At 153 Main Street in Ansonia is a large former factory building that was built c. 1900 by the Ansonia Osborne and Cheeseman Company. As described in The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880 (1880), by Samuel Orcutt:
Osborn and Cheeseman conducted a mercantile business in Birmingham some years, and in 1858 went into the hoop-skirt business at that place, and removed to Ansonia in 1859. In 1866 the Osborn and Cheeseman Company was organized with a capital stock of $120,000. Charles Durand was president of the company until 1875, when he sold his interest in the enterprise. The company now manufactures a great variety of goods, such as sheet and brass ware, gilding metal, German silver, copper and German-silver wire, seamless ferrules, and other kinds of metallic goods, which are sold in all parts of the United States.
Attached to the factory on the Main Street side is a yellow brick Neoclassical Revival former company office building (pictured above), erected c. 1910 with a third floor added sometime later. The entire factory building is now known as the Palmer Building because Palmer Brothers Trucking was located there, with other businesses, from 1955 to 1985. The building was then acquired by the City of Ansonia, but remained vacant, except for the Doyle Senior Center on the ground floor, for years as the city tried to sell it to a developer. There are now plans to convert the property for apartments and retail use.
African-Americans in Ansonia established Macedonia Baptist Church in 1890 and two years later constructed a church building at 24 Clifton Avenue. When local roads were later rearranged, the church received a new address of 243 Pershing Drive.
Clinton AME Zion Church in Ansonia was originally organized in Derby in 1874/1875. Early meetings were held in a hall over J. P. Swift’s Store, later Pucella’s Garage, at the corner of New Haven Avenue and Gilbert Street in Derby. The church affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1882 and adopted the name its pastor, Rev. J. J. Clinton, in 1888, incorporating as Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church. A new church building was erected on Derby Avenue, but the church later decided to relocate to Ansonia, which had a growing African American population. According to Ansonia assessor’s information, the new church, located at 96 Central Street, was built in 1950. The church had to be repaired after it was damaged in the flood of 1956 (see “$5,800 Spells Restored Hopes For Flood-Hit Ansonia Church,” Hartford Courant, February 4, 1956).
The first Catholic house of worship in Ansonia was a white frame chapel erected on Main Street in 1867-1868. It was named The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Starting as a mission of Derby, parish status was conferred in 1870. A new church, designed by architect Patrick C. Keeley, was later erected over eighteen years at 61 North Cliff Street. Ground was broken in 1889 and the cornerstone was put into place on Sunday, September 6, 1891. The basement chapel was completed and began to be used in 1900 (it was later remodeled to become the Church Hall in 1967). The completed edifice was dedicated in June 1907. The original plan called for a tower that was never built.
The house at 76 Jewett Street in Ansonia has been called the Prindle-Goldstein House by John Poole of the website/blog, A Preservationist’s Technical Notebook. The house was built c. 1795-1796 on land purchased in 1795 by brothers Joseph and Mordecai Prindle, the latter residing in the house. The brothers were sea captains and partners in a ship chandlery in Stratford. According to A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, Part I (1886) by Samuel Orcutt:
In the year 1805, Josiah, Mordecai and Joseph H. Prindle, brothers, came from Derby and established in this store the West India business. They had three vessels employed in carrying out corn meal, horses and cattle, and bringing back rum, sugar and molasses. They lost two schooners in the fall of 1808, in a hurricane, with full cargoes of stock and corn meal, and all persons on board perished. As the result of these losses they failed, and gave up the business
Capt. Mordecai Prindle and a crew of seven were on one of those vessels caught in a September gale off Cape Hatteras. As related in The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880 (1880), by Samuel Orcutt and Ambrose Beardsley,
it is mentioned that a kildeer out of season perched upon the window sill of Mrs. Prindle’s house, which stood near Dr. Mansfield’s, and was heard to sing distinctly several times, in plaintive notes, and then disappear. [This was taken as a sign portending death.] Mrs. Prindle was deeply affected, and declared that her husband was that moment sinking beneath the merciless waves. From that day to this Captain Prindle, his seven men and vessel have not been heard from.
The house was next owned by William Mansfield, a son of Rev. Richard Mansfield. It then passed to Rev. Stephen Jewett (1783-1861), who assisted the ailing Rev. Mansfield and then succeeded him as Rector of Derby’s Episcopal Church. Jewett Street is named for him. Rev. Jewett ran a preparatory school in the house for young men intending to study at college to enter the ministry. In 1834 he moved to New Haven. The house passed through a number of owners until 1864, when it was acquired by Frederick C. Goldstein and his wife, Sophia Elizabeth, who had arrived from Germany six years earlier. Their son, Dr. Frederick C. Goldstein (1869-1928), later served as health officer and school physician for the City of Ansonia.
The grand house at 91 North Cliff Street in Ansonia was built c. 1887 for Robert and Elizabeth Wood. Robert Wood was a factory superintendent at the Wallace and Sons brass mill. The house was later owned by the Tuttle family and c. 1960 it became the John T. Bennett Funeral Home.
The first Episcopal church to be established in the part of Derby that would become Ansonia was completed in 1746. Originally located at the site of the old graveyard on Elm Street, the parish moved to a new building on Derby Avenue around 1799. The name of the parish was changed at that time from the original Christ Church to St. James. The next move was across the river to Birmingham, another section of Derby, but several families were allowed, in 1843, to continue worship at the old Derby Avenue location under the name of Christ Church. A new parish, known as Trinity, was organized in the growing section of Derby called Ansonia 1849. Trinity Church was built the following year at the corner of Main and Tremont Streets. In 1851, Christ Church and Trinity Church merged, taking the name of Christ Parish, Ansonia. By the 1890s, the parish had grown too large for the church on Main Street. Franklin Farrel, a prominent Ansonia industrialist, made a gift of land on South Cliff Street for the construction of the current Christ Episcopal Church, which was designed by Henry M. Congdon & Sons of New York. The church was built of Ansonia granite, quarried at Potter’s Quarry, and New Jersey graystone. The cornerstone was laid in December, 1896 and the church was dedicated in January, 1900.