This Week in History
Friday, January 1, 1909
SHELTON – Two are arrested in the early morning hours in the Tenderloin on Center Street when they drew a knife and revolver and threatened people, after they were not served drinks they thought they were entitled to.
ANSONIA – A special Board of Aldermen meeting is held regarding the Bridge Street Bridge. The City will hire an expert for a cost not to exceed $250 to assess the damage, with the trolley company paying half.
Monday, January 4
The Valley cities and towns are raising funds for sufferers of a catastrophic earthquake in southern Italy.
DERBY - James B. Atwater is sworn in as the new Mayor.
DERBY – There have been many complaints of late that the horses currently used to pull the Bassett Hook and Ladder truck are too light for the job, and heavier ones are needed.
Heavy rain which began yesterday ends early today, totaling 2.07”. The Naugatuck River has risen 4'. Temperatures are in the 50s.
ANSONIA – A trolley jumps the track at Main and Elm Streets, and smashes through a fence, into an embankment. A woman holding an infant is said to be "severely hurt".
DERBY – There was a very small increase in the City's Grand List, from $5,761,721 in 1907 to $5,806,216 in 1908.
SHELTON – There is controversy that the Board of Education has thus far ignored the Town of Huntington’s order to reopen Lower White Hills School, due to the greater amounts of children living in the neighborhood.
Temperatures drop to 18 degrees.
DERBY - Rumors of pending raids keep City saloons closed on Sunday. It is noted that there are more than the usual number of police officers looking into store windows, today, but no raids. Saloon owners are upset that false rumors curtailed their illegal Sunday activity.
Wednesday, January 13
ANSONIA – An Augusta, Georgia newspaper has reported a rumor that Charles F. Brooker has been tapped as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The rumor is denied here.
ANSONIA – A lamp explodes in the Nicolari meat market, located in the Larking Building on the corner of Main Street and Cheever Street. Neighbors have a hard time finding their fire alarm box, which was relocated without notice from its previous location. After some hunting, during which the fire grows larger, a boy finds it. Unfortunately, he is not tall enough to reach it. Finally, the driver of the Webster Hose Company’s horse drawn hose wagon is alerted when neighbors rap on his door. The fire is extinguished, but not before $2000 in damage is done.
OXFORD – “The traveling on the highway to Seymour is very rough at the present time, the rain having drawn out the frost on the surface so that the horses often have to break through so badly that pleasure driving is at a discount”.
SHELTON – White Hills – “The road at the top of Leavenworth Hill has been widened and greatly improved. All the roads excepting the macadam are in very rough state and it behooves one to have his life insured before starting to the nearby towns”.
An ice storm starts late this evening, coating everything. The ice is still there by noon the following next day. Walking is treacherous.
ANSONIA – The Evening Sentinel reports on the air pollution nuisance caused by so many smokestacks in the City.
ANSONIA - Inspection of the covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge reveals it may be possible to repair, rather than replace it.
DERBY – City vital statistics for the previous year reveal 324 births (298 in 1907), 101 marriages (137 in 1907), and 141 deaths (150 in 1907).
SEYMOUR - Mr. George W. Horman, 91, of Seymour, presently living in the Soldier's Home in Noroton, is believed to be the oldest living veteran in Connecticut at this time.
SEYMOUR - William Losee, the oldest man in Seymour, dies at the home of his son at 41 Maple Street at the age of 92. Born in August 1836 on Humphreys Street, he was a carpenter by trade.
Tuesday, January 19
Temperatures reach zero for the first time this winter in the early morning. Sleighing is good, providing the horses are well shod, and many sleighs are out today.
ANSONIA - Ice on Quillinan's reservoir off Beaver Street is 8" thick, and is being harvested by Ansonia Derby Ice Company men
ANSONIA - A Factory Street chicken coop becomes the latest to be raided, with 10 of its 13 chicks stolen. Other poultry owners are now setting up traps around their coops to catch or injure the thieves.
OXFORD – “Owners of ice ponds and those fond of the amusement of skating are feeling quite happy over the freeze and hope for a continuation of present conditions for some little time”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The recent snowstorm has brought out sleighs on the road”.
ANSONIA - Ice is being harvested at a rate of 5 tons per minute at Quillinan's pond. The new Ansonia Derby Ice Company ice house on Beaver Street can hold 10,000 tons. Ice harvesting continues today until about 10 PM.
Temperatures go up to 58 degrees, melting the snow.
It is reported that famed local wanderer Johnny o' the Woods has apparently found a new home in Newtown, where he will be cared for by a group of charitable women who take care of the area’s poor.
ANSONIA - The new Beaver Street ice house is about half full.
ANSONIA – Rain ends the ice harvesting on Quillian’s pond off Beaver Street, for now.
Monday, January 25
ANSONIA - Mrs. Annie Cowles of North Cliff Street arrives home. She and her 2 sisters were passengers of the White Star Line ocean liner RMS Republic, which collided with another ship off Nantucket two days before and sank yesterday. Mrs. Cowles owed much of her survival to the fact that this accident marked the first time a wireless was used to put out a distress signal, allowing 1200 people to be saved.
ANSONIA – It is revealed that the cause for a rising number of families applying to the Board of Charities is due to husbands deserting the family.
A stiff wind blows up clouds of dust on the streets, making traveling extremely unpleasant, particularly on the main thoroughfares where the snow and ice are mostly gone. The wind causes ashes and even some shingles to blow around.
ANSONIA - Residents of Clifton Avenue, between Bridge Street Bridge and Wooster Street, want more police protection due to near nightly brawls occurring there.
DERBY - Rev. E. E. Burtner accepts a call to become pastor of the First Congregational Church. Since his tenure becomes effective January 25, the church went only 10 days without a pastor after Rev. Mr. Houghton's resignation, which was effective January 15.
The heaviest snowstorm of the winter so far dumps 10" of snow.
Trolleymen are reminded that local volunteer firemen can ride for free if they are responding to a fire, providing they show their badge.
The temperature drops to zero this evening.
ANSONIA - Hutwohl's barber shop on Main Street is gutted by a general alarm fire.
Monday, February 1
It is 4 below and windy this morning.
DERBY & SHELTON – Ansonia-Derby Ice Company employees begin clearing snow on the ice above the Ousatonic Dam, in preparation for harvest. The wind blowing down the Housatonic valley makes this a very cold undertaking. The ice is 8" thick today, and will be 9" thick three days later.
Fine sleighing is reported this week. Many sleighing parties are going to the Oxford House (Crofut's Inn) and White Hills. Moonlight coasting is popular.
OXFORD – “The storm which visited this locality on Saturday, was the most severe of the winter. Snow fell to the depth of about a foot on the level, and the result is really fine sleighing, which, if the zero temperature which prevailed since, continues, will cause it to last some little time. Sunday and Monday there was a keen north wind blowing, which cut like ice, and those obliged to be out riding, unless well protected, suffered keenly”.
DERBY - A 9-year old Olivia Street boy sledding down Cottage Street hill is injured when his sled hits one of the Wise Bakery delivery sleighs at Elizabeth Street. He is knocked unconscious, and is taken to a doctor, who gives him 4 stitches. The Evening Sentinel blames older boys setting a bad example for the accident.
SEYMOUR – A fire breaks out in the kitchen of the Windsor Hotel, near the Citizens Engine Company firehouse. Holes are cut in the attic, but the fire is extinguished quickly. This incident occurs exactly 23 years after the old Windsor Hotel, and the opera house next door were destroyed by a raging blaze.
ANSONIA - Residents are complaining that the salt that the trolley company is using on its Main Street trolley tracks is damaging their horses' hooves.
DERBY – Liveryman I. M. Thompson is now selling broughams, a different kind of carriage than those normally found in Derby. They require two horses, are generally used as a hack (taxi). Mr. Thompson is repairing the old stables behind the Birmingham Hotel and will sell carriages there.
SEYMOUR – The body of a man who appears to have been deceased for 2-3 months is found on Dead Man's Island, in the Naugatuck River, across from the old bone factory. It is speculated that he may have been a local character who disappeared recently nicknamed "Captain Moonlight".
ANSONIA - Following a Board of Aldermen meeting night the before, the covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge is condemned. The deterioration is apparently much worse than originally through. Boards are nailed across both ends, and notices are placed that the bridge is closed; pedestrians pass at their own risk. The bridge has already been closed to horse teams for several weeks, and trolleys have been refusing to cross for some time. Many pedestrians ignore the warnings and cross anyway.
ANSONIA – Vandals have torn down the boards closing the Bridge Street Bridge. The police warn they will arrest whoever they catch doing it.
Monday, February 8
ANSONIA - An engineer reports to the Board of Aldermen that the cost of repairing the covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge will be $7,500, which includes constructing a new pier.
DERBY & SHELTON - Melting ice halts the Ansonia Derby Ice Company from harvesting on Lake Housatonic.
ANSONIA - A 7 year old Central Street girl is struck by a work car trolley on Main Street at Colburn Street, and is horribly injured. She is taken to a New Haven hospital by trolley. The Evening Sentinel calls the scene “one of the most distressing in City history”, and accuses trolleys of speeding in this section.
ANSONIA - Many protest a new move by the trolley company to cease giving transfers over the Bridge Street Bridge. The Company says they have done so because the bridge is legally closed, it cannot be held liable for encouraging people to cross it illegally. The problem is there was no warning of the new policy - people going to work were able to transfers, but found out they could not when they tried to go home.
OXFORD – “The cold wave of the past week was of short duration, the temperature moderating rapidly, the last of the week. The snow disappeared on Friday and Saturday very rapidly, and little was left excepting in sheltered places, by Sunday. This winter certainly i s breaking the records in swift changes of temperature”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “John Karnath is out with a new milk wagon from the Herman Karnath Orchard View Dairy Farm. Mr. Karnath's cattle barns cannot be excelled for cleanliness and up-to-date equipments. Some of the old dairymen think it advisable for the health officers and milk inspectors to look after the quality of the milk being peddled around Derby by the new milk men who are underselling them, as no parties can afford to sell pure milk any less than the present price”.
Exercises celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln are observed at schools and other venues throughout the country.
ANSONIA – A christening ceremony is held, changing the name of the Garden Street School changes name to Lincoln School, by breaking a bottle of Beaver Spring Water over its steps. Civil War veterans are present for the ceremony. Later that evening, another ceremony is held at Ansonia Opera House, where the crowd is so large the hall couldn't accommodate the entire crowd, even when many chose to stand.
DERBY – Union services to commemorate Abraham Lincoln are held at the Second Congregational Church, sponsored by the Kellogg Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. The church is filled.
SEYMOUR - Hoadley's Bridge reopens to traffic, after some long repairs.
ANSONIA- Nine are arrested on gambling charges, when the basement of the Academy Pool Room on Main Street is raided. Two slot machines are seized.
Tuesday, February 16
SEYMOUR - Several inches of mud covers both Main Street and Bank Street despite the fact they have macadam pavement.
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen votes to confer with the trolley company on repairing the Bridge Street Bridge, despite the fact that their engineer says a new bridge is probably needed.
ANSONIA - A Derby High School boy falls into Pickett's Pond while ice skating. His friend, an Ansonia High School student tries to rescue him, but falls in too, A second Derby High School boy manages to get both of them out.
DERBY - Repairs have been completed at Sterling Opera House. The front doors only swing outward now, and there is improved heating in the lobby. Nevertheless, the seats are in bad shape, and the interior needs redecorating and repainting.
ANSONIA – A freshet began on the Naugatuck River late last evening, continuing into today. Hundreds gather to watch the Bridge Street Bridge, expecting to see it topple into the high waters. The bridge held, but the gap in the stonework in the damaged pier seems to have gotten worse. By 9 AM, the floodwaters from the Naugatuck River freshet were only a few inches below the bottom of the railroad trestle, and some Main Street cellars were flooded. High water was reached at 5 PM, and then dropped rapidly.
DERBY – A 9 year old Hallock Court boy drowns after falling off the railroad trestle over the Derby Meadows, while watching the freshet in the Naugatuck River. His body is recovered the following day.
SHELTON - During the freshet, a child has a narrow escape when the riverbank collapses under him near the Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club. His older brother jumps in and saves him.
Tuesday, February 23
ANSONIA – A 20 year old girl, a Polish immigrant, is shot at by a jealous lover on Clifton Avenue. Despite his close proximity, the assailant misses. He is overpowered by her boyfriend, who manages to wrestle the gun away, though the attacker escapes. He is still at large a week later.
ANSONIA – A conference between the Board of Aldermen and the Ansonia Manufacturers' Club makes it clear that the manufacturers want to replace the condemned, covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge.
ANSONIA – A scarlet fever outbreak has led to 6 houses being quarantined. But some are breaking the quarantine, leading to fears that the disease will spread. ears it will spread because the quarantine is being broken.
DERBY - Even though it was a short ice harvesting season, it looks like the Ansonia Derby Ice Company has harvested enough to get Derby through the summer.
A storm accompanied by high winds dumps 2.05” of rain in 24 hours, and downs trees, telephone poles, and outhouses. The rivers are running high.
ANSONIA – A two year old North Cliff Street girl becomes the first fatality of the scarlet fever outbreak.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “The last of the old trees that stood north and south of Christ Church has been cut down, as it had been partly blown down in the storms”.
SHELTON – The 1908 Grand List reveals 997 houses, 89 manufactories, 487 horses, 632 cattle, and 353 carriages in town.
SHELTON - An ermine is captured in a skunk trap, the first one caught here in many years.
ANSONIA – The trolley company informs Mayor Charters it will not pay a cent to repair the old covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge, though it may consider assisting in replacing it.
DERBY - 50 children are sent home from Irving School after the health officer inspects them and determines they have head lice. Many parents are upset.
SEYMOUR – The foundation for the new freight depot is nearly completed.
SEYMOUR - State and local police raid a Third Street saloon, where they arrest the owner for selling liquor on a Sunday, as well as eight patrons. A makeshift court is set up in the saloon. The owner is tried, found guilty, and pays his fines on the spot.
Monday, March 1
DERBY – The City Health Officer visits Franklin School, and sends 25 pupils home for head lice. Most of the children sent home from Irving School for the same reason last week are back to school today, after being inspected by the Health Officer. The anger and indignation many Irving School parents felt last week is subsiding.
SHELTON - Democrat Leroy Moulthrop is elected Warden, the highest elected position in the Borough of Shelton. The Borough is heavily Republican, and he was elected with help from dissatisfied members of that party, over William Wainman by a vote of 364-341. A parade with a band marches to his house after elections. He is only the third Democrat to be elected Warden in its 26 years of existence.
ANSONIA - Engineers are surveying the Bridge Street area to arrive at the cost of a new viaduct bridge to replace the covered bridge there. Some favor having the new bridge cross at Water Street.
DERBY - Camptown residents are complaining of people throwing garbage over the riverbank at Housatonic Avenue.
Snow and high winds overnight disappoint many who thought the recent mild weather meant spring was arriving.
ANSONIA & DERBY – The Ansonia Derby Ice Company will not raise the price of its ice this year, unlike ice companies in many surrounding communities.
