Monday, January 1, 1906

  • The Evening Sentinel sold a record 1,536,680 copies in 1905. The average daily circulation is 5,022. For many years the Sentinel had the largest per capita subscription rate in the United States.

January 2

  • DERBY – The board of Apportionment & Taxation is being petitioned to widen and improve Water Street.
  • DERBY – The Sentinel reports that famous multi-millionaire Andrew Carnegie will donate the last $625 needed to purchase an organ for the new Unitarian Church at Seymour and Atwater Avenues.
  • SHELTON – A boy skating on the canal falls through the ice. He sinks under the water twice. Fortunately his plight is witnessed by a women, who calls the police. The Borough’s only two permanent policemen respond. Officer Barnes jumps into the frigid waters, grabs the boy, and hands him to Chief Robbins.

January 3

  • A heavy evening rainfall turns everything into ice.
  • SEYMOUR – The 150 acre James Farm on Mountain Road in the Bungay district is sold to J.H. Hale of Glastonbury, the largest peach grower in the world. The farm also touches Great Hill Road, across which is the Hale & Coleman peach orchard – the largest in Connecticut.
  • SEYMOUR – The road through Puddle Hollow, a neighborhood being eradicated for railroad expansion and to relocate South Main Street, is  officially closed.
  • OXFORD – Whooping Cough epidemic in Oxford Center.

January 4

  • DERBY – The Russian Relief Committee has raised $153.55 for victims of a Jewish pogrom that occurred there.

January 5

  • ANSONIA – Another house is moved from the Railroad Property to New Jerusalem, off lower Main Street.
  • ANSONIA – Big problem with dogs killing chickens on Kankwood Hill. 
  • ANSONIA – The State is dissatisfied with Ansonia’s recent school enumeration, and orders the City to perform it again – for the third time in a year.
  • SEYMOUR – The defunct Valley National Bank pays its last dividend.
  • SEYMOUR – The road on west side of the river to Ansonia, through the woods near Kinneytown Flats, is covered with stones that rolled down the nearby hill – causing a dangerous condition.

January 6

  • Coal dealers report slack business due to mild the winter temperatures. Caterpillars, snakes, and lady bugs are appearing.
  • DERBY – Attorney Albert Sherwood’s first ever article appears in the Evening Sentinel, entitled “Historic Trees of Derby, Part I”. A Waterbury resident, Mr. Sherwood was born in Derby in the 1840s, and is from one of the “old” families. Many more articles would appear. In 1924, the same year of his death, many of them would be put together in a book still read today called Memories of Old Derby.

Monday, January 8, 1906

  • The unseasonably high temperatures are broken a bit today by a light snowfall. Prior to that mosquitoes were appearing in the unusually mild weather. People are anxious about high ice prices later this year, as ponds where it is harvested are not frozen. Ice was used for refrigeration in 1906.
  • ANSONIA – A “murderous” assault at Henry Gross’ saloon on Water Street leaves a bartender with a fractured skull from a pool cue. The assailant at large, and being vigorously tracked down by the police.

January 9

  • ANSONIA – The bartender who was assaulted at Henry Gross’s salon dies. The assailant has been arrested, and is charged with murder.
  • OXFORD – Foundation laid for a new public hall in Quaker Farms, to replace the Good Templar Hall destroyed by fire last Halloween.
  • SHELTON – The factory of the United Folding Box & Paper company is to be leased to the Bleached Fibre Company of New York, where it will manufacture high grade paper stock.

January 10

  • Temperatures near zero.
  • SEYMOUR – Many complaints about the Seymour Electric Company’s streetlights. They are so dim they are virtually useless at night.

January 11

  • Roller skates are becoming popular again, as they were a number of years ago.
  • DERBY – It is announced that the Derby Automobile Company will open on March 1 in a new building on Atwater Avenue. It is run by Curtiss & Tomlinson of Ansonia, who are converting their carriage manufacturer business to sell automobiles.
  • DERBY – John Lombardi is putting a big addition onto his Minerva Street machine shop, that will serve as a salesroom for up to 50 automobiles. An old wood shed is being torn down for new 2-story brick building.

January 13

  • DERBY – Burglars are discovered by a laundryman in Judge William Sidney Downs’ home on Elizabeth Street. He chases one of them across the Derby Public Library grounds. The suspect then jumps over the ravine at Caroline Street. Both burglars escape. The upper floor of the Judge’s home is found ransacked.
  • OXFORD – Rabies scare when a dog is discovered with the disease. 
  • SEYMOUR – There is a Scarlet Fever epidemic on Great Hill.

January 14

  • There is so much ice after an ice storm that some children are actually ice skating along the sidewalks.

Monday, January 15, 1906

  • Rain washes away yesterday’s snow, ruining the sleighing and coating sidewalks with ice.
  • DERBY – The new electrical control switch is now in operation at the rail yards at  Derby Junction in East Derby.
  • SHELTON – Residents of the Kneen Street area are upset when a local doctor fails to report a case of diphtheria. This results in many children being exposed to the disease at Ferry School, resulting in an uproar among the parents, too. The school room is fumigated. The Borough Health Officer, Dr. Gould Shelton, is investigating.

January 16

  • SEYMOUR – The Sentinel editorializes that Seymour will become a trolley center now that contracts have  been awarded for a new line between that town and Naugatuck. The Naugatuck line goes to Waterbury, connecting that city to Bridgeport via the Lower Naugatuck Valley lines.

January 17

  • A rabies scare affecting other parts of the area reaches the Valley. Dogs believed infected are found on Division Street, Ansonia, and on Derby Avenue in Seymour. Stores are seeing a run on muzzles. People are killing dogs suspected of carrying rabies.
  • ANSONIA – The police department seizes a nickel slot machine in the Hotel Dayton. After that the numerous other gambling machines that appeared in Ansonia in the last six months “disappear as if by magic” in Ansonia. 
  • DERBY – George Clark of Milford will lease the Bassett barn on Fourth Street, for the sale of carriages, buggies, and heavy wagons. Mr. Clark sold a considerable quantity of these last year.
  • January 18
  • DERBY – Many are pleased with the new concrete bridge on Main Street over the Naugatuck River. They think the Huntington Bridge, a steel bridge constructed in 1891 at the site of today’s Derby-Shelton Bridge should be replaced next. (It would be replaced by the current concrete structure in 1919).

January 19

  • DERBY – The George W. Cheeseman property on Minerva Street is purchased for a new Derby High School. The Elks were negotiating for some time for the property, and were reportedly surprised by the announcement.
  • DERBY – Another burglary occurs in the Derby Public Library neighborhood when the H. D. Sawyer house on Seymour Avenue is broken into. Some silverware is taken.
  • SEYMOUR – Few dogs wandering in Seymour today, as most are chained due to the rabies scare.
  • SHELTON – Unlike other parts of the area, large amounts of harvestable ice for refrigeration can be found in Huntington. Two icemen have harvested 115 tons from the millpond off the Huntington Street bridge, while in White Hills Philip Jones has also filled his big house.

January 20

  • SHELTON – In a shocking development, warrants are issued for the arrest of 14 local merchants, mostly along Howe Avenue, for conducting business on Sunday. Apparently a petition was signed by members of a group with religious ties. After the initial shock and indignation from the first merchants who were served the warrants, the arrests take on a carnival atmosphere as people learn a visit from the police is imminent, and so many others are also being arrested. The police are reportedly reluctant to make the arrests, but their hands are tied. This is the major local news story in the Sentinel for quite some time, and touches off a debate over whether state ordinances prohibiting business on Sunday are a religious duty, or merely a Connecticut “Blue Law”.
  • ANSONIA – The proprietor of the Hotel Dayton pleads guilty to keeping an illegal slot machine and is fined $50, which is considered quite steep. Later he is charged for exposing minors to the machine. Its widely believed that this case is intended as a warning to the other slot machine vendors who have been installing the machines for the last six months.
  • SEYMOUR – A police officer kills another mad dog suspected of carrying rabies.

January 21

  • Temperatures rise to 60 degrees with high humidity

Monday, January 22, 1906

  • OXFORD – The walls of the new Good Templar Hall are raised in Quaker Farms.

January 23

  • DERBY – The Elks Club votes to buy the Cheeseman property on Minerva Street for the amount agreed upon some time ago. This is a problem, because the Board of Education has already put $100 down on the property for use as a new High School.
  • DERBY – Local residents who return from an automobile show in New York City are very enthusiastic about the new machine’s future prospects. Among the new innovations introduced is a device intended to help cars ride easier called a shock absorber. At this time, many still think automobiles are dangerous, largely because of their speed.

January 24

  • SEYMOUR – Complaint of a large number of underage foreign boys working in local factories.

January 25

  • DERBY – Word reaches town that General Joseph Wheeler is gravely ill, suffering from pneumonia in New York City. This leads to a number of reminisces about the man’s boyhood in Derby. He lived in the Commodore Hull House on Commerce Street. Later, he would move South, and he would become a leader in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he worked toward Reconstruction, and became a general in the US Army, serving in the Spanish American War. Later in the day, it was announced that he passed away.
  • SEYMOUR – The Mad Dog scare continues. A dog is killed after it attacks a woman on horseback on Great Hill. In another part of town, people are worried about a resident that was bit by a dog owned by the principal of Seymour High School, though the victim does not appear to be suffering from rabies. 

January 28

  • DERBY – Four arrested in a Sunday raid on a Housatonic Avenue saloon.
  • OXFORD – The Sentinel’s Oxford correspondent writes: “The traveling on Sunday was very hard and few cared to ride for pleasure that day. A cold wave followed that night, which while not excessive is good wholesome winter weather”.

Monday, January 29, 1906

  • DERBY – A suspect in the burglary of the Sawyer residence on Seymour Avenue in Derby earlier this month is arrested – an Ansonia man. This came after another man arrested for stealing Dr. Ambrose Beardsley’s carriage implicated him. Both are accused of several break-ins involving silver.
  • DERBY – It is formally announced that the Cheeseman property on Minerva Street will be used for a new Derby High School.
  • DERBY – The Board of Apportionment & Taxation is considering opening a “Town Farm”, which will care for the poor by providing them a working environment. The reason for this is charity expenses are rapidly increasing, and Ansonia seems to have had success with a similar venture.

