« AnkstesnisTęsti »
NAR up among the hills of Litchfield | from its neighbors, but boldly lifts itself County gleams a solitary lake, with above them all, as though self-confident in water pure and clear as crystal. Among its strength to defy alone the storm and the primeval forest trees, which form a tempest's breath. And thus it doubtless dense hedge around its borders, are glori- stood when the elastic steps of the red ous specimens of the dark hemlock and man was becoming less and less frequent stately pine. A more utterly solitary spot upon the borders of the lake, and at last is not often found; the foot of man rarely gave place to the tread of his subduer. treads its precincts. Huge trunks of trees have fallen in all directions, and now appear in various stages of decay. The moss of ages has crept over the forest. Here nature reigns in a primitive solitude, disturbed only by an occasional sportsman in pursuit of game. Few portions of the Adirondack present a scene more thoroughly wild. High towering above its compeers, upon a bold point jutting out into the lake, stands a majestic pine, its outline darkly penciled against the sky. There is a something mysterious and weird-like in this lofty monarch of the lake. Widely stretch its branches; it receives neither shelter nor protection
This wild scene, of which I have endeavored to give a pen as well as pencil picture, is known as Dolphin Pond. Aside from its sequestered and impressive beauty, it possesses a degree of interest as the source of the Naugatuck. This stream, boisterous and frolick some as is its after course, assumes in its infancy a sober mood. Leaving its secluded birth-place, to commence its wanderings, lazily it starts upon its course; perhaps apprised that in youth as well as maturity it has Herculean tasks to perform; but soon changes its mind, and begins its characteristic sports and gambols.
Dolphin Pond is situated in the town
of Norfolk, about six miles from the Massachusetts line, and about two miles northwest of South Norfolk. The spot is entirely inaccessible, except to the pedestrian. A walk of about half a mile is required to reach it from the road, following the course of the stream, a pretty brook, now tumbling over the rocks, or again so sluggishly pursuing its way through marshy ground as almost to lose itself under the high grass and the accumulation of decaying forest trees which have fallen across its course.
The village of Winsted originally centered on a lofty eminence, some three miles westward of which a large lake of pure clear water was embosomed among the hills, and encircled by the virgin forest. It poured its abundant stream down a descent of one hundred and fifty feet into the Mad River, rushing down from the northwest, and uniting a mile further eastward with the Still River, and then taking its course, first northward and then eastward to the Truxis, or Farmington. Beautiful and abundant were the trout that filled these streams in these early days. But more beautiful to the utilitarian were the constant succession of cascades, now submerged by dams and surrounded by factories. One of them, the most picturesque of all, still gives forth the music of nature in its primeval solitude.
The present sketch gives but a faint idea of the waterfall and its surrounding of jagged cliffs, arched rocks,
and ancient trees. It is easily accessible, and a favorite resort of the lovers of nature.
The region of these streams was an unpenetrated wilderness until near the close of the last century. Deacon David Austin had penetrated from "Old Winchester," on the west, to the outlet of the lakes, and VOL. XII.-29
had there built a grist-mill as early as 1782, and a bridle path was opened thence to ancient Winsted. The Doolittles soon afterward built another mill on the Still River, at the eastern border of the present village. A few settlers about this time had also penetrated the valley from the south, and located on what is now called South-street.
THE FALLS NEAR WINSTED.
The pioneer manufacturers of Winsted were Benjamin Jenkins, from Bridgewater, Mass., and James Boyd, from New Windsor, N. Y., who, in 1795, established the first scythe factory in the state, and the third in the Union, they having respectively learned the trade at the two other establishments in the places from whence they came.
Their first establishment stood on the present site of the Winsted Scythe Company, in the northeastern part of the village. They soon afterward united with Thomas Spencer in building the first iron works in the town, on the lake stream below Austin's Mill. In 1799 they built a second scythe factory, near the junction of the lake stream and Mad River. These two branches of business have ever heretofore been the main stay and support of the village. The making of refined bar iron, for many years the staple article of the place, is now mainly abandoned, in consequence of competition from quarters more favorably located in respect to iron mines and charcoal. The scythe business is still sustained by three large establishments, together making some two hundred thousand scythes a year.
The Rockwell Brothers came into the village from Colebrook about 1800, and erected two iron works, a woolen factory, and a new grist-mill on the lake stream.
Hosea Hinsdale and James Shepard, about the same period, laid the foundations of the two largest tanneries in the state, which are still successfully carried on by
The illustration which I present of Plymouth Hollow was sketched from the height east of the village, near the road which leads to the village on the hill. There is certainly nothing that strikes one as particularly pleasing in the name of Plymouth Hollow. How much more euphonious, as well as suggestive of its situation, would be that of Plymouth on Naugatuck.
In 1739 this town received the name of Northbury, being the third society of Waterbury. The first record of the society is a warning for a meeting on the application of John Sutcliff and others.
They "maid choise" of Samuel Todd to be their minister, and voted to give him one hundred and fifty pounds settlement. .. At ye same meeting it was voted to give Mr. Samuel todd for ye two first years from ye first of last October one hundred pounds salary per year, and his fire-wood and two dayes work, a man from sixteen to sixty [years of age] per year, one in summer and one in ye winter, and provide comfortable house roome for him ye first year upon our own causte.