ANSONIA, DERBY & SHELTON - Local Socialists are uniting, and forming a new headquarters in the Transcript Building on Main Street in Derby, which will include a circulating library.
The snow is melting fast in the high temperatures.
SEYMOUR - Four hotel keepers receive summons resulting from last week's liquor raid. They include the Germania House, Windsor Hotel, Brunswick Hotel, and Seymour House.
SHELTON - There are more complaints about reopening Walnut Tree Hill School then there were when it was closed. There is only one teacher is teaching 7 grades in the one-room schoolhouse. At least one family is asking for their children to be transferred back to Huntington Center.
DERBY - Rev. Fitzgerald announces St. Mary’s Church is now free of debt.
Tuesday, March 9
DERBY - The Board of Aldermen is supporting the Civic Club in its drive to plant shade trees along City streets.
ANSONIA & OXFORD – There are reports that people living in the area of Bridge Street, Ansonia, have been fishing with seines in the Housatonic River. There are other reports, possibly related, of people using seines to fish in the Zoar Bridge area too, and that the seines are being manufactured at a Star Street house. Fishing with seines is unlawful, and the reports are being investigated.
DERBY – The local division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has been active trying to get merchants to pull St. Patrick’s Day-related items that contain pictures, images, or other things that ridicules the Irish.
SEYMOUR – The Town’s policy of allowing "hoboes" to sleep overnight in the lockup is becoming a problem. At breakfast time they go from house to house in the area begging for coffee and food from local women, and can be abusive if refused. The problem is starting to happen every day, apparently the word is out among the hoboes that Seymour is a desirable place, and more are appearing.
ANSONIA – A contract for a new Church of the Assumption Catholic School to accommodate 500-600 pupils on North Cliff Street has been awarded to the Torrington Building Company, for over $75,000.
DERBY – The old Lyric Theater reopens under new management with a matinee, featuring "high class" moving pictures and illustrated songs. A prize offered for the woman who thinks of the best name to rename the theater.
SEYMOUR – The cold night brings 8 hoboes to sleep in the town lock-up. The local correspondent of the Evening Sentinel is starting to call the building “Hotel de Bum”.
Monday, March 15
ANSONIA – The Seccombe Bros monument works has purchased the Holbrook quarries on North Prospect Street, Ansonia, and will use the stone there.
SHELTON – The Borough of Shelton publishes its Grand List, which includes 588.5 houses, 315 lots, 82 mills and stores, 134 horses, 2 cattle, 144 carriages, and 695 watches. This list is derived from the Town of Huntington’s list, which came out on February 25.
SHELTON - It is being discovered that nearly every cottage above Indian Well was broken into and vandalized and ransacked over the winter.
Many are wearing pieces of green on their clothing this St. Patrick’s Day, including ribbons, carnations, and real shamrocks which can be purchased at local florists. The day is blessed with fair weather.
With the improving weather, automobiles are starting to appear on the roads again. Children are enjoying themselves spinning tops and shooting 'mingles' (marbles) on sidewalks, and baseball teams are starting to form.
ANSONIA - The Ancient Order of Hibernians Ladies Auxiliary hosts a popular St. Patrick’s Day social in Celtic Hall.
DERBY – The Ancient Order of Hibernians dance at Indian Well Hall is packed.
DERBY - St. Mary's Hall is filled to capacity, as a party is held to burn the $50,000 mortgage which is now paid off.
DERBY – The Ousatonic Water Company asks the Superior Court for the appointment of a receiver for the Williams Typewriter Company, because it owes it $175,000 for power, cash, and other services furnished. The bid is labeled a 'friendly proceeding', and should not interfere with the manufacture of the popular Secor typewriters that are made there.
ANSONIA – A forest fire on the west side burns a large area, including parts of the Town Farm and the Fountain Water Company watershed. At same time, a grass fire on Spring Street spreads to a barn, burning it to the ground.
DERBY - William C. Atwater dies at his Atwater Avenue home after a few weeks’ illness. Born on April 8, 1842 in New Haven, his family moved to Derby when he was young boy. He started an insurance business in Derby in 1868. This is the William C. Atwater & Sons Insurance Agency, which still exists today. He served as a director of the Birmingham National Bank from 1887 until his death, and was also a director of the Birmingham Water Company. He also served as town treasurer, a selectman, was the second Mayor of Derby, and at the time of his death his son, James Atwater, was also the Mayor of Derby.
SEYMOUR - Residents are complaining that Main Street is often being blocked by trolley express cars loading and offloading at the railroad freight yard. The problem has been getting worse since the new trolley line to Naugatuck opened.
ANSONIA - John Gardella, a Main Street fruit dealer, has received a Black Hand letter demanding $1,000. He refused to pay, and the police is investigating.
The first day of Spring is accompanied by frost.
SHELTON - Sparks from a passing locomotive ignites a grass fire near Indian Well, which spreads to an Ousatonic Water Company barn that was rented and full of hay. The barn burns to the ground.
Monday, March 22
ANSONIA - An 11 month old boy is burned to death after he makes contact with coals from a small stove in a bedroom on Bridge Street, igniting his clothing. He was left alone with his 3 year old brother, after his mother briefly stepped out to go shopping for household supplies.
ANSONIA – Tragedy visits a Fourth Street family when an 8 year old girl and her 17 month old brother die of Scarlet Fever, only 3 days after their 4 year old brother died of the same disease.
ANSONIA - A barn fire on Holbrook's Lane destroys 425 pairs of pigeons and squabs, gutting the building and causing $750 damage.
ANSONIA - A barn is destroyed by fire off Franklin Street, causes $500 damage. The fire spread to two other houses but was quickly contained.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “Grip (influenza), colds, and sore throats are the prevailing fashion at the present time”,
ANSONIA – A heavy rainfall of 1.79” causes Naugatuck to rise rapidly. By 8 PM the river is within 1 foot of the railroad tracks at the passenger station. The water stayed that level for a few hours before going down. Once again people watched to see if the condemned covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge would go down, but it did not.
SHELTON – The old Housatonic Trap Rock Quarry on Howe Avenue above downtown is being dismantled.
DERBY - Rev. Walter Chamberlain, a retired Methodist minister who lived on 171 Caroline Street, dies on his 50th wedding anniversary. He served as minister in a number of places, including Shelton Methodist Church for 15 years.
Monday, March 29
ANSONIA - A Jersey Street woman chases a thief who had stolen a pair of cheap shoes out of her store, and holds him until husband arrives. The husband takes the thief to the nearest telephone, which was in a saloon, and calls the police.
DERBY – The Sterling Piano Company will add a fifth story to its main building, which will be 200' long and will add 8000 new square feet to the complex.
OXFORD – “It is getting to be quite the usual event to get up in the morning and find the ground covered with a light fall of snow, which, however, soon disappears under the influence of the sun's warm rays”.
SHELTON - Bruce N. Griffing has purchased a Banner Six, the first 6-cylinder automobile in the area.
Thursday, April 1
Anglers pack streams for the first day of trout season.
ANSONIA - Farrel Foundry & Machine Company pours what was the biggest casting ever made there up to that time, in 4 minutes. The casting was a 60 ton frame for a giant stone crusher.
SEYMOUR - The brickwork for the office for the new freight station is nearly complete. The new yard will be able to hold 500 to 550 cars.
ANSONIA - A meeting is held in the McGrath building, on the corner of Grove and Murray Streets, to organize a new fire company for the Fourth Ward. Mayor Charters favors the project, and urged it forward in his recent quarterly message. The Evening Sentinel, declares the “enterprise not likely to succeed”, due to concerns being voiced on the Board of Aldermen that this is a political move on Mayor Charters’ part to increase his power in the district. This fire company was eventually organized, and is today’s Charters Hose Co. No. 4.
ANSONIA - Hundreds visit the formal spring opening of the newly renovated Peter Vonetes’ Palace of Sweets. Among the new features are interior colored electric lights, which the Sentinel says makes the place “look like fairyland”.
Monday, April 5
ANSONIA & DERBY - Today is the start of Clean-up Week. Each City’s Civic Club is taking the lead toward cleaning vacant lots, rubbish, etc. By the end of the week there is a decided improvement in both communities.
ANSONIA - The organizers of a proposed fire company in the Fourth Ward deny they are doing so for political motivations, and state that Mayor Charters has nothing to do with their effort. They state that all they all want is a jumper (hose cart) and some hose for the neighborhood. The Mayor’s Republican rivals on the Board of Aldermen are in favor of that.
Afternoon wind reaches 70mph. Visibility is very poor due to dust and garbage blowing about.
ANSONIA – Main Street is particularly choked with dust and swirling paper, causing people to run for shelter and merchants to shut their doors to prevent the dust from entering their stores.
SHELTON - Roller skating is very popular with the children this year - pedestrians have to be cautious on the sidewalks.
ANSONIA –Famed local wanderer Johnny o' the Woods is in town, shopping for clothes.
ANSONIA, DERBY & SEYMOUR - The first annual inter-town footrace ends in a dispute when William Glenn of the Piker Athletic Club finishes first but ran on sidewalk, missing the tape across the finish line on Ansonia’s Main Street. Shortly after, Nick Brown, a member of the Ansonia YMCA, runs through the tape. The 12 mile course is run in 1 hour 11 minutes, with over 5,000 spectators. The area near the finish line was particularly crowded with spectators, and a number of runners complained that the space left for them was too narrow. After much deliberation, including consulting with sport authorities, it is decided to declare Brown the winner, but also to award a prize of equal value to Glenn.
DERBY – The Board of Apportionment allocates $2,000 for a city-wide garbage contract. Many are pleased with this move, as it will eliminate the hodgepodge of private contactors who currently pick up trash.
ANSONIA – A local tough knocks down Johnny o’ the Woods this evening on Main Street near Maple Street. People are upset upon learning the news, Johnny is of advanced age and harmless, and they want to find out who the assailant was.
SEYMOUR - Flags in Town are flying at half mast due to erroneous report that Gov. Lilley, who is critically ill, had died.
Easter Sunday, April 11
After a cold morning, the rest of the day is clear, with very pleasant weather. As usual, the Easter parades in the various cities and towns near the churches witnessed the women wearing many interesting varieties of hats. The newspaper reports that “many men just stared”.
Tuesday, April 13
ANSONIA - The condition of the roadway across the Maple Street Bridge is a problem which is not getting much attention, due to the Bridge Street Bridge problems.
DERBY - The summer trolley cars are ready. All that’s needed now is warm weather.
OXFORD – “There are signs of spring on all sides, indicated by swelling buds and rapidly greening lawns. Housekeepers are making things merry within, and there is no place for drones in the hive now. The desire is to emulate nature and show at an early date the home nest immaculate”.
A rainstorm dumps 4.5” of rain.
ANSONIA – “The no school signal was sounded this noon and no sessions were held in the public schools this afternoon. The rain came down in torrents when the schools were dismissed at 11:20 this morning, and the children who lived some distance from the school buildings were pretty well drenched before they reached home”.
ANSONIA – At 10 PM the Naugatuck River is within inches of the railroad tracks at the passenger station and reaches the bottom of the railroad trestle over the river, but the water receded around midnight. A section of retaining wall on the west bank above the Maple Street Bridge is washed out. Main Street store basements are flooded, as is the passenger station’s too. Most store owners moved their stock out of the basements before they were ruined. Many on watch the freshet on the Bridge Street Bridge, which has been condemned, and could have been disastrous had the bridge washed away.
DERBY – The Housatonic River is also high. A horse owned by an Italian immigrant who has been tilling Shelton's Island (possibly today’s O’Sullivan Island) can’t escape before the entire island is covered. The horse is tied to a tree at highest point. The water reaches its knees, but it survives. The man’s shack on the island, completely surrounded by water seemingly in the middle of the river, is an odd sight. A large embankment slides into the river below Pink House Cove, taking about five large trees with it.
SEYMOUR – The brook which empties into Rimmon pond ends up undermining the trolley tracks crossing it, creating a 60' gap. Passengers had to be transferred between trolleys on either end. Several inches of water is on the factory floor at the New Haven Copper Company, and Tingue Manufacturing and Seymour Manufacturing also are forced to close.
SEYMOUR – The washed out trolley tracks near Rimmon pond have been repaired.
ANSONIA - Two new churches planned in Ansonia over summer - a new St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and a new Lithuanian Catholic Church. The latter would become St. Anthony’s Church.
Tuesday, April 20
ANSONIA - Mayor Charters receives preliminary plans for a new Bridge Street Bridge. The plans call for a bridge with 3 spans, 300' long and 42' wide. The west end will be where the old bridge was in 1909, but the east end is realigned near the old house that was once the bridge’s gate tender, between Bridge Street and Water Street. The Bridge Street railroad crossing, scene of so many accidents in the past, would be eliminated with a steel viaduct beginning on Canal Street, carrying the roadway over the railroad property in a straight line with the bridge.
SHELTON - Many are complaining of stench from Burying Ground Brook at Howe Avenue, due to raw sewage flowing into it from Oak Avenue.
Many are saddened this evening upon learning of the death of Connecticut’s Governor George L. Lilley. Flags are lowered to half staff.
DERBY – A bill passed the State General Assembly last week amending the charter of the new Derby Hospital. It calls for a Board of Trustees consisting of no less than 12 or more than 30 people. These Trustees are granted permission to formally change the name of the hospital to "The Griffin Hospital" at any meeting.
SEYMOUR - The First Selectman notifies the trolley company that Main Street is not a freight yard, the express cars must stop blocking Main Street.
Many people, especially Republicans, travel to Hartford to Governor Lilley’s funeral. Mills and businesses close during the funeral.
SEYMOUR – Following an old New England tradition, the Town’s firebell tolls 49 times, one for each year of Governor Lilley’s life, at the time his funeral was scheduled to begin in Hartford.
SHELTON - A 30' long gasoline-powered boat is launched before an unusually large gathering at the Shelton Docks. The boat was constructed by Frank Jones of New Haven Avenue, Derby, and christened the Sis.
Monday, April 26
ANSONIA - Miss Caroline Phelps Stokes, daughter of James Stokes and granddaughter of Ansonia’s namesake Anson Phelps dies in California. She was one of the two donors which started the Ansonia Public Library.
ANSONIA - William Potter is developing a large plant to produce curbing at his granite quarry off Rockwood Avenue.
DERBY - Improvements at the Sterling Opera House include 12 new chemical fire extinguishers, and a new booth for moving pictures made of sheet steel located in the upper gallery under the ceiling, above all the patrons.
Heavy frost appears this morning, and ice appears on still water. There are fears the cold may have injured early planting and fruit trees.
ANSONIA - Many residents are upset that local stockbroker William Wood has shut up his office, disconnected his telephone line, and apparently closed up his home in Shelton. His whereabouts are unknown. He told his friends he may have lost as much as $5,000 (almost $120,000 today) recently.
ANSONIA – The American Brass Company is improving Wallace's Grove again this year. Trees are being trimmed, underbrush is being cleared away, evergreen trees are being planted, a gravel walk is being installed around the bandstand, seats are rearranged, and there are changes in the lighting system.
