Park River (Connecticut)
The Park River, sometimes called the Hog River, is a subterranean urban river that flows through and under the city of Hartford, Connecticut. It was diverted underground by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1940. The stated reason for this was to reduce the risk of spring seasonal floods which had occurred in the city due to the increase in surface runoff from urban development. The river is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) long.
Prior to European settlement the Suckiaug people lived on the fertile banks of the Connecticut and Park rivers, their name derived from the word sucki-auke, meaning "black earth". In 1623, fur traders from the Dutch West India Company set up Fort Goede Hoop at the confluence of the Connecticut and Park Rivers. The Dutch called the river the "Little River", in contrast to its larger counterpart the Great River (Connecticut River). The first English settlers arrived in 1635, and shortly thereafter, in 1636, the Reverend Thomas Hooker led 100 of his congregation to form a new settlement north of the Dutch fort. In this year, the first mill in Hartford was built on the Little River by Matthew Allyn for grinding the corn that grew in the area. In the coming years more mills were built upon the banks of the Little River, leading to it being known as Mill River.
North Branch Park River Watershed
A watershed, or “drainage basin”, is the area around a river (or section of river) in which all water drains into that particular river. These waters include small bodies of water such as streams and brooks, but also all of the rain water that seeps into the ground. It is extremely important to keep a river’s entire watershed in mind when protecting it because all of the water in this area is connected and will eventually end up in the river itself.
The North Branch Park River watershed is a 28.6 square-mile basin within the Park watershed. Four major tributaries– Beamans Brook, Wash Brook, Filley Brook, and Tumbledown Brook – drain from Bloomfield and northern parts of West Hartford converging near the University of Hartford to form the North Branch of the Park River. Upstream drainage from the entire watershed flows between the West End, Blue Hills, and Asylum Hill neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city, before pouring into an underground conduit north of Farmington Avenue, which carries the river and often combined sewage overflows into the Connecticut River.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
- Love, William DeLoss. The Colonial History of Hartford. Hartford. 1914. Page 82
- Alberta Eiseman, The Industrialization of the Great River, New England's Longest, August 30, 1998, New York Times
- Caruso, Nicholas. Timeline. [parkriver.org/History2.html] 2005
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Park River (Connecticut).|