Naugatuck is an industrial community in New Haven County, located just south of Waterbury on both sides of the Naugatuck River. It is noted as the home of Naugahyde, a synthetic leather used in furniture. The process of rubber vulcanization was discovered here by Charles Goodyear. It is home to the Peter Paul division of Hershey Foods as well as eleven buildings by the famous New York architecture firm of McKim, Mead and White.
Naugatuck was settled in 1701 as a farming community. Its location on the river, along with arrival of the railroad in 1849, led to rapid industrialization in the 19th century. The name is a native American word meaning roughly "lone tree by the fishing place."