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New Haven and Derby Railroad Company


SKU: 1127
Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the New Haven and Derby Railroad Company dating back to the 1880's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary, was printed by the Homer Lee Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 9 1/4" (w) by 15" (h).


The vignette of a passenger train at a city depot.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    The New Haven and Derby Railroad was all of 13 miles long, connecting the Elm City to Ansonia.

    It launched in 1871, and was the sixth railroad line to start in New Haven over a 32-year period.

    New Haven had passed up earlier opportunities to connect the city to the Naugatuck Valley. That oversight led various city leaders and businessmen to push for the creation of a new line. When the New Haven and Derby proposal came along in the 1860s, the city jumped at the deal. Not only did the city invest money in the railroad, it had a controlling stock interest and had the mayor and an alderman on the railroad’s board of directors.

    There were financial problems, construction delays and a fair number of people who thought city government had no business owning a railroad. The line’s route was troublesome, as well, requiring builders to blast through solid rock in Allingtown and construct trestles over the West River, Platt River valley, Wepawaug River, Davis Brook and Oil Mill Creek.

    The railroad officially opened on Aug. 9, 1871.

    In the decades that followed, hundreds of thousands of people rode the line. Its biggest year was 1889, when ridership hit 325,000. Stops included Orange, Derby, West Haven, Alling’s Crossing and Turkey Hill.

    During the Blizzard of 1888, the three-car 7 a.m. train was stranded in the Platt River valley for almost four days. The train’s 13 passengers survived by eating pies, pork and oysters in the freight car.

    By then, increased competition and railroad consolidation led New Haven to start looking to cash in on its investment. The Housatonic Valley Railroad took over the line in 1887; the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad took control of the Housatonic Valley Railroad in 1892.

    The final passenger service on the line was on June 13, 1925.