I cannot say the same for bikes, however.

  968. Richard says:

    I’m not saying I want to ride the blue trails.. Although it is VERY tempting. I just didn’t like the blatant attack on ATV’s posted here so I retaliated. I just wish there were more trails available for the quads/bikes. We don’t need much.. Just a 10 mile loop. That’s enough to exhaust the average rider, and the experienced DIRT BIKE rider has an indoor track to go to.

  969. Richard says:

    I’m just going to sell the quad. :( It hurts me to do so, but it is just collecting dust right now. It is the equivalent of having a Snowmobile that you have to go out of state to ride and only do so about three times a year. I gotta get out of this state.

  970. Leticia says:

    I spent a day in Mount Grove Cemetery and could not find Stratton’s grave. I found Barnum’s but I wasn’t looking for it. Could you please give the the specific details on how to find it?

  971. Dave says:

    Might have to take a road trip down there to compare them against Donut Dip in West Springfield. I’ve met people who’ve driven up from New Haven to pick up a couple dozen Donut Dip donuts.

  972. Dorlin Carney says:

    I Have 5 picture posters advertising Hitchcock chairs and the city of (Hitchcocksville) Riverton

  973. Nathan says:

    Hi guys,

    I recently heard about the CT 400 Club and am very interested in it. Does anyone know where I could find more information on it like: rules, required trails to hike, logging hike report, etc. A website or museum where I could find this info would be ideal. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  974. Steve says:

    Go find and buy the CFPA Walk Books, look at the maps, realize it’s over 800 miles rather than 400, devise a plan… and go walk every inch of every trail described in those two books.

    Good luck!

  975. Floodpocolypse « bebehblog says:

    [...] can find some pictures of what the falls usually look like here, video of the falls during a normal day here, and more pictures of the flood in Connecticut here. [...]

  976. honeybunny says:

    nice Blair Witch camera angle.


  977. honeybunny says:

    who was the first blogger?


  978. Mara says:

    Hey, came across your blog as I was looking for hikes for this weekend… I am new to Connecticut, just moved to Hartford in November.
    Anyway, despite the misleading last name, I am Jewish, and can explain cantor and hazzan to you. Cantors and Hazzans are both the singers in synagogues or temples (same thing, different denominations). Hazzan is a more ‘old school’ word — it is Hebrew (or Yiddish). It is also sometimes spelled ‘chazzan’, to describe the sound in Hebrew and Yiddish that sounds like you are trying to expel a chicken bone in your throat.

    Cantors were always men until modern times; they’re still only men in Orthodox shuls (yet another word for synagogue — Yiddish).

    In some eras, and in some denominations, they become more like performers (and were even backed by pipe organs and/or choirs); but often they lead the congregation in singing or chanting.

    Take care!

  979. Kevin says:

    I love your posts! keep them up. (I follow you on google reader just so you know)

  980. Tom says:

    Boundary markers rock.

  981. Tammie says:

    Hi – I’ve visited Berlin, CT for about 7 years and I’m curious about a a house located at Episcapal & Deming Road.

    It’s a large gothic sort of house/farm. It looks to be in ruin but is in habited.

    Any info you could send me would be greatly appreciated.



  982. Marifel Lopez ;p says:

    Hi! I’m doin a project that’s due in 2 days (i just got the paper 2day) and i had 2 do the biggest bridge in Connecticut. This kind of helped me but i needed more info. O well, i’ll just look at other websites.

  983. Melissa says:

    Hi please add us to your list …this is an excellent resource you have put together. GALLERY 46 is a non-profit art gallery under fiscal sponosrship of Fractured Atlas in NYC. we are located in downtown Rockville CT…we are dedicated to enriching the cultural landscape of Rockville CT by exhibiting emerging and established artists,and makeing their art accessible to Rockville and the greater community.

  984. Mike says:

    re the CT 400: Get the info from the CT Walkbook & send SASE to Daryl Borst for the form & further info(address in Walkbook). It is necessary to hike All of the CT Blue Trails & All of the side loops as listed in the current editions of the Walkbook.

    For solo hikers join the AMC or GMC & find a hiking partner or two. It makes the point to point hikes much easier with a car spot.

  985. Steve says:

    Thanks, Mike.

    Of course, I’m available with sufficient advance planning to hike end to end sections… esp as I’m getting closer to doing every loop option possible.

    Then again, I sometimes do like hiking sections twice (backtracking to car), because they are THAT good.

  986. Judith L says:

    I, too, was a docent there in the late 70s when I was in college. It was a lovely house then, and in good repair. I remember loving the ballroom, and the wig powdering closet. Sad to hear it’s neglected now.

  987. Judith L says:

    I had a work study job there in the mid-70s when I was a student. It was a great little museum in those days, with a wonderful staff. Would be a great shame to see it close

  988. Tim Flahive says:

    They look like G&L Hot Dogs!

  989. Margaret Sapir says:

    Thanks so much for writing up your story about Wave Hill Bread. All the bread shapes are made out of the same dough. When we have time, we will work on the Website.. my amateur approach to getting info to people. More photos would help.
    Please do check the Website for new places to find our bread, including the wonderful farmers’ market we participate in, even during the winter.
    Margaret Sapir, Co-owner, Wave Hill Breads

  990. dstb says:

    It has been ages since I was there. I gotta get the kids there sometime soon. Great post, thanks.

    BTW, as cool as Bard Owls would be, I think they are Barred Owls.


  991. Steve says:

    Haha, nice catch, Sarah.

    In my defense, that text was taken from – and now, because of these comments, I guess I’ll leave it there.

  992. MikeM says:

    I crawled into it today, and its def worth it, like Tim said. Its like an air condtioned room inside with a smaller back room and a natural chimney. I had to crawl on my stomach to get in, but my 4 and 11 yr olds thought it was worth it. Thanks for this site!

  993. martinet says:

    1) You might want to consider changing the title of this page. Maybe it’s too early and my caffeine hasn’t kicked in, but I saw “The Last Post” and was terrified that you meant the last BLOG post!

    2) You should enter that picture of Damian with “James Brown” in a contest. The lighting in that is beautiful.

  994. Steve says:

    HaHa… That never crossed my mind – perhaps simply because I have 50 thousand other posts to write still.

    re: the sun pictures – yeah, when those scenes presented themselves, I really wished I had better than a hundred dollar tiny camera I barely know how to use. Oh well… And thanks.

  995. Layla says:

    This wuz awesome! It helped me on my research report that is due 2morrow!!!

  996. NitaC says:

    Lourdes in litchfield is a beautiful place that has a peaceful welcoming atmosphere. It is a place i visit often and have been going there for over 50 yrs.,( since I was a young child and went there with my grandmother)

    The priest who run the Shrine are Montfort missionaries and are most welcoming.
    They come from around the world to serve here.
    Loyal volunteers,some who are now into their senior years make sure everyone feels welcome and takes pride in their shrine.
    The Gift shop sells treasures from around the world and meets all price points.
    The Grotto Cafe makes delicious homemade food and desserts and the prices are very affordable.
    The Gift Shop and the Cafe help to support the Shrine.
    The choir is outstanding and during the season when mass is outside you feel like the time just goes by too quickly.
    I now take my grandchildren there and they love to go, often asking if we can go see Mary and Jesus.

    Even if there are hundreds of people on the property you can still feel the wonderful sense of peace.
    Come out and see and feel it for yourself.
    It is a beautiful, spiritual place.

  997. Steve says:

    Ugh. This is the crap that makes me cry. I fear that ALL research will soon become what Layla did and ALL English will become bastardized with stupid text shorthand like she’s used here, although “wuz” is no shorter than “was” – it’s just stupid.

    Layla, I hope you get an F.

  998. Don Button says:


    Please let me know the date you did your hike. I want to try to time a Bear mtn. hike for the laurel in bloom.


  999. Cumulus says:

    So I’m both learned and bad-ass? Sounds about right. ;-) Anyway, thanks for having me along, and motivating me to finally explore the trails nearest my home. For your readers who don’t realize it: although I’m very familiar with the trails we started on, after we passed the “small hiker parking lot” it was almost all new trail for me, even though part of it passed less than a mile from my house.

  1000. Brian Kosnoff says:

    Hey Dennis, aka Cumulus. This sounds like an interesting hike. It’s actually the first I’ve heard of the Shenipsit Trail. It’s always nice to see more of the state. I know at some point this summer or fall my dad and I plan to hike a good portion of the Mattabesett and Metacomet trails. We want to do a 3 day, camp out overnight hike across CT and possibly into Mass on them. Hopefully we will get some better weather for, and I think we try to keep out of Gay City.

  1001. Rose Marie Himes says:

    The description and photos made this a very interesting article. Of course, my son, Dennis Himes, is always good company. He also loves being on a trail so he made a knowledgeable companion.

  1002. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    My wife used to have a stroller fetish, and my oh my, MacLaren was way WAY too pedestrian. Try, direct self-imports from Europe. Sigh… thank goodness the boys are a little older now.

  1003. Jim says:

    My mother worked at the museum for a short time in the mid 80’s. I spent quite a bit of time there. My clearest memory of the place was the time Muhammad Ali visited. Apparently he and Mr. Philips were friends from boxing. He came for a weekend for a promotion. I was there with just a few people when Ali arrived. We went to dinner with a large group of people-including Ali at Delucas right nearby. I remember that the TV news was there. After dinner Ali said he was tired and wanted to rest at Mr. Phillip’s house. My father volunteered to drive him there. I went for the ride as my father drove Muhammad Ali to the house. It has been such a great memory,

  1004. Carrie Andrews says:

    We are in the car retrieval and hauling business and had a chance to see this site yesterday. It certainly has a macabre yet curious, presence especially in the dark cloudy misting rain we had yesterday. I would love to know more about this place but more so actually walk on the property and really see it.

    Can wait to take my kids for a ride out there…both are preparing for college and are interested in architecture.

  1005. Alice says:

    the kitchen was a mill in the 1600’s, then the house was built in the 1700’s, the pond had nothing to do with it

  1006. Nevin Christensen says:

    I own the place and I’m glad you enjoyed the farm. You did a nice write up and I hope you come again. We just had a bunch of pigs born so if you can come soon you can get a hayride out to the area they were born in and visit them. nothing cuter than a baby pig!………except for maybe Damian!

  1007. Paula + Steve says:

    My husband and I were so disappointed when Randall’s closed. It was our all time favorite restaurant and was our inspiration to purchase our current 1740 home where we also do open hearth cooking. Randall’s was so warm and inviting and everyone was treated like family. When the Clark’s sold it, we were fortunate enough to purchase a couple of pieces from the home at an auction, so we will always have the memory and history with us. We also thought the grounds were magnificent with the stonewalls on either side of the gravel driveway. It looked like a live Eric Sloane painting. It was just outstanding….loved it.

  1008. Gretchen says:

    As one who lived in the greater Hartford area when the Famous Artist was hired, I remember thinking that Hartford and Connecticut taxpayers got bilked. To this day I am not sure whether we ought to be angry with the artist or the people who hired him. As one letter writer points out, it is art. Presumably the committee that hired Andre had seen some of his other work; presumably they felt his style of work would be suitable. But I would also think that as a commission piece–while not architecture where plans would be shown prior to building– there would have been some discussion of what the work would consist of. Nobody was happy, including the committee, when this was done. However I am unsure when the committee decided they were unhappy–before or after the citizens pointed out that it was rather an Emperor’s new clothes situation.

    I also take exception with the BBC’s dismissal of critics of this piece, saying of Andre’s works “…They also tend to excite unfavourable comment; abstract art usually does that.” In fact, Hartford via the Wadsworth Atheneum, has a long history of embracing abstract art. Jackson Pollack, Salvidor Dali, and many other artists found a warm reception here.

    But perhaps, as I suspect, the committee knew what they were getting–or were likely to get–in which case the attempt to not pay Andre is rather like the citizens of Hamlin not wishing to pay a certain piper for ridding them of rats.

  1009. dstb says:

    Took the boys to Campbell Falls today (after a trip to the top of Haystack Mountain). We didn’t see any owls, but we did see a beaver up close. The highlight of the trip!

    Thanks for the reminder to go see these falls.

  1010. Daniel Perez says:

    Does anyone have any Idea what one of these signs would be worth?

  1011. Chris says:

    Hey Steve, Looks like a small misprint… Gungywump is not in Uncasville as is written in this article, it is in Groton.

  1012. Rob says:

    How did the Rose Garden in Elizabeth Park not make the cut?

  1013. Tony L says:

    I was lucky enough to grow up in this area and my cousin and I have the best memories of exploring this area in the 1950’s. It is not really a cave though. It was formed from large chunks of rock which have broken away from a cliff located directly above. These large chunks have formed the ceiling and walls making it a place that can be used to hide from the weather. It’s easy to imagine the leatherman resting here with a cozy campfire. The cliff directly above is a high point on the trail and there is a nice view of Thomaston. This entire area has very similar rock formations with similar type hide-aways that hikers could use for shelter. I remember some of the stories we used to hear about this guy, nothing bad, but you know how things go through your head as a kid. This is worth seeing and short of a few people who leave there trash around, its a great way to spend time with your family. My daughter (28) just asked me last Saturday to take her and my 8 year old granddaughter there. I showed them places along the trail that it seemed like yesterday, I saw for the first time. It felt good to pass this along to them and hopefully they’ll share with their families.

  1014. dick hemenway says:


    This is, as always, an excellent review and most helpful to parents looking to take their children to a museum for a day of fun and learning. No one does it better than you.

    However, I am sorry to hear that you have decided to accept free vists from museums. That brings your impartiality into question and makes the reviews less valuable – which ones did he accept payment for? You are a journalist after all – like food critics and theater critics – and I believe that you should maintain your independence. The money is so little anyway. Says somewhere that a man cannot serve two masters. Now a sponser to pick up the tabs, that would be ok.

  1015. Steve says:


    Fair point. And I know you believe me when I say that I didn’t make this decision lightly. That may sound odd to most readers – after all, CTMQ is a labor of love and I don’t even have Google Ads on here – but I DO care about being what I’ve become: THE resource for “stuff to do” in CT.

    I’ve been to 30+ more museums since this one and have gotten into another one for free – but it was to write an article for Museum Magazine.

    Please be assured that if/when I accept such invites, I will always make note of it. Also be assured that these acceptances will be very few and far between. As you wrote, in comparison to other day trips, museums are almost always the cheapest option anyway.

  1016. Alanna p m says:

    Hi I have a wild goose and it has a bad leg
    it’s open and it can’t wwalk. I was not sure if
    you could help it and take it in. Toucan email
    me back to give me an anwser thanks.

  1017. Dick Delhaie says:

    I can remember picnicking in the mid-60s with my parents on summer Sunday afternoons out at Frog Rock. I still have a picture of me in shorts (age about 6-7), grinning ear-to-ear, standing in front of the rock. It is my recollection that the state stopped maintaining the rest stop somewhere in the late 70s or early 80s. It was still open in the mid-70s when I traveled from Putnam to Uconn.
    Today I walk the area with my dog, Pita, about once a week. The old picnic areas are great for dog walking as it is well off 44, easy walking, yet easily assessable. I highly recommend the side trail that is mentioned above. It is obviously an abandoned town road connecting at least 4 old farm sites. Beware; one site on the west side of the trail has a small open well.

  1018. Michael Basso says:

    Hello, My name is Mike Basso and I’m the owner of Lake Zoar Drive-In during a recent search I came upon your site. At this time I just wanted to stop by and invite you to visit us and see for yourselves the great menu items we have to offer.
    Thanks , Mike Basso
    Lake Zoar Drive-In
    14 Route 34
    Stevenson, CT 06491

  1019. Bethany says:

    Just FYI, the zoo houses “common” animals such as white tailed deer and turkey vultures because there is no where for them to go. Humans have either injured these animals or removed them from their natural environment and they cannot be returned. The zoo houses these animals as a favor to the DEP or USDA. The goats are on asphalt so that the surface can be disinfected daily for their health. We are trying to prevent the spread of disease.

    Thanks for visiting- I’m glad you and your family had an over all good time.

  1020. Hiker says:


    I was at the place, but I’m having trouble finding the cliffs.

    From the pavilion, I went up and left. This led me to the power lines south of the cliffs.

    Next time, where should I go? Is there are trail leading to the right hand side from the pavilion?

  1021. Steve says:

    Thank you, Bethany.

    Yes, we very much enjoyed the zoo – I really do appreciate your answers to my questions in the post.

  1022. Steve says:

    in due time, Michael, in due time…

  1023. Robin says:

    I have a question for you, oh – Museum Guru. :) I have a nine month old baby and I don’t know if there is anything suited for him in CT (like a sensory museum or something)? Did you come across anything like that?

