Annual fireworks display from the Derby-Shelton Bridge
|Motto(s): "Connecticut's Smallest City"|
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
|Region||Lower Naugatuck Valley|
|• Type||Mayor-Board of Aldermen|
|• Mayor||Richard Dziekan (R)|
|• Total||5.4 sq mi (14.0 km2)|
|• Land||5.0 sq mi (12.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)|
|Elevation||102 ft (31 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||12,631|
|• Density||2,400/sq mi (920/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0206671|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Education
- 6 Crime
- 7 Public Safety
- 8 Landmarks & Monuments
- 9 Media
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Notable people
- 12 Plans for the future
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Derby was incorporated on May 13, 1775.
In the 19th century, both corsets and hoop skirts were manufactured in the city.
In 1872, the Derby Silver Company began production. In 1898, the company became a division of the International Silver Company headquartered in Meriden, CT, but continued making silver with its brand name until 1933.
Charlton Comics, a comic book publishing company that existed from 1944 to 1986, was based in town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.4 square miles (8.7 km2), of which, 5.0 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (7.41%) is water. The city is home to the 417 acres (0.652 sq mi) Osbornedale State Park. Derby is divided into two main sections by the Naugatuck River: East Derby and Derby Center (Birmingham). The center of Derby is approximately 66 miles (106 km) from New York City.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Derby has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. January is on average the coolest month and July is on average the warmest month.
|Climate data for Derby, Connecticut|
|Record high °F (°C)||65
|Average high °F (°C)||35
|Average low °F (°C)||17
|Record low °F (°C)||−17
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.59
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||7.9
|Source #1: Weather Channel|
|Source #2: Intellicast|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,391 people, 5,252 households, and 3,245 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,487.6 people per square mile (960.7/km2). There were 5,568 housing units at an average density of 1,117.8 per square mile (431.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 90.08% White, 3.62% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.74% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.52% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.67% of the population.
There were 5,252 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $45,670, and the median income for a family was $54,715. Males had a median income of $42,367 versus $30,458 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,117. About 6.9% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of November 1, 2016|
|Party||Active voters||Inactive voters||Total voters||Percentage|
Polish immigrants have left a large mark on the demographics of the town, with 18% of all residents claiming Polish as their ethnicity and 2% as having been born in Poland. Due to this large population, the town features several Polish shops, restaurants, and clubs. Saint Michael's the Archangel Parish, a Roman Catholic church serves mass in Polish as well as English.
There are five public schools and one private school in Derby, Connecticut. As of the 2017-2018 school year there were 1,386 students enrolled in public schools and 159 students enrolled in private school. The total number of students enrolled in public & private schools is 1,545.
|St. Mary-St. Michael School||Pre-K - 8||14 Seymour Avenue||Private-Catholic||West Derby (Downtown)|
|Little Raiders University||Pre-K||75 Chatfield Street||Public||West Derby (Downtown)|
|Bradley Elementary School||K-5||155 David Humphrey Road||Public||East Derby|
|Irving School||K-5||9 Garden Place||Public||West Derby (Downtown)|
|Derby Middle School||6-8||73 Chatfield Street||Public||West Derby (Downtown)|
|Derby High School||9-12||75 Chatfield Street||Public||West Derby (Downtown)|
On January 12, 2018 a former Extended Care Health Facility was sold to Apex International Education Partners (AIEP) and is set to be converted into dormitories for international high school students attending private schools in the area. Once compete the facility is expected to hold over 100 students and staff.
According to USA.com crime statistics, Derby has the 14th highest crime rate per capita in Connecticut of the 89 reporting cities. In 2016, Derby had 6 rapes, 21 robberies, 12 aggravated assaults, 65 burglaries, 195 larcenies, and 38 motor vehicle thefts.
Criminal cases are prosecuted by The State's Attorney's Office and Derby also has a State Superior Courthouse on Elizabeth Street adjacent to the Derby Green.
Derby is home to Griffin Hospital, a 160-bed acute care facility located at 130 Division Street in Derby. Nearby trauma centers include Yale–New Haven Hospital, Hospital of St. Raphael, Bridgeport Hospital, and Saint Vincent's Hospital
The Derby Police Department provides police services to the residents of the city and is located at 125 Water Street. As of 2016 the department had 36 sworn police officers. The current Chief of Police is Gerald D. Narowski. Connecticut State Police Troop I patrols nearly 2 miles of Connecticut Route 8 which runs through the city.
