Short Takes

Greater Hartford and Greater Springfield, along with the Connecticut and Thames River Valleys, abound in historical identities that involve the traction efforts of the "long-ago and far-away era." As an ongoing segment of our curiosity in those historic times we will attempt to provide some limited but significant history here with photographs - using antique postcards repros whenever available - that will highlight this period with links to more data sites. You may find these historical bits interesting and the young'uns may find it fun to research for school projects or just to learn more about their earlier and extended neighborhoods...

 

 

 

 

 

PONEMAH MILLS OF TAFTVILLE CT.

 

 

Affectionately known by the locals as the "Black Mariah" it hauled freight into the mill

until 1964. Also recognized as engine 1386 she was built by the G.E. Co. of Schenectady,

New York in 1894 and sold to the Mill in 1895. She delivered carloads of freight from 

the local interchange with the Norwich & Worcester RR  in Norwich, CT.

 

 

 

At 430k sq.ft. the cotton textile factory was thought to be one of the largest of weavers

under one roof at the time. Built in Taftville, a hamlet of Norwich, CT., in the 1860's it

was originally known as theTaftville Cotton Mill subsequently becoming the Ponemah Mill.

 

 

 

Norwich's Franklin Square appears busy in this early 1900's scene. The Norwich Electric

Street Railway, with its use of early electric power, enabled or persuaded the Mill owners

into the use of an electric powered engine to perform its freight hauling operations.

 

 

 

The early 1870's saw strife within the mills working population. Interest in unionizing

brought strikes with associated strike breaking activity. The predominately Irish

workforce was replaced by a French Canadian influx as the Company attempted to

eliminate any sort of unionization.

 

The Ponemah Mill is presently undergoing renovations with the intent of converting it into

luxury apartments and commercial space.

 

To learn more about this interesting subject - click on the links below:

 

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20080831/News/308319956

 

http://www.historic-structures.com/ct/taftville/ponemah_mills.php

 

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/ct/ct0000/ct0092/data/ct0092data.pdf

 

http://www.ponemahmills.com

 

http://www.ct-trolley.org/collection/locomotive1386.php

 

 

 


 

 

 BRIDGE OVER THE CONNECTICUT RIVER - HARTFORD

 

 

 

Nov. 29, 1907 and Consolidated Railway car 486 makes the inaugural trip across

the new Connecticut River Bridge at Hartford, CT

 

 

A POSTCARD SYNOPSIS ON THE "HARTFORD BRIDGE"

Later named (in 1922) the Bulkeley Bridge after Gov. Morgon Bulkeley

 

Built in 1818 to replace the cross-river ferry,  it burned down totally in 1895

 

 

A vision of the new Stone Arch Bridge started in 1903 and finished in 1908

 

 

An early photo that encompasses the old Front Street & Central Row sections on

the Hartford side - looking northeast toward East Hartford...

 

 

The Bridge is lit with LED lamps for this recent 4th celebration

 

 

If you were interested in the photo of the first trolley crossing of the new "Hartford Bridge"

then these old postcards may also be of interest. The bridge defined the northernmost

progress of the many steamers that provided commerce to Hartford

via the Connecticut River. Just North of "The Bridge" the water gets extremely shallow

and in the early 1900's the treed sandbars would attract the citizens of the community in

the hot summer months. Today the sandbars appear and disappear at nature's whim...

 

 Want to learn more about this facet of the Greater Hartford area - and distant era...?

 

click on any link below

 

www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/br-bulkeley.html

 

www.onenewengland.com/article.php?id=32

 

www.past-inc.org/historic-bridges/stone-bulkeley.html

 

connecticuthistory.org/the-sand-hogs

 

www.flowofhistory.org

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Electric Railway Association, Inc. Copyright 2017 Connecticut Electric Railway Association, Inc. All rights reserved.