Home |  Geography |  History |  Biology |  Recreation |  News |  Resources
News Items |  Next Newsletter 
2011 - Issue 1

Introducing The Tankerhoosen

The Tankerhoosen Valley is a unique treasure. It's only a little over five miles long, yet contains a Class A trout stream, three hundred years of history, numerous ponds and dams, an extensive trail system, National Heritage sites, endangered species and many parks and gardens.

Living or playing in the Valley you are familiar with a few of the features; yet as I did, may overlook or take for granted its many features and rich history. As you crisscross the area in your car you are unaware of what lies just over the hill or behind the trees.

This website and newsletter have been created to give you an appreciation for the Tankerhoosen Valley, to help you explore the region that drew many of us to live or play here. Our hope is that it will deepen your connection with the land, increase your enjoyment of it, and connect you more deeply to the community of people who share your interests and values.

The website is a work in progress and will grow in bits and pieces. It is our intention to publish the newsletter six times each year, while keeping us connected on Facebook at other times. It is also intended to be a collaboration with all the other organizations and groups that relate to the Valley, who will, hopefully, contribute information here or add it to their own websites.

We also hope our efforts will help to protect and preserve the natural resources of the Valley by increasing your awareness of what is worth protecting, of the challenges that development brings to the area, and how you can make your voice heard.

Many cultures recognize the Spirit of Place; the Romans called it 'genius loci.' It refers to the unique, distinctive and cherished aspects of a place. It is as much in the invisible weave of culture (stories, art, memories, beliefs, histories, etc.) as it is the tangible physical aspects of a place (monuments, boundaries, rivers, woods, pathways, views, and so on). It is this feeling of place I hope this website will foster, the Spirit of the Tankerhoosen.

For our first issue we intended to take items from various parts of the Valley to highlight the different sections of the website. However, with the donation of the Talcottville Gorge to the Northern Connecticut Land Trust this issue of the newsletter focuses on that event, the Gorge, the people and organization involved in the gift.

Please forward this newsletter to friends and neighbors who have an interest in the Tankerhoosen Valley and encourage them to sign up for the newsletter and on Facebook. We also welcome contributions and information on the Valley and expect some additions and corrections of the material shown. We're experts on nothing and interested in everything. If you would like to be removed from this mailing you can 'unsubscribe' at the bottom of the page.

Jon Roe   

» Go to The Tankerhoosen website

» Back to Top 

Geography: The Tankerhoosen Valley

You probably know that the Tankerhoosen River extends from Golfland and the old Vernon Circle to Exit 67 and the Walker Reservoir, about five miles in length and 325 feet in rise. But what is the extent of the Tankerhoosen Valley, the watershed that drains into the river? You drive through the valley whenever you are on I-84, follow one edge when you drive up Route 30, and crisscross the valley as you pass north and south from Bolton and Manchester.

Begin with an overview of the valley's geography so you can appreciate its extent and become aware when you enter and leave it. You'll begin to get a sense of the valley as a single entity and an awareness of the features it contains in areas you may never have explored.

Tankerhoosen is a Native American name meaning 'towards the fast flowing and winding stream.' It has been called the Tancahoosen and derives from the Podunk and Nipmunk 'wattunkshau-oos'e'.

Less than 13 square miles in area, most of the valley is in Vernon, but it also extends into Tolland, Bolton and Manchester. There are six main tributaries, a dozen ponds and as many dams along its route. In future issues of the Tankerhoosen Newsletter we'll explore each of these to give you a real knowledge and understanding of the features.

» Go to Tankerhoosen Valley Overview

» Back to Top 

News: Talcott Family Donates Gorge To Land Trust

The big news this issue is the donation of the 20 acre Talcottville Gorge by the Talcott Family to the Northern Connecticut Land Trust; thus preserving this unique section of the river and its history for current and future generations to explore and enjoy. One of the things that makes our river valley special is that most of it is undeveloped. Many groups and individuals have worked to protect this resource and continue to do so. We are fortunate that many of the landowners along the river appreciate its uniqueness and value as a natural resource and are willing to work to preserve it.

» Go to donation article

Items in the news that affect or take place in the Tankerhoosen Valley can be found in our News Section, often with links to the full story. These items will also appear on our Facebook Page between issues of the Newsletter. Here are recent stories you can read more about in this section:

  • Residents willing to pay for open space
  • Talcott's donate Gorge to NCLT
  • FOVF Farm receives funding
  • Arctic Splash benefits fall victim
  • Grant received for watershed protection

» Go to News Items
» Go to Facebook Page

» Back to Top 

Feature: The Talcottville Gorge

A description and photos of the Talcottville Gorge. To acquaint you with all that our Valley contains we'll focus on one or two features in each issue of the Newsletter and create a separate page for each. Over time you will be able to explore the Valley from your computer and we hope to entice you to visit many of them.

