Wheelers Woods site has archaeological significance
To the Editor:
The proposed affordable housing 180 unit complex on Wheelers Farms Road at East Rutland Road poses a problem not covered by the 8-30g legislation.
This area is a major archaeological site for Native American artifacts. Claude C. Coffin, whose collection is at the Milford Historical Society, lived nearby and found many collectible items there. Artifacts are still being found there.
In addition, a pest house was built there in 1774. Smallpox was a highly contagious disease and those afflicted with it were isolated in a “pest house” which was away from the populated area. Those who died of the disease were buried nearby. It is very likely that the smallpox sufferers who were deposited on the Milford beach on 1 January 1777 were taken there, and those who died were buried nearby. East Rutland Road, at one time, was known as “Pox Lane.”
According to 8-30g, all this must mean nothing to the Planning and Zoning Board in its deliberation on this project. Thus, an affordable housing complex can be placed on a historic or archaeological site and nothing can be done about it unless compelling health and/or safety issues can be proved.
To take an idealistic view, 8-30g is a well-intentioned but poorly written piece of legislation. To take a cynical view, it was written as a gift to developers.