|WILL WARREN’S DEN [WM. S. WADSWORTH MEMORIAL] 7.2 acres,
donated 1987 by William Wadsworth [1899-1984].
Portions of Farmington’s history are fanciful – with elements of truth
as are always found within the traditional tales of a locale. Such is
the story of Will Warren, who may even be a chimera made up of
more than one character. A brief reference to the man himself
appears in Andrews’ History of New Britain, but the full legend was
written down for perhaps the first time in the 1906 Green Book.
Briefly [for the few who haven’t previously met W.W.], he is said to
have been of mixed race and an odd isolated person who after a
run-in with local authorities, tried to burn the village and fled to a cave
on Rattlesnake Mountain. There he lived out the rest of his days as a
“hermit”, foraging down into town from time to time to steal sheep.
The cave is actually a cavity beneath huge tumbled traprock
boulders, and certainly could have sheltered an outcast like Will.
It is high on the rocky ridge, near the TV towers and on the Blue
Trail. For generations, it has been the goal of youngsters and their
elders exploring the rocky oak woodland of the ridge.
Though W.W. might be partly a legend, his cave is definitely still
there up on the mountain. The Den and 7.2 acres was donated to
the Town in 1987 by William Wadsworth, and is further protected by
the Land Trust’s conservation easement. Here once again, we have
become the keepers of both the land and its history. Will and his
Den are very much part of our local story and if he did not really exist,
he probably should have. We would be proud to recruit him as an
Honorary Land Trust Member.
||Photo courtesy of Carol Hanny