Urban Archeologist: Lovers Leap — Then and Now

A worthwhile sidetrack.


Connecticut is a great place to call home, much of the state is still undeveloped and many area towns have small, medium, and large parks to explore and enjoy.

One of my favorites is Lovers Leap Park in New Milford. Recently restored in the past five years, it has much to offer casual hiker or explorers. There is plenty of parking, century-old factory ruins, a grand lookout steeped in Native American folklore, and an iron lenticular truss bridge from 1895 as the park’s centerpiece.

What makes these spots even more fun is discovering the history around them. I was looking for a dig this past weekend and was headed in the direction of an estate sale in Kent. However, I often get sidetracked along the way by another sign, and another, and another. It sounds like a bad case of short-attention-span-itis, but actually, it has its benefits.

On the Western side of Candlewood Lake in New Milford, among the many lake communities, I found a stray estate sale. Though these sales may seem ghoulish, in that someone has moved on or moved out, it is also a way of providing extra income to the owner, or estate, and an inexpensive way to clear out clutter instead of sending it all to the dump.

This was an old summer cottage that had never been updated, possibly since being winterized in the 1950s, and included a narrow staircase leading to a second floor. I was immediately drawn to a unique photo album featuring embossed icons of each branch of the military on the cover. Though damaged, I was more interested in one of the few photos inside. I recognized it immediately. (See above.)

After purchasing the album, I found one more image inside that confirmed my theory. Fortunately, someone had written the photographer’s name, location, and approximate year taken on the back. Similar in condition, I knew the photos were from Lovers Leap. I find these fascinating because scenic vistas are a photographer’s favorite, and because the “leap” has been around for ages there are many images and postcards documenting the changing landscape below.

Take a look a several unique views of Lover’s Leap and rural Connecticut, here

I did finally make it to the Kent estate sale, but I am glad I got sidetracked along the way.

Greg Van Antwerp is a Brookfield resident and blogger, who can be found on the weekends in search of a good “dig” or a good story.  You can read more about his adventures by visiting his blog.


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