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flag  History of Derby, Connecticut, USA

Journey back in time to Derby, Connecticut, USA

Visit Derby, Connecticut, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Derby, Connecticut, USA - City Hall

Derby, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

In 1819, the first industrial training school was established in Derby by Josiah Holbrook.

Derby is Connecticut's smallest town. courant.com

Derby is known for its scenic beauty, with the Housatonic River running through it, providing opportunities for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking.

Historically, Derby was a hub for manufacturing, particularly in the areas of textiles, metalworking, and electronics. While the industrial landscape has changed over the years, the city still maintains a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial areas.

In terms of cultural attractions, Derby has museums, historic sites, and landmarks that showcase its heritage and significance in American history. The Osborne Homestead Museum, located in Derby, is the former residence of a prominent industrialist and is now a museum open to the public.


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Postcards and Memories of Derby, Connecticut, USA

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There is MUCH more to discover about Derby, Connecticut, USA. Read on!

Derby Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

City Hall
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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City Hall
St. Mary's Church, Convent and School
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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St. Mary's Church, Convent and School
Town Pump
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Town Pump
Public Library, 1907
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Public Library, 1907
M.E. Church and Soldiers Monument, 1907
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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M.E. Church and Soldiers Monument, 1907
R.R. Station, 1907
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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R.R. Station, 1907
Unitarian Church at Atwater Ave., 1907
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Unitarian Church at Atwater Ave., 1907
Sterling Piano Factory, Derby, Conn.
museumofcthistory.org
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Sterling Piano Factory, Derby, Conn.
museumofcthistory.org
Franklin School, 1908
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Franklin School, 1908
High School, 1909
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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High School, 1909
Derby Junction, Conn. Trolley Terminus, 1909
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Derby Junction, Conn. Trolley Terminus, 1909
Elizabeth Street, 1909
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Elizabeth Street, 1909
Bridge over Housatonic River
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Bridge over Housatonic River
Home Trust Co. & Burmingham Nat'l Bank, Main St.
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Home Trust Co. & Burmingham Nat'l Bank, Main St.
Naugatuck River and Bridge
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Naugatuck River and Bridge
Seymore Avenue
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Seymore Avenue
Old Town Well
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Old Town Well
Bird's Eye View from R. R. Bridge, Derby, Conn.
museumofcthistory.org
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Bird's Eye View from R. R. Bridge, Derby, Conn.
museumofcthistory.org
Bassett House, 1911
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Bassett House, 1911
Main Street, 1911
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Main Street, 1911
Elizabeth Street, 1912
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Elizabeth Street, 1912
Main Street, 1912
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Main Street, 1912
First Congregational Church, 1913
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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First Congregational Church, 1913
The Griffin Hospital
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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The Griffin Hospital
Bird's Eye View, showing Canal and Derby Paper Factory, Derby, Conn.
museumofcthistory.org
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Bird's Eye View, showing Canal and Derby Paper Factory, Derby, Conn.
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Clark Hotel, and Theatre
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Clark Hotel, and Theatre
Main Street
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Main Street
Main Street, Looking East
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Main Street, Looking East
Second Congregational Church
Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Second Congregational Church

Discover Derby: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1675 - (Derby, CT) Settled as a Native American trading post in 1654, it was named after Derby, England, in 1675.

connecticuthistory.org/ towns-page/ derby/
1681 First water-powered grist mill opened in Derby

connecticuthistory.org/ towns-page/ derby/
1819 - Derby
Derby, an ancient commercial post town, is situated upon the eastern side of the Ousatonick river, 12 miles from its mouth, at the head of navigation; 9 miles northwest from New-Haven, and 38 southwest from Hartford; bounded on the north by Oxford, on the east by Woodbridge, on the south by Milford, on the southwest by the Ousatonick river, which separates it from Huntington, in Fairfield county, and on the west by a part of Oxford. Its mean length is about 5 & a half miles, and its mean breadth 4 and a half, comprising an area of about 25 square miles. The surface is undulating, being pleasantly diversified with hills and dales. Upon the borders of the Ousatonick & Naugatuck, there are some fine tracts of alluvial. The prevailing soil is a gravelly loam; some sandy loam, and some small sections of calcareous loam. There are considerable forest lands in the township, and quantities of wood and timber are exported to the city of New-York...
A Gazetteer of the States of Connecticut and Rhode-Island: Written with Care and Impartiality, from Original and Authentic Materials : Consisting of Two Parts ... with an Accurate and Improved Map of Each State Authors John Chauncey Pease, John Milton Niles Publisher W.S. Marsh, 1819
1819 - First industrial training school, established by Josiah Holbrook in Derby

