Derby History Quiz

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John Cloues Designed "Birmingham"


Borough of Birmingham about 1836

In 1835, building activity in the Borough of Birmingham was just beginning to take off as the focus of the city was about to shift from the old Uptown and Derby Landing areas to the burgeoning manufacturing area that now makes up the downtown area of the city. Sheldon Smith the entrepreneur behind much of the new activity, and for a very short period of time the area was known as Smithville. The first houses were built along the newly designed layout that only a short time earlier had been an open field stretching up from the river. Smith hired Englishman John Cloues to bring order to the new development, and Cloues proceeded to lay out the streets, develop the landscaping and develop the plans for housing. The layout eventually featured streets running north and south bearing women's names and the streets running east and west were numbered.

Cloues was noted as a stern taskmaster who also had a hand in the development of Ansonia. Development of Birmingham was so attractive that Smith and Anson Phelps who also owned land along with Smith avoided land speculation by demanding that anyone purchasing land in the area had to put a building on the property within one year of purchase.

This quiz continued the recent trend of difficult ones, but the following people managed to come up with the correct answer: Joe Pinto, Randy Ritter, Frederick Picroski, Paul Comkowycz, Jim Bartlett, Millie from Ansonia, and Ann Searles.

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