January 30

  • Icemen are giving up hope of a successful local harvest due to the mild winter. They have reportedly resorted to listening to the region’s old inhabitants telling them the number of times the Housatonic River, the largest source of refrigeration ice, froze in February enough to make ice.

January 31

  • ANSONIA – One of Ansonia’s oldest residents, Mrs. Charlotte D. Clark, dies at the age of 82. She was born in Seymour, but moved to Woodbridge Street, Ansonia in 1830, where she lived in the same house for the rest of her life. When she moved to Ansonia, Main Street was mostly composed of potato patches. The nearest store was on Main & Division Streets, and the nearest Naugatuck River bridge crossing was at Division Street.
  • ANSONIA – Because of the mild weather, Ansonia merchants are complaining they have very large stocks of winter goods.
  • OXFORD – Hope Chapel in Quaker Farms given a new stove, a gift from a new town resident.
  • DERBY – Residents are requesting a new streetlight on the corner of Minerva Street and Cottage Street.


Thursday, February 1, 1906

  • Today is Ansonia Day in New Haven. The Elm City’s merchants there gave free inducements to Ansonia and Derby women to come to New Haven to shop. These inducements include free train fare, free meals, and sales for Valley residents only. Special, gaily decorated trains are sent to the Valley. Thousands attend.
  • There is a problem on the Huntington Bridge, of boys handing out handbills to passerby. The pedestrians tend to glance at the handbills, often advertising sales or shows at places such as Sterling Opera House, then throw them onto street. This practice is illegal in both Derby and Shelton, but the boys tend to run over the bridge, outside the jurisdiction of each town’s police, when pursued. Now that Derby and Shelton are cooperating on this, they are positioning themselves directly in the middle of the bridge, and its unclear which department has jurisdiction.
  • SEYMOUR – The Tomlinson Place on River Road in Seymour is purchased by a new owner for a low price. The reason the price was low is the house is said to be haunted. Several families who lived there said a ghost rearranges furniture at night. The ghost is thought to be the original owner, who committed suicide. The house’s former owner did not occupy the house.

February 2

  • Local groundhogs see their shadows, predicting six more weeks of winter. That evening, the temperatures fall below zero, causing the Housatonic to freeze, and making the nervous icemen very happy.

February 4

  • ANSONIA – An Elm Street milkman loses control of his wagon going down that street’s hill. The wagon bumps horses that are pulling it, causing them to go wild. The wagon overturns near Vose Street, dumping 400 quarts of milk into the street. One horse is injured, and the wagon is smashed.

Monday, February 5, 1906

  • The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company is making preparations to harvest ice in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, due to the very mild winter.
  • ANSONIA – 5 local boys, about 17 years old, have run away. It is rumored that they have decided to join the Navy.
  • SEYMOUR – A dump cart, and the horse that was pulling it, fall into the Naugatuck River off upper Main Street. The horse had to be cut free of its harness to be saved.

February 6

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Board of Apportionment and Taxation approves a 12 mill tax on all residents. This proves very unpopular, and at least one grassroots group forms to find ways to avoid paying the tax.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Health votes to ask the Board of Aldermen to make spitting on sidewalks illegal.
  • DERBY – Following Ansonia’s lead, the Police Chief warns shop owners to remove all slot machines.

February 8

  • Snowstorm and lunar eclipse overnight.
  • DERBY – The Derby Neck Library board votes to remove all books by Jack London from the shelves, after the author announces he is an anarchist and denounces the United States government.
  • SHELTON – The first teacher’s institute ever held by the Town of Huntington opens at Shelton High School, under the State Board of Education. At least 150 Connecticut teachers attend.

February 9

  • SEYMOUR – A carriage containing an Ansonia couple is struck by a train on South Main Street, after the horse became spooked and ran into it head on. The husband is badly injured. The wife dies the following day.
  • ANSONIA – Fountain Hose Company holds their 30th annual Firemen’s Ball at German Hall. Many attend.

February 10

  • DERBY – The action of the Derby Neck Library board two days before catches the attention of the New York Times, which ridicules the board and states banning Jack London’s books is “good advertising for the author”.

February 11

  • A snowstorm brings the first opportunity of the winter season to use horse drawn sleighs.
  • SHELTON – In the wake of arrest, and eventual clearing of charges, of all merchants open on Sunday, all downtown merchants remain closed this Sunday, including fruit dealers who tested the law last week. This does not stop the Fairfield County sheriffs from raiding the Donovan saloon on Center Street – arriving from Bridgeport in a horse drawn sleigh. After breaking down the door and busting windows, it becomes clear that the saloon was indeed closed for the day, in accordance with the law. A rough crowd gathers outside and taunts the sheriffs, but no violence or arrests result.

Monday, February 12, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company starts cutting 8 acres of 10″ thick ice on Quillian’s pond in Ansonia. Because of the scarcity of ice this year, due to the warm temperatures, arc lights are set up so the cutting can go on both day and night. Ice was the primary means of refrigeration back then. 
  • DERBY – In the wake of last week’s controversy, involving the Derby Neck Library pulling all books by Jack London off the shelves after he denounces the US Government and declares he is an anarchist, Derby and Shelton Socialists are now trying to get Mr. London to speak at Sterling Opera House.
  • DERBY – The police department informs local boys they can no longer play on the Green, due to damage they have caused to the grass.

February 13

  • ANSONIA – 50 at work at Qullian’s Pond for Ansonia-Derby Ice Company. Warm evening weather causes mass melting of both snow and ice, forcing the harvesting to stop.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, Seymour residents meet here to form the Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club. Twenty attend the meeting, and officers are elected. A boathouse will be constructed on Shelton side of Housatonic River.
  • SHELTON – A dozen employees of the Derby Manufacturing Company on Canal Street strike after the machine room foreman is discharged.

February 14

  • OXFORD – Ice harvesting has also been occurring here at a frenzied pace, in an effort to get enough ice in the little time allowed. F. S. Sanford’s ice house is only half full.
  • SEYMOUR – Mrs. Julia French withdraws offer to build a public library in memory of her late husband. Her lawyer states the reasons include the fact she is now in ill health and is not pleased with the progress of obtaining land for the library.

February 15

  • ANSONIA – Cold weather returns, ice harvesting begins again on Quillian’s Pond.
  • DERBY – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company is now harvesting on Lake Housatonic, above the Ousatonic Dam. However, the ice is of poor quality, and only 7″ thick.
  • DERBY – The mayor appoints two members of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation to purchase a Town Farm for local poor residents.
  • DERBY – Mrs. Gilbert Wheeler, born August 5, 1817,, dies in the same house she was born at 323 Hawthorne Avenue. She was the daughter of Sheldon and Grace Smith. 

February 16

  • DERBY – In a further sign of the unseasonably mild weather, a Washington Street resident spots a robin and 2 bluebirds.

February 17

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company is having a hard time finding people to harvest ice on Quillian’s Pond on short notice. High school boys are now being employed.
  • SEYMOUR – The “mad dog” rabies scare is over for the most part, though complaints persist of unattended dogs.

February 18

  • All but giving up on the local ice harvest, the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company begins harvesting on a leased pond in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The ice blocks will be floated down the Housatonic River.

Monday, February 19, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Farrel and members of Board of Education have been inspecting city schools. They had to enter and leave Elm Street School through back fence because of a 6″ layer of mud everywhere else in the schoolyard. Steps are being taken to solve problem.

February 20

  • DERBY – Housatonic Avenue is in “deplorable” shape. It is described as “one long mudhole”. The sidewalks have many holes and are also muddy.
  • DERBY & ANSONIA – Spring like weather once again halts ice harvesting on Quillian’s Reservoir and Lake Housatonic.

February 21

  • ANSONIA – 200 attend a Washington’s Birthday ball at Ansonia Opera House.
  • ANSONIA – Riot between Poles and Slavs in a Jersey Street saloon. Six are arrested, though it is unclear exactly what happened due to language barriers.
  • SHELTON – The first coal barge of the year arrives at Shelton Docks, for the J. A. Birge Company. This is quite early in the year for coal barges, normally the river is iced over at this point. The mild weather, while it may be driving the cost of ice up, is also contributing to lowering the cost of coal.

February 22

  • By this time, the Ansonia-Derby Ice Company has only harvested 4000 tons of ice – much of it poor quality, due to the mild winter. This leads to widespread fears that the price of ice, vital to refrigeration, will be high this year.

February 23

  • SEYMOUR – A 22 year old Italian railroad laborer is struck and killed by a freight train at Mahoney’s Cut, below South Main Street.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Opera House packed beyond capacity by Webster Hose H&L Company’s ball. Four hundred are in the Grand March alone.

February 24

  • ANSONIA – Owner of the Jersey Street saloon where the riot broke out February 21 is arrested for serving minors. He is fined $25.

February 25

  • ANSONIA – A farmer walking with a lantern at dusk brings a train to a screeching halt. The train’s engineer saw him swinging the lantern in distance, and became afraid that it was a signal that the tracks were washed out ahead. A quick investigation leads to no charges being filed, as the farmer had no idea his lantern caused the train to stop when questioned.

Monday, February 26, 1906

  • Ice field on Lake Housatonic breaks up and floats down the river. In previous years, the “ice going out” led to destructive freshets along the riverbank, but because of the mild winter the ice was so thin it causes no damage.
  • OXFORD – The new social hall built to replace Good Templar Hall dedicated in Quaker Farms with a dance held by the Choral Club. The hall is a big improvement over the last one, and the gathering is the biggest assembly in recent memory in Quaker Farms. A formal opening is proposed after Lent.
  • SHELTON – The work of removing machinery of the National Folding Box and Paper Company on Canal Street to New Haven is well underway. The factory is for sale.

February 27

  • ANSONIA – The annual American Brass Company meeting is held in Waterbury. Charles Brooker of Ansonia is reelected president of the ABC. The firm’s capitol stock is raised from $10 million to $12.5 million.
  • ANSONIA – A public hearing is held about the trolley company, Connecticut Railway & Lighting’s, petition to double track the belt line. The proposal has met vigorous opposition in Ansonia, where residents are afraid there would be no room for horse teams on Main Street if more tracks are added. This ongoing debate lasts for weeks.
  • SEYMOUR – Messrs. Sanford & Hitch move their steam powered sawmill from Governor’s Hill, Oxford, to a woodland tract they recently purchased on Great Hill.

