Friday, March 4, 2016

A Very Old Blaze on a Very Old Road

The Buddington Rd entrance to Old King's Highway headed towards Mill St 
Back in the 1960's, the  Paugussett "Blue Dot" Trail crossed Buddington Road at Old Town Road and headed down the Old King's Highway towards the Far Mill River and Roosevelt Forest. Sadly, by 1970 the entire trail south of Indian Well State Park was abandoned due to new developments. A few years ago, I stumbled upon what appears to be the remnants of a very, very old blue blaze along Old King's Highway. The blaze is so faded that it looks like a patch of lichens on the tree, but upon closer inspection, it is most definitely blue paint. The old road at Buddington isn't very obvious in this location (it's directly opposite Old Town Road), but a bit further south is lined with old stone walls. 

Is that a blaze or just some lichens?

Definitely a blaze. 
Old King's Highway is so old that the 1868 map of Shelton shows it as a dashed line - already old and obsolete. Saying the road was the King's road is something colonists did before the Revolution, and Shelton was only just starting to be settled when that war broke out. Three sections of the road remain (click to view map), showing that the road stretched from the Far Mill River to what is now downtown, running parallel to Bridgeport Avenue. Assuming that this was one of the very first roads in Shelton, there's a good chance it was an Indian trail when colonists arrived and claimed it for the King. 
Old Kings Highway (click to enlarge)
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The restored Paugussett would not cross Buddington Road at this location, but if we are able to preserve a viable greenway corridor for the trail, it will join the old route a bit further down the Old King's Highway at the scenic Old Kings Highway Open Space (see map below). A reunion of sorts.

1964 Trail Map with restored Paugussett shown in blue

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