    Also, thank you for informing CT on all the great museums there are! I was born and raised in Manchester and you pretty much hit all the places there, one other you can try is a tour of one of the Cheney Mansions, I believe if you call the Historical Society they can set one up, they also have a historical bus tour around Manchester…don’t know if you are covering that in your list.

    One other thing, when I was a little girl I remember traveling toward RI from Manchester (RT 2) and we had come across a doll Museum (somewhere around Norwich, I think). My mom thought to stop for me to see this place – the FREAKIEST museum EVER! HAHAHA…it was a house filled with scary looking dolls, it said something like “Doll House”, or “House of Dolls” in the front. Didn’t know if you ever came across it…anyways thanks again, I’m now officially saving this in my “favorites!”

  1024. AND WHATNOT: Jessica Biel Nude, Horse Murder, and a Paul Simon Tribute! – B-Side Blog says:

    [...] Parrots With a Fake Owl Best Week Ever: So This Is Why I Am a Comedian Connecticut Museum Quest: 100 Museums Down, 400 to Go! WFUV: Paul Simon, Dick Enberg and Jim Lehrer to Be Honored at WFUV’s Spring Gala Wall Street [...]

  1025. Gina says:

    Newington is quite interesting historically. You should do your research before you dismiss historical sites. The house on Main Street is a very lovely old home. The photo does not do it justice. If you bothered to contact anyone, you might just learn something.

  1026. Steve says:

    Gina –

    I appreciate your hometown pride, I really do. I wish you spent more time here to educate me, because as I mentioned, there is scant info online.

    I don’t like taking up close and intrusive pictures of private homes, hence the bad picture.

    At any rate, Gina, next time you visit please spend more than 2 minutes here. There are hundreds of other pages that might show you that I have learned a few things here and there.

  1027. AND WHATNOT: Fun With Environmental Slideshows! – B-Side Blog says:

    [...] Earth Hour 2009 (a super fun interactive gallery; courtesy of Jash) Connecticut Museum Quest: 80. Slater Memorial Art Museum New York Times: The Celebrity Twitter Ecosystem Celebitchy: Method Man says he forgot to pay his [...]

  1028. AND WHATNOT: Surreal Tire-On-Bird Action; Also, Lady Gaga, Drunken Cooking, and A Moose on the Loose! – B-Side Blog says:

    [...] Stew: The ‘Code’: Ten unwritten baseball rules you might not know CT Museum Quest: 141. Topsmead IvyGate: Celebrity Sightings at [...]

  1029. Connecticut Museum Guide « Low Dough Trips says:

    [...] Wood runs which catalogs more than 600 museums in Connecticut. He currently spends a few hours each weekend [...]

  1030. Connecticut Museum Guide « Low Dough Trips says:

    [...] unique hobby has been chronicled in Connecticut Magazine and NBC30 among [...]

  1031. Clean it up says:

    Man, your use of vernacular and asides makes your writing one hell of a slog. I was about to give up but thankfully I came to the slide show by the school kids. You could learn from them, I did

  1032. Steve says:

    Clean it up,

    Thank you for your constructive criticism. I just get so upset about this incursion into CT that it negatively affects my writing skills.

    I’m just flattered you think I’m a “real” or “professional” writer of some sort. So thanks for the unintentional compliment.

  1033. Connecticut Museum Guide « Low Dough Trips says:

    [...] Wood’s unique hobby has been chronicled in Connecticut Magazine and NBC30 among others. [...]

  1034. Russ Cohen says:

    FYI in case this might interest you and/or others you know:

    Foraging Hike at Fisher Meadows, Avon, CT

    Regards – Russ Cohen

  1035. Dolores Pagano says:

    I have a dion quintupele doll cica 1940 it is Cicilia whn she joined the convet and is in her habit any idea what is worth

  1036. Steve says:

    I don’t know which is worse: Your typing skills or the fact that you didn’t read more than 3 words of this page to realize that the author of this website knows about as much about dolls from 1940 as you do about spelling.

  1037. Daner says:

    I think I spent 45 minutes looking at those milk bottles from around the state!

  1038. Daner says:

    Connecticut should go all the way to the Hudson River too! Come to think of it it should go all the way to Ohio! New York took a bigger nibble than Massachusetts did!

  1039. Steve says:

    Daner is right. I’ll explore this further in a future post about Connecticut’s Western holdings, notably in Ohio (Cleveland was founded by a Canterbury guy named Cleaveland and Case Western U and Reserve Insurance companies are vestiges of Nutmeg past) and Pennsylvania (”We” shed blood there over land that used to be Connecticut – near Scranton).

    Good stuff.

  1040. Wicker says:

    Steve? (author). Dude, sounds like you’ve had a bit too much coffee. Calm down. The way you slam people living 10 miles away from you!! Sheesh. I also notice that you frequently use all the resources in the ‘Wick. There’s nothing so grand in Granby, is there? Get a life and leave us alone.

  1041. Steve says:

    It amazes me that people apparently think any of my “anger” on this page is even remotely serious.

    I’ve been to Southwick once in my life, for a grand total of 15 minutes, for the sole purpose of taking stupid pictures for this page.

  1042. Wicker says:

    Steve. Serious or not, there’s a lot of nasty name calling in this blog. What are you 14? you could just as easily made your “funny” points without all the MA slamming?

  1043. David says:

    Sorry, but the Heritage Trail does not start here–these signs are not part of it. The start is actually 4 large panels next to the police station on Main Street. They each describe a century of Middletown’s past. You may have missed them because the town actually took them down for a couple of years. Seems the merchants of the Metro Square alleyway thought they blocked customers’ views of their stores and someone at the town went along. They didn’t realize what the value of having a walking trail is to enhance the value of Main Street and an attraction for tourists and locals alike.
    Thanks for this wonderful account, as the designer of the project and board member of the Historical Society it’s really nice to think that some are enjoying my work.

  1044. Steve says:

    Wouldn’t it be cool if someday the above comment becomes important. Like, if there’s some scandal involving wrong birthdates on gravestones in Middletown?

  1045. Shirley Sutton says:

    Help, I clicked onto the Burlington history PDF, but to no avail. I would like to learn more about Negro Hill and incorporate it into the map and compass field learning experience I do with 5th grades from Bristol and Plymouth. Please point me in the right direction.

  1046. Roberta says:

    I am partial to Gouveia. It’s quite nice having a vineyard that is literally 3 minutes door to door for me. They have expanded so much since they first opened. It’s lovely inside and I always enjoy the tasting, although it does get to be a bit much sometimes with the liberties people take with being able to bring in their own food and reserve their own tables. I’ve been there at 11am on a sunday morning and you couldn’t get a seat or a parking space. If you’re looking to relax this place can get quite loud with a full house. It is convenient to have nearby if I need that emergency bottle of wine for dinner on a sunday.

  1047. Abby says:

    This house could easily be the biggest house. But anyone could build a huse bigger.

  1048. Redneck says:

    Now what annoys the living crap out of me is when people complain about noise. Dirt bikes are loud. Get over it. So are lawnmowers, hot rods, and trucks. I actually really enjoy the sound of a good loud jake brake and/or a screaming turbo next to me on the highway, even in the middle of the night – It’s white noise to these ears! My neighbor throws parties until 4am in the summer. I run equipment into the night. We simply let the other do his own thing. See? It is possible to share the trails! I love how you called the quad riders “idiots.” And granted some are, but then again there are some pretty ignorant hikers too. I can’t speak for others but I slow down when I see someone, kill the engine for horses (to avoid spooking them), I never ride on public roads, or leave garbage. True motorcyclists are very curteous. I honestly think some people are just jealous that we are out having fun and they have nothing better to do than sit on their butts and complain.

    I’m not belligerant but I am also not an environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination. “Carbon footprint?” Okay there are some things you just don’t do like dump your antifreeze in the river or your waste oil on the ground, but I’m going to drive trucks, ride dirt bikes, dig holes, play with tractors and have bonfires until I can’t move anymore.

    What also kills me is how durn near impossible it is to ride on a frozen lake. I’ve always wanted to do that. I have a bike like they use on the hockey rinks that’s set up for dirt and I would LOVE to go haul a$$ around a frozen plain someday. Except that people on lakes with nothing better to do will complain about power boats when they get bored. POWER BOATS! How loud is an Evinrude in the middle of the drink honestly?! Granted that bike’s engine is built TO THE MAX and is somewhere around 125 decibels on the sound meter but in the middle of winter everyone’s windows are closed so who cares?

    Go to the Thomaston Dam sometime and watch the MX guys tearing up the practice track from the top of the dam and realize they’re probably having the time of their lives!

    Long story short; Why can’t people just do their own thing, mind their own business, and let others do the same?

  1049. Steve says:

    Riding ATV’s on CFPA blue-blazed trails is illegal. I’m not sure what more I can say about it.

  1050. Bo says:

    Hi….Some idiot attempted (and miscalculated) to drive his truck under a low section of the tree….Gouged a pretty good chunk off of it…..I hope it doesnt harm too much of the tree

  1051. sean says:

    you all just need to get a life by leaving a stupid message on this website

  1052. linda says:

    If you’re on Facebook, join I Remember New Britain. It’s fabulous!

  1053. Vanessa says:

    Hi, thanks for the great information that you have posted. I really enjoyed reading.

    Just a quick question….a few friends and I want to go to Miranda Vineyards, Sunset Meadow Vineyards and Rosedale Vineyard. How long do you think our excursion will be? Is four hours enough time to spend between the three?

    Thanks so much! Look forward to hearing from you.

  1054. Gregg says:


    This is very interesting for me to read all of this from Australia. I am a descendent of John Randall, a black slave who was enrolled into the loyalist army and then shipped to England and discharged from the army. He was then transported on the first fleet to Australia in 1788 as a convict as he stole a men’s watch in Manchester. It is believed that he was a slave to Captain John Randall so I feel that there is a connection to this place for me. My John Randall was one of only 11 black people on the first fleet. All convicts.

  1055. Rachel says:

    Love these so much I’m already planning to have these treats at my wedding reception!

  1056. Patrick says:

    There are no little people there. Just a lot of red necks and they have a lot of land over there, it looks kind of like a park. Very nice. BUT today I went over there and apparently they bury people over there. I walked maybe 10 yards into the woods and there were built small crosses on some dirty and on the crosses things were written such as “R.I.P Daddy we love you!”. I was recording it with my cell phone and my cell phone began glitching up the closer I got to the crosses and after I backed away back on the road, it worked better again. Very creepy.

  1057. Rob says:

    I don’t know who Richard Richman is, but it’s funny that a rich guy named Rich Richman lives in Greenwich in this little ol’ thing.

    Richie Rich’s uncle is my guess??

  1058. KO says:

    Using “pollarded” officially makes the article my favorite!

  1059. Lorraine says:

    I love the info about your guide! Having taken a 2- and 3-yr-old to various children’s museums in the state, I’ve got that mental list of what makes them good or not… This is exactly what I would look for in the people working there, whether or not they’re volunteers (one place used that as an excuse). Can’t wait to try finding this place!

  1060. RDub says:

    Well, not only is the young’uns English abyssmal, the “facts” aren’t accurate either!!

    The world’s largest stone arch bridge actually spans the Susquehanna River at Rockville, Penna. It’s a railroad bridge, so not too many people know of it.

    maybe we should be teaching true research techniques in our colleges instead of relying on Wikipedia for everything??

  1061. Steve says:

    To be fair (to me), the bridge is listed in a couple non-Wiki sources as the world’s largest. Including a book all about bridges.

    So I’ll stick with it. After all, this subject is so arcane, no one will hang me for being wrong.

  1062. Brooks Walsh says:

    Just did a trail run through this section on Saturday. It appears that the economy, or some other influence, has stalled development of the denuded woods in Madison. There was nary a skidder to be seen!


  1063. lorena allen says:

    do you know about framer constutition written in 1787

  1064. lorena allen says:

    i have an old framer constutition written in 1787,i don’t anything about it

  1065. lorena allen says:

    please help me thank you.

  1066. Steve says:

    It is a priceless artifact but it is possessed by demons. You must send it to me, gratis, and i’ll take it off your hands for good. You can thank me later.

    (Ms. Allen – I have no idea what a “framer constitution” is nor do I have anything in the world to do with the Beinecke Library or the E Haddam Historical Society that you initially searched for. Sorry.)

  1067. chris cox says:

    im chris (13) and am looking up info on south windsor for my boy scout “citizenship in the comunity” merrit badge town history slide show, im also working this summer in tobaco feilds and i would apresheate any info or tips, thanks

  1068. Steve says:

    Chris: Good luck in scouting. I have many fond memories myself…

    Tip 1: Pay attention in spelling/english class. Writing well is a skill that will only help you in the future. Trust me – I went to college for biology and have worked in insurance and finance for years, but my writing ability has opened doors. Spelling counts. It’s “merit,” “community,” “tobacco fields” and “appreciate.” A well crafted blog comment will sometimes yield better information than a poorly worded, poorly spelled one.

    2. I checked and the best I can tell is that you did read this page. (You were here for 20 mins or so.) As such, I’m hoping you gleaned that I (the writer of this blog) have absolutely nothing in the world to do with tobacco, tobacco farming or the museum this page is about.

    You see Chris, I just visit random museums and post my musings about them. I don’t work in them. I don’t volunteer in them. I’m not an expert on anything.

    Don’t feel badly. You’re 13 and seem like a good kid. (And trustworthy, loyal, friendly, courteous, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – the last one which I never was, btw). Many adults post similar comments all over this blog and it drives me nuts.

    Be better than them. Work those fields, earn those merit badges, get your Eagle Scout Award and do well in life.

    THAT is my advice for you, Chris.

  1069. Diane says:

    HISTORY OF Montville, Connecticut
    FROM 1640 to 1800
    press of Zbc Case, Xocfcwooo & 36raiitarc Company

    Copyright, i
    By Henry a maker.
    History from the times of UNCAS: Goes into great detail about the Mohegans breaking off from the Pequots with Uncas. Tells how he recognized that cooperation with the English was to his advantage against neighboring Tribes. How he and his descendants sold and gave away their land, sometimes in drunken condition. How the disputes over who owned what lands went on for years and years.

    Also tells of Samson Occum Mohegan Christian preacher and much more.

  1070. Brooks Walsh says:

    Just ran through on this trail, and I thought that the “wave-rock” was quite interesting. The Braemore/Northwoods/Rocklands area does not lack for rock formation, but that particular escarpment is particularly engaging!

  1071. Dave says:

    Just curious – does the Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center And Tax Write-Off have his name in big-ass letters on all the exhibits, like his clothes do?

  1072. Ellen says:

    I would love to know more about this house. I ride buy this all the time. I would love to stop and check it out, but theres really no place to park.

  1073. Julie says:

    It’s not the Stone Museum anymore. The name has been changed back to what it originally was, The Peoples State Forest Nature Museum. Exhibits have changed as well.

  1074. christi says:

    Love your blog! Read about you in Connecticut magazine and have been hooked ever since. I am a total amateur, I don’t think I could hike for 2 miles without keeling over but I want to try some of your hikes. I have teenagers now but wish I had your blog when they were younger. I was always taking them somewhere in CT. I am from New Haven county and especially like your entries from there. Also, I am a big UCONN fan and love your shots at the Dukies. Have you seen JJ Reddick on the Magic with the spiked hair? Too funny!! Keep this blog going, now it is my husband and I starting to explore the state together. For your son, I would suggest “No Child Left Inside”. I am sure you know about it, but I took my girls the first 4 years and they explore one park per week and it is really cool. Nice website too.

  1075. Bri says:

    That Blue/Red trail coming up from East River Road intersecting the Blue trail is quite a challenge! Definitely NOT for the feint of heart. Also once up the steep ascent it took me a few minutes to find where the trail continued.

  1076. Dorothea Sanderson says:

    As a child, I passed the retreat or walked by the retreat with my mother in the thirties and fourties, and was very frightened by the place. It was dark and dismal. Even later knowing that movie stars often came there, didn’t light it up.
    My empathy goes to those people who were “treated” there in the thirties, forties, and fifties, who came out worse after the treatment worse than they were before the treatment. Kathleen Kennedy is a good example. People were told how great the treatment was, and how calm their loved one would be after the procedure, but it wasn’t. Hearts of mothers and fathers were broken, and so was their loved one.

  1077. Donald Muller says:

    An answer to Debbie’s question about running clocks at the American Clock & Watch Museum showing accurate times. In fact the 75 clocks that are wound by hand every week are set to show slightly different times so that they do not all strike & chime at once. In the Barnes Wing the tall case clocks are set to go off from five minutes before until five minutes after each hour. This gives the visitor an opportunity to hear the unique tone of each clock. Families with children also have fun trying to figure out which clock will be the next to chime.

