Sunday, June 6, 2010

'Ship Yards And Indian Grounds" In Portland

Somewhat hidden along a quiet road in Portland, Connecticut, is this boulder and a plaque, which contains this information:

Ship Yards and Indian Grounds

"In the 18th and 19th centuries, shipping and shipbuilding were important industries in this community. Several yards operated near this site, the largest and last to survive was the Gildersleeve Yard, which built 358 ships of various classes from 1821 to 1932.

"Prior to 1672 this area, known as Indian Hill, was inhabited by Wangunk Indians a tribe of the Algonquins, there relics and burial sites have been found along this road."

The Portland Historical Society is credited for the details.

The Connecticut River flows by Portland, known for its brownstone quarries and much interesting history.

Also of note in this area is the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary and Cranberry Bog, owned by and maintained by volunteers from the Mattabeseck Audubon Society.

The 19-acre sanctuary is located off South Road and is free and open to the public. For guided tours call (860) 347-8464 or (860) 342-1326.