OXFORD – “Indications in this vicinity for a large yield of fruit are excellent if buds are not blasted by the cold weather. Particularly is this true of plum trees which give promise of an immense crop if warm, steady weather comes soon”.
The day dawns bright and clear, but turns cold by afternoon. A slight snow flurry starts around 2 PM, and before it changes to rain in the evening 2½” of snow falls. The temperature drops again at midnight, and the rain turns to sleet and hail. The unusual weather leads to concerns about damage to crops and fruit trees.
DERBY – The Sterling Piano Company is installing a large new dovetailing machine which will glue and clamp boards in its mill room, which will save time and manpower.
SEYMOUR – Trinity Cemetery is getting a large extension to the north.
Saturday, May 1
ANSONIA – The City’s police officers are replacing their helmets with caps similar to those worn in New York City and New Haven. The helmets will be retained as part of the winter uniforms.
SHELTON – Reports are surfacing of a strike at the Anatomik Shoe Company. The company says about 6 boys are on strike, but some of the strikers say its more like 100. The strikers’ demands appear to be the rehiring of a popular superintendent that was fired, and calls for discharging some “obnoxious employees”.
Monday, May 3
SEYMOUR – The peach buds at the Hale & Coleman orchards seem uninjured despite the bad weather.
Warm weather means straw hats are appearing in store windows.
ANSONIA - An exploding lamp destroys a small 2-story house on Mechanic Street. The fire spreads to a second 2-story house next door, belonging to the American Brass Company, but the fire department is able to save the second house. The early morning fire becomes a General Alarm. The family of five living in the first house escaped with only the night clothes they were wearing.
ANSONIA - The remaining scarlet fever patient in the Murphy family on Fourth Street has recovered, and the quarantine has been removed. The family lost 3 children in a week over the winter to the dreaded disease.
ANSONIA – It is announced at the Webster Hose Co. No. 3 banquet that the McKeon horse-drawn hose wagon was purchased by company for $265.30. Mr. McKeon will remain the driver.
OXFORD – ‘Tis useless to comment upon the fickleness of the weather, but such surprises as snow, hail, rain, and high wind, all in quick succession, keep us wondering when real spring weather will settle down for business.
Temperatures reach 86 degrees.
DERBY - An afternoon thunderstorm results in a Housatonic Avenue house struck by lightening, but causing no major damage.
SHELTON – The first thunderstorm of the year strikes a house in Coram, stunning a woman who was standing nearby. Another lightening bolt hits a trolley guy wire on the Bridge Street viaduct, snapping it.
Monday, May 10
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen passes an anti-spitting ordinance.
OXFORD - Charles Johnson, the Town’s Republican representative on the State General Assembly, dies at Hartford Hospital after a week's illness. A lifelong resident, he was born February 2, 1870, and was a successful farmer and cattle dealer on Quaker Farms.
ANSONIA - The new Bridge Street Bridge and viaduct will cost $134,000.
DERBY & SHELTON - Boat owners at Derby Docks and Shelton are again complaining this year that items are being stolen from their boats. The Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club has put out a reward for the thieves. Above the Ousatonic Dam, other residents are complaining that boats are running without lights at night.
SHELTON - Sunnyside Park will be improved with grandstands for 500 people on its south side, and a railing around the baseball field.
ANSONIA – A malaria outbreak in the City is threatening to become an epidemic.
ANSONIA – A portion of the condemned covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge, the outer sheathing that protects the wooden on the south side, has broken off. Also, a door on the bottom of one of the piers, which allows for inspection of the bottom of the bridge and pipes, has loosened and is now lying in the river. The same pier has settled, and the covered portion of the bridge is out of plumb. Despite the bad condition of the covered bridge, the iron portion of the bridge, on the east bank, is OK. Many residents think that instead of building an expensive new bridge, the iron portion of the bridge should just be continued to the west bank to replace the covered bridge.
ANSONIA – Charles Miller, the man who fatally shot his wife in their Benz Street home on March 29, 1908, dies of tuberculosis at the Wethersfield State Prison.
DERBY – The body of a man is found in the Naugatuck River, about 1,000' north of Main Street Bridge. He is later identified as an approximately 50 year old man who lived on the Derby side of Division Street. It appears that he had fallen off the old Naugatuck railroad tracks, on the east bank, into the river.
DERBY - Shelton's Island is being tilled again this year for planting. This was possibly what O’Sullivan’s Island was called back then.
ANSONIA – “If the women could vote, says an Ansonia woman, Ansonia would have sewers”. The Evening Sentinel agrees with that statement, saying that men are often at work and don't have to deal with the unpleasant nuisance all day at home like women do.
SHELTON – The police department will have new uniforms, including caps, by Memorial Day.
Monday, May 17
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen unanimously adopts its bridge committee’s report, and will seek $90,000 in bonds to replace the Bridge Street Bridge.
ANSONIA – The old Naugatuck Railroad tracks are to be removed.
ANSONIA - The city engineer recommends wood block flooring to repair the badly damaged pavement on the Maple Street Bridge.
ANSONIA - The bridge over Grapevine Swamp Brook on Ford Street has been repaired. Some of the planking was rotted.
SEYMOUR - Saloons being forced to move from Bank Street are relocating to Third Street, which is 400 to 500' long, and composed mostly of tenements. There may be as many as 5 saloons on this small, crowded street soon, which have some residents alarmed.
ANSONIA - A number of vacant lots in the City are being converted into household gardens.
DERBY – The New Haven Railroad wants to electrify its line between New Haven and New York City. Derby people hope the same happens along the local tracks, to reduce noise.
OXFORD – “The country is looking very beautiful at the present time. The few warm days of the past week brought out the foliage on the trees very rapidly, while apple trees are fast coming into full bloom. The promise for an immense crop of all kinds of fruit is excellent if weather conditions remain favorable”.
SEYMOUR – The new freight depot is nearing completion.
SHELTON - The workshop of boat builder Charles Gordon on Gordon Avenue is completely destroyed by fire, including all its contents and machinery, and one partially finished boat. The fire started under the building, which was on piles, and couldn't be reached despite attempts to extinguish it with buckets of water from the neighbors, though they did save the nearby house and barn. Mr. Gordon is well known for making rowboats, launches, and motorboats, and will probably rebuild.
ANSONIA – A horrible tragedy occurs on Smith Street when a 3½ year old girl dies after her dress catches fire from a bonfire that was lit by older brother.
ANSONIA – The Frank Robbins circus arrives at Woodlot early this morning. Later in the day the circus parades through Ansonia and Derby, including a Teddy Roosevelt imitator who created a stir walking in khaki clothes and a hat, carrying a gun posing as game hunter (at the time the former President was on an African safari). The shows are crowded. A female equestrian rider is injured at one of the shows after being kicked by a horse. The last show that evening is very overcrowded, with many people unable to see. The swelling crowd surged into the ring itself, interfering with performances. After the crowd was warned to get back or the show would stop, the crowd turned unruly, playing with articles in the ring and performing their own “stunts”, throwing first class seat cushions around, etc. The circus reacted by stopping the show for good and turning the lights in the tent off. Immediately after the crowd left the premises, the circus lowered the tent and skipped out of town. Many were upset – the circus was blamed for allowing their ticket agents to oversell the last show. The circus blamed the police department for having only one officer on scene, who was hopelessly overwhelmed when the trouble began. Others claimed that the ticket agents short changed them.
DERBY – A woman is stabbed 11 times on Housatonic Avenue, after resisting the advances of an unknown assailant. She had been trying to track down her husband, who in turn was trying to avoid her, before he spent all his paycheck on drink. She will survive.
ANSONIA - A political meeting is held in German Hall on Maple Street by New York City interests is held, to raise support for a man about to be hung for murder by Austro-Hungarian authorities in Galicia. Many of the Ruthenians present didn't agree with speakers that he should be pardoned. When these people were asked to leave, a riot ensued. The speakers were escorted out by the police, but not before they were considerably roughed up.
SEYMOUR - Rev. Ringney at St. Augustine's Church announces the parish will build a Catholic School, opposite the church.
Monday, May 24
As of this month, there are 136 automobile license holders in the Valley. This includes 47 in Derby, 43 in Shelton, 31 in Ansonia, and 15 in Seymour.
ANSONIA – A hearing is held on the proposed new Bridge Street Bridge. The public’s sentiment seems to be divided.
SEYMOUR - George Homan, a Town resident for many years, dies at the Soldiers' Home in Noroton. He was credited with starting the first playhouse in New Haven. He served in Seymour’s Company E, 20th Connecticut Infantry, during the Civil War. While employed at Kerite, he accidentally discovered that company’s ‘famous’ cable insulating process.
SHELTON – An argument in Dennis Donovan’s saloon on Center Street escalates into a fight, resulting in one man stabbed by a defective knife. His assaulter is arrested.
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen unanimously adopts the railroad’s proposal for a viaduct to carry Bridge Street over the railroad tracks.
DERBY – The Birmingham Water Company is having 6,000 trees planted by an experienced forester near its reservoirs on Derby Hill, including 4,000 white pines and 2,000 Norway spruces.
ANSONIA – An early morning fire at 3 Central Street destroys Sheriff Aaron Olderman's feed store.
ANSONIA - Trouble breaks out at the B'nai Israel synagogue when two rabbis have differences over how services are to be performed. Sheriff Aaron Olderman apparently orders a man to take his hands off one of the rabbis (whose views he supports), and, by some accounts, is then assaulted. There is much excitement as he tries to arrest him. When a regular policeman arrives, the sheriff asks him to assist him, and other arrests are also demanded by other people in attendance. Ultimately, no arrests are made, as the officer does not want to interfere with a religious dispute, and does not perceive any assaults.
SEYMOUR - Town voters vote to rebuild Franklin Street, from Bank Street to the new freight yards. The new street be a gravel road with a Telford base, and cost $3,600. This is due to the expected heavy trucks that will use it when the depot is completed.
SHELTON – “A set of Star Ceiling Springs and Robert Carleton Spreaders were placed in position in the apparatus room of the fire department last evening by Fire Warden Ward, under the supervision of the fire department committee. This is something that will be hailed with satisfaction by the driver of the truck, who was in danger of being hung every time he took the truck by the old attachments. The new device is so arranged that a touch of the central trigger releases the harness, which falls on the backs of the horses, while the attachment flies up to the ceiling out of the way instantly”.
ANSONIA – The two factions at B’nai Israel synagogue hold separate services today.
ANSONIA - The Ansonia Opera House is packed for Memorial Services.
DERBY - The Sterling Opera House is packed for Memorial Services.
SHELTON - Memorial Services are held in Huntington Center. Civil War veterans from Derby and Shelton’s Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) arrive in 5 carryalls and many single teams. Services are held at St. Paul's, and 34 graves are decorated in St. Paul's Cemetery, along with 7 in Lawn Cemetery. A reception is held afterward. A delegation is also sent to decorate Long Hill Cemetery.
Monday, May 31, Memorial Day
ANSONIA, DERBY & SEYMOUR - George Sheasby, of the Ansonia YMCA wins Memorial Day marathon several yards ahead of Nick Brown, who was also from the Ansonia YMCA. The race started on Main Street, Ansonia, and went to Seymour, then down Wakelee Avenue and Seymour Avenue to Elizabeth Street in Derby. The route then went to Main Street, then Derby Avenue, then back to the finish line on Main Street, Ansonia. Most of the route is packed with spectators, particularly the start and finish line on Main Street, Ansonia.
ANSONIA – The day brings ideal weather. The parade marches to the cemeteries. Civil War soldiers are applauded, and big exercises are held at Pine Grove Cemetery.
DERBY & SHELTON – The Memorial Day parade winds through both towns. 26 Civil War vets march, while 10 more ride in carriages. Services are held at Oak Cliff Cemetery, and exercises on Derby Green.
SEYMOUR - Memorial Day exercises are held by the Upson Post GAR at the Soldier's Monument, culminating a small parade which began at Center School.
Tuesday, June 1
SHELTON – A bad train wreck occurs at Sturge's Siding, 2-3 miles north of downtown Shelton. An eastbound train smashes into the caboose of a disabled train, and its momentum continues to plows through many railroad cars, some of which are flung over 15' down an embankment. There are no injuries, but the locomotive is totaled.
ANSONIA – The police may post officers on Wakelee Avenue due to frequent complaints of speeding automobiles and motorcycles, which sometimes exceed 30-40 mph.
DERBY – “The Green was well patronized last night by people in general who taxed the capacity of the benches and kept the pump going the greater part of the night. The night was certainly a bit close during the early hours, especially and during that time there was a good sized crowd around the pump waiting for a chance to get a pail or pitcher of water, as is usually the case during the warm summer evenings”.
ANSONIA, DERBY, & SHELTON – A “Tag Day” is held for Griffin Hospital. Women canvass the cities, asking for contributions, and giving donors tags. Ansonia raises $1,540, Derby raises $1,208.28, and Shelton $965.
ANSONIA – The police pull over many speeders on Wakelee Avenue, but only issue warnings.
SEYMOUR - Two horses, 2 sets of harnesses, and a milk delivery wagon stolen from the Samko farm on Bungay.
Monday, June 7
Strong winds make the open trolley cars uncomfortable today.
SHELTON - 50 of the 67 chickens from Samuel Buckingham's coop at Well’s Hollow are stolen. A $50 reward offered.
It is a cold, rainy day, necessitating the return of closed cars back on the New Haven-Waterbury line.
ANSONIA - James McKeon has leased the Central Street fire station, which houses the horse drawn hose wagon he recently sold to the Webster Hose Company, for 99 years.
DERBY – Derby High School graduating exercises are held at the Sterling Opera House. Joseph Gertrude Kennedy is the 1909 valedictorian of the 21 students, while Anna May Esla Anderson is the salutatorian.
DERBY - The number of ice cream carts on City streets are increasing.
Monday, June 14
ANSONIA – The 8 year old daughter of former Board of Aldermen member Richard Preece, of Church Street, is run over on Wakelee Avenue by large touring car driven by a Naugatuck man. She is severely injured. The car was reportedly going about 12 miles per hour on Wakelee Avenue, and had slowed to 5 miles per hour when it struck the girl, and was repeatedly tooting its horn to get people out of its way. The girl was apparently confused and froze in front of the vehicle, which could not stop in time.
ANSONIA – The City Building Inspector tenders his registration to the Board of Aldermen. It is accepted without comment. He was apparently upset with the Board for overruling him, and allowing a wood feed store with sheet tin covering to be built in the fire district.
DERBY – The annual meeting of Derby Hospital incorporators is held. The institution’s name is formally changed to “Griffin Hospital” in honor of major donor George Griffin of Shelton. The board is increased to nine incorporators each from Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton.
DERBY - The drinking fountain at Seymour and Atwater Avenues is struck by an unknown automobile. Its bowl and pedestal are twisted around and shoved to one side several inches. No one knows who did it.
ANSONIA – A 12 year old Beaver Street girl dies of Scarlet Fever. Three other children in the family are ill with the disease, and the house is quarantined.
DERBY – The local chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812 of Connecticut dedicates a monument for Commodore Isaac Hull in Uptown Cemetery.
