River Road, Shelton, Fairfield County, Connecticut
Merritt Parkway north to Exit 52 for Route 8 (General Samuel Jaskilka Highway) north; get off at exit 14; turn left onto Kneen Street; turn left onto Route 110 north; follow to Riverview park on the right.
1673 – in today’s park, the Pootatuck Indians built a fort on Fort Hill to try to keep the white man from coming up the Housatonic River.
1891 (January) – spring rains and huge ice jams washed out the Derby Shelton Dam.
1891 (October) -- the Derby Shelton Dam rebuilt. The Shelton side of the dam is viewed from a cliff in today’s Park, while the Derby side is close to the water.
Riverview Park was the first park to be built in Shelton. The land was secured by David Plumb, who selected the site, financed it, and laid out the grounds.
The trolley would bring park-goers to picnic and watch the Yale team races.
1912 postcard --- shows the presence of a gazebo in the park.
1950 – the War Memorial building built. Markers with the names of Shelton soldiers line the walkway.
2 baseball fields, 2 basketball courts, playground, picnic area, trails, War Memorial Building
9/30/2005. This was the first cold morning where we needed something more than just long-sleeved shirts. With me were Ceferino Santana and dog Santana. We parked at the southern end of the Park by the ball fields. This probably is not a good place to park but since the gate was to the field was closed anyway, we figured we could get away with it.
And this was a good place to park because at this end one can walk down to the fishing platform by the Housatonic River. The Park is on a cliff and down below once can see the railway tracks and factories in the background. At the southeastern tip of the Park there are stairs that head downhill to the railway tracks. Turn right and walk along the railway tracks. A short distance down, once can walk into a side street along some kind of factory. Turn left and walk down to the gates and walk through. A sign says: Fishermen Welcome. And another says: "All welcome."
A sign tells about the site's past:
1867 -- Shelton Locks from the Housatonic River to the canal system were built. There were three sets of locks to raise boats. Each of the three locks raised the canal boat ten feet until the boat reached canal level. A wooden gate divided off each section from each other.
Derby Hydroelectric Plants. Historic gate house, open 5 days a week, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m..
The canal is on the left and the river on the right. Walking on the median the dam comes into view. It is a very low dam with accompanying water falls over the structure. Its a pretty sight. Walk down to the end of the median and then turned left to head over to the railway tracks. From there turn left and head south back to the Park stairs heading up hill. It makes for a nice loop walk.
We did not walk through the rest of Riverview Park. I figured my wife would probably enjoy coming to this site to see the Housatonic River and the dam. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
To get to the Derby side of the dam, by the factory, turn right, and continue to the parking lot. Here is the old dam house.
Riverview Park, Shelton, CT Photos: http://sheltonct.newenglandsite.com/park-riverview.htm
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plants blooming on field trip, 9/30/2005
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus sp. (ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Pinus sp. (pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Salix alba var. (weeping willow)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Aster spp. (small white asters) *
Centaurea jacea (brown knapweed) *
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) *
Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod) *
Solidago spp. (goldenrod) *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panic grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue-stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
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