It would appear from this very liberal allowance, especially when we take into consideration the simple habits of that period, that Mr. Todd was much better
provided for than one of the earlier clergymen in the neighboring parish of Northfield, of whom it is related that he found such utter "nakedness in the land" that he gave out one Sunday from the pulpit, with considerable emphasis, the hymn commencing with the words,
Lord! what a wretched land is this!
To which the chorister quickly responded by giving the tune, "Northfield."
A disaffection seems, however, soon to have risen in Mr. Todd's society. About the time of his settlement the great revival in New England commenced. He was at first, it is stated, opposed to it, or, at least, regarded it with distrust. He went to Stockbridge to get a more intimate knowledge of its practical workings, and came back with opinions, wholly changed. He at once introduced "conference meetings," and labored to rouse the feelings of his church and people. The result was, many of his parishioners, and finally a majority, including some of the principal men in both Church and society, turned against him, denounced his doctrines and measures, and at length obtained control of the meeting-house and established in it Episcopal worship.
This part of the valley must have been well peopled in aboriginal times. The river was stocked with trout and salmon, the flats were fine stalking ground for deer, and there are those now living who have heard the clashing of the wild turkey's wings, as he passed over from one side of the valley to the other in his heavy flight.
Among the aborigines of this vicinity there was one old chief who, surviving all his kindred, lived and died in a manner He seldom worthy of the last of his tribe. descended into the valley, but was often seen, in the early light of the morning, on the brow of the mountain, about one mile below the village. There, on a projecting rock for a stage, with the dark and bare hill-side for a background, he would enact 'heavy tragedy," singing his war song, and shaking his weapons over the valley below, now beginning to smile with cultivation. Nor did he seemingly confine himself entirely to the dramatic; occasional injuries done to the cattle made the settlers suspicious and apprehensive. In those days the life of the "red-skin" was held most cheap. The gaunt and lofty figure of
bottom, hollowed out of " cotton stone," a metamorphic rock common to this locality.
Under a mountain in the south part of Plymouth are extensive excavations made by one John Sutliff, in pursuit of gold and other precious metals which he expected to find in a state of fusion, so that they might be dipped up with a ladle. Mr. Sutliff commenced digging near the Waterbury road under the mountain. His route became very circuitous as he proceeded, and after years of labor, digging, as he sup
An old house is now standing a short distance from Plymouth Hollow, on a hill-posed, into the heart of the mountain, he side, whose cellar or basement walls are five or six feet thick, but though intended for a defense against the Indians it seems never to have been needed. Indian arrow heads and other implements are sometimes found in the neighborhood. None knew better than the Indian where to find the sweetest waters, and sometimes, when clearing out the rock basin of some natural spring, rude vessels will be found at the
was surprised one day to find his solitude obtruded upon. The fact was, that he had dug out to nearly the same point where he had begun. This was discovered by some person passing along the road, who, hearing a noise under ground, conjectured that it must be Sutliff at his labors; he accordingly obtained assistance, and dug down to the spot, when he was met by Sutliff, in a very angry mood at being thus disturbed.
He was said to have been perfectly sane on all other subjects, this being a monomania with him. He continued his labors for a period of from thirty to forty years, and then only gave them up when compelled by the infirmities of age.
The village of Plymouth Hollow is greatly indebted to the enterprise of Seth Thomas, Esq., for its present prosperity. Here are manufactories of cotton, clocks, etc., etc., as well as an extensive brassrolling mill.
GIBRALTAR, ITS TOWN AND FORTI
IBRALTAR, as a town, has certainly nothing to boast of. It consists of two or three long streets running parallel with the sea-wall, intersected with steep narrow lanes leading up the rock by means of rough steps; so that here, as well as at Malta, you meet with "streets of stairs." No easy task it was, on that hot day, to climb these rugged, precipitous lanes and narrow alleys, assuredly not redolent with odors most grateful to the sense. Buildings of all shapes and sizes huddled together, and clinging to the bare rock, give to the town a close and uncomfortable appearance. It has been called, not inappropriately, a "military hothouse;" at every turn you are reminded
it is a crowded garrison town in which arms are not much accustomed to pay deference to the toga. The best houses are the officers' quarters, some of them very pleasantly situated; yet dull and wearisome must the place be to those whose prolonged sojourn there is not entirely optional. The military duty in the garrison is unavoidably, from the position and importance of the place, the strictest in all the British service.
The public buildings in Gibraltar are insignificant. The principal church has no architectural beauty. The post-office is a miserable place, so retiringly situated as to be quite a puzzle for a stranger to find its locality. The governor's palace is an old Spanish convent, more spacious than splendid. The most striking building is the fine old Moorish castle, with its great square tower, and its horse-shoe Moorish arches, standing towering above the town; a venerable memorial of bygone days and dynasties. From inscriptions on the south gate and in the mosque, it appears to have been built about A. D. 739, by Aba Abul Hajez, a famous prince and warrior of Morocco. At present its massive walls, which have stood the sunshine and storms of eleven hundred years, mingle and contrast strangely with the surrounding muniments of modern war.
While passing through the marketplace, and the more busy parts of the