Friday, April 2, 2010

Colonel Wadsworth's Legacy: Waterfalls, Beauty

Clarence C. Wadsworth was a lover of language, a scholar and a linguist. He held the rank of Colonel in the New York National Guard, then married and lived in Middletown, Connecticut.

His will established The Rockfall Corporation, a non-profit organization, and a parcel of his holdings were given to the state in 1942. The 267 acres include part of the Coginchaug River, which is unusual in that it flows north.

Recently, the incredible power of the river were visible after record rainfalls. The river left its banks and flooded roads and fields. The waters once were harnessed to provide waterpower for a variety of industries. A sluiceway and stone walls and dams remain in the park.

One of the first pistol factories in Connecticut was operated during the 1800s by Simeon North, who developed the interchangeable parts system for firearms used in the Civil War.

An easy walk from the parking area on Cherry Hill Road leads to the "big falls." (There are "little falls" too.)

A stone bridge used by the Colonel is hidden inside the depths of the park and leads to birch stands, streams and ruins of a farmhouse.