Quinebaug River

The Quinebaug River flows through my home town, Putnam CT. The waterfall shots were taken just after sundown, when I could open the shutter for a second or two and not burn out the picture. This time lapse is what gives the river that silky look. 1925 is the year that the main, downtown, bridge which crosses the river was built.

The “rapids” picture was also taken at dusk but when the wind was gusting up the river as it flowed away from the camera. It was also, I recall, darn cold!

The Quinebaug River and Putnam became briefly famous in 1955 when a double whammy of back-to-back hurricanes caused massive flooding in the area and devastated the downtown core. The worst part of the devastation was the fact that the magnesium plant, which was located downtown on the river, also flooded. Magnesium is highly reactive and burns white hot and immediately in the presence of enough oxygen to fire it, even air, so water really sets it off. The series of explosions at the plant lasted for over two days. Here is a clip on that catastrophe.

Signs of the 1955 flood are still in the town today, if you know where to look for them. The downtown “river walk” for example—a place where Lyn and I often run and where a great many pictures on this blog were taken—is a park built on river-side land that once held buildings and railroad tracks torn up by the flood, but is now zoned as non-habitable. Old stone, train track foundations are also visible, close to the new tracks which were re-routed in the subsequent rebuild. For example, look closely at the first picture below of a trellis walking bridge. The bottom of the old train track trellis would have sat atop the stone foundation that you see the walking bridge go through.

Before viewing the photographs, I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.

Just a simple ride - Putnam, CT

Just a simple ride – Putnam, CT

By the banks of the old mill - Putnam, CT

By the banks of the old mill – Putnam, CT

And you thought you were old - Putnam, CT

And you thought you were old – Putnam, CT

The falls 1 - Putnam, CT

The falls 1 – Putnam, CT

The falls 2 - Putnam, CT

The falls 2 – Putnam, CT

Then 3 - Putnam, CT

Then 3 – Putnam, CT

And 4 - Putnam, CT

And 4 – Putnam, CT

Rapids? - Putnam, CT

Rapids? – Putnam, CT

All photographs and comments ©2014 by John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.

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