  1078. Jake says:

    I’ve grown up next to this bridge my entire life. My dad used to take me there fising as a baby, and I feel like I have a bond with this bridge. Just seeing it brings me back down memory lane. I love this bridge, and when I found out it was renovated, I thought they were going to tear it down. I knew better. Still, I worried. I visit it on a regular basis now.

  1079. Peder Lettstroem says:

    Dear University,

    I see a picture in a book that you have a Lyre Guitar from the 18th century.

    I have one myself Similar to Anon. Please let me know how many Lyre Guitars there are in the world. Do you have any information about that?


    P. Lettstroem

  1080. Steve says:


    As you are from Sweden, and you did spend 9 minutes on this page before commenting, I’ll go easy on you.

    This blog is not connected to the Yale Music department or the little museum. I wouldn’t know a lyre from a sitar. I don’t even know what you are asking. I just visited the place and wrote my review of it.

    Contact the Yale museum directly and perhaps they can help you.

  1081. Kristin Ekstrand says:

    Nice article.It’s a great place isn’t it? Paul,the man behind the cheese and I have been close friends since childhood. Hopefully if you go there agian you’ll have a chance to talk some more. He’s a great guy. Just a correction. The tastings are on Sundays. Also,there will be tastings in the fall starting on Columbus Day weekend right through to Christmas.

  1082. Natasha Kingston says:

    I just got an internship here and am so excited! I haven’t gotten to try all the cheeses yet but I firmly believe that their yogurt is the best yogurt of any kind I have ever eaten, bar none. Simply AMAZING.

    Also, Kristin is so right, Paul is a really nice guy! :)

    Great photos, I’m sharing this with family who want to learn more about the farm!

  1083. Dan M says:

    I’ve been known to drive the hour and 20 minutes from my place to drive this road.

  1084. Amir Thompson says:

    That track reminds me of another song that I very much liked , I can’t really remember which :-/ does someone happens to know what artist I am talking about?

  1085. Twelve Mile Circle » Twelve Mile Mormons - maps, geography, travel says:

    [...] Connecticut? Steve of Connecticut Museum Quest has now had an opportunity to visit that spot and he’s posted an article about it on his website. Check it [...]

  1086. Shoreline_Jim says:

    This is a great post! Might be helpful if you could embed a MAP (link or jpg file) Thanks

  1087. Connecticut’s Foodies Are Blogging » Fun With Carbs says:

    [...] He’s also making his way through two “eat before you die” lists, compiled by the Sterns of Roadfood and Connecticut [...]

  1088. Leeanne says:

    This one is on my Connecticut “bucket list” too. Varieties look amazing.

  1089. Bonnie says:

    I grew up in Middletown CT. We went to Lake Compounce every weekend !!!! I met a lot of great country music stars there, such as Loretta Lynn, George Morgan his daughter Lorrie, and many many more !!! This park was great during the 70’s. We personaly knew Mr. Norton and his sons. They use to have motorcycle shows in fact I do beleive I have pictures of some of the bikes that use to come there. The roller coaster was the best ever !!!!

  1090. Kerri says:

    I grew up less than a mile from parts of this trail and had no idea until I read your post that it was even there. I’d been to the TAC and on the trails, but thought they were just part of their land. Right now, I sorta feel like I did when I learned there was no Santa Claus.

  1091. Steve says:

    Kerri – don’t fret. That land IS the TAC’s land. Assuming this section of the Shenipsit is officially CFPA trail, the CFPA has merely “borrowed” the land and the trail.

    Like all the MDC land where blue trails travel is still MDC land.

  1092. WindInTheHair says:

    I read alot from frustrated ATV owners “who want to enjoy the outdoors using OHV”. There is a feeling that their recreation is being discriminated against. I can’t speak for Connectthedots, but where I live the land in question was set aside pretty clearly for environmental reasons, habitat, reforestation and watershed protection. But as hiking, fishing and in certain locations camping and swimming (not near reservoirs)were low or no impact to the intent of the forests and parks, quiet recreation was permitted. There was never any intent of allowing motor vehicles into these areas. So when I hear folks say, you can hike but I got a right to to ride my ATV, no, you don’t. Your activities and their activities and the purpose of the set asides are completely incompatible. And 85% of Connecticut’s forest land is in PRIVATE hands. If OHV has such a low impact on property why hasn’t the private sector cashed in on this bonanza by opening up thier land for a small fee to riders? Perhaps OHV’s advocacy groups would be better off indemnifying private owners from injuries so they could provide opportunities. They have almost 5 times the land.

  1093. Rachel says:

    The Chase family, as others have said, have made countless donations and contributions with their money. As it was also said above, Dave, Arnold’s father, came to the US as a survivor of the Holocaust PENNILESS. He became a successful business man from working hard. So HOW DARE YOU PUT THEM DOWN!!! No one is yelling at you for what you spend your money on. So why do you give a damn what Arnold and Sandy are spending theirs on? Sorry you aren’t as successful. Sorry you’re jealous of them. Talking shit just makes you look stupid and jealous. Mind your business and keep their names out of your idiotic mouth. Act like an adult… you can complain all you want, but all you’re really conveying is that you’re insecure and jealous. Stop complaining about Arnold and Sandy, and do something productive with your life. Why don’t you do something for yourself instead of putting others down? Don’t you have better things to do with your time?

    Arnold, I’m sorry these losers have nothing better to do with their time than try to knock you down a few pegs. I’m proud of you for doing something you want with what you’ve earned. I know in my heart that down the line the house will probably end up being used for good causes, as that is what the Chase family always has been about– giving back to the community! Keep doing you :)

    And in case anyone is wondering why I know so much, it’s because I’m a relative of the family, and no I don’t have money like they do, but you don’t see me acting like a jealous immature prick do you?? I have a lot of respect for them because not only are the successful, but they are ALWAYS giving back to the community.


  1094. Steve says:

    Rachel, if Chase built this thing to one day become a museum, he should say so.

    I’m tired of noting that Mr. Chase has been a wonderful benefactor to the town and elsewhere. I also have no idea what his father’s terrible tribulations have to do with the monstrosity on the hill.

    Regardless, as the writer of this site, I have a CT Bucket List and one of the things on that list to get inside the mansion (as it’s a CT superlative). So if you can make that happen, and by all accounts Mr. Chase is a wonderful guy, perhaps together we can change some minds.

  1095. Dan F says:

    This is fascinating, great work finding this one. If I ever make the drive down to Connecticut on a historical outing I’ll be sure to stop at this cemetery. Being from the north shore area of Massachusetts, I find this historical time period very interesting. Especially given that many of these people knew eachother who were located quite a distance apart, especially for those days.

  1096. Laura-Lee says:

    I just stopped by your website again and I have to say every time I do, the picture on the “About” page of you and Damian is just so precious. Neither of your faces can be seen but the love and tenderness that is there is amazing.

    Thanks also for the “Buy this Art” page. That was really nice of you. Ben recently was commissioned by a vet in Colorado (the vet that was on the Puppy Bowl this year) to paint her 3 pugs. She was so thrilled with his painting that she flew out here 2 weeks ago to pick up the original painting in person because she wanted to meet Ben. It was an edifying moment for him and made us very proud!

  1097. Carolyn Evans says:

    Dear Mr.Williams amd family,
    I concur, what a great segment of world history, as well as American history. I was referred to the New Haven link through the current Captain of the Amistad replica this past Memorial day.He was extremely congenial as are all the Amistad staff I have been fortunate enough to meet. Should you ever need performers to portray the Amistad, please call me, I do Margru and can bring in drummers and dancers as well if you like. “If you want to see it, you’ve got to be it!”(Me to son while explaining why I had to sing the blues at a Beale Street tourist trap.)845-401-4103
    For reference please contact Mr.Nate Vereen, Student Life-HBCU, Claflin University.

  1098. Debbie S says:

    It’s the position of the sun in the sky as you approach exiting the tunnel – curve, rise of the land, etc. . . .

  1099. Steve says:

    I’m finding it very, very hard not to reply with sarcasm here.

  1100. martinet says:

    I just think it’s really funny that the day after I read this review, Zippy the Pinhead went to the Glass House.

  1101. Carol Jones says:

    There is news !! Hitchcock chairs will once again be manufactured, the company has been purchased by Still River Furniture in Riverton.

  1102. Mike says:

    I just question the author on why he thinks he has more rights to the trail as a hiker vs an atv rider. I do both and and what the atvs do to the trails does not bother anyone at all except you yuppies that did all kinds of crap when you were younger and now want everybody to conform to your moranic rules that you never followed yourselves. and i have had that opinion long before discovering the hobby . Although illegal – so is speeding not using a blinker etc etc etc. I am sure the author has done many of these things but probably couldnt care less how ignorant or inconsiderate he is or one better – how many times have you used your cell phone while driving .. so lets leave the LAw out of this conversation .. The only thing that makes the trail less desirable is garbage .
    And here is one fact that anyone with half a brain should realize . We all ( NOT JUST YOU ) pay taxes and fees for licensing and clubs , So we should all have acess to these trails including atv’s, horseback , fisherman, hunters , any one that doesnt burn or pollute and treats it like the special open space that it is .. People like you pollute my life with your garbage talk and should just stay in places like manhatan where you can hike through central park and not bother normal human beings that can think for themselves .. YOu elitest are the real losers of society . Go back to where ever you came from and leave us alone..

  1103. Steve says:

    Sigh. It’s like people think I made the laws or something. How anyone can walk around the area this page is about and say that offroad vehicles, be they motorcycles or ATV’s, haven’t had a negative impact here is beyond me. Hell, it’s so beat to shit now that I don’t know why the CFPA and the landowner doesn’t just give up and let the offroaders have it.

    Hikers have more rights to the trails that hikers (often, but not always) built and maintain and blaze. Hikers have more rights to the trails that hiker organizations like the CFPA, ATC, various land trusts, etc. argued, fought and legally battled for right of ways to the land owned by private owners, water companies, electricity companies and towns. This takes money, time and effort. Just ask any ATV organization with a modicum of responsibility what it takes to get legally approved riding areas. It takes a LOT – and it takes almost just as much just to have a hiking trail.

    One reason it takes a lot is because landowners are skittish because they a) don’t want ATV’s or bikes and b) they don’t want people getting hurt on their land. Do you now understand why hikers have more rights to the hiking trails that their efforts created and maintain? In the face of the absolute destruction that ATV’s often cause?

    Since you missed the part about how I think it’s a shame that there are no real legal ATV areas in the state, and how I actually worked with an ATV organization and Northeast Utilities to allow riding on their powerline cuts (it failed because of lawyers and lawsuit fears), I won’t go into that again.

    But I will say that a) it’s funny when people call others moronic but misspell the word, b) Anyone who knows me knows I abhor cell phones and don’t even own one and have a bumper sticker that says “Get the F off your cell phone, c) why someone would advise an AT thru-hiker and life-long outdoors enthusiast to “move to manhatan (sic)” is beyond me, and d) Thanks for reading and for your input. This is a hot-button issue that should be addressed by the state.

  1104. Mark R Rewa says:

    32 years born in New Britain, CT. General Hospital 1971. I left the town about 8 years ago and the only thing that I think of is moving back and be with the family that I have left.

  1105. Daniel says:

    I know someone who lives in Armsmear. Maybe we can arrange a visit to actually get inside? Are you interested?

  1106. Mike says:

    I 100 percent agree with you about private landowners. But anything that is state or town or utility owned . If the tax payer has and is forced to pay or in most instance subsidize ) , then he should have the right to use that property ( this includes watershed , power lines, Rail road etc ). And one thing i did forget so you dont think i write this from an iresponsible angle is that I do and I believe everyone should have Some form of liability insurance on any vehicle they drive so that if there are any real damages or injuries it will not fall on and cause more tax payer cost. And As far as land damage ( excluding any form of garbage) goes , land regenerates itself . I atv on private land that hasnt been manicured or the trails have not been taken care of at all since the beginning of any off road driving and i would dare you to say that these trail are not enjoyable for a hike or any outdoor activity .. Pollution is the only enemy . And yes i can agree sometimes i am fishing this same property and a atv or dirt bike comes by and i say to myself that, “That just ruined the quiet ” but soon he is off and the woods restores itself to its quiet self .. If everyone just does there part and carries out whatever they bring in there is room for every one .. I refer to Manhanites often when people are all to concerned with controlling every thing i do in life on what all should be public property. People from manhattan are so used to being told how to do everything that when they come away from there they bring that whole aspect of there life and they try to force it down us country folks throats … It should all be open space for all to share . Thats all i am saying .. As far as the spellin goes .. I am just makin fun ! If you would like to know a real nice area to hike email me privatly and i will give you a good general location to start from thats as nice as anywhere you can or cant ride atv’s and you will get lost in the beauty of the area and its big enough you can get lost for days if you want to

  1107. F. Collins says:

    Hope you’ve learned to be a bit more sensitive & respectful of the handicapped and elderly as well as more knowledgeable about general museum policies and protocol since your early years of Museum Quest. Overall, you make the Canton Museum sound like a great place to visit [am looking forward to going there] but I hope you wrote a letter of apology to the dedicated volunteer with the walker for characterizing her as “dotty.” Unlike the “creepy grandmother” in the rocking chair, the lady with the walker is a real person.

  1108. Steve says:


    Fair comments. And yes, it wasn’t too long after this visit that I sort of shifted my energies away from being a bit of a caustic jerk to being more of an interested reporter.

    As a parent of a special needs son (who walked with a walker for a while), I am very sensitive towards the handicapped and the elderly. In fact, some of the best people I’ve met on the CTMQ journey have been elderly and/or handicapped. Mort Schindel, Dave Peters, etc. Lovely, lovely men. Both use canes to get about, which is part of their story.

    As for this specific instance, the woman in question was unnecessarily argumentative – and trust me, we were nothing but gracious. I’m not excusing my words above, but they served a point at the time. And Rob’s comment above yours gives the reason for her hesitation.

    So yes, I absolutely apologize to the woman – who was knowledgeable and quick witted – for any offense I may have caused.

  1109. Robert Azensky says:

    While studying the collection of papers I own, of the James Henry Wells family of Hartford Connecticut. I happened upon numerous dinner invitations signed T H Gallaudet 1840-50 to James H Wells. Also I found extracts of Asylum Business which describes the annual contract and payment for Abby Dillingham & Charles Burgess, Augusta Kimball. Abby having entered on April 16, 1817. Just some of a large cache of historical documents from the Wells Family of Brattleboro VT and Hartford Connecticut passed down through the Wells family and through marriage to the Huggins then Porter Families.

  1110. Redneck says:

    I read about a splendid idea on a mountain biking website last night. Trail rotation. Simply put, each type of trail use gets its own time slot. For example, mountain bikes Tuesday, dirt bikes and quads Wednesday, equestrian use Thursday, Hikers Friday. You could even do time of day, or time of year if need be. Like daddy says, to each his own.

    The only reason people would not want us to use blue trails that I can see is erosion. When you put 50+ horsepower to a knobby tire on loose ground it digs a rut. But this can be minimized as well. Perhaps a ban on motorized and equestrian traffic during mud season, or on trails that go straight up hills.

    I was hiking the blue trail (Jericho)and powerline right-of-way in Watertown yesterday and took note of the fact that as soon as you topped the hill and the trail flattened out, tire tracks were barely visible and the ground was almost intact.

    And nobody’s a moron, everyone has an opinion, but some spit it out the wrong way and just make enemies. I am an advocate for the motorcycle community and always try to be as polite as possible. But it is VERY hard sometimes.

    Food for thought…

  1111. Redneck says:

    I’ve hiked the Whitestone Cliffs, Jericho, and connector trail and have noted something very interesting. John g white spoke of a quarry west of the cliffs. The guy who lives in the house next to the connector trail told me that near the top of the mountain is an old steam boiler. I have never seen it myself but he is a reliable source so I trust his word. However I HAVE seen other remnants. If you go in about a 1/2 mile back from Waterbury Road on the connector trail, then go off the trail to the east until you get to the peak of the mountain, there is bedrock showing through the topsoil with drill rods sticking out of it. There are 2 rods (each sticking 2 feet out of the ground) that I know of located roughly 100 yards apart. You will also find huge chunks of rock on the surface with drill marks in them.

    I love trying to piece together history!

  1112. honeybunny says:

    I like the Mystery monument.
    Like a blank canvas.


  1113. Noelle says:

    My favorite part of that place is the pathway down the stone steps to a little patio with all these columns and arches…then as you go around to the back stone wall you realize your view is of a straight drop into the woods! An amazing structure, that place…too bad it will probably never see itself finished.

