Quechee State Park
Hartford, Vermont 05001
Deweys Landing webpage
Quechee State Park webpage
Quechee State Park map
Also, see Quechee State Park
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Deweys Mill Pond was created in 1869 by the A.G. Dewey Mill Company. A major wool processing mill from the 19th century, the mill employed over 500 people during its heyday; many of whom lived in Deweys Mill Village.
The Town of Hartford has a boat ramp, Deweys Landing, on Deweys Mill Pond.
About Quechee State Park
Quechee State Park’s location along Route 4 and its proximity to many upper-valley attractions make it a popular tourist destination. Hundreds of thousands of visitors stop each year to take in the breathtaking views of the Quechee Gorge. Other visitors seeking an overnight stay enjoy easy access to the park’s spacious campsites.
The focal point of the park is Vermont’s deepest gorge, formed by glacial activity approximately 13,000 years ago. Visitors can look down at the Ottauquechee River, flowing 165 feet below viewing points along Route 4.
The land on which the park is located was originally owned by the A. G. Dewey Company, a major wool processor in the 19th century. Mr. Dewey settled in the Quechee area around 1869, establishing a woolen mill. The Dewey Company was a very successful processor of wool and employed as many as 500 people, many in the mill village.
Water from falls and the mill pond just above the gorge were used to power the facility. Dewey began making fine satinets in 1836, and shoddy (reworked used wool) in 1841. Numerous machinery and product inventions were created here, including Sheep’s Grey and Dewey’s Gray which were trademarked in 1875. Both types of wool were known for general excellence throughout the country and became the standard fabric for roller coverings in cotton mills.
By 1936 this was the oldest mill in the country making shoddy. Some of the material was used to make baseball uniforms for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, and blankets for the US Army and Navy.
The mill was closed in 1952 and relocated to Enfield, New Hampshire. Over the next several years, nearly all of the mill houses and buildings were demolished. Remains of mill and dam can still be seen at the head of the gorge.
The park had its beginnings almost immediately after the mill closed. That same year the US Army Corps of Engineers began taking land in the area as part of a large flood control plan, which included the construction of the North Hartland Dam. Construction of the campground and picnic areas began later, in the spring of 1962.
In 1965, the State of Vermont leased the park from the Army Corps and turned over the management and operations of the property to the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.
Today, the park campground is located in what used to be the mill’s recreation area. The area that is now the park’s playfield contained a skeet range, baseball diamond, and picnic area. All that remains of this past activity are a few foundations of fireplaces and pieces of broken clay pigeons.
Located next to Quechee Gorge is a picnic area with a pit toilet and a hiking trail along the gorge.
From Quechee State Park webpage