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over its limpid waters, enjoying the “ feast of reason and the flow of soul.” It has ever been a location of interest, and is yearly becoming the place of resort for those who admire the loveliness of nature secluded in its deep solitudes. Weraumaug is another lake of about the same size, one mile by two in dimensions, located in the north-west corner of the ancient territory, to which the same remarks will apply. It has now become the popular resort of the city-heated denizen, who seeks, for a brief space, rest and relaxation during the hot months. Like the former, it has become the place of sweet romance and many a flirtation, while reverend doctors of divinity and learned doctors of the law, "pass stately by," and form a solid back ground. Bantam, in the northern bounds, north of what was, at a later day, called "Woodbury Farms,” is another beautiful sheet of water, and point of much attraction. It is one of the principal boasts of the present town of Litchfield, the County seat, which is now in somewhat pleasant repute as a “summer resort," claiming attention, principally, for the life-invigorating air of its breezy hills and extended country views. The name of Bantam has usually been considered by historians as the aboriginal name of this lake, together with its river, and surrounding country. But there is every reason to doubt the correctness of this opinion. It has neither the look nor sound of any other words in our native Indian dialect.1
The only place called by this name, now recollected, is Bantam in the Island of Java. No reason can be assigned for the transfer of the name to this locality, except, perhaps, the fanciful one, that “like the Bantam of the old world, this was a wild and almost unknown region, inhabited by a race of barbarians.” It is hardly probable, however, that our ancestors, in the necessitous circumstances of a new settlement in the unbroken wilderness, had time to make, even if they had the necessary geographical information, such farfetched and philosophical, not to say poetical comparisons in diverse localities. Kissewaug is the name bestowed upon a long and narrow pond below Quassapaug lake, in the southern part of the present town of Middlebury. It also bears the more modern name of Long Meadow Pond. There is a somewhat apocryphal legend connected with this little lakelet, from which it is said to have derived its name, Kisse waug. But it is by no means certain that the first syllable of that name, used as as separate word, has the same
Kilbourn's History of Litchfield, p. 24.
meaning in the native tongue as in our own, and consequently it becomes unnecessary to relate it here.
Nearly all the rivers and streams of the territory have retained their Indian names. The principal river, called by the early settlers at Stratford, the Great River, was called in the early Indian conveyances, the Pootatuck river. In later years, it was called by another Indian name, the Housatonic, which name it now bears. The central river of the ancient territory still bears its original Indian name of Pomperaug, which was also the name of the last powerful chief of the Woodbury Indians, who flourished before the advent of the whites in the territory. This beautiful stream is fed and formed by the Nonnewaug river, coming in from the north-east, and joining it near the central village; the “Wecuppeme" river, as it is called in one of the earliest Indian deeds, which rises in the northern part of the present town of Bethle. hem; and the West Sprain river, which rises in the south-easterly part of the present town of Washington. In the western portion of the territory flows the Shepaug river, taking its rise in Bantam lake, as one of its sources. This river runs through a wild, romantic and mountainous region, to its junction with the Housatonic. All the streams of Ancient Woodbury flow southerly, and empty into the Housatonic. The Quassapaug river, taking its rise in Quassapaug lake, flows south and joins the Housatonic below Quaker's Farms. In later years, this stream has been called the Eight Mile brook. Quanopaug is the name of a brook that flows into the Nonnewaug river, near the north end of the village. On this stream, which flows through what was early named the East Meadow where the gettlers had desirable divisions laid out to them, is a very beautiful cascade, which was much visited by people years ago, but which has been greatly injured, of late, by diverting the water for irrigating purposes, upon the adjacent lands. Yanumpaug brook flows into the Housatonic river, from its Newtown side, nearly opposite the mouth of the Shepaug river. Pootatuck brook flows north, into the same river, from the same side, nearly opposite to the "Pootatuck Wigwams," about two miles above Bennett's Bridge. A little below is Cockshure's Island, in the Housatonic river. This has, in a later day, been known as Hubbell's Island, from Peter Hubbell, who owned it, and to whom the General Court granted the right to “keep a ferry," at the north end of the Island, May session, 1730. This Island was owned by an Indian Sachem, of the name of Cockshure, at the time our fathers moved
into the wilderness, and long after. He did not convey it away till June 18, 1733. His name figured in several of the later Indian conveyances. Paquabaug is the name of a small island in the Shepaug river, above Mine Hill, in Roxbury. At the southwest corner of Roxbury, at the mouth, and west of the Shepaug river, is the place called Promiseck, bought of the Indians by Dr. Ebenezer Warner, in 1728-9. Aurangeatuck Plain is situated southerly of the present village of Southbury.
