Monday, July 19, 2010
We have been driving around on all the back roads in Western Connecticut for the past two weeks going back and forth to the Trail. I thought I’d share some of what we’ve been seeing on those drives.
Connecticut is New England and what we have seen is what you would expect to see in New England--green trees which turn to a blaze of color in the fall, old houses, tall church steeples, and village greens. This area is mostly rural farmland with a few dairy farms.
Most of the homes we’ve seen are large, two-story structures. Whether they are newer or a hundred years old, they’re usually well maintained with nicely manicured yards. Folks around here like pastel colors for their homes. We’ve seen just about every color, but yellow and white are the most plentiful. There are many, many homes with “For Sale” signs out front; an indication of how the economic downturn has hit this state. We walked by a couple of real estate offices today and glanced at their offerings. You can get a modest home here for a couple grand, but you’re more likely to pay closer to 5 grand. We found a small lot in Litchfield without a house for $189,000. Wonder if zoning regulations would allow an RV pad?
The towns had us confused for a while. We finally figured out that there is one community which is what we would call the county seat in the south. It’s the one with the Town Hall. Smaller villages surround the “town” even though they may be several miles apart. The smaller villages have their own names, but are encompassed within the larger community. Most communities have a village green, most with bandshells, but not all. These small towns and villages are the quintessential quaint New England with pots of fresh flowers sitting on the sidewalks in front of trendy boutiques, art galleries, and antique stores.
It wouldn’t be New England without the tall church spires rising against the trees and blue sky. We stopped to make photos of our favorite--The Congregational Church in Warren. Warren is so small, I think it only has a church, the town hall, and a general store. But this church with its magnificent steeple was there.
This part of Connecticut was settled in the first half of the 1700s. People have been dying here for a very long time and the cemeteries are plentiful. We chose to stop at the one in New Milford. In Tennessee, if you see a flag by an old tombstone, it usually means the deceased was a Civil War veteran. At New Milford, we found flags at the graves of Revolutionary War Veterans.
We also stopped by Kent Falls State Park today. The falls, really a cascade, was pitiful. However, it has been very dry here for several weeks. In addition to very little rain, in the summer months, water from many creeks and rivers are diverted for use in homes and businesses. The time to see the falls in Connecticut is in spring.
There was a covered bridge at Kent State Park, but I think it was built as part of the walkway to the falls. It looked just too new and it had no historical marker. There are covered bridges in Connecticut, but not nearly the number that are in Vermont.
Western Connecticut is pretty. Enjoy the photos.