Chatham, CT: population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.
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New England > Connecticut > Chatham

Chatham, Connecticut

Middlesex county. The township of Chatham embraces Chatham parish, (formerly East Middletown,) the greater part of Middle Haddam parish, the parish of East Hampton, and a part of the parish of West Chester. It lies 16 miles S. from Hartford, and opposite to Middletown, from which it was taken in 1767. Population, 1830, 3,646. Chatham is watered by Salmon and Pine brooks and several ponds.—Job's pond, about 2 miles in circumference, has no outlet. It rises and falls about 15 feet. It rises for six or twelve months, and then falls for about the same period. It is highest in the driest season of the year, and lowest when there is most rain. It is from 40 to 60 feet deep. Chatham is noted for its valuable quarries of freestone. "For forty years past it has been extensively improved, and the stone, to the depth of thirty feet from the surface, are not removed over an area of an acre and a half, back from the river. The stone in this quarry is covered in some places with four or five feet of earth, and in others with four or five feet more of shelly rock. It is not perfectly solid, but lies in blocks, eight or ten feet thick, and fifty or sixty feet long. The seams and joints facilitate the process of removing these from their beds; and when removed, they are reduced by the wedge and chisel to any size or form which is wished. In this quarry thirty hands have been employed for several years, eight months in the year, and from four to six teams. The quantity of stone prepared for market, and sold to the inhabitants of this and the neighboring towns, and exported to distant parts of the country, has been very great; and has yielded a handsome profit. Fifty rods south of this quarry an opening was made about 1783, now spreading over half an acre. Here the stone is covered with about ten feet of earth. In this opening as many as twelve hands have been sometimes employed. Vessels come to this and the above quarry, and load from the bank. The bed of stone in which these and the smaller openings in the neighborhood have been made is immense, and lies at different depths from the surface in different places. It has been discovered in sinking wells, from half a mile in northern and southern directions, and has been opened at a greater distance eastward. Wherever found, the stone possesses the same general properties, but varies, like the freestone in Middletown, in the fineness of its texture."

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