Actually it really doesn’t have a name at all. It’s not a park, a nature preserve or open space (well I think it is). It’s owned by the City of New Britain’s Water Dept. as a water shed. It provides drinking water for New Britain. This large area is bordered by Maltby St. to the South. Stafford Ave. to the West. Stevens St. to the North and Jerome Ave. and Mix St. to the East.
Growing up in Bristol in the 80’s and early 90’s I am a true product of the apartment complex which was called Jerome Estates. It is now called Coppermine Village. While most kids growing up in a housing complex were limited to a playground or a small section of grass in a common area, I was not. We had acres of woods and it was our playground.
We all called those woods “The Shawn Drive Woods”. It even had nicknames for different parts of the woods like, egg hill, St. Paul trail, the beach, the nature bridge and many others. Those woods were a way to explore nature and be a kid. It was also a way to avoid Vern and the maintenance crew (Vern was the maintenance Manager, and not one kid liked him). As an adult now I know he was just doing his job. I must say though as we all got older the woods turned more into a place to have a keg party.
Back then you had easy access to the woods. Today it is fenced off. However I am pretty sure the kid’s there now find ways to get in.
Today much of what I remember has stayed the same. Maybe a little over grown now but still the same. What a great hidden treasure those woods are for Bristol. For some its no hidden treasure at all. Many people take hikes, go for a jog or walk their dogs. I actually saw someone walking their cat when I was a kid! On a recent walk I bumped in to a wide range of people from dirt bike riders to an older group of ladies that described themselves as “a bunch of retired Bristol “Frenchies”.
Along with the people also were the bugs, poison ivy, frogs, birds, some animal that I swear was following me the whole time and did I mention bugs?
I can ramble on all day about this topic so here are some recent photos and I’ll open this up to others. What are your memories?
Also, there is even a Facebook page called “We Remember Shawn Drive”.