Uncover Branford: Where You Write the Story

Uncover Branford is a continuously expanding group that meets monthly to share favorite hidden gems in Branford and the memories that make that place special. At the end of each meeting, you’ll plan a group outing to a special spot to create new memories and make new friends. After each outing participants submit short written pieces about their experience along with photos to document their time together. These pieces are created into display boards for the community to see and will then be bound together into a Uncover Branford book! Examples of special spots and outings can be found below.

Join the Uncover Branford group on meetup.com!

Stay up to date with upcoming outings and meetings, message other members, and get notified of any changes to meetings at the Uncover Branford Meetup group. Simply create a free account with Meetup.com and you’ll become part of the Uncover Branford online community.

 Upcoming Trips:

9/18 hike at Trolley Trail, 10:30 AM. Meet at the trail entrance in Stony Creek (near Willoughby Wallace Library).

10/7 hike at Supply Ponds, 10 AM. Just off Route 1 and Chestnut Street or Short Rocks Road. Meet where Chestnut and Short Rocks intersect.

10/21 is the next Uncover Branford planning session & meet & greet, 10:30 AM at the Blackstone Library.


Uncovered in Branford So Far…

Branford Supply Ponds

Chestnut Street/Short Rocks Road | Uncovered by: Trudy

Supply Pond Park is a Branford natural treasure. Following one of the several trails this spring I was treated to many of these trout lily wildflowers along the way. In the fall the autumn change of color reflecting on the ponds is a palette worthy of a painting. In winter I enjoy hearing the crunch of hiking boots on the snow covered trails under a bluebird sky. Skaters and hockey players hope for prolonged below freezing temperatures to get out on the frozen ponds. In all seasons dog owners are regular users of this park to the delight of their furry friends.
 Downtown Memories

Uncovered by: Lee

In the lobby of my apartment building, there are several photos of historical landmarks, places, and events in Branford. I pass by them every day on my way in and out of the building.

They stand out to me because they make me wonder what it would have been like to live in Branford at that time.

The first picture depicts a parade in the late 1800’s down Main Street. I love the clothes worn, but I wouldn’t want to wear the long dresses myself and have the skirt dragging along the dirt road.

The second photo is of the trolleys that used to run downtown. Seeing the trolleys makes me remember when I rode the trolley daily in New York City to high school.

The last picture is of the old Clockworks Factory. I live in the Towers apartment building across from where that site used to be, which is now Donovan’s Reef.

Hotchkiss Grove Beach

Uncovered by: Jean

My husband and I moved from Port Washington, Long Island to Branford about 23 years ago. I came first since the move was due to a job change for me. My husband was reluctant to move as he had just retired and loved Port Washington which is a lovely, water oriented community.

When finally, after many months of weekend commuting on my part, he agreed to move, I put a deposit on a new condominium that offered beach rights at Hotchkiss Grove Beach. When my husband came to look, he just glanced at the house but immediately was thrilled that he could walk to the beach.

On one of our first Sunday visits to the beach after our move, we were greeted by a young boy who said, “Haven’t seen you before. Are you new to SCUM BEACH?” (Apparently, the nickname residents call the beach).  My husband threw me the most furious and dismayed look that said, “What have we invested in here?”

Despite the fact, that like most beaches in Branford, the water is not very clear and the beach less than pristine, we enjoyed many Sunday afternoons, reading the paper, relaxing and enjoying the quiet and the view from delightful Scum Beach, as we always called it after that.

Hotchkiss Grove Shoreline

Limewood Avenue/Route 146, along shoreline | Uncovered by: Speeros

My favorite current walk in Branford is from my house in Indian Neck to the shore on Limewood Avenue.

These are two photos of the beginning of this walk. The first shows the beginning of the walk along Limewood by the water. The second is a view looking across the street from the end of Crouch Road on Limewood Avenue of Long Island Sound and the little island.

My route through Hotchkiss Grove is two miles, which is the longest walk I can safely achieve in Branford from my house.

