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3. Industrial Heritage of Falls Village

At the far end of the area you will see a brown display kiosk that marks the beginning of a fascinating 1/4-mile iron history trail.

As you begin this short but rewarding historic walk you will learn from the kiosks set-up along the trail that in 1833 brothers Oliver and Horatio Ames founded the Ames Iron Works. Using high quality ore from the area and harnessing the power of the river they made many products from ship cannons to railroad cars. The railroad arrived in 1842 and their business prospered.

After the Civil War, the Housatonic Railroad purchased the Ames Iron Works and converted it to railroad repair and construction. In 1898, the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad purchased the Housatonic Railroad; and by 1900, all the repair and construction shops were closed and moved to New Haven. Later, buildings were demolished in anticipation of the Dam and Hydroelectric plant that began operation here in 1914. The plant, located below the falls, has been producing power ever since.