This Week in History
Saturday, January 1, 1910
Many attend Watch Night services in churches or attend social events. Temperatures drop to zero last night, and it is windy.
ANSONIA - The 85' smokestack behind the old copper mill on Main Street near Bridge Street is being dismantled.
DERBY – The police made 209 arrests in 1909, as opposed to 136 in 1908. 57 were for intoxication, 46 for theft, 41 for assault, 2 for burglary, 2 for ‘theft from person’, while the rest were petty violations.
SEYMOUR – “One or two sleighing parties passed through Seymour last evening bound in the direction of Oxford. If the snow continues to cover the ground next week, there will doubtless be many more sleighing parties. The public schools generally arrange numerous parties of t his kind, but owing to the week just closing being vacation, the pupils were unable to arrange their usual parties. Sleighing is becoming excellent as the snow covering the highways is being packed down, and it is expected that, unless there is a sudden change of weather, that sleighing will be even better next week than it is”.
SEYMOUR - By 2 PM the rear of the wrecked trolley is within 10 ' to the tracks at the top of embankment it plunged over nearly a week ago. It can now be seen that the front end of the trolley was badly smashed by the impact. The trolley is back on the tracks by the end of the day and hauled back to Waterbury.
ANSONIA - By the end of the day nearly 20,000 tons of ice is harvested at Quillinan's Reservoir by the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company.
Monday, January 3
ANSONIA – “Snow balling is again the prevailing nuisance, and a few wholesome examples made of the hoodlums who indulge in this 'sport' would certainly meet with approval from the public. One or two arrests would be all that is necessary to bring this practice to a stop. Hoodlums in various sections of the city have been busying themselves for a few days past by pelting inoffensive pedestrians, and also peddlers. The more inoffensive the person is the greater is his liability to receive a bombardment”.
DERBY & SHELTON – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company begins harvesting the 11” thick ice on Lake Housatonic.
Temperatures go down to 1 or 2 below early this morning. Many are starting to call this an ‘old fashioned winter’. The temperatures later rise in the evening, turning a snowstorm to freezing rain.
DERBY – A 3 year old child on Marshall Street (today’s Marshall Lane) dies of Scarlet Fever. Two more cases discovered on the lower part of Commerce Street.
OXFORD – “Lester Thompson, the faithful mail carrier, is having a hard time delivering the mail. He has not been able to cover the route over Chestnut Tree Hill in its entirety since the storm of Christmas Day. On Monday it was after 5 o’clock before he passed through the Centre on his return trip to Seymour. As the traveling is neither good wheeling nor sleighing, he can only get over the ground he covers at a very slow pace. As the traveling is neither good wheeling nor sleighing, he can only get over the ground he covers at a very slow pace”.
OXFORD – “The past week has been extreme in the lower temperatures which prevailed each night. Thursday night 11 degrees below 0 was recorded in some places, but the average for the Centre, was 8 below. Coming so suddenly and preceded by such mild temperatures the intensity of the cold was felt more keenly and the one business of the week was an effort to keep houses comfortable. The rise in temperature Sunday and Monday was very welcome as a breathing spell, but Tuesday morning brought the chilling blasts once more”.
SHELTON – White Hills – “The recent snowstorm came near to putting White Hills out of business. The snow on some of the roads was drifted 5' deep, and it took a gang of men several days to dig through”.
Dawn reveals the freezing rain has left a layer of ice on everything. A total of 2.1” of rain has fallen in the past two days. Many people and horses slip. Ansonia and Derby schools are cancelled, though Seymour’s is still in session.
ANSONIA – There has been very little ice cutting at Quillinan's Reservoir in the last few days because of the extreme cold. It is suspended altogether today due to the rain and ice storm.
DERBY – The fire department responded to 43 alarms in 1909, though the Howe Pin Company fire only really bad one.
SHELTON - Parents alarmed when a Commodore Hull School girl is diagnosed with scarlet fever in the school. There were no cases of the disease in Shelton until late December. There is now one each on Fort Hill, Oak Avenue, and Cliff Street.
DERBY & SHELTON – Ice harvesting continues on Lake Housatonic. New machinery is in operation, but more men are needed.
Monday, January 10
DERBY – The first monthly Griffin Hospital Trustees meeting is held today. Twenty-seven patients were admitted in December, 16 were discharged, and one died (a second death occurs today). The average number of patients was 10, the maximum number 13. Eleven were operations performed. A total of 34 have been admitted to date, and today there are 15 patients.
DERBY – A 2 year old Marshall Street boy dies of Scarlet Fever. His sibling died of the same disease on December 23rd while his 8 year old sister is critically ill (she dies three days later).
DERBY – The City’s 1909 vital statistics were: Deaths - 140; Births 301; and Marriages 130. Compared to 1908, there were 17 fewer deaths, 27 fewer births, and 29 more marriages.
DERBY – Two new Scarlet Fever cases are found, one on Commerce Street, and another on Crescent Street.
ANSONIA – A Holbrook Street boy sledding down Clarkson Street at dusk strikes a wagon making its way down the hill. His injuries require stitches above his eye.
DERBY & SHELTON – Many are ice skating on Lake Housatonic. Some go all the way down the river – “That skating is now at its best in many places is told by local lovers of the sport who seem to be growing more enthusiastic every day. Some of the local devotees are gaining a reputation as long distance skaters, a number of them having made the trip from Stratford on the Housatonic River, to the dock in Derby. Some of them went first to Stratford on the trolley and skated up the river, and so much did they enjoy it that the distance on the runners to Stratford and back is being covered by them”.
OXFORD – “There have been recorded by the town clerk 20 births, 13 deaths, and 4 marriages during the past year”.
OXFORD – “The filling of ice houses is the principal business which men are rushing at the present time”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “The mail carrier has had a rough, cold time of it. The first time he came after the snow he got stuck in the drifts of half mile north of the church, but fortunately he had a shovel with him and dug his way out of it. If the mail carriers are good enough to try to get through, the roads should be opened for them”.
SEYMOUR – “Some of the people who draw wood into Seymour, are using sleds for that purpose, but the covered bridge on Bank Street is one of the worst places that they encounter. The snow has been worn away in the bridge, what there was of it. Yesterday afternoon, a man who was endeavoring to get a pair of horses through the bridge, drawing a heavy load, attracted attention. The horses managed to drag the load across, but those who saw them felt that a little snow ought to be carted into the bridge for accommodation of those who are using sleighs”.
SHELTON – A trolley hits a delicatessen delivery wagon on Howe Avenue near Ferry School. The wagon is wrecked and the driver is injured.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company is now harvesting 17" thick ice from Quillinan's Reservoir.
ANSONIA – Progress is being made on new Assumption School. It should be completed by April.
A snowstorm begins today, and continues into following day. It is nearly as severe as the Christmas snowstorm, but without the wind.
A total of 7” of snow is on the ground after the storm ends. Because it fell evenly, good sleighing is promised unless it rains.
Many sleighs are out.
Monday, January 17
OXFORD – “A sleigh party of school children from Seymour came as far as Oxford Centre Monday afternoon. They were evidently enjoying the fun greatly, and seemed a happy crowd of youngsters as they passed along”.
Light snow that had been falling overnight changes to rain around midnight, when the temperature rises about 20 degrees. The rain continues till noon. The snow melts rapidly during the day, changing to slush, resulting in overall bad traveling. Schools are cancelled in Ansonia and other places. The temperature is 50 at 1 PM.
The roads freeze overnight. By morning they are a sheet of ice.
ANSONIA - A Bristol man is killed by a train while crossing the Farrel Foundry yards about 8 AM. It appears that he fall from a railroad tank car he was illegally riding.
DERBY – The Board of Aldermen approve a new firehouse for Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 and new addition for Storm Engine Co. No. 2’s firehouse.
OXFORD – “The rain, which set in Monday night, has greatly softened the snow and it has decreased in volume very rapidly. It will probably result in spoiling the sleighing, which Monday gave promise of affording much sport”.
ANSONIA - A Clifton Avenue home across from the Bridge Street Bridge is burglarized, and silverware is stolen. A woman awakes to the burglar leaning over her bed. When she screams for husband, he jumps out the window, getting away. The house is ransacked.
A comet, initially thought to be Halley’s Comet but later identified as Drake’s Comet, is visible this week in the night sky, attracting many stargazers. This has since been correctly identified as the Great January Comet of 1910.
SHELTON – About 40 young people climb a ladder to the roof of their flat from an attic scuttle to view the comet. After a “merry social” on the roof, they discover that someone has removed the ladder from the scuttle. They end up crossing to the roof of the building next door, and climbing down the scuttle ladder there.
ANSONIA - A Clifton Avenue store in the Powers Building, near Division Street, has been broken into four times in 4 weeks, including twice this week.
ANSONIA - About 8,000 tons of ice has been harvested from Quillinan's Reservoir by the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company, ranging from 12” to 17” thick. The ice is now softened by the warm weather.
DERBY – Ice harvesting on Lake Housatonic is done, with almost 10,000 tons of blocks harvested.
A rainstorm hits the area at about noon, lasting until early the next morning. A total of 2.85” falls. The ice washes away in Lake Housatonic.
January 22 - The Flood of 1910
The worst flood up to that time since 1852 strikes the Valley. The Naugatuck River rises a total of 15 feet in less then 6 hours. At 1:30 AM, Squantuc starts communicating with the rest of the Valley that an ice jam that will lead to a freshet is occurring on the Housatonic River, and at 3 AM the ice in Lake Housatonic breaks up and tumbling over the Ousatonic Dam. At 5 AM, the Naugatuck River starts rising 6 feet in one hour, reaching its highest point at 6 AM (this was probably due to the destruction of the Kinneytown Dam). The river starts to recede at 6:15 AM, and drops 2-3 feet in the following 2 hours, settling slowly back to its normal level for the remainder of the day. The sound of the floodwaters, filled with debris, timbers, ice, and railroad ties, is called “deafening” at times.
ANSONIA – A portion of the railroad trestle over the Naugatuck River is carried away by the floodwaters. Telegraph service is interrupted, with several poles along the railroad tracks washed away. Electric power lines are deliberately cut in order to prevent them from being destroyed, plunging parts of the City into darkness. The Bridge Street Bridge is damaged, and the water a foot deep washes over its abutments and covers the railroad tracks. The bridge cannot be approached, as the water remains high, but it appears the pier under the east portion has settled a few feet, buckling the iron span above it and washing away a portion of the sidewalk. About noon, while the weakened bridge was still being pounded by timbers, ice, and debris, crowds gather believing it is doomed. A force of City workmen, working under the direction of Mayor Charters, works feverishly to secure the span with ropes, preventing its collapse. A force of railroad men takes similar steps with the trestle. The railroad station is flooded, with sections of the platform torn away. Ice is piles on portions of the railroad tracks 6’ to 8’ deep in some sections. New Jerusalem, Ansonia Flats, and other low lying sections of the City are flooded, and residents have to seek refuge on the upper floors of the affected buildings. The water remains high in New Jerusalem hours after it goes down in the northern sections, marooning residents there. Numerous horses and other animals have to be rescued, with difficulty, though no humans or animals appear to have drowned. Farrel Foundry, American Brass Company, and Coe Brass Company are forced to close due to high water, with water and ice flooding their yards as well as the yards of the Ansonia Lumber Company and the S. O. & C. Company, and damaging small buildings. Cellars of many Main Street stores are flooded, destroying or damaging stock, while cellars of homes on Bridge Street, Colburn Street, Central Street, and others are flooded up to the street level. The floodwaters reach a point on Main Street, just south of Colburn Street, reaching as high as the bellies of horses. Downtown, the water comes within two inches of the barroom of the Arlington House hotel on Main Street. The cellar of the old Assumption Church on lower Main Street (being used by Holy Rosary Church) is flooded. A large amount of the fill along the tall riverbank along Jersey Street, much of which was illegal encroachment, is washed away.
DERBY – The ice flood in the Housatonic River creates a great deal of noise before dawn, as large cakes of ice grind against each other, the riverbank, bridges, and anything else that gets in their way. What is unusual about this flood, is the ice from the dam to points as far north as Squantuc went out all at the same time, rather then in sections, so there are no ice jams as in years past. Some of the cakes hit the Huntington Bridge so hard it causes the whole structure to tremble, raising the alarm that it is in danger. Night watchmen start raising the alarm by sounding factory whistles at 3 AM. Hallock Court and Riverview Terrace are flooded, with people evacuating in boats, while lower Caroline Street, and lower Factory Street are also covered with water, as is the Housatonic Lumber Company’s yard. In East Derby, lower Derby Avenue and the railroad tracks are flooded. The boat Ripple (probably a steam launch) breaks its moorings at Derby Docks and starts downriver, but is retrieved before it gets away, though its hull is damaged. Washouts occur on Hill Street, Mt. Pleasant Street, Summit Street, and North Avenue. The freight depot is jammed with trains which are unable to proceed to Ansonia due to the flooding there.
OXFORD – Both the Little River and Jack’s Brook flood in Oxford Centre. A bridge over Little River ends up acting as a dam, with ice cakes piling up alongside it near “the Crofut barn”, causing the water to overflow onto the road. The dam finally gives way, without carrying the bridge with it as was feared. Some cellars are flooded. This includes the Oxford House, which had deep water in its yard for a time, and the J.B. Sanford house was entirely surrounded by deep water. “The roaring of the torrent was terrifying, and nearly everyone in the Centre was up nearly all night”. Many roads are washed out. Eight Mile Brook in Quaker Farms also floods, with part of one bridge washed away.
SEYMOUR – The Town is effectively isolated. All factories are closed, with water flooding the mills. The H. A. Matthews Company’s factory is completely surrounded by water. Portions of North Main Street, and the trolley tracks on it, are underwater and strewn with ice cakes. River Street is also flooded. The Little River and Bladen’s Brook overflow their banks. A large portion of the Kinneytown Dam, built in 1848 at the head of the Ansonia Canal, has been washed away. Many gather on Broad Street to witness the floodwaters, ice, and debris thundering over The Falls. Two islands in the river are covered with hundreds of tons of ice. About 11 AM, a 12 year old South Main Street boy gathering driftwood by crossing ice to one of the islands is swept away when the ice breaks.
SHELTON – The Housatonic reaches its highest levels since the Ousatonic Dam broke in 1890. By 8 AM there is 6’ of water running over the Dam. The cellars of most Canal Street factories are flooded. By 9 AM there is a foot of water in the Whitcomb Metallic Bedstead Company’s foundry on Canal near Wharf Street. A washout occurs on what is now Wooster Street. A second washout occurs when the brook above Commodore Hull School becomes plugged with debris, causing the water to overflow its banks and rush down Oak Avenue to Burying Ground Brook. A man who resides in a houseboat normally moored below Bridge Street is trapped on his boat through the ice flood until he is rescued by a small boat in the late morning. Three empty boats near the houseboat sink. The Shelton Docks are flooded.
The Naugatuck River recedes to its normal banks. Many journey to the Ansonia bridges and Kinneytown Dam in Seymour to view the damage and destruction.
ANSONIA – The loss of the Kinneytown Dam is not as severe as it would have been not too long ago, as all but one of the mills now uses steam, rather then water power, along the Ansonia Canal. The one mill still on water power is the Ansonia Novelty Company, though most others still use the canal for manufacturing purposes. Water will have to be pumped into the canal from the river, which is more expensive, until the dam can be repaired. The streets that were flooded are now covered with mud. The east end of the iron span of the Bridge Street Bridge is wrecked. It is estimated that damage to the City totals $10,000 (about a quarter million of today’s dollars). Two pile drivers work all day and night making repairs to the railroad trestle. By late evening one of the tracks on the trestle can handle rail traffic.
SEYMOUR – The Kinneytown Dam is deemed destroyed. The wooden spillway has been washed away, several feet of the upper masonry on its east side is washed away. On the west side, the dam has been washed down to its foundations. The 12 year old boy washed away is still missing.
Monday, January 24
ANSONIA – All of the factories which were closed by the flood have reopened. Furnaces in many buildings are still too damp to light, but fortunately the weather is mild today. Many are hunting driftwood and timber which washed downstream. The warnings that old timers have been making for years, that reducing the width of the river between the Maple Street Bridge and the Bridge Street Bridge by half will lead to trouble, is being reconsidered, especially considering the flood had considerably widened the channel on its own. Repairs on the railroad trestle are completed today, though because none of the signals are working a flagman is stationed near Bridge Street. An engineer is inspecting the damage to the Bridge Street Bridge, which is closed to all but foot traffic. Once again, the trolley company refuses to assume the liability of issuing transfers encouraging people to walk across the bridge, drawing many protests. Hand pumps are in demand in the sections which were flooded, while others are bailing their cellars out with pails.
OXFORD – The damaged bridges have been repaired.
SEYMOUR – The body of the 12 year old boy swept away during the flood while gathering driftwood, is recovered below the Old Town Bridge, in Derby. Because the Kinneytown Dam is gone, the Naugatuck River in that vicinity is now lower then it would be during a summer drought. About 200’ of River Road at Squatuc is covered with 3’ deep ice cakes, but a gang of men are able to clear it away. An even longer stretch of the road is similarly covered above Four-Mile Brook.
SHELTON – The factories have reopened from the flood. The Housatonic River is still high, but some are risking their lives to gather driftwood along the riverbank. Riverdale Avenue has been cleared of the cakes of ice that blocked it.
ANSONIA – The fate of the flood-damaged Bridge Street Bridge still uncertain, as no one knows how much it will cost to repair. The bridge is technically closed, though pedestrian traffic is still using it. The trolley company refuses to accept that liability however, and people are upset that they are not issuing transfers over it.
DERBY – As of this time, there are 109 people are on public assistance in the City. They include 16 adults without children, 12 adults with children, 49 children with parents, 3 children in the Country Home, two children in a State Orphan Asylum, 23 who are considered insane, two who are designated as ‘imbeciles’, and two who are hospitalized.
SEYMOUR – A derrick from New Haven will a temporary replacement for the destroyed Kinneytown Dam.
SHELTON - The Huntington Center Road (today’s Bridgeport Avenue), a State Road, has been washed out and gullied by the storm and flood. Wooster Street is likewise practically impassible
ANSONIA – Most of the cellars along Main Street have dried out, and now the task turns to shoveling the mud out of them. Repairs continue on the railroad trestle.
SEYMOUR – Total flood damage to the Town of Seymour itself is about $100, much less than was feared. The covered bridge at Bank Street withstood the flood remarkably well.
SHELTON - The Coram schoolhouse is closed after scarlet fever appears in 2 pupils. The school is being fumigated and disinfected.
Rain and light snow fall in early morning hours, leaving everything covered with ice at dawn.
ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The course of the Naugatuck River’s main channel through these communities have changed due to the Flood of 1910.
DERBY – The City’s Grand List now includes 965 dwelling houses. The List’s total assessed value is now $6,096,057.
DERBY – Two AT&T employees have set up wireless stations, at the YMCA and in a Caroline Street house. They can communicate with each other, and also hear the wireless station at Bridgeport.
SHELTON – A Ferry School student is diagnosed with scarlet fever.
SHELTON – Another Coram School student has been diagnosed with scarlet fever.
Slush two inches deep covers the walks after overnight rain turns to snow, then back to rain. The Northern Lights are visible in the early morning hours. The comet is still visible, and is being blamed for much of the ill fortune of the past week.
DERBY - The Board of Aldermen is talking about making the Bassett Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 move into the recently approved new Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 firehouse.
SHELTON – The Sidney Blumenthal Company completes its new brick chimney. It has a 31' square base and 6' 2" diameter at the top. It is 131' tall, making it the highest structure in Shelton.
Monday, January 31
ANSONIA – The rash of burglaries in the Fourth Ward continue. Attempts are overnight to enter two houses, one on Cook Street, the other on Clifton Avenue. Neither houses are actually entered, but plenty of clues, including footprints visible in the fresh snowfall are found.
ANSONIA – Mayor Charters and the head of the City’s Department of Public Works roughly estimate the cost of repairing the Bridge Street Bridge at $1,200. However, a detailed estimate from the hired engineer not in yet, so the Board of Apportionment does not take action on the issue at its meeting.
Tuesday, February 1
Although this year was the earliest in 17 years (with one exception) that ice on Lake Housatonic was harvested, it has not frozen since the January thaw. Preparations are underway to harvest ice in the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company’s pond in West Stockbridge, MA, in case this weather trend continues.
OXFORD – Since last fall, there has been trouble with boys being physically and verbally abusive to the teacher at Shrub Oak School on Oxford Road. It got so bad that the last teacher was forced to resign at the end of last year’s fall term. Some parents will not let their daughters attend due to the bad language there. On this date, Selectman Wyant confronts the students in the schoolhouse and tells them further misbehavior will not be tolerated.
ANSONIA – Dr. C. H. Mercer returns to his Johnson Street home at 1 AM and surprises a burglar inside. He escapes after a brief chase.
ANSONIA – People are complaining about the noisy gasoline engine which the Ansonia Novelty Company is using to power their plant. President T. L. Bristol says it is temporary, and the plant will soon be installing two new electric motors. The Novelty Company completely relied on water power from the Ansonia Canal, which is now much more costly due to the destruction of the Kinneytown Dam last month.
