Tuesday, October 21, 2014


PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL:  This is, to my knowledge, the end of the old Ansonia Canal that once ran from the Kinneytown Dam through the center of Ansonia. It was built in 1845 by Almon and Franklin Farrel for Anson Phelps and the new industrial village he was building. At one time the canal ran openly through town. Much of the canal is intact, though it’s mostly invisible to the public now, and few people know it’s there. 

The small building ahead and the buildings to the right are part of the old American Brass Company Ansonia site. It was once the site of Anson Phelps’ brass battery. Farther ahead, the two more modern looking buildings were part of Farrel Foundry & Machine Company. The small building directly ahead contains large pipes, valves, and other equipment that until very recently provided water for cooling freshly-poured metal in the Anaconda-American Brass casting house. 

Farther north, water is drawn off to generate electricity and then returned to the Naugatuck River. It’s about another mile further north along the canal to the Kinneytown Dam, and for all that length the canal flows invisibly beneath a vaulting of tree tracery in a land known joyfully to possums and voles, herons and robins, chipmunks and squirrels.

Composed for my brother by request.