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CONNECTICUT

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Connecticut

Connecticut is one of our earliest states, and one of the original 13 colonies. Even though this tiny state is seldom written about in ghost town lore, its rich heritage, changing economics and long-time heritage has produced a wealth of faded communities that were once based on manufacturing, fishing, and other natural resource-based industry. As times changed and needs changed, the reason for many of these old communities died with the industry.  The state is divided into 169 “towns” and each of these towns has multiple villages or other named settlements scattered among the state’s eight counties.  Please note that unless noted otherwise, the use of the word TOWN in this piece does NOT reflect the CT version, but is indicative of the places of habitation or former habitation.

 

As is typical with most of the eastern states, you won't find stereotypical ghost towns. What you often do find is faded towns that are still lived in, and may not even look like a ghost. However, the population may be many times less than what the town supported in its boom days. Also if the site has been totally abandoned, all that might remain might be memories in a plowed field or covered under the asphalt of a highway. Other sites may be a few caving cellar holes and foundation outlines hidden in the woods, or lined with some of the rock fences that the state is famous for.

 

A lot of local research will be needed to ferret out the ghost towns of Connecticut, but they are there. I have not personally visited this state, so what physically now exists at the listed sites may differ from when I obtained the information on them. If you live in CT or have visited any of these places, please send me an update.  I can then update this list and my files.

 

Some of the vignettes below contain specific words that are listed on our DEFINITIONS page.  If you are unfamiliar with the meaning of the word in a ghost town sense, click on the link and scroll down to that term.  You can use the BACK button on the browser to return to this page.

 

HELP!  Please check here to find a list of ghost towns that various contacts are looking for.  IF you have any information on these places please e-mail me and I can respond back to those looking for info on these ghosts.

 

Thank you, and enjoy!

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ALLYN’S POINT

New London Co.

One time coal shipping port. Actual location not determined, but it is probably located where the Dow Chemical Plant is now (this polystyrene manufacturing plant was established in 1952), which is located at Allyn’s Point (physical feature), on the east side of the Thames River midway between New London and Norwich. GNIS lists an ALLYNS POST OFFICE at an unknown location in Ledyard Town. That post office was active January 26, 1900-January 31, 1923.  From 1843-1899, it was the southern terminus for the Norwich & Worcester Railroad. It appears the community dates to 1651 when Robert Allyn settled there.  He opened a store in 1665.

 

·        Latitude: 41.4417649 / 41° 26' 30" N

·        Longitude: -72.0786879  / 72° 04' 43" W

BLACK ROCK FORT

New Haven Co.

South of I-95, on east side of Newhaven Harbor, just northwest of Forbes Bluff, a couple hundred yards offshore from Fort Nathan Hale Park and 300 yards due south of Fort Nathan Hale, just west of the Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport.  It was also known as Fort Hale and Rock Fort.  It was built in the Spring of 1776 and was garrisoned by 19 troops.  It was built to protect the post of New Haven.  On July 5, 1779 the fort fell to British troops.  It was subsequently abandoned.  In the early 1800s a new fort was built nearby and christened Fort Nathan Hale (SEE below).  It was rebuilt for the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976.

 

·        Latitude: 41.2675000 / 41° 16' 03" N

·        Longitude: -72.9044444 / 72° 54' 16" W

BURRVILLE

Litchfield Co.

This former iron foundry town is located in the Naugatuck River Valley, on the east side of Burr Pond, just west of SH 8, about 15 miles northwest of Hartford.  It had a post office from 1849-1928.  As late as 2002, the closed Torrington Drive-In (movie theater) was still located in Burrville, although inoperative.  It is now part of the town of Torrington.  A brick tavern was said to be remaining in the early 1980s.

 

·        Latitude: 41.8684293 / 41° 52' 06" N

·        Longitude: -73.0848310 / 73° 05' 05" W

CAMP DUTTON

Litchfield Co.

This was a Civil War training camp for the Nineteenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, which consisted of 10 companies with about 815 men.  It was established on August 19, 1862 and was located on Chestnut Hill, east of present-day SH 63 on open land off Camp Dutton Road, about two miles southeast of Litchfield.  The camp was names after Lt. Henry M. Dutton of the 5th Connecticut Volunteers.  He was killed in action ten days before.  On September 11 the regiment mustered into the United States Army, and four days later boarded a train for New York City.  Exact location not determined.

