The City of Derby, located in New Haven County, is in southwest Connecticut at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers. Occupied by John Wakeman in 1642 at an old Dutch trading post, the area was settled as a Native American trading post in 1654 and was named after Derby, England, in 1675. The City’s rivers made it an ideal spot for shipbuilding. 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.
Click here for an interesting story of the Dutch occupation and tensions surrounding early Paugussett.