February 28

  • ANSONIA – A mysterious “Miss Dandro” leaves a note in the mail that she admired a man from afar, and wanted to meet him at McQuade’s Corner Drug Store. The problem was, about 100 men from Ansonia and Derby got the same note, and many showed up looking for the secret admirer all at once, including some who were married. Many entered the store, some hung out in the area, while some walked past a number of times. Later it was discovered that the letter was a clever ploy for a new hair tonic from the company that made it, being sold at McQuade’s, called Dandro.
  • DERBY – The Derby Choral Club stages Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah at Sterling Opera House, before one of the largest audiences ever in the playhouse. The Derby Fire Department had men in uniform – which calmed nervous people down (deadly theater fires were a real problem in America then). While the Sentinelenjoys the presentation, it complains that the main exit was blocked with chairs for additional seating, as well as people getting up and leaving before the last number ended.
  • SEYMOUR – A new 4-room schoolhouse being built next to Central School is almost finished. It will be for primary grades – the children who will go there are now at Central and the Second Street School.
  • SHELTON – For only the third time in 15 years, ice on the bottom of the Shelton Canal rose to the surface and blocked the waterwheels of the mills along Canal Street which draw power from it. Some factories close, others are on limited production. Rock salt and long handled rakes are employed with limited success.


Thursday, March 1, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The John R. Murray Company changes its name to R. Q. Walsh Company. Robert Q. Walsh was a junior partner in the firm for many years, until Mr. Muray recently retired. The company runs the Boston Store, and the building will continue to be called the Murray Block.

March 3

  • Three inches of rain falls today, the heaviest rainfall total since August.
  • ANSONIA – Streets and crosswalks flooded. The Naugatuck rises to highest level in a year – rising to a few inches below the track timbers of the railroad trestle.
  • SEYMOUR – Street flooding occurs when the Naugatuck River overflows. The floodwaters carried away several yards of temporary railroad tracks where double-tracking is occurring. Several large gravel banks related to the construction project are completely washed away upstream. A big steam shovel near the riverbank is almost undermined.
  • SHELTON – The Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club will lease 100′ of river frontage from Captain George W. Briggs off the South End. The riverfront location is ideal as it is in a sort of ravine along the riverbank, offering protection from freshets.

March 4

  • The Naugatuck River continues to rise due to the heavy rainfall the day before. The floodwater begin to recede at noon, and by evening the river level has dropped 3 feet.
  • DERBY – A big beam floats down Naugatuck River and strikes a pier of the Old Town Bridge on Division Street, causing the bridge to settle and lean onto one side. Both rivers rise in Derby, but the damage is slight because there is no ice.
  • SHELTON – The Church of the Good Shepherd is shaken by the news that Rev. F. H. Masthison has been stricken by “partial paralysis of the vocal cords”.

Wednesday, March 7, 1906

  • ANSONIA – An old carpenter shop on The Flats off Maple street is torn down. Several tenement buildings will be erected there. Many Seymour residents, most of whom are foreign born and displaced by the railroad improvements that eradicated the Puddle Hollow neighborhood and other places in that town, have migrated to Ansonia in the six months.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s Grand List totals $2,991,986, and increase of $15,000 over last year.
  • SEYMOUR – SNET completes running a phone cable from Ansonia to the corner of Main and Bank Streets. It contains 104 wires – which should accommodate Seymour’s expanding telephone needs for the next few years.
  • SHELTON – The Ousatonic Water Company is building a suburb called Parkview north of downtown Shelton. While a number of lots will be sold, the company itself will build at least 6 model cottages – containing 6 rooms each and moderately priced.

March 9

  • DERBY – 15 pupils of Franklin School are ordered home by the principal, because they have whooping cough. The school system is trying to prevent an outbreak.
  • SHELTON – The “mad dog” rabies scare has spread into White Hills. A berserk mastiff was scared out of a pig pen, then ran away and attacked 2 other dogs, killing one before being shot and killed itself . Three days later the entire town orders all dogs must be muzzled for a month, and police may shot dogs that are not compliant.

March 10

  • ANSONIA – Armstrong Bargain House will throw 5,000 marbles into the street at 2 PM as an advertising stunt. This is the second year in a row Armstrong’s has done so. At this time in history, marbles is a popular children’s game.

Monday, March 12, 1906

  • DERBY – Two cast members from the troupe performing Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the Sterling Opera House get married on stage – for real. Theatergoers initially thought it was part of the production, but it was an actual marriage, performed by Rev. A. J. Talbot, of Ansonia’s AME Zion Church.

March 13

  • SEYMOUR – A Derby mason working on the double tracking project gets caught on the railroad trestle over the Naugatuck River as a train approaches. He narrowly escapes, and has to jump 20′ into the water to save his life.

March 14

  • SEYMOUR – Telephone lines are being extended into Great Hill.
  • ANSONIA – The controversy over the dwindling number of shade trees downtown resurfaces when two nice old trees are cut down on the corner of Main and Chestnut Streets. There is talk of enacting an ordinance to preserve the remaining shade trees left.

March 15

  • A snowstorm drops up to six inches of snow. This is only the second storm of the year in which enough snow has fallen for horse drawn sleighs.

March 17

  • ANSONIA – A mule that until recently belonged to Farrel Foundry is sold to a coal dealer. Shortly afterward, it stops in its tracks on Main Street, just as the Farrel gong sounds for quitting work. The mule absolutely will not budge, and even holds up the trolley. It takes awhile for people to realize that the Farrel gong signified it could stop work, along with the foundry’s human employees. The mule finally moves when it becomes convinced that it is about to be served dinner – part of its routine at Farrel’s.
  • SEYMOUR – The rabies scare appears to have passed – the 60 day muzzle law on all dogs is allowed to expire today.

Monday, March 19, 1906

  • The worst snowstorm of the year brings high winds and deep, wet snow. A train derails in heavy snow between Seymour and Beacon Falls.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education votes to open new Garden Street School on April 9. The Factory Street School will be shuttered, while three 8th grade classes from Hill School will be transferred to Garden Street.

March 20

  • ANSONIA – School enumerations completed, again. A total of 3,742 school age children are counted, 148 more than last December’s count. 196 of them are in private schools, and 2781 are in public schools. 16 children between the ages of 14 & 16 are not in school, while another 16 over the age of 16 are still in school.
  • ANSONIA – The Police Chief gets a telephone call from Woodbridge about a man who stole an overcoat and jewels from a home there. A companion of the suspect shortly afterward shows up at the police station for lodging (lockups commonly doubled as homeless shelters back then), and tells the Chief the suspect’s location. He’s arrested at train station. The new modern marvel, the telephone, is credited for allowing the Chief to move quickly before the suspect caught a train for Boston.
  • SEYMOUR – A Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Chapter is organized at the Seymour Congregational Church.
  • SHELTON – The Sidney Blumenthal Company will lease part of the former Birmingham Brass Company on Bridge Street and install 60 looms. The company’s growth is termed “phenomenal”.

March 21

  • Today is the first day of Spring. Snow still covers everything.
  • DERBY – N. L. Blover, an Elizabeth Street automobile dealer, loads five people who missed the trolley into a car. He later passes the same trolley, beating it into Ansonia, despite the snowy conditions. He tied ropes around the wheels for added traction.
  • SHELTON – The International Silver Company on Bridge Street is “unusually busy”. The company needs new machinery to meet its demands, but has no room to install it.

March 22

  • ANSONIA – City factories are extremely busy – most are working until 10:00 PM, instead of the usual 6:00 PM quitting time. The workers are being paid overtime.
  • ANSONIA – A new three-story frame apartment building will soon replace an old house on Jersey Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The Naugatuck News reports that that Sunday selling continues to be brisk in this town. It has also proven hard to catch, because someone is tipping off saloon keepers ahead of raids. Slot machines are also a problem.
  • SHELTON – An otter is shot and killed along the Far Mill River in Wells Hollow. This is the first otter seen here in over 25 years.

March 23

  • DERBY – Pool, or billiards, continues to be popular in this city, despite the fact it is waning elsewhere in favor of bowling and roller skating.
  • SHELTON – Farmers and lumbermen lament that the industrial boom has stripped them of manpower. One farmer is offering a rent-free cottage, fuel, a cow, and $25 a month, and still can’t find workers.

March 24

  • Morning temperatures are 8 degrees.

March 25

  • SEYMOUR – The town is dry this Sunday, due to widespread rumors of a pending raid against illegal alcohol selling. None occurs, however.
  • OXFORD – The price of eggs is down to 18 cents per dozen, due to the overabundance of eggs in town.

Monday, March 26, 1906

  • DERBY – Derby will receive a drinking fountain for both horses and humans on the corner of Atwater and Seymour Avenues – thanks to a successful application by W. E. Andrews of Williams Typewriter Company to National Humane Alliance It will replace an iron drinking tank there many years. This fountain has since been moved to Founder’s Common.

March 27

  • Warm temperatures bring a big thaw to the deep snow cover from the recent storm.
  • ANSONIA – The bowling alleys at the Ansonia YMCA open after being refurbished. They are heavily patronized.
  • DERBY – During a public hearing of Derby Board of Aldermen committee empowered to look into the matter of the CR&L trolley line double-tracking the belt line, the committee votes 16-7 to turn down the petition to double track trolley lines. Ansonia is reported pleased, as it already is on record opposing the plan. 

March 28

  • ANSONIA – The Naugatuck River is 2′ higher than it was yesterday due to the thaw. An island below the Maple Street bridge has shifted east – no one knows why. The Sentinel remarks how resourceful Ansonia’s poor are for their skill in quickly scavenging driftwood washed up along the riverbank for fuel.
  • ANSONIA – A four-day search for two missing children, a 5 year old girl and her 3 and a half year old brother, comes to a tragic end when their bodies are discovered in Biddy Lamb’s Pond. Apparently they fell through the ice in extremely cold weather. At this time of year, the pond covers one acre. The Sentinel calls it one of the saddest tragedies ever to strike Ansonia.

March 29

  • Thanks to the thaw, many roads are covered with mud “half a wheel deep” in some places. 
  • DERBY – People are driving their wagons and carriages along the railroad track paralleling New Haven Avenue to avoid the mud.
  • ANSONIA – Every school in Ansonia now has a telephone, except Garden Street which will shortly.
  • ANSONIA – Farrel Foundry & Machine Company is completing the largest sugar mill it has ever built. It will be shipped to Cuba next week. It was completely assembled, then taken apart for shipping.

