Graves Had to Be Exhumed to Create Candlewood Lake
Last week, I published an article sharing "14 Fascinating Facts You Likely Didn't Know About Candlewood Lake" and this week, we are back with more.
Each Tuesday on our sister station, the Ethan and Lou Show is joined by Mike Allen in studio. Mike is our former News Director who leans on his years of experience hunting for information to bring us research that deepens our understanding of our local area. We call this feature "The Place You Live." Last week was part 1 of 2 on Candlewood Lake.
In that segment, we learned that families lived in the region known as the Rocky River Valley which is now underwater. We found out there is farm equipment submerged in the depths and that John Henry Rorabach is credited with the lake's creation.
There is so much more to know and Mike shared as much as he could with us on Tuesday (6/15/21) morning. For instance, there were 6 cemeteries in the valley that had to be "undone" before flooding the land to create the lake. Allen had this to say on how that was handled:
"The one that everybody gets a little freaked out by, is there were six cemeteries in there and something had to be done with them. So, they ended up taking a bunch of the farmers who were in the area, paid them a dollar a grave to go and dig up the remains, take the tombstone, put it on a horse and buggy cart and go to higher ground.
Now there is apparently, and it's very difficult to find information on it, there is apparently some local newspaper in 1926 wrote an article that said that these bodies were reinterred in the Wood Creek cemetery in Brookfield. Now, I have been unable to confirm this, I didn't have enough time to confirm all this, but I did talk to a couple of local historians who kind of shook their head, you know, unofficially and said yeah, I don't think they are there."
But wait, there is more! Of course there is more. It's the creation story of the largest manmade lake in the State of Connecticut. Below are some visuals, that at first glance don't look like much but they're key to understanding Candlewood Lake.