At this point, having crossed the bridge onto the west side of Seymour onto Broad Street, you may want to stop (parking available to left in church and school parking lots). Before we talk about what we see today it is important that at this point we talk briefly about the destruction and devastation caused by the flood in August of 1955.
Seymour was hit hard but especially in the area of Broad Street, Pine Street and Derby Avenue - the area that you are now surrounded by. The Naugatuck River flowed gently over the natural Falls and in a narrow path wound its way toward Ansonia. A narrow iron and steel girder bridge with arched superstructure spanned the water. The land, extending much further into what is today water, held large neighborhood homes with what would be considered "mom and pop" businesses, a historic stagecoach stop, then a restaurant, called the Dutch Door Inn.
At the end of the bridge stood the large wood framed W.L. Ward Funeral home. In front of Seymour's Middle School, which was in 1955 the town's high school, where the parking lot and ball field are today were numerous homes. Next to the Congregational Church was Seymour's large brick modern library that had been built in 1916 and housed all Seymour's library books and also all of Seymour's early historical material, artifacts and documents.
The Congregational Church's foundation was pounded by the vicious waters. With each passing hour the hole in her front foundation got bigger and bigger. A large oak tree stood in front of the church and it too was being battered until it could take no more. The last piece of solid earth slipped away and the tree toppled. However, the tree didn't fall out into the swiftly moving water but , perhaps with the grace of God, fell toward the building. This simple act saved the Church by diverting the rapidly flowing water away from the foundation.
On "Black Friday", as Friday, August 19, 1955 was called, this area changed forever with many of the aforementioned buildings being lost to the flood. Today, as you can see the area has recovered. The falls, at times becoming angry and noisy but now always under control has a wider bed to flow her waters into -even a canoe launch area for those who want to experience her banks for a short distance, the Broad Street Park now lies on her upper bank. Here is a place to sit and enjoy the river and the falls, learn about the river and the research being done on it, read the towns historic marker or at the monument to Seymour's Korean and Vietnam veterans pay your respects.
Continue on to the Broad Street Park on your right and the Seymour Congregational Church on your left.