  1114. Bert Coggeshall says:

    I grew up in New Britain, less than a mile from Rattlesnake Mt (as the crow flies), near what is now Stanley World HQ. One of my friends was Mayor William McNamara’a son. Mr Mac had shown him Hospital Rock, and he in turn took me to see it. That was about 40 years ago. I’ve been trying to find it (I was 9 or 10 at the time). I’m glad you found it. I new its history. I’ve wanted to show it to my kids and see it again myself (I’m a history buff). If you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate it. If, not, I still enjoyed your site and description.

  1115. Katherine Kramer Erwin says:

    I grew up in this house!! What fun to see this article….

  1116. Francine says:

    What a great description and pictures. Wonderful.
    We were at Zoar’s trails yesterday but we could not find the falls.
    Do we need to take the trail which opens after the 15th of August? The not zoooo..arrr funny thing is that we ended up on the yellow/blue blazed trail, the one that you rightly describe as the least exciting part.
    We first walked for quite a while, over the rocky part, passed a small beach, found a brook but got absolutely lost straight along the hillside trying to find the loop, then arrived at the rich people houses.
    We had 4 dogs with us. After waving at cars passing by, a helpful local drove my friend back to her car, which was parked miles further on Great Quarter road. I waited for her to return to pick me up and the dogs.
    It was frustrating as we got attacked by black flies and had no views.
    I wish I had read your article first and skipped this northernmost section entirely as you suggested.
    My question now is:
    How do I get from the scenic blue trail along the water to the Prydden Falls …and safely back to our car? Thanks.
    Francine Deneffe and the ‘woofs’.

  1117. zark says:

    I live in CT and just stumbled upon this article about a “stone field sculpture” today. (I was researching Holy Land in Waterbury) You really peaked my curiosity! I want to state that Carl Andre’s piece looks beautiful, the ideas behind it are marvelous and I now plan on visiting. I never heard of this artist or controversy before but now I have to research both. It seems that the committee couldn’t prove that they were buying more than rocks. It can be hard to please everybody, but this really inspires me. Thank you for your blog it looks very interesting.. I read a few of the tree ones already. I bookmarked you and now and plan to read and visit more of CT. Thank you! zaRK new haven CT

  1118. Tyler says:

    I am a Plainville resident, and hike this area often. I am very familiar with local history of this area, and have heard about Hospital Rock, but I have never actually been there. One of my friends remembers going there with the Plainville Conservation Commission, but can’t remember how to get to it. I would love to know the location of this, and would never think of vandalizing the site. I would greatly appreciate it if you could get back to me with an email. You can ask further questions of me to prove my worthiness, too. Thanks.

  1119. Joe says:

    There used to be a cream soda called Red Lightning.

  1120. andrea meyers says:

    oh well…anyway..the rise poem is way shortened–but i knew due to space that i was silly to add it.
    on deviant art i have a page. Check it out. I hope people will look

  1121. Steve says:

    I have a custom made civil war 28 mm engineer button I dug and is a very nice button with RMDC Has the letter E on face like the small confederate buttons.I talked to my friend and some who are deals and they love the button but we can’t fine it anywhere in the civil war books because its a very rare custom made 2 piece button with ” Scovill Waterbury MF’g Co on back!I talked to one dealer William Liegh here and Va and he said it was a very nice rare custom made confederate button. These are very rare and are a 10 in rarity.Can any one help on getting more info on here.It was dug in a confederate campsite on Lee’s retreat route to Saylors Creek Va. last fall.It has some gold gilt and a smooth oval shape dome with a nice rim.
    Call me @ [redacted phone number] and ask for Me Steve Maybe you can help.

  1122. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    Too bad that nasty can of sugarcane soda didn’t make it into the random tower of aluminum cans.

  1123. Steve says:

    What is it about this page that attracts so many same-minded web surfers who refuse to read more than a few words on this page? I was nice to Nancy in the comments above, but Dr. Trox, JohnReynolds and Steve… I can’t be so nice.

    Right below these comments it says, “ is not affiliated with any museums anywhere and never will be.” Right above in the comments it says, “This blog is not associated with the Button museum at all. All I did was visit it. You’ll need to contact them.”

    Elsewhere (on the Contact Me page, which to be fair, you probably didn’t click on but I like what it says, so…) on this blog it says:

    “I am not an appraiser, museum owner, museum volunteer, museum professional, antique salesman, antique buyer or anything like that. I’m a blogger. I write ABOUT museums, I DO NOT work in one.

    So please, I beg you, do NOT send me an email asking me about a button or a lock or a chair that you think I’d like to have for “my museum.” I cannot appraise anything other than your lack of reading comprehension.”

    I wish you all the luck in the world and hope your buttons are worth millions.

  1124. jude says:

    No mention of Glenn Beck’s sacred underpants in the Goldberger lecture. That’s exactly why I stick with CTMQ. Thanks for linking Dehryll’s pics.

  1125. andrea meyers says:

    please delete my lastest notes…i wrote most of all to ask if the link to my site can be visible.
    while it is bare-bones art/ search/ etc as it stands on site-i do plan to do a great deal to research and dig in to the whole of my experience from 1979-1983.
    the IOL-for me-was a mixed experience.
    the thing that it carries on-research etc-is good. it is not all easy.
    YES-i went through restraint and other stuff. but also formed good relations with some of the staff. the doctors however -well-i won’t go on.
    i plan to -and have already spent 15 years of my life writing reliving researching-the IOL-past/ when i was there/ til present. it so far has come out as very personal in my art..but much of my writing is an attempt to understand it all.
    it is good the the IOL has a TRUTH to what it is they DO. that is a powerful stand. and it is that stand that makes me hope to become somehow involved-i have ideas.
    can ex- patients have a right to come back and express ideas?
    soon to be seen.
    but the truth shown here in the museums history of the iol–but less that of the later good.
    it does not hide away.
    there is a REAL truth there in part of the IOL’s need to research as well as the need to be open -
    i personally have thoughts that are inspired by this museums showing. i hope lee monroe and others will listen to me. i am not fool-just as many in the IOL are not fools.
    mental illness-or whatever it “is”-(’it’ being many things) can never be treated seen changed and come to a place of strength (in each who has been there seeking help and those who do not). it is so so complicated.
    yes: obvious.
    while i know the depth of trauma and more while there i also know much more. there was a truth to the place. still it remains changes and hence, due to this change, has remained afloat through huge changes in time and research.
    while yes-i saw the place -day one-as the scary place that many see it..also was a wonderous place that taught me more than any other space could teach me. the grounds-the plan /re-plan etc of space and how it plays its own role in (?) (the idea of space/ design/ how units are set up etc is a big part of my research).
    i hope to hear more people speak here. i do relate with the trauma and yes-restraint-and more. but i also know of much GOOD. that is a big question. how each of us see it. it is essential for the “patients”-there -and later in life tell how the place collectively left memory in ones mind. it seems to vary in a big way..and this alone is a big thing.
    i have hopes..which i do not speak of now-but -i see the IOL-even with all my anger and my seeing how this place “gave” me a sense of “lifeline” -is enormous. and i want and have to express it. art/ writing etc. a lifetime thing. and i hope to somehow …wel. things will be what they will be.
    —i hope whomever runs this comment area will delete all but my first post and maybe this one-(but this is too long-i just hope to speak to those in the IOL if possible-sorry if i don’t edit-i am looking now to speak from my heart/ mind-and not just the mind. i WILL NOT lose my heart or my gut feelings in it)but not keeping this post is fine :)
    but i also ask if -at the beginning or end of my FIRST post that i can add a link to a site where i search out all i can as i can and do with time about the IOL and other past hospitals; their own need to create a space to be part of …whatever it is that research is forging onward to “help” those with various “?”’s . for the kirkbride-space / grounds etc–SO much played a role-as much as it does today. and while i was there-i was a mess-but somehow-i saw it..and remembered space and all-so intensely. i was and am very over-sensitive to things-and i guess-it has allowed me to go from being one who couldn’t speak-but could see and eventually-in the last year or so in the IOL-feel-strength and caring for others-that i ..i never..i was so lost. i felt like no-one. and why bother. ? this changed when i cared. yes-i learned in the IOL. many/ all(?) of us had some need to be (there) -so-connection with others was huge. and it remains a big part of how i think when i DO research/search;/ think/ etcetc.
    please re-add the site. it is not finished-far from it. just ideas. some artwork. some images. but -it is real. all about my feeling and “seeings” in the IOL. then now and whatever.
    thank you.

  1126. andrea meyers says:

    please note:
    last response was not thought-out-as said-it was more to ask re the sitebeing posted w first response i made- and why i ask for this. but please know: i do know how to write :)
    thanks :)

  1127. lorena allen says:


  1128. Donald says:

    I think this is wrong, Jackson Michigan has the oldest continuously running train station in the United States. Openned in 1826 I believe, but you can check with the city and verify.

  1129. Donald says:

    I looked it up Jackson station was all so openned 1872-1873 time frame.

  1130. Steve says:

    Yeah, this is certainly one of CT’s most questionable claims to (incredibly moderate) fame. But I think Geoff Brown’s comment above may clarify the situation a bit; if somehow confusing it at the same time.

  1131. Beryl Fishbone says:

    The Leffingwell House Museum, 348 Washington Street, Norwich, CT is open Saturdays May – October from noon – 4 PM and by appointment as we have no paid staff and volunteers may have to take time off from their jobs.

    The museum is a fully furnished colonial period house museum, circa 1675. Most of the furnishings were made in the Norwich area. There are workshops or events most weekends. Donations of $5.00 per person are asked but not required. There is a painting by Bass Otis and other artists of the period as well.

    The museum is run by the Society of the Founders of Norwich, CT est. Oct. 10, 1901. Membership is only $20.00 per year and includes newsletter, activities and access to the house for family, write Society of the Founders, PO Box 13, Norwich, CT 06360.

    Exhibits and events change so visit us often!

    Thank you for having such a great site! I am looking forward to your visit!

  1132. andrea meyers says:

    also please note: i know the IOL is not a kirkbride. i should have added others/ another style ie “cottage style” -it is my thought -further thoughts on how space is still SO relevant. in hospital or not.
    thank you to whomever allowed the link to be set here: the stuff on that site is a bunch of ideas and images-and some large finished mixed media works. a process. i plan to finsih all of it in many various ways. ie. add to more mixed media / search/ research/ and also to eventually put many things (much not on the site) into several short books-images/ words/ etc.
    anyway-thank you . hope more write here. i say no more!!!!

  1133. Jennifer says:

    Love this site–am always glad to find it when I’m googling things to see and do in Connecticut. You’re an excellent writer and your experiences are very much appreciated.

  1134. Dave says:

    What Jude said about cloudberry jam is spot on. Cloudberries look like yellow raspberries. You can get the jam at Ikea, if you ever get that way. I’ve never tried juustoleipa, but it sounds interesting. I’m trying to taste everything the CT cheesmakers produce, and it’s tough job, but someone has to do it.

  1135. Michael says:

    “…and offers much more than melanoma.”

    So, you’re saying that the beach offers much more than a form of skin cancer – a cancer that claims thousands of lives.

    Isn’t this a poor choice of words?

    I am disappointed that the CT Museum Quest would permit this on their site.

  1136. Steve says:

    As one who burns very, very easily, melanoma is something I’m very concerned with. I’m not a beach person as a result of this. I view lying about on a beach all day as perhaps the best way to contract skin cancer.

    So yes, I’m saying at Hammonasset one can spend some quality time in the Nature Center as an alternative to lying around frying in the sun.

    I’m not exactly treating cancer lightly or making light of those who contract it.

  1137. Randymarie Dewey says:

    I have lived so close, and yet I never new about this wonderful, beautiful tree! I recently learned of it and I can not wait to visit it!

  1138. Bob Smith says:

    Would like to rescue a few if I can as house pets if I can. I quess 4 would be ok.. I have X large Bird cages(518) 526-9269
    1174 Darby Hill Rd., Delanson NY Thanks

  1139. Steve says:

    I used to think CTMQ attracted intelligent readers.

  1140. Diane Cordes says:

    My husband and I live on the property that once belonged to Israel Putnam (Brooklyn, CT). His first cabin site is in the middle of the field right behind our house. I’d be interested to know what will happen to his plow should no one care about it anymore – It would be awesome to bring it back “home.”

  1141. Zack says:

    Have you ever tried Avery Mountain soda? I think it’s a local company,too. I saw it at the Meriden Hostess Bakery store on East Main Street right past Colony Ford and Lowe’s.

  1142. Bill Wilson says:

    I have an old music book that I cant find any thing about, it’s called Squires Melodic School For The Eb Tuba By H.P Brothers and published by A.Squire in 1883. Can anyone help?

  1143. Steve says:

    Will Now, If you would have stated this in the first place,people would not have to tell you to do so.
    I guess I am the only one with such a very nice Engineer button.Thats not in a museum.
    Don’t reply.

  1144. Steve says:

    I don’t really understand the above comment, other than the “don’t reply” part which I’m clearly disobeying.

    Here’s why:

    First, because “Steve” the commenter is safely anonymous, despite his posting his telephone number previously which I have deleted.

    Second, because Steve the commenter illustrates something alarming. Despite my rather mean comment previous to his last one, Steve sent me an email this morning asking again about his buttons. So lest one thinks I’m a total jerk, in order to send me an email through this site, one is taken to this page which actually says (among other things, “So please, I beg you, do NOT send me an email asking me about a button…”

    So I thought it was pretty funny that he then went to this page and commented again.

  1145. Leeanne says:

    I happened to read this on a day when I was annoyed with the CT Wine Trail, so I’ll commiserate with you. We’re planning to go to the big festival next weekend in Goshen, but there is no mechanism to purchase advance tickets online, you have to buy at a local winery or over the phone. But the phone option is only available M-F, 9 am – 3 pm. It’s 2010. How difficult can it be to set up some sort of e-purchase system?

    also, their main website is down as we speak.

  1146. Vince Bizilj says:

    I attended UCONN in the late 1970’s and drove past Frog Rock frequently in commutes between Hartford and Cape Cod. The Frog Rock was always a great place to pull over and take a break from the drive. How I long for the peace and simplicity of life back when. To all who currently enjoy Frog Rock, and to all who have yet to, find the peace this timeless rock offers.
    God Bless.

  1147. H Fields says:

    They are no more racist than black Cabbage Patch Kids. Furthermore, they are a part of our history. Get over it, already.

  1148. Steve says:

    “Furthermore, they are a part of our history. Get over it, already.”

    – And there’s nothing racist about America’s history. At all. Ever. Case closed.

  1149. hilary says:

    I want Hoang’s boots.

    Oh, and Modern…mmmm…

  1150. Steve says:

    Looks like its pretty funny.No you not a total jeck.What is it about this page that attracts so many same-minded web surfers who refuse to read more than a few words on this page? I was nice to Nancy in the comments above, but Dr. Trox, JohnReynolds and Steve… I can’t be so nice.

    Right below these comments it says, “ is not affiliated with any museums anywhere and never will be.” Right above in the comments it says, “This blog is not associated with the Button museum at all. All I did was visit it. You’ll need to contact them.”

    Elsewhere (on the Contact Me page, which to be fair, you probably didn’t click on but I like what it says, so…) on this blog it says:

    “I am not an appraiser, museum owner, museum volunteer, museum professional, antique salesman, antique buyer or anything like that. I’m a blogger. I write ABOUT museums, I DO NOT work in one.

    So please, I beg you, do NOT send me an email asking me about a button or a lock or a chair that you think I’d like to have for “my museum.” I cannot appraise anything other than your lack of reading comprehension.”

    I wish you all the luck in the world and hope your buttons are worth millions.
    And your right steve they are….

  1151. Rob says:

    I honestly haven’t had any of them for well more than a decade, but my father (born and grew up in New Haven) always was a Modern guy.

  1152. Steve says:

    Hilary –

    ha. I dig that picture for a couple reasons (it was taken walking out of Modern back to the car.) It’s like an album cover. It has a shell of an old pay phone. It has a Marlboro price half of what they cost now. Hoang’s hair hides her face adding mystery.

    But really, she’s jsut carrying some leftover pizza.

  1153. Hilary says:

    I thought it was a very Beatles-esque picture!

  1154. John Spencer says:

    I grew up in Wethersfield. Attended Francis Stillman School. Our house was at the beginning of Nott St by the park. Can remember the prisoners driving by in trucks to go pick up coal I believe down by the train station on Church St. Can remember them throwing either baseballs or softballs from the trucks to us kids in the park as they drove by. I bring this up because I was in Wethersfield today at Cove Park and found the marker stone for the prison cemetary. Your right it is hallowed ground. Wondered how many are buried there from 1827-1963.

