August 14, 1905

  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Trust Company begins its first day of operations. It is the successor to the Valley National Bank.

August 15

  • Unseasonably cold, wet weather grips the region. People are wearing jackets, and the enclosed trolleys have reappeared – normally “open” trolleys were used in summertime. Area farmers’ crops are suffering.

August 16

  • The daytime high is only 61 degrees. At midnight it was 54 degrees.
  • The new SNET telephone directory reveals there are now a record 900 telephone subscribers in Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, Seymour, and Oxford combined.

August 17

  • The cold wave continues. At 3 AM, the temperature dips to 48 degrees.
  • The Maybrook railroad line in Derby and Shelton is being double tracked so trains can head in both directions at the same time. At this time, workmen are dismantling the Derby-Shelton railroad trestle, so a new, wider one can be built to accommodate the parallel railroad beds. The trestle will be rebuilt in Vermont.
  • ANSONIA – The area around Main Street and Front Street, near Beaver Brook, has lately been nicknamed “New Jerusalem”. The Sentinel says “The houses are not things of beauty, and are evidently intended for those who cannot afford more expensive rents”.

August 19

  • SEYMOUR – Opposition is growing to the number of saloons in town. Currently there are 12, or one for every 73 male residents.

Tuesday, August 22, 1905

  • ANSONIA – A barn on a property which was once a convent on Factory Street, between Central and Colburn Streets, catches fire. Although the barn is destroyed, the two horses inside are saved. The Webster Hose Company’s hand-drawn hose reel is damaged when it is hitched to a horse to get it to the fire faster. The convent was once used by Assumption Church, after being deeded land at Main & Cheever Streets by the Phelps, Dodge & Company in 1866. The property extended east to Factory Street. A former residence, the convent was purchased around 1870 for use as a rectory, though it became a convent in 1886. By 1905 the convent had temporarily moved to First Street as the new church and buildings were being constructed on North Cliff Street.

August 23

  • DERBY – The Sterling Opera House begins its 1905-1906 theatrical season with the 3-act comedy “David Harum”, staring Harry Brown. The season started earlier than previous years, due to the schedules of the traveling theater companies, who are now accommodating the increasingly popular summer theaters along the New Jersey shoreline. The Sentinel reported a large crowd enjoyed the production, despite a tough beginning – “…the play started off rather flatly. The audience looked coldly upon the introductory scene and only a solitary hand clap greeted Mr. brown as he appeared, although his entrance afforded ample opportunity for an enthusiastic greeting…the silence in the house was oppressive. But Mr. Brown had not been before the footlights fifteen minutes before the indifference had vanished…His Lincoln-like saying and his inimitable manner in telling stories were hugely enjoyed”.

August 26

  • Annual powerboat race from the Derby Docks to Stratford’s Washington Bridge and back. 13 boats participated, though another 17 dropped out of the race, apparently many owners thought the course was too long. The winner was a boat named Maud S.

Wednesday, August 30, 1905

  • ANSONIA – Many complaints about the condition of the macadam surface of Central Avenue.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education will rent the banquet room on at Arcanum Hall on Howe Avenue to handle the overflow from Ferry School.

August 31

  • SEYMOUR – A section named Puddle Hollow is being dismantled. Contain shacks, barns, and a  livery. Also a house where late Gov. Morris once lived, and the Ridder homestead – once one of the nicest homes in town.


September 2

  • DERBY – Two men attacked by a wildcat on Derby Hill in East Derby. No serious injuries. The animal escapes.

Tuesday, September 5, 1905 

  • ANSONIA – The old Boston Store, built on the corner of Main and Bridge Streets in the early 1850s, has been demolished. A new three-story block called the Murray Building is being erected in its place. The Murray block would be destroyed by fire in 1987. Today the site is Haddad Park.
  • SHELTON – A construction worker falls to his death while building the new railroad trestle over Housatonic River. This is the first death since the railroad started the project of double-tracking the Maybrook line.

September 7

  • ANSONIA – Complaints about the mud and filth along Jersey Street. The number of deaths in this neighborhood is out of proportion with the rest of the city.

September 10

  • DERBY – First services are held in the new Unitarian Church on the corner of Atwater and Seymour Avenues. This is the Veteran’s Building today.
  • SHELTON – An owl, apparently confused by the light of a trolley near Pine Rock amusement park, flies into the trolley, smashing inside. No one is injured, though all are startled.

Monday, September 11, 1905 

  • ANSONIA – For the first time in Ansonia’s history, the Board of Aldermen overrides a mayor’s veto. Mayor Charters vetoed 2 resolutions to repair lower Main Street, citing concerns about where the money will come from. The Aldermen subsequently overrode his veto by a vote of 10-2.
  • SEYMOUR – Many are picking fresh peaches at the Hale & Coleman orchards on Great Hill.

September 12

  • SEYMOUR – 70 predominately Italian workers of J.J. O’Brien Construction, currently working on railroad improvements in town, return to work, after a one-day strike. Their goals of being paid every two weeks instead of monthly were met.
  • DERBY – The new convent for St. Mary’s Church on the corner of Elizabeth and Cottage Streets is nearing completion.

