Dobsonville, named after early cotton manufacturing pioneer Peter Dobson, was one of the many hamlets that dotted the landscape over a century ago. Like its neighbor, Talcottville, it too was anchored around several mills. Dobsonville had most everything one would need; employment, a school, churches, a post office, a general store, a street railway, and a railroad station.
Over the years, things changed, which caused Dobsonville to be gradually erased from the public’s conscience. The closing of the mills by the 1920’s; the building of Wilbur Cross Parkway in the 1940’s; the widening of that highway in the late 1970’s; and commercial development of much of the area. All have left few physical remnants of this once quaint community.
This webpage represents several years’ worth of collecting photographs and information about the Dobsonville village. It is my hope that this collection will continue grow as more people come forward, offering to share old photographs they may have of the area. This website will be updated periodically, as new images become available.
This collection of photographs would not have been possible had it not been for some of the descendants of the Dobson, Goodrich, Parker, Costello, and Sullivan families, and I thank them all.
One exceptionally noteworthy contributor was Sherry Ever-Jenkins, with her husband, Mike, of Maine.
Sherry, whom is an antiques dealer, had purchased an estate in Columbia Falls, Maine, which had belonged to a man by the name of Anson Thorp, whom died in 2006. The estate included hundreds of old family photographs and heirlooms, dating back to the 1800’s. Fortunately, Sherry is also a history buff, and it has always been important to her to see that items of historical significance are returned to where they can be appreciated. She researched the ancestors associated with the items in the estate, tracing the oldest of them to Charlotte (Dobson) Goodrich, of Vernon, whom was Peter Dobson’s daughter.
In the course of her research, Sherry had come across my "Mills on the Tankerhoosen River" webpage, and contacted me about her find. She was as excited to bring these treasures back to Vernon, as I was to see them come here. A highly anticipated meeting was planned at the Vernon Historical Society a few weeks later.
Sherry and her husband, Mike, drove to Vernon with numerous boxes of photographs. We reviewed all of them with our town historian, Ardis Abbott, over the course of about six hours. The meeting produced approximately thirty wonderful photographs of the Dobsonville area and mills in the late 1800’s. Those photographs, previously unseen for many generations, as well as other artifacts, have been donated to the Vernon Historical Society, and will available for future generations to enjoy.
Very few photographs from the late 1800's and early 1900's of this area were known to exist, previous to this find. Had it not been for Sherry and Mikes' goodheartedness, these photographs could have been lost forever. Their generosity is most appreciated.
And, now on to the old photographs