2174 112th CONGRESS
H. R. 2174
To direct the Secretary of the Interior to carry
out a study regarding the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Naugatuck
River Valley National Heritage Area in Connecticut, and for other purposes.IN
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 14, 2011
DELAURO (for herself, Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut, Mr. LARSON of Connecticut, Mr.
COURTNEY, and Mr. HIMES) introduced the following bill; which was referred to
the Committee on Natural Resources
direct the Secretary of the Interior to carry out a study regarding the suitability
and feasibility of establishing the Naugatuck River Valley National Heritage Area
in Connecticut, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted
by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Naugatuck River Valley National Heritage Area Study
SEC. 2. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE STUDY REGARDING NAUGATUCK RIVER
(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) The area that encompasses the Naugatuck River Valley of Connecticut has made
a unique contribution to the cultural, political, and industrial development of
the United States.
(2) The Naugatuck River Valley is
comprised of 14 communities along the Naugatuck River, which stretches for more
than 40 miles from its headwaters in Torrington, Connecticut, to the confluence
with the Housatonic River in Shelton. The 14 municipalities of Torrington, Harwinton,
Litchfield, Plymouth/Terryville, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Ansonia, Beacon
Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton, share common historical
elements, agricultural, trade, and maritime origins, similar architecture, common
industries, an immigrant culture succeeding colonial beginnings, and a significant
contribution to the war effort from the Revolutionary War to World War II. Most
of these elements are still in evidence today.
major industries drove the manufacturing contribution of the Valley. As evidenced
in the book, The Brass Industry in the United States, by William Lathrop, the
brass industry was born in Connecticut's Naugatuck River Valley and harnessed
the power of the Naugatuck River and the skilled immigrant workers who arrived
from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Poland.
(4) The Naugatuck
River Valley also spawned the birth of the rubber industry in the United States
when Charles Goodyear developed the vulcanization process in 1839. Together with
Samuel Lewis, a wealthy industrialist from Naugatuck, Connecticut, Goodyear parlayed
his innovation into establishing the U.S. Rubber Company, making Naugatuck the
rubber capital of the world.
(5) The Naugatuck River
Valley was also a major contributor to the success of the United States clock
industry. Eli Terry designed interchangeable parts for his clocks assembled in
Terryville. Renowned clockmaker Seth Thomas began making the first of millions
of clocks in Thomaston, Connecticut, in 1813. His company continued until 1931
when it became a division of General Time Corporation (Timex). Other important
industries included pens, evaporated milk, pianos and organs, corset stays, and
(6) The Naugatuck River Valley has been a major
contributor to the United States war efforts from the American Revolution to the
Civil War to World War II. In the 2007 PBS film `The War', the story of the World
War II directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, the City of Waterbury,
Connecticut, was characterized as the `arsenal' of the war effort because of its
high concentration of war industries.
(7) The Naugatuck
River Valley has been home to many great authors, diplomats, inventors and patriots,
such as David Humphreys, Aide-de-Camp to General George Washington and the first
American ambassador; Commodore Isaac Hull, Commander of `Old Ironsides' during
the War of 1812; Ebenezer D. Bassett, the country's first black ambassador; Dr.
John Howe, inventor of a pin making machine that made the common pin a household
necessity; and Pierre Lallement, inventor of the modern two-wheel bicycle.
(8) The Naugatuck River Valley possesses a rich and diverse assemblage of architecturally
significant civic, industrial and residential structures and monuments dating
from Colonial times to the present. There are 88 structures in the Naugatuck Valley
included on the National Register of Historic Places. The first law school in
America was built in Litchfield. Notable examples of the variety of architecture
found in the Valley include Robert Wakeman Hill's brilliantly designed Thomaston
Opera House and Town Hall; H.E. Ficken's acoustically impressive Sterling Opera
House in Derby, site of appearances by many nationally known performers; Waterbury's
Clock Tower, designed by the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead &
White which also designed four buildings in Naugatuck; Henry Bacon, designer of
the Lincoln Memorial and two structures in Naugatuck; Torrington's Warner Theatre,
designed by the prominent architect Thomas W. Lamb, and the Father McGivney Statue
cast by Joseph Coletti of Boston to honor the Waterburian who founded the Knights
(9) The Naugatuck River Valley has been
a melting pot for immigrant populations who have made significant contributions
to the industrial, cultural, and economic development of the Nation.
(10) The Naugatuck River Valley possesses a group of public-spirited citizens
dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the region's natural, historic,
and cultural heritage, and a passionate resolve to work together for the betterment
of the Valley and its residents.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior shall, in consultation with the
State of Connecticut and appropriate organizations, carry out a study regarding
the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Naugatuck River Valley National
Heritage Area in Connecticut.
(2) CONTENTS- The study
shall include analysis and documentation regarding whether the Study Area--
(A) has an assemblage of natural, historic, and cultural resources that together
represent distinctive aspects of American heritage worthy of recognition, conservation,
interpretation, and continuing use, and are best managed through partnerships
among public and private entities and by combining diverse and sometimes noncontiguous
resources and active communities;
traditions, customs, beliefs, and folklife that are a valuable part of the national
(C) provides outstanding opportunities
to conserve natural, historic, cultural, or scenic features;
(D) provides outstanding recreational and educational opportunities;
(E) contains resources important to the identified theme or themes of the Study
Area that retain a degree of integrity capable of supporting interpretation;
(F) includes residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and local
and State governments that are involved in the planning, have developed a conceptual
financial plan that outlines the roles for all participants, including the Federal
Government, and have demonstrated support for the concept of a national heritage
(G) has a potential management entity
to work in partnership with residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations,
and local and State governments to develop a national heritage area consistent
with continued local and State economic activity; and
(H) has a conceptual boundary map that is supported by the public.
(c) Boundaries of the Study Area- The Study Area shall be comprised of sites in
Torrington, Harwinton, Litchfield, Plymouth/Terryville, Thomaston, Waterbury,
Watertown, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton,
(d) Submission of Study Results- Not later than 3
years after funds are first made available for this section, the Secretary shall
submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report describing
the results of the study.