ANSONIA – At a special meeting, the Board of Aldermen vote unanimously to repair the Bridge Street Bridge.
OXFORD – A Town constable sees a pair of adolescent boys, who are brothers and among the worst offenders at Shrub Oak School, arrive at a pond on his land to ice skate. He tells them to leave, because he does not want his young daughters to hear their foul language. The boys respond by throwing stones, one of which hits the constable, and becoming verbally abusive. They then attack the constable with sticks. The constable fights back and the boys retreat. Angered, the constable goes to Oxford Center, secures a warrant, goes searching for them. He finds them near Shrub Oak School. They boys resist arrest, and after a lively fight the constable, with assistance from the proprietor of the Oxford House, arrests both of them and hauls them before the Town’s Justice of the Peace. The JP gives them a stern lecture, fines them each $1, as well as court costs amounting to $12.16.
SEYMOUR – The Town’s Grand List has increased $135,000 more than last year.
SHELTON – An Anatomik Footwear Company employee is arrested for trying to steal shoe patterns to sell to a Canadian firm.
SEYMOUR – “Another big derrick was brought here yesterday by the Blakeslees, who are at work on the construction of a dam at Kinneytown, to replace the structure destroyed in the recent freshet. A derrick has been erected on the west bank of the river, and a force of men is at work getting out stone from a ledge on the west side of the Kinneytown road not far from the dam. Yesterday a large raft was being constructed there”.
Monday, February 7
Temperatures at zero, with a cold, stiff northwest wind.
ANSONIA – Even though it is still technically closed due to last month’s flood damage, many pedestrians are still using the Bridge Street Bridge.
DERBY – “The local coal dealers are speculating on the prospects of early navigation on the Housatonic River. The cold snap a day or two ago closed the river from shore to shore. Coal is not very plentiful and dealers have resorted to the railroad to keep up with the orders for certain grades of coal. One dealer said this morning that he unloaded a barge of coal a year ago today. Several are of the opinion that the river will be safe for navigation this month after the twentieth of this month”.
OXFORD – “The last loads of cement for use on the new dam, were carted to the storehouse here, last week, awaiting suitable weather for the conclusion of the work. Meanwhile the fine quality of the water flowing through the pipes is being commented on”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “Two bridges on Eight Mile Brook had to be repaired after the recent storm”.
ANSONIA – A fire breaks out in an attic of a New Jerusalem home.
DERBY – The 6th Annual District Nurse Association meeting is held at Library Hall at Derby Public Library. In the past 11 months, the nurse has had 230 patients, for a total of 1,984 house calls. She also provided substantial help with providing clothing for the area’s poor.
DERBY & SHELTON – Shelton’s Star Pin Company secured many of the old machines from Derby’s Howe Manufacturing Company after it went out of business. This includes an 1842 solid head pin machine, designed by Dr. John Howe himself. Star Pin employees have restored the old relic to its original condition, and have now donated it to the Smithsonian Institution. The pin machine is now on permanent display in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Rain, snow, sleet, and gale force winds overnight and this morning, leaves over 7" of snow.
ANSONIA – Money is appropriated to repair the Bridge Street Bridge. Work will start soon.
ANSONIA – “Many sleighs were out Sunday. The sleighing, especially in the country, is very good at present, the snow being packed hard and smooth. Coasting is once more being indulged in, the hills being filled with young people Saturday”.
Monday, February 14
"Today the post office boxes are well filled with valentines. Some of them, doubtless, are genuine messages of sincere affection, but St. Valentine's Day has become almost as much the property of the joker as is April 1. While the old time comics went out of style some years ago, they are still in sue with their terrible cartoons and much more terrible verse. The picture postal has largely replaced this variety, but some of these are modeled directly upon the old penny valentine style. There is a falling off in the purchase of handsome and expensive love messages, such as were once in fashion. People who are so deeply in love that they wish to send their lady friends some beautiful expression of their sentiment, nowadays, if they are strictly up-to-date, substitute a box of violets or some other rare blossoms for the old time gew-gaws".
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen is upset with SNET, because the company will not agree to install telephones in the homes of the mayor, judge and deputy judges of city court, prosecuting attorney, and city clerk at half rates. The Board voted to have them installed, presuming SNET would give them special rates.
SHELTON – Commodore Hull School pupils send a large fruit and flower basket to Griffin Hospital patients.
DERBY - Some of the City’s oldest town records are in bad shape.
ANSONIA – A night guard has been posted at the flood-damaged Bridge Street Bridge, leading to rumors that someone is trying to blow up the problematic span. The City says the guard is to keep people, especially intoxicated ones, from falling off the damaged bridge into the river, and adds that there has already been some close calls at night.
ANSONIA – A fire breaks out in the basement of the Colburn Building, under the C.F. Tolles & Co. clothing store. A considerable amount of stock is damaged but the blaze was detected earlier enough not to spread. The clothing store has been there about 20 years.
DERBY – After four months, the new factory of the Dairy Machinery and Construction Company is nearing completion on Housatonic Avenue. The main building will be 150'x40' and 2 stories, with a 1 story, 168' x 50' section in the back. The plant will be powered by steam from an attached boiler house.
DERBY – The Paugassett Hose Company is switching from gaslights to electric lights.
OXFORD – “There is one harbinger of the coming of spring in evidence on the hillsides. The oak leaves are beginning to drop from the trees. It is a well known fact that until they have all fallen spring cannot be expected”.
SEYMOUR – Progress is being made on a temporary replacement for the Kinneytown Dam, destroyed in last month’s flood. A large workforce has been hired, and it is hoped will be done by end of month. The temporary dam will be made of wood and cement, and after that is completed a permanent new stone and concrete dam will replace it.
ANSONIA – A considerable amount of wood and timbers from last month’s flood has been left on an island above the railroad trestle. The island can only be accessed by walking on the trestle. Clifton Avenue residents have laid claim upon the wood and are guarding it. They are hoping for a cold snap so they can retrieve it over the ice.
ANSONIA – Some are severely criticizing the recent change in street lights from arc lights to incandescent. They say the new lights aren't bright enough, and because of that they benefit fewer people.
ANSONIA – A fire is started by a boarder smoking in bed at the Union House, on the corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue. The fire is quickly put out by chemical extinguishers. However, the incident is memorable because the responding fireman are hampered by icy streets while pulling their hand-drawn apparatus, and many stumble and fall, causing many bumps and bruises.
ANSONIA – The police order the Gem Theater, a movie theater on Bank Street, closed. For months the manager has been warned that the projector booth, which is covered with soft asbestos, needs to be covered with hard asbestos in order to meet the current State code. The changes were never made, so the theater was ordered closed.
ANSONIA – Repairs to the Bridge Street Bridge begin.
Monday, February 21
Heavy rain this morning washes away much of the snow and ice, and causes some washouts in the roads.
ANSONIA – The workmen setting up a pile driver to start repairs on the flood-damaged Bridge Street Bridge are surprised that pedestrians are still crossing it. The north side of the steel portion of the span is leaning almost to the water's edge, so the pedestrians congregate on the south side, getting in the workmen’s’ way.
ANSONIA & DERBY – The City is putting aside $3,000 to replace the Division Street Bridge over the Naugatuck River with a steel span, and is asking Derby to do the same.
ANSONIA – The Evening Sentinel says more the City need more police officers. Currently, there are eight officers, plus the chief. Normally there are four officers on duty at times of peak activity, and they are stretched thin.
ANSONIA – City schools are now equipped with drinking fountains, eliminating the old drinking cups.
ANSONIA – A fire breaks at 10 PM out at the F. L. Gaylord Company on Pleasant Street. The fire department is delayed because the fire alarm box was damaged. A small building on the factory complex is destroyed, and the fire spread to the main building before it is extinguished, causing $5000 damage.
DERBY – A man is charged with entering and leaving a house under a scarlet fever quarantine, on Elizabeth Street over James McEnerney's Store.
ANSONIA – A fire breaks out in an old brick building adjacent to the McMahon & Wren block (which was on 31-41 Water Street), used for storage for the Connecticut Fruit and Produce Company, at 12:30 AM. Some firemen were returning from the fire at the Gaylord Company. The fire is in a pile of old boxes, and is put out with chemical extinguishers.
DERBY – Dr. George L. Beardsley dies of Bright's Disease at New Haven Hospital. Born in Milford in 1848, he graduated from Yale in 1870, setting up practice in Derby in 1875. He was Derby's Medical Examiner from 1885 until his death, served twice as the City’s Health Officer, and was a surgeon on Griffin Hospital’s staff. He also served as a School Visitor under the old Town government, and on the Board of Education under the City government.
SHELTON – A serious fire breaks out at the Griffin Button Company on Canal Street before 9:00 PM. The building involved was in the rear of the main plant, in an old former brass foundry now being used as a storehouse. The building is surrounded on three sides by the tall factories of the Griffin Button Company, the Adams Manufacturing Company, and the Silver Plate Cutlery Company, and as such the fire is only visible from Derby until it turns serious. The wood building is fitted with 5 sets of floors, only a couple feet apart, loaded with horns and hoofs for buttons, and turns into an inferno. Some firemen are injured from burns and falls. At the fire’s height, the orange glow can be seen all the way in New Haven. Many watch on both sides of river. The damage is estimated at $10,000.
Monday, February 28
ANSONIA - The Board of Apportionment votes for a 14 mill rate.
DERBY - James N. Wise sells his bakery and confectionary sold to Burton H. Wetherby, a grocer from Shelton’s South End, who will take possession on April 1. Mr. Wise has been in business in Derby since 1876.
Tuesday, March 1
DERBY – “Among the things indicative of spring, in addition to this being the first of the month of March, which is the first spring month, Poor Commissioner Chamberlain reports that he heard the first song sparrow piping up this morning. He says the song sounded sweeter than ever. Blue birds and robins and other early spring birds are getting numerous”.
ANSONIA – Work continues on repairing the flood-damaged Bridge Street Bridge. The pile driver is still in operation. Much of the damaged iron portion has been removed.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The sound of the school bell is again heard. A new rope has been put in place of the old one that has done duty ever since the school house was erected”.
ANSONIA – “The weather this morning was balmy and spring-like. A heavy fog enveloped the city last night. At 6 o'clock this morning the fog was so thick that objects could not be discerned 10 feet away. The fog lifted shortly before 9 o'clock, and it looked as if a portion of the day at least would be very pleasant”.
DERBY - Dr. F. N. Loomis is appointed to succeed the late Dr. George L. Beardsley as Derby's Medical Examiner.
DERBY - The Hospital Aid Committee, made up of members of the Woman's Club and the District Nurse Association, holds its last meeting and disbands, its mission to help found a new hospital accomplished. However, at the request of the Griffin Hospital Board of Directors, a permanent Hospital Aid Association is also formed, with four directors each from Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton.
DERBY – The Paugassett Hose Co. No. 4 receives its new jumper (hand drawn hose reel). It holds 700' of hose, which is almost twice as much as the jumper it replaces, but is lighter because it is made of iron pipes instead of iron bars. The cart is 8' high, with 6' diameter wheels. An arch containing a brass bell is over reel, upon which is also a plate which says “No. 4” on one side and “D.F.D.” on the other. The jumper is red, with gold, white, and black striping.
OXFORD – “One of the fascinating pastimes of the local huntsmen is fox hunting. As this game is plenty in this vicinity they usually meet with success. Members of the Pope family are particularly fond of the hunt, and they have a long record of animals killed. One of the fascinating pastimes of the local huntsmen is fox hunting. As this game is plenty in this vicinity they usually meet with success. Members of the Pope family are particularly fond of the hunt, and they have a long record of animals killed”.
OXFORD – “One of the queries heard Sunday morning was "Did you hear the bluebirds singing this morning?" It was a welcome sound to everyone, for all are eagerly watching for signs of coming spring”.
ANSONIA – “The fine weather to-day brought out many ladies, and businesses in the Main Street stores picked up. Trade in some of the mercantile establishments was lively in fact, at times, and the day's sales were expected to total up much larger then they have for some days. The wet weather which has been the rule of the past month, gave few opportunities to shop with comfort, but it was a pleasure to be out to-day, and women and children in large numbers were seen enjoying the air.”
DERBY – The City’s Health Officer issues a report that Ansonia's using the Naugatuck River as a sewer outlet is menacing health, particularly in East Derby.
The weather feels like May, complete with distant rumbles of thunder. Overcoats are discarded.
Monday, March 7
ANSONIA - The first lightning of the season appears to occur right over Ansonia at 5:10 AM, waking up many people. Some think it is an earthquake. The fire alarm sounds, and telephone and telegraph wires are also affected.
ANSONIA – “Unable to sell the chicken coop he was ordered to dispose of at auction, Police Sergeant O'Donnell has arranged to retain it for his own use. The Sergeant Expects to go into the chicken business, breeding fancy fowls. He has also received several offers for game birds, and while the prices are quite tempting, it is hardly likely that he will take up this branch of the business. The officer is an expert on chickens, having devoted considerable study to the fowl some years ago. It is expected that after the new enterprise is under way that chicken and fresh eggs will furnish part of the regular jail menu”.
ANSONIA – For the second time in 2 weeks, the small structure adjoining the McMahon & Wren Building on Water Street is set on fire, at 11:10 AM. The small blaze is put out with a few pails.
DERBY – The Paugassett Hose Company’s recently replaced jumper (hose cart) will be stored as a reserve in McEnerney's barn on Derby Avenue, opposite the Derby & Ansonia Brewery. The Burtville neighborhood is also requesting reserve jumper.
DERBY – Automobile chains used for traction in the snow have torn up the macadam roads on New Haven Avenue. The road’s condition is even worse over the City line on the Orange side. Normally, automobiles are only operated in warm months, but this winter a considerable number of them are being driven in the snow.
OXFORD – “The traveling on the roads is somewhat improved. Under the influence of mild temperatures warm rains alternating with bright sunshine, the frost came out of the ground very fast making traveling very bad in places where teams would break through. The mud on all the roads has been something formidable to wade through and pedestrianism has been at a discount. Indications now point to an early coming of spring”.
SEYMOUR – The new temporary Kinneytown Dam, replacing the one destroyed in January’s flood, is now completed. Preliminary work is already underway on a permanent replacement. The new permanent dam will be bigger and much heavier then the old dam.
ANSONIA & DERBY - Speeding automobiles are already becoming a problem this year, mostly by out of town drivers. There are calls in Ansonia to appoint an "automobile cop" to enforce the speed limits.
SHELTON - A new pipe organ has been installed in Good Shepherd Church, and will be ready by Easter. The organ is operated by electricity, with air for its over 900 pipes supplied by a rotary fan.
ANSONIA – The City’s soccer team defeats the overconfident Yale University team 3-1 at Athletic Field.
DERBY – Repairs have started on New Haven Avenue.
SHELTON – The Tadeuska Polish Citizens' Club incorporated.
Tuesday, March 15
ANSONIA – Within the past few days, the section of the Bridge Street Bridge, which was leaning over the Naugatuck River due to the January flood, has been righted. Workmen are now fixing the sidewalk so that pedestrians can cross the without having to walk in the messy street portion normally used by horse-drawn vehicles.
DERBY – Health Officer Elmes believes bathing rooms should be installed at all City schools, and children should be given regular baths by school nurses.
DERBY – A spectacular fire breaks out in the old tannery building on Gilbert Street. The two-story building is badly damaged.
DERBY – The City's police call boxes will be switched from party lines to private lines that go direct to the police station. Lights will be installed upon the boxes, so if the station wants to call a post, the light will come on and alert the beat police officer.
OXFORD – The 1909 grand list totals $567,936, an increase of $878 over the 1908 grand list which was and $567,058.
OXFORD – “Just at present we are being treated to a little genuine March weather. The winds have their usual penetrating quality, but the mud is fast disappearing under its and the sun's combined influence”.
SHELTON – Eight grade Ferry School teacher Miss Lucy Beard of Oronoque, dies at 52. She taught for over 35 years, and many are shocked at her sudden passing.
SHELTON – About 6 new cases Scarlet Fever are discovered among Coram school students. This is the second outbreak this year. In an effort to stamp out the dreaded disease, the Health Officer orders the school closed until after Easter. The building will be fumigated, and all books inside it will be burned.
ANSONIA – A fourth story is being added to a 3 story building on Main Street at Factory Street.
DERBY – “W. A. James, clerk for the local branch of D. M. Welch & Co.'s grocery stores, was the envy of many people today, as eh wore a piece of genuine Irish shamrock, direct from the old country. It was a gift to him from a friend who had arrived from Ireland several days ago”.
ANSONIA & DERBY – Franklin Farrel has donated $5,000 for a "loan fund" for Griffin Hospital. The fund will be for patients who cannot afford all the money they need for a hospital stay up front. His son, Franklin Farrel Jr., and wife also donated $250 each to the fund, for total $5,500. Mrs. Paul Schabert of Derby, the largest stockholder of the Sterling Piano Company, gave $500 to cover maintenance from April 1, 1910 to April 1, 1911, but with provision any employee of Sterling Piano Company or Huntington Piano Company can draw from the donation to cover hospital expenses.
ANSONIA - James Demosthenes is visiting the City today, to conduct a lecture on Greek culture. He is the Imperial Highness, the Prince de Bysantium, heir of the Byzantine Empire, which was conquered by the Turks in 1454.
ANSONIA - Chonon Levy has bought the property on the southeast corner of Main Street and Tremont Street. He plans to put a brick addition on the south side, and remodel the lower floor for two stores. The structure is one of first buildings in Ansonia, built over 50 years ago, first used by Eleazer Peck as a general store. It was later converted into a residence.
Tuesday, March 21
ANSONIA – A fire in the Antonio Bedamo bakery on Front Street is confined to the rear of the 1-story building. It appears the fire started from a stove, after the kitchen closed just before midnight.
SHELTON – The first meeting of the Shelton Business Men's Association, held at the Young Men's Republican Club, is very well attended.
DERBY – The Police will start enforcing the State automobile laws. This is due to outrage over the growing number of speeders, most from out of town, on Seymour Avenue, New Haven Avenue, and downtown, as well automobiles using open mufflers.
OXFORD – “G. W. Gable built a stage in the hall of the Congregational Parish House, the past week. This is a great addition to the hall and makes it more available for entertainments”.
OXFORD – “Veterans of the Civil War living in town - 5 in number - Franklin Nichools, Frederick Hubbell, Edward J. Alling, Wooster B. McEwen and N. Jay Welton, have been in the habit for some time of holding yearly reunions at the homes of different ones on their birthday. This year the occasion is to be made more general, invitations having been extended to friends for a reception which they will give Thursday evening of this week in the Congregational Parish House. This will be the anniversary of Wooster B. McEwen's birth, and also celebrate the same event for two of the others. The occasion will no doubt be an enjoyable one for those privileged to attend, and all will wish them the joys of reunion for many years to come”.
ANSONIA – The Bridge Street Bridge officially reopens. Horse drawn vehicles are using it once again.
ANSONIA – The chapel at Pine Grove Cemetery is dedicated. It was donated by Gen. Charles Pine.
March 25 – Good Friday
ANSONIA – A 12 year old Jersey Street girl is accidentally shot and killed instantly. The shooter flees, and as of the end of the week is still a large.
ANSONIA – Many boys and some girls are canvassing the City and beyond, taking orders for hot cross buns for local bakeries and then delivering them. The children earn 2 cents per dozen for their efforts. The bakeries worked all night making the once-a-year treat. It is believed that enough were made to provide at least one hot cross buns “for every man, woman, and child in City, with enough left over for strangers”
ANSONIA – The Gem Theater vacates its Bank Street, and moves to Bridgeport. The violations which forced its closure it are still have not fixed, though the theater will now leased to a Middletown man promises to do so.
ANSONIA – A brush fire burns over 100 acres of pasture and timberland off Rockwood Avenue. Residents join firefighters in protecting their homes. The blaze started off North Main Street and spread west by stiff breeze.
DERBY – A large brush fire scorches Derby Meadows. Another brush fire off Seymour Avenue fire threatens houses with flames that are 15 to 20 feet high.
SEYMOUR – A large brush fire burns over the southeast part of town, including Ansonia Water Company land. At one point the intense wildfire jumps over a roadway.
SHELTON – A brush fire burns over 100 acres off old Coram Road. The fire spreads just west of Howe Avenue and High Bridge, and affects trolley service when it damages a trolley pole.
Rain is desperately needed. The ground is dry, leading to field and forest fires. Dust is blowing around everywhere, and getting into houses. Ironically, the streams were nearly overflowing only two years ago.
SHELTON – The notorious, vacant house across from Long Hill Cemetery, where last year's murder-suicide took place, is set on fire. However, the incipient blaze is subdued by a neighbor before it could do much damage. It is speculated that the fire may have been set for insurance or by “superstitious foreigners”.
March 27 – Easter Sunday
The churches packed on this day, which is highlighted by exceptionally fine weather which lasts all day. The Evening Sentinel reports “It was the day of days for the Easter hat and the Easter gown. The hat was out in all its glory, prettier and more attractive then the freaks of last year, but the gowns were not as numerous as in years when the festival comes later in the season. Streets crowded with people in their finery socializing”. The streets are packed with people socializing in the fine weather in their best clothes. In Derby, for example, “Elizabeth Street and Seymour and Atwater Avenues were literally lined with people”.
