Moodus, Connecticut

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Moodus
Village and census-designated place
Location within Middlesex County in the state of Connecticut
Location within Middlesex County in the state of Connecticut
Moodus
Location within Middlesex County in the state of Connecticut
Moodus, Connecticut is located in USA
Moodus, Connecticut
Location within United States of America
Coordinates: 41°30′10″N 72°27′00″W / 41.50278°N 72.45000°W / 41.50278; -72.45000Coordinates: 41°30′10″N 72°27′00″W / 41.50278°N 72.45000°W / 41.50278; -72.45000
Country United States of America
State Connecticut
County Middlesex
Town East Haddam
Area
 • Total 2.9 sq mi (8 km2)
 • Land 2.9 sq mi (8 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)  0.69%
Elevation 230 ft (70 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 1,413
 • Density 490/sq mi (190/km2)
  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06469
Area code(s) 860

Moodus is a village in the town of East Haddam, Connecticut, United States. The village is the basis of a census-designated place (CDP) of the same name. The population of the CDP was 1,413 at the 2010 census.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), of which, 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.69%) is water.

The area is subject to earthquakes, with an intensity VI quake occurring in 1568,[2] and numerous quakes being recorded from 1638 onwards.[3][4] The largest earthquake recorded for Connecticut was an intensity VII quake on May 16, 1791 near Moodus.[5][6]

History[edit]

Prior to its purchase by English settlers in 1662, the area around Moodus was inhabited by Native American Algonquians, three of which tribes are known: the Wangunks, the Mohegans and the Nehantics.[7] The Native Americans called the area "Machimoodus", the place of noises.,[8] because of numerous earthquakes that were recorded between 1638 and 1899. Loud rumblings, the “Moodus Noises,” could be heard for miles surrounding the epicenter of the quakes near Mt. Tom. The land, which is now Haddam and East Haddam, was purchased by settlers from the Indians in 1662 for thirty coats – worth about $100.[9]

In the nineteenth century, Moodus was the “Twine Capital of America,” with twelve mills in operation. The most successful was Brownell & Company. Moodus was in an ideal location for textile production since it had access to ample water power and shipping (via the Connecticut River and the Connecticut Valley Railroad[10]), and it was close to an enormous trading center and market, New York City.[11] Moodus's mills primarily manufactured cotton yarn, duck, and twine, and that production lasted from 1819 to 1977. The mills also produced certain related products, particularly fishing nets and pearl buttons. A part of that textile mill history is preserved in the Johnsonville historical section of Moodus, named after one of the mill owners. Brownell was a pioneer with DuPont Corporation in the production of nylon products, and Brownell still manufacturers specialized textile-related products in Moodus such as archery bowstrings, helicopter cargo nets, and tennis nets.[12][13]

Moodus is known for many local resorts that operated over the course of the early and mid twentieth century. Almost exactly between Boston and New York, the village drew guests from both cities who were enchanted by its rural atmosphere. In its heyday, during the 1940s and 1950s, Moodus was called the "Catskills of Connecticut." During the summer season, people visiting the more than 30 Moodus-area resorts quadrupled East Haddam's population to about 20,000 people. The resorts, boarding houses and camps of Moodus attracted Christian and Jewish vacationers primarily from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and other parts of Connecticut.[14] One of the last resorts to remain in operation, Sunrise Resort, was purchased by the state of Connecticut in late 2008 to be incorporated into the adjacent Machimoodus State Park as a campground, and to protect "4,700 feet of additional frontage along the Salmon River."[15]

The quaint village center, dubbed "Downtown Moodus", formerly located at the intersection of routes CT 151 and CT 149, was a popular destination for guests. However most of the village was razed after the citizens of East Haddam controversially voted in 1967 to accept urban renewal funding to build a new commercial district for Moodus a quarter mile east, along CT 149. East Haddam was one of the smallest towns in the United States to participate in the urban renewal program.[16]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 1,263 people, 529 households, and 322 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 438.8 people per square mile (169.3/km2). There were 592 housing units at an average density of 205.7 per square mile (79.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.78% White, 0.40% African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.79% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.

There were 529 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $52,188, and the median income for a family was $68,500. Males had a median income of $42,938 versus $33,214 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $32,475. None of the families and 2.4% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.

