Valley History Archive

Scroll down for This Week in History Archive, Valley History Definitions, Maps, Sentinel articles, and historic essays.

This Week In History

This Week In History Archives
 - from the former local daily newspaper Evening Sentinel


100 Years Ago







75 Years Ago







50 Years Ago







Go Here for 1911, 1936, and 1961

Valley History Definitions
- an alphabetical index to places mentioned in the archives.


Historic Maps

1848            1907            1930            1955


Evening Sentinel Articles

Complete transcribed articles from the Valley's former daily newspaper Evening Sentinel.

May 1, 1888: The First electric trolley in New England Ride along as it is taken for its first trial run under the cover of night.

July 16, 1906: Growing Fond of Lake Housatonic The beginnings of Lake Housatonic serving as a summer resort, enjoyed by thousands for decades.

September 21, 1906: Roller Skating Craze Again Seizes Ansonia Relive the grand reopening of the Ansonia Opera House as a roller skating rink.

March 15, 1907: Many Improvements at the Bassett House Check in for an inside tour of Derby's premiere hotel. Includes photos.

March 30, 1907: Maj. W. F. Osborne Died Suddenly To-Day Maj. Osborne was the namesake for Osbornedale Farms, now a State Park, and led a number of factories in Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, and Bridgeport. He was the founder of Derby Neck Library, and the father of Frances Kellogg.

December 23, 1907: Annual Letter Comes from Santa Claus St. Nick himself writes a special letter to the girls of the St. James Sewing School.

March 7, 1917 Old Wallace Smokestack Being Torn Down An Ansonia landmark, the tallest structure ever built in the Valley, is dismantled.

April 7, 1927: Derby's Shipping History is now closed as R.R. Co. Buys Dock The end of a colorful era dating back to the 1700s.

April 1, 1930: History of the Derby Fire Department which nears its 100th Anniversary Offsite link

June 15, 1931: Sudden Demise of Officer William H. Stier a Shock. A forgotten line-of-duty death in the Derby Police Department?

February 26, 1932: J. F. O'Sullivan Had Active Life Read the story of the dreamer who gave his name to O'Sullivan's Island

March 22, 1932: School Building being Torn Down Seymour Mutual Aid razes the Second Street schoolhouse, built in 1847.

September 19, 1932: Bicentennial - Purple Heart Celebration Record Spectacle for Associated Communities A full recap of the momentous events of Saturday, September 17, 1932, when the Valley hosted a gala celebration celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington, and awarded its World War I veterans the newly reissued Purple Heart. This event led directly to the formation of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Article contains full details of the parade, speakers, a historic essay on Derby's participation in the American Revolution, and a list of all veterans who received Purple Hearts that day.

September 22, 1932: Purple Heart Association of the United States formed The George Washington Chapter No. 1 is formed in Ansonia, and today's Military Order of the Purple Heart is born.

January 10, 1933: Bruce N. Griffing Claimed by Death This Morning The obituary of the man who ran a successful factory in Shelton, and whose brother named Griffin Hospital. Countless Derby and Shelton students have attended the Day in 1762 Program with assistance from the Bruce N. Griffing Trust.

February 20, 1933: Historical Talk at First Church A brief history of Birmingham, as told by Derby's foremost historian at the time, Sen. Henry M. Bradley Jr.

June 25, 1934: President Roosevelt Passed through Derby Saturday A.M. Read about the historic day that FDR passed through Derby, Seymour, and Oxford, which led to a section of Route 34 being renamed Roosevelt Drive.

August 28, 1953: Edward H. O'Connell Concludes 59 Years as Theater Stage Manager. Mr. O'Connell worked at Sterling Opera House, and the Capitol and Commodore Hull Theaters.

June 20, 1956: John Shields Retires as Manager of Capitol Theater. Contains references to entertainment and show business in Derby and Ansonia, including Sterling Opera House and Capitol Theater.

September 27, 1956: Mrs. Frances Osborne Osborne Kellogg dies at Oborndale Read the obituary for one of the Valley's most remarkable women, whose legacy continues today in Osborndale State Park and the Kellogg Environmental Center.

November 14, 1956: Harry Haugh, Electronics Pioneer, Dies Suddenly Read the obituary of one of Derby's foremost 20th century inventors, who developed the forerunner of today's automobile-tripped traffic lights.

January 31, 1957: Great Names in Entertainment World Played Capitol Retired manager John Shields recalls big names which appeared at the Capitol Theater, and troubles with elephants, lions, and gubernatorial candidates at Sterling Opera House.

April 23, 1957: May Cost City $60,000 to Fill Tail Race Which in 1844 Made Industrial Ansonia Possible A history of the Ansonia Tail Race, and how it tied into the canal and the City's history, from 1844 to 1957.

April 30, 1958: Howard & Barber marks 100th Anniversary Read the interesting history of how a humble dry goods store grew to become Derby's favorite department store in history.

Historic Essays

The Derby Historical Society is frequently consulted regarding certain events, industries and products from the Lower Naugatuck Valley's past. The Society and its members have also put together historic essays as well. Below are some examples - CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELCOME!!!

Adams Manufacturing Company Chronology

The Birth and Naming of Ansonia in the 1840s

The Creation of the City of Ansonia and today's Valley in 1888-1889

David Humphreys - in his own words

Derby Silver Company (International Silver Company)

Dutch Incursions in the Housatonic Valley - 17th century

An earlier form of taxation: Revenue Stamped Paper

History of the Seymour Fire Alarm

Housatonic River Ice - Working and Playing

Remembering the Valley's Spring of 1953

Steamboat Ansonia

Sterling Piano Company (Huntington Piano Company)

Valley residents and friends on the Titanic