Monday, March 28
ANSONIA – At its Annual Meeting, Mrs. Franklin Farrel announces she will donate to Christ Church a beautiful stone altar and reredos. The altar will be designed by Architect Congdon, who also designed the church.
ANSONIA – After being missed all winter, the locally famous, aged wanderer Johnny o' the Woods reappears in Ansonia , visiting his usual haunts. He is wearing his usual several leather coats, and as is normally the case is followed about town by curious small children.
"The Easter postcards and souvenirs have given way to the April Fool mementoes. Some of these appear very foolish indeed but they are meeting with a ready sale and the postal receipts promise to be materially increased during the present week. The sale of Easter postcards was heavy, some of the dealers reporting a clean-out in certain lines".
ANSONIA – A fire destroys a Factory Street barn being used as junk shop, and storing rags, bottles, old iron, etc., producing smoke with a very offensive stench. The fire department stops the flames from spreading to a building housing a cooperage and barrel business owned by Alderman Meade.
ANSONIA – “The practice of roller skating about the walks leading to the city hall has become such a nuisance that the youngsters have been stopped”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “A disastrous fire that started from the Diamond Match Company paper mill dump, last week, spread onto the land of Daniel Laughlin, destroying a quantity of timber and burning a large amount of cord wood, besides endangering his home and other buildings”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Complaint is made by some of the people who use the Great Hill Road over which material for the dam of the Birmingham Water Company was drawn from Seymour. They state that the road has been very badly cut up by this extra trucking, and that it is full of stones, and is very hard to travel over”.
SHELTON – A bad brush and field fire in White Hills burns all day and well into night, consuming hundreds of acres and destroying a barn on the Gould Tomlinson estate. The fire started off the River Road (today’s Indian Well Road), and spreads west and north up the hills.
The temperatures reach 80 at noon, with high humidity. The grass is turning dry, and rain is needed. Motorboats are starting to appear below the Ousatonic Dam, and canoes on Lake Housatonic above it. The first strawberries of the season, from New York, arrives at the markets, from NY, at 40 cents a quart.
ANSONIA – Scarlet Fever is discovered in a Jersey Street boarding house. The house quarantined, and a guard is assigned to enforce it. Just before midnight, an intoxicated boarder showed up and assaults the guard when he is prevented from entering the house. He is arrested.
DERBY – Many children are out roller skating, with the approaches to the Main Street viaduct a popular spot.
Friday, April 1
ANSONIA – State health officials, inspecting the unsanitary conditions along the Jersey Street riverbank between the two bridges, are reportedly astonished at what they find. This includes open sewers and outhouses emptying into the river with the accompanying filth, and odor. A sandbar formed after January flood has only made things worse.
Halley's Comet can now be seen 20 minutes before sunrise.
SHELTON – A bad field fire below Petremont's Landing, just below downtown Shelton, burns 15 acres, and threatens a number of boats that are wintering there.
ANSONIA – The man who accidentally shot and killed the 12 year old girl on March 25 turns himself in to the Bridgeport Police. After firing the fatal shot, he panicked and fled. Just outside Ansonia, he fell on a big rock, injuring his leg which is still badly injured. He spent some time in Boston before making his way back to Connecticut, where he decided to surrender.
DERBY – A 26 year old man is stabbed with a knife or scissors on Elizabeth Street, in front of Stapleton & Bergin's undertakers, before many witnesses. He dies the next morning at Griffin Hospital. The assailant was a barber who recently set up shop on lower Main Street. He flees, and cannot be found. As both the suspect and victim were Italian, Police Officer Urbano, the only officer in the region who can speak the language, immediately begins interviewing Derby’s Italian immigrants. He learns that the crime was apparently over a bar tab, and that the suspect has friends in Boston. Lt. Daly hastens to the New Haven train station to intercept him there. Noticing a man trying to avoid him, Lt. Daly summons a New Haven police officer. They discover that the man is the suspect, and he had tickets to Boston, from which he planned on escaping back to Italy. The New Haven police officer arrests him.
DERBY – Many motorboats are on the river now. A new boat built by Derby's William Hine, named Ripper, is launched before a sizable crowd. Mr. Hine has several other boats nearing completion in his shop.
SHELTON – A field fire burns over 200 acres at Trap Falls (near today’s Trap Falls Reservoir).
Tuesday, April 5
SHELTON – The new owners of the Anatomik Footwear Company decide the local plant will be abandoned. The men's shoes will be manufactured by the Nettleton Co of Syracuse, while the women and children’s shoes will be made by the Coxon & Brown Co of Philadelphia.
SHELTON – Work is suspended on the new state tuberculosis hospital, over a labor dispute over non-union men on the job. The union men had quit three days earlier over the same issue, and only restarted yesterday. By the end of the week, the union men are still on strike, with non-union men working in their place.
A hailstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning, strikes in the late afternoon. Some of the hailstones are the size of marbles, breaking glass panes at greenhouses and causing pain to anyone unlucky enough to be hit by them. Some horses caught in the storm run wild. The temperature turns cooler when the hailstorm passes.
ANSONIA – Ansonia High School’s principal for over 15 years, Miss Madge Richmond, announces she will resign in June.
OXFORD – “Spring seems really with us now for good. During the past week the grass has sprung up quite fast and the whole earth now shows a light mantle of green. Early shrubbery is budding rapidly and everything seems as far advanced at this time as is usual fully a month later. It is hoped there will be no killing frosts later to undo all this fine work of warm sunshine. Some have already commenced to spade and plant their gardens”.
Snow squalls strike the area.
Snow squalls again strike the area, and temperatures drop near freezing. Furnace fires have to be restarted. Fruit orchard owners are worried.
The temperature dropped to 36 at midnight this morning.
ANSONIA – A smoky fire breaks out 11 PM at the Martinez Art Store, located in the Hotchkiss Building at 154 Main Street. The building is made of wood, and is one of oldest blocks in city. Most of the damage done by water, as water from the hoses swept the walls clean of artwork.
DERBY – About 12-18 men from the Course and Fine Rubbers Department at the Sterling Piano Company leave work over a water controversy. The trouble began when they were told they were no longer allowed to send boys to the town pump on green, and that they must drink water from the factory’s pipes. They claim the water there is unfit to drink. This was probably true, as water was used as part of the manufacturing process. The old factories were also notoriously hot places, especially in the summertime.
ANSONIA – A grisly find is made at the bottom of the 102’ tall Ansonia O&C smokestack off Main Street. The body of an approximately 35 year old man missing since December is found under a huge pile of soot at bottom. It is believed he climbed to top and jumped in to commit suicide.
SHELTON – “Quite a number of the Echo Hose Co. had a fine sight of the Halley’s Comet, Sunday morning, as they were on their way home from their visit at the Eagle Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. of Ansonia. They say the comet is plainly visible about 4 o'clock in the morning, and makes a very handsome picture in the sky. It is traveling so fast as to make its progress apparent to the eye, moving with a velocity that is very noticeable as compared with that of the moon”.
Monday, April 11
Residents wake up to a heavy frost, and ice forms on still water. Magnolia trees, which are now in bloom, are badly affected - the blossoms turn brown and fall to the ground. It is also feared that yesterday’s high winds may have damaged other flower buds, too.
DERBY – A little girl playing near the Birmingham Canal bank near Water Street falls in, and starts getting carried away by the current. Other children call for help, a number of women who couldn't swim watch helplessly as she drifts away. Some Ousatonic Water Company workmen hear their cries, and one of them, a Shelton man, jumps into the canal off a footbridge near Sterling Piano Company, and rescues her. He's helped out of the water by Sterling employees.
SEYMOUR – “There are, perhaps a very few old people hereabouts who may have remembered the last previous visit of Halley's Comet, which has been about 74 years and 5 months ago. There resides in Bethany a bright and interesting lady, Miss Janet Tuttle, who is nearly 90 years of age. She remembers very clearly about seeing the comet then. There are few people living today, except those in childhood, who, in the natural course of human affairs, will see the comet again. It is a sight generally viewed but once in a lifetime.
ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – A forest fire which begins in Woodbridge spreads into Ansonia and Seymour, burning portions of the Deerfield Woods and Ansonia Water Company property as far south as Kimberly Avenue. The fire ultimately burns over 75 acres.
SEYMOUR – Franklin Farrel has purchased 800 acres, mostly woodland, partly in Seymour and partly in Beacon Falls, for $15 an acre. The tract includes Rimmon brook, Skokorat brook, and parts of Hocanum brook. He is not disclosing why he wants it.
SHELTON – The Town of Stratford has withdrawn from the compact which united the Huntington and Stratford school districts for the past few years. They did this so they could share superintendents.
OXFORD – “The cold wave of the past week has checked the rapid growth of vegetation somewhat, but it is a question whether the low temperatures which have been the rule at night, have injured the fruit buds or not. The frequent showers are bringing the grass up in fine shape and the mantle of green which now covers the earth is a refreshing sight. Oak leaves have now fallen which would indicate that spring weather can be expected, as they always cling to the trees until the cold weather is over”.
OXFORD – “Just at present, workmen on the state road between Oxford and Seymour are blasting the ledge of rocks, and cutting down the hill north of Mr. Parker's residence. The work makes it dangerous for teams, and travel is being directed, in some degree, over Chestnut Tree Hill in consequence”. This is today’s Route 67.
ANSONIA – There is opposition to the proposal to sell the vacant Factory Street School site to the Congregation Sons of Jacob, as some feel that the land should be used for a city playground.
SHELTON – The older portion of Star Pin Company will be raised 1 story higher, adding over 5,000 square feet. When completed, the building, which measures 42’x126’, will be 4 stories high.
Monday, April 18
SHELTON - A disastrous fire is narrowly averted in the Daly boarding house, due to a prompt and aggressive response from the fire department.
ANSONIA – While doing his night rounds, Police Sergeant David O'Donnell nabs a burglar in the act of breaking into the basement of the W. H. Bronson grocery store on Main Street.
DERBY – It is announced that the passenger train station will be beautified. It took some time for the City to obtain permission from the New Haven Railroad to do so.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “C.A. Davis, who had an artesian well drilled last fall, is now having a fine wind mill erected by S. B. Church”.
SEYMOUR – A vacant lot below the road at Bank Street and River Street, across from Center School, is becoming an illegal dump.
SEYMOUR – Trinity Church has been donated $1,000 by a former member. It will be paid upon raising the rest of the funds necessary to build a parish house.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Some of the residents here were not only pleased with the rain as beneficial to vegetable growth, but also has affording opportunity for fishing which was taken advantage of by a few”.
SEYMOUR – A serious fire is averted at a tenement house directly across from Tingue Opera House, and next to Germania Hotel. The fire on the roof of the building is believed to have started from sparks from a chimney.
ANSONIA – Now under new owners, and renamed the Star Theater, the former Gem Theater has been thoroughly renovated, repainted, and redecorated. The seating capacity has been doubled, and a new Powers movie projector installed. The matinee is 5 cents, while evenings shows are 10 cents.
SEYMOUR – “The Hale and Coleman peach orchards are now in full bloom, and present a very beautiful appearance. There are many who are interested to know when the trees blossom particularly those who like to visit the farm and view the rarely charming scene there. Although the orchards are in bloom this year much earlier then usual, owing to the advancement of the season, no great fear seems to be felt for the safety of the crop, owing to the fact that the probabilities of a killing frost are now rapidly becoming fewer. A protracted rain after the blossoms have fallen is another source of danger. The apple trees are not yet in bloom, and it will be some ten days before they appear at their prettiest”.
Monday, April 25
Heavy rain deluges the area for about an hour. Over an inch falls in a short period of time.
ANSONIA - Some sidewalks are under 2" of water.
SHELTON - Many autos are seen traveling between downtown Shelton and Bridgeport along River Road this Sunday.
An early morning thunderstorm, with “vivid” lightning wakes everyone up. The rain falls in torrents until 8 AM.
ANSONIA – Work begins on digging a channel in Naugatuck River north of the Bridge Street Bridge, to allow water to run through a stagnant area below Jersey Street which is the source of much sewage and bad odors.
ANSONIA – The Valley Council, Knights of Columbus, celebrate their 25th anniversary in the new Assumption Hall on North Cliff Street
DERBY – Lightning strikes a telephone pole on Sentinel Hill.
SHELTON – Practically all of the signal lights on the trolley line are out due to the thunderstorm.
ANSONIA – Farrel Foundry is installing a crane which is 92' long, and can travel along 400’ of track, to unload metals from rail cars.
ANSONIA - With the departure of Rev. Janovisky, the Greek Orthodox Church on Howard Avenue is without a pastor.
OXFORD – “The foliage on the trees is coming out very fast and it will require but a short time under the influence of the warm sunshine for them to be in full leaf’.
SHELTON – The Shelton Business Men's Association will try to organize a realty company to address the housing issues in the Borough of Shelton.
ANSONIA – A man is arrested for entering a house under a scarlet fever quarantine on Jersey Street address.
ANSONIA – The Health Officer orders 2 school rooms dismissed due to diphtheria, in Grove Street School and School Street School. One child has been diagnosed with the disease in each room.
ANSONIA – An aged woman falls off the Bridge Street Bridge, through an opening on the south side of the iron portion, landing on a sand bar under the bridge. She's rescued, but has a broken hip.
Sunday, May 1
DERBY – The Bungalow Club formally opens. Located on the upper Housatonic River in Derby, it is composed of about 25 young men, mostly Elks, who chipped in to build a bungalow for the summer.
Monday, May 2
ANSONIA – At a hearing for disposal of the Factory Street School, it is revealed that only Congregation Sons of Jacob has put in a bid, for $5,000. The City thinks that is too low.
Railroad freight is “unusually heavy”, with large amounts of manufactured goods leaving, and raw material and coal coming in.
ANSONIA – Almost 1,100 people attend a whist and social held by the united Catholic Societies in the new Assumption Hall. Around 120 game tables were in use.
SHELTON – The Board of Education cannot afford Superintendent E.O. Andrews after Stratford pulled out of joint school arrangement - he costs $2,500 a year. High School principal Harry E. Fowler is appointed for $1,800 a year in his place.
ANSONIA – Controlling interest in the Ansonia Opera House is sold to the estate of Alice Craig of New York. The Evening Sentinel says it was erected around 1868, and until today was always in control of the family and heirs of the late Jeremiah Bartholomew since it was erected. The facility was operated by a corporation called the Ansonia Hall Company. The opera house ran first rate theatrical productions before Sterling Opera House was erected in Derby in 1889, and within the past year movies have begun to be shown.
ANSONIA – John Spiers retires. For over 30 years he conducted a carriage service at the Ansonia passenger station, carrying passengers to their destinations.
Temperatures come close to freezing point in the early morning hours, with frost reported in some sections. People are getting up early to see Halley's Comet.
ANSONIA – “Westwood Park is proving most attractive to people at present. The number who visit the park is growing daily and that the place is gaining in popularity is evident. Many new trees have been planted this spring, and other improvements made, and the park is becoming decidedly attractive”.
SHELTON – “Have you seen the comet? This is the question heard the oftenest just now, and those who have arisen at 3 o'clock and seen the celestial visitor say that is well repays one for the effort. This morning it was seen by a number of Shelton people, and all are loud in praise of the beauty and novelty of the sight. One gentleman of a scientific turn of mind, states that the tail is apparently 8 degrees in length and plainly visible. It is probable that more Shelton people will witness the sun rise during the coming few days than have done so in many years previously”. This is in regard to Halley's Comet.
ANSONIA – A 6 year old Hubbell Avenue boy drowns in the Ansonia Canal. It is believed he fell into the canal about an hour before he was discovered floating by some carriage sheds near Third Street and Star Street.
Monday, May 9
SEYMOUR – “At the time for the nearest approach of Halley's Comet to the earth draws near, the interest in the comet is becoming greater, and there were more stargazers out early Sunday morning than there have been at any time, it is believed. On many of the hills about the town early Sunday morning many people gathered for the purpose of taking a look at the much talked of comet, parties being formed late in the week for the purpose, and some of those were out stargazing as early as 3 o'clock Sunday morning”.
ANSONIA – “A fine view of the comet was obtained by a number of Ansonia people this morning. The comet can now be plainly seen, the best time for viewing it is between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning. Indications today were that tomorrow morning would be a favorable time for seeing the comet as there will probably be a clear sky and no haze to speak of”.
SHELTON – A 40’x80’ addition is planned for the Derby Rubber Reclaiming Company, as well as adding another story to present factory. A new 100 horsepower boiler will also be added, along with new machinery.
ANSONIA – The janitor of Elm Street School recently dug up a Connecticut penny from 1787 on the property, harkening back memories of when Elm Street was the colonial center of Old Derby.
DERBY & SHELTON - Ansonia resident Charles Plumb shows off a 4¾ pound shad he caught at the apron of Ousatonic Dam yesterday. This is significant because shad fishing was a major industry along the Housatonic River until the Ousatonic Dam cut them off from their spawning grounds in 1870. Unfortunately, this particular fish was, at best, an anomaly, and the species remains extinct due to the ancient spawning grounds cut off by the Housatonic River dams.
OXFORD – “Those who have the occasion to frequently drive over the road between Oxford and Seymour, will be glad to see the last of the steam drill which has been in use on the ledge of rocks near the site of the old croquet sop for some time past. The ledge is about level now and the work of the drill about completed. It may be said that the worst of the work on the road improvements is nearly over. When entirely finished it will be a fine road and a great benefit to both Oxford and Seymour”. This is today’s Oxford Road, Route 67.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Halley's Comet has been seen by milkmen of this vicinity. As they start out on their routes around 3:30 in the morning, and when the conditions are favorable, they have a fine chance to observe it. On Friday morning last, John Karmath, whose route takes him along the Housatonic River, reports having plainly seen it and its reflection in the river. By its description it certainly must be a sight worth seeing. The comet recently seen in the west, he also had an opportunity to observe.
SEYMOUR - John Ippolito recently erected a concrete house on the east side Ansonia Road (today’s lower South Main Street), and plans to start an ice harvesting business. A stream will be dammed to form a large pond. There are also trap rock quarries on the property.
“The biggest strawberries of the season put in an appearance this morning. Some of them were twice as large as those on sale the past 2 weeks, an only a few dozen were needed to make a quart. The price was 15 cents a basket. Some of the placards read 15 cents a quart, but the careful dealers who know the receptacles do not often contain a quart, sell the berries by the basket”.
ANSONIA – Some City physicians state they are treating several women for nervous conditions, due to sensational reports that Halley’s Comet will either strike the earth, or poison the atmosphere when it passes through its tail, on May 18.
DERBY – “The work on the (railroad passenger) depot grounds which the people of the city have had done for the purpose of beautifying the grounds, is completed. A good many plants have been put in, and it is quite evident that the change will be very decided when those have grown and developed. The privet hedge and sagamores on the westerly side of the grounds will be a screen, while the shrubs planted on the banks of the viaduct approach will beautify what heretofore has been very unsightly. In a few years these plants will with proper attention prove very attractive”.
SHELTON – The new State Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Coram is nearly completed.
Local astronomers report that the tail of Halley’s Comet is now four times as wide as the moon.
DERBY – “The ringing of the telephone bells on party lines early these mornings does not indicate that any of the neighboring families are in trouble or that there is sickness. It merely means that some friend has got out of bed to see the comet and the sight is such an interesting one that he wants his friends to see it. Therefore he goes to the telephone and calls up. Of course other people on the line hear the call, and if they have their wits about them at that hour they take the tip and get up and see the comet also.
SEYMOUR – A number of new homes are being built along the trolley line to Ansonia. Many of the homes are constructed of concrete.
Many people are out early in the morning to observe Halley’s Comet.
A cloudy night spoils the views of Halley’s Comet.
Monday, May 16
A second cloudy night spoils the views of Halley’s Comet.
Earth will be passing through the tail of Halley's Comet tail tomorrow. Some who are superstitious are attributing everything bad, ranging from weather to luck to silly things like burned food, to the comet. Although most reputable scientists say Earth will be fine, sensational reports of the possibility of the comet striking the earth, or poison gas from the tail wiping out all life on the planet, are making many nervous, some to the point of near panic.
Farm hands are scarcer then they have been for the last 20 years.
SHELTON - Three new horses arrive at the new state tuberculosis sanitarium in Coram. Two of them are heavy draught horses, while the third is a fine saddle horse, so the resident physician can get from his quarters in the house down the hill, to the patients’ ward at the top of the hill.
At dusk, many hills are packed with people to view the closest approach of Halley’s Comet. Highland Golf Course in Shelton has a number of people, in particular. Most are waiting to see what will happen – if there will be a Northern Light-type phenomenon, if the comet will strike the earth, etc. About 10 PM a sudden thunderstorm suddenly forms over the Valley. The thunderstorm quickly moves away, but not before several peals of thunder wake jittery people out of bed. The rest of the night is quiet after that, and the following day the Evening Sentinel’s headline reads “Nothing Happened – People Disappointed”. The “disappointment” was over the fact that after months of speculation and sensational headlines, nothing abnormal actually happened.
