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.
The house at 79 Elm Street in Ansonia was built in 1754 by Joseph Howell. It was later the home of Dr. Silas Baldwin (1729-1813), Derby’s third physician (Ansonia was at that time part of the town of Derby). He married Mary Plumb of Ridgefield in 1755. According to the Sixth Report of the National Society of the Daughter of the American Revolution (1904):
Dr. Silas Baldwin, Revolutionary patriot […] Assisted in establishing American independence while acting in the capacity of a patriot. He accepted the oath of fidelity to the United States April 13, 1778. Dr. Silas Baldwin enlisted June, 1776, in Captain Johnson’s company Fifth Battalion, Wadsworth’s brigade, Colonel Douglas’s regiment to reenforce Washington’s army at New York; August 29-30, 1776, engaged in the retreat to New York; was at the battle of White Plains October 28. Term expired December 26. (History of Derby, p. 187.)
No. 24 on muster roll of Capt. Elijah Humphrey’s company, Connecticut Regiment of Foot, commanded by Col. Return Jonathan Meigs, was Silas Baldwin, enlisting March 27,1777, “on command,” which maybe received in explanation of the record on page 208, Connecticut Men in the Revolution, which says: “Silas Baldwin in Humphrey’s company, Connecticut Line, enlisted March 27,1777; deserted August, 1779.” (Connecticut Men in the Revolution, pp. 208, 407; muster roll of Capt. Elijah Humphrey’s company. Copy deposited.)
Dr. Silas Baldwin was born in Waterbury and died in Ridgefield, but generally resided in the section of Derby that is now Ansonia. He is buried in Ansonia’s Colonial Cemetery. Read the rest of this entry »
Real Estate sites give the date of the Josiah Smith House, at 74 Elm Street, at the corner of Main Street, in Ansonia, as 1797. The house was built by Josiah Smith and was owned by several generations of his family before it was sold to Jonah Platt. It is a late Georgian/Early Federal style house with a fan light window above the front door and a later Victorian front porch.
At 5 Elm Street in Ansonia is a house built circa 1789 and altered in later years (including the addition of a Victorian-era front porch). Called the Sheldon Curtiss House, it was an inn in the early nineteenth century, serving the coach road between New Haven and Humphreysville (now Seymour).
Lithuanians in Ansonia sought to establish an ethnic parish when they incorporated a lodge of the Lithuanian Society of St. Anthony in 1907. Bishop John J. Nilan of the Diocese of Hartford rebuffed their request, insisting that the Lithuanians remain within Assumption parish. The Lithuanians began to build a church in 1912 without episcopal approval, hoping that the bishop would reverse his decision, but he maintained his previous position. In 1915, an appeal directly to Rome succeeded and St. Anthony parish was given sanction by the Pope to operate as an independent parish. St. Anthony’s Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day 1915 by Father Matthew Pankus of Bridgeport.
In 1897, Immigrants in Ansonia from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire established one of the first parishes of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the United States. The first St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was constructed in 1897-1898 on May Street. In 1910, the congregation purchased land at 105 Clifton Avenue, where the current church was built in 1915-1916. Plans for the church were sent by an architect from Lviv, Halychyna and the architectural firm of Johnson and Burns of Hartford was selected to complete the blueprints. The church’s roof is covered in red tiles and the domes are clad in copper. A major restoration of the building took place in 1987-1989.