  1155. Terry Bishop says:

    Hi. I’m not an ancestor, but grew up in North Stonington near the Randall place, and wrote an article on the Randall family a few years ago for the North Stonington Historical Society. I have nothing against the Underground Railroad, but I doubt the Randall place had anything to do with it. First, the story about the hiding place came from Mrs. Perry, who wrote a paper about the house and property back in the 1920s not long after she and her investment banker husband bought the place. I think it was her conjecture/speculation. During the research for the article, I interviewed a nice old lady who remembered the last surviving Randall who lived there, in the 1880s–she said he never mentioned anything about slaves hiding at the house in the years before the Civil War. Finally, knowing the geography of the area, I just don’t think it would make sense for someone trying to flee as quickly as possible to Canada to make such an out-of-the-way detour to North Stonington when there were so many other, more practical abolitionist groups elsewhere in New York and New England. If you’d like to see my article email me at . –Terry

  1156. John Darby says:


    I love your collections! Very extensive!

    Quick question: have folks created lcoks which a a bit Rube Goldberg? I am looking for something akin to the overly complex locks we see in Lord of the Rings or Hellboy2.

    Thank you!

  1157. Jim henderson says:

    do they still make red lightning cream soda, if there anyway of finding this, was a favorite of mine growing up

  1158. jason says:

    Actually, the Rockville Bridge in Pennsylvania is the largest stone-arch bridge. It makes this bridge look like a toy.

  1159. jason says:

    oh oops i just saw someone else commented on that…

  1160. Steve says:

    I wonder if the Bulkeley Bridge is somehow “larger” because it’s so much wider? Who knows. I’ll add an asterisk.

  1161. Vanessa Brown says:

    Hey you guys,
    How the heck are you??? It’s been so long and I often think of you and wonder how life has been treating you. We are busy as I’m sure you are with our 4 year olds. I see Melody (Hoang’s old roommate) frequently and when I saw her yesterday she told me about your site. It’s very impressive and I’m sure you have a hoot putting it together. As I read the comments on this venue I couldn’t help but wonder if the John Brown you said you knew was my Jon Brown… Anyway, I would love to connect and exchange some of the life experiences we have been going through.

  1162. Elizabeth says:

    I live right across from this street. of course the haunting and ghosts and crap isnt real but the history definatly is. there WAS a man named walter green that lived on a house next to the field. ive been to the house plenty of times its a shit hole now of course because its been abandoned. i went on the field with my friends and an old man looked at us from behind that house and started running towards us. i think he might own the property or something.

    When walter green was a child his mom dressed him like a girl because she wanted a daughter not a son. so walter came out kind of sexualy confused and he hated his mom. i thought his mom was the first one he killed but i guess not. and it wasnt just the dead body found in the well. he also put his mothers body into a sewage thingy that is usually on the side of the road. its said that the field by walter greens house is an indian bariel ground (i dont know if thats true or not) but he would drag dead bodys from his house at night to the field and bury them there. i also hear that they would find the dead bodys but the heads were always missing and they never found them. all of that part of the story i beleive to be true. what you might here wich totyally isnt true is that he cut off his own penis. also theres a truck in the drive way of that house on beezlebub alot of people say its walter greens truck and they never moved it but, if he road horses back then why would it be there? hahah anyway the old man that usually chases me away from the house and the truck is there because that old man owns the property (i think) and maybe hes trying to fix it up or something but just recently there was a pedofile let out from prison. he lives on beezlebub so…careful >_>

  1163. Arthur E. Mitchell says:

    I first visited the Tower(both inside and out) in 1948 when it was owned by the Hartford Times. The Times erected a radio transmission tower on TOP of the
    Tower for the radio station they owned and operated,WTHT. At that time all of
    the original furniture was still in place. I also possess several original
    photographs which were taken in 1922, by my Grandfather,who was a friend of
    Gilbert Heublein, and attended several social events held at the Tower.
    Just as a side note, I attended Grammar school at West Middle School,and
    High school at Hartford Public High School in the late 1940’s.
    Arthur E. Mitchell

  1164. Francis J Hasuly says:

    Can anyone tell me if itwas Amasa Day who dedicated the cival war monument &what unit was he with ‘was he an officer

  1165. Cynthia Roznoy says:

    Are there any oral histories, memories, diaries, etc about the tobacco industry during the Depression?

    Harold Barbour (1889-1961) painted a series of 12 tobacco industry scenes for the WPA’s art project in Connecticut. I am writing about these paintings and would very much appreciate any information about the period.

    Many thanks,

  1166. Will K. Wilkins says:

    Hi, found your site via Bill Hosley, would like to invite you to include Real Art Ways on your list. 35 years old this year, Real Art Ways presents and commissions new art. We don’t have a permanent collection, but offer museum-quality original work. Come visit us!

  1167. Kevin Tarbell says:

    Ida Tarbell was my fathers great aunt have found her to be very intresting. I would love to visit her home some time in the near future is this open to the public. thank you

  1168. Steve says:

    The house is a private residence.

  1169. Mike says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and photos! Steve, you’ve really enlightened me on some things. In response to Kim, perhaps I can shed a little light on things. As a kid, between 25 and 35 years ago, my dad used to take us up to Sunnybrook State Park. Indeed, it was a popular recreation area. There was no yellow gate up and you could drive right through the main entrance, past what used to be a picnic area on the right past the bridge, and take a right, I’m guessing about 1/3 mile down the road, and drive into the parking lot. Everything is overgrown with trees and brush now, but the driveway into the parking lot was lined by large stones on both sides. A recent walk through there (the first in probably 20 years) revealed the large stones are still there, almost completely hidden by brush.

    As you enter the parking lot, in the far right corner was a bath house. It was a stone and wooden beam building housing men’s and women’s restrooms and as well as a storage room. My uncle was a park ranger there for a few summers way back then and would sometimes give us a ball or frisbee that people would leave behind and never return for. Some years ago, the building was set on fire by vandals. The skeletal remains stood there last time I was up there, but now they’re gone also.

    There was a nice sandy beach along the eastern side of the pond. My understanding is that the pond was deemed unsuitable for swimming by the DEP because of geese contamination. My recent walk revealed a bit of the sand still there, and suprisingly, clear water.

    I have lots of memories of this place and am thankful to have come across this blog to learn and share. I look forward to hiking some of the trails in and near the park for the very first time.

  1170. Hazel Wotherspoon says:

    It is always good to read other parents thoughts. I have a 15 year old daughter with SMS.

  1171. Bristol native says:

    This review is ok, I will mention that Bristol is very suburban, not urban and there are alot of family-friendly activities in Bristol.

  1172. Bristol native says:

    Or maybe you don’t really know too much about Bristol and you belived what the small group of obsessive, ghetto-wannabe minorities have told you.

  1173. Wes Rand says:

    I’d forgotten about that rock. Years ago I used to pass it daily on my commute to work.

  1174. martinet says:

    Wow. I’m totally disgusted with RAW for showing “The Human Centipede” (I read that Ebert review a couple months ago and truly wanted someone to scrub out my brain). But I wish we weren’t going out of town this weekend so I could catch the Kevin Van Aelst show. THAT was wonderful–thanks for the intro to his work!

  1175. Tara Carleton says:

    Amazing, thank you for sharing! I have a 10 year old son diagnosed with SMS 4 years ago.

  1176. Shannon LaFave says:

    You know I always love your writings! So, as usual, I love this too :) Kiss that sweet little man and your beautiful wife for me!

  1177. Morrow says:

    You should update your ‘Hikes’ page ( to move the Shenipsit to your completed long distance hikes list…. You deserve it.


  1178. Chris says:

    You have a beautifully written blog here, sir. It’s always great to read about the good old state of CT!

  1179. Cumulus says:

    A nice section indeed. That was my first time on Soapstone Mountain, even though I live only a couple towns away.

    Don’t be so quick to criticize that juvenile delinquent’s cop evading skills, though. They seem to have worked.

  1180. Hank Barsky says:

    The hot dogs are as good as they were 50 years ago. It was a stop off on my way home from Roger Ludlowe H.S. “Chico” and friends (all who worked there) added to the camaraderie. The “wood-paneled room that is carved, floor to ceiling, with customers’ initials” contains a history in itself.
    When going “back home” to Fairfield it’s a primary stop for many of us.

  1181. Pablo Jorge Gualtieri says:

    Buenos Aires, Argentina, august 14, 2010
    Dear friends, I am a professional technical motor journalist and technical motor writer and I write many articles about the history of the Diesel engines and Diesel components. Congratulations for your very interesting articles. Today I have a great interest in know the date of birth and death of Vernon Roosa engineer? Thank you in advance for your consideration.
    Best regards,
    Pablo Jorge Gualtieri
    Professional Motor Journalist
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    email : [email protected]

  1182. Dave says:

    Dog Rock will last as long as Time. The paint will be a bit scruffy-looking towards the end, though.

  1183. Tom says:

    I highly recommend Mather Gorge, at Great Falls Park on the Potomac.

  1184. Robvad38 says:

    I saw you at the Whalers fan fest and wanted to say “hi” but you seemed busy with the boy. Funny how you have become a web celeb. Anyways just submitting a web “Hi” and nice to see ya out in the real world.

  1185. michael says:


    Great post as usual!

    Take care,


  1186. Fran Gibbs says:

    All so true – thank you for putting it in words.
    Sam’s Nanny Fran

  1187. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the update, and the great pictures. I admire your honesty.

  1188. Ian says:

    YES! The brochure and website misinformation really annoy me to no end also. It’s not even like it’s last years brochure, no, it is YEARS out of date! I can totally relate, it just all seems so stale and uninspiring. Anyways, great new reviews, love reading them!

  1189. Bob Cumming says:

    I typed in a rather creative response (lengthy) re your humorous, though uncomfortable, visit to the E. Haddam Historical Society in 2007. Please come back for a complete visit, to include our magnificent new wing (built to accommodate the gift of a 3600′ tympanum by sculptor Heinz Warneke)and to view the William Gillette film and our relationship, via apostolic succession, with him through our founder. For the best docent, however, please ask for either Pres. Charles Farrow, Mus. Dir. George Drenga, or Exec. Dir. Bob Cumming–and pls let us know when you’re coming? Grateful for your sense of humor when feeling ill, Bob Cumming

  1190. Essex Museum Fire says:

    [...] down for a period, but the museum was open to the public once again this past weekend.CTMQ: CT River MuseumCT River MuseumSoundbounder: Mary EWTNH: Fire Damages [...]

  1191. Amy H says:

    As usual, I immediately devoured this post and the accompanying photos. Thanks for the update, and for your willingness to share your family’s experiences. You’ve always been a great writer, but this piece is truly amazing.

  1192. Tan Vampire says:

    Hey, GREAT synopsis of the MC Trail. The best one yet!
    (even if it is the only one).

    Enjoyed it immensely.

    Began hiking bits & pieces of the Trail this week.

    Your guide is very useful as well as entertaining.

    Keep on hiking.

  1193. Amanda says:

    wow i can tell what kind of people you are. not every town is like LA or NY booming and always alive. i grew up in danielson for 17 years of my life and dont regret any of it . it made me the person i am today a strong independent mother, there will always be bad areas in every state and my town does have its ups and downs but for the most part alot of our kids that live here are probably 20 times smarter then your average child in any other state, and there that way because they are exposed to the real world. i think if you shelter kids so much, they wont be ready when its time to deal with reality.

  1194. Sherry says:

    Another place in Connecticut where a beautiful old carousel has been restored and in use is at Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport. I had one of my son’s birthday parties there. I love the old wooden handcarved animals. I think it some of the parts are from Pleasant Beach. Sherry

  1195. Steve says:

    Sherry’s right. Here’s our sorta visit. There’s actually a “Carousel Trail” that I have info on somewhere. I’ll add it to “Other Trails” at some point.

  1196. Steve says:

    “…are probably 20 times smarter then your average child in any other state, and there that way” … I love it.

    Amanda, I appreciate your hometown pride. I love all 169 towns in CT equally. Except for Bozrah. I hate Bozrah.

  1197. Phil says:

    I remember getting Red Lightning from walmart, And it wasnt an energy drink, Am i thinking of the wrong thing?

  1198. Psygirl says:

    I found this quite engaging as I have explored most of these trails too and am always looking for new spots to hike. There is an orange-marked trail on Red Mountain that doesn’t seem to be connected to anything in particular except the logging roads and rock fields, and a very nice beaver pond up there, but I am not sure of the demarcation between private and state land; the owner lets us hike there and others in our neighborhood go up from time to time but it’s not an “official” trail. I’ve seen a sign for “Emmanuel Acres Conservation Easement” so hopefully that means it will be spared the fate of development. There is also Major Besse Park, have you hiked the trails there? Also would recommend the Goshen Land Trust trails. Plus of course the Mohawk trail, and some very nice trails near Falls Village though I hesitate to encourage more people to come out there, as it’s nice that there are not many people there. Look forward to reading more!

  1199. Dan says:

    Boy…Could I have fun if I was 40 yeard younger and 2500 miles closer….

  1200. Incult says:

    The one with ‘Homely Indian Style” means in India ‘Homey’ My wife is an American and we had the discussion over it many times. It is amusing to see that Homey is what called as Homely in India. ;-) I had no idea until I went to the US, that Homely is called as ugly there. also, another world is ‘Simply’ which in India, means – down to earth – while in the is called as ’something which is unattractive is near to ugly.

  1201. Incult says:

    i think ‘Tool’ wat he mean is:

    A person, typically male, who says or does things that cause you to give them a ‘what-are-you-even-doing-here’ look. The ‘what-are-you-even-doing-here’ look is classified by a glare in the tool’s direction and is usually accompanied by muttering of how big of a tool they are. The tool is usually someone who is unwelcome but no one has the balls to tell them to get lost. The tool is always making comments that are out-of-place, out-of-line or just plain stupid. The tool is always trying too hard to fit in, and because of this, never will. However, the tool is useful because you can use them for things; money, rides, etc.
    “Let’s drive to Chicago from Iowa. Oh man, we need money. Hey, let’s ask tool to come, he’ll spot us the cash!”

    “Tool is our friend. We call him that because he is one.”


  1202. Lilly says:

    One of these signs just cropped up outside my sons’ school.

  1203. Forrest Greene says:

    The Bacca Memorial Stone seems to me to be a wish that the minds of children, hearts of men (&, one hopes, women,) flights of birds, reaches of trees, & spirits of communities will all grow & thrive there, thanks presumably to the effect of the place itself. A nice sentiment.

    I’ll also second the recommendation that you visit the Airline Trail. See:

    I’m enjoying your memoirs of places I’ve hiked & places I haven’t, yet. Thank you, & best wishes.

  1204. hosmer says:

    why is it call hosmer? who named it?

  1205. Maureen says:

    We have been to Finland 6 times as a result of our having Carelian Bear Dogs and wanting to see more of them and this cheese is on many of the breakfast buffet tables. We always called it “Squeaky Cheese” as it has a really interesting way of squeaking on the teeth when chewing it. It is really delightful even when eaten plain so I can imagine it would be wonderful with cloudberry jam.
    I am very excited to know that this cheese is being made right here in CT and am also interested in going to the museum in Canterbury. We have not a drop of Finn blood in us but are enthralled with the country and its people….and when most of your visits are in December in the cold and dark, that’s saying something!:-)

  1206. Ian says:

    You should check out the pillow basalt behind the Target building in Meriden. World class site!

  1207. Donna Paradis says:

    I just took a hike to Bear Rock with my two kids. We came from Miller’s Pond State Park, hiking the opposite direction that you did. Once on Bear Rock, we followed the rock ridge a bit to the right. We noticed a small path that went “down a level.” Once we went down, we had a great view of all the hills that the Walk Book described. It did take a little exploring to find the views!