SHELTON – The Shelton High School’s twentieth annual commencement is held at Sterling Opera House in Derby. The class is composed of 13 girls and 5 boys. The Valedictorian is Elizabeth Janet Dodd, and the Salutatorian is Dorothy Holden.
OXFORD – “The house known as the Warner place in the Centre, has been torn down, and the rubbish is now being cleared away. This house has been left to fall into decay, and was a blot upon the landscape. The improvement is already quite evident, and its demolition is a source of much rejoicing in the neighborhood. We understand Mrs. Gabler, the present owner, contemplates erecting a modern residence on the plot in the near future”.
SEYMOUR – Seymour High School’s graduation takes place at Seymour Methodist Church. The Valedictorian is Grace Ella Yarrington, and the Salutatorian is John Tibbets Keir. The Class of 1909 is composed of 4 graduates, 2 boys and 2 girls.
SHELTON – “Samuel Buckingham has offered $50 for the conviction of the party who stole his fowls. Rumor says he is hot in the chase. With $50 offered by the state, the reward should make one feel that "open confession is good for the soul”.
ANSONIA – The old, large chimney behind the Ansonia Novelty Company on Main Street is being taken down. It was once a part of the Osborne & Cheeseman casting shop.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia High School graduation is held at Ansonia Opera House. The Valedictorian is Eleanor Bliss, and the Salutatorian Mary Clark Steele. 34 students graduate. The opera house is badly overcrowded for the event, and the police are criticized for not controlling the number inside. It is felt that it would have been catastrophic had there been a panic. Prior to the event, the countryside scoured for sweet peas that were white and lavender, as it was traditional at that time to give them to the female graduates.
ANSONIA - Water has been accumulating in "Passenger Station No. 2" in Ansonia for so long it now smells bad. The water will be pumped out, and there are rumors that the station will have to be torn down. This costly, peculiar station has never been used, as the work was stopped before it was completed.
SHELTON – The Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club publishes a census of boats on the Housatonic River between the dam and Moulthrop's point (about where the marinas are located today). In all 70 boats are listed, ranging from 12’ to 35’ in length, though the average length is 17 feet. Twelve of the boats are over 30 feet long.
SHELTON – A Tenderloin saloon is raided by the Shelton Police. The bartender is arrested for Sunday selling, along with 4 patrons.
Monday, June 21
Today’s high is 93, with a low of 60.
SHELTON - Dry manure on the Huntington Bridge catches fire, and burns for a few minutes before being extinguished by pails of water. This is a normal occurrence in the summertime, and some planks have been badly burned as result.
Today’s high is 98, with a low of 71.
The area is in the midst of a heat wave. The temperature reaches 95 degrees at 3 PM today, with a low of 71.
DERBY – Classes at Irving School are suspended due to the heat.
OXFORD – “The first really warm wave of the season reached this locality on Monday and is a forcible reminder of what summer weather means. It will have the effect of bringing gardens ahead rapidly”.
The temperature is 85 at 9 AM today. The heat wave is proving tough on animals. Automobiles are staying off the roads until late in the day. The trolleys are well patronized; many ride the belt line to enjoy the breeze the open cars create. There are fewer shoppers in the downtowns. The heat reaches 96 in the early afternoon, and by 9 PM the temperatures are still 90, The night is very uncomfortable, with a low of 71, high humidity and no breeze to rid houses of the heat that is trapped inside.
Today is the fifth day of very hot weather. People are weak, exhausted, and irritated. Many factories are now sending their workers home in the early afternoon due to dangerously high heat on the shop floors. The temperatures reach 99, but cools a bit after a shower.
Public schools close for the summer today.
Temperatures reach 94 today. The meat trade is way down due to the hot weather. By contrast, farmers are saying the present hot weather is good for their crops. With tempers running short, people are on the lookout for animal cruelty. Swimming holes are popular with men and boys. Many go to the shore today to beat the heat, the shoreline trolleys were filled all day, starting at 7:30 AM.
ANSONIA - Only one house is still quarantined for Scarlet Fever, on Beaver Street.
DERBY – “Many a hot businessman, dressed according to the proprieties and sweltering in cuffs and collars and coat, have been envious of the children about the street. Some of the little ones have been taking the hot days comfortably in slips, the larger ones have gone about barefooted and bare-armed. Many a tow-headed boy was on the streets yesterday with arms like a broiled lobster's back and a neck that looked like a storm-brewing sunset. But the sunburns were not sore and the boy was cool and comfortable compared with the businessman and his proper clothing. It takes better than 98 in the shade to faze the barefooted, bare-armed small boy”.
Heavy late morning rain and thunderstorms. Initially, the rain reportedly “sizzles”, as it touches the ground, due to the heat wave. The temperatures turn much cooler after the rain passes through, and the streets are crowded for the first time in days with people enjoying the relief.
DERBY – A 57 year old man trying to get relief in a hot stuffy room falls out of a window, four stories to his death, from the Beardsley Block on Third Street.
DERBY – A deer is spotted early in the morning walking up Fifth Street to Elizabeth Street. The animal then went to Derby Green, where it laid down near Derby-Shelton Civil War monument for awhile, before going up Minerva Street.
Monday, June 28
A heavy shower, much needed for grass and crops, arrives in the afternoon.
ANSONIA – A Star Street store gutted by fire at 5AM. This is the same store that was gutted by another fire last March. Although the damage to the building isn’t bad, the store’s stock is ruined, and the owner had no insurance. The fire is labeled suspicious, and on July 10 the State Police declare it was arson.
SEYMOUR – The rainstorm causes the sky to turn very dark to the extent that trolleys have their headlights and interior lights on, yet there is no thunder or lightning.
SHELTON – A house is struck by lightning in White Hills. The house rear of the house had a history of being struck by lightning, so the owner moved onto her porch as a precaution. This time, the lightning struck the porch. She was momentarily stunned by the experience, but uninjured. The house sustains moderate damage.
DERBY - 114 public school children have had perfect attendance for the entire school year.
SEYMOUR - The old freight depot will soon be vacated. This building was erected on Main Street in 1849, when the town was still a part of Derby called Humphreysville. An 1866 addition allowed the building to provide passenger service as well. The passenger service was discontinued in 1898, at which time the addition was razed. Thus, the old freight depot is still relatively unchanged from when it was first built. Its future is uncertain at this time.
OXFORD – “The break in the extreme warm wave of the past week which came Tuesday was most welcome. While the heat here was not quite so excessive as in the cities, yet it taxed the endurance of the people greatly. There were no heat prostrations in town, so far as is known”.
Thursday, July 1
The temperature is 80 degrees at 7PM.
ANSONIA – The first open-air concert of the year by the American Brass Company Band is held at Wallace's Grove off Franklin Street. A large crowd is in attendance, Franklin Street is “a solid mass of people”. This year’s improvements to the American Brass Company-owned grove includes leveling the ground, beautifying the trees, and doubling its seating capacity, and better lighting and fencing. A 10' wide promenade of crushed stone now winds around the bandstand from Franklin Street.
SHELTON – “Camp Barlow”, an unofficial fishing camp and resort for workingmen along the Housatonic River above downtown Shelton, opens for the summer.
ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The Ansonia Police and Seymour’s Prosecutor Atwater warn against “premature” celebrations of Independence Day. This includes setting off fireworks and breaking into churches to ring their bells at the stroke of midnight on July 4.
DERBY – The Birmingham Iron Foundry has purchased the adjacent property of the Howe Manufacturing Company. The Howe factory was built in 1838 to manufacture pins, while the BIF dates back to 1836. The Howe plant will be altered for BIF as a pattern workshop and pattern storage facility. It was bought by Plume & Atwood of Waterbury on June 26, 1908, but they didn't do anything with it. The Birmingham Iron Foundry merged with Farrel Foundry, to become Farrel Birmingham in 1927. Today’s Home Depot now occupies the site.
DERBY - Last year’s fashion dictated that women stick pins and combs in their hair, which was very good for Derby’s industries. This year, wearing hats is in fashion, which is negatively affecting the same industries. While some hope that pins and combs come back in style, others recall a similar situation after the Civil War when Derby’s hoopskirt industry collapsed after these went out of style, too.
SHELTON - There is a movement to have Riverview Park lit by electric lights. Right not it is completely unlighted
July 4 - America's 133rd Independence Day
ANSONIA – 3 are arrested for setting off fireworks just after midnight. Some churches and schools are guarded overnight to prevent pranksters from ringing the bells at midnight. The rest of the day is “saner and safer” than normal.
DERBY – The City is “noisy but safe, though there is a racket the following day when merchants start offering discounts on leftover fireworks.
OXFORD – “The Fourth was very quiet in Oxford. The bells of the Congregational Church and Centre school were rung for a little time at an early hour in the morning. The bell of St. Peter's Church was not rung, as it is out of repair. There was some firing of crackers and firearms, but nothing of a disturbing nature was done by anyone”.
SEYMOUR – The Town is relatively quiet this Independence Day.
SHELTON – A man is arrested for setting off fireworks after midnight. An older resident says this was the quietest Independence Day he had ever known.
Monday, July 5
ANSONIA – The Board of Health votes to purchase anti-spitting signs, to post around the City.
DERBY – The Board of Aldermen order the Health Officer to enforce a law stipulating that outhouses must connect to city sewers, on streets where the sewers exist.
OXFORD – “The roads are getting very dusty and clouds of dust fill the air after every passing vehicle”.
ANSONIA – A bill authorizing Ansonia to issue $90,000 worth of bonds to replace the Bridge Street Bridge, and appoint a Bridge Commission, passes the Connecticut General Assembly’s House of Representatives. However, it is held up later in the week in the Senate due to a procedural matter.
ANSONIA – Complaints are rising of local merchants staying open on Sundays, as well as questions of why the police are not stopping it.
SHELTON - A bill limiting trolley fares within Town of Huntington to 5 cents passes the General Assembly’s House of Representatives.
Temperatures drop to 48 degrees at 2 AM. Grass is drying in the fields for lack of rain, and the roads are dusty.
ANSONIA – “The condition of the west bank of the Naugatuck, at the base of the retaining wall in the rear of High and Jersey streets, is such that it publicly invites the attention of the health department. The sewerage is exposed on the stones along the riverbank in the hot sunshine and also lies along the margin where the current is not strong. Rubbish of all descriptions is to be found floating there, even including an old mattress that was noticed this morning. The muck and rubbish, exposed to the brilliant sunshine, sets up a stench that is at times nauseating to say the least. The river is certainly in need of a through flushing, which only a good rain can accomplish”.
SEYMOUR - Some are complaining of the location of the new freight station, because it far from business center of town. Some Main Street merchants must travel a mile to get to it. There are fears that this will result in trucking rates going up.
Monday, July 12
ANSONIA – Reporting on a Board of Aldermen meeting held tonight, tomorrow’s Evening Sentinel will headline “Aldermen Hold Talk Fest for 3½ Hours”, with the byline “Little Business Transacted”.
DERBY – Griffin Hospital is appropriated $15,000 from the General Assembly for furnishing and equipping its new hospital building before it opens.
SHELTON - Manufacturers are paying to have a section of Canal Street and Center Street, paved with oil tar as an experiment. Oil tar is a byproduct of water gas.
Gardens and fields have turned into “ash heaps”. The dust is so bad on the roads; many are keeping their front windows closed. The grass on Derby Green is dry and yellow.
OXFORD – “The need for rain is very great. The brooks running through the village are very low, the bed of the Little River being partially dry”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “The farmers are very busy haying. Some have finished and others are just commencing. Rain is needed very much for the benefit of vegetation and pasture. The streams are getting low”.
DERBY – Constant locomotive whistling all night long is bothering many.
Buttermilk is becoming a popular drink.
ANSONIA – A spectacular noontime two-alarm fire breaks out at the Charon Levy rag warehouse on Jersey Street, which also sold junk and was a cinder washing plant. The warehouse soon becomes fully engulfed in fire, and spreads to 3 other buildings. All of the buildings, located along the river wall, burned to the ground within 20 minutes, the heat could be felt across the river on Main Street. The residents of a nearby tenement panic and being throwing their furniture out the windows, though their building is saved. Firebrands blow across the river and ignite the roof of the Fitzgibbons building on 30 Bridge Street – it is also saved. Hundreds of rats flee the burning warehouse, running through the crowd. The newspaper claims about 100 rats swim across the river. The fire’s cause is unknown. One firefighter was injured while responding to the blaze.
ANSONIA – 88 public school students had perfect attendance for the academic year.
SEYMOUR – A 22 year old farmhand drowns in the Housatonic River after he dives out of a boat into water over his head. His 13 year old companion was unable to save him.
Thursday, July 21
OXFORD – “Blueberries are now in the market but the dry weather has rather stunted their growth”.
Raspberries are very small due to the ongoing drought.
DERBY – A two-alarm fire starts in the boiler room of the former Howe Manufacturing Company factory on Water Street. Fed by junk and debris in the basement, the fire spreads throughout the oil-soaked, 3-story building. One fireman is injured by falling glass, and a group of Hotchkiss Hose firefighters have a close call when a large chimney collapses right in front of them. The fire is speculated to have been started by tramps. The brick portion of the factory is gutted, but the original stone portion of the building is only slightly damaged. The pin machine invented by Dr. John I. Howe, said to be the first such machine in the nation, was in the building but not affected. This is quite possibly the same Howe pin machine now on permanent display in the Smithsonian.
DERBY - The sidewalk at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Fifth Street was laid by Sharon Bassett in 1862, and was the first tar walk in Derby. No work has been done on the walk since then, and as of 1909 it is still in good shape. The sidewalk in front of Second Congregational Church was also laid around 1862, but it recently received a new top dressing.
Maple tree leaves are starting to turn brown and drop due to the ongoing drought.
DERBY – Finishing touches are being put into the new Griffin Hospital building.
DERBY – James Hancock dies at the Warriner House on Elizabeth Street, where he boarded, at the approximate age o 75. He was said to be the nephew of Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, and a lineal descendant of revolutionary patriot John Hancock. He was called “General Hancock” in Derby, although he never held that rank. He was a Civil War veteran, however, and had worked at the Sterling Piano Company. He is buried in the GAR plot at Oak Cliff Cemetery.
OXFORD & SEYMOUR – The Birmingham Water Company has bought 800 to 900 acres of land on Four Mile Brook on the Seymour-Oxford border, and plans to build a reservoir there. The dam will be in Seymour, south of Great Hill Church, and the water will be piped to Derby partially along River Road.
SHELTON – There is a movement to change the name of Shelton High School to Huntington High School. This is because when the high school was formed, it only served the Borough of Shelton. But since it is now funded by the Town of Huntington, and receives students from there, there is pressure to change the name.
Tuesday, July 27
ANSONIA – An impressive 10 room house is being built at the corner of Wakelee Avenue and Jackson Street for C.E. Bristol. It has 4 rooms on the first and second floors, and two large ones on the third.
ANSONIA – After a Main Street man gets a threatening letter, reportedly by the Black Hand, telling him to meet the gang at a lower Main Street location at midnight with a ransom, Police Chief Ellis tries to ambush the gang. Assisted by Derby Police Officer Urbano (probably because he is the only police officer in the Valley who speaks Italian), the two show up at the time and place the letter stated, but no one else shows up.