September 13

  • DERBY – Much work is being done on New Haven Avenue. The road is being paved with macadam from Gilbert Street north. A steep hill has been lowered, and the road has been widened.
  • ANSONIA – 454 Main Street is moving from property owned by the railroad to the corner of Main & Central Streets. Also, the nearby Olderman House, also on railroad property, will move to the New Jerusalem neighborhood, and yet another house will move to lower Main Street.

September 14

  • SHELTON – Many complaints of inadequate fire escapes in residences and factories in town.

September 15

  • DERBY – Locally manufactured Sterling player pianos are very popular in both the USA and England.

September 16

  • SHELTON – A 1757 flintlock is on display at Apothecaries’ Hall, said to have killed the last bear in Huntington at “Bear Lot”, near Leavenworth Hill at Indian Well, and was in Revolutionary War.

Monday, September 18, 1905

  • SEYMOUR – Just over half of the over 200 acres of the Hale & Coleman orchards on Moose Hill is producing peaches. Visitors are encouraged to pick their own, and many come from all over the region to do just that.

September 19

  • Many in the Valley hail a new state law that forbids Connecticut drug stores from selling cocaine.
  • DERBY – Bass has become plentiful in Lake Housatonic. Derby has appointed a game warden to prevent out of season poaching.

September 20

  • DERBY – Division Street is in deplorable condition, as it has not been repaired since being washed out in a rainstorm several weeks ago. Also, Main Street is in bad shape as well, but many are hopeful after the cobblestones between Birmingham National Bank and Elizabeth Street were repaired.

September 22

  • DERBY – A small wooden building where shells are hardened burns to the ground at the US Rapid Fire Gun and Powder Company factory on Housatonic Avenue. 650 shells being manufactured for the military are lost.

September 23

  • The Valley’s Polish Catholics are currently meeting and having masses at Elks Hall on Main Street, Derby. A church will be built next spring. In all there are 900 members from Derby, Shelton, and Ansonia.
  • SHELTON – The High School is organizing a rugby team.

Monday, September 25, 1905

  • OXFORD – “The first real frost that visited the Valley this fall came Monday night. All day there had been a very cold wind from the north, which was very cutting. This died down somewhat as the sun went down. Thermometers as far as heard from registered 32 degrees Tuesday morning. At Mrs. Bronson’s near Towantic Brook, ice formed. While the frost did some nipping, it does not seem to have been generally a killing frost, such usually occurs in this valley often earlier in the month than this date”.

September 26

  • DERBY – The drapes, chairs, & cushions of the Sterling Opera House have been “perfumed”, courtesy of the local Purdy Drug Company. The scent is called “Thelma”. The Sentinel describes, “Upon entering the opera house one’s first thought was that of a flower garden, so delightfully sweet and delicate was the odor”.

September 27

  • DERBY – The City fires a supernumery police officer for neglect of duty. Twice he was ordered to issue a warrant for a saloon that was selling liquor on Sundays. Both times instead of serving the warrant, he instead decided to enjoy drinks at the saloon.
  • SEYMOUR – “Great Hill – The farmers are busy harvesting the potato and apple crops. Loads of the latter, as well as grain go daily down Squantuc hill to the cider & grain mill of Liewellyn Andrews”.
  • SHELTON – A woman who boarded the trolley in Bridgeport goes into labor in the Oronoque section of Stratford, and gives birth somewhere between that place and Shelton. There were only four others on the trolley, and they were of little assistance due to the fact the woman only spoke Italian. After giving birth she wrapped the baby in the folds of her skirt, paid her fare, and got off at her stop in Derby.

September 30

  • DERBY – “Whatever caused people to turn out (downtown), whether it was the drum corps…or whether it was the perfect night… the fact remains that the streets were alive with a hurrying, jostling, good humored crowd”.


October 1

  • SHELTON – The Shelton police raids a camp near Huntington’s Trap Falls Reservoir selling liquor on this Sunday evening. “Sunday selling” is illegal. Although deep in the woods, the officers could hear the levity from a half-mile away. Pandemonium ensues when the officers enter the camp. Although there are not enough police officers to prevent many from escaping, 16 are arrested, including the liquor supplier. As the officers lead the arrested away, an estimated 200-300 men, many of which are Water Company employees, menace them, but keep their distance because the officers are visibly well armed.

Monday, October 2, 1905

  • A special election on two constitutional amendments in termed a “farce” by the Evening Sentinel. Only 179 out of 2600 voters bother to cast a ballot in Ansonia. In Derby only 169 out of 2300 voted
  • SHELTON – Republicans fare well in local elections, though Socialists do well, also.
  • SEYMOUR – The entire Republican ticket wins local elections
  • OXFORD – Democrats  win most local elections

October 5

  • SHELTON – 520 tickets sold on this date for a special train leaving from Shelton’s passenger station to the Danbury Fair today. A total of 740 tickets have been sold this week. Although many have a good time, some say they actually miss the “humbugs”, or con artists that have been banned from the fair this year.

