It was done in the name of hydroelectric power, though seeing it today you might guess it was done to increase the grand lists of Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Sherman, and Brookfield. The creation of this 8.5 square mile lake was the first such project on this scale in America, and it worked: today the system of dams, turbines, and pumps not only generates power, but does so while looking like a lake so natural that it's hard to imagine a time when it did not exist.
On the other other hand, whole swaths (literally) of history are drowned down there: streets, model T Fords, cemeteries (though the graves were relocated), and schools. On the other other other hand, it's amazing to think of a project like this succeeding in Connecticut today, or ever. Everything it would take to get this done - money, political will, cooperation, endless town meetings - just makes you shake your head and wonder how the people of the past managed to accomplish it. (Like Stonehenge or the Pyramids.) But they did it, and quickly - an idea in the spring of 1926 became a completed reality in the fall of 1928. And progress (and businesses with "Candlewood" in their names) came to this quiet valley. And for all that, it's still pretty darn quiet.
When you add it up the balance seems to tip almost entirely to the positive side, but on whatever hand I'm up to now, there's still something disturbing about it. And something amazing, too.
Schaghticoke tribe, not some random German.)
lost world preserved at the bottom. But if you're not going to do that - and I know I'm not - a quick drive around will give you a surprisingly powerful sense of what's been created here, and perhaps also of what is gone.