About Quizzes

History of Waterbury, Connecticut

Waterbury, the seat of New Haven County, is situated on the Naugatuck River, 21 miles from New Haven. It has been called the "Brass Center of the World." Waterbury was purchased from the Indians by residents of Farmington in 1674. They started a new community in 1677 which they named Mattatuck, changed to Waterbury when the town was incorporated in 1686. It was chartered as a city in 1853; in 1901, city and town were consolidated. Waterbury became famous in the 19th century for the manufacture of brass items. Its brass industry can be traced to 1802. The Waterbury Mint, owned by the Scovill Manufacturing Company, produced planchets (blanks for coins), which the U.S. Mint used to produce coins for an assortment of foreign countries. In 1878, the Waterbury Watch Company was organized for the explicit purpose of producing cheap watches. These watches gained a reputation for shoddy workmanship, so the company abandoned the brand and renamed itself the New England Watch Company. It was later incorporated into the company that became Timex. A visit to Timexpo provides a look into a century and a half of watch making in Waterbury. Waterbury's two hospitals are Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital. Waterbury hospital opened in 1890 in a Victorian mansion overlooking the city. The cornerstone of St. Mary's was laid in 1907 and the hospital was dedicated two years later. It was founded by the Sisters of St. Mary's of Chambery. Post College, a regional business college, was founded in 1890. In 1990, it affiliated itself with the worldwide Teikyo Group and is now known as Teikyo Post University. The University of Connecticut has operated a campus in Waterbury for about half a century. The Railroad Museum of New England operates the Naugatuck Railroad between Thomaston and Waterbury. The Golden Age of Trucking Museum displays exhibits from the history of trucking, with an emphasis on the 1950's. The Mattatuck Museum, located on the Green in central Waterbury, provides highlights from Waterbury's three centuries of history.