Derby Fire Department
The City of Derby is served by volunteer firefighters in the Derby Fire Department (DFD). The DFD consists of four all-volunteer fire companies (Hotchkiss Hose Co. # 1, Storm Engine Co. # 2, East End Hose Co. # 3, and Paugassett Hook & Ladder Co. # 4) operating out of four fire stations located throughout the city. Each all-volunteer fire company is commanded by a captain and two lieutenants, who in turn are commanded by three department assistant chiefs. The assistant chiefs in turn report to the Chief of Department, Kurt Kemmesis., who reports to the Fire Commissioner, Mike Kelleher.
Organized fire protection in Derby is traced back to the organization of the Derby Fire Engine Company which existed from 1830 to a period during the early 1850s. This was Derby's first organized fire company, with its quarters located originally in the area of Gilbert and Highs Streets, then called Derby Landing. This company operated an older style "goose-neck" fire engine that was outdated at the time. The fire engine was pumped by moving the handles back and forth thus forcing the water through the pipe and nozzle attached to the unit. People had to dump water into the fire engine by using buckets instead of putting a hose into or hooking up to a water source. In early 1840s, the company moved up Derby Avenue to the area approximately across from where St. Michael's Church now stands (the present east-bound lanes of Route 34). As the center of the town shifted from the east side to what is now downtown, interest in the company waned and thus was disbanded.
Hotchkiss Hose Co. 1
In 1837, residents in the village of Birmingham (today's present downtown) petitioned for their own fire company to protect their interests. Upon receiving a state charter the Birmingham Fire Company was established on June 7, 1837. This company is the oldest firefighting organization in the city now known as the Hotchkiss Hose Company No. 1. The company was first located in the area of Third and Minerva Streets then moved in the 1840 to Caroline Street to a location near the crest of the "cobblestone hill" portion of the street. The company moved again into new quarters several years later to the property located on Caroline Street across from Third Street. In 1872 the company changed its name to the Hotchkiss Hose Company No. 1 in honor of one of their original members Lewis Hotchkiss. In the early 1920s the old wood framed firehouse was removed from the property and the present building that houses the arts center was erected for the Hotchkiss Hose where the company remained until moving to their present location on David Humphreys Road in 1971.
Storm Engine Co. 2 & Storm Engine Co. Ambulance Corps.
The Storm Engine Company No. 2 was organized in 1851 when Birmingham was a borough in the town of Derby and was formally incorporated in 1853. First quartered on Elizabeth Street in the area of the Derby Green, the company now operates from its firehouse located on Oliva Street since the 1950s. The Storm Engine Company has continued holding an annual firemen's formal ball since its inception which now takes place Thanksgiving weekend. In 1949 seeing the need for an ambulance service in Derby, several members of the Storm Engine Company led by Edward Cotter established the Storm Engine Company Ambulance Corps, which continues today to provide medical, rescue and hazardous materials mitigation services.
East End Hose Co. 3
In 1950, residents in the "East End" section of Derby's east side organized a new fire company to protect that area of the city. The unit organized independently from the city and adopted the name East End Hose Company No. 3. The company originally operated an old fire engine that was first used by the Storm Engine Company and was quartered at various locations. In 1955 the company moved into its present quarters on Derby-Milford Road, which was erected by the company's membership. The company remained independent from the city up until 1975 when the company was included and incorporated as part of the Derby Fire Department.
Paugassett Hook & Ladder Co. 4
The Paugassett Hook & Ladder Company No 4 was organized in 1903 originally as a hose company and originally named the Paugassett Hose Company No. 4. This company is named in honor of the Paugassett Native American tribe that once called Derby home. The company organized in what was known as the "Hotchkiss Hose Reserve", a unit of the Hotchkiss Hose that kept a hose cart on the east side of town to help protect it. When the Paugassetts organized, it was the first fully organized fire company to exist on Derby's east side since the disbanding of the old Derby Fire Engine Company in the 1850s. The company's first firehouse stood where the present firehouse now stands on Derby Avenue (Route 34). Around 1915 - 1916 the Paugassett Hose was given a motorized ladder truck after the disbanding of Derby's former hook and ladder company. It was at this time the company became known as the Paugassett Hook & Ladder Company No. 4.
Disbanded Fire Companies
Besides the Derby Fire Engine Company, two other fire companies also existed before being disbanded. Around 1856 a unit known as the Pequot Fire Company was organized and existed for a short period of time. In 1861 this company ended up disbanding when a good majority of its members signed up to fight in the American Civil War to quell the southern rebellion. After the war, the members reorganized as a social club but never again acted as a fire fighting unit. The other fire company was known as the R. M. Bassett Hook & Ladder Company. This unit was organized in the Borough of Birmingham in 1874 and was named in honor of manufacturer Royal M. Bassett. The company was first quartered on Main Street until the completion of the Sterling Opera House. The company took up quarters on the old Fourth Street side of the Opera House which was later utilized by the Derby Police Department. The company was removed from their Opera House quarters around 1915 / 1916 under some sort of controversy though it seems the true reason is lost to history. With no home of their own the Bassett Hook & Ladder Company was disbanded and the "truck company" duties of the department were transferred over to the Paugassetts.
