Derby History Quiz

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The farm that preceded Witek Park

The same view today!

There has been much debate over the future of Witek Park and the development of soccer fields there, but few people know the whole history of the area. Until 1859, the land pictured above was open farmland, but in 1859 the Birmingham Water Company bought the land, carved out a pond, built a dam and watched the small brook fill the pond to the level you see above. The house that you see in the background belonged to the Sherwood family. Albert Sherwood wrote "Memories of Old Derby" in which he described the land and its development.

Interestingly, when the pond first filled up, the Water Company allowed the locals to use it for recreation! During the summer sailboats floated across the waters and in the winter ice skating was allowed and an ice boat even appeared on the ice. When the state of science had advanced and water company officials realized that bacteria from such activities posed a serious threat, recreation was banned and guards patrolled the land to enforce the new regulations.

This quiz proved to be very difficult, and generated more incorrect guesses than any previous quiz!

Correct Answers were received from: Chrissy from Derby, Henry Wajdowicz, Markanthony Izzo, Ken Dupke, Rick Dunne, Mary Lou Boroski, Bill Tracz, Gene Wajdowicz, Dave Petz, Marsha Pettingill, Ann Searles, Ray Allen, Alexander C. Wailionis, Randy Ritter, Kathi Ducharme, Normand Audet, Amy Cobaugh, and Steve Cavanaugh.

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