Archive for the ‘Middlesex County’ Category

Prominent Local Conservationist Cited for River Dumping

June 19, 2011

The Hartford Courant reports (June 15) that Richard Sweet, a past president of the Middlesex Land Trust, was cited on May 9 by CT DEP, on a complaint by Boston Road resident Al Maine, for illegal dumping of construction debris into the Coginchaug River here in Middletown. Mr. Sweet owns the Savage Arms factory site at 465 Middlefield St where the alleged dumping occurred, and another site on the same street occupied by an auto body company. He also is the steward of a 20 acre site nearby owned by Middlesex Land Trust along the Coginchaug River off of Forest St.

Also according to Hartford Courant, Richard Sweet describes the charges against him as “absolutely ridiculous”; that the debris stored on his property was swept into the Coginchaug River by the Spring freshet. The source of the debris according to news accounts is another building owned by Mr. Sweet in the city’s North End which collapsed under the weight of snow last winter; the wreckage was subsequently hauled to the Savage Arms site. Mr. Sweet has not responded to the complaint; the 30 day period for doing so expired on June 9. In response to questions Sweet said the lumber was cleaned up and “There’s no story here, It’s over.”

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art, an important watchdog and steward of the Coginchaug River, is monitoring the situation according to Executive Director John Hall.


In the photo map above we see the Coginchaug River as a dark ribbon winding from lower right to upper right. At top (green arrow) is the property at 398 Boston Road where some of the debris washed ashore according to owner Al Maine. The red marker near the bottom is the location of the Savage Arms property on Middlefield Street upriver from the Boston Road property. Directly below that red marker is where the debris must have entered the river as this area is just below the Savage Mill Dam slightly to the right.

Savage Revolving Fire Arms Company (c 1860)

This is the historic building at 465 Middlefield Street owned by Richard Sweet where the river dumping allegedly ocurred.

This close up shows demolition debris sticking out of the river bank at Richard Sweet's property, 465 Middlefield Road. It does not appear that this situation occurred accidentally or overnight. Credit John Hall

Finally there is this view of the Coginchaug River as it cascades over the Savage Mill Dam just behind the property above. The falling water here provided the motive power for the factory in the mid 19th century.

Savage Mill Dam

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Middletown Photographer Jason Neely Exhibiting at New England Emporium Starting Jan 14

January 16, 2011

Four New England Landscapes-Jason Neely

Reposted from Middletown Patch

  • Jason Neely, a Middletown photographer, is displaying his work at the New England Emporium beginning on January 14th.  The New England Landscapes series is made up of twenty photographs taken in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut–including many from Middletown.

    Jason’s work was featured in the August 2009 issue of National Geographic magazine and was also used by the band Weezer on their 2010 release “Raditude.”

    A portion of all sales will go to the Middlesex Cancer Center.

Exhibit and Dining Space at New England Emporium

Jason Neely Photographs Exhibited at New England Emporium

Samuel Wadsworth Russell House (1828)

May 9, 2010


Samuel Wadsworth Russell House (1828)

Originally uploaded by Steadyjohn

Samuel Wadsworth Russell House (1828)

High Street, corner Washington Street; Middletown, Connecticut. May 7, 2010.

This Greek Revival masterpiece was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001. This house is frequently cited as one of the premier examples of Greek Revival Architecture in the Northeast. The house remained in the Russell family for five generations and was finally deeded to Wesleyan University in 1937.

Samuel Russell (1789-1862) became fabulously wealthy in the China trade in the early 19th century. He smuggled Turkish and Bengal opium into Canton and brought back fine porcelain, silk, and tea to Europe and the United States. In 1828 when his house was built Russell was in Canton, and his friend Samuel D. Hubbard worked with Mrs. Russell to supervise the building of the house. In 1831 Russell returned to Middletown and his new home where he resided until his death in 1862.

Source 1: Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Source 2: Wikipedia

Additional Photos from the site:

Iron Gate and Shadows

Samuel Russell House (1828)

Middlesex Co. Hist. Society Open Dec 15

December 10, 2007

The Middlesex County Historical Society will be open Saturday December 15 from 1 to 5 PM.

Visitors will be able to view the society’s collection of Christmas and New Year’s cards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Antique dolls, paper dolls and games are also on exhibit.

Executive Director Donna Baron will be on hand to talk with visitors interested in undertaking family history research or seeking information on Middletown history.
The society is at the Mansfield House, 151 Main St. Call 860-346-0746 or e-mail mchs@wesleyan.edu for further information

I plan to post photographs from around the city and environs;

Here are two taken in October.

I’d be interested in how many folks know about this architectural gem tucked away on Middletown hillside. Write a comment about it if you wish.