Places of Interest in Rocky Hill
The Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry
No visit to Rocky Hill is complete until one rides the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry across the Connecticut River. This is the oldest continuously operating ferry service in the nation. Started in 1655, it actually began before the foundation of the towns of Glastonbury and Rocky Hill, both towns being part of Wethersfield at that time. Originally a raft that was poled across the Connecticut River, it was then for a while powered by a horse on a treadmill before being upgraded to a steamship in 1876. Today’s ferry is a 3-car barge named the Hollister III towed by a diesel towboat named the Cumberland. Directions: CT 99 to CT 160 East to the ferry landing.
The Connecticut Foundry
A succession of industrial buildings stood beside the Connecticut River from 1835 to 1881, when a huge foundry was built by ownership subscription. In 1918, that building burned down. The present building was erected in 1919 by the Connecticut Foundry Co., established by A. O. Knudsen, Arthur Enquist and Ernest Spencer. The company remained in business until 1983, when it closed on March 30.
The company made a wide variety of items of cast iron, from range oil burners, piston-ring moldings and lawn mower parts to bookends and decorative plaques. Those who designed and made the molds were not only artisans, but artists as well. The company’s customers included such well-known corporations as Stanley, Dictaphone, Remington Rand, GE and numerous others.
The Foundry buildings still stand, in dilapidated condition, at the foot of Glastonbury Avenue in Rocky Hill. The Historical Society has on exhibit a number of artifacts related to the Foundry. The fine commemorative plaque pictured below is on display in the society’s museum.