As the years go on and towns evolve from bustling industrial hubs to sprawling suburbs, it’s no surprise many of the vestiges that remain from earlier days can slowly fade into the woods. In Glastonbury, there’s more than a couple of examples, whether it be Cotton Hollow, Shoddy Mill Pond or Coop Sawmill, to name a few. In fact, it’s more likely to find an old dam sitting in the middle of the woods than in somebody’s backyard.
The Shenipsit Dam is unique. Not only is it located in the middle of the woods but there’s nothing around to suggest anything was even here except the hulking dam. Located on Birch Mountain, the Shenipsit Trail travels through the dam. Yes, not over it, through it.
The true date of the dam is unknown but mother nature has long been in the process of reclaiming it. Despite a hulking size, one of the largest in town, it sits in quite the sad state. It sags heavily towards the middle and appears to have been broken for decades now. The middle of the dam has been carved out from years of hiking, biking and general erosion from the Shenipsit Trail. Trees have also done their fair share of damage; As they grow on the dam, the roots displace the rocks that once held it together as they grow with the tree.
The middle has certainly been degraded more than the edges. On one side, large boulders still hold their place, supplemented by smaller rocks that better resemble a dam. On the opposite side, the rocks stand a little taller than the middle. Without this, it would be difficult to even recognize this as a trace of history.