Derby History Quiz

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Derby's Last Cobblestone Street

Close-up look

Caroline Street

The east coast of the United States is strewn with streets that bring back reminders of early American history with their rough hewn "cobblestone" pavements and in Derby, Caroline Street stands out as the last visible reminder of earlier road construction in the city..

The term 'cobblestones' refers to uneven stones of varying shapes and sizes, but the more even and rounded stones on Caroline Street would more accurately be called "Belgian Blocks." Caroline Street once connected directly to the wharves on the Housatonic River, and according to legend, that is where the blocks actually came from.. Ships from Derby were involved in much world trade in the 1800's (particularly before the war of 1812), and many of the ships sailed into Derby waters with the Belgian blocks serving as ballast. The ballast was then replaced by goods from Derby and environs destined for ports throughout the world. The ballast left behind was put to good work paving the streets of Derby.

The rough surface of the blocks proved traction for the smooth wooden wheels found on the wagons passing over them. When rubber tires replaced wooden wheels, the tread of the tires provided traction and the old cobblestone construction lost favor for the smoother ride to be found with asphalt and concrete. Yet, the old cobblestone enjoys great favor today because of its historic look.

This quiz and picture were contributed by Randy Ritter.

Correct answers were received from:Mary Lou Boroski, Team Kevin! Henri, Mayor Marc J. Garofalo, Robert Hyder, Pat Shelton, Kimberley Shelton, Markanthony Izzo, Jack Moran, John M. Rak, Virginia Ljunquist, Lori Veillette, Christine Rush, , Bernard Williamson, John Asp, Joe Pinto, Millie from Ansonia, C. F. Douglass, Anita Dugatto, Kathi Ducharme, Rosalie Cota, Ken Dupke, Richard A. Stankye, Dominick Thomas, Joan Driscoll, Eddie Calvert, Tom Marcucio, Amy Cobaugh, Carol Della Rocco, Naya Esposito, Brian McMahon, Edward Baclawski, Catherine Kelleher, Frederick Picroski, Henry Wajdowicz,  Pat Dimon, John Kowarik, Jack Skelding, Ray Allen, Theodore W. Hawks III, Linda Kaye, Bernie Conlon, Walt Mayhew, David Lenart,  Jim & Linda Mascolo,  and David Neustaedter.

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