Hopeville Pond State Park

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Coordinates: 41°36′27″N 71°55′08″W / 41.60750°N 71.91889°W / 41.60750; -71.91889
Hopeville Pond State Park
Connecticut State Park
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County New London
Town Bozrah
Elevation 213 ft (65 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°36′27″N 71°55′08″W / 41.60750°N 71.91889°W / 41.60750; -71.91889 [1]
Area 554 acres (224 ha) [2]
Established 1938
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Hopeville Pond State Park

Hopeville Pond State Park is a Connecticut state park located in the town of Griswold. Before European colonization, the Mohegan people constructed weirs and fished from the Pachaug River. In 1711, Stephen Gates was granted 14 acres of land that now resides within the park's limits and constructed a gristmill and sawmill at the natural falls. In 1818, Elizah Abel purchased the mill privilege and built a woolen mill at the site. The mills were later acquired by John Slater who constructed a satinet mill and named it "Hope Mill". The village of Hopeville would derive its name from the mill, and it thrived until a series of fires destroyed the mills, the church and some houses. Sometime before 1917, the Ashland Cotton Company erected a dam on the site and created a 145 acre reservoir. The United States Government purchased the land in the 1930s for recreational use and used the Civilian Conservation Corps to adapt the land to the purpose. In 1938, the State of Connecticut designated Hopeville Pond as a state park.

Hopeville Pond State Park's recreational activities include biking, hiking, camping, fishing, boating and swimming. A variety of fish are found in the park, including northern pike, largemouth bass, and yellow perch. The park has a total of 80 camp sites with each site featuring a fire ring with grate and a picnic table. The park manager's house is a National Register of Historic Places listed property.

History[edit]

Hopeville Pond was by the Mohegan Indians for fishing prior to the European colonization. The Mohegans built weirs to directed the water flow and fish to the center of the stream for easy capture in fishing baskets.[3] In 1711, Stephen Gates was granted 14 acres of land which lies within the state park limits. Gates constructed a gristmill and sawmill at the natural falls along the Pachaug River. In 1818, Elizah Abel purchased the mill privilege and built a woolen mill at the site. Later, John Slater purchased the three mills and constructed a satinet mill and named it "Hope Mill".[3] The village of Hopeville derived its name from the mill and would also carry it through to the Hopeville Pond and the Hopeville Pond State Park name. The natural falls of the mill sites are no longer visible as they are now underwater.[3]

By 1840, Hopeville was a "thriving village" according to Daniel L. Phillips, author of Griswold - a history.[4] On November 4, 1850, a meeting was held to discuss the construction of a house of worship.[4]:143 A church was erected for $1,700 and dedicated on December 12, 1852.[4]:144 The village of Hopeville reached its peak in 1860 and was well known for its production of woolens.[3] In 1881, the mill, then owned by Edwin Lanthrop and Company, was destroyed in a fire and not rebuilt. The Ashland Cotton Company would later acquire the property.[4]:227 In 1900, the church and four houses also burned.[4]:227 In 1908, the original gristmill from 1711 was also destroyed by fire.[3] Sometime before 1917, the Ashland Cotton Company erected a dam on the site and created the 145 acre reservoir; the dam was used to generate electrical power for its mills in Jewett City.[4]:227 The United States Government purchased the land in the 1930s for recreational use and used the Civilian Conservation Corps to adapt the land to the purpose, including the construction of fire control ponds, forest roads and adapting the Avery House for park use.[3][5] In 1938, the State of Connecticut designated Hopeville Pond as a state park.[3]

Avery House[edit]

The Avery House, also known as Hopeville Pond Park House, is a 20 feet (6.1 m) by 40 feet (12 m), the two story central-chimney Colonial dating to circa 1770. The central chimney is on a stone base and has a built-in root cellar. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) rehabilitated the property for park use. The alterations in the house changed the traditional five-room first floor plan by eliminating the keeping rooms and the removal of the kitchen fireplace. It retains much of its original door frames and wrought-iron latch hardware. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[5] After the rehabilitation of the property, the Avery House became the Hopeville Park manager's residence.[5]

Activities[edit]

Hopeville Pond State Park is listed for a multitude of recreational activities, including biking, hiking, camping, fishing, boating and swimming.[3] Hopeville Pond was included in a 11-mile bike trail in Connecticut: Rides for the Casual Cyclist.[6] The Lake Lubbers website states that Hopeville Pond is a popular location for fishing, including ice fishing. The reported fish include "northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and bluegill".[7]

According to the DEEP website, the camping season begins on the third week of April on Friday and ends on September 30.[3] The park has a total of 80 camp sites with each site featuring a fire ring with grate and a picnic table. The layout is in two loops designated with sites A-E and a second loop designated as F. Each loop has toilet and drinking water facilities.[8] The camp site was rated highly for its beauty, spaciousness, cleanliness and security in 2013 by Best Tent Camping.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hopeville Pond State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee (January 23, 2014). "State Parks and Forests: Funding". Staff Findings and Recommendations. Connecticut General Assembly. p. A-2. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Hopeville Pond State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Phillip, Daniel Lyon (1929). Griswold - a history; being a history of the town of Griswold, Connecticut, from the earliest times to the entrance of our country into the world war in 1917. The Turtle, Morehouse & Taylor Company. 
  5. ^ a b c Mary E. McCahon (June 1985). "Connecticut Historical Association Historic Resources Inventory: Hopeville Pond Park House". National Park Service.  and Accompanying photo, exterior, undated
  6. ^ Edwin Mullen, Jane Griffith (1998). Connecticut: Rides for the Casual Cyclist. Globe Pequot. p. 49. 
  7. ^ "Hopeville Pond, Connecticut, USA". Lake Lubbers. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ Hopeville Pond State Park Campground. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 
  9. ^ Low, Lafe (2013). Best Tent Camping: New England: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization (Google eBook). Menasha Ridge Pres. p. 207. 

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