Local History

 

The Dugway

From the earliest days of Lyme’s existence, residents were aware of a channel which connected the Lieutenant River to the Duck River. This waterway, known as “Ben Marvin’s Crick,” simplified access for hunters, fishermen and boaters to the Duck River, the Black Hall River and even the waters off Griswold Point. When the railroad first arrived in Old Lyme, the Crick, like the other waterways in town (but not the Connecticut River), was bridged by a wooden bridge adequate for the slow, lightweight trains of the day traveling on a single track. When the third and present bridge across the Connecticut was built in 1906, the line was double-tracked. Rather than build an elaborate stone, concrete and steel bridge for the Crick, as it did for the other waterways in town, the railroad chose to fill in the Crick at the point where the tracks crossed, thus severing the connection between the Lieutenant and Duck Rivers. Mindful of the concerns of boaters, the railroad brought in a steam dredge and cut a new channel between the two rivers, south of the railroad tracks. As the upper section of the Crick had meandered a bit, this new connection may actually have shortened the travel distance. The new channel became known as the Dugway. It remains there today still used by boating interests. The upper part of the Crick has apparently silted in and is no longer as visible as it once was.