Historic tunnels revealed in Derby

| March 17, 2009 | 2 Comments

Recent demolition in the downtown area of Derby, Connecticut has revealed an opening to a series of tunnels built decades before the Civil War.  The opening was in the foundation of a recently demolished factory, and can be found only a short walk from town’s scenic Greenway trail.

While those interested in the state’s industrial past may find this discovery very interesting,  they shouldn’t expect to get too close as the area is roped off and spectators are being kept at a safe distance.

Derby, CT Tunnel

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 to be built in in the town.

Derby, CT Tunnels

To give a clear demonstration of where these tunnels are actually located, a map from 1848 was placed 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 that once fed water through the tunnels was located in the area where Home Depot’s parking lot currently is.

Derby CT Tunnels

This etching from 1836, depicts the factory on the left-hand side shortly before it began operation.

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Digital marketing pro & photographer, founder of The Connecticut Weekender, owner of Sean Henri Marketing, and Digital Analytics Manager for an international Fortune 500 company. Married to the lovely Kelly Henri. Ask anyone and they'll tell you favorite band is The Beatles (I've met Paul McCartney a few times). I love to camp, bike, hike and kayak. I spend most of my free time working on creative projects, working with clients, and roaming around Connecticut. Follow me on twitter @SeanHenri and read more at http://www.seanhenri.com.

Comments (2)

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  1. Ron says:

    Is it roped off or fenced off? Because everyone knows, unless it’s fenced off, it’s just a suggestion to stay away.

  2. Sean Henri says:

    Roped off. But there is someone on guard to keep people away.

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