ANSONIA - Acting under the Health Officer’s orders, many Jersey Street property owners are extending their drains to the water line of the Naugatuck River. Many of the drains were falling short, creating an unsightly mess along the river bank. A new concrete wall is being erected at the Levy property, and privy vaults are also being constructed. One of the big mills will dump cinders into a stagnant pool which is causing many problems, in order to eliminate it.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The old school house has passed out of existence, the last remnants being torn down by the (Birmingham) Water Company's employees a few days ago”.
OXFORD – Two dogs have been on rampage in Oxford and Southbury for the last few days, and have killed 53 sheep and 5 lambs. Local farmers are searching for them with guns.
SEYMOUR – The Board of Selectmen begin replacing the sheathing on the Bank Street Bridge. The covered bridge’s sheathing is covered with posts, notices, and signs, of both paper and metal, and is very unsightly. These will all be removed.
SHELTON – The Borough of Shelton’s Grand List includes 611 houses, 78 stores or mills, 150 horses, 157 automobiles or carriages, and 695 watches or clocks.
Monday, May 23
ANSONIA & DERBY – In a major real estate transaction which will change the face of the Valley, the Birmingham Water Company sells the Birmingham Canal, including its water rights, to the New Haven Railroad. Built in the 1830s, the canal’s dam is just below Ansonia’s Bridge Street Bridge, and the canal runs along the west side of the Naugatuck River all the way to the Housatonic River. Historically, it powered many of Birmingham’s factories. Steam power has since replaced water power. The railroad states it plans to destroy the dam and fill in the canal, and use the space to expand both Ansonia and Derby’s freight yards. There are many ramifications to this. For starters, once the Naugatuck River is no longer diverted into the canal, the water should flow swifter, and hopefully help get rid of stagnant pollution and sewage at times of low water. The property the railroad purchased off South Main Street, Ansonia, may be abandoned for the west side. If this happens, much more freight will be trucked over the Bridge Street Bridge, which may force the replacement of the old, problematic span. This may force issue with Bridge Street Bridge. Derby will lose about $50,000 (over $1.1 million in 2010 dollars) off its Grand List, because the railroad pays taxes directly to the State. However, Derby will also no longer need to maintain the bridges over the canal at Division Street, and at Water Street where it meets Factory Street.
SHELTON – The Shelton Business Men's Association recommends turning land along Hill Street, between Coram Avenue and Prospect Avenue, into a park. This is the location of today’s City Hall.
ANSONIA – “The appearance of the sun today, was followed by a rapid rise in temperature. At noon the mercury registered 84 in the shade and it looked as if 86 would be reached before 3 o’clock. In the sun it was over 90. City Engineer Clark brought his panama out of its hiding place, and the janitor of the City Hall put an extra piece of ice in the water cooler. Summer, it was stated, has arrived”.
DERBY – The Crescent Baseball Club of Shelton has secured the old ball fields at Ouatonic Park along Housatonic Avenue, and are fixing them up to be their home field.
SHELTON – 89-year old William Hine remembers the 1835 appearance of Halley's Comet. The Evening Sentinel states “For a long time the comet was visible in the western sky, and the weather being cold and clear it was a common thought a beautiful sight. There was snow on the ground and he remembers there being a number of very remarkable displays of aurora borealis during the time the comet was visible. These displays were so phenomenal as to remain indelibly impressed on his memory, and exceeded anything of the sort he has seen since that time”
ANSONIA – The Board of Education hires Frederick Hutchinson to replace Miss Madge Richmond as the new principal of Ansonia High School.
ANSONIA - Workmen begin tearing up pavement of Maple Street Bridge to put down new wood block pavement.
ANSONIA – Henry J. Smith, President of Ansonia Savings Bank, and the Ansonia Lumber Company, dies at his Franklin Street home at age 79. Born in Oxford on October 1, 1831, grew up on a farm, attended Birmingham High School, and moved to Ansonia in 1861. In 1864 he was hired by lumber dealers Willis & Lewis Hotchkiss, and became treasurer of the Ansonia Lumber Company when it was formed. He became president after the Hotchkiss brothers died.
The clear night makes for good viewing of Halley’s Comet, though it is growing dimmer as it moves away from Earth.
DERBY – The assets of the former Williams Typewriter Company are sold.
SEYMOUR – Many witness a balloon carrying two aviators from Torrington to Bethany passing over at 7 AM.
SHELTON – “Charles Wernsman, the real estate dealer of this place, has just purchased a fine piece of property, located near Rocky Rest, within a short distance of the new tuberculosis sanitarium, consisting of about four acres of land, a 14 roomed house well equipped with two baths and having no less then seven fireplaces in the house. There is a coachman's house and large barn on the premises and at present some New York parties are negotiating for the same and if they secure it, an automobile inn will be located there. The people negotiating for it will conduct it on the German plan, making it a pleasant resort for automobile parties.
ANSONIA - Memorial services are held at Ansonia Opera House.
DERBY - Memorial services for Derby-Shelton are held at Sterling Opera House.
SEYMOUR - Memorial services are held at Trinity Church.
SHELTON – The road to Huntington Center is packed with automobiles for Memorial Services sponsored by the Village Improvement Society. 35 Civil War veterans are in attendance. They welcomed at Huntington Congregational Church. Congressman-at-large John Q. Tilson delivers the keynote address.
Monday, May 30 – Memorial Day
ANSONIA – The Memorial Day Parade starts on Main Street, and goes along Maple Street and High Street to Pine Grove Cemetery, where former Governor George P. McLean gave the address. Numerous Civil War veterans are in attendance.
ANSONIA & DERBY – A large parade of the Kosciusko Guards attract many of the Valley’s Polish residents. The parade features 5 brass bands, and about 400 uniformed men in the line of march. The parade formed on Bridge Street, then proceeded up Clifton Avenue, then to St. Michael's Church in East Derby, where a flag consecrated and mass is held. After mass, the parade reforms, and marches back to Ansonia to a ball at German Hall
DERBY & SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Memorial Day has a greater crowd then usual. The parade features 11 automobiles carrying Kellogg Post Grand Army of the Republic Civil War veterans. The parade forms in Shelton, then proceeds to the GAR plot at Oak Cliff Cemetery. After this, the parade continues to the Civil War monument on Derby Green.
SEYMOUR - Connecticut Governor Frank B. Weeks is the guest of honor at the Town’s Memorial Day parade. Many visitors come from out of town, and it is remembered as the largest Memorial Day celebration in Seymour up to that time. Many school children take part in the parade, and a very large contingent from the United German societies is also noted.
SEYMOUR – “The open cars on the trolley line made their first appearance on the local line yesterday. Some of the cars were put in service between this place and Ansonia, and the day being a pleasant one, the open cars were the ones looked for. Fewer people left town yesterday, it is said, then on any holiday in a number of years”.
Wednesday, June 1
The day is cloudy and chilly. The temperatures are under 60 before dawn, and it went down to 50 last night, and as low as 43 in the hills. The open trolley cars are shunned, many prefer to walk rather hen take them. Heaters are on, and houses are closed up.
Cottonwood trees are in full bloom. The air full of their downy fluff, causing sinus problems for many people. The streets are covered, and the fluff gets into homes.
OXFORD – “There is not the slightest danger of a drought for sometime to come, at least. The shower which came up Monday afternoon and which settled into a continuous rain for the evening was a soaker, the rain coming down in a heavy pour. Vegetation is jumping ahead now, and all nature is smiling. The air still continues quite cool, however”.
ANSONIA – Two priests are ordained at Christ Church. One is Rev. David Bowen of Ansonia. The other is Rev. George Hefflon, who is deaf and mute, and serves the faithful who have similar conditions.
ANSONIA – A band of homeless people is living off lower Main Street, the near supply plant of Derby Gas Company. They have taken to begging for money house-to-house and panhandling, making some residents nervous.
DERBY – The assets of the Williams Typewriter Company have been purchased by the Secor Typewriter Company of Derby.
1.84” of heavy cold rain falls. Many are wearing winter overcoats in this unseasonably cold snap.
OXFORD – Dogs are still on rampage in Oxford and Southford, having killed over 60 sheep from local flocks. It is now believed the dogs are coming from Seymour, and the selectmen of both Oxford and Southbury meet with the Seymour selectman over it.
Tuesday, June 7
DERBY & SEYMOUR – “The Birmingham Water Company, yesterday afternoon, began drawing water from Great Hill Reservoir and turning it into the city mains. As soon as the water was turned into the mains the gauge at the Derby office marked a 12 pound increase in pressure. 5 inches of water is flowing over the dam”.
ANSONIA – Six cases of Scarlet Fever have developed among Holbrook Street School and School Street School students. Three of the afflicted live on Wakelee Avenue, two on Holbrook Street, and one on Wesley Street. All of their homes have been quarantined.
OXFORD – “Ralph E. David is making quick time in going and coming from Derby, where he attends the high school, on his new motor bicycle”.
SEYMOUR – Fire destroys an old farm house in Bungay. All manage to escape, after the family’s father is awakened by cries of a small child. An attached chicken coop also burns, and 60 hens are killed. A nearby hog pen also burns, but the pen is broken into so the pigs can escape.
SHELTON – The Shelton High School class of 1910 holds its final public reception at Clark Hall
SHELTON – White Hills – “The apple trees are badly infested with canker worms, in this vicinity, and the sprayers are at work”.
SHELTON – White Hills – “The cold weather has retarded the ripening of strawberries somewhat. Some of the growers however, will pick some this week”.
DERBY – The 35 members of the Derby High School senior class graduate at the Sterling Opera House. The stage is decorated with potted plants and flowers. The Valedictorian is Mabel Seeley, and the Salutatorian is Helen Frances Kelly.
SEYMOUR – The Health Officer indefinitely closes Great Hill School, after scarlet fever is found in six students from three families. The houses are quarantined.
OXFORD – An Ansonia dog is shot in the act of killing a sheep. Another dog escapes. The two sheep they attacked are so badly injured they had to be put down.
OXFORD – Ansonia authorities go to Oxford, to confirm the dog that was shot yesterday was registered in the City. While they admit the dog is from Ansonia, they are not willing to admit liability for the approximately 60 other sheep which have been recently killed by dogs in Oxford and Southford.
SEYMOUR – A small 3 AM fire at St. Augustine's rectory is quickly contained by Rev. John Sullivan and his staff with a garden hose. The remainder of the fire is quickly extinguished by the fire department.
Monday, June 13
Over 2" of rain has fallen since Friday, mostly on Saturday and Sunday.
ANSONIA – The Board of Alderman wants to know why large shade elm trees are being removed from the front of the Hotel Dayton.
ANSONIA – The first grand carnival of the Church of the Assumption opens to benefit the new Assumption School. The event features stage acts including vaudeville.
DERBY – Griffin Hospital holds its Annual Trustees Meeting. There have been 155 patients since the hospital opened 6 months ago - 86 male and 69 female. 92 of the patients were native-born, while 69 were immigrants born in another country. The average number of patients per day was 15.4, with the largest single-day number 25, and the smallest single-day number 3 (which occurred on the hospital’s on opening day).
DERBY – A petition being circulated in the Second Ward, asking for a volunteer fire company on Hawkins Street, between Eight Street and Tenth Street.
SEYMOUR – The old Wooster house on upper Bank Street will be remodeled, the old, landmark 1½ story house will become 2 stories to accommodate tenants.
SHELTON – The 21 members of the Shelton High School Class of 1910 graduates Derby’s Sterling Opera House. Helen Starr Randall is the salutatorian, while Dorothy Reid is the valedictorian.
DERBY – An 8 year old Fifth Street girl, a student at Irving School, dies of Scarlet Fever.
OXFORD – “Extensive repairs are being made to the barn, carriage shed and woodhouse of the rectory property. Repairs were necessary to save the buildings and the work is being very thoroughly done. Messrs. Glover W. Cable and David Wheeler & sons, are doing the work”.
OXFORD – “The farmers in this place and Southbury have had very unpleasant experiences with dogs or different sets of dogs, biting, killing and injuring their sheep and lambs, so some have had to be killed. They have raided C.A. Davis' flock several times this season. Last Saturday about 6PM, Mrs. Grace Roberts and family heard the dogs in Mr. Davis' sheep. Her youngest son, Hurbert, 13 years of age, took his gun and started out. He found 2 dogs among the sheep. He shot the young dog and wounded the large one, but it succeeded in getting away. Selectman W. G. Tomlinson and a neighbor were soon there. The dead dog had an Ansonia tag and number on its collar and by telephoning to the town clerk of that place they received the name of the person who registered the dog. 4 men from Ansonia were here on Sunday but claim the dead dog was not theirs. These dogs are not the ones that have been among the sheep before. There is a reward offered for the killing of the dogs if caught in the sheep”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill School will reopen, but no one from the families afflicted with Scarlet Fever may attend.
DERBY – A 69 year old Derby native, a Civil War veteran, is found dead of accidental gas poisoning at the Mansion House.
SEYMOUR – After 4 cases of scarlet fever discovered in a Union Street home, the Annex School's 5th grade room is closed until Monday to disinfect it.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia High School Class of 1910 graduates at the Ansonia Opera House. The 46 students constitute the largest class in the school’s history up to that time. Alice Emma Fletcher is the salutatorian, while Grace Fairchild Terrill is honored as the valedictorian. The girls wear white dresses, with bouquets of red roses, while the boys wear dark clothing.
SEYMOUR – A murder-suicide occurs on Franklin Street at 11:00 AM. A woman, approximately 25 years old, falls off a second story balcony after being shot. He assailant, an older man, kills himself before he can be apprehended.
DERBY – The annual parade and field day of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of Connecticut, is held in Derby this year, with the St. Aloysius TAB the local sponsor. Thousands come, with special trains and trolleys running into the gaily-decorated city.
SEYMOUR – More Scarlet Fever discovered at Great Hill School, so it will remain closed.
SHELTON – A large wild cat terrorizing has been terrorizing White Hills, and eating poultry. It was last seen being chased by a large dog, and residents hope it is gone for good.
Monday, June 20
ANSONIA – “Travel shorewards was heavy yesterday. It was the first real hot weather Sunday, of the summer, and hundreds of Ansonians sought the beach to take their first dip of the season in the Sound. While the weather was warm, many found the water a bit too chilly. The trolley cars were crowded until late in the afternoon, traffic being heaviest in weeks. A big delegation of local people went to Bridgeport to attend the laying of the new Catholic Church and a number took trips up the Housatonic. Automobilists were out in force, hundreds of machines passing through Main Street during the day.
SHELTON – A 23 year old Waterville man, and employee at the United States Rapid Fire Gun & Power Company in Derby, drowns in the Shelton Canal, near the Star Pin Company. A good swimmer, witnesses state he appeared to have been seized by cramps before going under.
DERBY – Ground is broken for the new D & S Champlain building at 53-55-57 Elizabeth Street near Third Street. When completed, it will be the largest store building in the Valley for exclusive use by one business. The store will also boast 47 feet of street frontage, and will be the longest storefront in Derby.
DERBY – Oliver Freeman, son of who was locally considered the last Black Governor of Connecticut (called "Negro Governor" at the time) Roswell Freeman, dies at his century-old Derby Neck home at 84.
DERBY – “The house which was torn down to make room for the building that is to be erected on Elizabeth Street for D. & S. Champlain was one of the landmarks in what was formerly known as Birmingham. It was not the first house built in this section by any means, but it was one of the first built along what is now Elizabeth Street. In fact, when it was erected by Capt. Edmunds, of Stratford, it was put up in what was then a cornfield, being built in 1846 or 1847. If there was anything like a street through that part of town it was nothing more than a lane. Main Street was not laid out, the main highway being along the river front. The timbers in the house were hewn by hand. They were substantial ones and were in a good state of preservation when removed”.
DERBY – A 25’ long, 8’ high, 18” thick section of basement wall at the D & S Champlain construction site collapses, nearly hitting contractor Max Durschmidt and two of his employees. One employee is briefly pinned, but his injuries are not serious.
OXFORD – “The Village Improvement Association had men at work trimming up the shade trees in the center, the past week. The work is not yet finished. It seems to be the consensus of opinion that the trees have been planted too thick on the lower green, and would stand thinning out one-half”.
SEYMOUR – “The old Holbrook homestead, referred to in the History of Seymour, Past and Present, as the "Old Hive", is being taken down by Joseph Marshall preparatory to the removal of the house occupied by Frank H. Downs to the site of said old house, a pretty location beside the row of grand old maple trees. Thomas Penders, of Ansonia, has the contract for moving the Downs house, which will be cut in two parts for removal”.
This is the third day in a row of severe heat wave, and for the first time this year people who work in hot places in factories can no longer stand it and walk off their jobs. The open trolley cars are popular.
SEYMOUR – A 4 year old Great Hill girl dies of scarlet fever, in one of the homes where the disease was first detected in the neighborhood.
SHELTON - About 50 building lots have opened up in the Borough of Shelton, south of Center Street. The land is part of the old Wakelee farm, and one of the principal streets, Wakelee Avenue, has already been laid off Long Hill Avenue, and Fern Street has been laid between Long Hill Avenue and Bridgeport Avenue. The area already has city water and gas service. Fern Street would later disappear when the Route 8 expressway was pushed through in the early 1950s.
Temperatures fall overnight, down to 60 by 5 AM. The day is much cooler, breaking the heat wave.
ANSONIA – A young May Street boy dies of scarlet fever.
SHELTON – A group of boys have donned sheets over their head and are darting about Woodside pretending to be ghosts, frightening younger children and startling older people.
Monday, June 27
OXFORD – “Men were at work…mowing the green. Owing to so much wet weather the grass has grown quite rank and it was found necessary to go over some of it with a scythe. Both the horse lawn mower and a hand mower were also being used. When the work is completed, the center will look very attractive”.
DERBY – “Manager Hoyt this morning received a new moving picture machine, Power's Cameragraph No. 6, which is to be used in the Sterling Theater. It is a highly perfected piece of mechanism, working very smoothly and has all the latest devices for improving the pictures. It is stated that by the use of this machine the flicker caused by the rapid moving of a series of pictures is practically eliminated. There are other devices which reduce the possibility of fire to a minimum and with the unburnable films that are now used the moving pictures are about as safe as anything can be made. The machine was used for the first time this afternoon”.
OXFORD – “The lamps lately purchased by the Village Improvement Association for lighting the Center, are being put in place. One is in front of St. Peter's church. The next one is at the triangle south of G. W. Hoxsie's residence. Another has been placed opposite the Episcopal rectory lighting the approach to the bridge near there, and the fourth one is in the vicinity of Sanford's store. As soon as money enough is on hand more lamps will be purchased and others placed at nearby corners”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The scarlet fever patients so far seem to be confined to the Russian people. In the fourth family to be afflicted an infant died on Thursday, and was buried the same day, this making the second fatality due to the disease. No new cases of whooping cough are appearing.
SHELTON – “Lounging on street corners and spitting on the sidewalks is becoming a nuisance in Shelton and some people are asking why the police do not take action in the matter”.
SHELTON – The Tugboat Isis, heading downriver after retrieving an empty barge at Derby Docks, runs aground on Flat Rock near Petremont’s Landing. The captain had reportedly gone below for dinner, and left the cook at the helm. The captain came back to the bridge, just in time to witness the tug run aground. The barge it was towing collides with the boat, shoving it further up the rocks.
ANSONIA – St. Paul’s Swedish Lutheran Church, on the corner of Main Street and Tremont Street, may be converted into a theater. A trio of local developers has secured an option on the property. The church was originally in 1850 for Christ Episcopal Church, and served that parish until they moved into their new (and still current) edifice on South Cliff Street in 1896. The current Swedish Lutheran congregation is too small for the building.
ANSONIA – There are now 20 scarlet fever cases in Ansonia, with 13 houses under quarantine.
DERBY – The Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 votes unanimously in favor of relocating their firehouse on Baldwin's Lot, which is on the corner of Olivia Street and Sixth Street. This would satisfy the petition of Second Ward residents to have a firehouse in their neighborhood.
SEYMOUR – The quarantine is lifted on the two Great Hill families in which the current scarlet fever epidemic was first detected.
SHELTON – Two tugboats manage to pull the grounded tugboat Isis off Flat Rock, and tow her back to Bridgeport for repairs.
Friday, July 1
DERBY – In past 12 months, the Derby Savings Bank has opened 1603 new accounts and closed 1173, for a net increase of 430. The bank’s total deposits are now $4,512,731.
SEYMOUR – The 6 members of the Seymour High School Class of 1910 graduates at Seymour Methodist Church. The Salutatorian is Elizabeth Chamberlin, while the Valedictorian is George Daniel Butler.
SHELTON – The Shelton Canal has been emptied for its yearly maintenance. All factories on water power take their midsummer holidays, including Huntington Piano Company, International Silver Company, and Star Pin Company.
SHELTON – 18 girls meet with the manager of the R.N. Bassett Co to complain about a reduction in their piece rates, which would result in their pay being lowered to $1 per day. The manager states if they work their new machines to full capacity, they should make more then they had before. The talks deadlock, and the girls walk out and begin to strike. The manager later tells the Evening Sentinel that many of the factory’s products are sold in England, in direct competition with lower wage labor in Germany. The wage reductions are said to be necessary to stay competitive.
ANSONIA – A man is killed when he is run over by a train shortly after midnight.
