Page 8 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
P. 8

Wallingford Magazine - Summer, 2019
lighted to be introduced to the 1-1⁄2 minute ad for the “drug” Nature Rx. “Are you feeling tired? Irritable? Stressed out? You might consider prescription strength Nature. Shown to relieve the crippling symptoms of modern life, Nature can re- duce cynicism, meaninglessness and rage. Caution: Nature may cause you to slow down. Warning: Nothing in Nature is clickable. So, ask your doctor if Nature is right for you.” With its scenic views of the outdoors, the spoof ad beckons us to cure our nature deficit disorder.” Mary Heffernon.
Now I will share some of the fascinating information I garnered from my conversation with Dianne Saunders.
Today, there are a total of 14 miles of trails at Tyler Mill Preserve. In the 1600s Pistapaug Pond existed where it is to- day on Whirlwind Hill Road. The Muddy River and Quinnipiac River were considered assets that made Wallingford a desir- able place to develop into a town.
Pound Hill connected Woodhouse Avenue and South Main Street. In 1697, the town approved the change of the name to Pond Hill Road and it was extended to what was then Peck’s Mill. After Tyler Mill was settled, about half of the farmers there attended church and used the general store on Old Post Road in Northford. Some of the older Tyler Mill in- habitants are buried in the Northford Cemetery.
In 1726, Mr. Peck sold shares of the mill. It was subse- quently sold to the Tyler Family. Tyler Mill was a village then. Many people were there as was the Muddy River School- house. The schoolhouse was on Tyler Mill Road. Pond Hill Road extended to the top of the S-Curve and and ‘Greengate
Road’, which is now blocked across the Muddy River.
In the 1800s and up until 1950, the New Haven Water Company was buying up farms and land with water sources to manage the supply of water to New Haven. The mill at Tyler Mill was used for cutting timber and as a grist mill. Later it
was used for cider-making.
Before 1850, the Tyler Mill area was all farms. The land
had all been deforested to enable the farming of crops and pastures.
There are different types of trees in different areas. For instance, Pine River (where Mackenzie Reservoir is now) had hemlocks and pines on its banks. The Tamarac Swamp area in the preserve has Tamarack trees. Tamarac Road was mis- spelled on the original road sign and the town left it as it was spelled. The original acreage of Tyler Mill was 743 acres.
In 1978, when Rocco Vumbaco was mayor, the town bought 743 acres back from the New Haven Water Company, from East Dayton Hill and Woodhouse Avenue to Tamarac Swamp Road. In the 1980s the town used town funds and grants to buy more land parcels including the Sartori Farm and several other parcels, bringing the total acreage to 1000. The Muddy River Conservation Area now totals 1400 acres in- cluding Bertini Park, McKenzie Reservoir, Vietnam Veteran’s Park, and more to the north. The Sartori Farms were bought in 1970. In 1973, the YMCA ceded its camp property that ran between Woodhouse Avenue and West Dayton Hill Road to the town.
Warren Williams’ property ran from East Center Street to Tamarac Swamp Road and abutted the preserve. It was sold to the town by the Williams family. It was 93 acres and was leased to farmers by the town. Today, the land to the east of
 Dianne Saunders shows a tree that was cut down.

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