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Lydia Sherman: The Derby Poisoner

Lydia Sherman confessed to killing three husbands and four children, but it is believed that the total number of her victims may be much higher.

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Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses, Bridgeport, photograph ca. 1998

Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses

Houses owned by Mary and Eliza Freeman are the only remnants of “Little Liberia,” a settlement of free African Americans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that began in 1831 and reached its highest population just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.

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The American Brass Company: Leading the Way in the “Brass Valley”

The American Brass Company helped make Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley a center of international brass production, but economic decline and foreign competition ended its run in the late 20th century.

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Corporal Thomas Fox , Second Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery, B Company with his regimental flag

Disaster at Cold Harbor: Connecticut’s Second Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment

October 26, 2019 • Civil War, Derby

For many veterans of the Second, the assault at Cold Harbor would be the most terrible memory of their Civil War careers.

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Map detail from Turnpikes of Connecticut,

Oxford: From Paths to Pikes

October 22, 2019 • Derby, Oxford, Southbury, Transportation, Woodbury

When colonists first settled around Oxford, Connecticut, roads consisted of…

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David Humphreys

David Humphreys, Soldier, Statesman, and Agricultural Innovator

Despite an accomplished political career, this Derby-born gentleman of means is best remembered for introducing Merino sheep to North America.

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U.S. Frigate Constitution, Isaac Hull, Esqr., commander

Fame and Infamy for the Hulls of Derby

Two Connecticut men, uncle and nephew, had starring roles—one in defeat and one in victory—during the War of 1812.

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Joel Barlow

The Hartford Wits

Eventually taking the name the “Hartford Wits,” some of the most influential figures of the 18th century got together to write poetry that documented the state of the times.

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Seymour was Chusetown – Who Knew?

November 15, 2018 • Derby, Seymour

The town of Seymour was originally named Chuseville, before taking the name Humphreysville (after David Humphreys). It incorporated as Seymour in 1850.

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Pins made by Howe Manufacturing Co., Birmingham

John Howe Makes a Better Pin – Today in History: June 22

On June 22, 1832, John Ireland Howe invented the first…

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Excelsior Cutlery

Connecticut Pocketknife Firms

Connecticut pocketknife production began around 1840. Over the next two decades, Connecticut became the earliest state to have a burgeoning craft.

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Connecticut Pin Makers

For the latter half of the 19th century and for much of the 20th, Connecticut led the nation in pin production.

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Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

This educator, activist, and associate of Frederick Douglass served the US as its first African American ambassador.

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Over Time: Derby’s Historical Population

November 7, 2014 • Derby, Hide Featured Image

Census data, from colonial times on up to the present, is a key resource for those who study the ways in which communities change with the passage of time.

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