 

Junction SH 63/Camp Dutton Road:

·        Latitude: 41.7300578

·        Longitude: -73.1857359

 

Junction Camp Dutton Road/Chestnut Hill Road:

·        Latitude: 41.7341652

·        Longitude: -73.1708336

COBALT

Middlesex Co.

A class D community with a 1990 population of 350. This faded town is at junction of SH 66/151, on east side of Connecticut River, six miles east of Middletown.  Cobalt Landing is located along the river just southwest of Cobalt at the mouth of Great Hill Pond Brook.  The Cobalt Post Office (06414) has been operating since February 8, 1851.  The GNIS aerial photo shows a scattered community with a handful of commercial buildings at the crossroads, along with a number of houses.

 

Cobalt:

·        Latitude: 41.5623212 / 41° 33' 44" N

·        Longitude: -72.5553674 / 72° 33' 19" W

 

Cobalt Landing:

·        Latitude: 41.5562101 / 41° 33' 22" N

·        Longitude: -72.5612011 / 72° 33' 40" W

COTTON HOLLOW

Hartford Co.

“(The) Cotton Hollow preserve (is located) in the Nayaug area of South Glastonbury.  Approaching from Main Street up the road adjacent to Roaring Brook (Cotton Hollow Road), there were once several factories including a paper mill, grist mill and gun powder mill and all of the homes of workers surrounding a dam which powered one of these mills.  All that is left now is the remains of the paper mill on the edge of Roaring Brook, and a few foundations along the trail on the other side of the brook.” 

Contributed by Matt McKeon (06/06/2002)

 

It once had a massive 6-story, rock cotton mill and other associated buildings.  The cotton mill was established by the Hartford Manufacturing Company, who built the mill in 1814.  They also built company housing for their workers.  A paper mill also operated in town from 1800-1920, at which time it burned.  Multi-story rock walls of the old cotton mill still stand, hidden in the trees.  (GBS)

 

Cotton Hollow Preserve:

·        Latitude: 41.6620437 / 41° 39' 43" N

·        Longitude: -72.5928680 / 72° 35' 34" W

DUDLEYTOWN

Litchfield Co.

In the hills southwest of Cornwall, and northeast of Cornwall Bridge. This class B farming town sits on a hill above the Housatonic River. It was established in 1747, but the last citizen left in 1900.  Remains include cellar holes, rock walls, and rubble.  See our DUDLEYTOWN page for additional details.

FLOYDVILLE

Hartford Co.

“I lived there in the late 50s and early 60s. Floydville lies between Granby and East Granby. Surrounding towns are Tariffville and Simsbury. Floydville was mostly poor tobacco workers working for American Sumatra Tobacco (A.S.T), which was bought out by Culbro (early 1960s) and now raises trees. Train tracks divided Floydville from Granby and East Granby, Floydville did not have its own town hall or post office.  The warehouse where they sorted broadleaf during the summer (still stands). A.S.T would bring in Pennsylvania (workers) to work the fields.  They would sleep in barracks in the Warehouse.”

Contributed by Dave Bergeron (May 29, 2005)

 

It is located at the intersection of Floydville Road/Railroad Avenue, 0.6 miles east of US 202, at a point 1.5 miles south of Granby. The tobacco industry in CT got its start around 1906, although it had been grown since the 1630s.  In the later years, the leaves being used for the outer wrapper on cigars.  At its peak, in the early 1900s some 15-18,000 acres were under cultivation.  It was called shade tobacco as it was grown under a diffused light.  (GBS)

 

·        Latitude: 41.9287082 / 41° 55' 43" N

·        Longitude: -72.7798180 / 72° 46' 47" W

FORT GRISWOLD

New London Co.

This Revolutionary era fort was the site of a September 6, 1781 massacre by British troops led by the traitorous General Benedict Arnold, who had defected to the British a year earlier. They captured the fort and killed 88 of the 165 defenders.  Nearby New London was also sacked and burned, and Fort Trumbull was also attacked and captured.  This was known as the Battle of Groton Heights.  Details of the battle are available on the state parks website.

