What Is Lurking at the Bottom of Candlewood Lake?
In late July of 1926, 1,400 men began the momentous task of clearing the land that was to be Candlewood Lake. Have you ever wondered what was left behind?
On February 28, 1928, after clearing out 5,520 acres, the lake began to fill. Seven months later, Candlewood Lake was born. During the building of the lake, 31 miles of roads had to be abandoned, and then rebuilt as the lake continued to fill. Here's a photo of the Orchard Point Bridge which was never dismantled.
Orchard Point is located where the lake splits, and the branch of the lake on the left heads down the New Fairfield side and, eventually, into Sherman. The other branch heads toward New Milford, and ends at Lynn Deming Town Park.
Candlewood Lake also affected the dead, because four cemeteries were located in the lake's boundaries. Workers were paid $1 per body to dig up each grave, and relocate the body in other cemeteries. CL&P bought many of the properties affected by the lake's path, and relocated others like schools and churches. Many large possessions had to be left behind, like farm machinery, which can be seen at the bottom of the lake in different locations.
According to the Candlewood Lake Authority, the small farming village of Jerusalem was left in its natural state under Candlewood Lake waters. Jerusalem is located just south of Lynn Deming Park, and just north and east of Birch Point, in a quiet cove that is only accessible for scuba diving by boat. Left behind, under 35 to 40 feet of water, were fences and walls, partial structures of houses, barns, and silos. Farm implements also sit on the bottom, like tractor parts, hoes, and bricks. In this satellite photo, the cove to the right of Birch Point is where the village of Jerusalem lies.
BONUS VIDEO: Ethan and Lou Defend Candlewood Lake From Canadians