October 6

  • ANSONIA – A Jersey Street landlord is arrested for breach of peace, intoxication, and resisting arrest. Having failed to evict a tenant he no longer wished to rent to, the landlord caused a sensation in the neighborhood when he started removing the windowpanes from the building.
  • ANSONIA – A young deer is pursued by a crowd of people and a barking dog up Main Street. Panicking, it crashes into a window of the SO&C factory, and causes more damage as it thrashes around the building. It is finally captured, and released at the corner of Woodbridge Avenue and Beaver Street.

October 7

  • ANSONIA – A sheriff serves warrant for a bride’s brother at her wedding party at Warcholik’s Hall on Jersey Street. Needless to say, this breaks up the party. Most of the guests follow the police to the station, where the suspect is released on bond.
  • DERBY – The Derby High School football team defeats the Shelton Juniors 10-5 in their season opener at Derby Meadows.

October 8

  • DERBY – The pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church states he wants to see entertainments closed on Sundays, including the Sterling Opera House.

Monday, October 9, 1905

  • ANSONIA – 4 of the best players from the Ansonia High School football team are suspended for academic problems.

October 11

  • There are numerous complaints about bad, rutted roads in Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton. The rising popularity of the automobile is blamed.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia High School football team plays Bridgeport, and loses. 5 additional players go on “strike”, to protest the four that have been suspended.
  • OXFORD – The Sentinel reports “The foliage on the hillsides is wearing the gay garb of fall, and the scene is one of much beauty. The travel of pleasure teams (referring to horse-drawn carriages) on the road through the Centre is almost continuous during the day”.
  • DERBY – Another Derby Police Officer is fired over the saloon affair (see September 27, 1905)
  • SHELTON – The conditions at Coram School, a one-room schoolhouse on the corner of Petremont and River Roads, is described as very bad. It is nicknamed the chicken coop, due to the exterior resemblance.

October 12

  • SEYMOUR – An automobile drawn by two gray horses draws attention as it is pulled into town. It broke down in the countryside, and was coming into Seymour for repairs.

October 13

  • DERBY – In the wake of two officer being fired, the Sentinel reports many are saying the Police Department need a “shaking up”…
  • ANSONIA – …And the high school football team could have used some shaking up as well. The members walk off the field over a disputed call in the second half, causing the Naugatuck High School to win by forfeit.

October 14

  • Children are warned about the dangers of the increasing popularity of slingshots.
  • ANSONIA – The growing scarcity of shade trees is causing some to talk about a general city-wide planting.

October 15

  • ANSONIA – Hundreds visit the new Church of the Assumption edifice on North Cliff Street. The new church, still under construction, was open for public inspection for the first time.
  • DERBY – The Unitarian Church is dedicated on 2 Atwater Street. Today this is the Veteran’s Memorial Building.

Monday, October 16, 1905

  • SHELTON – The newly organized Brown & Hubbell Corset Company will occupy top floor of the Bassett Bolt factory on Bridge Street. It is hoped the firm can take the place of the now-closed Birmingham Corset Company, which also occupied the building at one time. This is the 5 story building which in October 2005 is being converted into housing.

October 18

  • SHELTON – The first train crosses over the new double-tracked trestle over the Housatonic. The new railroad bridge took 10 months to build. A temporary bridge was built parallel to the new bridge while it was under construction, to continue traffic. The old, single-tracked trestle, was dismantled and sold to a Vermont railroad.
  • SHELTON – Tame deer are a common sight in Huntington Center, only running away when one closely approaches.

October 19

  • DERBY – A new signal tower has been installed at Derby Junction. Painted green, it will operate the trolley signals electronically. Derby Junction was the corner of Derby Avenue and Main Street, and it was one of the few places were trolleys could be hailed to New Haven, Waterbury, and Bridgeport.

October 20

  • ANSONIA – A cow being led down Central Street breaks free. The entire neighborhood tries to help catch it, resulting in the cow leading them up and down street. It starts making its way, though backyards, for Factory Street, but turns around and is caught by its owner. The commotion does not end there, however, as the cow drags her owner around for several minutes before she calms down.
  • SEYMOUR – The roof of a shed housing an engine for the ongoing double-tracking construction along the railroad burns off. Its contents are saved, however.
  • SHELTON – The Sentinel recalls the Derby Reclaiming Company, which ran “the Rubber Mill” along Canal Street until it moved to Buffalo. Many are excited that the old rubber mill has been  purchased by a new company, organized by Derby Reclaiming’s old managers, who will operate the old business under the old name.

October 21

  • ANSONIA – The Bridgeport High School football team defeats Ansonia High 11-6.

Monday, October 23, 1905

  • ANSONIA – The Police Department reports 334 arrests over the past 12 months. This is a rise of 116 more for the previous year.
  • SEYMOUR – Work commences moving the old Rider homestead from Puddle Hollow, a neighborhood which is being torn down, to a lot near the Broad Street Bridge.

