Friday, June 3, 2011

Cavendish Semiquincentennial: New City

The flood of 1869 destroyed New City. This area was located four miles from Cavendish village near Wethersfield. As early as 1856, woodenware was manufactured there. Newspaper accounts indicate that some form of settlement was in place by 1845. The 1855 Dotton map shows three building, with one marked ‘sawmill.” New City is an example of an area that, according to the usual pattern of New England settlement, would not be inhabited. It was ignored in the early days. Far from other settlements, deep in a narrow valley, subject to flooding, it does not make sense to live there unless an economic situation provides incentive. Only prosperity would allow investors to develop the normally undesirable spot. The promise of good waterpower during a boom time must have caused the essential optimism to seek a “New City.” This area was an example of 19th century waterpower manufacturing boom and related domestic sites that are no longer operating or even standing. With the elimination of a boom time that demanded cut lumber and woodenware, there was no other reason for industrial operations.

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