Shaker Pines Lake History
The name "Shaker" came from a religious sect founded among the lower class in England in 1758. The group's controversial beliefs in the second coming of Christ as a women, their eschewing of greed, pride, sex and their simple communal way of life brought on religious persecution; and they fled to America in 1774. By 1782, they had established a community in Enfield and within ten years had settled over a large tract of land, part of which is our Association area. The Shaker colony kept much to itself, as their religious beliefs were a complete mystery to most of the natives, but their solid community accomplishments were considerable.
They were industrious craftsmen and farmers, improving the land and planting white pine trees. For irrigation and to power the lumber mill, they dammed up a ravine into which several brooks flowed in the spring months only to dry up in the summer season. This established the present lake.
Always dedicated to employing the natural resources available to them, they used the sandstone and timber in the area to construct the Mill for lumber for themselves and the surrounding farmers.
Their religious beliefs prohibited marriage, and by 1917 the colony had dwindled. The few remaining workers sold their possessions and moved away to become members of a distant Shaker colony. Subsequently, the Association used the Mill for the storage of firefighting equipment, including the fire truck, hose and trailer pump, and a local Civilian Defense Headquarters during the Second World War.
Shaker Pines Fire Department History:
The Shaker Pines Fire Department was first organized before the Second World War, but during the war was the office of Civilian Defense. Because of the war effort, the department was force to operate on limited equipment and a shortage of personnel. For about ten years, a dozen or so members of the Shaker Pines Lake Association went to work and about their daily chores with Indian Pumps and shovels in their cars.
They had two pumps donated by the government mounted on tractors and a station wagon that held two lines of Range hose on telephone wire reels. These were kept at the Old Mill, which was located on the corners of Cottage Road and Bridges Lane. These men were summoned from their jobs in Springfield, Hartford or wherever they worked to fight what were mostly then forest fires, which threatened cottages in the area. The fire alarm system was a wagon wheel rim hung on a tree at twenty West Shore Drive. This was hit with a metal bar and was heard quite a distance away. This was the start of what is now Shaker Pines Fire District.
In 1946, an intensified recruiting program was initiated for men and equipment to make it a recognized and efficient fire department in Hartford County. In 1949, the members of the Association voted the necessary money to purchase a new fire truck. In 1955, a new fire house was built on Association property for the fire fighting equipment and for the purpose of giving our volunteer firemen necessary quarters for training, meetings, etc. In 1962, a new Fire District was formed in the Town of Enfield, of which this Association is a member.
For all member of the department, past and present, we owe these volunteers our support in their regulations, fund raising campaigns and our most heartfelt thanks for the excellent job they perform.