October 24

  • ANSONIA – A Hebrew School will study the language, as well as doctrines of the Jewish religion, in the Gardella Building on the corner of Main and Maple Streets. 70 are already enrolled – desks and seats were supplied by the Board of Education, though donations will support rest of school.
  • DERBY – Patrick Walsh, of 47 Hawkins Street, dies. He was a police officer for 37 years, retiring only recently. He served as Chief of Police in the old Borough of Birmingham under Warden S. H. Bassett. He was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1844, and immigrated as a young boy. He also was the custodian of Derby City Hall, a position he held from the time the facility opened under the Sterling Opera House in 1889 to the time of his death.
  • SEYMOUR – The new site the Rider homestead is being moved to is occupied by the Randal Building. While tearing it down, workmen in the rafters were observed stuffing their pockets with paper money. The former owners state they have reason to believe a considerable amount of money was hidden in the Randal Building.

October 25

  • SEYMOUR – Efforts are now being made to recover any additional building hidden in the doomed Randall Building. A hidden vault covered by an iron door discovered in cellar. The building’s late owner and namesake, Hiram Randal, was a successful merchant, and served as town treasurer at a time when there were no banks in Seymour.
  • SEYMOUR – Two laborers working on double tracking the railroad at Mahoney’s Cut, just below Seymour, are buried in a landslide. A passing train caused soft rock to crash over a 50′ cliff onto them. They are dug out by frenzied fellow workmen, though there are fears there may be others buried in the pile. One workman is seriously injured. Many in Seymour rush to the accident scene.

October 26

  • DERBY – Complaints all over town of dogs barking at night.
  • DERBY – The Sentinel is concerned about the spoiling of the Housatonic River, from Derby north to the Massachusetts line. Trees being recklessly harvested along the river bank for railroad ties and utility poles, while trap rock crushers are destroying cliff sides for macadam used on roadways.

October 27

  • ANSONIA – The Olderman house is moving from the railroad’s property down Main Street to New Jerusalem. But moving the house takes longer than expected, and by dusk the house is still in the middle of Main Street, blocking it entirely. Trolley passengers have to transfer around it.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby shuts out South Norwalk 30-0. Ansonia defeated by Naugatuck, 17-0, in an away game. The game was marred when a Naugatuck referee was caught in the middle of a play. When he grabbed an Ansonia halfback, possible for support, he was punched in the face. The referee demands the Naugatuck Chief of Police, who was in attendance, arrest the youth. But the principal of Naugatuck High School intercedes, and convinces everyone it was a mistake. No arrests are made. 

October 28

  • ANSONIA – Public open house of the new Holbrook Street School. The school features 4 rooms on each of the 2 floors, designed to hold 40 pupils per room. The rooms are connected by telephones. The second floor is unfinished, though the first floor is scheduled to open October 30.
  • ANSONIA – Paint shop on 98 Grove Street destroyed by fire.

Monday, October 30, 1905

  • ANSONIA – The new Holbrook Street School opens 125 pupils from grades 1, 4, and 6 are transferred from the Grove Street School. Remaining grades will be transferred when the second floor classrooms are finished.

October 31

  • Cider apples are high, at 30 cents per 100 pounds.
  • OXFORD – Good Templar’s Hall in Quaker Farms is destroyed in a late night fire. The residents powerless to stop the fierce blaze – there is no fire department. The hall was a local landmark, and was used quite frequently for all kinds of events by Quaker Farms residents. Many are upset, as boys were heard running through the hall just before the fire, and its unclear if this was an accident or a Halloween prank gone wrong. Back in those days, public places such as this often had no locks, so the boys would have had easy access.
  • HALLOWEEN – Or Hallowe’en as it was spelled then. There are parties in all towns, and children wandering around in costumes until the late hours. It is noted that there is an increasing number of girls dressed as boys outside, too. Most don’t mind the children wandering around – in some cases bonfires are lit to ward off the cold. What residents do mind, however, is the noise and noisemakers that continue well into the night, as well as the pranks and vandalism. In some neighborhoods it really gets out of hand. Among the pranks, fences are torn down, and gates are hung on telephone poles. There are others that probably shouldn’t be mentioned here. The newspaper makes no mention of “trick or treating”, the only way sweet tooths can get candy is apparently by going to parties. Bowing to residents’ demands, Seymour puts extra officers on duty, making that town slightly quieter than the other Valley towns. 


November 1

  • Milk prices rise uniformly from 6 cents to 7 cents per quart.
  • SEYMOUR – One of the two railroad workmen buried in the landslide at Mahoney’s Cut, just below town, dies of his injuries. Like many others employed for “doubletracking” the railroad, he was an Italian immigrant.
  • OXFORD – The Sentinel reports “The cider mills are working overtime now taking care of the apples which are daily carted in to be made into cider. There does not seem to be a dearth of the beverage in the town, this winter, and in consequence the average man smiles”.

November 2

  • ANSONIA – A man wanted for a July burglary is nabbed by Police Chief Ellis after a chase from a Liberty Street saloon. Once caught, the man struggles with the chief, but the criminal is subdued with the aid by a passerby. The chief’s brand new uniform pants, which he has only worn a couple times, is torn and  ruined.