  1208. jeff says:

    love your site, iwas surprised there was no mention of the book barn in niantic

  1209. Brian S. Mcconville says:

    I lived in the castle in the early forties,my parents John & Beatrice Mcconville,rented it from Harry Aborn. I remember climbing the steps to the tower and looking over Ellington. We have a picture of my father in his Marine Corps uniform and I on the front steps. I only remember a few things, since I was very young. The garage was narrow and damp,I was told that the castle might have been used as a “Speakeasy” at one time.
    I grew up in Ellington and was inside the house several times when the “Wittams (sp?)lived there. Great place to see. Brian Mcconville

  1210. brie says:

    Hello- Came across you page and I must say your son is a doll! We are waiting on the genetic micro array to come back. We are pretty sure it will be positive for SMS. Ricky started showing signs something was not right at about5 months old and has been very delayed in his motor skills since. He is still not very good socially..making eye contact that is so everyone assumed he had autism… After seeing a developmental pediatrician she believes Ricky has SMS. After looking over the signs, I must say I agree 100 %. This has been the longest wait of my life. I just want the results already!! Ricky has a few strange facial appearances but we always put them off to him being half Vietnamese so he is supposed to have the almond eyes and flat nose!
    Thank you for sharing and I can be contacted at

  1211. Charlotte whatley says:

    I was a migrant teen from western Pennsylvania summers of 1965 – 67 for Consolidated Cigar Corporation. I lived in a girls camp outside of Middletown,Connecticut: Camp Byrne. I think it was an old church camp. We stayed in cabins that housed between 6 and 20 girls. It was the nastiest, dirtiest work I have ever done in my life. I learned first hand at the age of 15 what the nature of prejudice is. As a P.A. as we were called we were lower status that the “townies”. They were paid minimum wage and had the option of working on Saturdays. They were not punished if they did not make piece work. At 15, as Connecticut farm labor I could be paid less than minimum wage without any say in the matter. But,as I understood it, when I reached 16, they were to pay the $1.05/hr. I was given a paper to sign stating I would work for 85 cents /hour (as was commonly done with all the P.A. girls over the age of 16). I asked what would happen if I did not sign. I guess I was the first to ask that question. I was told I would be sent home in disgrace. That I would shame my parents. I signed. We made piecework by tying tobacco plants at the first of the season. A bent was about the distance between two telephone poles with about 20 – 30 plants per bent. After tying 80 bents, we were paid 10 cents a bent piecework,. 80 being what was considered average for a worker to do per day. We were pressured to make piecework and threatened to have our Sunday trips withheld (to the beach or museums or other outings) if we did not make it. My highest: 200 bents. It was the camp record at the time. $20.00 for the days work. And I was proud. Later in the season, we sewed the leaves for hanging and drying in the sheds. The machines looked like a saw horse made of metal. There were clips along it to hold the leaves and metal needle passed through them with string attached. Then we cut the thread and tied off the ends to an attached wooden lath. There were 50 laths to a bundle and we were expected to sew 5.5 bundles per day (I think) before we made piecework. Then we were paid around $1.50 per bundle (I think) piecework. In my best day I did 13 bundles or $19.50. And that was enough to be announced at the dinner table back at camp. We paid CCC room and board. I think it was $14. to $16. per week. They held our money until the end of the summer. We did not get the interest it may have earned. We were permitted to take no more than $2.00 per week from our earnings to pay for incidentials… things like laundry soap and personal toiletries for sale at the camp office (also CCC financed) There was a definite pecking order in the employees: Townies were top. We were next, and on equal standing with the Blacks who were bused in from Mississippi, then the Jamaicans and last the Puerto Ricans. Each of the migrant groups were housed in separate areas. I experienced the town folks looking down on us like poor white trash:terrible and helpless feelings of someone being prejudice against you simply because of where you are from. Not knowing a rat’s ass whether you are a good person or not. At 15, I had never had that reality before. The really good thing I learned from this experience was becoming friends on really equal standing with the Southern Black kids. They let me in and let me know what it was really like to be Black and living in Mississippi in the 1960s. My money was saved for college. I was lucky. I knew some of those girls would never see their earnings spent on themselves. Many were earning money that would be given to their parents just to help support the family.

  1212. Wendy says:

    Visited the Falls Brook Trail on 9/6/2010. It was a beautiful late summer walk. All the rocks were covered with beautiful green moss. The stream bed was just a trickle. The falls were dry with pools of water at the base. Still, beautiful sceanery along the stream. A well marked easy loop finished in an hour and a half with a slow wandering pace. Thanks for your nice site.

  1213. EL says:

    i lived in wethersfield and remember the prison. i am looking for a book/articles about the old prison and it’s inmates, etc….it is an important part of wethersfield’s history. please advise
    thank you

  1214. Catherine L says:

    Hi Steve and Hoang,
    I must admit I haven’t had the time to check out CTMQ for well over a year and when I saw the email come through I went straight to check it out-what a beautifully written and emotionally-heart-tugging piece.
    I can tell this last two years must have been pretty hard on both of you and you handle it all with incredible patience, kindness and lots of love for your beautiful little boy-Damian is a lucky little boy to have such wonderful loving parents.

  1215. Steve says:


    Nothing supernatural is happening in your building. It’s an old building and is drafty and creeky. And you and your friends have active/healhty imaginations. Revel in the beauty of your imaginations and not in unfounded fear of it.

  1216. Kerri says:

    This is so creepy!

    I just noticed the place a few weekends ago on the way to Foxwoods and did not realize it was a museum. Not sure knowing that information would have made any difference.

  1217. Steve says:

    Thanks Julie, I’ve made note of the name change.

    As for changing exhibits, I always assume that’s more or less understood by the CTMQ-reading public.

  1218. Joe says:

    No mention of the Green Lady Cemetery in Burlington either.

  1219. Steve says:

    Jeff – it’s there, in the “Curious Retail Stores” section. LOVE the Book Barn.
    Joe – Because there are no such thing as ghosts.

  1220. Jim Giana says:

    I parked at the Rogers Orchard pick your own lot near Andrews St. on April 22, 2010 and didn’t get a ticket. I saw Darin’s plaque when I climbed Short Mtn and went in a back way rather than up the “stairway” becasue I couldn’t find the handholds. I’m 6′1″ but apparently have short legs. At the time, I felt someone telling me not to be stupid (I was hiking alone), but to back down, and go around. Then I saw Darin’s plaque. Maybe he’s there watching us. I found an article about him that said he died of natural causes, not in a climbing accident. But as his sister says, he was doing what he loved. I hope folks don’t think I’m rude or crazy when I say I felt he was there with me. I mean no disrespect.

  1221. Thor says:

    There is one of these signs (yellow diamond, ET, buckle up) here in Washington State between Marysville and the Tulalip Indian Reservation. If I ever drove by there anymore I would send you a picture.

  1222. Ruth Hayon says:

    I just wanted to say I visited my friend in Connecticut and she took me to the ice cream shop and it was the best ice cream I ever ate in my life. I wanted to know where could I ever find something like that in New York. I wish you had mail order or something, I would buy it if it was possible.

    Thank you so much.

  1223. Eric Wehrman says:

    my brother found a headstone on the website called and the year the lady had passed away was in 1625 but the birth was unknown. I think the cemetary was in boston,her name was grace berry and the information given was said she was around he age of 58 of her passing. hope this helps alittle bit.

  1224. Joshua says:

    Glad you got there! I’ve gone there occasionally, having found out about it by going to college with one of the daughters. Nice family too.

  1225. cilla says:

    Update as of a month ago. This bridge is now under construction, as of Aug 2010. They are using the steel beams to draw the bridge onto land. Taking 30 foot sections down at a time. It will be reconstructed and put back over the river with these beams, and than the steel will be gone. As of Sept 15 2010 only half the bridge is over the river, the other half is in the parking lot.

  1226. says:

    What a great blog for CT folks and visitors alike! Can’t wait to read more about your adventures in museuming (is that a word?)

  1227. ann thomas says:

    Thank you for the info. I love to visit Cove Park. A friend told me about the prison and I couldn’t wait to look it up. Very interesting. I’d like to know more.

  1228. Tahseen kamal says:

    Hi i am tahseen from Pakistan

  1229. Steve says:

    Hi Tahseen. I assume you’re a big fan of Roosa Diesel engines.

  1230. Jeff Feldmann says:

    Myself and 3 others and a dog, have finished a five year dream of paddling the entire length of the Ct River, from Pittsburg, NH to Connecticut. In doing some research for the trip, I found many towns that used ferry’s for crossing the river. Just recently, I found information on Bissell’s Ferry, in Windsor. Great reading. Thanks

  1231. Richard Weddell says:


    I just wanted to say what a wonderful museum you have. I will be down to visit in the spring..

    Frank I have found 3 covered dishes, and have had very little luck in finding any information on other than they MAY have been produced by Coudersport Glass. They are Moses, A Chicken, and a Plump Duck. All have the bulrush base. If you could shed any light on these milk glass pieces I would be thankful. If I had your email address I could send you some pictures of these items.

    Thanks in advance Dick

  1232. Steve says:

    I’m just amazed that Mr. Weddell somehow failed to note the word Defunct in the title, the RIP in the date and the “this place is closed” in the first sentence and throughout.

    I hope Mr. Weddell has a blast in downtown Meriden next spring regardless.

  1233. Earl D. Wilson, Jr. says:

    Thanks for the info and pictures on this ferry started by my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Look forward to seeing the site on my next visit to CT.

  1234. Tracu says:

    Thunderhead64. I noticed that Thunderhead Productions is somehow associated with 382 Beelzebub. What is this about?

  1235. autoprt says:

    i was born in new britain in the early 60’s and caught the tail end of Great New Britain the older people remember. Going downtown in the late 60’s and early 70’s was a great experience taking the bus to the Strand and finishing with shopping at all the stores that were downtown and stopping by Capital Lunch before going home on a Saturday.
    The highway was the beginning of the end for New Britain and it has yet to recover. But at least the memories are there as long as Jimmie’s Smoke Shop is in business.

  1236. Steadyjohn says:

    I always thought this was a snake; I never saw the feet, obscured by weeds I guess (my photo):

    Also the “Eagle Rock” on Rte 66 in Hebron is impressive (my photo):

  1237. Steve says:

    Now that I think about it, it’s more of a lizard. Like a Gila Monster.

  1238. Catherine says:

    Fiddleheads are a canadian delight! I grew up in CT, and have visited and hiked to many of the places on your site. As a child my parents would load us into the car once a year and we would spend the day fiddlehead picking in a remote location which i’ve never revealed. but yup, the secret is to pick them, wash them, freeze them. Boil them twice, and twice is very important. The second boil, throw in a few slices of bacon for flavor. The fiddleheads will soak that right up. Serve warm with justa bit of butter and salt. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  1239. Kyle Warner says:

    If you ever want to do the high point in Colorado, Mt. Elbert (14,440ft) I will join you. I have 12 14′ers done and Elbert was one of my favorites.

  1240. elaineloehr says:

    I discovered the blue blazed trail near the TAC land this past Sunday. I didn’t take the first blue blaze trail,which you described above,but continued straight. I came across old roads which crisscrossed each other. Not sure whether farmers used these roads to transport corn etc. Off of one of these roads was a red blazed trail which led to a river (Gage). Who owns the land to the south of the blue blazed trail between the TAC building and South Grove Street? I use to live on South Grove Street and remember that field planted with cow corn which became a open field. We use to play back there, great fun.

  1241. thomas says:

    I have been a regular visitor to meigs point since the late 1950’s, when my family spent several months each year camping in the long term areas. I remember visiting mr. and mrs. bunker [the camp manager and his wife] at their summer residence [what is now the nature center]and years later seeing meigs point camping done away with. I miss the old small pavilion that was at the edge of the marsh where the birders blind shack is now, where we used to watch movies, and have “record hops”, etc. But time marches on, and i am glad the old manager’s house has been used for such a worthwhile cause all these years. i always stop in and visit the wildlife in the nature center whenever i am in the park, and tell everyone i know to visit it as well.

  1242. Dave says:

    Get over it, CT people. The notch is ours. I can’t believe that after 300+ years, there are still people that are mad about this.

  1243. Julia says:

    aren’t you the “All Things CT” location on CPTV on 9/3o/10

  1244. Steve says:

    Yes. This website with the URL “” with nothing giving any indication that this website is run by a restaurant is indeed, that restaurant’s website.

    That makes perfect sense.

    PS. That episode is a repeat. Sheesh.

  1245. Debbie says:

    If you’re thinking of going to Roseland Cottage aka Henry Bowen house in Woodstock, check out this from the Farmers Cow:

    In honor of this event, try a FREE 3 oz cup of The Farmer’s Cow Special Edition Cottage Garden Raspberry Jasmine Ice Cream when you visit Roseland Cottage from Oct 1-15.

    Receive $1.00 OFF admission to Roseland Cottage through October 15th with this coupon.

  1246. Ben says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  1247. tinkky says:

    I love to see new houses like 137 whighting street

  1248. janet thivierge says:

    I visited with my grandchildren. They had been another time and so wanted to share this experience with me. Interesting, an eye opener, and educational.

  1249. Jim Simons says:

    I went to Madiera Beach Junior High, graduated from Seminole High in 1972 and went to the Culbro tobacco fields with Ben and his dad in the summer of 1968. Also, with my neighbor, Charlie Cramb, Rick Cline, Stan Stone and others. The experience was character-building to say the least. My kids think the stories are made up. Now is my mid 50’s and experiencing some unusual health issues that may be related to the time spent in the fields coming home every day completely black, I was wondering if anyone else has had health problems they think may go back to the time spent in the fields, too.

  1250. Rob says:

    I always liked RAW, not the exhibitions so much (hit or miss), but the movies that you could never see unless you lived in NY or LA that somehow made it to Parkville. Now that I live in NYC, I don’t see nearly as many as I did when I lived in Hartford

  1251. Fran says:

    I had to laugh at the description. A lot of it is true, but I think the author missed a lot of the charm. Here are some interesting facts, too:

    The museum was begun by Cortlandt when he was just a kid – that in itself is pretty amazing. Also, one of the major movie studios threatened to sue Cortlandt until Vincent Price intervened on his behalf. I’m not sure how many people realize this, but some of Cortlandt’s work is at the Monster Cafe at Universal Studios in Florida. He is an impressive guy with a real commitment to the history of film. I hope he gets to see his dream come true.

  1252. SUSAN NEWTON says:

    I too remember the Picnic area, Living only 1 mile from it from 1965-2006 I can remember going there many times as a kid and also bringing my kids there. I recently was in CT to visit friends and family and decided one day to bring my two grandson’s there, Wow they got a kick out of it. But it was so sad that the town has let it go so much. Why can’t the town take down some trees so we can once again see it from the road. Or allow some volunteers to do it. Maybe like the boy scouts or a class project. Living in Florida but visiting CT often I myself would give a few hours of mine time to help a project if there at the time. It’s so sad. COME ON LETS RISE TO A SIMPLE TASK!!! BRING THE FROG BACK TO THE QUIET CORNER OF THE STATE.

  1253. Shirley Sutton says:

    Nice hike and story. The Leather Man most likely slept here, but this is not the true Leather Man cave in Watertown. The real cave is just yards from Cranes Lookout (and much easier to get to) according to early maps and the Connecticut Walk Book of 1940.

    The cave at Cranes Lookout would have been impossible to heat in winter months.

    See “Connecticut Curiosities” Campbell/Heald, 2002 for good directions.

  1254. Ashley says:

    The eerie metal structure is used for the chicken bbq at the 4-H fair. It was originally used for a ham and bean diner, which was a fundraiser the TAC Board of Trustees. Its really not that eerie, but nice try.

  1255. Kerri says:

    Okay, I just saw this and find it upsetting. Growing up, I went here many times, but it was called something totally different and just featured Native American artifacts. I was wondering if it still existed and am disappointed that it both went in the woo-wooism direction, and then closed altogether. Dang. I still have a ring I bought from there way back in the day. Now, I am wondering when it switched from plain old museum to this other incarnation.

  1256. tom kyrcz says:

    I am looking for prints of the places in the city of warerbury. these were sold by the lions club a few years back. one was the warering place for horses on the green. harvey weiner was selling them in the mall one christmas. i thought maybe you had some of these. I was looking foe more.

    tom kyrcz

  1257. Steve says:

    Mr Kyrzczzczrzc,

    Send me one million dollars and I’ll get you those prints of those places in the city of warerbury.

  1258. William Marquis says:


    Is this the cemetary where Commodore Thomas MacDonough and his wife Lucy Ann Shaler are buried ? Cheers Bill Marquis Plattsburgh,NY

  1259. Lt Philip Columbo says:

    OK here’s the deal: there are several parcels of land up there that are owned by Elmo Aiudi (October Twenty Four Inc). He wants to turn it into a housing development but is being blocked by lawsuits. The other areas are quarry lots owned by Tilcon and Manafort. AT&T has a cell phone tower hidden on Loon Lake Rd (don’t mess with it – its got security measures). The town of Hartford even has 3.4 acres of land up there for something to do with US govt? Several of the homes up there are owned by Tommaso, Niedzwiecki’s, and others and they rent out those houses to low income folks. Some are vacant. Some of them are illegally mining up on the hill – for something (Tilcon has all mineral rights – not them). If there is a cemetery it is also illegal as it is not zoned for that in Plainville nor New Britain

    The Pygmy myth probably (but not sure) got started because of the Nike Base. Many of the bunkers look like little houses but are much bigger underground. Sometimes people would venture up there during the Cold War Period and get shooed away by the soldiers who may have poked their heads up from a bunker stairwell (looking like a midget) or where in the woods with flashlights throwing rocks at the night-time trespassers. Anything but shoot at them which they had full Pentagon permission to do. So an urban legend may have been created (or not). Same thing happened at all the Nike Bases in Hartford County (Portland, East Windsor, Simsbury etc.). People are just naturally nosy.