March 30

  • There is now a problem hiring servant girls and waitresses, because women are preferring the large number of available factory jobs. The same applies to farm hands, causing some local farmers to go to Ellis Island, in an attempt to employ newly arrived immigrants.

March 31

  • ANSONIA – Joseph Jarvis of Bridgeport has leased the old skating rink on Mechanic Street, which he will convert into an 8-lane bowling alley. He hopes to open May 1.
  • SHELTON – Not a single case came before the Town Court in the month of March. It is attributed to the fact that everyone is working.


April 1

  • ANSONIA – Dr. Roselus Y. Downs, Ansonia’s Health Officer, dies at age 45 in his South Cliff Street home. Many are shocked, and believe overwork is the main cause. He came to Ansonia in 1886.
  • ANSONIA – The Factory Street School closes. The school’s female janitor of 19 years turns in her keys.

Monday, April 2, 1906

  • Coal jumps 50 cents a ton, to $7.50, in one day, due to a massive strike in the Pennsylvania coal mines.
  • ANSONIA – A Jersey Street saloon owner gets his second big fine, $100, in six weeks, for serving alcohol to minors.

April 3

  • The price of lobsters is at a near record high, at 30 cents a pound.
  • ANSONIA – Several thousand people from across the Valley attend the opening of the new Boston Store, on the corner of Main Street and Bridge Street.
  • DERBY – The “White Property” house on Derby Avenue is being torn down. It is one of the oldest houses in Derby, and was once a rectory for Christ Episcopal Church when it was located across the street.
  • SHELTON – The town’s 1,200 Roman Catholics are surprised by a morning Associated Press announcement that a new parish is to be established here, with Father D. A. Bailey of Montville the pastor. Currently Shelton’s Catholics worship at St. Mary’s in Derby, although some there have initial doubts of the report’s authenticity, it later is determined true. This is the very beginning of St. Joseph’s parish.

April 4

  • DERBY – The largest automobile ever seen in Derby up to that time passes through. It is over 9 feet long, powered by a 50 horse power engine. Among its amenities are glass windows on the doors, and a leather interior.
  • OXFORD – Linemen are putting extra lines on the new telegraph passing through Quaker Farms between New York and Boston.

April 5

  • SEYMOUR – A laborer in a local factory has built a greenhouse on his Union Street property entirely out of scratch in his spare time. Many are impressed.

April 7

  • The trolley company is putting side bars on the open trolleys used in warm weather, so people can only enter on one side. This increases both safety and ease of boarding.

April 8

  • DERBY – Numerous boats are launched for the season today due to fine weather, including the long anticipated new powerboat My Creation. Built by Mr. Clark, the boat is 26′ long, 7′ wide, powered by a 2 cylinder engine, and painted pure white. The cabin can accommodate about 25 people. It is intended as a fast excursion boat, carrying parties up and down the Housatonic River, and to Long Island.
  • SHELTON – A 3 year old boy drowns in the Shelton Canal near the Paper Mill Block, while his parents are attending St. Michael’s Church services in Derby. He was in the care of older sister, who took her eyes off him for an instant.

Monday, April 9, 1906

  • A rainstorm begins at noon and continues until early the next morning, dropping a total of 3.15″ on the region. Wet snow falls in the afternoon, but does not stick. The storm is accompanied by high winds.
  • DERBY – The Derby Neck Library Association receives $3000 gift from Andrew Carnegie for a new library building, on condition that a lot be secured and the City appropriates $300 a year to the library. The City agrees to the terms of the gift, and a lot is secured from the heirs of late William E Downes, near Derby Neck Schoolhouse.
  • DERBY – Newton J. Peck sells the “Old Homestead Property” on Derby Avenue to St. Michael’s parish, where they will build a new church. The lot adjoins land the church already owns.
  • DERBY – A trolley sets a record of 11 minutes between Yale Field and Derby. The trolley was late in departing, and was carrying only passengers who were on their way to the transfer point at Derby Junction. Since there were no other stops, the trolley was able to travel at full speed the whole way.
  • ANSONIA – Factory Street School pupils gather there first thing in the morning, then are marched by their teachers to new Garden Street School, which opens for the first time. The Eighth grade from Hill School also transfers there.
  • SEYMOUR – The Naugatuck River comes close to overflowing it’s banks due to the heavy rain. No damage.

April 10

  • SEYMOUR – A large mad dog attacks the horses of a wagon belonging to the Seymour Manufacturing Company, then the driver. The driver directs the team into the into mill, and with an assistant fights the dog with pitchforks. The dog bolts, then attacks an assistant mill superintendent, tearing a coat off his back. Finally, the factory’s President, Sen. William Henry Harrison Wooster, observing the scene from his office, decides he’s had enough of this, and dispatches the dog with a shotgun fired from a window.
  • SHELTON – The Derby Gas Company will build a new private coal dock on Nettleton property off Riverdale Avenue. It will be 150 feet long, and made of concrete. It will be an improvement over old dock, and will connect directly with the company’s coal yards – eliminating the need to haul the heavy loads over public streets.
  • SHELTON – The Borough votes to accept the petition of the Star Pin Company and discontinue the portion of Maple Street between Shelton Canal and Housatonic River. The measure passed over the objection of some Derby residents, who believed this would be the best place to build a second bridge between Derby and Shelton in the future.

April 11

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company places a water meter on the watering trough located on Main Street and Bridge Street. This surprises some, who had assumed the water used to quench horses’ thirst was free.
  • OXFORD – Diphtheria breaking out in Southford.

April 12

  • Many houses are being repainted, despite the generally rainy weather this week.
  • SEYMOUR – All dogs in Seymour must now be muzzled for 90 days, due to the attack at Seymour Manufacturing two days before. It is feared there may be a rabies outbreak. Many owners are opposed.

April 13

  • On this Good Friday, many bakers are selling hot cross buns. Derby Baker J.N. Wise sells almost 3000 dozen hot cross buns alone, and still has to turn some away. Many are out in the nice weather, the trolleys are filled, and most are wearing Easter or springtime clothes.
  • ANSONIA – A small wood, single story store building is moved from Platt Street to Colburn Street.

April 14

  • SEYMOUR –  Several dogs without muzzles are shot and killed.
  • SHELTON – Many complaints of the trolleys going too fast on the Shelton-Bridgeport line. Several dogs and a horse have been killed recently, particularly along River Road. A petition has been sent to the Huntington Selectmen asking the trolleys to observe the legal speed limit – which is 15 mph.


  • Heavy rain & high winds in the morning causes some washouts. Despite the bad weather the cemeteries are full of flowers due to so many graves decorated. The churches are poorly attended despite the elaborate musical programs.
  • OXFORD – St. Peter’s Episcopal Church postpones it’s Easter services due to the storm.
  • SHELTON – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Huntington postpones it’s Easter services due to the storm.

Monday, April 16, 1906

  • DERBY – Polish residents enjoy their old custom of throwing water on each other on Easter Monday. In previous years, other residents usually watched from a respectful distance. Today, however, a group of outsiders got involved, and became very insulting, in Battle Row. A short fight ensued, and one knocked out before the fight was broken up.
  • SHELTON – William H. Wilkins, national organizer of the American Socialist Party, delivers a stirring address at Town Hall on Howe Avenue. The Sentinel calls him an excellent speaker.

April 17

  • Ice prices are not as bad as many feared it would be after the mild winter. Last year it was 40 cents a pound, this year it is 50 cents. Broken ice in 50 pound boxes has risen from 15 cents to 25 cents. Factories and merchants purchasing wholesale, 1,000 pounds and over, are now paying from 18 cents to 25 cents a pound.
  • SHELTON – Pioneer businessman James Henry Beard dies. He constructed the first brick block in Shelton – on the northeast corner of Howe Avenue and Bridge Street (still standing today) and opened the downtown’s first grocery store there.

April 18 The Great San Francisco Earthquake occurred today.

  • ANSONIA – The offices of the Evening Sentinel is inundated with inquires from people anxious about family and friends in San Francisco. At this point, the newspaper has very little information, beyond wild rumors of complete devastation. 
  • SEYMOUR – Lewis A. Camp, retired grocer, and former president of Camp & Rugg Company, dies at age 70. He served as a Seymour Selectman from 1873-78, and also was a justice of the peace and school board member.
  • DERBY – About 200 crocuses and tulip bulbs sent by the parents of Harcourt Wood, namesake of the Derby Public Library, are in bloom all around the building and are quite beautiful.

April 19

  • Initial thoughts that the San Francisco damage was exaggerated are now dashed. Many are concerned about numerous former Valley residents there. The telegraph offices are swamped. A San Francisco piano dealer is visiting the Sterling Piano factory in Derby and is understandably very upset. The superintendent of Derby’s Alling Mills (also called Paugassett Mills), Charles B. Brewster, is traveling west, and was supposed to stop in San Francisco, but it is now unclear if he was present during the earthquake.
  • ANSONIA – The city has seen 100 new immigrants relocate here in the past week. Many of them are Russian or Polish.

April 20

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen are upset about the building moved from Platt Street to Colburn Street last week. No permit was granted. The wood building was moved into the newly established city fire district without permission.
  • DERBY – Birmingham Iron Foundry will build a 75′ square 3 story building of concrete and steel, between the foundry and machine shop. The first floor will be a cleaning room, the second a carpenter shop, and the third a pattern shop.

April 21

  • Charles B. Brewster telegraphs Derby that he is safe in Alameda. Word trickling in on other former Valley residents – all are safe, so far. One Ansonia father gets word his son is safe when he receives a newspaper about the quake from a Los Angeles newspaper.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Farrel of Ansonia announces he will take donations for San Francisco relief. Coe Brass donates $1000.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Open summer trolleys are making first appearance on the belt line today. Many riders are opting them over the closed cars due to the very warm weather.

April 22

  • SHELTON – The newly organized Roman Catholic parish meets in Arcanum Hall for the first time to celebrate mass. The parish also names itself St. Joseph’s Church.

