Monday, November 11, 2013

Up the Junction

After I wrote this post about what the town of Newington claims is America's smallest waterfall, I didn't think I could ever say anything about Newington again. What could possibly top having the nation's smallest waterfall which is totally not the nation's smallest waterfall but no one cares?

But when fate (okay, fine, needing to go to Target) brought me to Newington again, I couldn't resist doing a perfunctory search to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything good. And what did I turn up but something even more nonsensical (even less sensical?) than the smallest waterfall! I refer to Newington Junction South Historic District, Newington Junction North Historic District, and Newington Junction West Historic District. Three (3!) distinct historic districts, one of which has 9 contributing buildings and the other two of which have 13 each, all concentrated around the intersection of Willard Avenue and West Hill Road. Why are these not one historic district, you ask? You are asking the wrong question! This is Newington, capital of useless tourist attractions! OF COURSE there are three tiny adjacent historic districts!

Unfortunately, the reality of these three tiny adjacent historic districts was a lot less exciting. Well, frankly, not remotely exciting. Just a few old houses that you wouldn't notice at all if you weren't trying very hard to justify driving to this rather bleak section of Newington. In fact, the triple historic district makes the waterfall look spectacular. After the twenty seconds or so that it took for me to become thoroughly underwhelmed by the intersection of Willard and West Hill, the only thing I could think to do was find the historic Newington Junction Railroad Depot. I knew it was somewhere in Newington Junction, and there was at least a chance it would be more interesting than what I'd seen of Newington Junction so far.

After driving around in circles for a bit, I took the above photo of the structure Wikipedia claims is the Newington Junction Railroad Depot building. It didn't really look like a train depot to me. It looked like a nursery in the middle of an abandoned industrial park. When I stopped to take this picture, there was no one around, but the minute I got out of the car some guy showed up (this always happens; go take pictures of random places and tell me I'm wrong) and started whistling at me. Not like "Hey, sexy lady!" but like "If you don't get out of here I'm going to scoop up your car in my front loader. Also for unknown reasons I am incapable of using words so I will communicate with you as if you were a recalcitrant cat."

So I don't know. I'm going to say the depot could be this building, but it could also be a building in an area that is currently off-limits due to CTfastrack construction. When in doubt, blame the Busway, right?

Update - 4/25/15: This is (as I suspected) not the real Newington Junction Railroad Depot building, which was (as I also suspected) concealed by CTfastrak construction at the time I went looking for it. Now that CTfastrak is up and running, the old depot can be seen at the Newington Junction station at 150 Willard Avenue. You can also see it on Wikipedia, which has been updated to include a photo of the actual depot.

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