There’s something about old mills that make you pay attention to them. Like an old cemetery, they stand as a reminder of an earlier time that has moved on. Old mills have stored the energy of hundreds of people who labored hard and spilled their sweat amid conditions that today would be considered hazardous to employees.
Some old mills still stand as home to new thriving businesses within their old walls. Some have been abandoned for years. And some keep on an old worker or two who never left when their earthly shift was done.
The old Hydeville Company mill was built in 1860 around water from the Hydeville Pond in Stafford CT. It has seen a few businesses over its time, but the longest running was the Phoenix Woolen Mill that existed from 1868 through 1939. For most of its life the Phoenix Mill was run by Edwin C. Pinney and his son Charles B. Pinney.
After Phoenix closed a few other businesses popped up in the building, but didn’t last.
Today, this huge place sits in neglect and disrepair – although there is evidence that others are still using a part of it that is somehow still standing. The place is crumbling down around itself. It’s a ghost of what it once was. It makes you wonder why those that still occupy a part of it haven’t tried more to save the building. It’s even beautiful in its neglect and disrespect.
The property consists of two main mill buildings at 104 and 108 Hydeville Road. Included in the original plan for the mill businesses were multi-family employee housing units. One was located on East Street, three on Hydeville Road, and two on Satkowski Drive. Of all the housing, the places on Satkowski Drive most hugged the shores of Hydeville Pond near a small waterfall.
We wanted to check the old mill out and were going to ask anyone there if it would be alright to look around the buildings that are still standing, but the place was locked up and there’s chain link fencing around access to doors. So, instead we walked around the area and stopped to observe Hydeville Pond as it was probably a water power source for the mill. The place seemed like a wonderful area to enjoy nature. But – it wasn’t. The idyllic area soon turned odd. Birds stopped chirping and everything took on a quiet darkness.
As we took a look at what seemed to be a small pond above a little dam and waterfall there was a whitish mist that floated over the area. It moved and started meandering between the trees. The apparition, or whatever it was, floated above the pond, darted to the left and hung over the shore on a property that must abut the pond at that point.
It was weird and the whitish figure didn’t move.
Not really knowing the area, we left and decided to see what else could be seen of the pond. We drove out of what I think is Hydeville Road and went to the left. You could see the pond from the backside of where the water went over the small falls. There was a lot of vegetation both in the water and around the road side area to the water. This place is listed as a ‘reservoir’ – it looks more like a puddle.
All of a sudden a large orb manifested near the shore, at about the same point we had seen it earlier from the waterfall area. It floated a bit more to the right toward what must have been someone’s yard just off shore. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. After a few minutes, the orb reappeared next to the shore of the pond and again moved into the yard it seemed to have gone into previously.
Maybe something happened to a mill worker or their family in that area. It would be good to delve into old records of that time, but given what world conditions are these days, that investigation is going to have to wait.