The Music Shell Letterbox  LbNA # 8153 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMay 6 2004
LocationEast Hartford, CT
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By Rubaduc
Last Found Jul 18 2007
Hike Distance?

Gorman Park, East Hartford -- EASY

***As of 02/02/2008 this box was MISSING.***
I will try to re-carve and re-plant this box ASAP, but until it has been posted as active again it will not be in place. Sorry. --WILD ROVER

Sometime in the 1960's a large concrete structure was built in the far reaches of Gorman Park in East Hartford called the “Music Shell” or Band Shell. It was open in the front where performers would play as onlookers sat on the sloped lawn. In the rear of the shell was an enclosed room which hosted a barrel fire in Winter and several benches to accommodate those taking a break from skating on the adjacent Turtle Pond. The Shell was the site of many concerts in my youth, and the pond was a constant source of enjoyment in all seasons, whether fishing, skating, hiking or generally enjoying the surrounding woods. As concerts, skaters and fishermen became increasingly scarce, the road to the Music Shell was eventually closed to automobile traffic, and the Music Shell was torn down. My sadness upon recently seeing the lonely foundation of the Shell was softened somewhat by seeing kids fishing in the pond, people walking their dogs, and a family walking the trail where I eventually planted this letterbox. The box (and my second hand-carved stamp) pays homage to the days of my youth in and around the Music Shell.


From 84 in either direction take Route 384 to Exit 1 (Silver Lane/Spencer Street). At end of exit take a right on Silver Lane and the first left on Oak Street. Follow Oak Street 6 stop signs (6?) and then take the 2nd right onto Green Manor Drive (if you hit Glastonbury you’ve gone too far); second right on Westerly Terrace, right at stop sign (still Westerly Terrace); first left on May Road; right at 3rd stop sign into Gorman Park; take first left and follow it a few hundred yards until the road is blocked by concrete blocks, and park there.

From Glastonbury take Addison Road into East Hartford, where it becomes Oak Street; left onto Green Manor Drive and follow directions as above.


Walk down the road past the concrete roadblock. When you are under the power lines look across Turtle Pond to your 2:00 o’clock to a concrete foundation behind the large, dark telephone pole. The foundation is the site of the former “Music Shell.” Sadly, the foundation is all that is left today.

Continue walking down road to a point where Turtle Pond on the right feeds into a tributary stream of Porter Brook on the left, under the roadway through a pipe evidenced by a large concrete grated box on the right and by a small collecting pool on the left. Proceed down the road a short distance further to a bird house on a telephone pole on the left. Enter the trail to the left just before the birdhouse. The entrance to the trail can be muddy.

Proceed down the trail, which follows the stream (the stream is to the left). The trail is rooted and muddy in spots, but is distinct despite being unmarked. Continue to a point where the tops of two very large trees have fallen and have long since covered/blocked the “original” trail, creating a jug-handle trail to the right that circumvents the fallen treetops. When this box was planted the trees were marked with fungi by nature (and by duct tape by unknown gnomes). At the point where the jug-handle trail rejoins the original blocked trail (on the other side of the treetops), STOP. Proceed down the trail 15 paces (every left step) to the point just past where the bottom trunk of the higher of the fallen trees lies. At that point stop and, facing forward down the trail, look back to your 8:00 o’clock (behind you to the left) to see a “Grandmother Willow” tree of great character [which is actually not a willow at all]. The trunk of this tree begins on the left of the trail down a small cliff. To the left of this large and branchy tree is a tall “stump” that has been halved vertically, not entirely by nature, leaving it hollow in the center. In the middle of this hollow stump/trunk, on a "shelf" created when the tree split, is a hole hidden by sticks and twigs wherein can be found the Music Shell Letterbox. At first sight it may look impossible to traverse down the cliff to the stump/trunk, but it is not nearly as difficult as it looks. Be careful descending the mossy culvert to the trunk/stump, but access is easier than it appears. Good Luck!

Thanks again to MayEve for helping me to plant this letterbox.

NOTE: This is the second in a series of six letterboxes planted in East Hartford by Wild Rover. The Huskyville Letterbox was the first.