Railroad Trestle over the Housatonic River, Derby

Railroad Trestle over the Housatonic River, Derby – Ronald C. Barnes

The city of Derby, located in New Haven County, is in southwest Connecticut at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers. Settled as a Native American trading post in 1654, it was named after Derby, England, in 1675. The city’s rivers made it an ideal spot for manufacturing. From the first water-powered gristmill in 1681 to the opening of the Housatonic Dam in 1870, Derby was a successful manufacturing town. In the nineteenth century, it produced a wide-variety of goods, including hoopskirts and corsets. Derby is the state’s smallest municipality and is also the birthplace of famous Revolutionary War hero David Humphreys.

More on Derby from the CT Digital Archive

Browse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.

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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. …[more]

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Derby Historical Society. “David Humphreys House,” 2016. Link.
“Derby Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“Kosciuszko (Polish-American) Historical Society, Inc,” 2017. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Osborne Homestead Museum,” 2012. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Osbornedale State Park,” 2012. Link.


“Birmingham, Conn. 1876.” Bird’s-eye. Boston, MA: O.H. Bailey & Company, 1876. University of Connecticut Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. “Derby - WPA Architectural Survey,” 2013. Link.
“Derby Collection.” Connecticut Digital Archive, n.d. Link.
“Derby, Shelton, and East Derby, Conn.” Bird’s-eye. New York: Landis and Hughes, 1898. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.


Ansonia Bicentennial History Book Committee. Ansonia Bicentenial 1976. Ansonia,  CT: Ansonia Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
Derby Historical Society. Derby. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 1999.
Derby Historical Society. Derby and Ansonia. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 2004.
Rockey, J. L., ed. History of New Haven County, Connecticut. Vol. 2. New York: W. W. Preston, 1892. Link.
Daughters of the American Revolution, and Albert Sherwood. Memories of Old Derby. Derby,  CT: The Sarah Riggs Humphreys chapter. Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924.
Molloy, Leo. Tercentenary Pictorial and History of the Lower Naugatuck Valley: Compiled by Leo T. Molloy on the Occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the Settlement of Connecticut. Containing a History of Derby, Ansonia, Shelton and Seymour. a Chronicle of the Progress and Achievement of the Several Cities and Towns. Ansonia,  CT: Emerson Brothers, 1935.
Orcutt, Samuel. The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880 with Biographies and Genealogies. Springfield, MA: Springfield Printing Company, 1880. Link.