Is a dam still a dam even if water no longer flows through it? Or does it just become a wall at that point? Well, this is the case at Woodland Dam.
In the shadow of Roaring Brook, Woodland Dam is nestled just off the unique intersection of Coldbrook Rd and Woodland Street. The real name of the dam is unknown. An 1874 map of Glastonbury lists an “E. Hodge Est.” in it’s location, but Hodge’s Dam would create confusion with nearby Hodge’s Pond. It is located on an unnamed stream, which does not help and while Coldbrook Rd is nearby, that would also conflict with the Cold Brook Reservoir up the road. Therefore, Woodland Dam is the only name that fits.
The dam is decent-sized, standing about six feet tall while stretching 20 yards wide or so. It remains in good condition, with all the masonry still intact and standing. The sluicegate is a square right in the middle of the dam and with the stream dried up, you can look right through it, something that can’t be said about most other dams considering they’re typically at the bottom and have water running through them.
My visit was in October, so the drought could have contributed to the lack of water. Even if the water was rushing, there appears to be no mill pond anymore with the permanently-opened sluicegate. The dam continues on the south bank for about ten feet before turning slightly and ending.
The sluiceway has now become part of the stream, although some of the stones that once lined it can still be seen. On top, some screws that hold the stones in place stick up from the top which indicates that they may have fallen at some point over the years.
Woodland Dam is a cool site to visit when the water is low because it’s rare you can explore both sides of a dam. It won’t be a very long visit, however, it’s located in a spot with plenty of other dams nearby and definitely worth the quick trip to see.