Introduction to Waterbury, Connecticut
Waterbury, the fifth largest city in Connecticut as of the 2000 census, is located on the Naugatuck River in New Haven County, 33 miles southwest of Hartford and 23 miles north of New Haven. Conveniently located at the junction of Interstate-84 and State Highway 8, Waterbury is often referred to as the 'capital' of Western Connecticut, serving as the metropolitan center of a beautiful 13-town region known as the Central Naugatuck Valley Region (CNVR). Originally settled in 1674, Waterbury was once known as Mattatuck (a derivation of the Algonquin Indian name for the area, "Matetacoke", meaning "place without trees") but changed its name when admitted into the Connecticut colony in 1686. The name Waterbury was chosen due to the large number of streams flowing into the Naugatuck. Waterbury was incorporated as a city in 1853.
For years, Waterbury was noted for its leading role in the manufacture of brass ware (including finishings and castings), leading to the city's nickname of Brass City. In particular, Waterbury was famous for the manufacture of watches and clocks. Appropriately, the city's motto, inscribed in marble above the City Hall entrance, is "Quid Aere Perennius", whose English translation is "What Is More Lasting Than Brass?" Today, Waterbury is also known for its advanced technology, historic architecture, and vibrant art.
Attractions in and around Waterbury:
Waterbury and its surrounding areas offer much in the realm of artistic, cultural, and entertainment venues. Attractions in Waterbury itself include:
- Palace Theater: A 1920 historic landmark which has recently undergone a $30 million renovation
- The Mattatuck Museum: Offers a wide variety of tours focusing on the art, architecture and history of the Greater Waterbury Region
- The Timexpo Museum: Explores the history of the watch and clock industry in Waterbury and the Timex heritage
- Railroad Museum of New England: Offers a scenic train ride through the Mattatuck State Forest
Nearby attractions include the following:
- The Thomaston Opera House: Built in 1884. Enrico Caruso is among the notables who have performed there
- Railroad Museum of New England (Thomaston)
- Black Rock State Park (Thomaston)
- Branchbrook Campground (Thomaston)
- Clockwork Repertory Theater (Oakville)
- Golden Age of Trucking Museum (Middlebury)
- Hetzel Refuge (Middlebury)
- Larkin Bridle Trail (Naugatuck)
- Quassy Amusement Park (Lake Quassapaug, Middlebury)
Sports fans can find professional teams playing within reasonable travel distance from Waterbury. New Britain is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Waterbury, and is home to the Rock Cats, a Minor League Baseball Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and member of the Eastern League. An additional 13-mile drive in the same direction will find the city of Hartford, home to the American Hockey League's Wolf Pack, an affiliate of the New York Rangers. About 23 miles from Waterbury in the southerly direction is the city of New Haven, in which fans of pro sports can enjoy baseball played by the New Haven Cutters, an independent team which plays in the Can-Am (Canadian-American Association of Pro Baseball) League. Fans of college sports will recognize New Haven as home to Yale University and the Yale Bulldogs.