Connecticut Closeup of Naugatuck

SportsMel AllenNaugatuck River

HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: From the Indian word Nekuutunk, or Naukatunk, meaning "one large tree." The tree is said to have stood in what is now the town of Seymour. Naugatuck is one of only two Connecticut town names with Indian derivation; Norwalk is the other.

ORIGINS: Incorporated in 1844, the town was formed from land from Waterbury, Bethany and Oxford spanning both sides of the Naugatuck River.

FAMOUS RESIDENTS: Professional baseball player Frank "Spec" Shea, who was a lifelong resident. Shea was with the Yankees for two World Series victories and later played with the Washington Senators. Mel Allen, the Yankees radio announcer, nicknamed him "The Naugatuck Nugget."

BIG BOUNCE: Charles Goodyear, who in 1839 was the first American to vulcanize rubber, was raised in Naugatuck. Rubber became a major industry in the town and remained so through the 1970s.

SOURCES: Connecticut Place Names, The Hartford Courant

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