November 3

  • Automobile owners would like to see a road from Derby to Zoar Bridge in Stevenson, and another good road from there to Shelton, making a loop. The idea has many hurdles, many farmers along the route would be opposed due to the frequency of automobiles striking poultry and other livestock. The route is less for convenience – automobiles are still considered a novelty, and “motoring” is a popular sport. Right now the most popular “good road” for motoring is from Derby to Seymour, but enthusiasts consider it too short.
  • DERBY – The Derby Board of Education holds a long session on where to house Grade 1 pupils from the overflowing Irving and Franklin schools. After much debate, the first floor of the Alling Building, at the corner of Olivia and Third Streets, is chosen.
  • SEYMOUR – Old silver coins found in the Randall Building, where banknotes were found on October 24. The Sentinel indicates the building is apparently now going to be moved, rather than demolished.

November 4

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby beats Shelton 27-0 at the Derby Meadows off Division Street.
  • ANSONIA – Alderman Donohue resigns his position as Superintendent of Streets in Ansonia, saying he was “tired of being held responsible for everything”. He denies he was asked to resign, but rumors are flying since a mayoral election, pitting Democratic Mayor Stephen Charters, a union leader, against Republican Alton Farrel, a prominent industrialist.
  • SHELTON – A Coram Avenue resident may bill the Borough of Shelton for damages to his long fence fronting the street on Halloween. He claims there was not enough police officers on duty despite the fact everyone knew there would be trouble.
  • SHELTON – Hill Street residents are up in arms over Derby man being moved to quarantine here with a mild case of scarlet fever. It is explained he used to live in Shelton before moving to a boarding house in Derby. He is returning to the care of his family, who live on Hill Street.

Tuesday, November 7, 1905

  • It is noted that walking is becoming popular again. It had generally fallen into disfavor when the trolley lines opened.
  • ANSONIA – Election day. Republican Alton Farrel beats Democrat Mayor Stephen Charters 1334-1049. Republicans also take control of the Board of Aldermen, with 11 seats compared to Democrats’ 4. The streets are crowded at 8 PM when Sentinel puts out an extra with the returns. Three bonfires are lit along Main Street. Farrel Foundry & other factory bells peal upon receiving the news. Drum corps & hundreds march to State Street home of Alton Farrel, where he greets well-wishers.
  • ANSONIA – A Waterbury delicatessen man will open a restaurant and store at the Stillson block on High Street.

November 8

  • OXFORD – Quaker Farms has its second fire in a week when Robert Hawkins’ barn is burned with all its contents.

November 9

  • DERBY – It is announced that Polish Roman Catholics of Derby and Shelton will build their new church on the Bushnell property, next to the East Derby Hotel. The pastor will live in the Bushnell house itself, while the church will be to the rear of it, facing Bank Street. Construction will not begin until next Spring. Until then, services will continue in the Elk Building.
  • ANSONIA – Thieves enter Warcholik saloon on Jersey Street. Failing to open the safe, they take a box of 10 cent cigars. A guard dog is lured away, and is later found tied up some distance away. This building would be destroyed in a fire on in April 1955, and the ruins would be torn down after the flood on August 27, 1955.

November 10

  • ANSONIA – In the fallout after the mayoral election, apparent tensions surface between the Police Chief and Police Commissioner. The Commissioner asks the Chief if he plans to resign, due to past comments he made saying he would do so if a Republican mayor were ever elected. The Chief denies he’ll resign.

November 11

  • Spearheaded by the local Jewish community, a relief fund is set up in Derby and Ansonia for Russian Jews, who are currently suffering a pogrom that is bringing death and persecution in that country.
  • Temperatures fall below freezing overnight. Ice is half inch thick in some places.

November 12

  • DERBY – A Sunday raid on a notorious saloon results in the bartender and 5 men arrested, while 2 escape.
  • DERBY – Sunday football is banned in Derby. Apparently teams from all over play at the fields at Derby Meadows off Division Street, and make a great racket. A Shelton vs. Stratford game is moved to Sunnyside in Shelton – Derby Police turn hundreds away.

Monday, November 13, 1905

  • ANSONIA – Two trolleys collide at the intersection of Main Street and Bridge Street. A passenger is thrown onto the street. He is cut in face but is treated by a physician and released.
  • SHELTON – Howe Avenue’s Flaherty Block is to be made into a hotel by Samuel Merritt of Derby. The upper floors will be called the Central Hotel, while the first floor will be a café. This will be the first hotel in Shelton.
  • SHELTON – Oscar Hubbell’s Barn near Indian Well destroyed by fire. It was filled with recently cut hay, and he had little insurance and does not know how he’ll feed his livestock. Two tramps were seen leaving the barn just before the fire.

November 14

  • SHELTON – The Huntington Center cemetery is an eyesore, overrun with weeds, and gravestones falling “in an otherwise tidy suburb”. The Old Home Association plans to clean it up.

