by Bill D
Noel Weaver wrote:Then as the heavy industries closed or moved out things really went to hell fast. Take a ride through the various neighborhoods in Waterbury and you will find some very nice areas to live in that are still decent. The floods in 1955 caused a lot of damage and problems but the biggest hit wasn't the floods or McGinns but the loss of Scovill, American Brass, Chase, Farrell Birmingham, U.S. Rubber and Naugatuck Chemical and the footware, Torrington Company and a host of other heavy and lighter industries through a period of time. Every one that quit the Naugatuck Valley made things go downhill a bit more. When things were good Waterbury, Torrington and the lower valley were all quite prosperous with good jobs, thriving business both big and small and happy people. Today the big things are crime, drugs, prostitution and other bad things.Noel, you are absolutely right on this. Waterbury no longer has enough jobs to support the population (100,000+). As the industries left, so did many long time residents. Housing prices dropped, many homes were purchased by absentee owners and rented to lower income people, many dependent on state aid. Add to that city and state leaders who don't have a clue as how to improve the situation (except for themselves), and you have a once great city that may never come back. The towns south of Waterbury have a better chance of prosperity, but for Waterbury the situation is not good.