As long as I had the video camera out yesterday, I thought I’d stop at my favorite spot. Only a few hundred yards from where I live, the road crosses over a small brook – Jepps Brook.
This tiny stream flows year round, though it gets very weak in the summer. Even though It is incredibly quick to respond to rain, I’ve never seen it out of its banks threatening anyone. In that sense, it’s a good neighbor.
It flows through backyards in the ‘burbs now, though that wasn’t always the case. A mill house at the end of a small pond is now a residence. A spillway father down stream was probably once used for power as well.
If there’s a story behind the name “Jepps”, it’s well hidden. The only mention of Jepps Brook on Google comes from me. And I only know about the name because a few maps include it. It is close to being geographically anonymous.
I have driven by this spot every day for sixteen years. Most days I stop. It’s a view I’ll never tire of. It is the antithesis of where I grew up.
Here’s about thirty seconds of Jepps Brook. Wish you were here.
May 10, 2008, I received this addition for this entry from Walt Harris. Walt’s family goes way back in Hamden.
Regarding the mystery surrounding the name Jepps Brook (your blog entry “My Favorite Spot”, May 13, 2007): The name Jepps stems from the nickname of Judson Warner, an early 19th century owner of the land surrounding Jepps Pond.
According to my grandfather, B.M. Harris, in Some Early Mills of Hamden, read to the Hamden Historical Society in 1936, “it was Justus Warner’s nickname of Jep that was given to the four-acre pond that was used for storage water between the Bradley and Chatterton mills.” (Handwritten edits change “Jeff” to “Jep”, and “farm” to “pond”.)
The Chatteron mill, the house shown at the beginning of your video, was owned by my grandparents and is now owned by the Cavanaughs I believe (Yes – GF). The Bradley mill location is at the intersection of Still Hill Road (the mill was a distillery) and River Road, and is now under study by state archaeologists.