The Davis Forest was purchased by the Town of Brooklyn in August 1998 for “municipal use”. In September 2004, the Board of Selectman supported that it should remain as “open space”.
The property includes 126 acres with trails:
- The red trail goes along the Quinebaug River and is 1.25 miles one way (the old mill site is on this trail).
- Scenic River Overlook trail is .5 miles one way.
- The yellow loop is .5 miles.
Located on the property is what remains of the Dyer Dam. The Dyer Dam provided power to the Wauregan Mill which was a cotton mill in Plainfield that was made of local fieldstone and powered by five turbine water wheels and two steam engines.
Interesting fact: Historical information on bricks through the Killingly Historical Society website mentioned that “On May 10, 1900, Windham County transcript article stated the Brooklyn brickyard was busy supplying brick for the chimney at Dyer Dam.” The flood of 1955 destroyed the dam.
Old Mill Site found on the side near the water on the red trail:
Information from Connecticut Genealogy mentions that “In manufacturing enterprises early Brooklyn had comparatively greater interest than she has in later years. Grist and saw mills were among the first enterprises of this kind under taken. Looking back to a period, about one hundred years ago, we find Allyn’s grist mill was carried on successfully till the dam was carried off by a freshet, and public opposition delayed its rebuilding. Allen hill received its name from its vicinity to this much frequented grist mill.”