Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Back to the River: East Branch at East Main, Torrington

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: I’ve read that the first, non-native settlers of Torrington lived in the Hills in the northwest, where the Naugatuck originates, and on Torringford Hill, in the east, from which come tributaries. Like other settlers in the towns of the Northwest Hills, the settlers lived like hill people, by farming. The central business district was only established later by Frederick Wolcott when he opened his woolen mill in 1813. It was an industrial village between the two branches of the Naugatuck River. They called it Wolcottville and it developed like a Valley town, a mill town. It was a perfect spot for a world that ran on water.

There is an 1875 rendering of Wolcottville from the air here: ( You can zoom down and almost walk the streets. Follow the two branches of the Naugatuck through the rendering, and note the many dams, canals, and impoundments. You can find this intersection in the rendering where the river winds south from Route 4 along the back of Main Street through the gully around the old cemetery and comes out at East Main Street here, in the picture. Even the cemetery turns its back to the river.

Torrington was built for a world that is gone. How can it be re-imagined for a world not fully here yet? (


Ginnie said...

The places you find, Ted! All of them are waiting just for you, I do believe. Please don't skip any of them...we need to see them, even if after the fact." Thank you.

I'm off to the hospital in half an hour for my knee replacement. No turning back for many things!

Emery Roth II said...

May your recovery be speedy so you're back on the trail as quickly as possible. Your fans will be looking for the resumption of your blog.