Monday, April 23, 1906

  • A snowstorm strikes the area. Although the snow melts on contact with the ground, it is the latest snowstorm in the year since 1884. Ice 1/16″ thick forms in spots.
  • SEYMOUR – At a special town meeting, residents vote unanimously to build an addition to the Town Hall to house a new library, at a cost of $750. Back then Town Hall was located on 5 Second Street, near the corner of Raymond Street.
  • SEYMOUR – An Italian laborer living in a group of shacks above the the railroad bridge over the Naugatuck River is shot 3 times, and robbed $300. The victim stumbles to the shacks, and identifies his attacker to other laborers, who is among them, before he dies. The attacker leaves the area, and it is later found he purchased a train ticket to New York City.  

April 24

  • ANSONIA – The San Francisco Earthquake relief fund is now at $1,328. The three major donors are American Brass Company ($1000), Charles Brooker ($200), and  Mayor Alton Farrel ($100).
  • DERBY – A man who worked on constructing the new concrete bridge across the Naugatuck River bridge on Main Street says it may last 100 years, and recommends replacing the steel Huntington Bridge with a similar span, noting that rust has almost eaten through it in places. (The Huntington Bridge was replaced by the concrete Derby-Shelton Bridge in 1919, which still stands today. The Main Street Bridge was heavily damaged in the 1955 Floods and replaced a few years afterward).
  • DERBY – There are numerous complains that immigrants who are spring cleaning their houses dump their garbage on the side of highways, expecting the City to pick it up. The City will, eventually, but in the meantime the appearance is very unsightly.
  • SEYMOUR – A complaint is lodged against a teacher accused of assaulting a 10 year old pupil at Central School, leaving him with visible marks. It is withdrawn the following day when the teacher apologizes.

April 25

  • Now that the dancing season is ending, it is noted that it seems to be declining in popularity. The season began strong last fall, but attendance has been dropping off since.
  • Starting today, for the next couple weeks, a number of letters from Valley friends, family, and residents in and around San Francisco are published in the Evening Sentinel. By the end of the week, however, there are still questions whether certain individuals survived.
  • ANSONIA – The San Francisco Earthquake relief fund has risen to $1,437. 
  • OXFORD – Burning papers and rags found in the doorway of new the hall in Quaker Farms, and is quickly extinguished by pails of water before much damage can be done. Residents are very upset, and are now wondering if the burning of Good Templar Hall last Halloween, which the new one replaced, really was an accident.

April 26

  • ANSONIA – A small cyclone, or whirlwind, forms on Hull Street causing $200 to $300 damage to Mr. Hill’s greenhouses.
  • SEYMOUR – At this time, all steamships leaving New York City are being searched for the man who committed the murder in town three days ago, due to fears he may be trying to flee the country.
  • SHELTON – The Borough wants to refurbish the Fire Department’s old hook & ladder truck, but because it was purchased in 1883 it is so old that replacement parts are hard to come by.
  • SHELTON – OK Tool Company will build new factory, just north of the trolley power station near the Shelton Docks, on Riverdale Avenue near Hull Street.

April 27

  • DERBY – The superintendent of Alling Mills (also called Paugassett Mills), Charles B. Brewster, has arrived home and is safe, though exhausted. He confirms he was in San Francisco during the earthquake.
  • SEYMOUR – The Evening Sentinel publishes its second editorial in a week on the Seymour murder, lamenting the brutality and blaming the increase of violence in the area on outside influences.

April 28

  • The cost of running an automobile is very expensive. A round trip between Derby and Bridgeport costs $3 in gas, or 10 cents a mile. Tires (then called shoes) are $80 each, or $320 a set, and are prone to puncturing on the poor roads. Maintaining an automobile costs an average $20 a week maintenance, and that’s not even including the cost of hiring a driver if you don’t operate the vehicle yourself. (Note: Calculating for today’s inflation, the $3 gas price for the 30 mile round trip between Derby and Bridgeport comes to $61.57 in 2006. The set of tires, incredibly, would cost  a  $6,567.54 a set. Weekly maintenance would average $410.47. Obviously, one had to be very wealthy to own an automobile in 1906).
  • SHELTON – A Coram Avenue woman is struck by a bullet that crashed through her parlor window, suffering only a bruised shoulder. It is thought that the bullet was fired from a long distance, losing most of its energy before accidentally striking her.

April 29

  • “Sunday was a very dusty day and those who went riding or walking found their pleasure spoiled by clouds of dust, which covered everything…. Automobiles that had been out for any length of time were covered thickly with dust, as we their occupants”.
  • SHELTON – A Thanksgiving service is held before a large congregation at the Church of the Good Shepherd, celebrating that the church is now free of debt.
  • OXFORD – A 100 acre forest fire begins on the Crowther farm near old Park Road. Every available man is called upon to extinguish it.

Monday, April 30, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The new bowling alleys will open in the old Bristol skating rink on Mechanic Street next week. It will be called Columbia Bowling Alleys and feature 8 lanes.


Tuesday, May 1, 1906

  • DERBY – Complaints of bicycles riding on sidewalks when the street is muddy, which is against City ordinances.
  • ANSONIA – W.N. Clark, and his wife and daughter, arrive at their James Street home after surviving the San Francisco Earthquake. On the morning of the quake, they were at the St. Francis Hotel, which was located on Union Square. The hotel survived, and they had breakfast right afterwards. The spreading fires eventually reached the hotel, which burned that night. The Clark family was forced to evacuate, abandoning all their baggage, joining the other refugees on the streets. They were taken into a home, but that shelter also burned a few hours later. They wandered the streets the rest of the night, eventually escaping to Oakland.

May 2

  • Secretary of War (and soon to be President) William Taft passes through the Valley on a special afternoon train on the way to Torrington. Several Valley VIPs join him for the reception.
  • Ice prices are rising due to the shortage of cold weather last winter. Generally, deliveries are up a dime from where they were a month ago.
  • ANSONIA – Columbia Bowling Alleys open with pomp and ceremony on Mechanic Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The Hale & Coleman peach orchards are in full bloom. The hillside is covered with blossoms ranging from deep pink to white. Many people are taking the open trolley cars from Ansonia to see them. The scent of the peach blossoms is noticeable all over town.

May 3

  • ANSONIA – A New Haven couple becomes the first to be married in the new City Hall today.
  • SHELTON – Already the newly organized St. Joseph’s parish has outgrown Arcanum Hall. Starting Sunday, both masses will be at the larger Clark’s Hall.

May 5

  • SHELTON – The Housatonic Power Boat Club seems all but dead at this point due to lack of activity or interest.

May 6

  • Nearly every boat on the Housatonic River was chartered to carry fishing parties to the shoreline and beyond on this Sunday.

Monday, May 7, 1906

  • Postcard collecting is popular
  • DERBY – N.D. Baldwin, a local liveryman for 39 years, decides to retire. He will hold an auction in 10 days.
  • DERBY – National Socialist organizer M. W. Wilkins gives speech at Gould Armory, defining what Socialism is. The Sentinel reports the crowd was attentive and gave favorable feedback.
  • OXFORD – Two men arrested for theft. Because the town does not have a lockup, the sheriff is in the habit of detaining people by locking handcuffing people to bedposts in the second floor of his house until they can be taken to Seymour. He also removes their clothing, so even if they do escape they won’t go far.
  • SHELTON – Rumors that Pine Rock Park will close are not true. The trolley company announces it will open on Memorial Day.

May 8

  • ANSONIA – In the midst of a “mad dog” scare in this part of Connecticut, city officials are concerned that some are harboring rabid dogs in their basements and other areas, hoping they recover. Several dogs suspected of rabies have been put down, recently.
  • ANSONIA – The Mayor’s San Francisco Earthquake relief fund is now at $1539.75. Some $60.25 was raised through a benefit football game between the Crescent and Ansonia football teams on April 29.

May 9

  • DERBY – The contract to build the new St. Michael’s Church has been awarded to Max Durrschmidt of Shelton. It will cost between $30-35,000.
  • ANSONIA – Max Olderman sells property adjoining the American Brass Company wire mill to ABC. The property lies off Canal Street, on both sides of the railroad tracks, and contains one dwelling house which will be demolished.
  • SEYMOUR – About 40′ of stone retaining wall gives way along the riverbank opposite South Main Street with such force some think it was a small earthquake. This was two days after a small Connecticut earthquake made headlines, and of course, people are quite sensitive due to the destruction of San Francisco after an earthquake less than a month ago.

May 10

  • Heavy frost this evening. Water froze, and vegetation was hurt. Many have colds. The temperature dropped to 24 degrees in Oxford. The damage was not bad at the Great Hill peach orchard.
  • ANSONIA – A 2 AM fire breaks out in one of Olderman buildings in New Jerusalem. The entire fire department is on the scene, which goes to 2 alarms. The building was a 2 story frame with an attic on Main Street & Front Street. The two stores and two apartments the building contained are destroyed. Much sympathy is expressed towards an Italian grocer who had just moved in. The building was moved from the railroad property off Canal Street a year before.
  • SEYMOUR – The Congregational Church cemetery has been cleaned, and fallen monuments have been restored. The area’s appearance is much improved.
  • SHELTON – At this time, a group of girls play baseball on Canal Street every day during lunch hour. They work in the various factories north of the Viaduct Bridge. They are quite good, and a number of men and women watch and cheer the game from the Viaduct.

May 11

  • ANSONIA – The Knights of Columbus hold a benefit mistral show for earthquake relief in San Francisco at the Ansonia Opera House.
  • DERBY – The New Haven Railroad is moving its train scales from New Haven to Derby Junction. All freight trains will have to stop there.

May 12

  • ANSONIA – The Sentinel has a picture of the proposed new passenger train depot on page 1.
  • ANSONIA – A number of people are visiting a gypsy camp near the Seymour line to have their fortunes told.
  • DERBY – William S. Crofut, proprietor of Bassett House for the past decade, says he will close the business and sell the hotel’s furniture and contents at public auction. The house’s owner says it will be thoroughly renovated and reopen again as a hotel. Mr. Crofut claims he was the house’s longest proprietor.

May 13

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Dr. W. F. Markwick announces during his Sunday sermon he will resign as pastor of Ansonia Congregational Church, a position he has held since November 14, 1890.

Monday, May 14, 1906

  • Three huge explosions from Bridgeport are felt all over Connecticut. In Ansonia, dishes rattle and houses shake. In Derby and Shelton, many think it is an earthquake.
  • ANSONIA – The Lower Naugatuck Valley University Club is formed. More than 100 college graduates join.
  • SHELTON – A 14 year old newsboys is killed when he is struck by a passing train near the canal.

