Ansonia is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, on the Naugatuck River, immediately north of Derby, and about northwest of New Haven. The population was 19,249 at the 2010 census. The ZIP code for Ansonia is 06401. The city is served by the Metro-North Railroad. Ansonia Station is a stop on the railroad passenger commuter service's Waterbury line, connecting to New York's Grand Central Terminal. Ansonia also is served by the Connecticut Transit bus carrier. Connecticut Route 8 serves Ansonia.
Ansonia, also referred to as "The Copper City", is recognized for its heavy machine manufacturing industry, which is in the lower Naugatuck Valley. Production includes copper, brass, rubber and plastics processing, molding and tubing, iron castings, sheet metal, electric, automatic screw machine, textiles, and foundry products. The well-known Ansonia Clock Company was founded here in 1851. Ansonia is the birthplace of American Revolutionary War colonel and diplomat David Humphreys. The city's devotion to its high school football team, the Ansonia Chargers, is legendary. Originally known as "The Lavender", the Chargers' annual game against arch-rival Naugatuck, on Thanksgiving morning, is one of the more significant events of the year for the two cities.
The area comprising the present Elm Street section of Ansonia and Derby Avenue section of Derby was first settled in 1652 and was originally a part of the township of Derby. In 1844, merchant and philanthropist Anson Green Phelps (1781–1853) wanted to expand the old borough of Birmingham (the present downtown of the city of Derby) up along the west side of the Naugatuck River. Since he was not able to purchase the land required from its owner, Anson Phelps acquired land along the east side of the river, which today is Ansonia's downtown section, in 1844. A canal was dug to power the factories and businesses in the new industrial village and named it "Ansonia". The name came about when Mr. Phelps wanted to call his new industrial village "Phelpsville" but found out there was another village in the region by that name. Under the suggestion of a friend, Phelps Latinized his first name, to create the name "Ansonia". Soon Ansonia became the most populous area of Derby and boasted many factories. The state chartered Ansonia as a borough of Derby in 1864 and amended it once again in 1871, granting full municipal privileges. In 1888, a petition was circulated in the borough of Ansonia for the purpose of becoming a separate township from Derby. In 1889 the State General Assembly granted the separation, thus constituting the Borough, Hilltop, West Ansonia, and Elm Street areas as a separate town known as Ansonia. This was the 168th township in the state of Connecticut. In 1893, Ansonia was incorporated as a city, consolidating with the coterminous town and the old borough.
Ansonia suffered grievous damage in the Great Flood of August 19, 1955, when massive rain from Hurricane Diane filled the Naugatuck River beyond its capacity. Submerging the land along the river, the flood destroyed many houses and businesses. The high river waters swept away Maple Street Bridge, one of two bridges linking the east and west sides of the city. After the inundation, the authorities erected a flood wall along the east bank of the river to protect the city's factories and Main Street. On the west bank, federal public housing took the place of blocks of destroyed homes and businesses on Broad Street now known as Olson Drive.
In the decades following the flood, Ansonia's Main Street fell into decline as retail shoppers decamped to the Ansonia Mall at one end of the street (now replaced by a Big Y supermarket) and for malls in nearby Milford, Trumbull, and Waterbury. In recent years, however, Main Street has perked up with the opening of several antique stores, a wine bar, a coffee shop, a Polish delicatessen, and other businesses.
A non-profit, online-only news site named in honor of the Evening Sentinel, The Valley Independent Sentinel, launched June 22, 2009.
In the early morning hours of November 6, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign motorcade stopped on its way to Waterbury for an appearance and brief address in front of City Hall, drawing thousands to downtown, many with transistor radios tuned to live reports on WADS of Senator Kennedy's progress towards Ansonia. President Kennedy would make a return visit on October 17, 1962, while on his way to Waterbury.
President George H. W. Bush paid a visit to Ansonia by helicopter during the 1992 presidential election campaign. He was running far behind schedule due to severe weather damage to a large area of New Jersey, and his late arrival and truncated speech caused many residents to feel he had slighted their city.
Rubber plant fire
In May 2001, a wind-driven fire destroyed the Latex Foam Company building, a very large rubber plant along the Naugatuck River in downtown Ansonia. The fire gutted the building, which was the workplace of 250 people. Firefighters from multiple counties fought the fire tirelessly for five days. Lingering clouds of foul-smelling smoke spread over the city and nearby communities, and chemical runoff produced by the fire unbalanced the ecosystem of the nearby river. A Target store replaced the empty lot and opened in July 2007.  Following the fire, the Latex Foam Company purchased a vacant plant off Route 110 in nearby Shelton and resumed production.