DERBY – A 20 year old Rufus Street, Ansonia man drowns in the Housatonic River, at the end of wall below the Ousatonic Dam, in 18’ of water while swimming.
Monday, July 4
ANSONIA – The opening of the Fourth is anything but quiet. Many fireworks were set off as the Fourth began at midnight. The Fourth Street School is broken into and its windows are smashed. Vandals broke in and rung the bells at midnight at the Grove Street School, the School Street School, and some churches. Windows are broken at Ansonia Baptist Church and Ansonia Methodist Church. A bonfire is started on the trolley tracks near North Main Street, holding up traffic. The fire alarm is rung in the First Ward, and the Eagle Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 6’s reserve jumper (hose cart) is subsequently hijacked by hooligans and run down Foundry Hill. The vandals then attempted to hook it up to a hydrant on Main Street before a crowd of citizens intervened and scattered them.
ANSONIA – A 19 year old on a boat with his friends on the Birmingham Canal is accidentally shot as they were discharging pistols to celebrate the holiday. They reportedly thought the pistols were only loaded with blanks.
ANSONIA – Many leave the City for the holiday. The day is very hot and humid, many ride the open trolleys to beat the heat. An evening band concert at Westwood Park, is overflowing.
DERBY – The Fourth is relatively quiet, though many complain that the Derby Green is covered with litter at the end of the day.
SEYMOUR – The Fourth of July is quiet, with only minor disturbances. Many pass through town on their way to Oxford.
SHELTON – “Monday was the quietest Fourth of July Shelton has ever known”.
SHELTON – The annual Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club power boat regatta is held along a 10 mile, 3 turn course. 19 boats were registered, and 17 finished the race, but because of handicaps all 8 boats that passed the finish line before 11:28 AM is disqualified. The Eugena II is the winner.
ANSONIA – Main Street’s Gardner Building, which is the old YMCA building, has been secured by out of town parties who plan on renovating the whole structure. The top floor will be turned into a vaudeville and motion picture theater, slated to open September 1.
ANSONIA – A band concert at Westwood Park draws an immense crowd. Some complain of automobiles and teams parking on sidewalk, forcing pedestrians in middle of road.
OXFORD – Many summer boarders are flocking to Oxford. New York City people have purchased some of the farms and turned them into resorts.
It is a very hot and humid day, with highs of 96. A heat wave is gripping the region, and many spend nights outdoors, on verandas, roofs, or in park areas like Derby Green. Many babies are getting sick due to heat, and it is suggested that trolleys give special rates to women with small children, as the breeze they generate is one of the only ways to beat the heat. By July 11, workmen are unable to tolerate the heat at places that are normally hot anyway, like Ansonia’s Farrel Foundry & Machine Company and Derby’s Birmingham Iron Foundry.
ANSONIA & DERBY – The Ansonia YMCA is buying land near Otter Rock on the Housatonic River, to use as a summer camp. The money for the purchase is being fronted by Cleveland H. Dodge, of New York City. The YMCA rented land near there last 2 summers. Mr. Dodge is the grandson of William E. Dodge, who with Ansonia's namesake Anson Phelps formed the Phelps Dodge Corporation in 1834.
DERBY – The Board of Aldermens’ special fire committee votes 4-2 to adhere to recommending purchasing Baldwin Lot at corner of Olivia Street and Sixth Street for a new Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 firehouse.
ANSONIA – Horsemen are objecting to foreigners using the watering trough on Main Street and Bridge Street as a bathtub for their children.
ANSONIA - Woodwork from the Ansonia passenger station almost completely removed, and the brick walls are being taken down. This is the “new” passenger station, completed recently, but doomed due to major water and structural problems. It is sometimes referred to as "Ansonia Passenger Station No. 2".
SEYMOUR - The Seymour Public Library, on the second floor of Town Hall, is badly overcrowded.
DERBY – Dr. William McGrath, of Ansonia, with offices in Shelton, starts sinking while swimming across the Housatonic River. He is rescued by a companion, who kept his head above water until he was pulled onto a raft.
SHELTON – For some time there has been a big problem with boys catching freight trains in Shelton and riding them to Botsford, then catching another one back. Today, four Railroad Police Officers hide on a freight train, and then wait until it is going 25 miles and hour to reveal themselves and start rounding up riders. Many jump off the train anyway, but 8 are arrested.
Monday, July 11
ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen is presented with a petition signed by the pastors of Immanuel Episcopal, Ansonia Methodist, and Ansonia Baptist Churches, as well as 58 men and 53 women, asking that prize fight movies not be shown in Ansonia. This is particularly directed toward the Jeffries-Johnson “Fight of the Century” which occurred on July 4 in Reno, NV, and led to race rioting across the country.
ANSONIA – An alleged ‘discussion’ between black and white youths at Westwood Park over the recent “Fight of the Century” between James J. Jeffries and Jack Johnson turns into a small riot, with black and white youths, and possibly some adults, clashing. The brawlers scatter when the police arrive. There are no arrests.
OXFORD – “The need for rain is very great, vegetation is really suffering for moisture, and the dust on the roads is really stifling. There is no comfort taken in pleasure drives for one is simply smothered with the cloud of dust every passing team raises. The streams are still showing plenty of water, and the springs show no indication of getting low, which is a comfort to many”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “There is a bountiful hay crop and the farmers are rushing haying this fine weather”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “One noticeable fact these hot days is the absence of the talked of watering tank, but the brook is just as handy to drive through as ever and will be used to quench the thirst of horses until some other means is provided”.
ANSONIA – A grading job on the Ansonia side of Division Street comes to an abrupt halt when a homeowner turns a hose on the city employees and threatens to shoot them. The homeowner was irate because the city was going to take 5-6' of his front lawn for the highway. Mayor Charters hastens to the spot and personally negotiates with the homeowner while a police officer guards the crew from the homeowner. The discussions apparently result in more threats, and a warrant is issued for the homeowner’s arrest.
ANSONIA – Thousands attend the Ansonia Band concert at Westwood Park. There are complaints of too many hucksters selling lollipops, popcorn, peanuts, etc., as well as young people talking too loud during the music.
DERBY – A New Haven bound trolley from Derby is hit by a baggage express trolley car near Alling’s Mills in Orange, after the passenger car stopped to allow a man to retrieve his hat. The injury list includes 5 Derby, 8 Ansonia, and one Shelton person injured some seriously. A number of the injured are brought to Griffin Hospital, which would make this the first major incident with multiple casualties in the new hospital’s history.
An ongoing heat wave continues. The temperature is 90 degrees at 2:00 PM 1.5” of rain falls.
SHELTON – George Beardsley, one of founders of Beardsley Building Company, dies New Haven. Born in Monroe, he came to Derby as boy, where learned carpentry trade. He entered into a partnership with H. N. Beardsley and Charles Beardsley about 40 years ago, called the Beardsley Bros, which later became the Beardsley Building Co. It is said this firm built all but 2 of the factories in Shelton, most of the churches and schools, and the majority of the houses up to this time.
SHELTON – The private footbridge over the Shelton Canal between the Whitlock Printing Press and the National Folding Box & Paper Company falls in. It was in bad repair since box company moved out and stopped maintaining it, and it already partially collapsed when the canal was recently drained.
The heat wave breaks with the temperatures dropping to 64 in the morning. The humidity is gone, and more people are observed outside today.
Monday, July 18
ANSONIA – The building erected a year ago for an auxiliary fire department jumper (hose cart) in the Fourth Ward is being dismantled, as no jumper ever came. Politics is said to have played a role, including the rumor that Mayor Charters was opposed to it. Despite this, there is still talk of forming a Fourth Ward fire company.
ANSONIA - Six children have died of whooping cough this week, including 3 today. Other very young children are sick from it.
ANSONIA – “The Ballantyne Brewing Company is preparing a large shed adjoining its refrigerator and barn, in the rear of Flahavan's shoe store, on Main Street. Michael Nelligan has the contract for the erection of the structure, which will be provided with cement floors and lighted by electricity”.
DERBY – City dairy farmers report cattle have to be sprayed against flies twice a day to keep them away – there is a very unusual quantity of the insects this year. The flies are said to be irritating the cows and getting them nervous, resulting in their giving less milk.
OXFORD – “Not in some seasons has there been such a plague of flies as seems to prevail this season. It seems impossible to keep a house free of them, no matter how much vigilance is used. They are ready to enter every time a door is opened, in perfect swarms, and are distracting to neat housekeepers”.
OXFORD – Quaker Farms – “Many of the farmers are through haying for they have had three weeks of fine weather and they took advantage of it”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Raspberries were a short crop this year, but all other fruit seems to be in abundance”.
SHELTON – A serious fire breaks out in the wood buildings behind the Shelton Tack Company on Canal Street near Hill Street. The Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1’s first jumper (hose cart) is delayed in arriving because someone assured them the fire was near Wooster Street. Most of the tightly packed wood buildings between the main factory and the river are destroyed, with slight damage to main factory.
SHELTON – At a special Huntington Town Meeting, it is voted to spend $60,000 to build 2 new modern schools. These would become Lafayette School and Huntington School.
SEYMOUR – Rev. Charles Leddy of Mystic has been appointed to replace the late Rev. Rigney at St. Augustine's Church.
Temperature are 95 and very humid.
Monday, July 25
The day brings a high of 96 degrees and oppressive humidity. There is no relief overnight, many sleep on roofs, verandas, or in open areas like the Derby Green. People are passing out from the heat, and horses are being kept in their stables as much as possible.
DERBY – The 3-day celebration of the festival of St. Marie delle Virgini by the Italian Independente Society ends with one of the finest fireworks displays seen in Derby up to that time at Lake Housatonic Park. The fireworks event is book ended by a concert which takes place before and after it.
SEYMOUR – Work begins on re-grading and paving North Main Street with gravel.
ANSONIA – Today is the Adam, Forepaugh & Sells Bros. circus day. The big show arrives on three separate circus trains, which unload directly at Division Street, where the show will be held. Later that morning, many are disappointed when the circus parade is cancelled, due to the difficulty getting parade wagons from Derby Meadows to Clifton Avenue via Mill Street. Hundreds come to the circus that afternoon and evening. Extra trolleys drop people off at Division Street, where people had to run a gauntlet of hucksters and vendors. The circus itself wasn’t marred by any accidents, and this particular show has a good reputation for keeping co artists and disreputable persons away from the show itself. Shortly after the last show, the circus began picking up stakes to make the next day’s show in Bridgeport.
ANSONIA – Articles of incorporation have been filed for the new Independent Trap Rock Company. The company has procured a track of land near the Seymour town line, where there is a quantity of trap rock. The company will also produce ice – a dam which will create a 6-acre pond, and ice storage houses will both be built there.
ANSONIA – “Joseph Marjiano is erecting a concrete building on the Fosdick property, new New Jerusalem. Marjiano purchased a plot of land from H.G. Fosdick, and is having the building erected by out of town parties. The structure is being built of cement blocks, procured from the Seymour Concrete Co. It will be 3 stories high and when completed will be occupied by the owner as a dwelling and wholesale fruit storage house”.
ANSONIA – “West side residents were loud this morning, in their complaints of the noise made at one of the local mills. The racket, it was stated, was made by an open condenser, and kept people awake for a good share of the night”.
DERBY – A number of children line the parade route of the Adam, Forepaugh, & Sells Bros circus for hours, not wanting to believe that the parade was cancelled.
SHELTON – “While the numbers that spend the evening in Riverview Park is constantly increasing since the park has been lighted, last eve saw probably the largest crowd there of any night this season. In the first place it was so terribly warm the people naturally strolled in that direction to catch the cool breezes that came up from the river, and then the fireworks in Lake Housatonic Park just across the river were plainly visible from the eastern side of the park. It was the coolest spot in town, last evening, and attracted a large number of our people”.
ANSONIA – Preliminary dissolution papers have been filed, ending the Ansonia Hall Company, which ran the Ansonia Opera House from its construction until now. The Ansonia Opera House was recently sold.
ANSONIA – State Sen. Alton Farrel, of North State Street, flies in a hot air balloon named Springfield from Pittsfield, MA to a farm near the coast of Exeter, RI. Sen. Farrel has flown two other times, in Europe. The balloon flew 135 miles and reached an altitude of 7,800 feet. He and his companion were trying to break distance record from Pittsfield, which is 250 miles as of this time.
HOUSATONIC VALLEY – “Both banks of the Housatonic are dotted with tents and bungalows for several miles below here and some distance above. Our beautiful valley offers many inducements to people desiring to spend the summer holidays in the country and 'near to nature's heart'”.
OXFORD – “The need of rain is again very great. While heavy clouds have given promise of showers, they pass around without rain in this valley. Vegetation shows the effects of the continued drought, combined as it has been with such scorching heat from the sun. Everyone would welcome a day of steady rain”.
ANSONIA – There have been few thunderstorms this summer, but the area was visited with a big one early this morning.
ANSONIA – A new house on Howard Avenue is struck by lightning, knocking down part of chimney and tearing holes in roof. Wires are downed by the storm.
ANSONIA – A fire breaks out on the top floor of Rich Building on Liberty Street during the thunderstorm. One room gutted, and the two floors below suffer water damage.
ANSONIA – Many are upset at the sudden appearance of a large billboard on the former property of Willis Hotchkiss on Foundry Hill, just above the Ansonia Baptist Church.
ANSONIA – There has been an epidemic of gas meter thefts in recent weeks. Early this morning a meter thief was spotted on North State Street, and four shots were fired at him, but he escaped.
ANSONIA – People from all over the Valley attend Ansonia Band concert at Westwood Park.
DERBY – “People living on Derby Avenue, during the hot weather and while the water in the Naugatuck has been low, have been getting the full benefit of the stench that comes from the sluggish stream. On those days and nights when there has been very little air, the odors have hung around, and have been so thick at times that it seemed almost possible to cut them with a knife. This morning after the rainstorm the odors seemed more offensive then ever and people have been complaining a great deal about them. It will be a welcome day for the people on that side of the river when the water is turned from the (Birmingham) canal and the full volume of the stream flows down the river channel”.
SHELTON – Lightning damages a house on Long Hill Avenue. There are several lightning strikes in White Hills, too, with no serious damage.
ANSONIA – Ansonia's trolley express building is physically moving from Cheever Street to new spur track being put on lower Main Street.
DERBY – Most of the grass on Derby Green is dead due to the drought. Some say the Green has not looked this unattractive in a number of years.
DERBY – The Ansonia YMCA dedicates the lodge at the new Camp Ansonia on the Housatonic. The lodge is small, measuring 12’x15’, with an 8’ veranda. Camp Ansonia will open to children Monday.
SEYMOUR – Although locally famous wanderer Johnny o' the Woods has been visiting far less frequently this year, but he did appear in Town this week.
HOUSATONIC VALLEY – Many boats of all kinds on are seen on Lake Housatonic this time of year. Some enterprising individuals are making money renting them. Canoes are popular. Many sing songs while canoeing, making the area very pleasant. Normally boats are out until 10 PM, at which time an uncomfortable breeze normally blows down the river.
OXFORD – “That Oxford's farms are in shady demand seem to be indicated by the fact that every week transfers of real estate are reported as made or about to be made. The activity of Oxford…seems to be much greater than in Seymour. Had the proposed trolley been built from Woodbury to Seymour, the development of Oxford's advantages as a place suitable for summer vacation would doubtless have been much greater. There are some who believe that this proposed route will be in the course of the development of trolley transportation, become a reality. There is a large and increasing daily travel between Oxford and Seymour, and a trolley would certainly be a great boon to Oxford's people, who lack of means of transportation”.
OXFORD – Two houses near the river are damaged by lightning.
SEYMOUR – A sudden thunderstorm stops a baseball game between the Coe Brass Company and the Seymour Manufacturing Company in the 8th inning. While some run to nearby houses, a number of others take shelter under a pine tree behind the backstop. The tree is struck by lightning, and 7 under it are stunned. The worst injured was an Ansonia man who was unconscious for several hours, but he will recover.
Monday, August 1
ANSONIA - Ansonia's first dedicated playground opens at Main Street & Central Street. Features include a revolving upright with 6 wire ladders attached for children to hang off of as they spin, called a stride. Also a sandbox, 2 swing sets containing 3 swings each, a baseball diamond, and 4 seesaws. The playground is packed on its opening day.
DERBY – The Ansonia YMCA’s Camp Ansonia opens for the first time along the Housatonic.
DERBY – “This morning when the employees of the Sterling factory went to work they found that the bridge over the (Birmingham) canal was sunk, and they had to walk around by the iron foundry. The bridge is a floating one, erected for the special use of the men of the Sterling Piano Company. This is not the first time that this has happened and when investigated it was found out that some boys who cross the bridge coming from the meadows dance on it until it sinks. This must be stopped say the men in the factory, if they have to hire a man to watch the bridge on Sundays, because this is a great short cut for the men that live in the upper part of Derby.
Last month was the hottest July in 38 years, with an average temperature 74. That is three degrees higher then last year, and two degrees higher then the previous hottest July, in 1872. The rainfall was 2.26”, significantly less then the normal average of 4.6”, though still more then last year.
ANSONIA – The scarlet fever epidemic seems to be subsiding. There have not been any new cases for awhile, and only a few houses are left with quarantine cards on them, and these will expire in 1 or 2 weeks.
Two rapid, damaging thundershowers, hit at night. Streets flood, in many places up to the top of their curbing. Trees blow down, and trolley tracks are buried in sand and silt. Hail falls, bigger then peas, in certain areas. Many are without electricity or telephone service.
ANSONIA – The new macadam pavement is damaged on North Main Street. In all it is estimated $2000 damage has been done to the streets. A tree demolishes a barn roof on North Main Street, while another falls in the new playground. A coke shed is struck by lightning on Cheever Street, badly damaging it.
DERBY – 2.84” of rain falls, starting lightly after 8 PM. The Ansonia Band plays an outdoor concert on the Derby Green until the last note, and almost immediately afterward the downpour starts. The basement of the Armour Company’s cellar in East Derby is flooded with 2’ of water. A New Haven Avenue home is hit by lightning, toppling the chimney.
OXFORD – The newly improved Oxford Road suffers many washouts.
SEYMOUR – Much walnut-sized hail fell, causing damage to crops and gardens. Some of the hail survives to the daylight hours, and children are seen playing with and gathering it. Some are using the hail to fill their ice boxes. Others use the hail to make ice cream, and say it tastes better then usual.
SHELTON – It appears that the two storms - one over the Naugatuck Valley, the other from the southwest, collide over Huntington, producing a very intense weather event. A Cliff Avenue house and another in Coram are damaged by lightning. A barn in White Hills is struck by lightning and destroyed by a fire visible in downtown Seymour. The livestock in the barn is saved, bit firebrands blow to the George Drew house and barn, which are next door. Mr. Drew and his farmhands had to go outside to save the two buildings, but in the process of doing a nearby tree is struck, stunning a hired man and killing a horse in the Drew barn. All power and telephone lines are out of service. The Shelton Water Company reservoirs rise 4”.
SHELTON – “The (Shelton) docks near this place present a busy scene just at present. All the dealers and many of the manufacturers are stocking up for the fall and winter, and boats are at nearly all of the docks, a constant procession of them coming up and down the river, most of the time. The Wheeler-Schneider Co., and J.A. Birge & Co., have boats here every few days, while the Gas Co. and many manufacturers are having boats here frequently. Owing to a breakdown of the hosting engine at the docks of the Gas Co., a boat partially unloaded at that place was transferred to the docks of the Water Co. this morning, for the purpose of completing the discharge of its cargo”.
ANSONIA – A neighbor accidentally shots a North State Street woman with a shotgun, while shooting at pigeons that were eating his chicken feed. She is not badly hurt, he is arrested.
ANSONIA – Thousands are disappointed when an Ansonia Band concert at Westwood Park has to be cancelled because the electric lights won't work.
ANSONIA – A Bungay Road, Seymour farmer and his wife are thrown from their wagon when an automobile frightens their horses. She's slightly injured, but he dies of head injuries.
ANSONIA – Travelers complain of the lack of street signs and marked numbers on houses.
ANSONIA & DERBY – Vonetes Palace of Sweets, on Main Street, Ansonia, will open a branch store in Derby, at 262 Main Street.
DERBY – The Beardsley Building on Olivia Street and Third Street has been improved. The tenement has been enlarged, from 12 to 17 flats. Each has 3 to 4 rooms each, and these are larger then before the improvements were made. Most noticeable are the wide verandas added on the Third Street side and the rear of the building.
ANSONIA – A North Main Street family is believed to have contracted scarlet fever by purchasing second-hand furniture from an infected family.
SEYMOUR – A new permanent Kinneytown Dam is under construction some distance south of the present temporary one.
ANSONIA – A police officer tells a crowd on Jersey Street after the saloons close in the early morning hours to quiet down. He then tries to arrest a man in a group that swears at him. While trying to make the arrest, the officer finds himself surrounded by his friends, who try to free the suspect. As the situation gets more desperate, the police officer pulls out his billy club and fights back, striking the prisoner and his friends. The mob then starts throwing stones at the officer, striking him in the head. Just as they are about charge him all at once, two other officers arrive, one draws revolver. When one draws a revolver, the mob backs off, and the suspect is arrested. The police are now trying to learn the identities of other members of the mob.
