Slab City

Slab City

The area surrounding Osgood Pond was once – and occasionally still is - known as Slab City. While there was certainly no actual “city” there - just a few homes, the Merrill Bros. mill and various ice houses, the nickname is mentioned in numerous newspaper articles in the Milford Cabinet from the early years of the 20th Century and as far back as the 1880s. Many have theorized that the Slab City name came from the “slabs of ice” cut in the region.

Dennis Lorden’s first sawmill – the origin of Lorden Lumber – set up shop at the pond in the 1920s. The pond itself was not the picturesque spot for fishing and dog-walking that it is now. A 1912 “Little Spotlight” in the Milford Cabinet described the pond as “filled with weeds, scum, snakes, brush, pollywogs and filth. Its color runs from muddy brown to sickly green. Mosquitos and midges hang above it and the odor which arises in some places is sickening.” So much for the good ol’ days. Apparently though, the white water lilies that lit atop the pond made the scene so attractive at times that one could rent a boat for 10 cents an hour to explore the transformed scene.

References to “Slab City,” which were plentiful in the 1910s, start to drop off in the Milford Cabinet in the 1920s and ‘30s. In 1986, however, a man living near the pond named Chris Robbins bought a collection of five old fire trucks and called them the "Slab City Fire Department," giving them a Slab City logo and touring them in various town parades and events. It seems Slab City is gone but not completely forgotten.

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