    Yes there is a large Mountain Lion (aka Cougar) along the Metacomet Trail. Many people have run into him, West Hartford Police (was in the news), Bloomfield 4H Club Farm, hikers, and even up above the CSP firing range in Simsbury in the late 1990’s. It appears that some idiot in Pittsfield MA was raising one illegally back in the late 1980’s and it escaped never to be recovered. He is quite tame and domesticated. He won’t attack you but don’t pet or feed him. He eats rodents, birds, carrion, etc. He has no mate so he will be the last of his kind in the area. In the wild they live from 20-25 years. So he’s pretty old by now. The local German-Shepard sized Coyotes lately will probably get him…

  1260. Lt Philip Columbo says:

    This is at the end of Gungywamp Road in Groton CT. It is the location of a pre-Columbian Irish priest that crossed the Atlantic in a leather boat and set up an encampment there (maybe St. Brendan the Navigator?). I’m sure the Nehantic tribal nation did not appreciate his presence and failed to find his legendary Garden of Eden (I guess the Nehantics weren’t white enough for Brendan?).

    There is also a strange geomagnetic anomaly there that is rumored to cause feelings of mental-depression when standing over the area.

  1261. FloG says:

    I have meat grinder with name UNIVERSAL LE&C NEW BRITIAN, CONN,USA,very heavy and rusty, probably over 70 yrs old. Cleaning out my basement and wondered if it has any value.
    I enjoyed reading this artical.

  1262. Steve says:


    I have a very difficult time believing that you enjoyed the article, as you apparently missed the rather glaring fact that this blog has absolutely nothing in the world to do with the New Britain Industrial Museum and therefore cannot advise you on some old rusty piece of junk from your basement.

  1263. mike says:

    im from new york……so i know pizza…..modern apizza very undercooked….crust awlful….in order….#4 modern apizza….#3frank pepe…#2 roseland in derby,conn….and #1… go to nyc and get a feel pizza….lombardi’s in little italy….good luck

  1264. Steve says:

    mmmm… feel pizza.

  1265. Carol Laun, Curator/Archivist says:

    I appreciate your glowing description of our Barn Museum, but I do want to correct one error. There is a second gravestone that had an incorrect date, but what you call a “tree-trunk looking thing” is actually a tree trunk. It is a beech tree that grew in the West Granby hills and was carved and decorated with initials, dates, flags, cannon, tent etc. by local young men who served in the Civil War. The tree died and we were able to acquire it for our Museum. I think we are the only Historical Society to have a tree. It has been featured in the book of Notable Trees of Connecticut. Oh, and it now costs $4 to tour all the buildings. Come visit us again, we have added another barn and rearranged some exhibits.

  1266. Carol Laun, Curator/Archivist says:

    The Cooley School is a part of our tours (not just limited to the visit of Granby’s second graders). The admission fee is now $2 to tour the Abijah Rowe house, Weed-Enders house and Cooley School and $2 to tour the Colton-Hayes Tobacco Barn and the new Preservation Barn.

  1267. Carol Laun, Curator/Archivist says:

    The research library and archives have been moved to The Preservation Barn, a large metal barn we built several years ago. We now have a climate controlled area with a staff room, library and archive, textile collection and storage in half the barn. The other half is used for exhibits, a yearly special exhibit and storage of artifacts.

  1268. Carol Laun, Curator/Archivist says:

    The house was named for Abijah Rowe because early researchers thought he was the first owner. Mark Williams, who wrote the definitive history of Granby “Tempest in a Small Town” found that Nehemiah Lee probably built the house, but it was too late to change names (and Abijah is hard enough to say). This is actually the third house on the same site. Granby, or Salmon Brook as it was first called, was settled in the late 1600s.

  1269. Tom C says:

    I think I have a picture of the gravestone of Ruth Noyes of Old Lyme. I remember it as 1636…I’ll see if I can find the picture.

  1270. Larry says:

    I wish I had read this post before I decided to park on Andrews Street. Before parking just beyond the trail sign I checked but didn’t see any no parking signs. I came back from the hike to find a $30 ticket.I went down to the Town hall to pay it off even though it was wrong for them to do this.A simple no parking sign would prevent this but apparently it’s an easy money maker for them.

  1271. Darren L says:

    The “Old Cider Mill” was built in the early 1800s as a tobacco barn. Tobacco was stored in the top section while the cider press was located in the bottom section. The original press was powered by a treadmill (horse), replaced by a steam engine, and that was replaced in 1912 by a one cylinder gas engine. The Cider Mill is on a piece of land extending from Main Street to the Connecticut River and was locally owned until the town of Glastonbury bought the property, relatively recently, to continue operating the mill. The mill produced 2500 gallons of cider per day all from locally grown apples.

    The designation as the oldest continuously operating cider mill is a title that has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but no one can substantiate.

  1272. Kirk Bingham says:

    My family stopped at Frog Rock in the 1950s when visiting family in nearby Woodstock; we moved to Pomfret in 1960. Froggie was always an attraction and still is. I passed by last week on a trip to NH and walked in for a few photos.

    Friends of Frog Rock on Facebook!

  1273. Joe Marcoux says:

    I am a West Hartford,Ct resident spending time in Paris where I saw another of Andre’s sculptures in the Tuilleries yesterday. An art student described the artist and the work and was shocked by my recount of Ct’s reaction to “stone field sculpture”. Seeing this sculpture,in the shadow of the Louvre, may have colored my reaction, but I am in awe of his work.

  1274. firsty says:

    I concur with Joe. I worked at a farm during high school summers and the owner and I collected apples off the ground and brought them to the mill. We didn’t use any rotten apples, but we sure saw many of them used at the mill.Those were wonderful days. Later in life I enjoyed bringing my daughter to the mill after driving up from New York to visit relatives,and she loved to go to see the animals and enjoy the goodies.

  1275. firsty says:

    BTW. what happened with the old mill nearby? I always coveted that mill and house.If anyone knows, they can e mail me at [email protected]. Thanks.

  1276. linda baum says:

    you did not do enough research! coming to mass. from crabby joes end you will notice the sign does not say WELCOME TO SOUTHWICK it says WELCOME TO CONGAMOND MA.the original town for the lake are is congamond. i have lived in congamond ma. for 50+years. i also live within 200 feet of the lake. but i use zip code for southwick. the post office in congamond burnt in early 1950s and we used southwick post office. i live in congamond you are mistaken about which town the lakes are in. there are signs in suffield and granby ct. stating 5 to 7 miles to congamond I love southwick and i love congamond .so look and research.

  1277. Doug Ellington says:

    Wow, you sure didn’t leave out any cliches did you? I guess the upstate of SC is so crappy that you would never come back, right? Well, that would be fantastic. It’s always funny to me how liberals such as yourself point fingers at others who they believe to be intolerant, while showing the most blatant, sarcastic, ignorant, and demeaning type of intolerance there is; the hatred of the poor by the rich. If you ever do decide to come back (and trust me, that is a possibility- you probably just overlooked the thousands and thousands of yankees who live in the area) do yourself a favor and educate yourself about the culture and history beforehand, similar to what you would do before trekking off to the Alps. That way you can save yourself the embarrassment of revealing your stunning lack of original thought to anyone who has the misfortune of stumbling upon this page. As someone who’s family has lived in the upstate of SC since the 18th century I can proudly say that I live somewhere that you don’t (yeah, that doesn’t make much sense, but I consider it the area’s number one feature). Keep my email so that when you decide to invade the South post-retirement you can let me know ahead of time. I’ll inform Cletus, Virgil, Bubba, and Billy Bob to get out their banjos and serenade you all the way back to Connecticut- trust me, you’ll need the ice after they’re through with you. Oh wait, that’s just another cliche, right? Wasn’t that filmed on the Chattooga; on the SC/Ga Line? Yeah, but the writer didn’t get that funny feeling portrayed in the movie when he was lost in the hills. He was found and helped back home by the mountain folk, sans the burning sensation. Maybe you’d be so lucky.

    You’re a dick.

  1278. Dana says:

    Please get a Facebook page! So more people can find out…the important stuff.

  1279. ChuckPro says:

    I just did this hike with a couple friends today. No forest fires this time, but your review of the hike was helpful. The area around Tory’s Den is really thinned out probably due to the fire, and a lot of the blazed trees have falled down. We had trouble finding our way to the Mile of Ledges after getting back on the Main Line trail. I’m looking forward to hiking the rest of the Tunxis Trail soon. I grew up in Burlington so I’ve got a soft spot for it.

  1280. Vic Molek says:

    Here is another former migrant worker from Western Pa. who picked in 1958,
    1959, & 1960 at Camp Hazelwood near Windsor Locks & Poquonock. Our High School Spanish teacher “Steven Duke” was camp leader those years. Recently
    I drove by the exact location of camp and the wooden structure was gone and
    replaced by a brick structure which was deserted. Some migrant workers were
    at the crossroad planting vegetables as tobacco was no longer planted. We
    were paid by American Sumatra Tobacco Corp. and picked on farm 7 & 9. Our camp was in line with a runway at Bradley field and the planes would come over so low you could feel the wind they made. We’d go to Hartford on Sat night and State Line park on Sundays. It was a very exciting time and an
    enjoyable experience full of memories. The local folks were very friendly
    and would stop at our camp often to talk to us.

  1281. Jenny D says:

    You are my hero of the week and possibly the year! Im such a history nerd, and am learning a lot from this site. I found it while doing a search on the institute of living, and sorry to say i didnt learn anything new in regards to that place…but I always did wonder about Pygmy village (been up there a few times, but never put two and two together as far as Nike is concerned) Anyways, besides me making you my new hero and me being super excited someone has the time and energy to get some awesome facts about good ole’ CT, I noticed that in this section of waterfalls and other geographical information that you didnt mention Mill Pond Falls in the center of Newington. Its the smallest natural running waterfall in the country and beautiful to all the senses. I am suprised you havent been, if im not mistaken you live W.H…you should def. check it out, its small but quite interesting like most things on your site.
    I discrovered your site a few hrs ago, like i said in my search about IOL, needless to say my search has come to a halt and my eyes are dry and heavy from reading all your interesting facts and info about the state. I lived in CT for my first 25 yrs and have been in FL the past 3. Thanks for all the info and hrs of time I will spend finding out all the wonderful things about CT that either I always wondered about or didnt have a clue about! Thanks again

  1282. Hazel McGuire says:

    I was also a migrant worker from Central PA the summers of 78 and 79. I do recall the townies looking down on us. And the $ being withheld until the end of summer. A portion of that $ went directly to my Mom to help out at home. I actually had some adventures and fun at “camp” that I would not have if I had just stayed at home. It also taught me the value of hard work. I was able to buy “cute” clothes for school when I got home and pay for my class ring that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

  1283. Steve says:

    Linda “got” me. I only made the horseshoe drive around the lakes in a clockwise fashion once. I’m sorry I didn’t turn around and do it in the other direction to see the sign she mentions.

    But this all sounds like distraction to me. Take back the Notch!

  1284. Grace McGuire says:

    I have a lot of wonderful memories of my time working in Connecticut. Granby (1971) Suffield (1972) and Somers (1973,1974) Work was hard but the off-time adventures were some of the best I’ve ever had. Loved it!

  1285. Ronald Hepp says:

    When I was a very young boy in the late 60s all the buildings of nike site were still up… We would go from building to building in and out of them kinda spooky and kool at the same time.. It was about a 2.5 walk from were I lived in Plainville. Years later they knock them all down. It brought back a lot of good memories!!!

  1286. martin says:

    ive seen it many times, its pretty easy to get to i figure giving directions on here isn’t a big deal because the people who vadalize most likely don’t go on this site anyways.
    i would love to see the rest of the hostpial remains, didn’t even know that they were near the rock.
    Someone told me once that somewhere on the mountain there is a mine that was used for by the colonial soilders to hold British troops as prisoners, anyone heard this before?

  1287. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me, but my parents happen to be friends with Mr. Chase’s sister and brother-in-law, and I don’t appreciate the fact that you are being prejudiced and unfair You don’t know the man at all! I feel, that you are just jealous of Mr. Chase and his incredible house.

  1288. Steve says:

    Anonymous, do you know Rachel? If so, please pass along my previous comment here.

    The only thing incredible about the house is how incredibly wasteful and ostentatious it is. Please note, this certainly doesn’t mean that Mr. Chase isn’t a wonderful guy; just that he has an ugly house that is inconceivably large.

  1289. Kerri says:

    I had the same gripe. Maybe if I were already immersed in the whole steampunk world I would have found out about it, but I only got word on the very last day of the exhibit. And I consider myself to be pretty well informed.

    It’s not just that recent exhibit though. I almost never hear about events or art exhibits happening there. I’m voting for ineptitude over hipsterism as the reason.

  1290. ron henderson says:

    I was there at Camp Nike the summer of 69. Along with
    Bill Morrow and Dennis Price from Lakeland Fl.
    It was hard work but a lot of fun also. Great memories for
    sure. Hoping to go back up next summer. Anyone no exactly
    how to get to the old Camp?

  1291. Major Bukkake says:

    These are in Pocomoke Maryland.

  1292. Steve says:

    I refuse to believe that from a guy named Major Bukkake. Sorry.

  1293. Steve says:

    I’m in shock over Shirley’s comment. Although MANY sources note the “cave” I wrote about as being the Leatherman’s Cave in Watertown, the directions in the book Shirley cites may lead to a very nearby, but different “cave.”

    Crazy – this is one of my most read pages on CTMQ and the thought that the information herein is wrong is killing me.

    Not sure when I’ll get out to Thomaston again, but I certainly will.

  1294. john says:

    Hi my son and i did visit the museum 2 years ago and wow its was great,it was a shock for me to learn tgat the museum had closed best regards to the people ou work their from quebec canada john and jay jay owners of vintage dodge trucks

  1295. walt says:

    Don’t know how and why i found this sight. Halloween is close by i guess. Grew up on Thomaston Rd. by the V.F.W. in the sixty,s. Used to party all the time at Leathermans. Ran trail bikes all around that area. Used to go to the cave at Twin Lakes also in Salisbury. Can’t remember who i went with, maybe someone on this site. We all were at Watertown High at the time. Thanks Walt in Florida

  1296. Josh says:

    The town on the Massachusetts side of the border is Longmeadow, MA — not East Longmeadow, MA. East Longmeadow is a different town a few miles to the east, whose southern border doesn’t encroach on Connecticut at all (why would they want to, that’s where they keep their maximum security state prisons, smushed right up against the border!).

    Prior to 1894, both Longmeadow and East Longmeadow were both part of one big town, but that town was called Longmeadow (well, originally long meddowe) so at no time was this border jog between Enfield and East Longmeadow — it’s always been Longmeadow, so you should probably call it the “Longmeadow Baby Jog” instead (although that sounds to me like some kind of charity race).

  1297. Nancy Johnson says:

    Thanks for this informative write up. Today is a mini reunion for the girls and we chose H-B. I am so glad to hear it is a great place to visit. Also thanks for the AppleCrannie wine idea for Thanksgiving.

  1298. Jeanie says:

    I saw a sign that the State is selling Frog Rock!

  1299. Jason Franklin says:

    My son and I drove by this tree on 10/30/10 and stopped to snap a few photos. I had vague memories of this oak from when I was kid driving by it on my way to my grandmothers on West Granby Rd.
    I have a larger appreciation of trees now that I am older and was simply amazed at this beautiful landmark.
    Its well worth side trip because the pictures cannot do it justice.

  1300. Nanette says:

    Yes, the DOT is selling surplus property and Frog Rock is scheduled to go up for auction. We live right up the road from it, and would hate to see it turned into a gas station or worse. It is right in the middle of a state forest!

  1301. Dimitri says:

    I could not agree more about the Haddam part. What is he talking about? Good article with plenty of humor!

    PS: I also don’t know why the men from Haddam think like this. Most people probably don’t know either.

  1302. Tom says:

    … not to mention that you could use those facts near the end of your article to impress the geo-oddity community.

  1303. Leslie Wolfgang says:

    Love your website, particularly the defunct museum page. Is Connecticut peculiar to creating museums? Something in the human condition I guess. Hope you join facebook. Learned about your blog through Visit Connecticut. :)

    thank you.