Monday, August 8
DERBY – After 17 years on Main Street, C.E. Lewis is moving his funeral parlor to the corner of Elizabeth Street and Fifth Street.
DERBY – A referendum results in a vote of 328-172 against bonding $20,000 for fire department improvements. Many voted no because they want a proposed new Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 firehouse constructed further north, in the Second Ward.
DERBY – A New Haven man falls into the Housatonic River while attending a party at a cottage. An Ansonia man tries to rescue him but he gets into trouble when the victim grabs him. A Derby girl who was nearby wades into water up to her chin to get a boat, and rows it out to them, rescuing them both.
SHELTON – The new state tuberculosis sanitarium is quietly opened in Coram. This would later be renamed Laurel Heights Hospital.
ANSONIA – “During the past week or so quite a number of foreigners have left this vicinity for the west, most of them booking for Detroit, Michigan. When questioned why they were leaving town they stated that work was rather slow around town and there were good prospects in Detroit”. ‘Foreigner’ was another word for immigrant back then.
ANSONIA – The police get a complaint that a vacant fish store on Bridge Street is emitting a foul odor. Some police officers, the Health Officer, and a selectman go the scene, and when they open the store’s cellar door, they are confronted by an indescribable stench that sends them running away. The stench of old, rotting fish quickly envelops the neighborhood. It is not till the Health Officer puts a handkerchief dipped in cologne over his nose and mouth is he able to return and shut the cellar door. A contractor is later hired to clean the whole cellar out with lime.
ANSONIA – “The mushroom season is now at its height, and every morning men can be seen returning from the suburbs with quantities of the delicacy. The weather the past few days has been most favorable to the growth of the fungus, and in favored localities over a bushel of mushrooms have been gathered nearly every morning for a week or more. Toadstools are also numerous, and are likely to be taken by the inexperienced, for mushrooms”.
OXFORD – “Considerable damage was done by the heavy storm of last week, Tuesday evening from the washing of roads while the hail pretty well riddled the foliage of garden vegetables. Wherever there was exposure so that the hail could get its work forcibly, results were plainly to be traced. Particularly did grape vines, corn, and running vines suffer”.
SHELTON – The New Haven Railroad has bought most of the land north of downtown, between the tracks and riverbank, for a future double-tracking. They are ordering all who built summer shacks on the land to leave. Many are upset with this.
SHELTON – The Town School Committee is negotiating with Huntington Congregational Church for land for a new school.
ANSONIA – Westwood Park is overflowing during an Ansonia Band concert.
DERBY – A 4:30 AM fire breaks out in the 4-story Crook block, on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Sixth Street. The fire began in a second story coal bin, but the blaze was confined to that and two small adjacent storage rooms, though it could have been disastrous. The Shaw & Green grocery store on the ground floor is damaged by water.
DERBY & SHELTON – “The Huntington Bridge, connecting Derby & Shelton is at present badly in need of repairs. There are many places where the boards of the footpath are broken or where they are spread apart that leaves an opening of three or four inches. In one place where a part of a board is broken off on one end, someone has nailed a piece of wood across the top of it and hardly a day goes by but some person stumbles over it. In the roadway of the bridge it is about the same way, there being many openings or places where a team goes over them they sink that much. The Shelton side of the bridge is not so bad as the Derby side, but even so it could be in better condition. Many remarks are being passed about it, the people think it should be attended to as soon as possible”.
ANSONIA – “The appearance of the Sewell Memorial Fountain at the library would be greatly improved if the weeds which have been allowed to grow up around the base were removed. The gutters along the left corner are filled up with mud and the appearance of things does not leave a favorable impression in the minds of the public”.
OXFORD – The Derry home on Jack's Hill is destroyed by fire. A pair of young children were the only ones home at the time. A neighbor is able to get much of the furniture out of the front room, but the rest is destroyed.
Monday, August 15
DERBY – In an effort to get a Derby Avenue boy in delicate health outside more often, his mother, an amateur geologist, encourages him to find pretty stones, which she would then identify under a magnifying glass. While doing this, the boy comes in with a mass of almost pure iron ore. When he shows where he found it, a large vein of mostly iron, with some copper and other valuable minerals is discovered. The quality of the find is confirmed by both Yale and Harvard geologists.
SEYMOUR – “The work of harvesting the peach crop at the Hale & Coleman orchards, has now begun in earnest and just at present some very fine specimens of the earlier varieties are being picked. As usual the orchard attracts many visitors, some of who are interested in the scenes of the harvest and others who visit the packing house where the handsome, freshly picked fruit may be purchased in almost any quantity desired. The harvesting will continue now with little pause. Yesterday many visited the orchards, where they found much to occupy their attention”.
SHELTON – White Hills residents are upset that their telephone service is being switched from SNET to the Huntington Telephone Company. There is a non-competition agreement between the two companies, as well as an agreement that Huntington’s operating area goes to Monroe line. Despite this, White Hills residents prefer SNET because Huntington charges them to call downtown Shelton and the rest of the Valley.
ANSONIA – This year there will be 5 male and 5 female instructors at Ansonia High School. Last year there was only one male.
SHELTON – An Ansonia Band concert at Riverview Park attracts about 4,000 people.
OXFORD – “There is much complaint over the lack of water in the water tank on the Seymour Road. Since its change to the opposite side of the road, when the state road was built, the flow of water through the pipe has been very meager”.
SEYMOUR – “The improvements on the lower dam on Little River are approaching completion under the direction of Ernest Hart, foreman for the Seymour Concrete Co. The dam has not only been improved in looks but strengthened so that it will doubtless stand anything in the freshet line for a great many years. The dam is 65 feet in length and 14 feet high. Across the front it has been faced with 18 inches of reinforced concrete cement. In one place a hole was found in the foundation about 4 feet in depth and this was repaired. The dam supplies water to the canal of the factory of the H. A. Matthews Mfg. Co.
SHELTON – There are now nine patients from Derby and Shelton at the new State tuberculosis sanitarium in Coram. By the end of the week, at least one patient from Ansonia is admitted as well.
DERBY – Thieves have been raiding chicken coops off New Haven Avenue.
OXFORD & SEYMOUR – A car carrying Seymour First Selectman George Devine, his mother, and another man and woman goes over a stone wall and flips over a 5' embankment in Oxford. The car then rolls over 3 to 4 times down a hill, finally stopping near a brook. The woman is thrown from car, and the man is pinned underneath but is quickly removed by witnesses. First Selectman Devine and his mother suffer minor injuries. News of the serious accident creates much excitement in the two towns, but fortunately there are no life threatening or serious injuries.
Tuesday, August 23
DERBY – A 7 year old boy is tragically killed near his home, on the corner of Smith Street and Eighth Avenue. He and his friends were playing around a tall, abandoned telegraph pole, using the guy-wires as swings. The pole fell upon the boy, crushing him.
SHELTON – About 5,000 attend a band concert at Riverview Park.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Peaches seem to be the word. The orchards of Hale & Coleman are busy places, while that of Joseph Marshall has yielded well. The best quality comes a little later, however”.
ANSONIA – The Hotel Dayton is under attachment for over $1,500, with more attachments expected soon. The café is closed, and the Deputy Sheriff has taken possession of the house.
HOUSATONIC VALLEY – The recent warm wave has resulted in an extended season along the Housatonic River bungalows, cabins, and cottages.
DERBY – The pump on the Derby Green has been seeing much use this summer, including during the current warm snap.
DERBY – In the wake of the recent tragedy, all old telegraph and other utility poles are being inspected. There are a disturbing number of old poles in similar conditions to the one which killed a 7 year old boy three days ago.
ANSONIA – Now that the covered bridge portion on the west side of the Bridge Street Bridge has been reinforced, the Connecticut Company is preparing the tracks to run trolleys over them again.
SHELTON – Eight Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club boats race for the annual Watson Miller trophy. Due to the complicated handicap rules, however, the winner is unclear as of this time.
Monday, August 29
ANSONIA – The hearing at Ansonia City Hall regarding the banning of fight movies in the wake of the Fight of the Century proves to be “a farce”. No one appears for or against the regulation. The Board of Aldermen open and close the meeting as a formality, then go home.
SEYMOUR – A large touring car flips over on Washington Avenue hill at 7:45 PM, pinning the chauffeur under it. The owner has a broken arm, while two women and another man are bruised. The car was heading home to New Haven when it made a wrong turn up the hill. While backing down the hill, it lost its brakes, leading to the accident.
DERBY – Slugs are being used to fool local penny vending machines which distribute chocolate, gum, etc. The slugs are said to be made in a Shelton factory, and are about the same size and weight as a penny. The police threaten prosecution of anyone caught using them.
SHELTON – A band concert at Riverview Park attracts automobiles from Bridgeport and New Haven, and horse and wagon teams from Oxford and Monroe. It is estimated about 5,000 attended. A soloist singing "I'll Build a Castle in Loveland" and "Nearest and Dearest" was a big hit.
The Secretary of the State has asked all Connecticut Company motormen to report speeding motorists to local authorities
DERBY – “Ten new (trolley) cars have been received at New Haven for the Connecticut Company, one of which was run between that place and Derby yesterday afternoon. The car is an extra large one and is beautifully trimmed, and every time it came to this place it attracted much attention, and for awhile the motorman and conductor running the car were busy answering questions about it”.
Thursday, September 1
ANSONIA – M. Price will be the new rabbi at Congregation Sons of Jacob synagogue.
ANSONIA – Nearly 500 children have applied for admission to the new Assumption School.
DERBY – The Derby Green pump is out of order. Efforts are being made to fix it as this source of clean, cool water is very much missed.
DERBY – The McGowan house, now owned by Herman Metzger, has moved across Derby Avenue, and will be converted into a duplex.
ANSONIA – “A cow, straying from home, caused considerable excitement in the vicinity of the library yesterday afternoon. Scampering across the lawns it occasioned considerable damage and efforts to capture it for a time proved futile. “Bossy” evidently enjoyed the vain pursuit of her followers, dodging every which way, causing much amusement to the bystanders. Tiring of the rampage, it finally submitted to capture, but not until it had ‘spilled’ more then one of its energetic apprehenders”.
ANSONIA – “The old enclosed stairway leading to the rooms over the Hippolitto barber shop and the Burr harness shop, is being removed, today, to make way for the improvements which are being made to the upper floor of the Gardner Block, which in the future will be known as the Pastime Theater. In place of the old box stairway, an iron structure will be erected, one of the several safeguards for the public against fire. The work constitutes one of the finishing touches to the theater”.
DERBY – Creeping ivy has covered entire north side of the Sterling Opera House, spreading to and covering much of the front of the building as well. It has now reached over the entrance on the south side.
SHELTON – The Borough of Shelton’s tax collector Edward W. Kneen has managed to collect every dollar of tax owed, about $45,000, without a single lien having to be filed. Mr. Kneen would become Shelton’s first Mayor in 1917.
ANSONIA – “A large group of new residents, mostly women and children, are making wholesale raids upon the coal cars which are stationed in the local railroad yards. While no objection has been made by the railroad officials to the gathering of as much coal as might drop to the ground from the cars, they have no intention of allowing this looting of the entire coal heaps. The practice has been going on for some time, especially in the vicinity of the Maple Street Bridge. The women, scantily clad, have come in for strong objections from decent minded people. The affair concerns the RR and those to whom the cars are consigned, but persons having the occasion to pass over the bridge, cannot but help notice the scantily and indecent condition in which the women disport themselves. It is understood that arrests will follow unless the practice is dispensed with”.
SHELTON – Schools open in 3 days. New plumbing may delay Ferry School’s opening. Physics and Chemistry labs have been added to the Shelton High School on the Ferry School’s top floor
SHELTON – Rev. Thomas Jefferson Chadeayne dies at his Prospect Avenue house in the early morning hours. He served with the Seventh Connnecticut Infantry during the Civil War, from 1861 to 1864, and was wounded at Morris Island. He came to Shelton about 27 years ago, and ran a blacksmith shop at Center Street and Coram Avenue until his death. He was chaplain of Derby-Shelton Kellogg Post Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 16 for many years. This battle on Morris Island, known at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, was immortalized at the end of the movie Glory.
Monday, September 5, Labor Day
Labor Day is unusually quiet. Many are out of town. Others have gone to the Orange Fair.
ANSONIA – The new Pastime Theater opens to the public. The afternoon and evening performances are packed. The entertainment includes a combination of vaudeville, movies, and illustrated songs.
SHELTON – Archille D'Angelo is the first death at the new State Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Coram. He lived in Derby most of life, but recently moved to Beaver Street, Ansonia where he worked at Farrel Foundry & Machine Company. He came here from Italy in 1907.
School starts today.
ANSONIA – 291 are registered at Ansonia High School, the most ever up to this time. This includes 54 seniors. There are about 300 at Fourth Street School, There are less students at Grove Street School and Elm Street School. 531 are registered at Assumption School.
DERBY – “Out of the quartet of drinking cups that were provided at the pump on the Green early this summer, only one now remains, and that is not in the best condition, being badly bent and rusted. The cups were all attached by chains to the pump and it is thought that their disappearance is due to children. People stopping at the pump today, were obligated to wait their turn in getting a drink and many expressed hope that the city officials could see their way clear to provide a few new ones without calling any special meetings of the apportionment board”.
ANSONIA – The corner of Vine Street and Platt Street has an illegal dump on it, rousing the ire of property owners. "Tin cans, papers, and decayed vegetables and every conceivable kind of rubbish finds its way to this spot and the stench to which it gives rise renders the thoroughfare a most disagreeable place". The City Health Officer is getting involved.
DERBY – Drivers are complaining of children playing in the streets near schools when they dismiss. Many of the children are very young.
OXFORD – “Ron Tyler is building a small house on Riggs Street, a short distance above the center. Later, he will use the part he is now building as an ell to a larger house. The work is being rushed as fast as possible as Mr. Tyler is desirous of getting settled in it before cold weather comes”.
ANSONIA – Entirely new plans for a new Bridge Street Bridge have been given to Mayor Charters by the trolley company. It proposes a 110’ long, 3 span concrete bridge, 32' wide, with sidewalks on either side. What's desirable about these plans is that unlike previous versions, the approaches don't require demolishing much of the surrounding neighborhood The approaches instead run along the river, at a 3.05% grade.
ANSONIA – After leaving for a Pennsylvania synagogue over a week ago, Rabbi Bernstein has returned to Ansonia. Philip Cohen has rehired him to slaughter cattle for his kosher meat market – the only one in the Valley. Rabbi Price was retained recently to replace Rabbi Bernstein at the Congregation Sons of Jacob synagogue, it is unclear what will happen.
DERBY – The N.J. Patrick Corporation, located on Factory Street for many years, is moving in the former Derby Trucking Company's barns up the street. The firm makes large reels used by telephone, telegraph, and trolley companies, and other machinery.
SEYMOUR – Total school enrollment is 779. The breakdown is Bell School - 69, Cedar Ridge School - 41, Great Hill School – 35. There are 93 students at Seymour High School. The rest of the students attend Center School, which his overcrowded. Many say that more schools are needed.
ANSONIA – The last concert of the season is held at Westwood Park. The Evening Sentinel reports "Westwood Park has proven a popular mecca for young and old, and has taken the place of Housatonic Park. The Ansonia Band has done itself proud. The public is assuredly grateful to both the band members and those who made the park possible. The present series proved even more popular than that of last year, which is in itself sufficient commendation. The curtain, marked "Success", is rung down on Westwood for the year".
DERBY – A 7 year old Olivia Street boy is run over by a car owned by Col. Watson Miller of Shelton, at Main Street near Caroline Street. The car was driven by a chauffeur, and Col Miller and 3 ladies were in the car. The boy is scooped up, and driven to Dr. Sharpe's. Col Miller orders that he be given the best of care, with a trained nurse sent to his home to be with him at all times.
SHELTON – Despite the protests of several ministers, the first Sunday concert at Riverview Park draws a well-behaved crowd of 5,000.
Monday, September 12
DERBY – “Johnny o' the Woods was a caller in this city late Friday night, arriving here from somewhere up the valley, shortly before midnight, on an electric car. This is the first time that Johnny has been here in some time. He was decked out in his regulation garb, the big wide brimmed straw hat and several heavy overcoats being as prominent as ever, and he also had with him the heavy club, which usually strikes terror to the hearts of the younger boys”.
DERBY – Preliminary work has begun for filling in the Birmingham Canal. The last two industries the canal supplied with power were Birmingham Iron Foundry and Sterling Piano Company. Birmingham Iron is now on electricity, and Sterling is now using only a little of its water to produce steam. The canal's water will soon be drained.
DERBY – A heavily attended wake is held for the proprietor of Hoffman House, Frank Stochmal, at the hotel both yesterday and this morning. One of Derby's first Polish immigrants, he passed away two days ago, and his funeral mass at St. Michael’s Church is also packed.
SEYMOUR – The old freight depot, built in 1849 as the original Seymour train station, is being torn down. An addition that was added in 1867 was torn down prior. It last use was as a trolley freight depot, but the building’s location, condition and rodent infestation caused the small preservation effort launched on its behalf to fail.
DERBY – A building formerly occupied by N.J. Patrick Corporation, owned by the Shelton family estate, is being converted into a tenement block. An additional story is being added. This was the former Shelton Tack Company factory.
OXFORD – “While the temperature of nights the past week has been very low, it did not touch the freezing point, or do any material damage. The rapidly rising temperature, Tuesday, seemed to indicate a warm wave, and danger from an early frost seems to be passed for a time at least”.
SHELTON – White Hills – “Selectman Nicholas Wakeley has put the roads about here in good condition”.
The cold evening weather is raising calls for the early reintroduction of closed trolley cars this year.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia Skating Rink opens for the season to packed crowds. The interior has been repainted light blue and white, with bunting on the ceiling, and over 200 new pairs of roller skates have been added. A small orchestra serenades the skaters.
ANSONIA – The apparatus at Ansonia's playground is being taken down, and the place will be used for football this fall.
ANSONIA – There is an old colonial grist mill on Jersey Street, which will probably be torn down in a few weeks. It is known locally as “the haunted mill” because said to have ghosts, and to have been site of murders and suicides in the distant past.
DERBY – A “crush of people” are on hand for the grand opening of the Derby branch of Vonetes Palace of Sweets on 262 Main Street.
DERBY – “The men employed at the Hallock Co.'s docks have now nearly finished their work, and expect it to be ready by the first of next week. It has been 3 weeks since the work was first started, and the dock is now in the best condition of the many on the Derby side of the river, having all the modern improvements so that all coal and other material will be handled with much more ease than ever before”. Hallock Dock was part of the Derby Docks.
Monday, September 19
ANSONIA & DERBY – Ansonia High School, Derby High School, and Irving School on the floors below the Derby High School, are considered overcrowded.
ANSONIA – A woman is killed when she falls from a third floor veranda onto the cement walk below the Berkowitz building on Liberty Street, apparently while looking for her child.
OXFORD – “Foliage on the hillsides begins to show the bright tinting of fall, but it needs a hard frost to bring the gorgeous display that is usual later in the season. It is not often that this valley escapes the visitation of frost until so late in the month of September”.
OXFORD – “Rain is very much needed to fill the springs. Chestnut Tree Hill is suffering from its usual water famine, many of the wells being either dry or so near it, that but very little water can be drawn from them”.
SEYMOUR - 26 residents present the Board of Education a petition to reopen the Bungay schoolhouse.
ANSONIA - So realistic is a ‘cat song’ performed by vaudeville actors at Pastime Theater that “Sport”, the police dog, runs upstairs into the second floor theater, leaps on the stage, and begins to bark at the performers. The performers, perceiving the dog’s actions as a compliment to their acting skills, ignore the canine and continue the song, until the dog starts attacking their feet and legs. The actors then flee the stage, taking refuge in their dressing rooms, until Sgt. O'Donnell retrieves his dog. The show then goes on.
SHELTON – A 1:30 AM fire in a small building occupied by Antonio Papale’s grocery and fruit store on Howe Avenue appears to be arson.
SHELTON – “Quite a number gathered at the corner of Howe Avenue and Bridge Street last night, and listened to the addresses by candidates on the Socialist ticket for state offices. William Applegate, of New Haven, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, was the chief speaker, and gave quite a lengthy address. The candidate for sheriff of this county also spoke at some length. The speakers were introduced by S.E. Beardsley, who made some telling hits at the two older parties while presenting the various speakers to the audience”.
ANSONIA – Christ Church’s new altar is dedicated.
Monday, September 26
ANSONIA – The City’s Corporate Counsel opines that the Bridge Commission does not have the authority to accept a new Bridge Street Bridge anywhere but on Bridge Street. The plans recently submitted by the New Haven Railroad, which envisioned a new bridge opposite the intersection of Clifton Avenue and Wooster Street, are therefore rejected.
SHELTON – Plumb Memorial Library has opens a branch library in the Grandison Hubbell house in White Hills.
ANSONIA – “Interest in pool is rapidly increasing, and the tables in the various rooms about the city are being kept busy. The passing of the summer months have driven the devotees of the cue back to their old haunts, and the ivories are ceaseless in their rolling”.
DERBY – The second fire in three days breaks out at Joseph Kluck's store on Caroline Street, near Main Street. The fire department thinks it is suspicious, as there are many matches found about, and the proprietor seemed remarkably unconcerned at the fire scene. The State Police begin investigating the following day. No evidence of foul play is found, though it is noted that the storeroom is exceptionally filthy.
