The Nepaug Reservoir

New Hartford has two major reservoirs within it: the Compensating Reservoir on the Farmington River and the Nepaug Reservoir on the Nepaug River. Both of these reservoir systems were designed for supplying Hartford with drinking water. Today, the surrounding MDC land creates a great deal of the open space in New Hartford, though this land, although given the highest protection possible by the MDC, is not actually protected as open space. The Nepaug Reservoir began to be discussed in the early twentieth century and was actually built in the 1930’s; concerns about the lack of drinking water and adequate fire protection had begun to be discussed in the 1890’s. The reservoir covered nearly 850 acres of the Nepaug River valley. In this valley were two cemeteries, much of the Nepaug village, and a number of farms. It has been estimated that even in a dry year the Nepaug Reservoir supplies Hartford with 26,000,000 gallons a day.
Although the popular consensus was that the loss of the Nepaug village was minor, in comparison to the public benefit; it was a major and traumatic change for New Hartford. The Nepaug valley had been an equal to both the town center and Bakerville in the nineteenth century in terms of local importance. The village was never very compact, rather it spread out down the river. Consequently, part of the village still remains. However, newspapers of the era record a number of homes and farms that dated back to the earliest years of New Hartford, which are now lost beneath the water.
Today Rte. 202 runs above the reservoir, but the original road ran through the bottom of the valley, along the river.



Filed under Villages

2 responses to “The Nepaug Reservoir

  1. Pingback: Back in the Saddle « onesmallmoment

  2. Anthony Newman

    After the dam was built, rte 202 ran over the dam and through Collinsville, before the bypass was bult above the reservoir.

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