  1304. Brian says:

    Living on just off of metacomet trial in plainville a few years ago we joined the plainville conservation on a hike up to the missle base and had the opportuity to visit H.R. I would like to show my children a part of history. I recall the direction we headed in but don’t remember it’s location. Could you please provide a little more direction..


  1305. Scott Graves says:

    To Ron Henderson – I was at Camp Nike in 1970. The site of the old camp is now a condo community. Go south on Hopmeadow st. out of Simsbury – State road #s 202 and 10. On the right side going south about 3/4 of the way to Avon is Hilltop Drive. Go right on Hilltop Drive. The little house on the left pulling onto the road is still there. Hilltop drive is the site of old camp Nike. Hope you get to go there soon. I went on an old Army Nike missle base site and it gave me the exact location of the base and barracks – went on google maps and took a look – its definately Hilltop drive. Good Luck SCOTT GRAVES

  1306. Kevin MacKenzie says:

    Hey!!! Take it easy!!! I grew up at 6 Beelzebub Road!!! (in the 50’s & 60′S)

  1307. Charlotte Hitchcock says:

    This building was built in 1965, designed by the firm of Orr deCossy and Winder (Douglas Orr was a prolific local architect from the 1920s through the 60s) and was known as the Community Services Building (as in social services) of the City of New Haven until it was sold to the Knights of Columbus and re-purposed as their museum.
    The New Haven Preservation Trust is currently working on a survey of Modernist architecture, documenting more than 100 additions to the “”Urban Museum of Modern Architecture” – plans are for the survey to be done by year end.

  1308. Tom says:

    Great website!! I wish I could find a lady like your wife that travels with you to all of Ct’s neat spot. You have some great finds on here and have been searching the website for days!! Love it!!!

    So anway I went looking for the center of Ct marker today in Belin. I was easily able to locate 12 Savage Hill Rd in Berlin. I spoke to the owner of the house about my search. He told me that he has searched his property with his kids and had never seen such a marker. He also mentioned that others had been there too looking for it. I felt deep down he didn’t want me there, so I wasn’t really able to search on my own. If you look at Bing Maps though you can see a giant stone(I think) in a field behind the house. I wonder if that is it…I so much wanted to walk in his backyard. Does anybody have any feedback on this?


  1309. Paul says:

    Further up Farmington Avenue, in West Hartford, on the corner of Four Mile Road, there is another one of those stone pillars, which reads “H IV M,” which translates to “Hartford: Four Miles.”

  1310. Black Bear says:

    You leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone, honest….PS it’s almost hibernation time, ho hum, see you in the spring.

  1311. Ron says:

    Glad to see the Shenip’ get some love. I live in Vernon and it is frequent, close by Trail run for me. Especially the Commuter Lot – Bolton Notch section (I use part of Valley Falls loop to bypass some of the Rails-To_trails section). I agree with your hopes that it survives. I’ve always wished they completed the “missing” section and now I’ll have to check out how you did that section.

    As for the Tunixs, I’ve run the Satan’s Kingdom – MA line sections a couple times and you will really like those. Can’t wait to read what you think of them.

  1312. Steve says:

    Live chicken bbq. Still eerie.

  1313. Ed says:

    No shot of Bobby Valentines plaque?

  1314. Tom says:

    Indeed, I understand completely the need to return and capture that last little bit.

  1315. Bernadette Graham says:

    I am trying to find out if you are having your Christmas Craft Show this year. I went last year and thought it was so much fun. Do you have a tentative date for this event yet??

  1316. Steve says:

    Why does this page get the most illiterates who fail to read even the first two sentences? Or the URL for that matter?

  1317. Dotti says:

    Oh, no! I can’t believe 1) that this popular picnic spot of my childhood has been so neglected by the State of Connecticut, or 2) that the state is selling this site. Can’t we start a “Friends of Frog Rock” campaign to save Frog Rock from the auction block or to buy it from the state and donate to an area museum (along, perhaps, with some funds for its upkeep)? Frog Rock was a frequent destination for my family in the 1950s & 1960s — back when kids could be easily amused by a frog-shaped rock and a ham-and-pickle sandwich.

  1318. Lois Blomstrann says:

    I don’t know whether or not Warren’s family have seen your story of your visit to the Industrial Museum but I am going to make sure that they do. Thank you so much. I think a copy of your article should be put on the wall of the museum. I write the Quarterly Newsletter for the Museum and would like to get in touch with you for permission to reproduce.

  1319. Shirley Sutton says:


    I was lucky to catch pieces of your broadcast on Colin the other day. I want to go to the website and hear it all.

    It has been written in many places that the Rock House IS the LM cave in Watertown, so don’t beat yourself up! The CT DEP Letterbox site sends hikers to this location also.

    As I stated before, my info comes from the Campbell book, early editions of the Connecticut Walk Book and also from The Connecticut Guide and second generation accounts passed from eyewitnesses. (Google The Connecticut Guide – Watertown for not only LM but other mysteries to search for.)

    To go to the shelter mentioned in the Campbell book is just over a 1/2 mile round trip along level ground from the access at the “S” curve on Park Road.

    Once you see the location of this shelter it is easy to see why the LM would stay here as it is a much easier access. Also, I have just received info about a home he stopped at on what is now Rt. 6, in Watertown, not far from this shelter.

    P.S. I have some very strange (ghost?) pictures taken at the Rock House that I can send you on a secure email address.

  1320. Tom says:

    Has anybody looked on Bing Maps yet…you can see something in the backyard from above. Could that be it?

  1321. Steve says:

    that’s not it. I walked back to that and it’s nothing. I’ve spoken to three people “in the know” who have told me it’s a small obelisk thing down in the swamp nearer the road intersection.

  1322. Bruce says:

    I have hiked from Rte 372 to Rte 6 a few times lately looking for a remembrance of how to get to the site to no avail(I was there as a 5 year old).
    I am trying to revisit the first time i went there and would appreciate some guidance.

    Thanks for any help.

  1323. Tom says:

    I might possibly have a little geo-cred but definitely not any dendro. If ever you decide to plots these trees on a Google Map, please let me know!

  1324. Judy Cecrle says:

    Sure wish this was something that could be order for delivery in other places in the country, like Indiana

  1325. Ron says:

    Oh, wanted to add, that there is now more miles north of the now old northern terminus. Apparently it was just added this past week.

    See here

    After running out of blazes up in Stafford, I met and asked a local resident who indicated they just blazed those this past week. It abuts another block of Shenipsit, but I didn’t see any blazes/flagging tape indicating which way they intend to continue, but I’m sure even more trail is imminent. (but the current ‘last blaze’ has room for parking.

  1326. Swizec says:

    The last stone bridge is the Solkan Bridge in Slovenia ->

    It’s only the second largest though (or rather, the second longest stone arch span), however it does have the longest arch span for railway bridges.

  1327. Dawn says:

    As a Black American who has collected Black Americana for over 18 years I have learned a Mammy is a racist caricature. People who were taken care of might feel endearment towards their Mammy. However, Mammies portrayals were happy servant’s who at one time were happy Mammy slaves who loved to leave their children to take care of their employer’s children.

    Why when it pertains to negative American history black people are suppose to get over “it”? First, African American’s history is not an “it”. Second like other nationalities we as Black American’s should not get over our homeland history we should respect our forefathers and fore-mothers struggles and successes.

    I do not have a problem with museums having mammies in their collection. I do have concern when the historical Mammy chronicle is not shared with the images.

    Want to learn more visit:

  1328. Dan W. DeLuca says:

    The Old Leather Man had three or more cave-rock/shelters in Watertown & most likely Thomaston CT.

    Hello to Steve & Shirley

    The Rock House Cave was one of the three in that area that has been documented by the famous LM researcher Leroy W. Foote. For over 40 years Mr. Foote interviewed over 500 people who saw him and was taken to many of the cave-rock/shelter that he used. Some shelters are on private property.

    Three years ago Wayne the son of Leroy Foote gave me his father’s research.

    Any cave-rock/shelter that the Old Leather Man used is a “True Leather Man Cave”

    Great Site, “Keep The Legend Alive”

    P.S. If any anyone has and information or question about the LM please email me at

  1329. Roy W. Wyche, Jr. says:

    I have a clear glass desk paper weight with an insert in the middle that says “Waterbury Button Company, Waterbury Conn., 1812 – 1912″. It is cut in the shape of a diamond and measures 2.25″ H and 2.25″ W. It was made
    apparently for a 100 year advertising promotional and came from my grand-
    parents who probably acquired it around 1912. It would be interesting to create one with 2012 coming up. Do you have one like it in the museum?

  1330. jppppppppppppppppp says:

    i hate you.

  1331. Deb says:

    This article is really interesting to me. Years ago, it must have been 1992 I was driving home from North Stonington from work to a new house. I knew that 49 was a route I could take. I got lost and thought I would find my way. I turned down a road with homes on it only to find that it turned into a dirt road, The engine died and the headlights went off. I was so scared, it was so dark. I turned the light switch off then on and my headlights went back on, I turned the key and the car started. I backed out as quickly as I could. I was shaken for days. I never had heard of Hells Hollow, I wasn’t from the area. Years later I was telling someone else what had happened and he mentioned Hells Hollow. I was never sure where I was only that it was on or a road off of 49. After reading this article it does sound like the same road that goes from residential to a dirt road. I don’t know what happened there, my car had never done that before or after. I can only say that something was there and it made my engine and headlights die. I knew whatever it was was not good. I can’t explain what happened, but it happened. Nothing like that has happened to me before and it shakes me even now thinking about it. I remember having the feeling that something did not want me there and I will never go back, but I know that some very strange force was there.

  1332. Penelope Zamagni says:

    We have loved Frog Rock since early childhood.. As a native of the Quiet Corner I have many fond memories of the rock and picnic area. As we would ride by on our way to points west we would always wave and shout hello to our favorite rock.. PLEASE! Any one with info about a pending sale please post here.
    Come join us as friends on Facebook: Frog Rock- The Quiet Corner’s Big Attraction

  1333. Kirk Bingham says:

    Jeanie, where did you see this “sign”? Any idea of how long it’s been there? Maybe we can petition Eastford or Pomfret to buy it?

  1334. Mikey says:

    F Massachusetts and F everyone who doesn’t like the language on this blog. Take back the F’in notch!

  1335. Penelope Zamagni says:

    Frog Rock will be auctioned off on Jan. 20, 2011 by the state of Conn. Minimum bid $23,000. The town of Eatford says it cannot afford to buy it. Please contact your Senator/Rep and let them know that maintaining Frog Rock as a public use area is imperative. This is a historical site with over a century of recreational use and enjoyment.
    Any info or ideas for saving Froggy are appreciated!!

  1336. Garrett says:

    Ok you guys are really getting into this to much. The birds are a problem, kill birds, BBQ, and problem solved.

  1337. Karen says:

    I can’t begin to fathom why a black American would collect this type of white Americana. That’s right…WHITE Americana! I mean it’s unflatteringly wretched on its own merit as is. Officially attributing ownership to blacks, as though a people could be so pathetic as to represent themselves in such a derogatory manner, is disrespectful and dare I say typical of the very same forces that originally produced (and continue to perpetuate and peddle) this garbage.

    With all of the talented artists who have and continue to produce beautiful representations of the black race and other peoples of color, I hope and pray that you truly have a good reason for doing so…something like collecting them for educational purposes, removal from marketplace circulation, target practice, etc., etc.

    To those who say, “Get over it,” or who relish imaginary images of so-called warmth and whimsy that these grotesque symbols could not possibly have represented for the vast majority of nonwhites at the time, I say get under it for a change. Demonstrate YOUR “strength and endurance” by growing a spine and either exposing it for what it is or pushing it off of our cultural cliff–not sugar coating it and trying to re-market it as something the entire planet knows it was NOT.

  1338. Russ says:

    Wonderful site! Hope to visit on my next trip to Connecticut.
    Grew up in New Britain and remember Russwin and Corbin locks, of course.
    Trivia question: In which Hitchcock movie do Russwin keys play a big part because there’s a missing key from a keychain, and it’s of a different brand, making it obvious that a key is missing?

  1339. Laura says:

    I admire your resolve to complete it. I have no patience for pretentious monotony and you’ve steered me clear of this title. Not that I was considering it.


  1340. Jeff Huit says:

    All right! Knew his name from my family tree, but had no idea there was a standing headstone in Connecticut… this is awesome. Thank you!

  1341. Art Byram says:

    If you are into trail running, check out the facebook page of Shenipsit Striders. They have a few folks doing end to end runs on the blue blazes.

  1342. Tom says:

    I for one do find it fun that the houses on the left are in Hartford and the ones on the right are in West Hartford.

  1343. Steve says:

    The truly “funny” part is that those who live on the Hartford side have the Hartford public school system to send their kids to (one of the worst in the country) and those on the West Hartford side have the West Hartford school system – said to be one of the best.

    Of course, no kid in these houses goes to public shcool in Hartford. Ever. Ever.

  1344. Peter says:

    When I was growing up in Waterbury our telephone number was very close to the number for the Pearl Street Neighborhood House, just one digit off in fact. We got a *lot* of wrong-number calls :)

    The organization was not in this building for its entire lifespan. Sometime around the late 1970’s it moved about a mile away, into a better neighborhood, occupying a larger facility formerly occupied by a private school. If I recall correctly, the high costs associated with the relocation were a major factor behind the organization’s demise.


    To anyone who is interested in saving Frog Rock,


    Hi I am a descendant of Thomas Jones Thurber-my great-great-grandfather. He was the man who first painted Frog Rock in the 1880’s.He was a local artist and was in the legislature of the St. of Ct. He is mentioned in historical books in the Eastern Ct. area. He and his family lived in Putnam Heights and they are all buried in the cemetery there. Frog Rock has been important to my family as part of our heritage for well over a hundred years. The stories of the family were passed on through the generations and it is now my turn to pass the stories on to my grandchildren. It would be very sad for future generations to not to have the chance to see the Frog, not just our family but many families have nice memories also.

    To Kirk, Penelope,Dotti and all the rest who have commented on this site, anyone with any ideas to save our rock please contact me.

    [email protected] My family is willing to go and clean up the area, lets do something quick. Thanks for enjoying the Frog and lets hope we can do something. Nancy (Thurber) Poole.

  1346. Lyn Barnes says:

    Like Greg I too am a descendant of John Randall,the slave of captain John Randall.I am in awe of the place where he grew up .I look at the photo’s of the old house and the property and try to Imagine him running around the grounds,working hard in the fields and playing his flute and TAMBOUR [drum].

    I would love to have any information on other slaves of captain Randall and their descendants.I am happy to read that the slaves of captain randall were treated well.I can also imagine all of his family and other slaves gathering around while John played his instruments and every body sang.Lets hope that is how it might have been anyway!.I am very proud to be a descendant of JOHN RANDALL,AFRICAN/AMERICAN FIRST FLEETER.

  1347. Debbie says:

    You might like this link.

  1348. Holly says:

    My parents lived down the street from the prison. And my uncle was a guard there for many years, My Mom used to tell us about the lights dimming when an execution happened. Also she told us of having to have our house searched when there was an escape. When my brother was young he used to ask my Mom for cookies to share with the trusties that did the yard work at the Chaplin s house next to ours.All I really remember about it was when it was being torn down. My brother and his friend John used to sneak into the prison to look around.Now if you know where to look you can see where the foundation used to be in the field.

  1349. Peter says:

    When I was a child, a trip to the abbey’s annual fair with my mother and grandparents was always much-anticipated and much-enjoyed. Dunno if they still have the fairs these days.

  1350. Peter says:

    It’s a Lincoln, not a Cadillac.

  1351. Steve says:

    If true (and I have no reason not to think it is), that’s hilarious, Peter.

    Even so, “Lincoln Joe” doesn’t have the same ring.

  1352. Steve says:


    They have some sort of Christmas happenings, but I don’t think they have a single one-day fair affair. We’ve visited the Abbey, which has a rather interesting story of its own, numerous times in search of their elusive cheese wheels. Said to be some of the best cheese this side of the Atlantic, it’s only available pretty much never.

    When I finally do score some, I’ll write more about the abbey itself. It’s not like I’m in Bethlehem every weekend though.

  1353. Moj says:

    Hi Damian:
    I loved all you wrote and I can identify being a loving parent of a 24 year old. We are all fighting our battles adn I wish you luck. I raised my son alone amidst much adversity and former abuse of all kinds. I was able to break the mold. He is getting his masters, doesnt drink or drug and is in a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band. Polite and courteous, fomething finally turned out pretty well! Children are the loves of our lives. You follow your heart in the raising of them, don’t listen to anyone else!!
    Nice creative blog about the cat place.Merry Christmas.

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