Hammond Mill Preserve
The Hammond Mill Preserve is located along the Eightmile River, south of Devil's Hopyard State Park. The 12-acre preserve is on the west side of the river, while two easements totaling 10 acres protect the east side of the river. The preserve is a mature oak/hemlock forest with a diversity of wildflowers and abundant woodland bird populations.
The area is of notable historic interest, having served as a site for water-powered mills since the late 1700s. Mills were most widely operated during the 1700s to mid-1800s.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the land on either side of the river was owned by Squire John Chapman. The area was a hub of industry, and over time, Chapman ran the mill as a grist mill, a sawmill, a fulling mill, a blacksmith shop, and a flaxseed oil press. The stonework still visible on this property are the remnants of the mill foundations, sluice, and dam, including the headrace and tailrace. The old sawmill and water wheel are now located south of the Johnsonville dam off Johnsonville Road in the Moodus section of East Haddam.
The Hammond Mill Preserve was a gift to the Land Trust from John and Barbara Kashanski, the very first land donors to the organization. An EHLT stewardship work party at the mills was featured in a 2008 article in the Reminder news. You can see this "blast from the past" here.
This preserve is part of the Lyme Forest Block Important Bird Area.