Dad's Memories

- 27 August 98 - 15 December 98

From the Neck - Rock Landing & the New York to Hartford Steamboat

New York to Hartford Steamboat - Rock Landing / Haddam Neck, Connecticut - 1925

The boat ran from Fulton St. NYC (ever heard of the Fulton Fishmarket?) to Hartford Connecticut -- leaving from NY at 5 PM and arriving at Hartford at 6AM. It was primarily a cargo ship, but had a few small cabins, and a good sized room with benches where passengers could lie down. Being next to the cargo hold, this room had a strong odor/smell/stink - from the accumulated cargoes over the years.

The boat travelled up the East River, and into Long Island Sound, reaching Saybrook Ct at midnite, then up the Conn. River, with stops at Lyme, Hadlime, East Haddam, reached Rock Landing (Haddam Neck) at about 3:30 AM - and on to Middle Haddam, Middletown, Wethersfield, and finally Hartford, depositing cargo and/or passengers at each stop.

At 5 PM it started the return journey from Htfd. It's arrival at Rock Landing around 8 PM was THE social event for Haddam Neck, with many residents on hand for this "exciting event" -- and to partake in Ice Cream, available at the Inn located at the Landing.

Our family "rode the boat" a few times, partly if Jim did not want to make the long drive up & back, and then to give us kids a chance to ride the boat. Mom took a stateroom with the girls, us "men" napped on the benches next to the cargo hold. I can still almost TASTE that distinctive aroma. Arriving at the Landing at 3:30AM -- no one "met the boat "on the upstream trip. We faced a long hike up to the Farmhouse. There was a small "waiting room" at the dock, and we'd wait till the sky began to show grey before starting the trek.

Our route led alongside the river on a footpath thru the meadow, past our Riverside lot, a 2 acre lot identified by three very large trees, two of them more or less denoting the side markers of the lot.

After negotiating this ( reportedly) snake infested wetland area, we met a short road leading up to the "Lower Road" - now called "Injun Hollow Road" - along the river. Just a bit on the lower road and we started up thru the woods to our house - on a long abandoned logging road, which passed by "The Necks" granite quarries (how "Rock Landing" got it's name) and overgrown into a barely visible footpath. In all, a long hours hike, and all uphill. It'd be good daylite by the time we reached the farmhouse.

Haying Time down on "The Neck" - 1910

Once in a while Olga Olsen, a native farmer's wife who would drive Mom, and us, into Middletown for a shopping trip -- like to the Sears store - came by and drove us down to "Meet the Boat" and all have some Ice Cream. A big occasion, meet the neighbors, a real small town big time !

The Ship stopped running - the Inn at the Landing went out of business - the small town lost the prime attraction. The whole town mourned. We missed the boats travels.

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