Lenny’s

205 South Montowese Street (Rte 146) | Uncovered by: Trudy

Lenny’s Restaurant is a favorite for the best seafood in an unpretentious environment. Located in Indian neck, diners can eat inside or outside on a deck overlooking Sybil Creek and marsh. Lenny’s has been serving customers since 1968 with the original owners’ children assuming the family business mantle. The lobster salad is chock-full with succulent, sweet lobster in every bite…not to be missed.
Owenego Inn

40 Linden Avenue | Uncovered by: Lee

Owenego is my favorite place. The view of the water is lovely. There is a Beach and Tennis Club located onsite, but I am not a member. However, it’s open to nonmembers from 5 PM–on every weekday evening, and some
events during the year are open to nonmembers. They have light bites at
the Hungry Dog til September 1st. They are cash-only; no credit cards.
Siam Orchids

899 West Main Street | Uncovered by: Astrid, Marge, Mareyna, Jennifer, Cathleen, Dave, Jean, Ann, & Speeros

 

 We joined the “Food and Restaurant Group” for a dinner together at Siam Orchids and it was a gift that was way beyond our expectations. When we entered the restaurant, a lovely looking woman was already there and waiting for the group. When asked why we chose to move to Branford, we freely shared that living closer to the water and to Yale Medical were two of the main reasons.

As she attentively listened, she learned that we needed to secure an oncologist and cardiologist which was an immediate challenge for us. To our amazement, she was the administrator of four oncology/cardiology clinics and with full heart, offered to connect us with some top specialists. It was then that we realized that we were right where we needed to be and we were truly blessed with a new and treasured friend in our lives.

Another gift to us at that moment in time was the next person to enter the restaurant and that was Jean Cherni, who writes a column for seniors in The New Haven Register.

She learned of David’s background in health planning and invited him to submit his resume and hopefully become a part of the Council of Aging. Additionally, Jean’s work is connected with the work Marge was involved in with Hospice and Long Term Care. As a result of our sharing our backgrounds, Jean generously offered to provide Marge with connections to many of our area facilities so that she can hopefully continue to present her trainings and workshops in her newly adopted area.

Meeting together at a local restaurant became a gift way beyond the delicious food and lovely ambiance.

Studio B Brow & Body Bar

242 Main Street, inside New Look Salon | Uncovered by Pamela

When I think of “Uncovering Branford” the first place that comes to mind is Studio B — a local nail salon, owned by Gabby Wedrow, nestled in the front of “A New Look Salon” on Main Street, in Branford.

I visit Studio B twice a month and each time my trip is filled with great conversations, discussing the best places to eat in Branford to the best breweries. While listening to good music in the background, Gabby and I might discuss the lineup for the next live jazz performance on the Branford Green or compare our favorite new menu items and artists at Home Restaurant.

The salon is a very lively place and the other ladies working there are always friendly. The atmosphere is always filled with high and loud laughter ensuring that every client leaves there feeling good about themselves. I love my “me time”, and when I think of “Uncovering Branford” there’s no better place I would rather be then in the company of a friend, getting pampered and having fun!

Tommy Sullivan’s Café

240 North Main Street | Uncovered by: Trudy

 Tommy Sullivan’s Café is a longtime Branford restaurant featuring pub fare with some Irish specialties. Patrons enjoy a friendly atmosphere in a Irish cottage like setting with indoor wrap around bar and fire place. There are also outside decks for dining and regular musical entertainment. The welcoming traditions owner Tommy Sullivan has established are being continued under management by his daughter.
Branford Trolley Trail

Trail End Points: Tilcon Road (Pine Orchard) and Thimble Island Road (Stony Creek) | Uncovered by: Astrid, David, Kathy, & Marge

Our hike at the Branford Trolley Trail began early on a Saturday morning, which for July was exceptionally breezy and cool. The forecast for rain, however, did not dampen our spirits. We began at the foot of the crosswalk directly across from the Stony Creek library. Parking is available near the library or a short distance down at the ball field.

Tall, marsh grasses on both sides of the trail enclosed us on this wide segment of the trail. The wide path was a relief as we wanted to avoid becoming host to any area ticks. This flat terrain was welcomed as was its proximity to the water which provided us with close views of a couple of the Thimble Islands. We spotted baby osprey atop of each of the three nesting sites, one baby enthusiastically testing its wings for its potential first flight. There were majestic outcroppings of rocks and a huge, dramatic splash of color adorning a roadway pass-over provided by graffiti artists. Hermit crabs were busy carrying off their food acquisitions in the mud below and bird calls were sounding in the lush green growth and expansive marsh land.

The trail ended at the railroad tracks leading to the stone quarry. Parking is available at that end as well for people starting the walk from Pine Orchard. We reflected on how interesting and beautiful Branford is and how fortunate we all are to live in this town.

All stories, statements, and opinions are submitted by participants in Uncover Branford and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blackstone Library. The James Blackstone Memorial Library reserves the right to edit and disreguard entries that include vulgar language or questionable content. Display and printed priority will be given to Branford sites.

Uncover Branford is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.