THE OLD CONNECTICUT PATH
March - June, 2020
Did you know that an important footpath used by the Native Americans for centuries, and later used by the early English settlers passed by the southern end of Crystal Pond? And did you know that in 1636 a Puritan pastor named Thomas Hooker led 100 members of his congregation down this footpath from Newtown, MA to the Connecticut River Valley to found the city of Hartford?
Working with the Eastford Conservation & Historic Preservation Commission, the Park now has a new nature trail for you to enjoy. The Park Commission has installed a new trail-head sign and five small signs along our new "Old Connecticut Path Trail". Visit the park and read the signage to learn about the Old Connecticut Path, some local park history and nature found within the park.
March - June, 2020
The Park's kitchen had seen little improvement from its days as serving as the NAHACO Boy Scout Camp kitchen. The old pass-through dishwasher was unusable. The plumbing pipes and electrical conduits hung exposed on the walls. The flooring material was significantly ripped. Portions of the subfloor were uneven, rotted and needed replacement. The kitchen no longer met code requirements. A serious renovation was needed.
The aluminum panels covering the walls were removed and the kitchen was gutted down to its studs. All of the plumbing was removed and replaced with new PEX piping to support the new expanded sinks, and make the building easier to drain and winterize at the end of the season. The electrical wiring was also reworked to remove dead circuits and add additional GFI outlets to bring the kitchen up to code.
THE KITCHEN IN THE MIDST OF DEMOLITION
THE COMPLETED PROJECT
The walls are now covered with bright, white, easy-to-sanitize plastic panels. New laminate counter tops were installed. A new triple sink (with separate basins for washing, rinsing and sanitizing) along with a required grease trap were installed. A dedicated sink for hand washing was also added. A replacement water heater was relocated outside the kitchen in the nearby utility closet. New stainless steel shelving was purchased. The ceiling was painted. New lighting was added. And finally, the new easy-to-clean vinyl flooring completed the project.
RENOVATION OF THE LAKESIDE COTTAGE
September - October, 2018
The Lakeside Cottage was in very poor condition. It desperately needed paint. The roof leaked. Portions of the porch were rotted. It looked abandoned and attracted graffiti. The Commission debated whether to take the building down or to spend the time and money to renovate it. In the end, the decision was made to completely renovate the building and make it an attractive, usable, rentable and revenue producing asset for the Park.
CONDITION OF THE LAKESIDE COTTAGE AT THE START OF THE PROJECT
EACH WALL WAS REMOVED ONE BY ONE AND REBUILT
NEW DOORS AND WINDOWS WERE INSTALLED
THE COMPLETED PROJECT
The building was completed by installing new siding, new trim boards, new paint, and a new roof. Since its renovation, the Lakeside Cottage has served as the Director's Office / Nurse's Station for Day Camp, and has been rented with the Dining Hall for weddings and parties. The Lakeside Cottage is now available year around for short term rental - a perfect close to home "get away".
The interior walls of the cabin were covered with knotty pine tongue-and-groove boards. The cabin is furnished with a small refrigerator, cots, table and chairs, cabinet and blinds.
BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF THE LAKE FROM THE PORCH
REPAIR OF THE BOAT HOUSE (EXTERIOR)
September - October, 2019
The Boat House near the lagoon was an eyesore. It had been boarded up, had several broken windows, and it's only use was for off-season storage of Day Camp equipment. In September 2019, the Park Commission decided to focus on renovating the exterior of the building to improve its appearance and prevent further deterioration of the building. The interior has not yet been upgraded pending the Commission's decision on the best use of the building in the future.
THE COMPLETED PROJECT
The exterior was cleaned, repaired and painted. The windows were fixed. The rotted porch was repaired, and a new roof installed.
OTHER NEARBY BUILDINGS WERE ALSO PAINTED WITH THE SAME COLOR SCHEME
RENOVATION OF THE DINING HALL (EXTERIOR)
September, 2017 - May, 2018
The exterior of the Park Dining Hall was very uninviting. The windows were covered with dark hardware cloth (heavy screening). It badly needed repainting. Everything was a drab monochromatic dark brown.
OLD MONOCHROMATIC PAINT SCHEME
WORK IN PROGRESS
The old screens were removed and replaced with new custom screens. The siding, windows, window trim and porch railings were painted.
THE FINISHED PROJECT - WITH NEW PAINT SCHEME & NEW SCREENS
Amateur PDGA C-Tier Tournament
Saturday, March 17, 2018
On a cold Saturday in March, 54 hardy and determined regional disc golf players descended upon Crystal Pond Disc Golf Course to participate in "Tourney 54", an Amateur-Only PDGA C-Tier tournament organized by Green Light Disc Golf. The tournament started in the early morning at West Thompson Disc Golf Course, where they played a full round of 18 holes. They then traveled to Crystal Pond Park where they played a second round of 18 holes. The air temp was only 28 deg F when they arrived at Crystal Pond Park. There was also about a foot of snow on the ground left over from a Nor'easter four days earlier. After completing the Crystal Pond Course, the players then traveled to Rapscallion Disc Golf Course in Fiskdale, MA to play a third round of 18 holes. 54 holes in all, in one long and challenging day of disc golfing.
John P. Smith, Chris Calmeiro and Cody Meddis tied with a score of 52 for the best performance on the Crystal Pond Park leg of the tournament.
To see more pictures from "Tourney 54", click on the button on the right.
Damage From Wind & Rain Storm
on October 29, 2017
Heavy winds during an overnight storm caused a large oak tree close to the Dining Hall to blow over. The tree was severely weakened by extensive insect damage in the lower trunk of the tree. Fortunately, the tree fell in a direction away from the Dining Hall. Damage was limited to a crushed picnic table.
P.S. As a result of seeing the severe decay in the fallen tree, the other trees around the Dining Hall were examined, and several other trees were found to be deteriorating. They were taken down to prevent possible damage to the building in the future.