ANSONIA – Rabbi Bernstein has returned to his position at Congregation Sons of Jacob synagogue. Rabbi Price will take Rabbi Bernstein’s position in Punxatawny, PA.
DERBY & SHELTON – Bridge Commissioners from New Haven and Fairfield Counties inspect the Huntington Bridge. They conclude it is ‘thoroughly safe’, and only needs tightening of a number of bolts, placing of a number of new braces, and replanking the deck.
SEYMOUR – The official census results reveals the Town’s population at 4,786. This is an increase of 1,245 since 1900, when the population was 3,541.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The new watering tank is being admired in its location on the corner opposite the church. It is substantially built of wood, set in cement, on stone foundations and is supplied by a fine stream of water, equal to tempt the most fastidious of animals”.
ANSONIA – Four scarlet fever cases discovered in the Olderman Building on lower Main Street, Ansonia. The Health Officer now has people canvassing the entire neighborhood to see if there are more.
SHELTON – A foreman for Max Durrschmidt is killed working on an addition to US Rubber Reclaiming Company, when he falls from a retaining wall onto a concrete floor below.
DERBY – “People living on the green are complaining about boys playing football on the public square and are asking that they be forbidden this and that be kept off. The grass this year has had a hard time growing and if the boys are permitted to make a football field out of the green there will be no turf left on the place. It is hoped that the playing will be stopped at once and that the boys will be kept off. As there are plenty of places near at hand for the boys to play football, the lads will not suffer any by being shut off from the green”.
Saturday, October 1
ANSONIA – City Navy sailor Horace Baily, 29, drowns along with 28 of his comrades when a cutter being towed to his battleship USS New Hampshire swamps in New York Harbor this evening. He arrived in Ansonia yesterday to visit his parents, and left at 4 PM today to return to his ship, which was supposed to depart on Sunday. Unaware of the tragedy, his father leaves Ansonia for New York the following day to see the battleship off, where learns the news. After being consoled by the officers and crew of the ship, he returns later in the day to share the sad news with his wife and the rest of Ansonia.
DERBY – Civil War veteran Harvey M. Chaffee dies. He enlisted in 1861 at the age of 14 as a drummer boy. He served with the Tenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment through the entire war, seeing 27 engagements and countless skirmishes. His obituary notes “In every engagement he managed to get hold of a gun and to get out on the firing line and stay there until the end of the fight. He was brave to the point of recklessness, and when warned by others in the fight to get under cover, frequently responded with the remark, “They can’t kill me!” and continued to fight where he was”. He worked in Birmingham Iron Foundry for 10 years after the war, before becoming the ticket agent at the Derby passenger railroad depot from 1875 until his death.
DERBY & SHELTON - Water in Housatonic River is lower then it has been in years, and many old residents didn't know what to think of it. One can walk between Derby and Shelton at the Derby Docks and barely get their feet wet. Many boats that went down the river in morning for Sunday excursions are stranded as they try to return in the late afternoon and evening, and passengers have to be removed with rowboats.
Monday, October 3 – Election Day in some Connecticut Towns
OXFORD – Democrats sweep the election. John Pope is First Selectman.
SEYMOUR – The elections result in a debate over who will be the next First Selectman. Cornelius Hammond received 290 votes, while incumbent George Devine received 279 votes. However, some interpret state law to read the person whose name appears first on the ballot becomes the First Selectmen (The Board of Selectmen is composed of three people, and typically at least six run for positions on the Board). By the end of the week, it appears that George Devine will be the First Selectman.
OXFORD – “The general landscape bears the impress of the fall season, although as yet there has been no killing frost. Chestnuts are dropping rapidly and seem quite plentiful and of good quality. It is not often that the flowers are in bloom in the open without needing night protection, so late in the season of this valley”.
OXFORD – “The need for a good soaking rain is very great. Many wells are entirely dry, and the brooks very low, a condition that does not often prevail to so great an extent so late in the season”.
ANSONIA – The Salvation Army is moving from High Street to 16 Bridge Street, due to its more central location. The old building will be sold.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia Public Library broken into late at night. All desks are ransacked, and a total of about $8 (about $182 in 2010 dollars) is stolen.
Tuesday, October 11
ANSONIA – A 60 year old Woodbridge man is instantly killed when he is run over by a trolley at Main Street near Bank Street. He was said to be slightly deaf. Incredibly, later that evening, the same trolley car, No. 231, strikes another man at Main Street at Columbia Street. He is thrown aside and is cut badly.
ANSONIA – Large trains full of copper are arriving at the city’s factories, due to a recent surge in business brought about by a drop in the price of copper. A 60 car train arrived for American Brass Company yesterday, and the unloading carried on long into the night.
DERBY – A successful song recital is held at Sterling Opera House by Herbert Witherspoon, of the Metropolitan Opera. The event was sponsored by the Woman's Club. The Evening Sentinel reports that Mr. Witherspoon lived in Derby when he was young, and attended school here.
OXFORD – “Although up to this date there has been no killing frost the foliage on the hillsides is a mass of brilliant color, making a scene of great beauty. Flowers are still blooming in the open and show no signs of being nipped by the chilly night air”.
The first killing frost of the season arrives this morning. Ice forms on still water.
ANSONIA – “The weather was so pleasant, today, that several chestnut parties were formed by storekeepers and clerks and the afternoon spent in the woods. The heavy frost Wednesday night is said to have opened the chestnut burrs and the nuts are plentiful and easily gathered”.
DERBY – There is a shortage of farmhands, as well as people to cut cordwood, in the country. Advertising in the downtowns is not helping.
DERBY – “The miniature areoplane, which his on exhibition at Gardner & Hall's store, is attracting considerable attention. The model is an exact duplicate of the Bleriot monoplane, and was built by Milton and Lee Williams of this city. The frame is made of wire, covered with paper and is propelled by a small electric motor. It is attached to a swivel hung from the ceiling and when started will circle about in the air, continuing until the current is turned off. The model is complete in detail and gives an aviation airplanes excellent idea of the way these machines fly”. The aircraft was likely a Bleriot XI.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – In its season opener, Ansonia defeats Greenwich in an away game 5-0. Derby is defeated by Manor School of Stamford 8-0.
Monday, October 17
ANSONIA – Philip Cohen has purchased the Hotel Dayton, and plans to make alterations and improvements.
DERBY – Roxie the elephant gives her first American performance at Sterling Opera House. At the afternoon performance, the small, well trained elephant walks up the front stairs of the Opera House, then down the aisle to the delight of the audience. When she started up a runway to the stage, it was discovered the runway wasn’t sturdy enough to bear her weight causing Roxie to slip and fall, smashing 3 chairs. But Roxie got right up again, and exited the theater by walking back up the aisle and down the stairs to the street. She was able to give a full performance in the evening.
DERBY – Julia Ward Howe, widow of pioneer industrialist Dr. John I. Howe, dies at her summer home in Middletown, R.I. She and Dr. Howe lived for decades on Caroline Street prior to his death in 1876. At the time of her death, her regular residence was in Boston.
DERBY – A 5 year old girl dies of diphtheria on Third Street. The house is quarantined.
ANSONIA – “The need of a system of general street sprinkling is much felt at present. The streets are very dusty and clouds of dirt are stirred by each passing vehicle. The street sweepers also raise much dust and people criticize dept officials for not sprinkling Main Street before attempting to gather up the dirt”.
SEYMOUR – A forest fire which began two days ago on Castle Rock grows to large proportions today. The Seymour Fire Department is called to help check its advance toward Cedar Street.
ANSONIA – A troop in the fledgling Boy Scout movement has been formed, composed of 40 boys divided into 4 patrols.
ANSONIA – Incredibly, trolley car No. 231 is involved in its third accident involving a pedestrian this week, when it hits a 3 year old Green Street girl in front of Holy Rosary Church on Main Street. Her injuries are limited to a cut hand and bruised arm – thanks to the motorman’s dropping the trolley’s fender just in time. The fender pushed the child 50' before the trolley stopped, but it did not run her over.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia is demoralized by the suspension of 4 key players just before its big annual game with Naugatuck, one for breach of training rules, and the other three for “class conditions” (probably poor academic performance). All players had to sign pledges before the season started. The game ends up a scoreless tie.
OXFORD – “The long delayed frost visited this valley the past week, and was severe enough to kill vegetation. The leaves are fast dropping from the trees now and the whole landscape is alive with the brilliant coloring of early fall. While the weather is perfect all would be glad to welcome a good soaking rain”.
ANSONIA – According to a recent survey, Connecticut ranks last in New England states for retaining children in school. The silver lining is of the Connecticut cities, Ansonia ranks first in retention.
ANSONIA – A crowd gathers at Ansonia to hear Robert Hunter of Noroton, Socialist candidate for governor.
DERBY – The Fire Commissioner has recommended to the Board of Aldermen that hand-drawn chemical carts be purchased for both Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 and Storm Engine Co. No. 2.
DERBY & SHELTON – The wood deck of the Huntington Bridge is being replanked.
ANSONIA – Gen. Charles Pine has created a trust fund of $62,000 for the benefit of charities in the Valley, and also in the towns of Winchester and Barkhamsted, where he grew up. The immediate beneficiaries are the Ansonia YMCA, Pine Grove Cemetery, Seymour Public Library, and Derby Neck Library. Griffin Hospital will receive funds later.
Monday, October 24
ANSONIA – The City’s post office is one of 48 in the country which will give a trial for the new Post Office savings bank authorized by Congress.
ANSONIA – “Peddlers of sweet cider are noticeably absent this year. A few years ago a dozen men could be met on the streets during the fall months selling sweet cider. About all the cider mills in this section have closed down and very little apple juice is made now. The demand for cider has dwindled and saloons, which formerly laid in from three to twenty barrels of cider in the fall, now buy a few gallons at a time. Even sweet cider doesn't sell, the tastes of people having evidently changed”.
DERBY – 14 cases of diphtheria have been discovered this month in the City – an unusually high number for this time of year.
SEYMOUR – “Now is the time for chaining down gates and other movable property such as might tempt Halloween celebrators. Those who have not yet destroyed their cabbage stumps may hear from there later, although in the last few years there has been apparently less mischief making then formerly. Some years ago Halloween meant that every removable gate, every wagon, and all movable property would be certainly found at considerable distance from home. Gates where even strung to the tops of telegraph poles, and in similar inaccessible situations, whence they were removed with difficulty, the wonder being how they were ever placed there at all. To some extent Halloween parties, by which the evening is fittingly observed, seem to have taken the place of rowdyism. Then too, a still more potent feature is generally an extra police patrol, on the alert for mischief makers”.
ANSONIA – “The condition of the dump in the rear of Jersey Street, near the covered bridge, is causing considerable unfavorable comment. Not alone are papers from house cleaning thrown there, but decayed vegetables and fruit which give rise to a most disagreeable stench. It is understood that Health Officer Goldstein has warned the responsible parties, but little heed seems to have been paid to him. This morning, a foreigner who conducts a grocery store in the vicinity dumped a load of "ancient" onions at the place, rendering it more objectionable then ever”.
ANSONIA – William Hall of Howard Avenue is opening his new undertaking and embalming parlors in the Hall Block on Lester Street. The operation features an office, chapel, workshop, and an area to sell caskets.
DERBY – So many eels found their way into Williams Typewriter Company's wheel pit that it stops revolving. Half dozen men are needed to clean it out. It is not the first time this happened at the Housatonic Avenue factory.
OXFORD – “A forest fire broke out on the mountains known as Toby's Rocks, the first of the past week. It required incessant work for some 4 or 5 days and nights, before it was extinguished. It proved one of the most obstinate, and difficult fires to fight which has occurred in this locality in years. The ground itself seemed to be burning, for when it was thought every vestige of fire had been extinguished in a certain spot it would suddenly blaze up again and the work have to be done all over. On Tuesday every man available in the Center went to the help of the firefighters, but not until the rain of Wednesday night was it entirely conquered. We understand it ran over a tract covering five miles in extent”.
SEYMOUR – “The trolley freight station was used for the first time yesterday. The building has not been completed yet, but sufficiently so that a car was unloaded there. It is not ready for occupancy, however, and the office of the trolley express has not been moved from the old freight office. The new building, if it can be so called, constructed as it is of rather ancient material, has been clapboarded, and bits fair to present a credible appearance”.
ANSONIA – The city gained 2,471 in the 1910 Census, for a total population of 15,152. In 1900 the population was 12,681.
DERBY – The 1910 Census counts the City’s population at 8,991, a gain of 1,061 over the 1900 count of 7,980.
SEYMOUR – A large forest fire is burning at High Rock Grove on the west side of Naugatuck River. The old little red house and a nearby barn that stood in the ravine just opposite the entrance of the old grove have been destroyed., with no water available to extinguish the flames.
SHELTON – The 1910 Census counts 6,545 for entire Town of Huntington, 4,807 of which reside in the Borough of Shelton. In 1900 the total population was 5,572 with the Borough accounting for 2,837 of it. Although the results show the country population decreased while the urban downtown increased, it is also noted that the boundaries of the Borough of Shelton expanded at the expense of the Town in the past 10 years.
ANSONIA – Despite the Glanders outbreak, the City’s watering troughs are still open. Derby closed their troughs two weeks ago.
ANSONIA – “The temperature last night, was the lowest of the season thus far. A heavy frost finished the growing period for even the hardy plants, and the fields were white this morning. In exposed places the ground was frozen and ice formed on still water to the depth of an eighth of an inch”.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby is defeated at Danbury 14-6.
SEYMOUR – A late night barn fire on the Laughlin property on top of Grand Street hill illuminates the sky for miles. The barn is totally destroyed.
Monday, October 31, Hallowe’en
The night is unseasonably cold. The Valley towns have every available police officer on duty. In anticipation of the night’s activities, many remove their front gates and ash barrels. Pumpkins, both real and imitation holiday decorations, are now sold in stores for jack-o-lanterns. Most farmers removed their pumpkins a day or so ago to prevent theft. Many parties are held for young and old people. The Evening Sentinel warned last week that good girls do not go out at night wearing their brothers’ clothes or costumes, but apparently many girls did not agree with that message.
ANSONIA – Halloween gets out of hand in the First Ward, and to a lesser extent the Third Ward. Outhouses are overturned, windows are smashed, fences are toppled and used with other fuel for bonfires, and pipes for a sewer project are broken.
DERBY – The streets crowded with children in costume. Several fences are pushed over, and there are a considerable number of doorbell pranks. The only serious incidents involve one outhouse overturned and a barber's pole stolen. Overall it is considered an average Halloween night.
SEYMOUR – Certain neighborhoods, particularly Garden City, are hit hard. Gates are moved & broken, and windows smashed by cabbage stumps.
SHELTON – “All hallow e'en has come and gone, and the general verdict is in that it was the quietest yet known in Shelton”.
Tuesday, November 1
SHELTON – The Board of Education buys plot of land with 364’ of frontage on Grove Street, with a depth of 880 feet extending to the Housatonic River, for $5,500. Owned by Atwater estate, adjacent to land owned by Capt. Briggs, extends to river, the land is to be used for a new school. This is where Lafayette School would later be built.
ANSONIA – Despite the fact at least two more horses with Glanders have been shot, watering troughs are still open.
OXFORD – “The first touch of winter came upon us with all the vigor of a midwinter freeze, the last of the past week. The drop in temperature was extreme for this season of the year, thermometers touching twenty above zero in sheltered places”.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Now that the plentiful harvests are ended, and fall work about done, we are hoping for rain to fill the streams for the winter”.
A late afternoon rainstorm accompanied by high winds adds 1.39” to the water table.
SEYMOUR – Brooks are refilling, and water is running over the dam at Rimmon pond again.
ANSONIA (& DERBY) – “The bridge over the Naugatuck River at Division Street, is reported to be in very bad condition. Six of the planks are so badly worn that horses are likely to go through the flooring unless repairs are soon made. Ansonia and Derby are supposed to look after the bridge jointly. This city set aside $3,000 last February for its share of the cost of a new structure, but Derby has not taken any action toward a new bridge. The Ansonia authorities decline to do anything more until Derby takes up the matter and no repairs are being attempted. The structure is becoming dangerous for use”.
SHELTON – A fire is reported at 11:30 PM in a first floor tailor shop in the four-story Michael Poole on Howe Avenue and Center Street. The Poole family, and 18 boarders flee for their lives. Flames burst through a window upon firemen opening a nearby hydrant, burning them. All four floors sustain serious damage, but it is felt that the building can be salvaged. The tailor is convinced that the fire was set to cover a robbery. Firemen are on the scene for hours after midnight.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Danbury defeats Derby again at Derby meadows, 6-0.
SHELTON – Shelton firemen, some of whom are just returning home from the first fire, respond to the second serious fire of the night at 5:00 AM at the Griffin Button Company on Canal Street. The fire started in ramshackle wood buildings behind the main plant, and apparently burned for some time out of sight before it spread into the attic over 2½ story oldest section visible from the street, the oldest section of the plant. Because the fire was in the attic, it was hard to reach. The roof is ruined, the interior gutted, but the brick walls of the old plant are sound and will probably be used to rebuild this section of the plant. Most of the wood buildings behind the plant stretching to the river are destroyed. The owner, Bruce N. Griffing, believes the fire was started by employees sneaking a smoke in the back, as smoking is prohibited on company grounds.
Tuesday, November 8 – Election Day.
Democrat Simeon Baldwin is elected governor over Republican Charles Goodwin, and Republican David A. Blaskslee is elected over Democrat A. Broughdel for Lt. Governor. An unexpected early morning snowstorm kept voter turnout low until afternoon.
ANSONIA – “The snow this morning made things disagreeable for outdoor workers. Carpenters on several jobs were compelled to quit work and masons and painters took the day off. The railroad men also found the snow disagreeable. The storm was a reminder that winter was at hand and that the next 3 or 4 months will be difficult”.
ANSONIA – 3 new scarlet fever cases have been discovered.
ANSONIA – An attachment for $3,500 is placed on the Hub Clothing Store. The store is closed, while the owners say it is only temporary.
ANSONIA – Voters choose Baldwin over Goodwin 1098-1019 for Governor, and Blakeslee over Broughdel 1098-1063 for Lt. Governor. Mayor Samuel Charters, Democrat, is reelected over Republican Arthur Kaiser 1213-1166. Democrats also control the Board of Aldermen 9 to 6, and there are calls for recounts in the First and Fifth Wards, both of which were won by Republicans.
DERBY – Democrats sweep the elections, though over 100 voted for the Socialist ticket. Baldwin is elected governor over Goodwin 824-455, while Broughdel is chosen over Blakeslee 813-491. Democrat James A. Miles defeats incumbent Mayor James B. Atwater 788-638. Democrats also win all 3 contested Board of Aldermen seats.
DERBY – “The trees and bushes were covered with snow this morning and presented a beautiful sight to the eye recalling to one's mind what has been heard about fairyland. The beauty of the sight above, almost compensated for the inconvenience caused by the snow on the ground which developed into slush, making it very disagreeable for pedestrians”.
DERBY & SHELTON – The first snowstorm of the year makes travel very slippery on the new planks of the Huntington Bridge, which are said to be “like glass”. Trucks in particular have a hard time.
OXFORD – Voters chose Goodwin over Baldwin 115-84, and Blakeslee over Broughdel 116-83. Republicans sweep all but one of the local elections.
SEYMOUR – Voters chose Goodwin over Baldwin 369-259, and Blakeslee over Broughdel 384-252.
SHELTON – Voters chose Goodwin over Baldwin 492-41, and Blakeslee over Broughdel 521-419. It is notable that 161 vote for the Socialist candidate for governor.
ANSONIA – Trolley Car No. 231 has yet another accident, hitting a produce wagon on Clifton Avenue, wrecking the wagon. The 21 year old driver is flung 20' onto the street, suffering cuts and bruises. “Car No. 231 has figured in a number of accidents recently and is beginning to be known as a hoodoo”
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “The farmers have all their crops harvested and there was an abundance of corn. James Condon had about 500 bushels”.
SHELTON – The fire damaged Griffin Button Company is being repaired as fast as possible.
“The recent mild weather is causing people to inquire if Indian summer has arrived. November is said to be the only time when Indian summer can possibly occur, and the weather yesterday and today was pleasant enough to be called summer-like when compared with the weather preceding it thus far this month”.
DERBY & SHELTON – Workmen replanking the Huntington Bridge say it has some of the shoddiest construction they ever saw.
SEYMOUR – “The debris of the old freight depot on Main Street, which has made that locality somewhat unsightly since the structure was torn down, has been cleaned up and it now looks much neater than for some time past. A temporary fence has been put up around the cellar of the building”.
ANSONIA – The Independent Trap Rock Company adjoining the Ansonia and Seymour town lines completed its rock and concrete dam. It measures 130’ long, and is 8 to 12’ high. The base is 9’ thick, with a 6’ thick top. The dam floods 5-6 acres behind it. An ice house now being constructed, and it is hoped the pond will furnish 2500 tons per cutting.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby defeats St. Mary's of Waterbury 14-2 at Derby Meadows. This is only Derby’s 5th game this year.