It's fitting this issue that we start with the Gorge and give you some idea why this area is so special and what you will find there. The area contains a unique geological feature in the Gorge itself, but is also the site of some of the earliest mills in the Valley.

» Go to Talcottville Gorge

» Back to Top 

Trails: Gorge Loop

The Tankerhoosen Valley is blessed with many trails including a section of the Shenipsit Blue Blaze Trail; Hop River Extension Rails-To-Trails; Valley Falls, Belding and NCLT property trails. We'll take you on virtual hikes along each of these pointing out what to look for along the way and encourage you to explore for yourselves.

Our first hike is the loop trail from Vernon Depot through Talcottville and back through the Talcottville Gorge. This two mile hike includes more history and grand scenery than any other in the Valley. Hopefully come Spring we'll be able to offer some guided walks through the area, but in the meantime this fairly extensive description will help you discover the area.

Along the way you'll discover what for us was a hidden gem, the Mount Hope Cemetery in Talcottville. Unless you know where to look or live in the area you probably didn't know Talcottville had a cemetery; we didn't. Before we show you the location do you know of it? Until very recently there were no signs and the entrances are disguised as driveways.

Enjoy this walk of discovery.

» Go to Gorge Loop Trail
» Go to Mount Hope Cemetery

» Back to Top 

History: The Talcott Family

The Tankerhoosen Valley is rich in history as well as natural beauty. To really connect with the land and water we also need to know the people who lived and worked here and discover the events and construction that shaped the Valley. In this section of the website we'll focus on these people and places.

The Talcott name is familiar to everyone in the area through the village of Talcottville and it appears throughout town in areas such as Talcott Park in Rockville. Yet how many know the contributions of one of the families that have been influential in the area for nearly 300 years and have had a major impact on the Valley, and indeed all of the area. This article is a brief introduction, but should give you some familiarity with the Talcott Family through whose generosity the Gorge is now preserved.

» Go to Talcott Family

» Back to Top 

Tank Tales: Talcottville As A Company Town

Every place has stories that are passed along at family gatherings, local churches or whenever people gathered. They add and help create a sense of place. For the many of us without generational roots in the area we have never heard the stories and as the town has grown the stories are lost to history. In this section we'll share some of them with you.

At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the early nineteenth century paternalistic mill and factory owners created the first planned communities, often named for their founders. They were intended to avoid the exploitation and degradation of workers common in so many English factory towns. Talcottville was one such community.

» Go to Talcottville As A Company Town

» Back to Top 

Organization: Northern Connecticut Land Trust

There are many groups and organizations involved in maintaining and preserving the Tankerhoosen Valley. Some are town commissions such as the Vernon Conservation Commission, some are preservation groups such as the Friends Of Valley Falls and some are advocacy groups such as Smart Growth For Vernon. Most succeed because of volunteers as few have paid positions. Each newsletter we'll highlight one of these groups by developing a Profile of it and indicate how you might be able to provide support.

Our first organization is the Northern Connecticut Land Trust, the new owner and steward of the Talcottville Gorge. The Land Trust owns and manages over 1,200 acres in nine north central Connecticut towns. Most are open to the public and many have marked trails. They own or manage seven properties in Vernon and six within the Tankerhoosen Valley. See their Profile for property descriptions.

Consider supporting the NCLT by becoming a member or, if you have time and enjoy the outdoors, as a volunteer. Numbers matter when applying for grants.

» Go to NCLT Profile
» See full list of Supporting Organizations

» Back to Top 

Blog: Why The Tankerhoosen?

The Tankerhoosen Blog is a place for occasional commentary, observation, opinion and any other material that doesn't fit neatly on the website pages.

This first blog entry provides the back story on how this website and newsletter came to be and a little of what we hope it will accomplish.

By drawing attention to the Tankerhoosen Valley as the unique resource it is, and all has to offer will, hopefully, create a positive image in people’s minds of a town that they want to visit, explore and live and work in.

» Go to Blog entry

» Back to Top 

Our Facebook Page

Between newsletters you can stay current with news and updates on our Facebook Page. We'll include news items, photos, upcoming activities and events in or about the Valley, and tell you when we've added new sections to the website.

» Go The Tankerhoosen Facebook Page

» Back to Top 

© Copyright The Tankerhoosen. All rights reserved.