February 27, 1875 Daily Constitution (Middletown)
Great Freshet in Naugatuck and Housatonic Valleys
A very serious flood, caused a freshet in the Housatonic River, has devastated the country in the vicinity of Zoar Bridge, about nine miles above Birmingham. A huge ice gorge has been formed at Otter Rocks and the roads are impassable. Zoar Bridge was carried a mile down the stream. The water rose to the second story windows of dwellings in some cases, and a number of barns and buildings were moved from their foundations. A quantity of livestock was destroyed, and there were many narrow escapes from death, but no lives were lost.
Five families barely escaped from their dwellings. A house in which there was a family of six persons was surrounded before the inmates were aware of their danger. They retreated to the upper story, and at last accounts had not been relieved. Several houses and barns were wrecked owing to the floating of the ice, and a number of cattle have been drowned.
During the freshet Thursday night a portion of the Home Woolen Company's dam at Beacon Falls was carried away. Friday afternoon. as a man named Flaherty was assisting in repairing the bank, he fell into the river and was swept away beyond recovery.