ANSONIA - Gov. Weeks signs the Ansonia Bridge Bonding Bill into law, which allows for a bridge commission which can act officially for the city and in conjunction with New Haven Railroad.
ANSONIA - Led by Rabbi Samuel Bernstein, a number of influential members of the B'Nai Israel Synagogue withdraw from the congregation. This is the culmination of a conflict, which had grown more serious in recent months, between two groups that have been opposing each other for several years over religious and other issues. Those splitting will worship in temporary places for now, while the matter is referred to higher authorities as to which group will retain the right to worship at the original Colburn Street synagogue.
ANSONIA – The Luria & Olderman hay and feed business on lower Main Street incorporates with a capital stock of $6000.
DERBY – Mrs. Susan Williams, an African-American woman living on Water Street says she was born a slave, belonging to Gen. Robert E. Lee's family. While not remembering Gen. Lee very well, she was a cook for his nephew’s family, Gen. Fitzhugh Lee while she was still a teenager. She was liberated when Yankee soldiers reached the Lee family estates, at which point she volunteered to work on the United States Sanitary Commission hospital ship S. R. Spaulding. She remained on the hospital ship for the remainder of the war. The Spaulding made frequent trips between Civil War battlefields and hospitals in New York and Philadelphia, and came under Confederate fire while Mrs. Williams was aboard. Born in Old Point Comfort, Virginia, she lived in Washington DC for many years after the war. She came north in 1894, when she heard her mother, who had moved to Seymour, was sick, and immediately taking a liking to Connecticut settled in Derby. Now elderly, she is supported by the Town, as the Charities Commissioner feels her service to the Union during the Civil War warrants such.
ANSONIA & DERBY – Both cities’ officials are coming under much criticism, particularly from merchants and businessmen, for thus far failing to take any steps to repair the collapsed bridge over the Birmingham Canal on Division Street, particularly from merchants and businessmen.
DERBY - The controversial minister of AME Zion Church, who was so unpopular that his church board issued a statement saying they would not back any purchases he made in the name of the church, will be exchanged with Rev. D.A. Overton of Great Barrington, MA.
ANSONIA – Temperatures are 84 degrees at 8 AM, rising 95 by noon. A thermometer kept by a man working on the roof of the Evening Sentinel building breaks when it hits 120 degrees. The ground is very dry, while the Naugatuck River’s water is very low and filthy.
ANSONIA – For what is believed to be the first time in the City’s history, area Jews worship in two separate synagogues. The B’Nai Israel Synagogue meets on Colburn Street, while those who split from it hold services in the home of Kolan Luria on Factory Street. There are no incidents, and in both places the congregations seem happy and eager to put the troubles that led to the split behind them.
ANSONIA – Mayor Charters says repairs will begin on the Birmingham Canal bridge on Division Street next week.
Sunday, August 1
ANSONIA - Newly installed Rev. Edward Cotter celebrates his first mass at Church of the Assumption, his home parish. He was ordained yesterday.
SHELTON – A 75-car freight train, drawn by 2 locomotives near Ousatonic Dam, suddenly stops when the airbrakes activate on one of the locomotives. The other locomotive grinds on, the incredible forces of the competing locomotives causes two minor injuries among the train’s crew, and destroys a boxcar while damaging others.
Monday, August 2
ANSONIA – A grass fire on Locke Street spreads to the powder house on the estate of Lockwood Hotchkiss, scaring everyone. There was little powder inside. Two residents stop the fire from reaching the powder house.
ANSONIA – An 8 year-old Bassett Street boy walking on trestle spiels in Ansonia falls off and drowns.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia Bridge Commission holds its organizational meeting.
The rainfall total for July 1909 was 1.62", all of which came from 2 storms. The rainfall total from May to July is 6.45", which is half the normal amount.
OXFORD – “The drought is beginning to be severely felt in this vicinity, wells are beginning to give out, causing much inconvenience, while the dust nuisance is perfectly stifling. A soaking rain would be very welcome”.
ANSONIA – It is announced at the Bridge Commission meeting a replacement for the Bridge Street Bridge will cost $175,000, which is much more than the $134,000 initially stated.
DERBY – The Board of Aldermen authorizes the removal of the remaining 20-22 gas lamps in the City. They also regulate pushcart stands, a growing problem on the streets, and move to eliminate beggars who block traffic on sidewalks.
SEYMOUR – A break at Pinesbridge occurs today, leaving Seymour without water for three days. With no water in the hydrants, the Town is very vulnerable to fires. The Seymour Water Company is heavily criticized.
ANSONIA – Thousands attend the laying of the cornerstone of the new Assumption Roman Catholic School on North Cliff Street.
ANSONIA & DERBY - Repairs start on the Division Street bridge across the Birmingham Canal.
Monday, August 9
ANSONIA – In light of the increase in costs to replace the Bridge Street Bridge, Mayor Charters decides he will no longer wait and begins repairing the covered portion of the bridge so that teams may cross it again. Mayor Charters himself assists with the repairs.
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen endorse Mayor Charters’ actions in repairing the Birmingham Canal Bridge on Division Street.
ANSONIA – Teams start using Bridge Street Bridge for the first time in months, at own risk. The bridge is still technically condemned, but the barriers are down. Meanwhile, the replacement bridge plans have disappeared from City Hall.
ANSONIA – Gen. Charles H. Pine will build a mortuary chapel for Pine Grove Cemetery. It should be completed by fall.
DERBY - The New Haven Railroad has filled in the gaps under its double track trestle over Derby Meadows. This cuts off a tidal swimming hole known as Sandy Hook. Unable to drain, Sandy Hook is now becoming a mosquito breeding ground. The City’s Health officer has complained to railroad and the State.
OXFORD – “The storm of the past week was a welcome visitor, freshening vegetation, laying the dust and putting a little water into the brooks, but it will need a number of such storms to make the benefit very lasting”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The work which has been started for the reservoir has already made quite a change in the looks of the vicinity, now very bare where the trees and bushes have been cut”.
ANSONIA – Repairs to the Bridge Street Bridge are being rushed.
DERBY – State officials are investigating the complaints of the new mosquito breeding ground at Sandy Hook in Derby Meadows.
SEYMOUR – Citizens’ Engine Co. No. 2 celebrates its 25th anniversary with a clambake at the engine house.
ANSONIA – Business is picking up in the mills again. The American Brass Company in particular is said to be very busy.
ANSONIA – The Naugatuck River is very low. The sewage buildup is causing fears of an epidemic. The evenings have been chilly, but the weather has brought no rain to flush out the river.
DERBY – Many are excited when hearing that George Van Deusen plans to build a park, pavilion, and 2 boathouses in the area where Lake Housatonic Park once was.
DERBY – A young Caroline Street boy drowns when he falls in front of the gates to the raceway of Peterson & Hendee mill on lower Caroline Street.
Monday, August 16
ANSONIA – There is controversy between the Boards of Education and Aldermen. The Board of Education passes a resolution that it believes the ultimate use of the former Factory Street School should be determined at a City meeting. This occurs after the Board of Aldermen agree to lease the old school to a dissenting group from the Congregation B’nai Israel Synagogue.
DERBY – The Birmingham Iron Foundry is adding another story to the former Howe Manufacturing Company Building, which will be converted into a pattern shop.
2” of rain has fallen in 3 days.
The apple and peach crops are very uncertain, due to bad summer weather.
DERBY – The fountain at Seymour and Atwater avenues has shifted on its base, due to constant bumping from wagons.
SEYMOUR – Demolition of the old freight platform north of the Main Street freight depot has begun.
SHELTON – A young man visiting the city falls from the west end of the viaduct bridge, 18' into a raceway, and is rescued unconscious by 2 local young men.
ANSONIA – The dissenters from the Congregation B’nai Israel have formally organized as the Congregation Sons of Jacob. The former Factory Street School will be their synagogue.
ANSONIA – While helping repair the Bridge Street Bridge, the box covering on top of the west pier gives way while Mayor Stephen Charters is working on it. To avoid falling on the rocks below, Mayor Charters jumps outward, plunging into 9' deep, swift moving Naugatuck River water. Fortunately, Mayor Charters is a good swimmer and makes it to shore. He changes his clothes and goes back to work.
DERBY – Water will be piped to all sections of Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery.
ANSONIA – A record breaking crowd comes out to hear the American Brass Company band play at Wallace Grove.
DERBY – The manager of the Poli Theater in New Haven is in Derby today to look for potential locations for a big opera house.
DERBY - Work begins on laying a pipe from Hawthorne Avenue, beginning just south of Oak Cliff Cemetery, 5 miles north to the new reservoir under construction near Great Hill Church.
SEYMOUR – Because the County Commissioners will not renew liquor licenses on Bank Street after they expire, the saloons are moving to Third Street. Already, two buildings are being erected near Raymond Street for that purpose. There will soon be 5 saloons on the short, densely populated street.
SHELTON – The Anotomik Footwear Company is in the hands of a receiver. The factory now closed while inventory taken. The stockholders were unhappy with how it was being run.
Monday, August 23
ANSONIA –The Building Inspector has halted the rebuilding of the burned-out Levy cinder washing plant on Jersey Street, saying he will not approve any more wooden buildings in that congested neighborhood.
ANSONIA – Terrill's pond on Jewett Street is drained by the H.C. Cook Company to install a water gauge, to a depth of 5-6". Many fish are observed swimming in the low water, prompting neighbors to wade in and catch as may as they can. One of the most notable catches is an eel measuring 5" in diameter and weighing 13lbs.
OXFORD – The Town will allow the Birmingham Water Company to move the bridge over Four Mile Brook 400’ away at the company’s expense.
DERBY – The mosquito-infested pools in Derby Meadows, which have caused a grave health concern of late, have been drained by the New Haven Railroad.
ANSONIA - Careless blasting for a new house on Myrtle Avenue showers the area with rocks. A window is shattered in the Ansonia Public Library reading room, a barn on South Cliff Street is also struck, and some pedestrians have close calls with flying debris. The City puts an immediate halt to the blasting.
DERBY – Wire thieves strip 500-600lbs of copper wire from SNET poles from the Woodbridge line to Academy Hill. When discovered by SNET employees, the thieves get away by jumping into their wagons and riding toward Ansonia. Ansonia and Derby police are investigating.
SEYMOUR – About 100 teachers and pupils gather at the Old Red Schoolhouse on Great Hill for last time, before it is torn down by the Birmingham Water Company to make way for a new reservoir.
ANSONIA – Now deemed safe after repairs, the Bridge Street Bridge formally reopens to traffic. The trolley company still refuses to run their heavy trolleys over the wood covered portion. But now that the bridge is no longer condemned they restore the issuing of transfers on each side of the bridge. Riders still have to walk across the bridge from one trolley to another.
DERBY – Five police callboxes are being installed in the City.
ANSONIA – The new Congregation Sons of Jacob celebrates the opening of their synagogue in the former Factory Street School. Mayor Charters attends.
Monday, August 30
DERBY – The Overseer of the Turkey Hill Indians files a suit against the heirs and descendants his predecessor, claiming that in May 1871, he sold tribal lands for $1,000, and kept the money for himself. The former Overseer died in 1878, and until recently the position was unfilled.
OXFORD – “But a few degrees lower temperature…(this) morning and there would have been a frost”.
SHELTON – More tenements are needed downtown.
Wednesday, September 1
The temperature drops from 78 to 52.
DERBY – Nelson Hine dies in New Haven at 76. Born in Orange, he opened a piano and sewing machine store in Nathan's Block over 30 years ago. The business became well-known, and moved a few times. Now in Allings Block, Mr. Hine sold it to William Hardy on August 1.
SEYMOUR - Some are concerned an epidemic may strike the Town due to filthy conditions on Second Street. Few if any of the dwellings there have indoor plumbing, and the neighborhood’s privies are in bad shape.
The temperature is 46 just after midnight. The morning is so cold that people avoid riding on the open trolleys, but by 11 AM it is back up to 74.
ANSONIA – The Board of Education votes to start commercial course at Ansonia High School on October 1. Many students had reportedly threatened to drop out if they were not offered.
SHELTON - David Beecher dies in his Caroline Street, Derby home of typhoid fever. Born in Milford in 1831, he moved to the Town of Huntington when he was 12 years old. Most of his life he lived at or owned the Beecher Farm on Coram Hill. Over the course of his life, two farmhouses on the farm were destroyed by fire. After the second fire, he sold to the farm South End Land Company in 1885, where it was developed into what is still called the South End of downtown Shelton today.
ANSONIA – A forest fire started by boys spreads to a barn full of hay on Gardner's Lane. The barn is destroyed, but the fire department stops the blaze from spreading to a nearby house.
Monday, September 6 – Labor Day
The holiday is quiet locally; many are out of town either at agricultural fairs or the shore.
Public schools reopen in many of the cities and towns.
ANSONIA – The Fountain Water Company orders its customers to discontinue watering their lawns and gardens due to the ongoing drought.
DERBY – St. Mary’s School opens today.
SHELTON – White Hills – “Peaches are ripe at Highland Farm and of high quality”.
DERBY – A guardrail is being installed on top of the riverbank, along the northern part of River Road.
ANSONIA – After months of complaints, the police finally cracks down on speeding along Wakelee Avenue. A fire policeman is detailed, with a motorcycle, and makes about 5 arrests. All those pulled over are from out of town, including John Lilley, the late Connecticut governor's son. The arrests are also controversial because some accuse the policeman of pulling alongside automobiles, as if daring them into racing him. Within hours, warning signs are posted at gasoline stations in Derby and the upper valley, warning of the police activity in Ansonia.
ANSONIA – Yesterday’s speeders have their day in City Court. John Lilley is discharged after successfully arguing that his speedometer said he was going under 25mph, even if that wasn’t really how fast he was going. The rest are fined.
Monday, September 13
ANSONIA – Yesterday’s speeders have their day in City Court. John Lilley is discharged after successfully arguing that his speedometer said he was going under 25mph, even if that wasn’t really how fast he was going. The rest are fined.
SEYMOUR – The new Telford road on Franklin Street between Bank Street and the new freight yards has been completed.
Today is the day which fashionable people stop wearing straw hats.
Leaves are changing colors early due to the ongoing drought.
OXFORD – “Barn dances are becoming quite popular with the young people. One was given in the barn o the Whitehead premises - Reed City - a little over a week ago, by Miss Whitehead and Miss Berry, neighbors and out of town friends making up the company largely. The affair was very successful and was enjoyed by all the guests”.
ANSONIA – A new asbestos curtain is being installed at the Ansonia Opera House. It is so heavy that it can't be opened easily, and requires extra supports and sandbags to balance it. It was very expensive, and many feel unnecessary, but the Board of Aldermen ordered it. Many hope it never has to be used.
DERBY – A 4 year old Caroline Street girl is badly burned when her clothes catch fire near a bonfire on Water Street.
ANSONIA – Many immigrants coming are coming to the City, due to more jobs becoming available in the improving economy. The boarding houses on Jersey Street and other places are bursting. It is also noted that buildings on Jersey Street are encroaching over the river line.
DERBY – Telephones have been installed in all 4 City firehouses.