November 16

  • ANSONIA – Fire destroys an empty 2 story house at 37 Spring Street. Nearby Webster Hose Company is powerless to stop it as the nearest hydrant is 500′ away at Elm Street School. An old fashioned “bucket brigade” is employed to protect the surrounding property. The lack of water pressure in this section of town causes much talk for many days after.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Derby and Shelton factories are working at almost all at full capacity, with shifts staying as late as 9 to 10 PM, due to Christmas orders.
  • SHELTON – A major addition is planned for the RN Bassett factory on Bridge Street. A one story section will be raised to the 4-story height of the rest of it, doubling floor space. Building will be 300×42′ in size. A 35×60′ building will also be on the riverbank. It will be one of the largest factories in the Valley when completed. A corset factory, the RN Bassett building would be known as the Botti Building 100 years later, and in the process of being made into apartments.

November 18

  • Railroad freight traffic is very heavy in the entire Valley at this time in  history. Ten 25-car trains pass in each direction each day on the Naugatuck line in Derby, Ansonia, and Seymour, and 4-5 in each direction daily over Bershire line along the Housatonic River in Derby and Shelton.
  • DERBY – Derby High School football team beats New Milford High 6-5.
  • SHELTON – Workers at the U.S. Box, Board, & Paper Company are informed the mills will close indefinitely starting tonight. Rumors are flying they may reopen under new management.

November 19

  • ANSONIA – A Sunday police raid on a Star Street saloon results in the arrest of the bartender for Sunday selling. About 16-20 in the bar hide, then successfully flee at an opportune moment.

Monday, November 20, 1905

  • BEACON FALLS – The town’s new electric lights are turned on for first time. Previously all nighttime streetlights were lit by kerosene.

November 21

  • ANSONIA – Thieves again break into the Worcholik saloon on Jersey Street for the second time this month, before being chased away. They steal a silver watch that Joseph Warcholik brought from Poland 19 years ago, and 5 boxes of cigars, the later of which are dropped outside as they flee. The safe was overturned.
  • ANSONIA – The outgoing Board of Aldermen make one of their most popular decisions in years when they forbid a resident from cutting down a large Elm tree at the corner of Main Street and Central Streets.
  • ANSONIA – Archbishiop Tikhon, Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in America, visits the Ansonia Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church. The Sentinel notes there are currently only 65 Russian Orthodox churches in the United States, with another 30 in Alaska.

November 22

  • SEYMOUR – Main Street is completely blocked overnight by the Randall Building, which is being moved to a new location.

November 23

  • Western turkeys cost 25-28 cents per pound, while native turkeys are running at 33-35 cents a pound.
  • Contractors are very busy building due to the business boom associated with the area’s good industrial outlook.
  • SHELTON – A runaway trolley leaves the tracks on Howe Avenue between Myrtle Street and Hill Street. It crosses the street and sidewalk, and hits a retaining wall. All 6 on board are tossed and bruised, but there are no serious injuries. Complaints follow that the trolleys run too fast.

November 24

  • DERBY – A trolley cable breaks over a Shelton-bound trolley on the Derby side of the Huntington Bridge, causing a flash and quick fire. The bridge was crowded with traffic at the time. The car drags the wire 100 feet, but the crew immediately secures area from live wire. A big repair job is in store for the trolley company.

November 25

  • SEYMOUR – A sealed fruit jar is found in a Humphreys Street home containing water from a June 23, 1875 hailstorm. Old New Englanders believed the pure water, such as that from hailstorms, was good for the eyes. Another jar containing water from a June 1904 hailstorm is also labeled. The 1875 jar is on display at W. L. Smith’s store.
  • DERBY – Derby High School ends its football season undefeated, with a score of 6-0 against New Milford at Derby Meadows.
  • DERBY – In what may what be Derby’s first “hit and run” car accident, an automobile with 5 people in it swerves to avoid a crowd of women on Main and Elizabeth Streets, and strikes a carriage containing one person. The car then speeds off toward Shelton. Many onlookers who witnessed the crash are upset he did not sound his horn, as the law states, and that the car fled the scene without even checking to see if the carriage driver was injured. The carriage was smashed. The license number is published in the Sentinel.

Monday, November 27, 1905

  • ANSONIA – A trolley jumps off the tracks at Howard Avenue and Jackson Street, and crosses the street into the sidewalk. The car was crowded, but no serious injuries other than bumps and bruises.

November 28

  • DERBY – Number of complaints are being made about noisy milkmen carrying on a racket while they make their rounds at 4-5 in the morning.
  • DERBY – An automobile strikes a grocery wagon on Elizabeth Street. The horse runs away, dragging the grocer dragged 40′ before he lets go of reigns to avoid being run over by another team. The horse continues to run away, pulling the wagon, striking and knocking over a pedestrian at Main and Elizabeth Streets.

November 29

  • OXFORD – “It seems to be pretty well assured that a new hall will be built to replace the one that was burned”, referring to Good Templar’s Hall which burned on Halloween night in Quaker Farms. The building was insured for $430, and local resident think the rest can be raised.
  • SEYMOUR – Whooping cough prevalent at Bell School on Great Hill.
  • DERBY – Storm Engine Company’s 55th ball at Gould Armory a great success.
  • SHELTON – House destroyed by fire in Huntington Center, owned by Daniel Nichols and occupied by the five member Malahan family, while they were out. The very old house burned to ground, by the time it was discovered nothing could be saved.