Orenaug is the name of the beautiful trap-rock cliffs, which bound the village on the east. The front cliff has been recently purchased and improved by the writer, as a mountain park. Oak, maple, hickory, chestnut, and cedar trees are scattered over the mountain-top, and in the beautiful ravine beyond, while the crest is covered by a beautiful grove of pine trees, in the midst of which a tower, thirty feet in height, has been erected, from which views of six surrounding towns may be obtained. It has been named the Orenaug Park. Here one can always catch a delightful breeze, and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the village, valley and meandering river below, while the whispering pines above his head sooth the perturbed, wearied and overworked mind. The beautiful evergreens suggest thoughts of peace, and the beatitude of the eternal rest on high :
“ As the softened land-breeze marches,
Through the pine's cathedral arches.” A few moments walk to the south-east, through a pleasant grove, over the second cliff, brings the visitor to the celebrated
Bethel Rock,” in the bosom of these cliffs, of which more will be said hereafter. A more lovely and romantic spot, even without its sacred associations, cannot easily be found.
On the Shepaug river, about two miles from its junction with the Housatonic, is the “Falls" of that river. The river, at this place, has forced and worn its way through the rocks of the primary formation, in a hill of considerable size. The channel cut through these rocks is, in some places, very narrow, and often only a few feet in width, hemmed in by precipitous rocky banks, covered with evergreen and other trees, rising a hundred or two feet, from the bed of the stream, In time of floods, the view of these falls has been magnificent, with the madly rushing and roaring waters. Below the falls has always been, both in the aboriginal days, and now, a favorite and abundant fishing place. Shad have rarely ascended as high as this place. But trout, suckers
and lamprey eels, of enormous size, are caught in great abundance. Occasionally, even in these later years, a trout of very great size, and of the true speckled variety, strays into the pools below the falls. A few years ago, Mr. Thomas Tyrrell, who owns the land and mill at the falls, captured in a brook-pool near the river, by using a shad seine, a trout of large dimensions, for these waters. It was 374 inches in length, measuring 16 inches around the body in front of the fins, being the largest part, and weighed 174 pounds. This account is vouched for by several witnesses, and is no doubt correct. But the beauty of these falls has just been destroyed, by blasting down the cliffs. to make way for the road-bed of the Shepaug Valley Railroad, leading from Litchfield to a junction with the Housatonic Railroad at Hawleyville. The rocks have been skillfully and ruthlessly blasted out, and thrown into the river, and across it, cutting down large trees two feet in diameter, and far into the fields beyond.' The rock is thrown down the side of the mountain in large masses, some of them weighing a hundred and thirty tons to the boulder. It is a fine display of the power of man in his war with nature. The building of this Railroad, which runs the whole length of the ancient territory, from north to south, through the Shepaug valley, with terminus at Litchfield, is a remarkable result of the enterprize of our people. If one had been asked a year ago to name a locality which was least likely to be traversed by a Railroad in this region, the unhesitating answer would have been, one through the Shepaug valley. And yet such has been the indomitable spirit displayed, that the cars will be running on the road by August, 1871, a little less than a year from the time when the first spade full of earth was thrown out to grade the way.
At the upper end of Nonnewaug Plain, in the deep recesses of the forests, are located the Nonnewaug Falls. These falls are quite fully described on page 92, but are referred to here for the purpose of collecting all the references and descriptions of places together. Since the publication of the former edition of this work, this beautiful retreat of nature has been more and more a place of resort for pleasure parties, and for those who delight to retire from the busy haunts of men, and commune with nature in her sacred solitudes. And yet, as has often been observed in other cases of the wonderful works of nature, like the falls of Niagara, for instance, people in their vicinity have never seen them, and more singular still, have never heard of them. In this very case, an old