Here’s a simple geography lesson: Cotton Hollow is located in South Glastonbury. That’s an easy conclusion nearly anyone could come to by looking at a map or having a general sense of the land. But long ago, Cotton Hollow and South Glastonbury were different worlds – literally.
The two settlements were once separate by a large fence and gate, manned by a watchman who closed the gate each night at nine o’clock. Anyone left on the wrong side needed to cross Roaring Brook and walk all the way around to get back home. The gate was there for a reason: The two sides were rivals. According to an undated story in the Hartford Times, the kids of South Glastonbury had a dance in the old Academy Hall and didn’t invite the Hollowites. The latter showed up and crashed the party, starting a small skirmish outside.
The people that worked in the mills of Cotton Hollow lived in houses around the mills. There were some located on Cotton Hollow Road that were abandoned and eventually demolished. At one point in time, a bridge crossed over the stream to three houses – the foundations of which can still be seen.
The homes were all located nearby to each other, sitting exactly 35 feet apart. They were all square with stone foundations. One of the foundations has an old well inside whereas the other two have a filled-in well sitting next to it. Also nearby to the forgotten homes are old foundations built partially into the wall, possible that of an old barn or shed.
The footings to the old bridge that crossed Roaring Brook are located right next to the foundations as is the marker to the famous Eunice Cobb Stocking Gunpowder Mill.