City Directories “Although Directories, as a general thing, have heretofore been confined to cities of considerable size, it does not follow that they are not a convenience to places of smaller growth. Winsted is able to support a Directory of its own as well as places of greater pretensions." From the Winsted City Directory, 1872
Early Winsted City Directories
City Directories were originally intended to serve as business directories, but as cities grew so did their directories and the information that they offered. City Directories are an amazing resource for family researchers!
Winsted's earliest directory was published in 1872 and was only 102 pages long. Listings for the towns of Torrington, Goshen, Litchfield, and Norfolk were eventually included in the Winsted directories. The library has nearly every year, from 1872 through 1980, and some of the earlier editions have been digitized.Some directories are available at the Winchester Town Clerk's Office, the CT State Library, and Ancestry.com.
The City Directories provided information about:
business and industry
clubs and organizations
deaths and marriages
houses of worship
and much more...
Some early city directories listed marriages and deaths, and some later volumes offered street-by-street listings (see the pink or orange-colored pages). If a business or residence had a telephone, the symbol of a bell was indicated next to the listing.
Subscribers reportedly paid an annual fee to be included in the city directory. Names were often misspelled from year to year and children were not listed until they were students, married, employed, or joined the military. One of the most useful features of the directory was that it provided a person's home address, occupation, and place of employment. Due to the fragile condition of the library's city directories, some are no longer available for handling, but the years 1874 through 1900 have been digitized. Click on the link below, to access these selected listings.