The name “Cockermouth Forest” has historical significance in that from 1760 to 1790 the town of Groton was known as the town of Cockermouth, named for the river that runs through it. Bill Wadsworth, who donated the land to the Forest Society, first came to the area to attend Cockermouth Boys Camp.
The internal road network, old cellar holes and the history of the Remick Place (a circa 1830 kneewall cape formerly located on the property) indicate that much of the land was farmland in the early to mid 1800s. The Remick Place, including the stone foundation, was dismantled and rebuilt at a farm in New Hampton. The house’s frame represented one of the last remaining examples of this type of construction.
William B. Wadsworth, or simply, “B”, as he was affectionately known, was a professor of electrical engineering who held patents for ear protectors and aided in the development of earphones. He began acquiring land in Groton in the 1950s in remembrance of youthful summers spent at the nearby Cockermouth Camp and managed the land for timber. He blazed extensive hiking trails on the property, including a trail to Bald Knob, where he installed an antenna stanchion high on Bald Hill -- a testament to his fondness for tennis and electronics. He actually carried a battery powered 12 volt TV up the 1,900-ft peak so he could watch the Wimbledon Tennis championship broadcast on Boston television.
Circumstances of acquisition:
In 1991 William Wadsworth donated 1,002 acres of his property as part of his estate plan. His primary objective in donating the property was to protect the land’s diverse wildlife habitat. This land is valued for its large size, wildlife habitat, timber production, and recreational experience.
Please see our Visitor Use Guidelines page for a complete list of rules and regulations for Forest Society reservations.