Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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One of the most interesting things about aerial photographs is to compare the historic photographs with modern ones and see how land use has changed over time. Farm lands dwindle and forests develop or the number of roads and buildings increases as the years go by. A very dramatic change occurred in the towns of Hartland and Barkhamsted in northern Connecticut. 1934 Aerial Survey photographs 8789 to 8801 are among the group that show the farms, meadows and forests of the villages of Barkhamsted Hollow and Hartland Hollow in the valley of the east branch of the Farmington River in northern Connecticut. The modern photographs show a large body of water. Two years after the 1934 photographs were taken, the Metropolitan District Commission, which had been buying the land since 1927, stripped it of all itís lumber and buildings. The Saville Dam was finished in 1940 and by 1948 the valley was completely flooded to create the Barkhamsted Reservoir. A similar story occurred in the towns of Redding and Weston, when a dam was constructed in 1940 and flooded the village of Valley Forge to create the Saugatuck Reservoir.
The 8,731 photographs from the 1934 aerial survey are available online at Connecticut's Aerial Surveys at the Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. Our website describes how to access other yearsí aerial surveys, both online and in the original in the Research Guide to Aerial Photographs at the Connecticut State Library.
The History of Aerial Photography in Connecticut includes links to an article and photographs taken from a hot air balloon in 1885 by John G. Doughty.
"Save the Saugatuck" by Roger Burlingame. In Connecticut circle v.1:no.5 1938:May p.30-31 [CSL call number: F 91 .C62]
"A valley flooded : to slake the Capital Regionís thirst" by Kevin Murphy. In Hog River Journal. v.4:no.1 2005-2006:Winter. About the Barkhamsted Reservoir. [CSL call number: F 104 .H3 H64]
Village of the dammed : the fight for open space and the flooding of a Connecticut town [by] James Lomuscio. Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, 2005. [CSL call number: HD 243 .C8 L66 2005]. About the Saugatuck Reservoir.