Derby History Quiz

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The Flood of The Ages!

Derby flood scenes - August, 1955

Farrel's - Now the Home Depot site

Looking across the Naugatuck to St. Michael's

August, 1955 proved to be a devastating month for Derby and the entire Valley as in the short span of a week Hurricanes Connie and Diane dumped more than 20 inches of rain in the area, and the normally placid waters of the Naugatuck River in particular turned deadly. As the pictures above attest, the waters of the Naugatuck and Housatonic both overflowed their banks and made an inland sea of the lower part of Main Street in Derby. From Winsted to Derby, the Naugatuck displayed a fury like nothing ever seen before in the Valley leading to the greatest natural disaster in the Valley's history - and one of the 10 most damaging hurricanes in United States history. Most people forget, but there was a second flood in October that also inundated the Valley and Derby once again.

So much has changed since 1955, and a system of dams and flood control walls now provide a measure of protection that was thought unnecessary back in 1955. At the same time, the community turned its back on the rivers which had played such a large part in the history of the Valley. Where the rivers had once been a source of food and employment, they were now viewed as threatening and polluted. Since 1955, much has changed and the rivers - particularly the Naugatuck - have seen the pollution of the industrial age reversed and a new era of recreational use being ushered in with the creation of river walks and greenways such as the new Derby Greenway.

Click here to see more photos of flooding in Derby and click here to see the flood control wall on the Naugatuck being built.

We had quite a few correct answers this time along with a couple of comments including:

David Petz - "I remember it well. The Salvation Army was giving out clothes and food. The Red Cross was selling cheese sandwiches for 50 cents."
Jack O'Callaghan - "Man, do I remember the flood... even if I was only 9 years old !!! The pictures brought back memories I thought forgotten..."

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Correct answers were received from: Ken Dupke, Ann Searles, Robert Hyder,Jim Bartlett, Markanthony Izzo, Marc J. Garofalo, Jack Skelding, Millie Fatterusso, Tim Hession, Edward Baclawski, Joe Melewski, Brian McMahon, Tom Chebro, Brian Bowen,  M Meyer, Steve Mead, Jessica Renfrew, Paul Comkowycz, Jack O'Callaghan, Marsha Pettengill, Nick from Terryville, Naya Esposito, Joe Dedo, Philippa Jacobson, Michael Flora, Tom Lenart, John Collinge, Eddie Calvert, Marilyn Mizii, Cyndi Poppa, Eileen Krugel, Fred Grant, Dave Petz, Jay ?, Maxine Ross, Frank from St Pete Beach, Bill Lombardi, Robertt Loftus, Amy Cobaugh, Bob Ahearn, Gary DellaRocco, Joe Pinto, Howard Bradshaw, John Milea, Randy Ritter,  Frank lazowski, sr, Mary Suess, Jack Sheehy, Dave DeRosa and Kimberley Shelton.

To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.