Monday, September 20
DERBY – The 5 police call boxes put into regular operation in downtown Derby. Police officers now keep tabs by calling the police station, in some cases every half hour.
ANSONIA - Four cases of Scarlet Fever have been diagnosed. Nearly all are pupils of Fourth Street School.
DERBY – A concrete walk will soon replace the wooden platform around the Derby passenger depot.
DERBY – Most of the furniture has been ordered for the new Griffin Hospital, and now an ambulance is being looked at.
DERBY – A two-day search for a missing 4 year-old ends tragically when the boy is found drowned in the sluiceway leading to Alling Mills off lower Caroline Street.
OXFORD – “About 11 o'clock Sunday morning David Reubleman who works the Yale farm this year caught four men in the peach orchard there. He gave chase and they ran. He saw their team and getting a warrant for their arrest got Constable Hubbell to accompany him and about 11 o'clock Sunday morning David Reubleman who works the Yale farm this year caught four men in the peach orchard there. He gave chase and they ran. He saw their team and getting a warrant for their arrest got Constable Hubbell to accompany him and they tracked the men to Ansonia, where they found them. They are to have trial on the charges of trespass and stealing”.
SEYMOUR & OXFORD - SNET is preparing to set off Seymour and Oxford as separate from the Ansonia-Derby telephone district. There are 210 telephone subscribers between the two towns.
SHELTON – White Hills – “The peach crop is nearly harvested, but grapes are still in abundance and of fine quality”.
DERBY – Both automobile drivers and teamsters are complaining of the bad condition of the block pavement on Main Street.
ANSONIA - Fourth Street School is fumigated. One more Scarlet Fever case brings the total number up to 5.
SEYMOUR – In addition to the famous Hale & Coleman peach orchards, Seymour has one of the largest apple orchards in the northeast as well.
Monday, September 27
An inch of rain falls. Continual rain is finally alleviating the drought-like conditions.
With the coming of cooler weather, enclosed trolley cars make their return.
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen vote that saloons will be allowed to stay open until midnight. There was only one dissenting vote. The issue was a controversial one, and other Valley cities and towns are grappling with the same issue of whether to force saloons to close earlier.
SHELTON – Members of State anti-tuberculosis commission is surveying 40 acres of land for a possible new county tuberculosis hospital.
ANSONIA – A trolley smashes into a Derby peddler's covered wagon at Main and Columbia Streets, wrecking the wagon, and throwing the driver onto the street. His legs are badly bruised, but he will recover.
The first frost of the season appears this morning, though it is not considered a killing frost.
ANSONIA – A 6 year old girl has a severe case of Scarlet Fever on Front Street in New Jerusalem (she eventually dies of the disease). Many are concerned, as until now all of this year’s cases had been all in upper part of city.
DERBY – A large crowd gathers in front of Gardner & Hall's store to see a scale model of a Wright and Curtiss airplane, complete with turning propellers. For many, it is the first time they are seeing a three-dimensional design of an aeroplane.
OXFORD – “Foliage begins to take on the bright hues of fall. So far, killing frosts have been absent, and vegetables in consequence have been very plentiful. It is not unusual that September passes without at least one killing frost. The rain of the first of the week has had the effect of starting the brooks merrily running, and springs must feel the effects of the heavy downpour”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “The farmers are hoping "Jack Frost" will not pay a visit just yet, as their corn is not all ripe enough to cut”.
SHELTON – German Lutherans are raising funds to build a church on the Howe Avenue lot they have purchased. Their services are conducted at the Shelton Baptist Church at this time.
Friday, October 1
DERBY – The Board of Aldermen votes unanimously to allow saloons to stay open to midnight, despite opposition from pastors of Derby Methodist Episcopal, Unitarian, and First Congregational churches.
Monday, October 4 – Election day in many Connecticut towns (but not cities or boroughs).
DERBY – A man wanted in connection with the August 25 theft of telephone wire from AT&T poles on Sentinel Hill is arrested in Middletown, NY. He will be extradited to Derby.
OXFORD – The majority of the Town votes Republican for the first time in years. Current Democratic First Selectman John Pope is relegated to Third Selectman. The new First Selectman is Republican Wallace G. Tomlinson. The Town also votes for allow liquor licenses 109-50. The majority of the Town also votes that they are not in favor of a new Seymour-Oxford telephone exchange, preferring to have west Oxford join the Ansonia-Derby-Shelton exchange and the east side join Seymour-Oxford. The reason for this is people living along River Road, Squantuck, and other places in the Housatonic Valley have closer ties to the lower Valley then Seymour. Lastly, voters decide to take whatever legal action is necessary to stop the Diamond Match Company of Southford from polluting Eight Mile Brook.
SEYMOUR – Republicans sweep the Town elections. George Divine is the First Selectman. Votes also favor allowing liquor licenses 429-246. In a sad footnote, a 75 year old man waiting in line to vote collapses. He is taken to the Windsor Hotel, where he dies a few minutes later.
SHELTON – 1107 vote in the Huntington town elections, the most ever up to that time. Voters approve licensing of liquor 611-471. Republican Nicholas Wakelee is the First Selectman. Socialist J. W. Cribbins, who made history three years ago when he became the first Socialist in the State of Connecticut elected to public office, does not run when his 3 year term expires on the school board. His place is taken by Independent Republican J. B. Dillon.
ANSONIA – Three more cases of scarlet fever have been confirmed, all involving Fourth Street School students. The school has already been fumigated, but some are now advocating it now be closed. All but one of the nine currently known cases of the disease are from that school. The sad exception is a young New Jerusalem child, who has died. Many are concerned that the quarantine on some of the affected homes are not being strictly followed.
SEYMOUR – A hearing is held at Town Hall regarding the controversial topic of saloon closing hours. Nearly all Town saloon keepers are there, most advocating staying open till midnight. Pitted against them are four ministers and the WTCU, advocate closing at 10 PM. There is much discussion and debate, but it is noted that the discourse is remarkably courteous and respectful. Afterwards, the Selectmen go into executive session, and reemerge stating they have voted to close saloons at 11 PM.
ANSONIA – Physicians have been inspecting the Fourth Street School students. Two were found to be recovering from mild cases of Scarlet Fever and sent home. The rooms they attended, grades 1 and 4, are closed until Monday. About four other children are sent home with other ailments.
OXFORD – “While the nights are very cold thermometers are dropping close to freezing every night, there have been to date no killing frosts and tender plants are still blooming in the open”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “A dog or dogs got into a flock of sheep owned by Charles A. Davis, of Quaker Farms, the past week, with the result that eleven were found dead, eight badly bitten, and one missing”.
ANSONIA – A quarantine placard for scarlet fever is pulled off a building less than an hour after it was erected. Authorities warn they will arrest anyone endangering the public health they catch doing so.
ANSONIA – The popular concert venue Wallace’s Grove has been renamed Westwood Park.
ANSONIA – Two new cases of scarlet fever bring the City total to 11. One is a pupil of Lincoln School, and lives in Donovan Building, which a 3-decker housing 12 families on Beaver Street near the Phelps Foundry. The whole place, including the 12 families, is placed under quarantine. The other victim is from the Fourth Street School area. The rooms housing grades 1 and 4 at the Fourth Street School have been fumigated. Lincoln School will probably be fumigated next week.
DERBY – The "Old Coe Place" on Coe Lane has been sold by the Birmingham Water Company, and will be torn down. The home was built around 1780, and now stands near the reservoirs. It has been vacant for years. A tannery used to be nearby on the property.
SHELTON – “People who have been going to the Danbury Fair this week by way of the Berkshire Division have found a great deal in the scenery to admire. The hills along the Housatonic are just now very beautiful with the autumnal coloring on the foliage. The reds, yellows, and greens are very fine and the weather has been exceptionally satisfactory for observing them from the windows of the (railroad passenger) cars passing on the Berkshire roads”.
ANSONIA - Undercliff – The new concrete retaining wall along the east bank of Ansonia Canal will add several hundred feet of land to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, the Ansonia Congregational Church has been improving the appearance of the hillside, eliciting such favorable comment it is expected that neighboring Christ Church will follow.
DERBY – The New Haven Railroad says gates will be put across the tracks in East Derby, near the Main Street Bridge, to get trains to stop at this busy crossing.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Ansonia defeats Greenwich 3-0 in a home game.
SEYMOUR – The trolley company announces the old freight depot will be torn down. Some townspeople are happy the unsightly building will go, others are sentimental at the loss of the old landmark.
ANSONIA – The police raid a saloon at the corner of Factory Street and Tremont Street on this Sunday, arresting 14. Three others manage to escape.
Monday, October 11
SHELTON – Black’s Road is accepted at the Town of Huntington’s Annual Meeting. Now known as Black's Hill Road, the road is named after the first settler on that hill, a Dutchman whose last name was Anglicized to “Black”.
ANSONIA – Rev. Elmer Edwin Burtner is ordained a minister at Ansonia Congregational Church.
ANSONIA – A 71year old man, arrested for intoxication, commits suicide by hanging himself in a cell in the police station.
OXFORD – At least 25 Town voters have signed a petition requesting the Selectmen to call a Special Town Meeting to rescind the recent vote to take legal action against the Diamond Match Company of Southford., saying there were irregularities at this section of the meeting. The Company’s pollution of Eight-Mile Brook is an extremely contentious issue, farmers are complaining that cattle will get sick and sometimes die after drinking from it. Other are concerned that the brook drains into the Housatonic River, which supplies the Birmingham Water Company.
SHELTON – A well-known man who was to be married tomorrow fatally shoots himself near his heart, while completing arrangements in a new Congress Avenue for he and his bride. Apparently, he had accidentally overdosed on laudanum, thinking he was taking cascara.
It is a chilly day, even though there is bright sun. People in automobiles are wearing heavy robes and overcoats.
ANSONIA – The Maple Street Bridge closes for about a week today for ironwork.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Quite a few of our neighbors were in attendance at Danbury during the several days of the fair, which passed very unusually without a heavy rain”.
SHELTON – A large mortgage burning ceremony is held at Shelton Methodist Episcopal Church, celebrating the complete paying off of its parsonage.
The first killing frost of the season arrives early this morning, with temperatures down to 32. Coal dealers are busy. Rain falls in the evening, with a bit of snow mixed in.
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen override a majority report recommending closing saloons at 11 PM, and vote to have them close at midnight. They also vote to accept a donation of land from Sts. Peter & Paul Church to extend May Street to Cedar Street, providing it is named Chmelzyzky Street.
ANSONIA – Fire destroys a 15-20 ton haystack, and threatens to spread to neighboring buildings neighborhood, on Jewett Street. The entire area is covered with smoke.
ANSONIA – The Scarlet Fever quarantine continues to be violated at certain locations, with men living in quarantined homes seen in saloons, and children playing in the street. Two police officers are assigned to ensure it is enforced.
SHELTON – The State has purchased 40 acres from Dwight Wakelee of Coram, and 15 from Alfred Shaw, for a new tuberculosis sanitorium off River Road.
ANSONIA – Former Ansonian A. Schultz is now the bandmaster on the presidential yacht USS Mayflower.
DERBY – A serious trolley accident occurs near Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery on New Haven Avenue. A trolley, stopped at a platform, is rear-ended by a trolley from New Haven at almost full speed. Both were full of passengers. The accident begins when the 6:05 PM car is late leaving Main and Elizabeth Streets. Normally, this car exchanges crews with a New Haven-bound passengers to another car near the Hine Farm on the Orange line. The second trolley, in an effort to help put the first back on schedule, ran to the platform near Mt. St. Peters, to conduct the transfer there. The two trolleys stopped, side by side on parallel tracks, and began the exchange. As they were doing so, a New Haven to Waterbury car whipped around a nearby curve at full speed, and, seeing the other two cars applied its airbrakes. They were of no use, and the third car skidded along the rails, which were covered with wet leaves, smashing into the second one. Power was temporarily lost in both cars, plunging both into darkness that terrified the passengers, who didn’t know what was going on until the crash. In the second car, whose crew were on the uninvolved first car at the time of the accident, two men take charge and tell the passengers to remain seated and not to panic, and the lights came back on shortly afterward. Nearly everyone in the car suffered from what we would call whiplash today. In the Waterbury car there is a panic, and some women are knocked down in the mad rush to get out. The Sentinel calls it “shameful” that when the lights come back on in the Waterbury car, all that remained inside were four women, the men having fled. An Ansonia woman, who teaches in the Derby schools, was knocked unconscious in the Waterbury car, and reportedly trampled despite efforts of her sister to protect her. The platform was smashed to pieces, but miraculously the three men standing on it suffered only minor injuries. Local doctors rush to the scene. Many were injured, but most were minor, and initial reports that some passengers were killed were false. Both cars had to be removed by a wrecker.
SHELTON – A Pierpont Block man overdoses on laudanum, the second such overdose in town this week. He is only saved through the heroic efforts of a team of doctors, who worked for hours to keep him alive.
Monday, October 18
ANSONIA - Five additional scarlet fever cases have been discovered recently, including a 9 year old lower Main Street girl who died yesterday. She is the third death from the epidemic so far. All of the deaths thus far are from the Front Street area, and it is believed the strain there is more virulent then the one in the Fourth Street area, which is infecting a larger number of people.
DERBY - The new concrete platform, replacing the old wooden one along the tracks at the passenger train station, is completed. Now the three other narrower sides are receiving similar replacement.
The temperature drops to 28 degrees this morning. Dawn reveals a thick frost and ice on the hills.
ANSONIA – The Maple Street Bridge, closed for repairs, reopens to traffic.
OXFORD – “The killing frosts which held off so long came on the wings of the wind last week, and nipped with a hand of ice all tender vegetation. While the days are still glorious fall days, the nights are very cold, temperatures reaching freezing or below each night. The hillsides are now one mass of gorgeous coloring, and it is a perfect delight to spend the day outside in the enjoyment of the fine scenery and bracing air”.
SEYMOUR – The upper story of a vacant two-story story home on North Street, across from Cedar Ridge schoolhouse and along the south side of Bladen's Brook Bridge, burns. The Garden City auxiliary hose cart and regular fire department respond. The fire was probably arson. The fire points out the deficiencies of the ladder truck, which is still being pulled by men – it did not arrive before the fire was put out.
The chestnut crop is poor this year.
ANSONIA – Former Mayor Erwin W. Webster dies of pneumonia at his Prospect Street home. He was in good health as late as 5 days ago, and his death causes universal dismay and regret in the City. He retired from being the local representative of the New Haven Railroad less than a month ago, completing a career that began 56 before with the Naugatuck Railroad, back when Ansonia was just a whistle stop along the road (the Naugatuck RR was later absorbed by the New Haven RR). A lifelong Democrat, Mayor Webster was born in Bethlehem, Connecticut, on April 9, 1835. He left home at 17, getting a job with the Naugatuck Railroad at Waterbury, and moved to Ansonia in 1857 to become the railroad’s General Agent, in charge of freight and passenger traffic, as well as the telegraph office. At the time of his death he was the longest serving employee in any of the 27 stations along the Naugatuck Division of the New Haven RR. He was first elected Ansonia’s town agent in 1877, back when it was still a part of Derby, and continued to serve in that capacity after it became an independent town in 1889. He served in the State Legislature from 1893 to 1895, and was elected to a single term as Mayor in 1895. The Webster Hose Co. No. 3 was named after him.