Below is a list of current fire apparatus for the City of Derby.
|Fire Company||Engine||Ladder||Special Unit||Address||Neighborhood|
|Hotchkiss Hose Co. #1||Engine 13, Engine 14||200 David Humphrey Rd.||East Derby|
|Storm Engine Co. #2||Engine 11, Engine 12||Rescue 18, HAZ-MAT-19, HAZ-MAT-2 (State of CT),
Marine 1, Marine 2, Dive Unit, Emergency 1(Fly-Car)
|151 Olivia St.||Downtown|
|East End Hose Co. #3||Engine 16||Utility 17||10 Derby-Milford Rd.||East Derby|
|Paugassett Hook & Ladder Co. # 4||Truck 15||Brush 4, Tac. 51(Gator)||57 Derby Ave.||East Derby|
Landmarks & Monuments
National Register of Historic Places
|||Name on the Register||Image||Date listed||Location||City or town||Description|
|1||Birmingham Green Historic District||April 21, 2000
|Roughly bounded by 5th, Caroline, 4th, and Olivia Sts.||Derby||A total of 10 buildings, 3 of which are churches, and 4 monuments encompass the district. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 as a good example of privately organized 19th century urban planning.|
|2||John I. Howe House||February 6, 1989
|213 Caroline St.||Derby||Home of pin manufacturing pioneer. Built in 1845, It was built for John Ireland Howe of the Howe Pin Company. In 1838, Howe moved his business from New York to Derby. The Howe House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.|
|3||Kraus Corset Factory||February 12, 1987
|Roosevelt Dr. and 3rd St.||Derby||Historic corset manufacturer, now the Sterling Rowe Apartment House on the corner of Roosevelt Drive and Third Street.|
|4||Osbornedale||June 13, 1986
|500 Hawthorne Ave.||Derby||Historic nineteenth-century farmhouse. Today, the state operates it as the Osbornedale Homestead Museum. The land surrounding it is Osbornedale State Park.|
|5||Sterling Opera House||November 8, 1968
|Northwestern corner of 4th and Elizabeth Sts.||Derby||Amelia Earhart, John L. Sullivan, Harry Houdini, George Burns, Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, Red Skelton, and John Philip Sousa appeared on this stage. The Sterling Opera House became the first building in Connecticut to be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1968.|
|6||Harcourt Wood Memorial Library||January 4, 1982
|313 Elizabeth St.||Derby||built in 1902 with Ansonia marble, the library was founded as a free reading room in 1868. The land was provided by the Sarah Riggs Humphreys Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, on the condition that the building would always have a room the chapter could use.|
The city has resurrected its National Humane Alliance fountain – a century-old granite structure with lion-head spigots—as part of a gateway entrance plaza at the Division Street entrance to the Derby Greenway. The fountain was given to the City in 1906 by the National Humane Alliance and erected at the intersection of Seymour and Atwater Avenues. The water was first turned on on June 1, 1906. Years later it was moved to Founders Commons when traffic patterns made its original location a problem. It fell into disrepair and was not used as a fountain while on Founders Commons. When the Derby Greenway was built, the fountain was moved to its new location on June 22, 2006, fully restored with new plumbing and new lions heads and formally dedicated with the surrounding Derby Hall of Fame Plaza on September 1, 2007.
The Valley Independent Sentinel, an online-only, non-profit news site, launched in June 2009. It has an office in Ansonia. Its editor lives in Derby.
The Valley Gazette, a weekly, also covers Derby, as does The Connecticut Post and The New Haven Register.
Derby was the location of Charlton Press, Inc. The company remains unique in the publishing industry in that every phase of production (editorial, printing, distribution) took place under one roof. The Charlton Building housed three sister companies: Charlton Press, Charlton Publications, and Capitol Distribution. The company is best known for its extensive Charlton Comics division which produced dozens of comic book titles from 1946 to 1985.
Derby was also the home of Bruce-Royal Publishing Corporation located on Division Street. The company published men's magazines such as Escapade (1955-1968), Gentleman (c. 1964-1966), and Play-Things (1964).
The city has a Metro-North railroad station called Derby – Shelton. The station is located at 1 Main Street and serves the residents of Derby & Shelton, Connecticut. Derby-Shelton is the last regular stop on the Waterbury Branch before it joins the Northeast Corridor. The station is 69.5 miles to Grand Central Terminal, with travel time there being an average of one hour, 54 minutes depending on transfer time at Bridgeport. Travel time to New Haven is an average of one hour, two minutes depending on transfer time.
