OPINION: Company wants to blast away much of Ledyard’s historic Mount Decatur

The prominent hill that Route 12 traverses, towering over and looking down the sweep of the Thames River, is such a crucial geographic feature that one of the great heroes of the U.S. Navy, Stephen Decatur, built a fort at the top of it during the War of 1812, when his ships were trapped by a British blockade of the river. Fort Decatur, at an elevation of 256 feet, gave the commodore the ability to see the enemy approaching from land and sea. And now, some neighbors will tell you, Mount Decatur itself is under attack, with a proposal by its new owners, who bought the hill as part of the former Dow Chemical plant property, to blast apart some 40 acres of the hillside and remove and sell off the material. A review of the application from the property owners, an affiliate of Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting of Quincy, Mass., is scheduled to begin with a public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, in a hybrid format from the Town Council Chambers.


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