In an area teeming with history along Old Hebron Avenue, Shoddy Mill Pond is a hidden feature many don’t know about.
The dam itself sits about 50 yards back from the old road upstream. It’s on the smaller side but by no means the smallest I have seen.It stretches about 30 feet across while standing around four feet tall. It is mostly made of large stones, however it appears to have been topped with concrete at one point. Most of the stones and concrete are covered with moss, which gives off a very eerie feeling around it.
The eastern side of the dam angles in towards the pond a little more and is the part of the dam that sits in the most disrepair. It appears a sluicegate may have once stood here, based on the positioning of the rocks and the terrain of the dirt. Stones seem to line a depression in the Earth that travels away from the dam, parallel to the stream. It’s at least a 6-inch deep, 3-foot wide trench that can be seen for roughly 20 yards before dipping into a boggy area.
This is likely where the water powered whatever the dam was built for, but that’s my hypothesis. The miniature bog follows the original trench and exits through a narrow gap that seems to be man-made, mainly because a trench leads out of this and turns back towards the stream to connect back.
Right where the sluiceway appears to connect back is a strange structure that looks like a low dam, that possibly re-directed the flow of Roaring Brook. On either side are concrete supports, about four feet tall, and then a short concrete structure that sticks out into the water. It only sits about a foot above the water and looks like it’s pretty old due to the crumbling condition of the concrete and the size of the trees growing on top of it.
The entire area of Old Hebron Ave is just filled with history and taking a trip to Shoddy Mill Pond is definitely worth the time.