When Wildwood Park was developed at Alexander's Lake by the Connecticut Electric Railway. in 1903, it became quite popular.
The trolley ran from Danielson to Putnam, going into Dayville, turning at Kelley's Corner, crossing the railroad track on a trellis bridge, then passing by the mill, turning north near where the Catholic Church now stands, in back of the car barn on upper Maple Street, on to the little station on the east side of the road at the Park. (The station has been made into a house, moved back a little.)
A beautiful grove of pines grew around the shore. At first swimming was not allowed because the lake was the reservoir for Williamsville (Goodyear, Rogers). A small launch would ride around the lake and rowboats.
A popcorn stand, benches to sit on and a few tables were available. a pavilion was built, for parties, dances, etc. Killingly and Putnam High School Receptions were held there several years. As a special attraction for a time were the monkey cages and the moving picture house. Fireworks over the water were a feature. Sunday school picnics were held there as well as other groups.
It was a pleasant afternoon outing to take the trolley, open air in the summer, to Wildwood Park for 10 cents and a delightful afternoon by the side of the Lake, in a shady grove. The trolleys ran quite frequently. Roller skating in the pavilion, also. Soon a few cottages were built.
The Alexander family had built a summer mansion there, and this was used as a Club House for a time, by people from Putnam and Danielson.
Then came the fire that destroyed the buildings and the beautiful grove of trees. Conditions were remedied and the lake was allowed to be used for swimming. Mr. Sheridan took over the possession of the land and it was rented on long term rentals and many cottages, some year round, have been built around the shores. A public beach has been made, fenced in with picnic tables, etc. It is now a lively summer community. Sail boat races are very popular in the summer.
When the car barns were in use, on the east side of the road, just above the junction of Maple Street and Route 101, a row of cottages were built across from the car barn for the convenience of the families of the motormen and conductors. These cottages are now all privately owned.
John Mellor, father of Mark and Mildred Mellor, was the chief mechanic at the Car Barn, later he was transferred to Norwich Car Barn, where he worked until he retired.
(Prosper and William Alexander with Capt. John Day built the first mill in Dayville. They had homes in Dayville and were buried in the Dayville cemetery.