Waterbury: A City of Transitions

Waterbury: A City of Transitions

The museum’s History Exhibit is reinstalled to tell stories of important transitional moments in the City’s past. Much like how big changes in a person’s life cause them to reflect and choose a path forward, Waterbury’s history reveals how times of change created a city that adapted to persevere. In refocusing the way history is told, the reinstalled gallery promotes the connection between the visitor’s own life with Waterbury’s history and encourages reflection on how moments of transition in a city’s story are not so different from a person’s life.

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Learn how Waterbury experienced cycles of transition, from the settlement of the area by English colonists and subsequent displacement of Indigenous people to transitions happening in the city today. Shifting from a struggling agricultural economy to a successful industrial center, and later the loss of the brass industry demanded flexibility and adaptation in order to move through moments of transition.

This exhibit is designed to engage visitors in thinking more deeply about Waterbury’s stories of transition and make personal connections to its history. Utilizing the Museum’s new web app supported by OnCell, visitors’ experience will be enhanced with supplemental content like oral histories, additional images, and challenges to think about their understanding of history and cycles of change.

Meet Fortune

Fortune was an 18th century African American man who was enslaved in the Waterbury household of Dr. Preserved Porter. This exhibit reveals the complex stories of Fortune, his family, the Porter family, and the story of slavery in Waterbury. Visitors can learn more about Fortune by connecting to our OnCell web app in the gallery. For more of Fortune’s story, click here.

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Meet Fortune

Fortune was an 18th century African American man who was enslaved in the Waterbury household of Dr. Preserved Porter. With the aid of new technology this exhibit reveals the complex stories of Fortune, his family, the Porter family, and the story of slavery in Waterbury. An interactive kiosk includes short videos of Fortune’s skeleton being examined by anthropologists. For more of Fortune’s story, click here.