Jerusalem: The Town That Rests On the Bottom of Candlewood Lake
What lies at the bottom of Candlewood Lake are remnants of what life was like in the 1920s.
Referencing the Candlewood Lake Authority website, it all began in late July of 1926 when 1,400 laborers descended upon the valley that was to be Candlewood Lake to clear 5,500 acres of land which took them 18 months to complete. On February 28, 1928, the first pumping operations began pouring water from the Housatonic River into the valley. On September 28, 1928, Candlewood Lake was born.
Most of the residents who lived in the path of the lake sold their property to CL&P except for some residents in the small town of Jerusalem who refused to sell. The town was located on the New Milford side of the lake as you begin your approach to what is now Lynn Deming Park.
If you take a look at the satellite map, just as you pass the Narrows, take a quick right into that first cove and at the bottom of Candlewood Lake, in that very spot, is where remnants of the farm town of Jerusalem can be found.
100 Jerusalem buildings had to be either torn down or totally demolished. The bodies in the town graveyard also had to be dug up one by one by and reburied on dry land. Laborers were paid $1 per body to do the work.
It's been told that in some spots under Candlewood Lake, there are full-size barns that were never torn down, along with various farm implements and even an old Model T Ford or two.