Though it might be surprising, most dams in Connecticut are privately owned. So, to restore the natural flow of the state’s rivers, the Conservancy works with private owners such as businesses, families and individuals to remove dams.
In the case of the Norton Paper Mill Dam, Sally Harold worked directly with the Wasniewski family, which had owned the dam for generations.
“My grandfather’s business, the C.H. Norton Paper Company, used this dam to provide power to the mill, but over the years the mill has become a memory, having succumbed to modern technology,” says Nan Wasniewski. “But, I am excited that this land will have new life now that the dam is gone. Instead of an obsolete mill building, this area is becoming a recreation space for fishing, picnicking and playing. I think my parents and grandparents would be proud.”