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You never know what you might stumble across (makes me appreciate having my iPhone)

June 21, 2013

I was out with the family last night, and we stopped at a local business for my wife. While she was inside, one of my daughters caught sight of what looked like an old factory through the trees. So the two of us went exploring and came across what turned out to be the ruins of the old Oakland Mills in Manchester.  The mill looks to have had a major fire, as primarily it is the exterior brick walls which I could see.  While I never knew this was here, it is apparently well known to anyone walking the Union Pond section of the Hockanum River Linear Trail (a series of trails through East Hartford, Manchester and Vernon).  I need to go back with more time and my camera!

iPhone, with LR edits

iPhone, with LR edits

iPhone, with edits in LR, PSE, Topaz DeNoise and Adjust

iPhone, with edits in LR, PSE, Topaz DeNoise and Adjust

According to the article from the Manchester Historical Society, by Susan Barlow

“In the northern section of what would become Manchester in 1823, there was Oakland, a village that housed workers at the Oakland mills. Remains of the brick mills still sit right next to the Hockanum River along Oakland Street (Route 83) at the junction of Tolland Turnpike. From the road, the mills look mysterious and romantic, although they have probably deteriorated beyond repair.
These paper mills were established in 1784 by Butler and Hudson, and operated under various owners and through various reorganizations, manufacturing high-quality papers, including bank-note paper and all the post-card paper for the U.S. government.
In 1899, the American Writing Paper Company, an early conglomerate, bought the Oakland Mill, and replaced former wooden buildings with brick.
Like many businesses, the paper mills suffered financially during the Depression, and went out of business in 1933. Dexter Company bought the mills and processed pulp there for a while. Other businesses have used the buildings since then, including Raybestos, Conyers (cement casting), and a recycling center. “


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