Fulling Mill Brook Preserve
Fulling Mill Brook, which drains into the Chilmark Upper Pond, runs the length of the preserve. The corridor is profuse: nesting songbirds are abundant and include yellow warblers, redstarts, common yellowthroats and ovenbirds. Footbridges span the brook, easing hikers into habitat which in some areas would otherwise have been too dense or sequestered to visit.
Travel on the Middle Road in the direction of Beetlebung Corner; preserve is on the left 0.5 miles after the road’s intersection with the Tabor House Road. Trailhead is here; bicycle rack is located at the South Road entrance.
- Benjamin Skiffe bought one hundred acres of land along Fulling Mill Brook in 1694 to build a mill for fulling cloths; his house was east of the brook, and the mill was not far from his house and could be seen from South Road.
- “Fulling” is the process of cleaning the oils and grease from wool with a hydrated aluminum magnesium silicate called Fuller’s Earth in order to clean shrink and thicken it; It is then pounded into heavy, water resistant felt that is cut for cloth