Go To The Joe's Pond Association Website

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

    Just in case you are living somewhere that's warm right now, feel fortunate.  We're at 16 below tonight and it's moving downward.  It isn't that we aren't more or less used to temperatures like this here at Joe's Pond in January, but after rain and fairly moderate temps, this is sort of a shock.  There is a bit of wind that makes it feel more like 25 below, and that is borderline brutal is you're outside.
     That's why I've been happy to have plenty to do at my computer today.  I have been going through the digital newspaper files on line now (there was an article in Monday's Caledonian Record) and one short note in the December 8, 1922 issue mentioned that two feet of snow on the Walden Heights Road between Cabot and Joe's Pond.  I'm assuming that would be what is now West Shore Road and/or Route 215.  I went on line and checked the weather history in Burlington for that date and found precipitation of a little over one inch recorded.  No surprise there - Walden always has more weather than anywhere else in the state except perhaps Mt. Mansfield or Camel's Hump, and Burlington is obviously in the temperate zone by comparison.
     I also ran onto something interesting that I hadn't known about Joe's Pond.  In April, 1921, Rufus Sim Whittier, who at that time owned one of the islands in the pond (see picture below) along with about 100 other property owners at the pond, filed suit against Eastern Vermont Power Corporation, saying that after they replaced the wooden dam at the outlet of the pond with a new concrete dam, they caused the water level to rise, damaging property around the pond.  Does that sound familiar?  The article didn't say what the outcome of the lawsuit was except Eastern Vermont was defending their actions and were asking that the court define where the high water line should be to settle any future disputes.  I imagine that was when the pin was placed in the big granite rock on the West Shore at what is now Mason's residence.  I'll find out more - I'm pretty sure the Joe's Pond Association archives have something about that.  I was a bit surprised that Whittier was so prominent in the dispute, but we do know he was not a man to be taken advantage of; he refused to pay highway taxes to the Town of Cabot saying he had no need for  their roads (he traveled by boat and on foot on the railroad tracks), and wasn't going to contribute to something he didn't use.  Tough old cookie - he apparently got away with it.


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