Trails volunteers and friends had a little fun today exploring the old tunnels and locks of the Housatonic River. See our photos and video. If you have a high-speed connection, select the 'higher resolution' option on the video.
We kayaked from the Derby boat launch under the Route 8 bridge to the Derby Dam. The industrial artifacts were the main attraction along this route. First there are the bridges, then there are tunnels, including this one located underneath the Birmingham. The tunnels were built under factories from the 1800's to capture power from water as it fell from the canal above to the river below. Each factory had it's own tunnel.
Image the amount of work, all of it by hand, that went into building the structures that allowed the rise of factories in Shelton - the canal, the dam, the tunnels, and of course the factories such as the Birmingham. Shelton is the only city in Connecticut that legally changed its name (from "Huntington"), choosing to honor Edward Shelton, the man most responsible for the industrial rise of downtown.
We continued up the river to the Shelton locks and then on to the Derby Dam, which wasn't letting out very much water at the time. If it were, we wouldn't have been able to get so close.
The trail volunteers then traveled up the Naugatuck River to Ansonia. I don't have any photos or video of that since I had to leave early.