  • The holiday is quieter than usual, due to high wind and low temperatures.


December 1

  • ANSONIA – Alton Farrel sworn in as mayor of Ansonia. Outgoing Mayor Charters could not attend because he suddenly became very ill, and reportedly threatened with pneumonia.
  • ANSONIA – The entire fire department is called to extinguish a basement fire at The Hub clothing store on Main Street near City Hall. The fire is extinguished after a pitched battle in the dense smoke.
  • OXFORD – Quaker Farms residents hold a town meeting about raising funds to replace Good Templar’s Hall.

December 2

  • ANSONIA – Fire completely destroys a small 2 story house on Kimberly Lane.
  • ANSONIA – A brawl on Bridge Street between 3 men continues for an hour and a half before the police arrives. This is the last straw for many, particularly the merchants. The Sentinel reports the affair “disgraceful”, and says brawls and drunken panhandlers are frequent on Bridge Street, and demands better police protection.

December 3

  • Heavy rain inundates the area with 2.53″, overwhelming many drains. Some Ansonia streets and sidewalks are under several feet of water.

Monday, December 4, 1905

  • ANSONIA – At 4 PM, all residents of the Jewish faith stop whatever they were doing and go to Synagogue Benai Israel on Colburn Street, in memory of those recently massacred in Odessa and other parts of Russia. Many remark at the solidarity and the fact that not a single person did not participate.

December 5

  • ANSONIA – There are 3,595 school age children in Ansonia. 128 of them are enrolled in private schools, and 673 do not attending school at all..
  • DERBY – The Paugassett Hose Company is agitating for a new hose house. The firemen are in temporary quarters in East Derby now, and are forced to dry their hose by laying it on the roof.
  • DERBY – Only 194 Derby voters participate in a referendum to provide free text books and school supplies. The proposal is rejected 165 – 28.
  • SHELTON – A barn owned by Mr. George Bush burns down on Rocky Rest Road. He and his sons were into boating, one motor launch and another boat under construction were destroyed.

December 6

  • OXFORD – A cold epidemic sweeping through town. Many complain of sore throats and no energy.

December 7

  • DERBY – Excitement on Caroline Street, between Third and Fourth, when a man fires 3 shots at his wife fleeing down the street. She is not hurt, and he is arrested.

December 8

  • DERBY – There is an ongoing debate over all night street lighting. Right now the electric streetlights go off at 1 AM, and the streets become quite dangerous afterwards.
  • SHELTON – Terrible tragedy when a 12 year old boy falls through the ice while skating on the new reservoir Shelton Avenue and Meadow Street after school and drowns. The tragedy is compounded by the fact his teacher at at nearby French’s District School warned earlier in day against skating there, and said she’d punish anyone who did so.

December 9

  • Up to this time it has been a very mild winter. The Housatonic is still open to navigation – ice has not been a factor on the river as of yet. Later that evening the first real snow of the year falls – 3″ overnight. The snow was unexpected, and cuts into church attendance the following morning, which was a Sunday. People who owned horses, particularly trucking companies, were lined up in front of the local blacksmiths early Monday morning, to have calk put between the horses’ hooves and horseshoes.

Monday, December 11, 1905

  • Penny slot machines are becoming popular with children. Many merchants are putting them in stores.
  • ANSONIA – Stock, machinery, and property of Phelps & Bartholomew Clock Company on Main Street, Ansonia sold at auction. It all went to the Ansonia Novelty Company, who will move in shortly.

December 12

  • ANSONIA – Today is Slaughter Day at the Town Farm in Ansonia. 4 hogs totaling 1,629 pounds become pork. 2 are sold, the rest will sustain the farm through the winter. The Town Farm, located about where today’s Route 8 Northbound Exit 19 off ramp is today, housed Ansonia’s poor and homeless.

December 13

  • SEYMOUR – In dismantling Puddle Hollow to make room for railroad development, an underground secret passageway was found into the rear of a foundation of what had been a saloon. Its origin is a mystery – it probably predated the saloon. However, few believe that it was not utilized by saloon patrons as a way of sneaking inside on Sundays.
  • OXFORD – Ground is broken for a new hall in Quaker Farms. It will be one story, 25×40 of floor space, with a basement kitchen, and will replace Good Templar Hall, which burned down on October 31.

December 14

  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Huntington Bridge, a steel span where today’s Derby-Shelton Bridge is today, is being replanked. It has many holes from much use. Old timers say the covered bridge it replaced in 1891 was never this bad. The steel bridge was very unpopular, and replaced with the current bridge in 1919.
  • SHELTON – Anonymous donor will add the bell tower to Good Shepherd Church, completing the edifice as designed. Construction will begin next spring.
  • DERBY – Complaints about advertisements being placed illegally on telephone poles, telegraph poles, and shade trees along the streets.

December 15

  • SHELTON – The ladders on the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder truck are dangerous, and need replacing. The entire truck, purchased in 1883, should be replaced, but seeing as how the Borough of Shelton is heavily in debt, firemen would be happy just with new ladders. 

