Most people in the area are familiar with the Satan’s Kingdom launch site on the Farmington River. Owned by the state, this popular site, just upstream of the Route 44 bridge in New Hartford, hosts a booming tubing industry each summer, as well as giving access to countless fishermen and hikers (it is an access point for the Tunxis Blue Blaze Trail).
The parking lot, angling off from Route 44: a long paved stretch that gently angles away from the road, with a sharp, final bend right before the river is entirely unmemorable.
Except….that parking lot? It is actually the old, original road. The road that existed before the 1955 Flood, before the death and destruction which visited that site, where once the Dewdrop Inn stood and where nearly an entire family died in the floodwaters of August, 1955.
Today’s road towers above the old alignment, a concrete statement that the devastating floods of the Upper Farmington valley would not be permitted again. So much was changed in that summer that locations in the town are not always easily recognized.
We hope that our exhibit, coming in August, will explore these sweeping changes.