Attractions[edit]

Noises[edit]

Moodus is infamous in Connecticut for the strange noises coming from the woods which have been termed "Moodus noises",[18] and are attributed to shallow micro-earthquakes.[19][20] The noises can be heard most strongly from Cave Hill,[21] located next to Mt. Tom[22] and owned by the Cave Hill Resort.[23]

In Legendary Connecticut, author David Philips asserts that the Moodus noises were the source of an indigenous religious cult important to local Native Americans. Local Algonquin chiefs (Sachems) would gather around Mt. Tom in order to experience the living presence of the god Hobomock. Pequot, Mohegan and Narragansett tribes participated in this cult, and according to local Alison Guinness, the Wangunks were involved as well.[23] The Algonquins called the area Matchemadoset or Matchitmoodus Hobomock's roars scared off evil spirits. Hobomock was not considered an evil spirit.[24]

The Moodus noises were the basis for the otherworldly noises in H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror.[25] The local high school's athletic teams are dubbed the "Noises."[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moodus CDP: DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". 2010 United States Census. United States Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Moodus – East Haddam, Connecticut earthquake" United States Geological Survey
  3. ^ Staff (1900) East Haddam: a brief history of its past and present (published as a supplement to the Connecticut Valley Advertiser vol. 30, no. 52) Connecticut Valley Advertiser, Moodus, Connecticut, OCLC 8838286
  4. ^ Perry, Elwyn (1942) "The Moodus Earthquakes and the Cause of Earthquakes in New England" Earthquake Notes 13(1/2): pp. 401–404
  5. ^ Historic Earthquakes: Near Moodus, Middlesex County, Connecticut, 1791 05 16" United States Geological Survey
  6. ^ Grant, Ellsworth (2006) "The Moodus Earthquake 1791" Connecticut Disasters: True Stories of Tragedy and Survival Insiders' Guide, Guilford, Connecticut,pages 9–14, ISBN 978-0-7627-3972-1
  7. ^ "About our Town: History" East Haddam, Connecticut
  8. ^ Skinner, Charles Montgomery (1969) "Moodus Noises" Myths & Legends of Our Own Land Singing Tree Press, Detroit, Michigan, page 266 OCLC 19933; reprinted from the fifth edition of 1896 of J.B. Lippincott Company.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ http://www.essexsteamtrain.com/history.html
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ http://www.brownellarchery.com/BrownellCoverStory.pdf
  13. ^ "History of Mills In Connecticut". Connecticut Water Trails Association. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  14. ^ "The Resorts That Put the Mood in Moodus: When Moodus Became a Hot Spot for Vacationers" SimonPure Productions, LLC
  15. ^ Church, Diane (January 3, 2009) "Sunrise Resort bought by state, open to public" The Herald Press, archive here by Freezepage
  16. ^ "Legacy of "Progress" Gone Sour" SimonPure Productions, LLC
  17. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  18. ^ Gates, Alexander E. And Ritchie, David (2007) "acoustics" Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes Facts on File, New York, page 1, ISBN 978-0-8160-6302-4
  19. ^ "Seismic Detective Solves 'Moodus Noises' Mystery" Hartford Courant October 19, 1981
  20. ^ Ebel, John E. (1989) "A Comparison of the 1981, 1982, 1986, and 1987–1988 Microearthquake Swarms at Moodus, Connecticut" Seismological Research Letters 60: pp. 177–184
  21. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cave Hill
  22. ^ There are three Mt. Toms in Connecticut and two in Middlesex County. This is the one at 41°29′45″N 72°28′40″W / 41.49583°N 72.47778°W / 41.49583; -72.47778, U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mount Tom
  23. ^ a b Boudillion, Daniel V. (2009) "The Moodus Noises & Moodus Noise Cave"
  24. ^ Philips, David E. (1992) Legendary Connecticut: Traditional Tales from the Nutmeg State (2nd edition) Curbstone Books, Willimantic, Connecticut, page ?, ISBN 1-880684-05-5
  25. ^ Lovecraft, Howard Phillips (2001). S. T. Joshi, ed. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Stories. Penguin Books. p. 411 – footnote 16. ISBN 0 14 218003 3. 
  26. ^ http://www.edline.net/pages/Nathan_Hale-Ray_High_School/Activities/Athletics