and a digression on the Greenswood Company of New Hartford, CT
On this day in 1878, the Boston Daily Globe reported on flooding around New England. In Western Massachusetts, along the Connecticut River, repaired were underway to damage done to the Boston and Albany Railroad tracks in Westfield and the Connecticut Central RR at Hatfield. Bridges had been washed away across the region and temporary structures were being erected to allow passengers and freight to continue moving.
In Connecticut, along the Farmington River at the dam at Greenswood Pond in New Hartford was overtopped. Record floods were noted on the Naugautuck River at Seymour, the Housatonic River at Derby, and at Wallingford along the Qunnipiac River, reports in the Meriden Republican were that the flood water was four feet over the dam there.
As a digression, the Greenwoods Company was established in 1845 in New Hartford, CT along the Farmington River and produced heavy cotton textiles until 1901. A new dam was built in 1849 to replace an earlier one built in 1816 at the same location. The Greenswood Dam was 32-feet tall and 200-feet wide, creating the Greenswood Pond above it which powered the factories via a canal that ran parallel to the river. By the mid-1890's Greenwoods was one of the largest cotton mills in the U.S., at over 1500 acres with its own gas plant to produce light, greatly extending work hours and in the village where factory workers lived.
As noted, the Greenswood Dam was indeed overtopped in 1878 but the structure stood, outlasting the company itself, which relocated in 1901. However, the dam did fail under the torrent of the March 1936 Flood.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of New Hartford, CT from 1864, before the 1878 Flood. The Greenwood Company mill buildings, dam and canal can be seen. - photo: Connecticut Digital Archive
"Greenwood Pond is bordered by tree-covered hills. Railroad tracks run through the hills. Next to stone dam, iron bridge, and Farmington River are several brick factory buildings with smokestack. The roofs of commercial and residential buildings are visible through the trees. The Masonic Hall with gambrel roof, and the three-storied New Hartford house are along Main Street."
- photo and caption: Connecticut Historical Society