The cleanup effort along the Naugatuck River in Derby went fantastic. Dozens of volunteers including every-day citizens, city officials, and UI workers came out to lend a hand. The sad thing is that while we made a major dent in removing the piles of trash, it would probably take the same amount of volunteers another ten weekends to remove all the garbage that remains.
My friend Ricky and I were quoted in the New Haven Register:
"Derby resident Sean Henri not only walks the greenway but kayaks the
Naugatuck and he has seen firsthand the debris that litters what could
be a pretty hillside. What he saw from his kayak is what prompted Henri
to volunteer Saturday.
“I am shocked. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was this bad,” he said, looking around.
His friend, Ansonia resident Ricky Donnelly, said he hopes residents of houses above the river keep the woods clean from now on.
“I don’t know why people would want that in your backyard. It’s an eyesore,” he said."
Video can be found here.
The Housatonic Valley Association and city officials from Derby, Connecticut, have announced a "Cleanup of the Naugatuck River Day" on March 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The area being focused on is a stretch of land that runs along the banks of the Naugatuck River opposite of the Derby Greenway.
Anyone who uses and enjoys the Greenway and the river is encouraged to come lend a helping hand. Volunteers are asked to meet in the Tailgators parking lot at 8pm with rakes, boots, and other appropriate cleanup gear. However, they are asked not to park in the restaurant's parking lot.
Bulldozer time has been donated by city resident Bill Korelyshum so that a trail could be forged to the site, and Annex Associates of New Haven has donated a dumpster. United Illuminating owns some of the property along the river and will be sending employees to contribute to the cleanup.
If interested in volunteering, please RSVP to the event page on Facebook, or call the mayors office at (203) 736-1450
I've long known about the series of tunnels lying underneath the downtown Derby area, but never had an opportunity to actually see it with my own eyes until now.
Unfortunately, when I went down to look, I wasn't able to get very close due to safety precautions. I was however able to catch a glimpse of the opening, which was at least partially satisfying considering it will soon be completely filled in to make way for new construction.
The tunnels were built in the early 1800's as a part of a canal system that fed water from the Naugatuck river to power several downtown factories. This particular opening was in the foundation of the "The Big Copper Mill", one of the first factories built in Derby. The building was recently condemned and demolished following a partial collapse of the roof, exposing the tunnel opening and turbines that once powered the factory.
To give a clear demonstration of where these tunnels are actually located, I took a map from 1848 and placed it over a current satellite view of the downtown area. The map places the tunnels in the exact place where the opening was recently exposed. The reservoir which fed the water through the tunnels was located in the area where Home Depot's parking lot is currently is.
The etching above, taken from "The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880", depicts the factory on the left-hand side shortly before it was put into operation. The accompanying text reads:
"This village was commenced in 1834. There are at present (July 1 1836) about twenty dwelling houses and three mercantile stores; there is in and about to be put in operation one factory for making sheet copper and copper wire one for making augers one for making carriage springs and axles one for making nails or tacks one for flannels and satinets with some other minor manufacturing establishments. The water by which the mills and factories are put in operation is taken from the Naugatuck by a canal which extends upwards of a mile and a half northward of the village. A steam boat is about to commence running between this place and New York Part of the Leaven worth bridge over the Ousatonic is seen on the extreme left. The dwelling of Sheldon Smith Esq is seen a little eastward of this on the elevated ground above the copper factory. This edifice is elegantly situated and commands a most beautiful and interesting prospect to the southward particularly of the village at the Landing and the passage of the Ousatonic through what is called the Narrows."
(Note: Since posting this blog, local residents have informed me that the house is actually located in Seymour, so the title of this post has been adjusted accordingly. Please refrain from posting directions or an address.)
I was a bit surprised to find out that the town I live in, Derby, CT, was once the setting for an episode of the Discovery Channel's A Haunting. The episode, titled "Hell House", told the story of the Beckwith family who supposedly began seeing ghosts and other strange phenomena shortly after moving to a new home. Local ghost hunters Ed & Lorraine Warren were called in to help along with other "paranormal investigators", and an exorcism was performed.
I particularly enjoyed the line: "Today, in the historic towns of Seymour and Derby, the legions of dead beneath the land far outnumber the living." Spooky…
PS: This is my 500th post since starting this blog!
Dad, travel junkie, Beatles fan, & married to the lovely Kelly Henri. Work-wise I'm a Marketing Strategist and Agency Owner with 15+ years specializing in digital analytics, marketing automation and inbound marketing, & web development. Read my blog, follow me on one of the networks below, or contact me for work.Read on...