March 2, 2020 A historical date for Woodmonters!
On Monday March 2nd the Borough of Woodmont and City of Milford replaced the historic Signal Rock flag pole which has adorned Long Island Sound since 1895. Originally erected as a "signal post" by the Connecticut Shellfish association in 1881 as part of a statewide network of signal poles for use as a navigation tool and oyster bed markers. In 1895, the people of the then "Woodmont Association" decided to replace the shorter signal pole with a 40 foot pole and rig it to fly a large American flag. The actual pole was salvaged off of an older mid 1800's tall ship. According to a steeplejack that cared for the pole many years ago, it is of old growth cedar which is the reason for its longevity under such harsh conditions.
It was quite a production because the crews raced against the tides which only allow access to the rock for about a 2 hour span of time during low tide. At high tide the water is between 12 to 15 feet deep around the rock.
There were three crews working in concert with each other. The first to operated the 175 ton crane with a 256 foot reach and carefully removed the old pole. That crew passed off the pole to Jay Hannon and crew which will work to salvage parts of the old pole for posterity specifically the top 3 feet and gilded ball. The other crew is of steeple jacks and riggers to set the new pole in place. The new pole is 44' and made of a high tech composite material rated to withstand winds up to 180 MPH.
Check out the video and photos courtesy of Bill Hoagland.