Wolcott Historical Society News - August 2007
By Florence Goodman
There are so many interesting historical buildings and sites throughout our town. If you stopped by our booth at the Lion's Club Fair you saw our display on Wolcott's hills, streams, and lakes. The Mad River was and still is the major river that meanders through our town from Bristol to Waterbury. In the early times this river was where you would find a variety of early mills. At the corner of Center Street and Wolcott Road just in front of Pat's IGA was the Mill Pond or Mill Dam where several mills were located. Amos Bronson Alcott described these mills in his book New Connecticut,/i> in 1881 in the following way.
"The mills at the Great Falls were the resort of the inhabitants generally. Here were the grist and saw mills, the clothiers' works, and at the pond just below, the carding machine. The spot was picturesque. Above, in the rocks, at some distant time, the water had worn a circular cup, named Benson's Pot. The whole stream poured down the precipice, turning the prodigious overshot wheel which drove the gearing of the milestones within the clothing works below."
Today as you drive over the modern bridge, it's hard to imagine that an ancient mill site was located there. Below are two pictures of the area in those early years. One is the Center Street Bridge over Pritchard's Sawmill Pond and the other is the Wiley Pritchard Saw Mill.
Visit our WebPages at (http://www.wolcotthistory.org/). You can download a membership application there. Our meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at the Old Stone School on Nichols Road at 6:30 P.M.
To view past installments of the Wolcott Historical Society News, click here.