Derby, Ct. New Haven co. The Indian name of this town was Paugasset. It was purchased of the Indians, and incorporated in 1675. The surface of the town is uneven, with some fertile meadow on the banks of the rivers. Derby is watered by the Housatonick and Naugatuck rivers. Derby Landing, Smithville and Humphreysville, are the principal places of business.
The Landing is on the east side of the Housatonick, just below the junction of that river with the Naugatuck, and is 8 miles N.W. from New Haven, and 14 from the mouth of the river at Stratford, on Long Island Sound. Vessels of 10 feet draught of water can pass to the Landing, from which wood and other commodities are transported by water.
Smithville is located in view of the Landing, and commands a beautiful prospect. It has extensive manufactures of copper, in sheets and wire, augurs, carriage springs and axletrees, nails and tacks, flannels, satinets, and other operations by the waters of the Naugatuck, passing through a canal of about a mile in length. This village was commenced in 1834, and is very flourishing.
Humphreysville is located in a small valley, on the Naugatuck river, about 4 miles from the Landing. The Humphreysville Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1810. The building is 4 stories high and 100 feet long. In this village and around it is some of the most beautiful and romantic scenery in New England. This village derived its name from the Hon. David Humphreys, a native of Derby, a poet, an aid to Washington, and a minister to Spain. He died at New Haven, Feb. 21, 1818, aged 66. — John Hayward, The New England Gazetteer, 1839.