George & Woodward H. Griswold Preserve
30 Boston Post Road, across from Stoneleigh Knoll
Parking area for 4-6 cars is set back from Boston Post Road
Easy — Great for all ages and abilities.
This preserve is situated along the scenic Mill Brook and Lower Mill Pond. It contains forested uplands with dramatic granite outcroppings, vernal pools and riparian areas. Connecticut DEEP’s Mary Steube Fish Ladder at the Lower Mill Pond dam helps alewives migrate upstream to spawn each spring.
The Pond is rich in wildlife: hunting osprey are a common site, beavers reside in the pond, along with several species of duck in season. Many migratory birds can be seen throughout. At its northeastern corner, the preserve is directly across Mill Brook from our Hoffman-Matthiessen-DeGerenday Preserve.
This 51-acre property was bequeathed to the Trust in 1999 by Mary Steube in memory of her father and uncle, Woodward H. and George Griswold, respectively. “Woody” Griswold built the Village Shops located on Lyme Street in the center of Old Lyme.
Mill Brook is the east branch of the Lieutenant River. It rises in Rogers Lake, a body of water formed by a dam first built in the late 17th century to join multiple ponds and swamps together. For three centuries Mill Brook’s water power made it the center of industrial activity in the southern part of Lyme (called "Old Lyme" after 1857). Grist mills and sawmills were the first structures raised, but came to include iron works, fulling mills, nail mills, and the manufacture of boats, boxes, burglar alarms, cordage, lace, lamps and lampshades, fabric, and silver-plating; along with blacksmiths, stores, and residences for workers. Only the dams at Rogers Lake, the Upper Mill Pond, and the Lower Mill Pond remain. Of the mills, only the stone-built Oliver Lay Mill (at the Upper Mill Pond) and a residence incorporating a part of the Bradbury Mill (beside the dam of the Lower Mill Pond) survive today.
Lower Mill Pond dam at site of Old Bradbury Mill