New Milford in Litchfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company
1881 – 1927
— State of Connecticut Archaeological Preserve —
About Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company . . .
The New Milford site at Great Falls was one of the best unused waterpower sites in Connecticut with three principal advantages when Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company began acquiring property in this area in 1881. A large waterpower supply decreased the amount of coal needed to turn quartz and other minerals to fine powder. This powder was a major ingredient in their world famous, high quality paint products. The company used a somewhat archaic system of grinding with large stone rollers which required a great deal of power. They needed coal to power steam engines which ran pumps and drying equipment and also drove grinding equipment when waterpower was insufficient. Waterpower greatly diminished the cost of buying and transporting coal from Pennsylvania.
A second advantage of the Great Falls site was its proximity to quarries for raw material. Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company bought and leased a large amount of property around Great Falls and found some quartz deposits there. When local mineral proved insufficient, the company acquired a large quarry in the Southford section of Southbury, less than fifteen miles away, which along with a few other sources served their needs well until about World War I. A final critical site advantage was the immediate proximity of the Housatonic
The finely-ground minerals sold to other firms were used in high quality ceramic and abrasive products such as Bon Ami and Soapolio.
Erected 2007 by Friends of Lover’s Leap State Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 41° 32.635′ N, 73° 24.458′ W. Marker is in New Milford, Connecticut, in Litchfield County. Marker can be reached from Still River Drive, 0.2 miles east of Pumpkin Hill Road, on the right when traveling east. Located on the old road to Falls Bridge in Lover’s Leap State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Milford CT 06776, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lover’s Leap State Park (here, next to this marker); Falls Bridge (here, next to this marker); Space Shuttle Tire (approx. 1.6 miles away); Bridgewater WW I Memorial (approx. 2.3 miles away); Bridgewater WW II Memorial (approx. 2.3 miles away); Bridgewater Center (approx. 2.3 miles away); Twin Red Oaks (approx. 2.3 miles away); New Milford WW II Memorial (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Milford.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2009, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,901 times since then and 72 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 26, 2009, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. 5. submitted on June 10, 2015, by Christa Howarth of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 6. submitted on June 12, 2015, by Christa Howarth of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 7. submitted on January 12, 2022, by Ted Hine of New Milford, Connecticut. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.