 

The old fort is now a state park and is located at 57 Fort Street, in Groton. EXIT 87 off I-95, just east of Downtown.  Remains at the park include the restored Ebenezer Avery house.  There is also a museum on site. 

FORT NATHAN HALE

New Haven Co.

South of I-95, on the point on the east side of New Haven Harbor in Fort Nathan Hale Park.  It was built in the early 1800s near the abandoned site of the Revolutionary War era Black Rock Fort.  The fort had six guns and brick walls and was designed to protect the post of New Haven from British encroachment during the War of 1812.  After the war it was abandoned but in 1863 a new fort was constructed next to the old fort ruins.  It had 18 guns, but saw no action.  It was given to the state in 1921 and has since been reconstructed.

 

·        Latitude: 41.2700000 / 41° 16' 12" N

·        Longitude: -72.9030556 / 72° 54' 11" W

GAY CITY

 

AKA - Factory Hollow

Tolland Co.

Gay City State Park, Hebron Ct.  What I remember: Although it is only 10 or so miles from my home and I drive by the entrance now and then, I haven't been in there since my children were small and I took them to wade in the pond.  I've read that there are sunken foundations of homes some in the woods and people with metal detectors sometimes check things out. It was a small village but for some reason people left it until there was nobody left and the houses decayed.”

Contributed by: Nancy Morin, Dec 30, 2005

 

This former milling town was originally settled in 1796 by a religious sect.  A sawmill was build along the Black Ledge River, about 10 miles east of Hartford.  It was followed by a woolen mill and a paper mill.  By the Civil War, the mills had burned and the town declined.  By the 1880s it was dead, and the site turned over to the state in 1953 for use as a state park. It is located west of the junction of SH 85/603 (Daly Road) (GBS)

 

State Park:

·        Latitude: 41.7262103 / 41° 43' 34" N

·        Longitude: -72.4400844 / 72° 26' 24" W

GREYSTONE

 

Litchfield Co.

This former manufacturing town had a post office from 1881-1907.  It was located at or near the large modern commercial building complex along Spruce Brook, on Greystone Road, just west of Greystone Pond about five miles north of Waterbury and about a mile south of the Waterbury Airport southwest of Hartford.

 

·        Latitude: 41.6189861 / 41° 37' 08" N

·        Longitude: -73.0412184 / 73° 01' 28" W

LOWER CITY

 

AKA - Ireland

Litchfield Co.

On east side of SH 63, just north of its junction with SH 43, eight miles northwest of Goshen, midway between Goshen and Canaan and just a hundred yards northeast of Hollenbeck Pond and between the road and the power lines.  According to GNIS it was also known as Ireland.  A cemetery is also noted on GNIS and located on Under Mountain Road about a mile north of the old town site.  It is visible on the aerial photo and located between the road and the power lines east of the road.

 

·        Latitude: 41.9248164 / 41° 55' 29" N

·        Longitude: -73.2762273 / 73° 16' 34" W

 

Cemetery:

·        Latitude: 41.9328719 / 41° 55' 58" N

·        Longitude: -73.2787274 / 73° 16' 43" W

MERROW

Tolland Co.

On SH 32 (Stafford Road), two miles north of Mansfield Depot (Station), 13 miles east of Manchester and four miles northwest of Storrs. This class B manufacturing town was located on the east side of the Willimantic River and has faded from the days when its mills bustled with activity. The GNIS aerial photo shows a trailer park at the site.  An older source claims there are “Remains of this tiny community of 250 people include many abandoned buildings and ruins.”

 

·        Latitude: 41.8245425 / 41° 49' 28" N

·        Longitude: -72.3103581 / 72° 18' 37" W

MILLINGTON GREEN

Middlesex Co.

A class B lumbering community along SH 434 (Mt. Parnassus-Millington Road) in the eastern part of the county, midway between Middletown and New London and just northwest of Devil’s Hopyard State Park. The lumber was sent to shipbuilders along the Connecticut River. All that remains are cellar holes and rubble.  According to GNIS, it also was once called Beebe’s Mills, Millington Village and Willington.  A cemetery is located about a half mile to the west.  The GNIS aerial photo shows scattered residences in the area.  Probably of recent vintage.