www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ connecticut.html
1833 – A family of Bethany Indians resettled in Derby by the selectmen is wiped out by smallpox; there are in all six men, three squaws, and three children; only the children survive the epidemic.
The family, named Mack, support themselves by making baskets and by hunting. They are among the last survivors of the Paugusset Indians living in the area.
www.bethany-ct.com/ historicalSociety/ bhs-facts.htm
1839 - Derby
Derby, Connecticut
New Haven county. The Indian name of this town was Paugasset. It was purchased of the Indians, and incorporated in 1675. The surface of the town is uneven, with some fertile meadow on the banks of the rivers. Derby is watered by the Housatonick and Naugatuck rivers. Derby Landing, Smithville, and Humpherysville, are the principal places of business.

The Landing is on the east side of the Housatonick, just below the junction of that river with the Naugatuck, and is 8 miles N.W. from New Haven, and 14 from the mouth of the river at Stratford on Long Island Sound. Vessels of 10 feet draught of water can pass to the Landing, from which wood and other commodities are transported by water.

Smithville is located in view of the Landing, and commands a beautiful prospect. It has extensive manufactures of copper, in sheets and wire, augurs, carriage springs and axletrees, and other operations by the waters of the Naugatuck, passing through a canal of about a mile in... Read MORE...

1854 - Derby
Debby, a post-township of New Haven county, Connecticut, 10 miles W. by N. from New Haven, on the E. Bide of Housatonic river. Population, 3824. The village of Derby is situated at the junction of the Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers, and on the Naugatuck railroad.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1859
DERBY, a township of New Haven co., in the state of Connecticut, 44 m. SW of Hartford, watered by the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers. The surface is hilly, but the soil possesses considerable fertility. The harbour is capable of receiving vessels of 80 tons, but they are chiefly those belonging to the coasting trade. Pop. 2,851. The principal village is situated near the junction of the Nangatuck and Housatonic rivers, 12 m. from the Sound.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1870 - Housatonic Dam opened in Derby

connecticuthistory.org/ towns-page/ derby/
1882 - HIGH WATER AT DERBY. The Scene at the Ousatonic Dam - Freshets of Past Years.
BIRMINGHAM, Sept. 25.- The steady down pour of rain during Saturday, both day and night, caused the Ousatonic and Naugatuck rivers to rise to the height of 11 feet 6 ½ inches above low water mark making the third freshet at this season in twenty-five years, the other two having occurred October 4th, 1869, when the water was at the height of 16 feet, and August 19th, 1875, the water rising 11 feet 6 inches. It will be remembered that the October freshet is also the date that the dam gave way and caused such consternation in Derby. On November 3d, 1853, the water reached 17 feet 7 inches and swept away the Ansonia bridge that was constructed but two years before. A good many people were on the bridge at the time, among whom were two lovers, George Allen and Georgisus Bartholomew. All got off the bridge in time to save their lives but the two last mentioned, and they went down amidst the broken timbers of the bridge, and were carried to a small island some yards below, where they clung... Read MORE...

1895 - Derby
Derby, a village of New Haven co., Conn., in Derby township, on the Housatonic River, at the mouth of the Naugatuck River, and on the Naugatuck and New Haven & Derby Railroads, 9 miles W. of New Haven, and 13 miles N.E. of Bridgeport. A bridge across the Naugatuck River connects Derby with Birmingham, which is in Derby town ship. Here are manufactures of brass, iron, paper, pins, spectacles, &c. The township contains 2 national banks, 2 savings-banks, 2 newspaper offices, 9 churches, and 3 graded schools. Pop. of village, about 2000; of the township in 1890, including Birmingham, 5969.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1908 - SPEEDING MOGUL BLOWS UP.
Trainmen Hurt, Locomotive and Cars Wrecked, and Tracks Torn Up.
Special to The New York Times.

