Ships Trains Planes & Power – #1LinerWeds

Since I started this week with two posts about the Block Editor, I though a One-Liner about change would be appropriate.

Consider the photo below. It’s a little hard to see, but there are almost 400 years of transportation history in that one photo. Pssst, I’m using the Image Compare block.

The park from which I took the photo used to be part of the warehouse district (Warehouse Point) in East Windsor, Connecticut. Ships traveling up the Connecticut River had to stop there and unload their cargo. The river north of this spot contains rapids which preclude ship traffic. Cargo bound for Springfield, Massachusetts and points north was taken there by horse-drawn wagons.

Just west of the bank on the far side of the river is the southern terminus of the Windsor Locks Canal. In the 1830s, Irish immigrants came to the US to dig that canal (and many others) which carried ships around the rapids. This allowed ships to reach Springfield and beyond. The warehouses became redundant.

In addition, the water in the canal was used to power factories located on the industrial island between the Connecticut River and the Windsor Locks Canal. The canal drops 30′ (9.2m) from north to south. More than enough of a drop to power water-driven machines.

On the west edge of the canal, we see a freight train heading south, perhaps from as far north as Canada. The owners of the Windsor Locks Canal, sensing the end of their business, sold a right-of-way to the railroads. The factory owners maintained the canal because they used the water, first as a power source and later as a water source for steam engines.

A few yards west of the railroad tracks is Connecticut Route 159, which carried car and truck traffic south to Hartford and north to Springfield. A little farther to the left is Interstate-91, which carries cars and trucks from New Haven, Connecticut to the Canadian border in Vermont.

If you look close, you can see the power lines which bring electricity across the Connecticut River to a substation in Windsor Locks. This power source replaced the steam engines which had previously replaced the water.

The Windsor Locks Canal is still being maintained. The water is used in conjunction with a gas-fired co-generation power plant operated for Alstrom Corporation to power the paper mill that has been on the island for over 250 years.

Finally, if you look up, you can see two sets of contrails. Planes bound for or perhaps leaving Bradley International Airport (BDL) carrying all manner of cargo and passengers from who knows where to who knows where.

“The only constant is change.”

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

62 comments

  1. Love the shot of Maddie! She looks like she’s actually in the deck, brilliant. You are right about change, it is the only constant in our lives. No matter how hard we rail against it, it’s going to happen. And I did appreciate the history lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the one-liner! A lot of history packed in that one area alone.

    I can’t believe your forsythia is blooming. We’re only at the beginning bud stage. I think River’s bunny is already becoming a camera hog!

    Maddie looks so cute grabbing a few more minutes of fresh air and sunshine. Pam is right! Maddie looks like she’s standing down in a cutout in the deck. Funny. 🤗 Mimi is happy you’re not touching her feet.
    Ginger

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  3. It was chilly that morning, Ginger, Maddie is stealing heat from the decking and the riser for the stairs. She’s no dummy. Now the guy taking the picture, who wasn’t planning on sitting, is freezing. She does look like she in the deck.

    I was lucky to be at that park when the train and the planes were going by. I knew all these things about that area, but it never occurred to me how far back in time you can look from that point, and how much history is on display.

    Our neighbor’s forsythia is always an early bloomer, but ours are blooming, too. They just aren’t as stunning, because I have to prune them late in the year.

    MiMi does like it when Maddie and I leave without waking her up to say goodbye.

    I hope you are having a nice week!

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    • I knew you would like those photos, Peter. I thought of you when I was taking them. I have a picture (I try to remember to include it on Saturday) of an extension to the substation that I think was built to accommodate the co-gen plant. Part of the permit, which lets them draw water from the canal, requires them to provide backup power to the town’s offices. So they established a micro-grid for that purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The image compare block is a really cool feature, Dan. I had seen the feature used by photo software promos to show before and after images and did not realize that real people like us could produce that same effect. At a time when the president is putting forward a huge infrastructure proposal, it is really cool that you took a historical look at some of those elements in your area. The forsythias in my neighborhood have been in full bloom for a couple of weeks and tulips are now starting to bloom. Like so many others, I was struck by your photo of Maddie–I initially thought that you had digitally superimposed her image onto the deck. When I looked a little more closely I realized the effect had been created by your angle of view and the structure of the deck. Nice effect.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are lucky that things grew up around here the way they did. If it wasn’t for the industry on the island between the river and the canal, the canal walls would have crumbled. There are parts along the path where the canal runs in natural (well, man made) banks, but both ends are between stone walls, and there’s an aqueduct that carries the canal over a small brook. These have required constant maintenance, and I doubt the State would have ponied up the money. Infrastructure reaches a point where, if not maintained, it becomes fodder for future archeologists to figure out.

      My photo of Maddie was quite by accident, but it is an interesting look. We have tulips breaking through the ground, but they seem a long way from blooming. Still, we see a little more change each day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to be so resistant to change…but then I changed! It became a challenge for me and, surprise!, I enjoyed change. MiMi looks surprisingly alert. But I still would cut her a wide swath.
    Remember yesterday I told you all my Media was labeled ‘Invalid Date’? Today it is back with the actual dates….WP is so weird.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Resistance is futile :-) The picture of MiMi was taken later in the day. I normally snack a picture of here when I’m getting ready to take Maddie for a walk.

      I’m glad your dates came back. WP is weird.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Dan – it’s always amazing how much change has happened, particularly in the last 300 to 400 years … technological advance is enormous. Wonderful photos and summaries of life behind the trees or bushes etc … Mimi certainly looks more awake … there’s a lot of history buried beneath our feet … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved your post, Dan. I don’t know how you created the sliding image but that is impressive! I loved the other photos as well, but gosh, to go back and forth between the two beginning images, that’s amazing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gwen. That is one nice gesture of the Block Editor. That block is built in. I needed to add the arrows, otherwise, it’s hard to know there’s even a train in that picture

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    • Thanks Laura. As I mentioned in a reply to Mike (above) if it wasn’t for the fact that private companies have needed the water from the canal, it would have crumbled long ago. It’s future is secure for several more decades, but as technology continues to change, it’s hard to say how long that will work. about 90% of the canal is now part of a State Park. I’m hoping the whole canal can come under that level of official care.

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    • I think there are some good undiscovered features. I just wish it hadn’t taken so long to get comfortable with the basics (and I wish they would fix the things that don’t work well).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nicely done, Dan. What you said about there being “almost 400 years of transportation history in that one photo” made me think of my many trips to Civil War history parks (my particular passion). I’ll be standing there at some spot of incredible significance, historically speaking, and it strikes me how to the untrained eye, it’s just a field and some trees. Really makes you think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had that feeling when we took a horseback tour of Gettysburg, Paul. Without the knowledge of what had happened 150 years before, we wouldn’t know. It is a strange feeling. I’ve been to that park many times, but hearing the train and seeing the contrails made me think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a lot of transportation! By now in the 21st century, I really am disappointed that you aren’t able to add flying cars to the list and images.

    That great trestle bridge is already getting harder to see through the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been directed to your blog by Judy of New England Garden and Thread, who optimistically believes that some day, with enough effort, I might get a clue about this Block Editor. I don’t know if I ever will, but your posts about it give me some feeble hope. Meanwhile I’m seeing that there are many other things I can learn from your blog. Lots of good stuff here!

    Liked by 1 person

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