December 16

  • ANSONIA – The Boston Store reopens for the first time in the new building that replaced its old one on the corner of Main and Bridge Streets – the three story Murray Building. The Boston Store was Ansonia’s premier department store at this time.
  • DERBY – Derby school enumeration: 1770 children, 94 less than last year. Of these, 1294 are attending school.
  • DERBY – Lake Housatonic, above the Ousatonic Dam, is frozen over. However, it is still not safe for skating.
  • DERBY – Lack of street signs in Derby causes much confusion with visitors.

Monday, December 18, 1905

  • SEYMOUR – Burglars break into Seymour Lumber and Hardware Company and steal $160 worth of goods. Police have no suspects.

December 19

  • The famed wanderer “Johnny o’ the Woods” passes through Derby, Ansonia, and Seymour. He has a regular “circuit” through New York and lower New England, including the Valley, and survives off the kindness of strangers. He says little, and not much is known about his past or why he wanders so. Not long ago some local boys were arrested for harassing him – Johnny is an old man and considered harmless.

December 21

  • Torrential rain falls, canceling school in Ansonia and interferes with Christmas shopping. Then, as now, many are saying they are “glad it was not snow”.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – There is a movement in Ansonia to close stores all day on Christmas. Previously they had been open for first part of the day to make last minute sales. Most Derby stores have already decided to do so, though grocery and meat dealers are unsure – recall this is 1905, and the corner grocery was an essential part of urban living back then.

December 22

  • Very mild day brings out songbirds not normally seen this season. There are concerns that this weather will aggravate severe colds.

Monday, December 25, 1905 – Christmas Day

  • Ten arrested in various incidents in Ansonia – mostly intoxicated people acting foolish. It should be noted that at this time, one of the peaks of the Industrial Revolution, there was a large population of unmarried men with no families who came to the Valley to work. Because of this, the saloons are quite busy, and some get carried away. A riot nearly starts at a Chinese laundry on Main Street when forty demand their clothes be washed at once – the Ansonia Police was called to restore order before things got out of hand. Another five are arrested in Derby. Trolley conductors report they received many good tips. Merchants note people seem to have more money this year, and spent it.
  • ANSONIA – Archbishop Tikhon dedicates the new Russian Orthodox Church on Howard Avenue in a very impressive 10 AM ceremony.
  • DERBY – The City’s Mayor, Benjamin Hubbell, injures tendons in his foot after he accidentally falls in his Third Street stable.
  • OXFORD – “The Centre School closed for the fall term…with exercises suitable for the season, and a Christmas tree which was well laded with fruit, the distribution of which made the children very happy”. Back then old colonial town “centers” like Huntington and Oxford were spelled “centre”. 

December 26

  • DERBY – The oldest motorman in the State resigns from the trolley company, Connecticut Railway and Lighting. Patrick Harlow of Derby worked on the very first trolley car in Derby, and by extension the State of Connecticut since Derby and Ansonia had the first system, as a coachman 14 years ago.
  • DERBY – A young Ansonia girl falls through the ice at Pickett’s Pond. One rescuer falls into 10′ deep water trying to reach her. Both are rescued when others extend a tree limb to them.

December 27

  • The weather continues to be unseasonably mild and spring like. The Housatonic River is still open to navigation for lack of ice, which is rare for this time of year.
  • OXFORD – The Sentinel‘s Oxford correspondent writes “Still this marvelously beautiful weather is with us and adds pleasure to the enjoyment of this season of peace and good will. It is not warm enough to tempt people to be careless, so the danger of great sickness as a consequence is very much lessened”.
  • DERBY – Hotchkiss Hose Company No. 1 becomes the first fire company in the area to install a telephone. The phone was paid for at the members expense, and the number is 476-5.

December 28

  • The Sentinel reports today’s temperature reaches a high of 61 degrees. Last year it was 27 on this date. Later in the day, 1.29″ of rain turns the streets into “a sea of mud”.
  • DERBY – Main Street merchants complain their businesses are suffering from people shopping out of town via the trolley.
  • SHELTON – A young people’s society in Shelton Methodist Church remembers the town’s shut-ins by sending them baskets or other gifts.

December 29

  • The spring like weather continues as a thunderstorm sweeps through the area.
  • DERBY – The Sterling Piano Company, then one of Derby’s largest employers, reports 1905 was the most prosperous years in its history.
  • ANSONIA – Stephen Charters, who until last month had been Mayor of Ansonia, has returned to his former profession as a carpenter and labor leader. Ironically, he finds himself employed at the new Lincoln School, which is still under construction. He discretely pencils his name, the date, and notes he is a carpenter behind a wall about to be installed. The signature remains undiscovered until it is uncovered by workmen remodeling Lincoln School, on July 13, 1955.

December 30

  • ANSONIA – It is noted that the large mud hole that appears every time it rains near the railroad passenger station, and the dilapidated town post (sign board) nearby leave visitors with bad first impressions of Ansonia.

December 31

  • Several churches hold Watch Night celebrations, including Ansonia’s Immanuel and the Methodist Church. New Year’s Eve passes quietly – few people on the streets.
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