2023 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut

White Memorial Conservation Center ~ Ice House Ruins Trail Loop In February 2023

Before the advent of the refrigerator, people kept food from spoiling by placing it in an icebox – a wooden cabinet with shelves for perishables and a large compartment for a block of ice to keep everything cold.  Where did this ice come from?  It was cut from lakes and ponds in the winter in regions where the temperatures were below freezing for extended periods of time.  Ice blocks were cut by farmers for family use and by crews employed by significant commercial concerns.  Both occurred at Bantam Lake.  The commercial operation was centered on the north shore and involved one of southern New England’s largest ice block storage facilities.  The company even had a railroad service making the distribution of ice to distant cities possible. 


Peter Vermilyea (HiddeninPlainSightBlog.com) describes the former ice-making operation that once thrived on Bantam Lake before electricity and refrigeration were available. The site is located on the White Memorial Foundation property near Litchfield Town Beach.

2023 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut · USA

Hiking In Camp Columbia State Park, Morris, Connecticut On New Year’s Day

Change has been constant throughout the 100-year history of this piece of countryside. Where once a shared landscape of farmland and woodland dominated, a campus of higher education overtook them and ruled the property for nine decades. But it too, like the farms and fields before it, lapsed into disuse allowing the woodland to reassert itself and provide us with the landscape we enjoy today.



Since it was a beautiful day, Kevin, Sara, and I went hiking in Camp Columbia State Park for New Year’s Day. It was chilly a little bit. But we bundled up. We took the Camp Columbia Tower Trail, which is a short (0.6 miles/1 km roundtrip) trail. When Kevin, Sara, and I climbed the stairs of the tower, we had a nice view of the Camp Colombia State Forest. I can only imagine, how beautiful the view will be in Autumn again. While Kevin went down the steps and looked up some history about the Instrument House, which is now a ruin, and the tower, I had to get Sara down again. The outer staircase gave her some anxiety. Once she was on the ground and away from the tower, she did fine again.

2022 · My Travel Journal · Rhode Island · USA

Travel Journal: Newport, Rhode Island (Part II)

April 15, 2022

Kevin, Sara and I had a late lunch at the Brick Oven Pizzeria on Thames Street, before we made our way to Goat Island. We saw the famous Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves. A lot of people enjoyed sitting outside, eating, drinking and being social. The glass walls protected them from the wind. And the sun was warm. My face got sunburned a little bit. Sara got herself one of those Amethyst crystals, I talked about in Part I. As we kept walking, we’ve got a good look at the Oliver Hazard Perry sailboat in Newport Harbor. Almost halfway up on the bridge to Goat Island, I could capture some photos, I usually see on the frontpage of Newport tourist magazines: The Goat Island Lighthouse and the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge in the background. We didn’t make it all across the Goat End Connector, the bridge that connects Goat Island with Aquidneck Island. It was too darn windy. However, Kevin, Sara and I had a good time in Newport. We’ve got to see some places. Now, we know the size of Newport and Aquidneck Island. Next time, we can plan the trip better and know what to expect.


2022 · My Travel Journal · Rhode Island · USA

Travel Journal: Newport, Rhode Island (Part I)

April 15, 2022

Sara talked for months about going to Rhode Island. Since the girls have Spring Break, I started making plans for the last couple of weeks. Yesterday, Kevin, Sara and I drove to Newport and looked around a little bit. Mainly, we stayed in Thames Street, King Park, King Park Beach, Bowen’s Wharf, Washington Street, and Goat Island. The wind was gusty and cold at Newport Harbor. So, we made it short.

The photos above are from King Park and King Park Beach. Originally, we wanted to see Fort Adams. But we parked the car in Thames Street. And it was a long way to walk to the State Park. So, we took a nice stroll along King Park Beach to get to Rochambeau Statue and Monument. Kevin, Sara and I had a nice view of Newport across Newport Harbor. Newport has tons of wharves. Right now, it is still too early for sailing. But I can imagine the harbor will be full with boats in Summer. Newport also has a lot of history. It would take days to visit all these places and take all the information in. I believe this will be more interesting for Sara, when she’s older and hangs out with her friends. However, she got herself a nice small piece of Amethyst crystal in one of the tourist stores. She loves to collect crystal stones.

… to be continued …

2022 · Connecticut · My Travel Journal · USA

The Watertown Center Historical District (Part I)

Built in 1894, this classic structure is nothing short of a historic treasure. Throughout the first half of its life in particular, it was the very center of Watertown life for many generations. Hundreds of town meetings held here resulted in decisions that affected everyday life in our community. Court hearings were held here, marriage licenses were issued, and this is where everyone gathered to celebrate the end of WWI. In Summer 2020, the town has moved on to a new Town Hall. The fate of this landmark is unclear. Its history remains our common legacy.

Resource: http://watertownhistorymuseum.org/which-town-hall/