May 15

  • DERBY – Construction on the new St. Michael’s Church commences with excavations for the cellar.
  • DERBY – Hand organ grinders are appearing on local streets, “to the delight of children and discomfort of everyone else”.
  • OXFORD – Hawks carrying away young chickens are becoming a problem. Hunting parties have been arranged.
  • SEYMOUR – Windsor Hotel and Tingue Opera House sold to Philip Cohen, who owns a lot of property in lower Ansonia. The Opera House was formerly owned by the Tingue Manufacturing Company.

May 16

  • SHELTON – Newly organized St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic parish has its first fundraiser – a bazaar at Clark’s Hall, which is very heavily attended.

May 17

  • ANSONIA – The Frank A. Robbins circus arrives in Ansonia and pitches tents in The Woodlot, which is located off Maple Street. The circus features many tents, elephants, camels, ponies, and hundreds of employees. At 11 AM the circus parade begins, passing through Derby, Ansonia, Shelton. 7,000 attend on the first day.
  • SHELTON – A little boy who spoke only Polish followed the Robbins Circus parade from all the way from Ansonia and became lost in Shelton. Neither local officials or helpful Polish residents could figure out where he was from until later in the evening. By the time his parents picked him up, he had been thoroughly entertained with books and ice cream.
  • ANSONIA – Philip Cohen buys the Stillson Block, which was on Maple Street, extending from the bridge to High Street. The building is three stories with a 1 story extension, and contains 4 stores on the first floor, with a number of tenements above.

May 18

  • Heat wave that began 2 days ago tops out at 92 degrees today. The unexpected very warm weather causes straw hats to suddenly appear. Mail carriers and icemen are particularly suffering. Since it is too hot to go inside at night, many stay out.
  • ANSONIA – A gypsy from the encampment off Wakelee Avenue is arrested for selling a bad horse to a Derby man, then exchanging it for one that was even worse.
  • ANSONIA – A Liberty Street man missing since May 9 is found in the Ansonia Canal. His death is ruled accidental.
  • DERBY – The McEnerney Building on 14 Main Street will be raised 5′ on a new concrete foundation. The store will be divided between a grocery and drug store. Second floor tenements will be converted into offices. A grocery store has existed in the building since 1850.

May 19

  • Many fruit trees are being damaged by insects.
  • DERBY – The Bassett House closes under Mr. Crofut’s proprietorship. A number of borders who have lived there for years are having hard time finding lodging. The building has been a hotel since 1868 – and this is believed the first time it is closed to public. Many hope it reopens soon.
  • ANSONIA – Excavation of Baldwin lot on corner of Main and Central Streets comes to a halt when Max Olderman files injunction against his partner, Philip Cohen. The matter is taken up by committee of Jewish citizens the following day, and is settled.

May 20

  • The heat wave is shattered when the temperature drops from 93 to 60 in one day.
  • DERBY – St. Mary’s pastor Father Fitzgerald delivers a strong sermon against public profanity and swearing.
  • SHELTON – It is revealed during the masses at Clark’s Hall that St. Joseph Parish’s 2-day inaugural fair netted $1,002, believed to be a Valley record for that type of fundraiser in that amount of time.

Monday, May 21, 1906

  • DERBY – A Housatonic Avenue family has lost 4 out of 5 children to measles in the last 5 weeks. The fourth died today, and the fifth is ailing. Much sympathy is expressed toward the family.

May 22

  • ANSONIA – Care and attention is being given the triangle at the foot of Elm Street. Although it now has thick grass and a tree in the center of it, neighbors plan to build fence, and plant flowers and shrubs. 
  • DERBY – There are fears on Derby Avenue that the proposed double tracking of the trolley tracks could lead to the destruction of the old Town Well. It is very old, and the water there is very highly regarded.
  • DERBY – The new Ensign Memorial Fountain has arrived, but its foundation have yet to be laid on Seymour and Atwater Avenues.

May 23

  • DERBY – 16th Annual reunion of the Connecticut Association of the National League of Women Workers is held at Derby Public Library hall. Over 100 delegates attend.
  • ANSONIA – Mrs. Ellen Hayes dies – widow of James Hayes. Her husband built their North State Street House with only saw, axe, and hammer when Ansonia was a “struggling hamlet”. She was the mother of Ansonia’s first police chief, Daniel Hayes, who was shot on December 23, 1880 while trying to apprehend a suspect on Main Street and died four days later. His daughter, Mary Hayes, went on to become a longtime teacher and principal in the Ansonia school system, and Lincoln School was later renamed Lincoln-Hayes School in her honor.

May 24

  • ANSONIA – A freak accident kills a 23 year old Italian immigrant laborer. He was installing a brick oven in a bakeshop being erected on Canal Street and Colburn Street by Phillip Cohen. The just-completed oven collapsed on him.
  • SEYMOUR – The new gravel road from the W.W. Smith place on Day Street to the Woodbridge town line near Ansonia is nearing completion.

May 25

  • ANSONIA –  The Board of Apportionment charges that 15 homes on Elm Street have connected their sewers to the storm water drains.
  • DERBY – Attorneys rule that City of Derby cannot apportion for the support of St. Mary’s School, due to the fact it is a parochial school, despite the large numbers of students that attend there.
  • DERBY –  The Board of Education votes to go on record as opposing the Cheeseman property for the new Derby High School. It is seen as an empty gesture.
  • DERBY – The remains of the long-burned out Hubbell stables have been cleared, and foundation work begun, on the new St. Michael’s Church. Some of the stone from the foundations of the Old Homestead and Hubbell barn will be used in the church foundation.

May 26

  • ANSONIA – Rabbi Samuel Bernstein of Synagogue Banai Israel on Colburn Street receives news that his wife’s father, mother, and sister were murdered when the Russian village of Gazien was burned in a pogrom. 40-50 were massacred.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club has installed a floating dock 124′ from the shore in a cove just below the Point of Rocks in Shelton. A smaller one placed at Hallock’s Dock in Derby.
  • SEYMOUR – New steam roller being used on new gravel road on Day Street. It weighs 12 tons.

May 27

  • Much rain today, though many attend the Decoration Day (Memorial Day) services at the Ansonia Opera House and the Sterling Opera House.
  • DERBY – Housatonic Avenue saloon raided on this Sunday. The proprietor, bartender, and 13 men are arrested.
  • SHELTON – Members of the Kellogg Post Grand Army of the Republic, their women’s auxiliary, and the Sons of Union Veterans, get a hearty welcome when they arrive in heavy rain to decorate the graves at the the Huntington Center cemeteries. Services at St. Paul’s Church follow.
  • Rain gets into the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Company parlors and ruins them. The Sentinel blames the Borough of Shelton for neglecting the Borough Building.

Monday, May 28, 1906

  • Today’s heavy rainfall is much needed for the withering crops.

May 29

  • SHELTON – The State approves Shelton’s request to spend entire Good Roads appropriation on Howe Avenue – from Bridge Street to the Borough line, and as far north as the money will permit.

May 30 Memorial Day

  • It is a beautiful day. Many baseball games are played.
  • ANSONIA – Memorial Day parade is held, from the Maple Street bridge to St. Mary’s Cemetery, then Pine Grove Cemetery. Many attend.
  • DERBY –  20,000 ride the Derby-New Haven trolley line – setting a record for ridership. Many are heading to Savin Rock. 
  • DERBY-SHELTON PARADE – The parade starts and ends in Shelton but stops at Oak Cliff Cemetery and Derby Green. A much smaller parade of Polish and Slovakian societies winds through both towns, too.
  • SEYMOUR – The parade starts from First, Second, and Third Streets through town to the war monument for services.


Friday, June 1, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Elm Street residents were alarmed several times by the appearance of figure in white walking on street. Some thing it’s a ghost. Its actually proved to be a sleepwalker.
  • DERBY – The Ensign Memorial Fountain turned on for first time on Atwater Avenue and Seymour Avenue in Derby.
  • SHELTON – 9″ shells strike Coram from the American Ordinance Company proving grounds across the Housatonic River, causing a commotion and missing a passing trolley.

June 2

  • Downpours, and hail the size of marbles fall. Streets flood. Trolleys are stopped by burned out motors and sand across tracks.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen pass controversial Connecticut Railway and Lighting petition to double-track the trolley lines in the city, on the condition they widen streets at their expense, and pay $500 annually for extra wear on streets. The vote was 8-3.

Monday, June 4, 1906

  • SEYMOUR – Another workman killed after being struck by a train while working on the double tracking project, at the railroad bridge at Seymour. This is the third fatality so far.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education votes to remove all old bells from city schools. They cite the nuisance of boys sneaking in the schools to ring the bells at midnight on the Fourth of July. The affected schools are School Street, Elm Street, Grove Street, and Hill Street schools all affected. Many are against it, including the Evening Sentinel.
  • SHELTON – A Town of Huntington meeting votes to rescind an earlier vote from last month to build a new Shelton High School.

June 5

  • ANSONIA – The driveway flooring at the east end of the covered portion of the Bridge Street Bridge gives way, which closes it to teams. Pedestrians and trolleys may still pass. Two iron supports gave way, causing it to sag. The covered portion  was built 45-50 years ago.

June 6

  • ANSONIA – Movement to establish a Memorial Day Association.

June 7

  • ANSONIA – 35 cases of whooping cough are reported in the City.
  • DERBY – A mysterious animal is prowling around Oak Cliff Cemetery, and appears to be attacking cats. A few have seen it, but no one can identify it.
  • DERBY – The Derby Neck Library Association votes to accept the gift of land from the Downes estate and funding from Andrew Carnegie, and appoint a building committee.
  • SEYMOUR – Boys playing baseball at Second Street and Raymond Street near the new library are creating a nuisance. Windows and screen doors have been broken.

June 8

  • ANSONIA – Steps are taken at a meeting at City Hall to form a Memorial Day Association.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia does not have a town dump, and with the warm weather, garbage heaps are becoming more of a problem. Lack of sewage is also an issue, cesspools are everywhere in thickly populated areas.
  • ANSONIA – H.G. Fosdick transfers to Max Olderman land bound by Beaver Brook & Factory Street. He plans to build factory there.