DERBY – A controversy has arisen since last week’s trolley accident, over the worth of exchanging of trolley crews. This practice dates back from when different trolley companies owned different parts of the Derby-New Haven line. But now that the same line owns the entire route, it seems to make little sense.
ANSONIA - After it is revealed that, due to the drought, the Fountain Water Company is receiving water from Birmingham Water Company, which in turn pipes its water from the Housatonic River, the spring water business is booming. West Side residents say the water should not be drunk, since the Housatonic River receives much drainage from upper Connecticut and Massachusetts. After the article appears in the newspaper, West Side schools respond to the outcry by disconnecting from the public water supply.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia Skating Rink opens for the season on Mechanic Street.
DERBY – A bad case of Scarlet Fever is discovered in a Franklin School girl. The school is closed until Wednesday so it can be fumigated.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Derby defeats Stamford Manor School 39-0.
SHELTON - Two Bridgeport hunters discover the body of a woman in Indian Well brook, between the White Hills Road and the well itself. Her identification and cause of death are being investigated
Monday, October 25
OXFORD – a Special Town Meeting rescinds the decision taken at the last one, to take action against the Diamond Match Company for excessive pollution of Eight-Mile Brook, by a vote of 98-60-3.
Indian summer has been present for the last 2 days. Many have colds from last week's cold weather.
ANSONIA - A 5 year old south Main Street girl dies of Scarlet Fever, becoming the fifth fatality of the oubreak. Two other children in her family have the disease as well. The City Health Officer orders the Elm Street School closed, and prohibits children living south of Central Street from attending Lincoln School.
ANSONIA - It is revealed that Caroline Phelps Stokes, who died on April 26, left $20,000 for the Ansonia Public Library. Though it has not been disclosed what the fund will be for, it will probably be to purchase books.
DERBY - Franklin School reopens today, after being closed for the last two days due to the Scarlet Fever outbreak. However, the worsening of the epidemic causes the school to close indefinitely after today’s classes.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Ansonia defeats Seymour 32-0 in Ansonia. This was the first game of the year for Ansonia "second team", and appears to be the first for the Seymour team as well.
OXFORD – “Liewellyn Andrew is kept very busy these days at his mill, grinding and pressing out cider. There seems to be no dearth of apples in town for that purpose, although the general crop of apples is reported small”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The construction of roads and dam in furtherance of the new reservoir, is progressing finely. The concrete mixer began operations Tuesday, and immediate filling of the ditch and ravine with solid concrete will get the work along as fast as the concrete can set and harden, so there is hope of the dam being completed on the date specified Dec. 1. The road, the north side of the church, is practically finished, but a great deal of labor is to be expended on the bed of the reservoir and Rockhouse Hill Road”.
ANSONIA - Rumors of disease the discovery of Scarlet Fever on the West Side are reported as untrue. Thus far the disease has not crossed the river into the West Side.
SHELTON – “Selectman Nicholas Wakelee has improved grade between Bonnibrook and Buckingham Store, which was 14%. Using stone from neighboring farms, he has reduced it to 4% and improved its appearance”. This is the area of Shelton Avenue between Huntington Green and today's Brownson Country Club.
ANSONIA - Fire guts a one story building housing the James Reno barber shop on 420 Main Street, damaging the adjacent Charles Grant shoe repair store.
DERBY – There are only 2 cases Scarlet Fever cases in Derby at this time, but people are nervous the epidemic in Ansonia will spread here.
OXFORD – Town citizens who border Eight-Mile Brook are taking the matter of pollution from the Diamond Match Company to court.
SHELTON – The Methodist Church will switch from gas lights to electric lights.
The new local directories are out. There are 5821 names this year in Ansonia, as opposed to 6041 last year, a loss of 220. Many 'foreign' laborers from Central Europe left last year due to the business depression. This contrasts to Seymour, which was almost steady, with only 13 new names this year for a total of 2123.
ANSONIA – Four new Scarlet Fever cases have been discovered. Three are in one Platt Street house. There have now been 37 confirmed cases since the outbreak began.
DERBY - Fire damages a former blacksmith shop on Commerce Street, built about 1840 in connection with the old Hallock Shipyard there. About three years ago a second story was added to the building, and it was made into tenements. The old building is only a few feet away from the railroad tracks, and there is speculation that the fire was started by sparks from a passing locomotive.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Ansonia beats Torrington 12-0.
October 31 - Halloween, spelled "Hallowe'en" in those days.
ANSONIA - Hallowe'en – there are no arrests, the night is quieter than last year but there is still some disorder. A number of fence gates disappeared, some bonfires were lit, and windows were broken. There was a reported fight between two youth gangs on South Cliff Street. An ice cream wagon was stolen and set on fire, but it was recovered before it was destroyed. Many young children were out in costume, but they were not a problem, and were inside by 10 PM.
DERBY – “The celebration of Hallowe'en on Saturday evening was not a very bad one. A good many children were on the streets wearing masks, but they were out for fun and not for mischief. The only particular mischief was reported from the East Side where a gang became so much of a nuisance that that police were complained to. They turned over a number of outhouses, stole gates, built bonfires and did a number of other things. One boy is said to have been shot through the leg by men who were chasing the gang because they had been stoning a house”.
SHELTON – “Saturday evening was the quietest Hallowe'en ever known in Shelton. There was little disturbance of any kind and what there was did little if any damage to anyone. There were fewer fantastic costumes than usual; and all who were about seemed to be careful to injure no property nor persons. The entire police force was on duty all night, but had little to do”.
Monday, November 1
ANSONIA – The City experiences its sixth Scarlet Fever death today, a 10 year old Platt Street boy. Within 24 hours his 5 year old sister becomes the seventh fatality. Four new cases have been discovered, bringing the total to 41. This includes one new case on Crescent Street, the first of the epidemic located in the West Side. Thus far, all deaths have been in the Third Ward, and 16 cases are south of Central Street. The epidemic is improving in the First Ward - 13 patients have healed, and only 5 houses there are left under quarantine.
DERBY - Jane DeForest Shelton writes a letter to the Evening Sentinel about the importance of fire safety in the woods off near her mansion, Greystone, off Caroline Street, which are a favorite place for neighborhood children. Although on private property, Miss Shelton makes the woods open to all neighborhood children, but there was a problem with boys playing with matches there recently. Irving School occupies the former Greystone mansion site.
SEYMOUR – A Bank Street boy is diagnosed with Scarlet Fever, the first since the outbreak in Ansonia.
SHELTON – The Sidney Blumenthal Company has purchased all of the American Brass Company buildings north of its Canal Street plant, including 450' of canal frontage. The plot includes a 4 story building, a 3 story building, and several 1 story buildings. The complex was built by the Osborne & Cheeseman Company in the 1880s, and Birmingham Brass was also located there before ABC took over. With this purchase, the Blumenthal plant, also known as Shelton Looms, now has 850' of canal frontage.
ANSONIA & DERBY - The Division Street bridge across the Naugatuck River is in bad shape and needs replacement.
SEYMOUR – A 50 lb turtle discovered at Swan reservoir on Moose Hill. It is made into soup.
SHELTON – “The notice to the school board to provide a new water supply for the Coram school emphasizes the need, already expressed, of erecting a new schoolhouse in that section of the town. The present building is not only too small, some 30 pupils having to be transported to the Ferry School, but it is unfit for use because of location as well. The site is such as to place the building with its outhouses, etc., practically in the highway, and the building has outlived its usefulness. A modern building erected farther north, so as to take all of the children from that section and many from the growing suburbs of Grandview Heights and kindred sections along River Road, is what is urgently needed; and it should be commenced as soon as possible”.
DERBY - Another Scarlet Fever case is discovered in the lone Derby household that has the disease.
DERBY - Fire destroys a 2-story barn off the end of Smith Street, killing 2 of 6 of the horses inside. The barn belonged to a horse trainer, who had a small apartment in the barn, and the fire is attributed to an overheated stove. He is burned trying to keep it from spreading to nearby outbuildings, including sheds and wagons, and had to be held back just seconds before the main barn collapsed into a smoldering heap.
OXFORD – The New Haven County Health Officer, assisted by the health officers of the Borough of Shelton and the Town of Huntington, inspects Eight-Mile Brook. They report that the water 'looked like swill' near the Diamond Match Company paper mill. They suggest certain steps be taken by the mill to clean the water, it is unclear if the polluted water is reaching the Derby and Shelton water supply after it empties into the Housatonic River.
ANSONIA - Repairs are being made to the H.C. Cook dam off Jewett Street for the first time in 25 years.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Derby defeats Danbury 19-0 at Derby Meadows.
Tuesday, November 8
SEYMOUR – A large new 102’x60’, two-story building, an addition to the H. A. Matthews Manufacturing Plant complex, is being constructed. It is made entirely of concrete cement blocks, the first building constructed like this in the area. The firm makes automobile parts.
DERBY - The fountain at the corner of Seymour and Atwater avenues has been put back on its original base and strengthened to it won't shift again, unless it is hit by a large force.
Dawn breaks to a very cold morning. Temperatures are down to 28 degrees, and as much as 5/8" of ice forms over still water.
ANSONIA - Rev. J. Edward Harris is formally installed as pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church. Mayor Charters is present, and the event is well attended. The First Baptist Church choir provides music.
ANSONIA - The freight station is being wired for electric lights. The passenger station has gas lights, but until now the freight station was still using oil lanterns, some of which date back to the early Naugatuck Railroad days.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Ansonia High ‘second team’ defeats Seymour 15-0 at Park Field in Seymour.
ANSONIA – Today marks the eighth Scarlet Fever death since the epidemic began in the City, a 3 year old boy south Main Street boy. His 5 year old sister died October 26. The Elm Street School will stay closed, as does the ban on Lincoln School children who live below Central Street will remain in effect.
ANSONIA – A 5 year old Vine Street girl dies from the Scarlet Fever epidemic. There have been no new cases of the disease in the past week, but deaths from those already afflicted in the lower part of the City continue.
DERBY – A 36 year old Olivia Street man is thrown from a rear trolley platform on Elizabeth Street at Fourth Street. He dies of his injuries the next day at St. Raphael's Hospital.
DERBY - City residents are talking about keeping some streetlights lit all night.
Monday, November 15
DERBY & SHELTON – The Dairy Machinery and Construction Company will move from old Osborne & Cheeseman plant on Canal Street, Shelton, and build a new plant on the eastern side of Housatonic Avenue in Derby, just south of Union Fabric Company. This is due to the Sidney Blumenthal Company recently purchasing the plant housing the old O&C plant in order to expand.
ANSONIA – Two children in an Elm Street home have been diagnosed with Scarlet Fever.
DERBY – A coal cart owned by the Bristol Coal Company collides with a trolley on Derby Avenue, south of the brewery. The driver is injured.
SEYMOUR – J.H. Mosely has reportedly purchased the Windsor Hotel and adjacent Tingue Opera House from Philip Cohen of Ansonia. Mr. Cohen was rumored to have wanted to turn the Opera House into a tenement, something most Town residents were very opposed to.
ANSONIA – An 8 year old North Main Street boy dies from appendicitis that the Evening Sentinel says was caused by a football injury three days earlier.
OXFORD – “The new moon now visible in the west in the early evening may be called, according to legends, a dry moon, standing in the sky as it does almost perpendicular, or, as we used to say, with the water all run out”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Freddie, the poor unfortunate youth who lives like a wild man in the fields, subsisting on what he can pick up, frost bitten apples being among his general fare, is now walking with a cane since some injury befell his foot, which he is not intelligent enough to give an explanation of. This case is pitiable, to say the least, he being considered a real subject for a home of the indigent”.
SEYMOUR - Burglars break into a meat market and grocery store on Main Street. Finding no money, they steal some cigars, and try to carry off a 400lb safe. Their activity awakens the store owner and other tenants upstairs. The owner and tenants chase the burglars down the street, and they drop the safe and flee toward Ansonia when shots are fired toward them.
ANSONIA - After robbing 2 prepaid gas meters, thieves start a fire in basement of Tabernacle Baptist Church on 40 Colburn Street. The church is located on the first floor of a two story brick building. The fire is put out before it caused damage.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - Ansonia defeats Derby at Derby Meadows 6-0 before a crowd of 1000.
ANSONIA – The City experiences its 11th Scarlet Fever death of the epidemic today, a 4 year old on Hodge Avenue who was sick for only a few hours.
OXFORD – A special service is held to celebrate the newly installed organ at St. Peters Church.
Tuesday, November 23
The last few days have seen unseasonably warm, almost spring-like weather, though the drought continues.
ANSONIA – Another new Scarlet Fever case is diagnosed on Hodge Avenue
SEYMOUR - The house that is being built for Herbert Y. Baldwin on Rimmon Street, opposite the home of Louis Miller, is nearing completion. The house is shingled, and the second story extends over the front, supported by columns of cement blocks, forming a roomy veranda. The house commands a pleasing view of Rock Rimmon and surrounding country. It is the first house to be built on Rimmon hill for a number of years”.
Turkeys are in short supply and high demand. Prices range from 26-30 cents per pound, which is 1-2 cents higher than last year.
ANSONIA – Two more new Scarlet Fever cases are discovered on Hodge Avenue.
November 25 – THANKSGIVING
A storm grips the area all day, dropping 1" of rain driven by a northeast wind. Temperatures are near freezing, many skip church. The rain turns to snow, then sleet, giving way to a very windy night. Many go to Ansonia roller skating rink in evening. The Thanksgiving football games are canceled.
OXFORD - "The snow which whitened the earth on Thanksgiving gave us the first real wintry scene of the season. It seemed to be in haste to leave us, however, rapidly melting under the influence of the warm sunshine. It is an old saying 'as the first snow goes, so will all the winter's snows'. According to this, no snow will stay on the ground long this winter".
Monday, November 29
Wednesday, December 1
Temperatures drop to 20 in the early morning.
SHELTON – A huge boiler explodes in a two-story building which is part of the Radcliffe Brothers underwear and hosiery complex on 415 Howe Avenue. All clocks in the neighborhood are stopped at 6:15 PM. The building is reduced to rubble, the main 5-story portion of the plant looks “like it was shelled”, and a boiler fireman inside, John Deptula, is killed instantly. A bookkeeper in the main part of the plant is injured. The Whitlock Printing Press (today’s Chromium Process) is severely damaged, and all the plate glass windows are blown out of the Huntington Piano Factory and nearby stores. Ferry School across the street is showered with debris, with some windows broken and the roof pierced in several places. The timing of the explosion was most fortunate, as normally during the day there are over 300 hands in the building, the Ferry School is packed with children, and trolleys and other traffic pass in front. It is also worth noting that Charles Z. Morse, a local historian who did, and would continue to, contribute much to the area’s historical research had just rode past the factory, was showered by debris, and his horse ran in a panic. Neither he nor his horse was injured.
SHELTON - A house burns to ground at Wells Hollow while the mother and father are at work. All the children escape, but the family lost everything but the clothes on their back.