DERBY, Conn., April 9. - When making a trip from Bridgeport to Waterbury early to-day over the tracks of the New York, Hew Haven & Hartford Railroad, Freight Engine 468 of the mogul type, blew up at Wheeler's Farms, three miles below Derby. The engine was drawing a train of thirty-five loaded cars, and the three forward cars were destroyed.

Some of the trainment[sic] jumped, and one of them, James Templeton, a brakeman of New Haven, suffered a fractured skull. Harry W. Kowe, the fireman, of Winsted, although badly scalded about the back and suffering extreme pain, walked from the scene of the accident to Naugatuck Junction, from which place he was taken to the hospital at Bridgeport. Frank Gilbert, engineers of Waterbury, was scalded about the hands.

The locomotive was completely wrecked, and the debris strewn about over the tracks, while the roadbed was also torn up for some... Read MORE...

1916
Derby, der'be, a banking city of New Haven co., Conn., in Derby township (town), on the Housatonic River, at the month of the Naugatuck River, and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R., 9 miles W. of New Haven. A bridge across the Nangatuck River connects Derby with Birmingham. Here are manufactures of brass, iron, paper, pins, guns and ammunition, type-writers, pianos, woollens, etc. The town is coextensive with the city. Pop. in 1900, 7930.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Whether you're a local looking for new adventures or a visitor passing through, here's a list of places to go and things to do in Derby and the surrounding area:
Osbornedale State Park: This beautiful state park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can enjoy hiking trails, picnicking areas, and even visit the Osborne Homestead Museum, a historic mansion located within the park.

Seymour Land Trust: If you're a nature enthusiast, you'll love exploring the Seymour Land Trust's various hiking trails. It's a great place for birdwatching, photography, and getting in touch with the natural beauty of the area.

Indian Well State Park: Just a short drive from Derby, this state park is a favorite spot for swimming, picnicking, and fishing. The park's namesake, the "Indian Well," is a waterfall and rock formation worth seeing.

Griffin Hospital Nature Trail: This nature trail is perfect for a leisurely walk or jog. It's a hidden gem that's popular among locals for its peaceful surroundings.

Ansonia Nature Center: Located nearby in Ansonia, this nature center is a great place for families. They offer... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Derby Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Derby, Connecticut, USA

We currently have information about 336 ancestors who were born or died in Derby.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Derby, Connecticut, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Derby

Our Derby Gift Ideas


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Whether you're a proud Nutmeg State native or just a fan of its delectable cuisine, this candle is the perfect way to showcase your love for all things Connecticut. This candle is not just a celebration of food; it's a declaration of your affection for Connecticut. The bold "I Love Connecticut!" statement proudly proclaims your connection to the state.   Pinterest   

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Featuring iconic local delicacies, the design of this mug captures the essence of Connecticut's food culture. It pays homage to the Apizza, a unique and mouthwatering pizza style that originated in New Haven. The legendary Louis' Lunch Burger, said to be the birthplace of the hamburger, is also prominently featured. And of course, there's a nod to the classic White Clam Pizza, a coastal favorite that's a must-try for seafood enthusiasts.   Pinterest   

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Introducing the Memories of Savin Rock ceramic postcard mug, a charming tribute to the iconic amusement park in Connecticut! This 11-ounce ceramic coffee mug is a delightful blend of nostalgia and functionality. Featuring a vintage-inspired design, the mug showcases iconic images and landmarks from Savin Rock amusement park, evoking fond memories of days gone by.   Pinterest   

Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

"My ancestors came from the USA. That explains a lot about my love for Thanksgiving, parades, and believing that ketchup is a vegetable!"   Pinterest   
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Updated: 9/22/2023 7:36:37 PM