Submitted by Elizabeth Hart Malloy, Executive Director, Haddam Historical Society.
For years I have been walking by a small concrete marker with “CHD” carved into it at the intersection of Quarry Hill Road and Rock Landing Road in Haddam Neck. What did the marker mean? Who put it there? Were there others?
Research indicates that the markers were put there by the Connecticut Highway Department (CHD), in the late 1920s. In 1923 the Connecticut Highway Department created the Bureau of Highway Boundaries and Rights of Way which was responsible for mapping and marking the boundaries of state highways to be improved, widened or created. The bureau was required to do title searches, acquire property and mark the boundaries of all state roads. By 1925 the Highway Department was required to prepare highway boundary maps and “mark such a boundary by a uniform and distinctive marker.” The small concrete or stone marker measuring about 15 inches in height met this regulation and thousands are found throughout the state dotting state roads.
I have located one on Route 154 (formerly Middlesex Turnpike, Route 9, Route 9A, & Saybrook Road) in Shailerville near 1205 Saybrook Road and I am sure there are others. But why the one in Haddam Neck as we don’t have a state or numbered highway?
I soon discovered that there were four more monuments farther down Rock Landing Road near the intersection of Rock Landing Lane all bunched together. It appears that in 1926 the Town of Haddam agreed to a proposal by the State Highway Department to build a State Aid Highway from the East Hampton Town Line to the steamboat landing at the bottom of the hill on the Connecticut River. According to Lillian Brooks in her history of Haddam Neck, the road wasn’t “macadamized” until 1929 and the road was never designated a state highway.
The Haddam Historical Society would like to document the location of the remaining CHD markers throughout town. If you know of one please let us know. Include nearest street address and a photo if possible. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The photos were all taken on Rock Landing Road in Haddam Neck by Elizabeth Malloy.