ANSONIA - Mayor Charters has blocked the placement of an auxiliary hose cart (jumper) in the Fourth Ward, saying a new fire company is needed in that neighborhood instead.
ANSONIA – A match head ignites some excelsior in the basement of the S.W. Smith & Co. Drug Store on Main Street, The fire spreads, and it appears that the building will be lost. But the Fire Department is successful in extinguishing the flames, though there is much smoke damage in the Smith and Colburn Buildings.
DERBY – “Mrs. Wilbur F. Osborne has purchased from Fred T. Piper the farm located in Derby Neck and known as the Stone Lounge Farm. It consists of 50 acres more or less and has a number of buildings upon it. The farm is one of the landmarks in this section, and gained its name from the fact that a stone shaped something like a lounge, stands in the yard”.
SHELTON – Many sightseers arrive on trolleys from Bridgeport, New Haven, and beyond to view the wreckage of yesterday’s boiler explosion.
As local merchants receive big shipments for Christmas, it is noted that many items that used to be shipped in wooden boxes or crates are now coming in paper boxes.
ANSONIA – There have been no new recent Scarlet Fever cases in the City. Two houses are lifted of their quarantines today, leaving 5 more still under quarantine.
ANSONIA – A fire in the third floor of a 3-story, 8-family tenement located on Jersey Street, near the Bridge Street Bridge. The apartment is wrecked but the Fire Department saves the building. Many tenants panic and start moved their furniture and goods outside, which piles up on the street in front.
SHELTON – The Anatomik Footwear Company is in temporary receivership.
Monday, December 6
ANSONIA – The Superintendent of Schools recommends students compile a history book of the City, since none has been written as of this time.
ANSONIA – The owner of the bakery that burned October 10, at the corner of Colburn Street and Canal Street, begins repairing it without approval of building inspector. The City orders him to quit work or face arrest.
DERBY – The new Griffin Hospital opens for patients for the first time.
DERBY - A Water Street man, a Civil War veteran of Co. F, 29th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers (an African-American unit) is killed below Derby after he is hit by a train.
OXFORD – “The sudden drop in temperature Monday night was intense enough to give the brooks a light skim of ice, a reminder that the beautiful spring-like days are not with us for good”. This quote was published in the Sentinel two days later.
ANSONIA – The Board of Health reports cost of the Scarlet Fever epidemic will cost the City less than $600. It was thought at one point that it would cost $2,000.
ANSONIA – The ill-fated new passenger station, never completed or occupied, is being looked at by some parties that are considering purchasing and razing it.
This past November was an “extraordinary month” in terms of weather. November 12th was the warmest it had ever been that date since records started being kept 37 years ago - 77 degrees. The total rainfall was only 1.92”, which is almost 2" below average.
This morning’s temperatures drop to 25 degrees and windy, with ice forming on still water.
OXFORD – “The school children in the Centre were greatly interested one day the past week watching three deer in the lot adjoining the schoolhouse. The deer were very tame, and the children were able to approach them quite closely. They disappeared later over the hills on the east side of the town”.
Ice an inch thick forms on some ponds this morning. Temperatures are down to 21 degrees. People are getting their ice skates ready for the season.
ANSONIA – “The Boston Store, which is now replete in its interior decorations for Christmas, also shows signs of the great holiday on the exterior, as today streamers of woven laurel and running pine were strung all over the building on Bridge and Main Street. The decoration of the building is the greatest the store has ever had and so attractive are the trimmings that the appearance of the big building was never better. The work was done by employees”.
DERBY – Griffin Hospital has been open for 5 days. As of noon today, there are 7 patients, as well as 2 more that are expected today or tomorrow. Some are afraid to check in as they want to be home for Christmas.
OXFORD – The new Birmingham Water Company dam is 2/3 complete.
SEYMOUR – The Town’s school enumeration is complete. There is a total of 930 children, 40 more than last year. It is noted that there are more children now on Great Hill.
DERBY – “The dust on Main Street and Elizabeth Street yesterday was something very unpleasant. So much dust and dirt was blown from the block pavement to the walks that the latter were very untidy. One merchant thought he would improve the appearance of his walk In front of his store during the morning when the son was on the street, and gave it a good washing down. In about 5 minutes after he had finished, and before the water had dried, a cloud of dust came down the street that seemed to like the damp sidewalk and stopped right there. The place soon resembled a storm-swept beach more than a sidewalk. Just as soon as the dampness had disappeared the merchant was out with a broom to sweep off the dust and he says that for the remainder of the winter he will let the hose alone and will stick to the broom”.
SHELTON - State Police raid the Howe Avenue Hotel. They arrest the landlord and 4 men for drinking beer in the dining room on a Sunday, and seize a slot machine.
Monday, December 13
People awaken to snow on the ground, which started about 1 AM. Teamsters are having trouble with snow balling up in horses' hooves, and are taking them to blacksmiths to have their shoes caulked. The snow turns to heavy rain at 2 PM, and lasts until 10 PM. High wind picks up at 6 PM. Houses that don’t normally shake with the wind do, and limbs fall. A total 2.68” of rain falls. The storm finally breaks the drought, however, and reservoirs, streams, ponds, and wells are finally filled. Water is falling over the Ousatonic Dam for the first time in months. It is a bad night for trolleys staying on schedule.
ANSONIA – The new storm water sewers on Jersey Street do good job, prevent flooding.
OXFORD – 3” of snow falls before turning to rain.
The air feels like early spring this morning.
SHELTON – The body of the woman found near Indian Well on October 23 has been positively identified as a Freehold, PA woman who had been missing from Ocean City, NJ, since August. It is believed she died of exposure, and no foul play was involved.
SEYMOUR - The only Democrat among the five elected constables complains he is not being assigned any patrol duty or any other work.
SHELTON - A murder-suicide involving a man and woman living on Long Hill Avenue near the cemetery is discovered after the couple is missed by neighbors and the police are called. The incident probably occurred about a week ago.
ANSONIA - A sensation is caused when 12 saloon keepers have remonstrances filed against them on the grounds that their saloons are in unacceptable residential sections.
DERBY – There are 36 registered saloons in the City this year.
SEYMOUR - Rev. Michael F. Rigney, longtime pastor of St. Augustine's Church, dies at 9 AM at the age of 52. He fell down the stairs of the rectory at 4 PM yesterday, and never recovered. Ordained in 1883, he became the pastor at St. Augustine’s on April 1, 1894. While here, he also founded St. Michael’s Church in Beacon Falls, and served as the pastor there as well. He recently announced that he was planning to start a parochial school in Seymour. He was known as an eloquent preacher, and his loss is regretted by many in Seymour and the rest of the Valley.
President William H. Taft passes through the Valley while traveling between Bridgeport and Watertown at dawn. His personal railcar was attached to the rear of the regular train. Some climb aboard the train during its brief stop in Seymour, hoping to catch glimpse of President.
DERBY – A 6 year old Orchard Street girl dies of scarlet fever.
SHELTON - The R.N. Bassett Company plans a large, 4-story 100’x60’ addition over a canal sluiceway, west of the present plant. The main R.N. Bassett Company plant is today’s Birmingham Condominiums.
DERBY – A total of four scarlet fever cases have been discovered in East Derby this week, including the girl who died yesterday. Franklin School is closed for the remainder of the year. The Children’s Christmas exercises at First Congregational Church are cancelled, and the Derby Public Library will not loan books out to East Derby children.
Monday, December 20
DERBY – “A boatload of coal arrived at the Derby Docks on Saturday evening for Timothy Gorman, the East Side coal merchant. Few boats come to the local docks so late in the season. This morning a tug would have had considerable difficulty in getting up the river, if it got up at all, as the river was well frozen over, while on Saturday the river was practically free of ice”.
Ice on some ponds is now 6” thick.
DERBY - After going through heavy ice to get to Derby Docks, a tugboat captain gets nervous at the rate the Housatonic River is freezing, and hooks to a coal barge that has only been half emptied, and tows it out stern first. This is probably the last vessel that will make it up the Housatonic this year.
DERBY – There has been no new Scarlet Fever cases in East Derby in a few days. St. Michael's School has been ordered closed, and the Christmas tree exercises for poor children at Indian Well Hall will not be given. However, their gifts will be given at their homes.
OXFORD – “Tuesday morning an alarm was given that the home of Mrs. Caroline Bronson was afire. Neighbors sent out the alarm through the town and help quickly responded and forming a bucket brigade, were able to extinguish the blaze, but considerable damage was done to the building in doing so. The fire is supposed to have caught from the chimney”.
SEYMOUR - Rev. Michael Rigney's funeral is held today, after his wake is held in St. Augustine’s Church the previous night. The Church is decorated purple and black, and is packed with mourners and clergy.
ANSONIA – “If the Jersey Street urchins do not keep off the thin ice along the 'Jersey coast', the result will doubtless be a drowning accident and a case for the medical examiner. The ice on the reservoirs may be thick enough to cut, but the ice on the Naugatuck is certainly not safe for even a small child to walk on. It never is safe, in this part of the river at least, and the sight of small boys out at the very edge causes a shiver to everyone who views them from either the Maple or Bridge Street bridges. If the boys are not kept away from this thin and very treacherous ice there is every likelihood that there will be mourning in some West Side households before long”.
OXFORD – “Genuine winter weather is the order of the day now. While the sun tempers the cold during the day, thermometers drop nightly very low, registering 10 degrees above 0 for a few nights past.”
Light now fell last night. Children are skating on Little River in Seymour and other places.
DERBY – The Scarlet Fever situation in the City gets drastically worse. Four more cases are discovered on Marshall Street in East Derby, as well as a fifth on Minerva Street. Two deaths from the disease are recorded today, a 5 year old girl on Marshall Street, and a boy on Commerce Street. There have been a total of 17 cases since fall, resulting in 4 deaths.
DERBY – “The rush at the Derby post office is on and its hustle now all day long. People began sending bundles away as early as Saturday last and each day the number of pouches containing Christmas gifts has been increasing. Today is likely to be the heaviest day for the outgoing mails. The incoming mails are growing heavier and this morning the postmen had all that they could do to get under their loads for early delivery. Tomorrow morning's mails will be heavier than today”.
December 25 – Christmas
Snow starts falling in the morning, and continues all day before developing into a blizzard. Many stay indoors.
ANSONIA - Rev. Patrick Joseph Lawlor celebrates his first mass in a packed Church of the Assumption.
ANSONIA - The Salvation Army serves Christmas dinner for the poor at their headquarters on High Street.
DERBY – The first Christmas at Griffin Hospital sees the facility finely decorated with greens. Patients are treated to a listening to an orchestra on a Victor Talking Machine.
The blizzard continues, and is now considered the worst since 1888. Winds reach 60 miles per hour, and snowdrifts as high as 8 feet are seen. Trolleys are hopelessly off schedule, as the wind blows snow back onto the rails right after they are plowed. Milkmen have a very difficult time making their rounds.
ANSONIA – The railroad switcher engine derails in the storm off Division Street, holding up rail traffic for hours.
DERBY – Trolley service to New Haven is cut off due to the storm. Only a few trolleys are arriving from Bridgeport.
OXFORD – “There was no attempt at holding service at St. Peter's Church Sunday, as it was impossible for anyone to get there. The bell of the Congregational Church rang, but the congregation was also missing from the church. People with warm firesides were contented to stay within doors”.
SEYMOUR – At about 10:45 AM, at the height of the blizzard, inbound trolley #265 from Waterbury jumps the rails just south of the Rimmon switch, smashes through a guardrail, and plunges 40’ down a steep embankment into 18’ of water at Rimmon Pond. The Motorman, Fred Beard of Shelton, and Conductor, Mark Donovan of Ansonia, are trapped underwater in the vestibule and drown, while the 5 passengers on board escape after being drenched. The only witness was a girl who saw the accident from the upper window of a house on Meadow Street, and she quickly gave the alarm. The passengers are taken to a neighboring house to get warm, one of which, an Ansonia man, appears to have severe internal injuries. The car barns in Derby are telephoned, and by the time the wrecker from there arrived much time had passed, and many residents from all over the area had arrived at the accident site. When it is found the wrecker is unable to pull the trolley out of the water, many become extremely upset. A wrecker from Waterbury, assisted by volunteers from the Coe Brass Company in Ansonia, finally retrieved the two victims at 3 AM the following morning.
SHELTON – “The west side of Howe Avenue was in many places practically free from snow, all the snow blowing to the easterly side, where it drifted to heights varying from 3 to 6 feet”.
Monday, December 27
ANSONIA - A Prospect Street child is diagnosed with Scarlet Fever. There are only two houses still under quarantine in the Third Ward.
OXFORD – “The storm which set in Saturday morning turned into a veritable little blizzard before its close. The fall of snow was quite heavy all day Saturday, that night, and all day Sunday. The wind blew with great force, carrying the snow in clouds before it, with the result that huge drifts were in evidence everywhere. Teams were out Monday morning breaking the roads for travel. It was necessary in many places to shovel though the drifts before the teams could get through. The storm was accompanied by very low temperatures, thermometers registering in sheltered places as low as 3 degrees above 0, both Sunday and Monday nights. There is no doubt about Christmas being a white Christmas”.
SEYMOUR – Hundreds visit the trolley wreck site. The trolley union votes to cancel the upcoming annual ball, while employees wear badges of mourning.
This is the coldest morning of the season so far ranging from 0 to 4 above at 6 AM. Despite the cold weather, trolleys are starting to run more smoothly, and traffic is normal on the railroad. Blacksmiths are calking horseshoes. The sleighing is not very good, but expected to improve. Many country roads are impassible due to snow.
SEYMOUR – The County coroner files his report on the fatal trolley accident two days ago. He says no one is criminally responsible for the accident. The trolley is still in Rimmon Pond, and has actually slipped a few feet deeper into the water. The trolley company has posted a guard to prevent picture taking of the wreck, but he can’t stop some from taking picture from vantage points on private property.
Many children are out sledding.
DERBY – The gate designed to halt rail traffic at the East Derby crossing is now complete.
DERBY – A trolley crashes into a sleigh carrying seven people pulled by a pair of horses near the First Congregational Church on Derby Avenue. The sleigh overturns, but there are no serious injuries except one woman who is knocked unconscious.
SEYMOUR – A wrecker from New Haven arrives at the trolley accident site, and begins removing the car from Rimmon Pond.
Temperatures are 0 or lower in the early morning. The wind chill made it difficult for the milkmen, and there are many frozen water pipes. Sleighs are being used to transport small loads of coal.
SEYMOUR – The trucks are being removed from the wrecked trolley car, so it can be hosted up the bank.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company starts ice harvesting on Quillinan's Reservoir. The ice is 12" thick.
SEYMOUR – As the trolley is slowly hoisted up the embankment back up the tracks, two chestnut trees used to fasten ropes pulling out the wreck uproot from the weight, halting operations.
SHELTON – “While many of the outside roads are in fair conditions for sleighing, the road to the Centre is not one of them. For long stretches the snow was blown from the road, and this leaves long bare places over which the sleigh is hard to draw. Unless there is considerably more snow, sleighing over that road will not be a thing of pleasure”.
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