My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On the Rare Road to Meriden, Waterbury, Conn.

This 1911-postmarked card is from my Waterbury, CT collection of postcards.

In my humble opinion, this is one of the ugliest scenes I have ever seen depicted on a postcard. However, it holds a lot of memories for me.

I was born and raised in Waterbury; born in St. Mary's Hospital, about 400 feet from the location depicted in this postcard, and raised about 1-1/4 miles from the location.

The postcard depicts the view from the Baldwin Street bridge looking northeast over the Mad River and the railroad tracks of the Meriden, Waterbury, and Connecticut River Railroad (MWCRRR), which was part of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad by the time of this postcard's publication.

To the left of the river is part of the huge Scovill Manufacturing Company complex. To the right of the tracks are the rear of the houses located on Bridge Street, where my mother spent part of her childhood.

Notice that the tracks are lower than the river. I can recall many a rainy day going over the Baldwin Street bridge and seeing the river flooding the railroad tracks.

By the time I was crossing the tracks, they ended about a mile to the east near the Harper's Ferry Road bridge and only served Scovill and a couple of businesses on Hamilton Avenue.

Today, this scene is unrecognizable. The factory, railroad tracks, and Bridge Street are gone. Only the river remains and it is buried in a tunnel under six lanes of I-84. The Google Maps screen capture below approximates the location today.


  1. Hard to imagine it, the landscape is so altered. Where is/was bridge street? did that go with the highway?

  2. T-Bone --- Bridge Street and a couple of streets that adjoined it are gone... deleted from the maps during the expansion of I-84 back in the 1980s (if my memory serves me right). In the postcard, Bridge Street sort of parallels the river and railroad tracks; the off-white house in the image was located on Bridge Street, however, the front of the house is cut off in the image, as is Bridge Street.