SHELTON – The Shelton Methodist Episcopal Church is being repaired, renovated, and redecorated.
Monday, November 14
ANSONIA – The former Salvation Army barracks on High Street has been sold.
OXFORD – “Election Day, last Tuesday, has been characterized as one of the most disgraceful events of the kind in the town in some time. There was every indication that the “Little Brown Jug” was dong lively service, and found many devoted subjects. The number of drunks, to speak plainly, was disgraceful. The day being so storm any outwardly so disagreeable, the crowd hugged the cover of the hall pretty closely and made matters very unpleasant thereby. Whether this free treating comes under the head of bribery we cannot say, but certainly it is nowise a credit to the village, whoever is responsible for it”.
SHELTON – White Hills – “There is a bumper crop of corn, this year, in this vicinity as well as elsewhere, and Hobart Hubbell is the leading grower. Will French is not far behind”.
DERBY – Two Shelton boys, one 15 years old, the other “considerably younger”, while driving a wagon on an errand, are held up by two men on River Road, who demands the older boy’s coat. The older boy whips the reins, and the horses outrun the men. When they arrive at their destination and tell the story, the 15 year old is given a revolver for the trip home. The boys are accosted by the men on their return trip, but are scared away when the 15 year old brandishes the revolver.
Monday, November 21
ANSONIA – "This morning was the coldest of the season. Reliable thermometers registered ten below the freezing point at 6 o’clock, and in some parts of the city the temperature is said to have gone considerably below twenty. The ground was frozen solidly, and ice is nearly an inch thick formed on ponds".
SHELTON – An 11 year old girl falls off the railroad bridge into the Shelton Canal. She is saved from drowning from an International Silver Company employee who jumps through a window and into the icy water.
Wholesale prices on turkeys are high, at 29 cents a pound, and selling locally 32 to 35 cents. The Monday after Thanksgiving, however, the price fell to 20 cents.
DERBY – The Curtiss property, consisting of 3 houses on the corner of Fifth Street and Olivia Street, has been subdivided and sold to 3 owners.
OXFORD – “The cold wave of the past week reached the most intense point Sunday night, thermometers in sheltered places registering as low as ten above, Monday morning. Since then there has been a steady rise in temperature which gives promise of a spell of milder weather, which will be welcomed by all, particularly, if it brings some rain with it”.
November 24 – Thanksgiving
The sun is bright until late afternoon, with temperatures around 50. Many spend part of the day outdoors The day passes closely in all Valley cities and towns. Most churches are packed.
THANKSGIVING FOOTBALL – Derby High School Alumni and Ansonia High School Alumni play to a scoreless tie at Derby Meadows. This is the first time the two alumni teams played each other.
ANSONIA – An 11:00 PM fire guts the Brominowski grocery store in the old Rich Building on Fourth Street and North Fourth Street.
ANSONIA – The Fourth Ward hopes that with a new Democratic Board of Aldermen they will finally get their own fire company.
Tuesday, November 29
DERBY – Charles H. Curtiss has invented a wooden automobile tire, using hickory planks. He reports the initial tests of his invention are promising.
SEYMOUR – “The storm of rain and snow last night and this morning made travel about as disagreeable as possible. Slush lay on sidewalks and road was, in some places to the depth of one's overshoes. Should it clear off cold the walks and roads are just now in proper condition to be covered with treacherous ice, with many a resulting downfall”.
OXFORD – “The ground Tuesday morning was covered with a mantle of snow. It was of the wet sticky kind, and there was sufficient volume of it to make shoveling with a snow shovel the most effective way of clearing paths. This was the first time snow shovels have done duty this season”.
SEYMOUR – A teacher at Center School has scarlet fever.
SEYMOUR – Great Hill – “Everybody is pleased to know the work of building a new horse shed at the church has begun. If weather permits, two weeks will be all the time necessary to complete the structure. George Martin is the carpenter.”
Friday, December 2
SHELTON – Messrs. Alling and Sinsabaugh are having a new automobile repair garage erected at Coram Avenue and Center Street. They are now temporarily in a large carriage house used by Dr. W. S. Randall off Cornell Street.
ANSONIA – School enumeration is now complete, and 4,076 school age children have been recorded. This represents an increase of exactly 100 from last year.
Monday, December 5
ANSONIA – A 7:40 AM fire breaks out behind the Ansonia Furniture Company in a small one story shed behind the store. A Webster fireman receives bad gash while responding, when the horse drawn hose wagon is caught between an American Brass Company sheet metal truck and a trolley. He receives 12 stitches.
DERBY – “The police of Derby came out Saturday night with their winter overcoats, all of which were new. They are the regulation police overcoats, with two rows of brass buttons down the front and brass buttons on the sleeves and back. The rewards, which the patrolmen, the chief and lieutenant have earned have gone into a fund for the purchase of these coats”.
The third snowstorm of the year begins late last night, and continues in the early morning hours. Temperatures fall to 10 degrees overnight. At daybreak 2-3" of ice has formed on small ponds, and the temperature is up to 30 degrees by 7AM. By 9 AM, however, the snow picked up again, and school is cancelled. Merchants start displaying sleds and snow shovels. By the time the snow ends in the evening, 5-6" of snow has fallen.
Despite the snow, sleighing is poor, and the few sleighs on the roads this morning are outnumbered by wheeled vehicles. By midday most of the sleighs have been put away.
OXFORD – “Again the ground is covered with snow, this time to a greater depth then by any previous snowstorm this season. It gives the landscape a very wintry appearance, and really is seasonable, but people whose wells are still dry would welcome a good soaking rainstorm instead. Jack's Brook has a good showing of ice on it at the present time, but it is hardly strong enough to tempt the small boy with skates”.
ANSONIA – “Some of the merchants report a growing holiday trade. They say the weather is helping trade, and if the snow remains on the ground until Christmas, business is bound to increase. Snow is one of the accompaniments of a New England Christmas, and in the opinion of some of the merchants who have passed through many holiday seasons, it helps to make trade”.
DERBY & SHELTON – “The snap of cold weather which came in with the snowstorm has left its marks on the rivers. The lake above the Housatonic River has been frozen over for several days, and the river below the dam is frozen nightly and remains frozen until a change in the tide breaks up the ice. The ice on the river is not thick enough for skaters but there is skating on Pickett's Pond and yesterday a good many children were there enjoying it. The Naugatuck was frozen from bank to bank today. It used to be said that the Housatonic was always closed by December 15, but recently this has not been the case”.
SEYMOUR – Trolley riders complain the cars are “like refrigerators”.
SEYMOUR – A special meeting will be held to consider purchasing the Mark Lounsbury property on the corner of Broad Street and Pine Street, adjoining Seymour Congregational Church, for new Seymour Public Library. It is hoped the new library can secure a Carnegie grant. Currently, the library is on second floor of Town Hall, in a former firehouse.
Ice has now closed navigation on the Housatonic River. Temperatures were at or below zero last night.
ANSONIA – With the onset of very cold weather, Ansonia Derby Ice Company is making preparations for ice harvesting at Quillinan’s Pond
ANSONIA – “People who are looking for Christmas decorations report a scarcity of running pine and other greens. Children usually go out into the woods at this season of the year, gathering holly and other evergreens, used at Christmas time, but the snow now has made the work more difficult and many have not ventured into the woods”.
SEYMOUR – The temperature reaches 18 below in the northern part of town.
SHELTON – There is a 15 degree difference between in temperatures this morning between Upper White Hills, which was 7, and the Far Mill River valley, which was -8. Downtown Shelton was -3. White Hills was a bit warmer because some sunshine reached the ground there.
By the end of the day, ice is reaching 9” thick in places, and skating and sledding are popular.
Monday, December 12
ANSONIA – In a 12-3 vote, the Board of Aldermen vote to notify the Connecticut Company that they must recommence operating their trolley cars over the covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge within 30 days, or remove their tracks from the bridge. The Board cites a State law which requires the trolley company to remove its tracks from abandoned highways after 30 days notice.
ANSONIA – “Passengers who travel on the local shuttle line are offering strenuous complaints against the poor heating facilities offered in the car in use. After coming from a well heated car and walking across the Bridge Street Bridge, the patrons of the line feel that better service should be given them. Car No. 327, which is at present in use on the line, the passengers state, has a temperature sufficient for cold storage”.
ANSONIA – “The Star Motion Picture Theater, on Bank Street, has closed its doors and manager Sheriden is preparing to have the apparatus moved to a bigger city up the state. The little amusement house has frequently changed hands, but has never proven a very prosperous venture. It has been open about a month this last time”.
ANSONIA – A young Myrtle Avenue girl dies of Scarlet Fever. Her 5 year old brother died of the same disease 10 days ago, and two other siblings in the family are also suffering from it there.
DERBY – In last 6 months ending December 1, Griffin Hospital has treated 176 patients. The average number of patients has been 17.1 with the largest number 26 and the smallest number 10. There have been 47 ambulance calls, and 28 deaths. The average cost per patient per day is $2.15.
ANSONIA – “Christmas trees promise to be a feature of the holiday celebrations in Ansonia. Large quantities of Christmas trees have been distributed by the wholesale dealers during the past week, but storekeepers say the demand is such that there will be no oversupply. Many people put off the buying of a tree until a day or two before Christmas. By that time the best of the trees are gone and the purchaser has small choice. The trees range in price from 25 cents for the small ones to two dollars or more for the big fellows, which do duty at Sunday school celebrations. Medium sized trees costing from 35 to 50 cents are mostly in demand. Such people use the native evergreens, such as cedar and pine for Christmas trees. These look equally well when trimmed”.
ANSONIA - Preparations are being made to start harvesting ice on Quillinan's Reservoir.
DERBY – D&S Champlain opens its furniture store in its new building on Elizabeth Street. It is the largest store in Derby devoted to a single line of business, at four stories with 18,000 square feet of floor space. Many attend the grand reopening. The 2,000 souvenirs, which are only given to ladies, are gone by 7 PM. Many admire the lit windows from the outside.
DERBY & SHELTON – There are 66 registered automobiles in Derby and 23 in Shelton, for a total of 89.
OXFORD – “Oxford felt the force of the cold wave the past week in all its strength. At the residence of Frederick Dahindon, in the Center, at 5 in the morning on Saturday, the thermometer stood at 13 below. This is the lowest record we have heard quoted thus far for the village. Coming so suddenly its intensity was felt the more keenly and a warm wave when it comes will be welcomed. The snow, which has been on the ground for a week past, was not of sufficient volume to make sleighing”.
SEYMOUR – A large barn on West Street is completely destroyed by fire with all contents except livestock. The 6 horses were saved by two men before fire department arrived arrived. The jumper (hose cart) from the Swan Company fire brigade was the first fire engine on scene, many neighbors are grateful that the company continues to protect their neighborhood, especially considering this is the fourth recent suspicious fire around the Swan Co. bit factory recently.
SHELTON – “Pastor Bickford was the recipient of a fine new lap robe to take the place of the one stolen from his carriage a year ago. The donor is a Hartford man. Now if someone is able to replace the blanket stolen from the barn it would be a timely thing to do, to say nothing of all the chickens the pastor's wife raised last spring. Why not let Christmas cheer spread beyond our own doorsteps”.
A “miniature blizzard” strikes at 7 PM, bringing howling winds, and much snow. The temperature was 40 just before the snow began, and was down to 12 degrees at PM. Yet by midnight the storm had passed and the moon was out.
SEYMOUR – A Town meeting is held on purchasing the proposed site for a future Seymour Public Library building. There was no verbal opposition to the special committee’s recommendation, but it was voted not to accept the recommendation by a vote of 16-15. There were over 100 voters present, and many abstained from voting.
DERBY – “There is plenty of skating in this neighborhood just at the present time if you know where to find it. Ice can be found almost anywhere but the trouble from the small boy's point of view is that it is covered with snow. There are a few bare spots, however and on Lake Housatonic along the edges the ice is pretty smooth. It is possible to travel up and down the lake for quite a distance by keeping near the shores. In such places as these the small boy is having his fun”.
DERBY – The New Haven Railroad proposes to drain the Birmingham Canal as soon as possible, and fill it from bank to bank, extending from opposite Cottage Street to southern its end. The west end of the canal’s dam in Ansonia will be knocked down to divert its water back into the Naugatuck River.
SEYMOUR – Ansonia’s Christ Church has given Trinity Church a gift of a large chandelier which formerly hung in the Christ Church chancel until it was remodeled.
SHELTON – While removing material to replank the viaduct bridge, the contractor found conditions so appalling he notified the Connecticut Company he's not responsible for what might occur unless the ironwork is repaired. The angle irons supporting the rails are badly corroded to the point of no carrying strength.
DERBY – A 12 year old boy falls through the ice on the Birmingham Canal in front of Sterling Pin Company. His friends call for help. A man stretches a plank to him, but when the boy can't grab it the rescuer crawls onto the ice, and also falls in. Not long after, the boy stops struggling, and the rescuer in the water end up holding him up by his coat so he won’t drown. A second man throws a rope, enabling the rescuer to pull himself and the boy to safety.
Monday, December 19
ANSONIA – 125 men have been hired by the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company to begin ice harvesting today on Quillinan's Pond. The ice is 9" thick and of good quality.
ANSONIA – “The rain which fell overnight put the roads in bad shape for the travel of horses. Early in the morning before the thaw set in, the ice covered hills and grades about the city offered most precarious going for the animals. On Fourth Street hill several horses slid down the entire stretch. The horse attached to the milk wagon of Edward Maloney received a bad fall while descending this hill but after a rapid slid on its hunches to the bottom of the grade, the horse arose slightly scratched but otherwise none the worse for its experience”.
DERBY – A petition has been filed to change the name of Factory Street to Market Street. It is pointed out that the name Factory Street is usually associated with the least desirable part of town. The street has seen a surge of commercial development, and the only factory left is the old Howe Manufacturing Company, now owned by Birmingham Iron Foundry.
DERBY – “The pump on the green was again broken yesterday and the number of patrons in the neighborhood were quite anxious to have it repaired at once. The pump, even in the cold weather, is used considerably, as is evidenced by the many people who complain when time is lost in repairing it”.
SHELTON – The fountain in Huntington Center is not working, because the brook which supplies it has almost dried up. The lack of pressure in the pipes caused the pipes to freeze.
ANSONIA – Work has begun building an icehouse for the Independent Trap Rock Company on the Seymour line.
SHELTON – “The little dash of snow this morning was welcomed by many who saw in it a promise of a "white Christmas" and hopes that it will continue long enough to cover the bare places were heard on all sides. The old superstition about a "green Christmas" is still believed in by many, and in fact it has considerable scientific truth back of it, though not exactly because it is, Christmas time”.
OXFORD – “The let up of the cold wave if only for a few days is a welcome change. With thermometers dropping to many degrees below zero each night in this valley, there has not been much variety to life, or few cared to get very far from the fireside”.
DERBY – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company begins harvesting on Lake Housatonic.
ANSONIA – “Excavations made during the past week, show that the frost has penetrated the ground to a depth unusual at this season of the year. The ground in exposed places is frozen a foot and a half below the surface, and digging is difficult. Usually in December soft earth can be found 5 to 6 inches below the surface, but the frost has already gone to the average winter depth, and if the cold weather continues there will be 3 to 4 feet of frost by March”.
DERBY – “Travel on the electric cars has been heavy all the week and each afternoon and eve each car is crowded with people, and with bundles. The bundles of course take up a great deal of room. Extra service is being given in some directions to accommodate the travel. It is expected that there will be a great rush tomorrow afternoon and on Sun, many people going away to spend the two days holidays, and many more coming into town to spend the holidays here”.
DERBY – Assessors place the value of the Birmingham Canal at $30,000. It was valued at $50,000 more last year. The reason it went down is because it is no longer bringing in revenue. This is likely the last year the canal will be assessed, as it is due to be filled in.
A downpour totaling 1.46” removes of the last vestiges of snow, promising a green Christmas.
DERBY – Over 100 poor children in receive Christmas gifts from the Sunshine Society.
DERBY – “In spite of the cold weather the automobiles continue to run over the roads. All of them are run with solutions in their radiators that prevents the water freezing, and as the roads are good and hard, not being slippery on account of the thawing nor rough on account of the freezing of ruts, it is pretty good going. Of course the cold air cuts the face but the face can be protected by the caps that are worn now, and of course, the fur coats and gloves and the heavy boots that protect the other parts of the person”.
December 25 – Christmas Day
Most spend Christmas at home with family. There are large congregations in the churches.
ANSONIA – The Sunshine Society, Salvation Army, and churches tries to ensure every poor child has presents.
DERBY – A phonographic concert is held at Griffin Hospital.
SHELTON – “Christmas was a very quiet holiday, as those who did not hold family reunions here, spent the holidays with their people in other places, and this was conductive to quietness during the two days holiday. The fact that all saloons were closed both Sunday and Monday also had its effect upon the general quietness, as an intoxicated man was something of a rarity upon the streets”.
Wednesday, December 28
ANSONIA – Work starts on the new Postal Savings Bank at the Post Office. There is one opening in each state as part of a pilot program. Ansonia was chosen to represent Connecticut because it is a manufacturing center with a large foreign population. A big safe is being installed.
OXFORD – “The rain of last Saturday was one of the most welcome Christmas gifts received by the people of the village. It carried off all the snow on the ground and well filled the streams even to bank high. Owing to the ground being so hard frozen, not as much of it could penetrate the ground as was desirable”.
SEYMOUR – “A large ice house has been built on the S.G. Warren place on the Ansonia road. A fine quality of ice has annually been harvested from the pond there, and for a number of years an independent ice business has been conducted. Another large ice house is being constructed at George Hippolito's place, nearer the Ansonia town line. As these ponds are supplied by streams where there is no chance of pollution, the ice crop in that locality will probably be a desirable one”.
ANSONIA – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company has harvested almost all ice on Quillinan's Pond, amounting to about 5,000 tons.
DERBY – The interior of St. Michael's Church is being repainted and redecorated, including new paintings on the walls and ceilings.
ANSONIA – “From the prevalence of rain during these last days of the old year, it would seem that one of the blessings of the approaching new year will be relief from the long water famine which has been suffered in this locality. The frequent rains within the past week have accomplished a great deal in relieving the situation, and doubtless would have filled some of the wells and springs were it not for the fact that the ground is frozen to a considerable depth”.
DERBY – The Ansonia Derby Ice Company has filled all icehouses along Lake Housatonic with 11” thick ice.
Temperatures are 4 degrees at 5 AM this morning. At the same time yesterday it was 55 degrees. Roads that were muddy yesterday are freezing today.
ANSONIA – “Mr. Basketball, an inflated gentleman of rotund proportions, was run down by a trolley car on Main Street late last night, and severed in two. During his moments of activity the deceased gentleman was employed by the high school basketball corporation as a basket choker. While being borne to his domicile at the YMCA in a conveyance, the locomotive power of which was supplied by a frivolous youngster, Mr. Ball fell to the ground and rolled directly in front of the shuttle line trolley. His loss to his employers is $5.
ANSONIA & DERBY – A 26 year old White Place, Ansonia man dies this morning, while a 27 year old Derby Avenue, Derby man dies at Griffin Hospital late this night. Both had drunk the night before at the same Main Street, Ansonia saloon, and showed signs of alcohol poisoning. The county coroner is investigating.
DERBY – “The last snap of cold weather has brought joy to the hearts of the many skaters who have not as yet had an opportunity to enjoy the sport. The ice of the Housatonic was as smooth as glass this morning and if the weather continues cold and clear, the lake will undoubtedly be thronged with people on Sunday and Monday".
DERBY – Two Summit Street boys fall through the ice at Lake Housatonic. An older boy pulls one out, and manages to talk the other into swimming closer until men can get him.
SEYMOUR – “Fishing for pickerel through the ice is a sport that most recently has engaged the attention of local fishermen. For a number of days the ice on Hoadley's Pond has been plentifully besprinkled with lines set to catch the wily denizens of the pond. Some large catches are reported, and among them were some big fish”.
SHELTON – An 11 year old boy dies after he falls through the ice while skating with his friend on Lake Housaotnic. The two skated upriver, to Indian Well. While returning, they hit an area where the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company harvested the ice a couple days before, and they both fell through the thin ice moments after realizing they were in a danger zone. An ice company pole is used to pull one boy out. It is not until he is being carried to shore, and he asks if his friend was pulled out too, did the rescuers realize there was a second boy in the water. When the rescuers returned, they found a man had already launched a boat looking for the missing boy. The boat soon found him and brought him to shore, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to revive him. It is believed that he struck the back of his head as he fell in, knocking him unconscious and causing him to drown.
Sunday, January 1, 1911
The New Year is greeted with bells, people with horns in the streets, Watch night services, suppers, and dances.
ANSONIA – “Skating on all ponds and rivers in this vicinity was enjoyed by hundreds over the weekend. Yesterday morning many trekked their way to Pickett's pond in Derby, while others used the Cove in the North End. The ponds were well filled in the afternoon by a large crowd of skaters, until the drizzling rain came. The storm of last night and this morning has ruined the ice, and the skaters will be forced to lay aside their steel runners until another spell of cold weather sets in”.
DERBY – Outgoing Mayor James B. Atwater swears James Miles in as the new Derby mayor.
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