Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Waterbury and the Green Book

Thanks to the Oscar awards, the movie Green Book has been getting a lot of attention. There are plenty of good resources for learning more about the historical Green Book -- the New York Public Library has a good online resource, and there have been several short articles and videos looking into some of the Green Book locations. There is also a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel.

The Negro Motorist Green Book, 1939
Collection of The New York Public Library

Much of the focus has been on the southern states covered by the Green Book, but travel through the northern states was also potentially dangerous during the mid-20th century. Having a guide to hotels and tourist homes for African Americans in Connecticut made travel much easier and safer.

Between 1938 and 1950, the only Waterbury locations in the Green Book were in the North Square neighborhood (with the exception of an address on Bridge Street near the heavily Irish Abrigador neighborhood). Beginning in 1950, the Elton Hotel was listed in the Green Book. In 1961, the Putt Meadow Motor Court on Meriden Road was added.