When it comes to industrial history in Cotton Hollow, there’s no question the ruins of the Hartford Manufacturing Company are the first things that come to mind. However, smaller, local industry has thrived as well.

In lower Cotton Hollow, Roaring Brook splits to create an island, once a park that was the terminus of the town trolley. The northern part of the stream still flows strong but the southern part has mostly filled in and any water is mostly stagnant.

With the stream in said state, it’s difficult to imagine it even moving, let alone being used as a water source. However, it was once the site of an old sawmill.

The dam for the mill can still be seen, but barely. It has degraded to a point where it’s difficult to spot when leaves are on the trees and even in the non-foliage months it can be mistaken for a pile of rocks. It stands no more than a foot or two high presently and only a few feet wide. It stops at the brook and there’s no sign of the stone ever crossing to the other side to harness the water.

While not very big, it is the last reminder of the industry that once bustled throughout Cotton Hollow and one of the final dams once located on Roaring Brook.


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