Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Once upon a time there was a dump

 Long before the Barn of Opportunity and curbside garbage pick up, folks had a trash heap, or place out back where they would toss things no longer used.  My daily dog walk includes a stretch of Merrymeeting Bay shoreline which is the dumping spot for the adjoining 1800 farmhouse. The Bay was an easy toss out the front door. Low tide exposes lots and lots of turn-of-the-century trash.

This picture is just one 3 foot square (no, I didn't stage the picture!) which includes a belt buckle, a frying pan handle, some type of masonry with the letters MO pressed into it, pottery of several colors, china dish shards, old bottles and more old bottles.

I pick a little up each day, recycle the broken glass and save what is absolutely charming.

Some of it is not so charming.
If anyone remembers Royal Luncheon Cheese, please comment!          
   You have your chance to explore this stretch when Friends Of Merrymeeting Bay hosts their annual Bay Cleanup this Saturday. Anyone who wants to park at the Cutko house just needs to email us.  Or come and walk your dog with me before Saturday for the best pick'ns.

And then came the era of the Town Landfill. Bowdoinham had a town dump or landfill on the Ridge Road and another on the Carding Machine Road.  I explored the property on the Carding Machine Road last week with my dog, and enjoyed it very much.  The landfill was closed in 1992 and covered and capped off with some nice composted soil.  The vents and a nice grassy mound are all that is left of that era.  This land is still owned by the town.  I am told the landfill parcel on the Ridge Road was sold. 
The adjoining property on the other side of the unmaintained town road has been acquired by the State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and is a designated wildlife management area.  It is a beautiful parcel and Bowdoinham is lucky to have it protected.  The red post in the picture is the IF& W marker.  I'm told the road goes back to "Head of Tide" of the Abby River.  I'll save that for a day when I have boots on.  The ticks were heavy and I brought three home with me, but Bristol brought none that I could find (hooray for Frontline).
The access road is gated but there is room to park your car in front of the gate.  Dotty Baker at the Town Office showed me the tax maps so I was sure not to trespass on private land. The gate is on the righthand side of Carding Machine Rd, 1.7 miles up from River Road.  Walk down a short way and you'll see the old landfill mound on the left, and the State land is on the right.  See the bouquet in the third photo?  I wasn't sure what to expect at the site of an old landfill, but I was so pleased that the smell that hit me as I walked along the access road was Lily-of-the-Valley. Please share your dump memories with me!

1 comment:

  1. for you Kate:


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