Catch up on past weeks in Valley History in the Valley History Archive
From the pages of the Evening Sentinel
December 26 - January 1
Go here for 1911, 1936, and 1961
100 Years Ago - 1910-11
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.
75 Years Ago - 1935-36
Thursday, December 26
The Tercentenary Pictorial and History of the Lower Naugatuck Valley started distribution to subscribers last Saturday, but now should be available for wider circulation today. It was printed at the Evening Sentinel press.
ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The WPA has approved a project providing assistance for public health nurses in Seymour, which will employ 2 for $2,218. The agency also approved a project widening Crowley Street in Ansonia, which will employ 22, for $4,519
DERBY – A 40 year old man suffering from ill health leaps to his death from the Hoffman House’s Water Street side.
OXFORD – The 31 year old owner of Oxford Auto Wrecking is killed when his wrecker hits the guardrail on Oxford Road.
OXFORD – The Town announces 40 lots at Otter Rock Trails, developed in the Housatonic hills in 1922, will be sold in February due to unpaid taxes.
ANSONIA – Merchants report this year's Christmas trade was the best in years.
A snowstorm which began at 8:30 PM last night and ends at 9:00 AM today dumps between 5-6” of snow.
SEYMOUR - John Swan, 65, president and treasurer of James Swan Company, dies at his Bank Street home.
ANSONIA – The police catch two men trying to break open the safe at Mueller's gas station on 174 North Main Street.
DERBY – The Commodore Hull Theater’s annual midnight show, is Miss Pacific Fleet and Sunset of Power, the later will not be widely released until next month.
Wednesday, January 1, 1936
There is much celebrating at midnight, people are hopeful for the Great Depression's end. The new moon gave a soft glow to the snow at midnight.
SEYMOUR – Four are injured in a 4 AM 3-car crash at on Derby Avenue. The driver of the vehicle who was attempting to pass the other two cars is arrested. The injuries are not life threatening.
SHELTON – A 5:40 PM fire guts a 9 room house called the Old Judson Place on Huntington Street. Huntington and Echo Hose firemen removed almost all of the furniture from the house before the upper floor was completely destroyed.
50 Years Ago - 1960-1
Tuesday, December 27
SHELTON – Ground is broken for the new Echo Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 firehouse on Coram Avenue.
A storm starts by dumping 2” of snow, then turns into sleet and freezing rain, causing slippery conditions and minor car accidents throughout the Valley overnight and the following morning.
DERBY – The Lanzieri home on David Humphreys Road is attracting considerable attention with its Christmas lights, particularly the simulated North Star in a tall tree over a lit crèche.
SHELTON – Derby’s NFL football great Bob Skoronski is the guest speaker at the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club weekly luncheon at Rapp's Conti Room
ANSONIA - During the Christmas rush 411,000 3-cent stamps were sold at the Post Office.
ANSONIA – New construction in Ansonia totaled $1,387,550 in 1960, including 120 new homes and 45 new garages.
OXFORD – Brief, informal ceremonies are held at 2 PM to mark the end of the Trial Justice Court. The Court was originally formed in 1798, and its last Judge was William Downs, who was appointed on November 5, 1940.
Sunday, January 1, 1961
DERBY - A son is born to a Laurel Heights family from Shelton at Griffin Hospital at 3:30, the only New Year’s Day baby born at the hospital.
SEYMOUR - A kitchen fire at Actors Colony Inn causes up to $1,500 damage.
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