June 10

  • Heavy rain, hail and a thunderstorm strike the area after a very hot day, when everyone seemed to try to get out of cities to beat the heat. Many launches were steaming up the river when it struck, and reported the water was roughest than it has been in years.

Monday, June 11, 1906

  • DERBY – Fire breaks out in a large rubbish heap at the foot of Factory Street behind the Derby Trucking Company. The entire fire department becomes involved. The hook & ladder truck, formerly operated  by the now defunct R.N. Bassett Hook & Ladder Company, and hits a pole at Elizabeth and Fourth Streets, injuring one. The fire continually rekindles throughout the week.
  • SEYMOUR – The Humphreysville Graveyard Association becomes defunct, and is reorganized as the Union Cemetery Association.

June 14

  • ANSONIA – A new Italian Society is organized with 75 members, called the Italian Brotherhood.

June 15

  • ANSONIA – An Ansonia chapter of the Women’s’ Christian Temperance Union organizes.
  • SEYMOUR – Citizen’s Engine Company holds an open house at its newly renovated Raymond Street firehouse.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour High School holds its graduation exercises at the Methodist Church. The graduating class numbers nine.

Monday, June 18, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Motion to reconsider the removal bells from the tops of Ansonia schools fails by a vote of 5-3 at a Board of Education meeting, despite much public sentiment against it.

June 19

  • ANSONIA – Mrs. Frederick G. Ware, of North Fourth Street, saves a woman from drowning in the Ansonia Canal. This is the fifteenth rescue she has made, previous saves have nearly cost her own life. Her house skirts the canal. 
  • SHELTON – Pine Rock Park opens for the season. Roller skating has added for first time, in a former dancing pavilion. Dancing will continue in another area of the park. Old favorites like the shooting gallery, fish pond, merry-go-round, swings, and small zoo return. Many visitors arrive by trolley from Derby and Bridgeport.

June 20

  • DERBY – The Board of Aldermen grant Connecticut Railway & Lighting, which is the trolley company, permission to double-track the beltline running through the City. Although they are following Ansonia’s lead in granting permission, and CR&L did offer many concessions, the move is very controversial, and many feel not enough concessions were gained.
  • DERBY – The Housatonic Power Boat Company disbands. It is expected that members will join the Naugatuck Valley Power Boat Club.
  • SHELTON – Contract awarded to build new the OK Tool factory. When completed the four story structure (still standing today) will be the first concrete building in Shelton.
  • SHELTON – Shelton High School graduates its largest class ever, 16, at Derby’s Sterling Opera House.

June 21

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia High School holds its graduation at the Ansonia Opera House. There are 19 members of the Class of 1906.

June 23

  • SEYMOUR – Many Seymour mills are running until 10 PM. Business is booming. Additions are being made to be made to the James Swan Company and Seymour Manufacturing Company.

June 24

  • ANSONIA – The Dwyer house and store are moved across Main Street, along Central Street, into a new spot. More buildings are to be moved in that area.
  • SEYMOUR – Brixey’s Dam near South Street, southeast of Kerite, springs a leak. Much of the pond behind it drains. Work crews get on boats, and throw dirt into a gate on the bottom of the structure. The gate is supposed to let excess water out, but it is believed to be the source of the leak. The patch job continues into the following day, though progress is made.

Monday, June 25, 1906

  • SEYMOUR – The window of a passing train is shattered by a bullet. It is thought the shot from an area near a gang of workmen, possibly due to carelessness. The police are investigating

June 26

  • SEYMOUR – The Sentinel correspondent for Great Hill weighs in on the debate over continuing school bells in Ansonia: “In regard to the non-bell movement of an adjoining town, we care not for their example. The thought of parting with the bells of our hamlet would certainly be grievous. As tributes of loving donors long may they fulfill their purpose of inspiration to duty at chapel, school, and conflagration”.

June 27

  • ANSONIA – A 5 year old boy drowns in the Birmingham Canal near Division Street.
  • SHELTON – The annual convention of the Fairfield County Women’s Christian Temperance Union is held at the Shelton Congregational Church.

June 28

  • DERBY – 12 students of St. Mary’s High School graduate in St. Mary’s Hall. (This high school only lasted from about 1903 to 1906, after which St. Mary’s School reduced its focus to grades 1 though 8).

June 29

  • DERBY – A report that the new St. Michael’s Church is planning on building a parochial school in East Derby is generating much interest.

June 30

  • Many are pitching tents along both sides of the Housatonic River for the summer camping season. Clusters of camps were utilized, mostly by unmarried men, as a means of beating the heat of the downtowns in the summertime.
  • It is a very hot day, until suddenly the winds start blowing wildly, and it gets very dark. A severe lightning storm that is labeled the worst in years strikes the area. Many are frightened.
  • SEYMOUR – Howard Chatfield’s barn on Skokorat is struck by lightning, and is a total loss with 15 tons of hay and 2 calves. Two horses saved. There was no hydrants in the area for the firefighters to draw water from. 
  • ANSONIA – The storm knocks out the telephones went out. Streets are damaged by, all trolleys are stopped when the line loses power. In some places sand and dirt washes over the tracks.
  • DERBY – Four houses are struck by lightning, though none are seriously damaged.
  • SHELTON – The annual draining of Shelton Canal occurs, giving factories time to make repairs to their gates and flumes. Most of their workers are now on summer vacation until July 5.
  • SHELTON – The White Hills Baptist Church is being renovated, with new interior and exterior paint.


Sunday, July 1, 1906

  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Post Office becomes a second class office, the same level as Ansonia and Derby, due to increased volume.

July 2, 1906

  • More rain continues to fall.
  • ANSONIA – $1000 damage has been caused by washouts to the roads.
  • SHELTON – Two houses struck by lightning in the Wheeler Street area.
  • SHELTON – The new waterwheel at the International Silver Company on Bridge Street is placed in position.

July 3

  • Four heavy rainstorms have passed through the area in three days. A total of 1.49″ has fallen.
  • ANSONIA – The Olderman building, on the corner of Main and Colburn Street, is being currently moving to south end of Factory Street. A brick store and tenement will be erected in the Olderman building’s old location. Already the cellar is being dug.
  • SEYMOUR – Ernest D. Hull has been nominated for governor by the Connecticut Socialist party. He lived in Seymour most of his life, until he moved to Naugatuck 9 years ago.

Independence Day

  • Much of the day was a washout, with rain and thunder, though there was some sun in afternoon. 
  • ANSONIA – Bells were rung, bonfires lit, and fireworks were set off everywhere. Churches broken into at midnight to toll their bells, a crazy tradition that ended not long into the 20th century, included the First Baptist, Methodist, Three Saints Russian Orthodox. The rain quieted things down considerably.
  • DERBY – The holiday was mostly quiet due to rain, though it was noted the Chinese who run the laundry on Elizabeth Street had a far superior fireworks display.
  • SEYMOUR – The Congregational Church is broken into at midnight and the bell rung. Many fireworks.
  • SHELTON – Children amuse themselves by putting paper “cap” noisemakers on the tracks for the trolleys to run over.

July 5

  • ANSONIA – Deer sighted on Hill Street. The species was practically wiped out in the late 19th century, but they are starting to make a comeback in the outlying sections of the City.
  • DERBY – Fire completely destroys a blacksmith shop on Derby’s lower Main Street, in alley between trolley car barn (near today’s Route 8 South on-ramp) and the Elk building occupied by St. Michael’s Church. Though the church building is scorched badly, and the blacksmith shop wiped out, many are happy the Derby Fire Department kept the dangerous blaze from spreading.
  • OXFORD – Farmers report a scarcity of field help.

July 6

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Memorial Day Association is founded at City Hall. One hundred years later the organization is still runs Ansonia’s Memorial Day services and parade.
  • DERBY – Complaints are raised that young men and boys can be seen bathing nude in the Housatonic River near Camptown off Housatonic Avenue.

July 7

  • ANSONIA – The various departments of the Boston Store are now linked by an internal telephone intercom system.
  • SEYMOUR – Brixley’s dam begins leaking so badly again that Kerite has to close down.
  • SEYMOUR – Dam at the S.Y. Beach Paper Company springs a leak, forcing it to close down. The dam is 50 years old.

July 8

  • SEYMOUR – Hundreds watch a diver at work near gatehouse of Seymour Manufacturing Company.

Monday, July 9, 1906

  • Roller skating is becoming popular once again.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen are stunned when they receive a $250 bill relating to the construction of the Eagle Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. #6 firehouse. The firehouse was completed 2 years ago, and all bills were assumed to have been paid a long time ago.

July 10

  • DERBY – At this time, the Ansonia-Derby-Shelton YMCA has a summer camp along the Housatonic, called Camp Otterwa.

July 11

  • ANSONIA – Tragedy strikes when a 9-year old Fifth Street girl drowns in the Ansonia Canal.
  • ANSONIA – Much complaint on the West Side of odors from putrefying vegetables and outhouses from the Jersey Street area.
  • ANSONIA – The Oldermen Building is still in the process of moving to its new location. For a few days, it has been sitting in middle of Factory Street, between Central Street and Colburn Street. Many are asking how long it will stay there. 

July 13

  • ANSONIA – Portions of the Oldermen Building are cut away so it can fit down the narrow sections of Factory Street.
  • SEYMOUR – A large derrick being used by iron workers to build the new railroad bridge near North Main Street, is found at dawn dangerously leaning toward the new bridge. Apparently someone freed the guy ropes overnight, but one cable caught, preventing it from crashing down onto the structure. Had the derrick crashed onto the bridge it would have collapsed it. The derrick is righted, and railroad detectives converge upon Seymour to get to the bottom of this mystery.
  • SHELTON – The steep, rocky, windy, narrow road, from River Road to Pine Rock Park, is for the first time successfully climbed by an automobile.

July 14

  • SEYMOUR – A 7-year old Second Street boy drowns in the Naugatuck River.

Monday, July 16, 1906

  • Lake Housatonic is becoming a popular summer resort. Read the entire article here.
  • ANSONIA – A push to make textbooks free to all public school students fails when the Board of Education reports they do not have enough money to do so.
  • DERBY – Announced that a new Derby-New York City steamboat line will soon begin operations. Ventures like this have been tried before, and Derby residents are skeptical.
  • SHELTON – Proposal to convert Ferry School into a municipal building and build a new public school in its place.

July 18

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Apportionment states that the Board of Education never requested any funding to offer free textbooks for public school students.

