About us: history, genealogy, Americana Catalog



Blackberry River Walk - 2003

The Seventh Annual Blackberry River Walk was held SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2003

Here are some photos from that day (the weather could not have been better!)

(click on any of the pictures to see larger versions)

start_sign.jpg (58521 bytes)

River Walk starts HERE!

registration.jpg (66892 bytes)

Registration, at the North Canaan Congregational Church (located in East Canaan). (Some history:  For many years North Canaan had two Congregational churches which merged a few years ago, with this as the surviving entity.  Many people still (incorrectly) refer to this one the "East Canaan church". (Elsewhere on this website you can find indexes to two "Manuals" of the other North Canaan Congregational church (correctly, the "Pilgrim Church")).  

beforehand.jpg (68075 bytes)

Some of the principals in discussion beforehand ("people-mover" in background)

fred_hall.jpg (37085 bytes)

Fred Hall, North Canaan Town Historian, warmly welcomed everyone


ron_speaking.jpg (48508 bytes)

Ron Jones speaking 

bill_adam_speaking.jpg (54091 bytes)

Dr. William Adam speaking

the_walk_starts.jpg (75778 bytes)

The walk starts -- from the church to the "new" education building

office_main_room.jpg (51598 bytes)

In the main room of the former office -- where workers would have waited for the paymaster's window to open

in_the_vault.jpg (54685 bytes)

Viewing the exhibits in the former vault

leonard_richardson.jpg (40137 bytes)

Part of the exhibition:  Leonard Richardson, one of the founders of the Barnum Richardson Company

beckley_1880.jpg (62540 bytes)

More of the exhibition:  Beckley Furnace in 1880

basement_1.jpg (77110 bytes)

Plenty of industrial archaeology still to be done -- in the basement of the education building

basement_2.jpg (67418 bytes)

More industrial archaeology to be done

basement_3.jpg (56457 bytes)

Wonder how many years ago these were canned?

clowning.jpg (85620 bytes)

It was hard to be TOO serious on such a beautiful day!  The paymaster's office is the building in the background.


ed_kirby_teaching.jpg (73691 bytes)

We all moved down to the Beckley Furnace itself, where we heard from Ed Kirby, Walt Landgraf, and other experts  

audience_listening.jpg (77689 bytes)

Definitely an interested audience.  Many walk participants had ancestors who lived in the area or were involved in the historic iron industry

about_charcoal.jpg (79383 bytes)

We learned lots about the charcoal industry that supported the iron industry

charcoal_model.jpg (75107 bytes)

A scale model of a charcoal pit

colliers_basket.jpg (75309 bytes)

A surviving collier's basket -- used in the charcoal making process

passing_stuff_around.jpg (73649 bytes)

Plenty of time to pass pictures around and ask questions of the experts


waterbury_republican_photographer.jpg (86422 bytes)

The Waterbury Republican covered the day

photo_op.jpg (88064 bytes)

...but there was plenty of amateur photography going on, too!

still_walkin.jpg (72783 bytes)

Soon we proceeded on down Lower Road to see some of the other sites 

foundation_in_the_woods.jpg (115489 bytes)

There are  foundations still visible of buildings for which we don't know the original use (but we do know that a blacksmith was the last occupant of this one).

lower_dam.jpg (76295 bytes)

The lower dam provided water power for the furnaces below Beckley.  After the flood in the 1950s it became unstable and was dynamited.  The feed pipe is still visible in the center of the ruin, however.

fisherman.jpg (107106 bytes)

We didn't disturb a fisherman taking advantage of a pool below where the dam used to be

what_is_it.jpg (117066 bytes)

We know that this structure was involved in converting water power to furnace blast -- but it's still under discussion exactly how it worked.

more_what_is_it.jpg (109424 bytes)

The experts were present, so some enthusiastic (and productive) discussions ensued.

salamander_in_a_field.jpg (99025 bytes)

Here's a salamander recently discovered near East Canaan #3

speakers.jpg (61430 bytes)

Here are some of the day's expert speakers.

about_the_furnace_in_a_field.jpg (76721 bytes)

We heard from Walt Michaels, a descendant of the last tenders of Beckley furnace (his depictions of the iron making process are on exhibit in the educational center).

here_comes_the_tractor.jpg (63760 bytes)

After a short delay due to a flat tire, the people-mover arrived on the scene

east_canaan_number_4.jpg (46429 bytes)

Walt showed us what may be the last (perhaps only)  surviving photo of East Canaan #4 -- the furnace that never went into blast.

land_of_nod.jpg (66846 bytes)

The Michaels family treated us to a picnic lunch at Bill Adam's Land of Nod Winery

picnic_1.jpg (67788 bytes)

...and after all that walking and talking, the food surely was good

picnic_2.jpg (69226 bytes)

...and enjoyed by all!

The day was both fun and informative, both for those who had walked before and for newcomers who wanted to start learning why they live on Old Forge Road, Puddlers’ Lane, Hammertown Road, or Ore Hill Road -- as well as those whose ancestors helped name them!

Join us next year!!


Friends of Beckley Furnace to go to the Friends of Beckley Furnace website.  There you'll find current information about the Blackberry River Walk!

Falls Village - Canaan Historical Society to return to the web page for the Falls Village - Canaan Historical Society

Iron page at Between the Lakes Group to return to Between the Lakes Group's Iron page

Visit our BLOG



Find us on Facebook

Contacting us:

Between the Lakes Group is located at 372 Between the Lakes Road, in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  More specifically, we're in Taconic -- a hamlet  in the Twin Lakes area of the Town of Salisbury.  Questions about us or about our products?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  

Postal address:
Post Office Box 13
          Taconic, CT  06079-0013
Electronic mail:
Please Contact us to contact us via e-mail