Connecticut Transit - Route F6
Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority - Routes 15 & 23
Valley Transit - Dial-A-Ride
Both bus routes meet at the Derby–Shelton (Metro-North station), the Valley Transit facility is next to the train station on adjoining property.
Waterbury–Oxford Airport (13 mi)
Tweed New Haven Airport (15 mi)
Bradley International Airport (58 mi)
- Samuel George Andrews, (1796–1863), born in Derby, United States congressman from New York
- Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett (1833–1908), the first black American diplomat (appointed in 1869 to Haiti)
- Charles T. Beardsley, Jr. (1861-1937), born in Derby, became noted Bridgeport architect
- Brian Dennehy, film actor, lived in Derby during his early life and was a Boy Scout in Troop 3, based in Derby
- Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man comics hero
- William Frederick Durand (1859–1958), the first civilian chair of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
- Isaac Hull (1773–1843), commodore in the U.S. Navy; commanded USS Constitution among other ships, and nephew of William Hull
- William Hull (1753–1825), general in the American Revolutionary War, governor of Michigan Territory, and uncle of Isaac Hull
- David Humphreys, American Revolutionary War soldier, public official and entrepreneur
- Orson Hyde (1805–1878), a leader in the Latter Day Saint (Mormon) movement
- Themis Klarides (1965-), Connecticut General Assembly Minority Leader, elected in 1998
- Patrick B. O'Sullivan (1887-1978), CT state senator, US congressman, Superior Court judge, and Chief Justice of the CT Supreme Court
- Nick Pietrosante, NFL fullback for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Notre Dame Fighting Irish; born in Derby
- J.R. Romano, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman
- Alan Schlesinger, former Derby mayor and unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2006
- Sheldon Thompson, former Mayor of Buffalo, New York
- Elizabeth Ann Whitney (1800–1882), early Latter Day Saint (Mormon) leader; born in town
- Stephen Whitney (1776-1860), merchant and one of New York's first multi-millionaires
- Frank P. Witek (1921-1944), recipient of the Medal of Honor; born in Derby
- Edward Wooster (1622–1689), "the first permanent settler in Derby"
Plans for the future
The Howe House "will become home of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Industrial Heritage Center; where the Derby Historical Society's extensive collection of Industrial Era artifacts will be properly displayed. Future educational programs will include student hands-on programs that will introduce the Industrial Revolution and the Valley's active role in this period."
- "City of Derby Connecticut". City of Derby Connecticut. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Derby | ConnecticutHistory.org". connecticuthistory.org. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 104.
- The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 331.
- "Derby, Connecticut". City-Data.com. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- (undated). "A Guide to the International Silver Company Records, 1853-1921". UCONN University Libraries, Storrs, CT. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- (undated). "The Derby Silver Company". Connecticuthistory.org. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- D. Hurd & Co. (1893). "Derby Silver Co." (page 211). In Town and city atlas of the State of Connecticut. Boston, MA. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- "Ansonia Koppen Climate Classification". Weatherbase. 2018-01-08.
- "Derby CT Monthly Info". Weather.com. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
- "Derby CT Historical Averages=2018-01-08". Intellicast.com.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of November 01, 2016" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
- Mozdzer, Jodie. (2009-10-08) 'Warsaw' Coming To Ansonia | Valley Independent Sentinel. Valley.newhavenindependent.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
-  Archived November 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "District Detail for Derby Public Schools". www.nces.ed.gov. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
- "St. Mary-St. Michael School Profile". www.privateschoolreview.com. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
- "Sale of Marshall Lane Property Finalized". January 12, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
- "Connecticut Crime Index City Rank". USA.com. 2018-01-07.
- "Crime in Connecticut" (PDF). State of Connecticut. 2018-01-07.
- "Crime in Connecticut" (PDF). 2018-01-06.
- Derby Fire Department Derby, CT. Derbyctfire.com (2013-02-24). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
- About Us. Derbyctfire.com (1935-09-21). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
- Numbers represent an ordering by significant words. Various colorings, defined here, differentiate National Historic Landmarks and historic districts from other NRHP buildings, structures, sites or objects.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- The eight-digit number below each date is the number assigned to each location in the National Register Information System database, which can be viewed by clicking the number.
- Derby History Quiz - National Humane Alliance Watering Trough. Electronicvalley.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
- "MNR Stations". Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
-  "Howe House" Web page of the Electronic Valley Web site, accessed on July 22, 2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Derby, Connecticut.|
- City of Derby official website
- Derby Historical Society
- Derby, Connecticut, at City-data.com
- "Derby, a city of New Haven county, Connecticut, U.S.A.". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.