Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quinnipiac River Park

North of Interstate-95, above the Ferry Street Bridge, the decaying industry along New Haven's Quinnipiac River gives way to this historic stretch of waterfront. With a high concentration of 19th-century homes, the neighborhoods of Fair Haven, and Fair Haven Heights are a modern day reminder of New Haven's maritime past.  
This was once a prominent oyster port, with wharves and sheds lining both sides of the river. Related industries, such as shipbuilding and barrel making, thrived as well. By the 1840's, the neighborhood became a leading center for processing and trading, as oysters arrived from as far away as the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. 
Today, things are a bit quieter here, but the oystering lives on, albeit on a lesser scale. Taking in the view from Quinnipiac River Park, I could see an oyster boat quietly at rest, with a tell-tale pile of shells rising behind her. A limited and diminished reminder of a once dominant past.

New Haven Preservation Trust: Quinnipiac Historic District 
CT Coastal Access Guide: Quinnipiac River Park
Mystic Seaport: New Haven Sharpie

1 comment:

bowsprite said...

Soundbounder, I have to get you a copy of Joseph Mitchell's "Bottom of the Harbor" if you haven't read it already, or in awhile. It is incredible what we have lost. He writes about people, industries, and repeats lively conversations that took place on what is now miles and miles of highly developed sea walls, used only for strolling upon.