Mount Tom State Park

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Mount Tom State Park
Connecticut State Park
2013-06-22 Mt. Tom State Park (37).JPG
Mount Tom Tower
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County Litchfield
Towns Litchfield, Morris, Washington
Elevation 981 ft (299 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°41′29″N 73°16′35″W / 41.69139°N 73.27639°W / 41.69139; -73.27639Coordinates: 41°41′29″N 73°16′35″W / 41.69139°N 73.27639°W / 41.69139; -73.27639 [1]
Highest point Mount Tom
 - elevation 1,289 ft (393 m)
 - coordinates 41°41′36″N 73°16′24″W / 41.69333°N 73.27333°W / 41.69333; -73.27333 [2]
Area 231 acres (93 ha) [3]
Established 1915 [4]
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Mount Tom State Park
Mount Tom Tower
Location Mount Tom State Park, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Area 20 acres (8.1 ha)
Built 1921
Built by Unidentified local contractor
Architect Alfred M. Turner
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Jacobean Revival
NRHP Reference # 93001247[5]
Added to NRHP December 12, 1993

Mount Tom State Park is a state-operated, public recreation area lying south of US Route 202 in the towns of Washington, Litchfield, and Morris in Litchfield County, Connecticut.[6] The park occupies 231 acres (93 ha)[3] on the southwest shore of 56-acre (23 ha) Mount Tom Pond.[7] The park is one of the oldest in the Connecticut state park system[4] and is home to the Mount Tom Tower which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.[5]

History[edit]

Mount Tom State Park was among the 15 parks created between 1913 and 1918 by Connecticut's first State Park Commission[8] and was the first to open.[5] The park's land had been donated in 1911 for use as a state park by Charles H. Senff. Following Senff's death, his widow, Gustavia A. Senff, saw the transfer of the property through to completion, with the state legislature finalizing the action in 1917.[5]

Mount Tom Tower[edit]

A condition of the Senff gift was that a permanent observation tower be maintained at the summit of Mount Tom. The State Park Commission recommended that a stone tower be built to replace a wooden structure that had stood at the spot since 1888. The commission's secretary, Alfred M. Turner, drew up plans which were not closely followed when an unknown contractor constructed the tower of rough black gneiss found at the site. The tower stands 34 feet (10 m) high and 15 feet (4.6 m) in diameter; it was completed in 1921. Visitors can climb to the top for views that extend to Mount Everett in Massachusetts, the Catskills in New York, and Long Island Sound.[5]

Geology[edit]

The park is notable for the presence of the metamorphic rocks gneiss and schist, the minerals quartz, garnet and hornblende, and boulders carried to the site by Ice Age glaciers.[9]

Activities and amenities[edit]

Recreational activities include hiking the nearly one-mile-long loop trail that ascends Mount Tom to the observation tower, fishing, swimming and canoeing on Mount Tom Pond, and picnicking.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mount Tom State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Mount Tom". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  3. ^ a b "Appendix A: List of State Parks and Forests" (PDF). State Parks and Forests: Funding. Staff Findings and Recommendations. Connecticut General Assembly. January 23, 2014. p. A-2. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Mount Tom State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. August 10, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "NHRP Registration Form: Mount Tom Tower" (PDF). National Park Service. December 12, 1993. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mount Tom State Park Map" (PDF). State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. January 27, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Mount Tom Pond" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. September 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Connecticut State Parks: A Centennial Overview" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. July 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Geology of Mount Tom State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]