(Published in the Bolton Community News, February 1992)
The state-owned hiking trail that runs through Bolton from Valley Falls Park to Willimantic is an old railroad bed. From 1849 to the mid-1950s the Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad traveled through this corridor. It brought prosperity to Bolton's slate and grindstone quarries at the Notch. The rock was first quarried during the War of 1812, and through the 19th century was sent to major cities in the Northeast to pave streets.
The railroad had a yard and a station at the Notch where stone, lumber, hay, grain, etc., was loaded and unloaded. If you walk the trail, you'll see remnants of ties and telegraph poles.