Poverty Hollow
By Lloyd T. Shanley Jr.

Back in the days when the care and maintenance of Harwinton’s sixty some miles of "town owned" highways were among my main concerns in life, the common expressions of discontent most often received in the Selectman's office had to do with surface water drainage and it's real or imagined adverse effect on various private properties.

Rarely would a complainant acknowledge that the sire he or she had chosen for property improvement - at a level below a highway or the land of others, in a wetland, or near an existing culvert outlet - had any bearing on the drainage problem of concern. In fact, it was usually said to be the "towns water" that was causing the problem.

The observation sometimes shared with those having a sense of humor among the aggrieved was" The town owns no water and whereas rain falls from the sky, water belongs to all (or to no one)! Also of little satisfaction for the complainants was the additional factual information sometimes offered: Water entering or descending upon Harwinton seeks only to return to Long Island Sound and the sea by the path of least resistance; be it across public property or privately owned driveways, garage floors or lawns.

All of the water that falls upon or runs through Harwinton, that does not evaporate or leave through subterranean fissures in the bedrock, drains across the town's southern border by way of Poland Brook on the east side, the Naugatuck River on the west side, and from central Harwinton by way of Leadmine Brook, near the location where the corners of the towns Plymouth and Thomaston come together at the Harwinton town line in "Poverty Hollow".

"Poverty Hollow" is a small undefined area of south central Harwinton, located at the mouths of narrow stream valleys in a "hollow" formed where Rock Brook and Curtis Brook converge with lead Mine Brook, before joining the Naugatuck River about 1 mile downstream of the northerly edge of Thomaston.

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