Whetstone Brook

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Whetstone Brook as it runs under the Main Street Bridge in downtown Brattleboro, VT Main St Bridge Brattleboro VT.JPG
Whetstone Brook as it runs under the Main Street Bridge in downtown Brattleboro, VT

Whetstone Brook is a tributary of the Connecticut River that runs through the heart of Brattleboro, Vermont, in the United States. It flows into the Connecticut at an elevation of 250 feet (76 m) above sea level. [1] The headwater for the brook is at Hidden Lake, which is 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level in the town of Marlboro. [1] Of the 28-square-mile (73 km2) watershed, over two thirds is contained within Brattleboro, while another 30 percent is in Marlboro. The remaining 2% is within the town of Dummerston. [1] The brook is crossed by Creamery Covered Bridge in West Brattleboro, which was built in 1879. [2]

Connecticut River river in the New England region of the United States

The Connecticut River is the longest river in the New England region of the United States, flowing roughly southward for 406 miles (653 km) through four states. It rises at the U.S. border with Quebec, Canada, and discharges at Long Island Sound. Its watershed encompasses five U.S. states and one Canadian province, 11,260 square miles (29,200 km2) via 148 tributaries, 38 of which are major rivers. It produces 70% of Long Island Sound's fresh water, discharging at 19,600 cubic feet (560 m3) per second.

Brattleboro, Vermont Town in Vermont, United States

Brattleboro, originally Brattleborough, is a town in Windham County, Vermont, United States. The most populous municipality abutting Vermont's eastern border with New Hampshire, which is the Connecticut River, Brattleboro is located about 10 miles (16 km) north of the Massachusetts state line, at the confluence of Vermont's West River and the Connecticut. In 2014, Brattleboro's population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 11,765.

Marlboro, Vermont Town in Vermont, United States

Marlboro is a town in Windham County, Vermont, United States. The population was 978 at the 2000 census. The town is home to both the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum and Marlboro College, which hosts the Marlboro Music School and Festival each summer.



Whetstone Falls in 1907 near the connection with the Connecticut River. The falls and creek provided a supply of energy for mills in Brattleboro. Whetstone Falls, Brattleboro, VT.jpg
Whetstone Falls in 1907 near the connection with the Connecticut River. The falls and creek provided a supply of energy for mills in Brattleboro.

Whetstone Brook was an important part of the economic development of the town of Brattleboro, providing power for mills and factories along the shore of the brook. The first gristmill was established in the area by Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire in 1762, while the region was still under disputed claims between the colonies of New York and New Hampshire. [3] By 1773, the road near Whetstone Brook contained several sawmills, as well as housing from new settlers to the area. [3]

Gristmill mill; grinds grain into flour

A gristmill grinds cereal grain into flour and middlings. The term can refer to both the grinding mechanism and the building that holds it.

Benning Wentworth Colonial governor of New Hampshire

Benning Wentworth was the colonial governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766.

Province of New York English, from 1707, British, possession in North America between 1664 and 1776

The Province of New York (1664–1776) was a British proprietary colony and later royal colony on the northeast coast of North America. As one of the Thirteen Colonies, New York achieved independence and worked with the others to found the United States.

Whetstone Brook, Brattleboro, VT, circa 1869-1890 Whetstone Brook, Brattleboro, Vt, by D. A. Henry.png
Whetstone Brook, Brattleboro, VT, circa 1869-1890

Environmental issues

The Whetstone has a long history of contamination from the surrounding community of Brattleboro. In 1907, a local newspaper editorial described the brook becoming "an open sewer". [4]

In 1990, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation identified oil leakage from an underground storage tank; the subsequent cleanup effort removed nearly 4,000 gallons of petroleum from the waterway and nearby soil, costing $440,000. [5] The EPA uses the situation as a case study cleanup effort, for local-national cooperation in oil spill cleanup. [5] As of 2007, the lower 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of the brook, along which there is significant development, is contaminated by E. coli and other bacteria. [1] In 2011, a sewer interceptor pipe was ruptured during the landfall of Hurricane Irene, and nearly spilled sewage from the town of Brattleboro into the creek. [6]

Underground storage tank

An underground storage tank (UST) is, according to United States federal regulations, a storage tank, not including any underground piping connected to the tank, that has at least 10 percent of its volume underground.

Hurricane Irene Category 3 Atlantic hurricane in 2011

Hurricane Irene was a large and destructive tropical cyclone which affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during late August 2011. The ninth named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, Irene originated from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that began showing signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. Due to development of atmospheric convection and a closed center of circulation, the system was designated as Tropical Storm Irene on August 20, 2011. After intensifying, Irene made landfall in St. Croix as a strong tropical storm later that day. Early on August 21, the storm made a second landfall in Puerto Rico. While crossing the island, Irene strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. The storm paralleled offshore of Hispaniola, continuing to slowly intensify in the process. Shortly before making four landfalls in the Bahamas, Irene peaked as a 120 mph (190 km/h) Category 3 hurricane.

See also

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Windham County, Vermont County in the United States

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The Brattleboro Reformer is the third-largest daily newspaper in the U.S. state of Vermont. With a weekday circulation of just over 10,000, it is behind the Burlington Free Press and the Rutland Herald, respectively. It publishes six days a week, Monday through Saturday, with its Weekend Reformer having the largest readership; the offices of the paper are in Brattleboro, Vermont and it has a market penetration of 62.8 in its home zip code.

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Green River (Deerfield River tributary) tributary of the Deerfield River in Vermont and Massachusetts, United States

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Whetstone Brook" (PDF). Watershed Management Division, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
  2. "Escape into the past". PN - Paraplegia News. 65 (5): 49–53. 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2015 via General OneFile.
  3. 1 2 "Brattleboro in 1748-1790". Vermont Phoenix. Brattleboro, Vermont. 31 Oct 1890 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. "Dr. Tucker's Paper on Sanitation—Whetstone Brook Becoming an Open Sewer". Vermont Phoenix. Brattleboro, Vermont. 18 Jan 1907 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. 1 2 "Vermont: Whetstone Brook, Cleanup of Leaked Petroleum Restores Brook". EPA. March 6, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  6. "The Rescue of the Whetstone Brook". Brattleboro Community TV. October 20, 2014.|first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

Further reading

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In computing, a Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to identify objects uniquely, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.

Coordinates: 42°51′06″N72°33′24″W / 42.85176°N 72.55658°W / 42.85176; -72.55658

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.