Old Jelly Mill Falls
Overview: Unimpressive waterfall, but a very pretty location. Location: Dummerston, VT Stream : Stickney Brook Finding : Easy Access : Roadside Legal : Uncertain
In December of 2003 Craig Erickson sent me the following in email.
The Old Jelly Mill (you saw what was left since it burned down many years ago) was an almost magical place which I visited frequently in 1960's. They served exquisite coconut custard pie and hot cider. They sold candles and other touristy stuff, however, the building was old and authentic to a wooden peg (no ORIGINAL nails).
As for the falls, in the spring at peak snowmelt time, they were very dramatic. As can be seen in your photo, the rocks descend in several tiers. You photographed water showing only on the side which is away from the road. In peak melt the water spanned the entire width of your photo and created several different tiers of falls.
Thanks for hiking around and rekindling some very fond and vivid memories.
I visited these falls with a woman I just met named Anna.
The falls were located in Dummerston just off Rt. 30. There was some possibility that we were not actually at the falls. The map I'm using (The Vermont Atlas and Gazetteer by the DeLorme Mapping Company of Freeport Maine, 1988 edition) is not always totally accurate when it comes to locating its waterfall symbols. In the case of Old Jelly Mill Falls, the map showed them on Stickney Brook about a mile or so back from Rt. 30. However, when Anna and I explored the back roads in the vicinity we saw nothing to indicate that there were any falls nearby. We didn't bother to climb into the ravine where the brook was but we couldn't hear the brook at all from the road so the falls---if they were there---must not have been very noisy.
In contrast, right at the junction of Rt. 30 and a side road, Stickney Brook does fall over a series of small steps forming a variety of interesting little falls. It was also clear that there had once been a building of some sort in the area. We could see stone work along the brook in a couple of places. Perhaps the stone work was the remains of Old Jelly Mill.
The falls were not spectacular as waterfalls go, but they were quite beautiful. Fall foliage was at its prime. There were many colored leaves floating in the water and drifting down from the trees above. The stream was not especially full and it winded back and forth across it's channel as it went from step to step.
Anna and I sat and listened to the water for a while at several spots along the stream. I took a few pictures. She suggested that I also try to get photographs of the falls at various seasons including winter. She thought that many falls would be especially beautiful during the winter. That sounds like a good idea to me, so maybe I'll try to do that. It would at least be a good excuse to go back to all the falls again! In any case Old Jelly Mill falls would be a good place to start during the winter season. It's quite close to the road and it would require very little plodding through snow to get at.
Overall, these were an interesting falls, but not spectacular. They would be worth stopping at if you were driving by, but don't plan your vacation around seeing them.
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