Cities Near Naugatuck, CT
Local city information for Naugatuck, CT
is a consolidated borough and town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 30,989 at the 2000 census. The town spans both sides of the Naugatuck River just south of Waterbury, and includes the communities of Union City on the east side of the river, which has its own post office, Straitsville on the southeast (along Route 63, and Millville on the west (along Rubber Avenue).
Naugatuck was settled in 1701 as a farming community in rural Western Connecticut. As the Industrial Revolution commenced, Naugatuck was transformed into a hardscrabble mill-town like its neighbors in the Naugatuck Valley.
Rubber was the chiefly manufactured product. The United States Rubber Company (renamed Uniroyal Inc. in 1961) was founded in Naugatuck in 1892 as a consolidation of nine rubber companies, and maintained their corporate headquarters there until the 1980s. Their Footwear Division manufactured Keds “sneakers” in Naugatuck from 1917 until the 1980s. U.S. Rubber also produced Naugahyde in a Naugatuck factory, but it is no longer produced there.
Due to an increase in the price of sulfuric acid, which was needed for the process then used for reclaiming old rubber, the United States Rubber Co. formed the Naugatuck Chemical Company on June 1, 1904, and the company soon was in the forefront of the chemical industry in the United States. Naugatuck Chemical remained a subsidiary of the U.S. Rubber Co. until, under Uniroyal, it gained independence as Uniroyal Chemical Co. They moved their operations to Middlebury, Connecticut in the 1970s.
The Risdon Manufacturing Company, established in Naugatuck around 1910, began by producing safety pins. Local housewives and children were often hired to attach the pins to cardboard for easy sale. Risdon became the manufacturer of total packaging for cosmetics, personal, household and other consumer products and home sewing notions such as common pins, needles, snaps and other accessories. It is now the Crown Risdon Co., headquartered in Watertown, Connecticut.
In the 1960 Harold Barber founded H. Barber and Sons in the community. The company which builds beach rakes for picking up debris and grooming beaches claims to be the largest such business in the world.
Naugatuck was the home to Peter Paul, the Hershey Foods division that produces Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars, however the Hershey Co. closed the Peter Paul factory in November, 2007.
The normally peaceful Naugatuck River that flows through Naugatuck overflowed its banks on August 19, 1955 . Fed by over 10” of rain from Hurricane Diane, the river cut a path of destruction that forever changed the face of Naugatuck.
As American manufacturing declined in the late 20th Century, the mills closed and the town fell on largely hard times. With the expansion of suburbs, especially in New Haven and Fairfield County, the town is largely a bedroom community for the middle class. With this, many of Naugatuck's neighbors are fairly wealthy. Middlebury and Oxford are affluent towns that have higher performing school districts, but the price to live in these suburbs is high. Currently, many new more expensive homes are being built as people from Fairfield county and other areas are looking for more affordable housing and convenient access to major highways.
The local high school, Naugatuck High School, has a storied football rivalry with the high school in Ansonia that is one of the longest in America. Like the other rival high schools in the Naugatuck Valley, the two teams meet the morning of Thanksgiving Day. The first meeting was in 1900. Ansonia is the long-term winner in the series. Naugatuck High School's mascot is the greyhound and its colors are garnet and grey.
The town of Naugatuck is affectionately referred to as "Naugy" by its residents. The town common features 11 commissions by the renowned New York architecture firm of McKim, Mead and White.
The town of Naugatuck also gained attention when the movie War Of The Worlds (2005 film) was filmed there.
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