 

·        Latitude: 41.4859319 / 1° 29' 09" N

·        Longitude: -72.3553615 / 72° 21' 19" W

MOUNT RIGA

Litchfield Co.

Iron forge town that faded after 1847.  There is a Mount Riga State Park located on SH 41, north of Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state 2.5 miles east of the western border and a mile south of the north state line. 

 

·        Latitude: 42.0353697 / 42° 02' 07" N

·        Longitude: -73.4340086 / 73° 26' 02" W

NEWGATE PRISON/ SIMSBURY COPPER MINE

Hartford Co.

A class C/F (restored - National Historic Landmark - entry fee) location on Newgate Road, about two miles north of SH 20, at a point ľ mile west of East Granby.  Copper ore was discovered and first worked here in 1707. It ran from 12-50% copper, but due to limited knowledge of copper mining and refining that had to be done in England, the mine ceased operation in 1773, shortly after the Colony of Connecticut purchased the site for use as a prison. The prisoners were used to work the mines until it closed. Later they were used to manufacture nails and shoes, and the underground workings were used for cells. 

 

Three years later, in October 1776, the prison was designated the first state prison in the new country, and from 1775 through 1782, it was used to hold captured British soldiers and British sympathizers. In September 1827 the prison was abandoned, and the prisoners moved to a brand new facility in Wethersfield.  

 

The state purchased the site from a private party in 1968, and in 1972 a stairway was built to allow access to the mine for tourists. Today the mine is a National Historic Landmark, is listed on the National Register, and is a state historic landmark.

 

“OLD NEWGATE PRISON may be closing because of budget cuts.  Old Newgate Prison is (at the) Granby/East Granby line. The prison is in despair and it's barely standing.”

Contributed by Dhb49 (July 12, 2003)

 

·        Latitude: 41.9620410 / 41° 57' 43" N

·        Longitude: -72.7450941 / 72° 44' 42" W

PETTIBONE’S TAVERN

Hartford Co.

Although this is not a ghost town per se, I thought the information interesting, as it does pertain to an old roadhouse/tavern that is now part of the community of Simsbury.  (GBS)

 

“As legend goes, Pettibone's Tavern in Simsbury - formerly the Chart House Restaurant - was originally built in the 1700's, and was the sight of a grisly murder (committed) by the owner Mr. Pettibone. The victim was his wife who is said to still haunt the place today. (What is now) the women's bathroom used to be Mrs. Pettibone's bedroom, and (was) the site of her murder. Visitors have reported the lights flickering on and off, and the faucets in the bathrooms turning on and off as well. When the place was first bought the new owners discovered a picture of the former family with a female's head cut out of it.”

Information contributed by Eslie McDermott (10/26/2004).

POQUETANUCK

New London Co.

It is at the junction of SH 117 and SH 2A, five miles southeast of Norwich.  A once bustling Thames River port and trading center that has faded from its glory days in the 1800s. An old source claims that many ruins and unoccupied buildings remain in this class D location.  It currently appears form the aerial photo to be a residential community.

 

·        Latitude: 41.4864870 / 41° 29' 11" N

·        Longitude: -72.0403542 / 72° 02' 25" W

SOUTHVILLE

Fairfield Co.

A once prosperous manufacturing community.  It is not listed in GNIS.

WELLS WOODS

Tolland Co.

On Mist Brook, east of Hebron and south of SH 66, midway between Hartford and Norwich. All that remain of this old hamlet are cellar holes, stone walls and granite foundation stones.

 

·       Latitude: 41.6512099 / 41° 39' 04" N

·       Longitude: -72.3292484 / 72° 19' 45" W 

WOLCOTTVILLE

Litchfield Co.

DEAD NAME – This is the original name for the City of Torrington (est. 1735).  It has a present population around 35,000 and IS NOT a Ghost Town.  It is only listed here as this name may appear in research documents and may confuse folks.

 

 

OUTSIDE LINKS

Of interest to Connecticut Ghost Towners.

 

Between the Lakes.com is an interesting website dealing with northeastern items of historical interest.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of “STATE”

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of CONNECTICUT, contact us at

Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in CONNECTICUT above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of CONNECTICUT, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s

 

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FIRST POSTED:  January 12, 2001

LAST UPDATED: February 07, 2012

 

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