July 19

  • Most Valley fire companies attend the State Firemen’s Convention at Savin Rock in West Haven. Ansonia’s Eagle Hose, Hook & Ladder Co #6 captures best appearing company (which is one of the most coveted prizes), while Fountain Hose Co #1 wins best appearing parade carriage. Derby’s  R.M. Bassett Hook & Ladder Co #1, Storm Engine Co #2, and Paugassett Hose Co #4 win in athletic events. The Bassett company also won the truck race, their 16th year in a row. The fire companies left for West Haven with impromptu parades, and were greeted upon their return as champions. Many residents accompanied them to Savin Rock, the Sentinel reporting that Ansonia and Derby in particular seemed empty.
  • DERBY – 11 year old George Fox saves a 10 year old from drowning after he fell off Hallock’s Dock. The boy was pulled out of the unconscious. George nearly drowned himself while saving him, but was fortunately assisted by the captain of a nearby coal boat, who pulled both of them out of the water.
  • SEYMOUR – All water has been drained from pond behind Brixey dam near Kerite. The leaking dam will be extensively repaired. The sudden draining of the pond left a large number of fish flopping around in the muck which were available for the taking. Children and some adults did just that, while a large crowd humorously watched.
  • SEYMOUR – A big retaining wall along east bank of Naugatuck River, which has been under construction for months and will allow the freight yard to expand closer to the riverbank and other development to take place, has been completed.

July 20

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen and the trolley company finally work out an agreement allowing the trolley line to be double tracked through the City.

July 21

  • SEYMOUR – Work starts in clearing the high embankment between the railroad tracks and Humphreys Street to make way for freight yard expansion.
  • SEYMOUR – A new waterwheel is being installed at the James Swan Company.
  • SHELTON – Traveling carousel opens for first night on Bridge Street and Coram Avenue. The police are on watch for unruly behavior, due to the large number of teenagers from Derby and Shelton on hand. The crowd starts turning ugly at 10 PM when the operator announced he would be closing. Police quickly step in and arrest the ringleader. The ringleader, a boy, starts breaking down while being taken away. Deciding he had been humiliated enough, the police let him go after he publicly apologizes to the carousel operator.
  • SHELTON – The Echo Hose, Hook & Ladder Co #1’s horse drawn ladder truck, purchased in 1883, will be rebuilt.
  • SHELTON – The Huntington Center one room schoolhouse, located on Huntington Green, is struck by lightning. The damage, totaling about $50, is not noticed until 3 days later by painters.

Monday, July 23, 1906

  • DERBY – The Hotel Winthrop closes on Elizabeth Street. Formerly known as the Sterling Hotel, it has about 40 rooms. With the closing of the Bassett House a short time ago, Derby is now left without a hotel around the Green area.
  • SHELTON – With the recent spike in railroad freight traffic, some are having trouble sleeping due to constant locomotive whistles

July 24

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia industrial census – 49 industries, with 2,937 wage earners over age 16 – 433 of which are females. Only 24 people under age 16 work int he factories.
  • SEYMOUR – The railroad detectives are expecting another attack on the new railroad bridge under construction over the Naugatuck River. The bridge was attacked on July 13, and the railroad detectives have concluded it was union men from New Haven. Several were seen in the vicinity before and after the attack, and 7 were warned away today. The bridge is being built by non union labor, and union organizers have been active and vocal in their opposition, including harassment and intimidation. The bridge itself is now under heavy security, including all night watches.

July 25

  • DERBY – The Bassett House is under restoration. Among the improvements, a new bathroom is being installed. Previously there was only one, and it was a ladies room.
  • OXFORD – “The yield of all kinds of berries this season is very heavy. Huckleberries are now on the market, and they are reported as being very plentiful. The promise of a large crop of blackberries is also good”.
  • SEYMOUR – Progress continues on the construction of the new Seymour – Beacon Falls trolley line.

July 27

  • ANSONIA – There are 18-20 soda fountains in Ansonia, which are cutting into saloon business so much during this hot weather that some of the saloons are considering installing their own fountains.
  • DERBY – The former Cheeseman house on Minerva Street is being extensively renovated into the new Derby High School.
  • SHELTON – Deer are making a comeback in White Hills.

Monday, July 30, 1906

  • SHELTON – A 5′ long snake that killed 100 chicks over a period of time is killed at Nell’s Rocks.

July 31

  • People with automobile licenses – Derby – 32, Shelton – 18, Ansonia – 17, Seymour – 9.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Sewer Commission has its very first organizational meeting.
  • SEYMOUR – The Selectmen’s Office, located in the new ell of the Second Street Town Hall, is now occupied.


Wednesday, August 1, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The first nine Fire Police in the City’s history are sworn in by the Police Department. Three have been selected from each fire company. Their duties are to maintain order and prevent interference at fire scenes.
  • ANSONIA – Lower Main Street residents are considering asking the Board of Education to reopen the Factory Street School, because the Garden Street School is too far for young children to walk.
  • SEYMOUR – Residents of the Washington Avenue and Humphreys Street area are complaining they cannot get any sleep because of train whistles blowing day and night.

August 2

  • ANSONIA – Local agents estimate that $15,000 is sent to Europe from Ansonia each year. Italians are sending the largest amount abroad.
  • ANSONIA – The railroad now owns most of the land west of Main Street, between Central Street and Beaver Brook. It plans to put freight yards there in the near future.
  • DERBY – The Winthrop Hotel will be moved from Elizabeth Street to a lot behind it facing Olivia Street. Formerly known as the Sterling Hotel, it has about 40 rooms. The owners will build a 1 story brick building with 4 stores in its place, that can be easily added to or removed if prospects improve.
  • OXFORD – “The weather conditions… as bad as it seemed possible to imagine. Dampness was everywhere, and no place was secure from the penetrating fogs which, when it was not raining, were continually prevailing. While the heat on Sunday and Monday was extreme, the sunshine was very welcome to dry out the dampness”.
  • SHELTON – Patrick Cribbins of Riverview Avenue discovers a vein of ochre of excellent quality near the Trap Rock quarry, on Howe Avenue above downtown. It is estimated it could be worth anywhere from $20 to $100 per ton. Ochre was used in paint back then. A survey done a week later revealed good veins of graphite and ochre

August 3

  • DERBY – No word yet on a rumored new Derby-Bridgeport Steamboat line.
  • SEYMOUR – Poisonous copperhead snakes are reportedly numerous along the Housatonic and adjacent farms, as well as Squantuck. Several have been killed.

August 4

  • ANSONIA – A cigarette ignites gasoline in Franklin Farrel’s private garage on North Cliff Street. His auto, and Judge George C. Bryant’s automobile, are badly damaged. Another belonging to Miss Elise Farrel is pulled out before the fire reached it , though the family chauffeur’s hand was badly burned in the process.
  • SEYMOUR – A 75’x25′ addition, which will be one and a half stories high, will be made to the Tingue Manufacturing Company’s mill.

Monday, August 6, 1906

HEAT WAVE 1906 – A major heat wave is affecting the area – it began over the weekend. Factory workers walk off their jobs again throughout the area, as temperatures climb to well above 100 degrees on the factory floors. The extremely hot weather causes ice in iceboxes to melt faster, resulting in much milk and other perishables ruined. A Derby Trucking Company horse drops dead of heat exhaustion on Clinton Avenue and Division Street in Ansonia.

August 7

HEAT WAVE 1906 – It is 93 today, with high humidity. For a second straight day area workers walk off their jobs due to unbearable heat in the factories. No one tries to stop them. Mail carriers in particular are suffering due to their heavy loads. Many flock to public, shaded parks such as Derby Green, or take to the river on boats. Some are riding automobiles, many more are riding open car trolleys, to generate cooling breezes. Tempers and arrests are up – there is virtually nowhere to beat the heat in 1906. The temperature drops dramatically when rain arrives in the afternoon – over an inch falls. 

  • ANSONIA – Franklin Street home struck by lightning before the storm hits, while sun was still shining.
  • DERBY – A single bolt of lightning strikes a house at the corner of Olivia Street and Cottage Street, as well as a house next door on Cottage Street.
  • OXFORD – Houses struck by lightning on Riggs Street, Governor’s Hill, and Five Mile Hill.
  • SEYMOUR – The violent thunderstorm only skirts the edge of town – no damage.
  • SHELTON – A White Hills barn is struck by lightning and moderately damaged. A Birdseye Road house is also struck and slightly damaged.

August 8

  • ANSONIA – Local real estate developer Max Oldermen is nearly killed when a cellar that was being excavated on Front Street caves in, nearly burying him. Other workers quickly dig him out to save him.
  • SEYMOUR – Work begins reconstructing Maple Street.

August 9

  • DERBY – 50 girls who work in the looping room at Alling’s mills (also known as Paugassett Mills) textile factory on First Street go on strike. They are reportedly protesting the training of an American born “Bohemian” girl to do their work, and they are afraid this is the beginning of hiring “foreign” girls. It is also rumored more difficult work on a particularly large order also was a factor. The department is closed.

August 10

  • DERBY – A new saloon opens on Main Street, making a total of 12 saloons on Main, between Foundry Street and Caroline Street, and another 5 between Caroline & Elizabeth Streets. Also one on Water Street, another on Caroline – for a total of 19 in a 4-block area.

August 11

  • SEYMOUR – A total of 1,000 people watch a State League baseball game between the Seymour and Woodbridge town teams. Many leave disgusted, as they think the game was thrown in Woodbridge’s favor, with a score of 10-2. In the days that follow, three players subsequently thrown off the Seymour team over the incident.
  • SHELTON – Vegetable gardens in the suburbs are being frequently robbed at night, prompting neighbors to keep watch with shotguns.

August 12

  • ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – A foreign man is struck by a trolley in Seymour, just above the Ansonia line. He is badly injured but will probably live. He is taken to Ansonia, where he is cared for, but a language barrier prevented much communication, or even his own identification. He is later transfered to New Haven Hospital.
  • SEYMOUR – The new German Lutheran Church parsonage is dedicated.
  • SHELTON – A band concert and balloon ascension, draws many to Pine Rock Park. The balloonist is a returning favorite at the amusement park – he normally jumps out of the balloon when it reaches a certain height, and parachutes to the ground.

Monday, August 13, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Synagogue Benai Israel receives a $400 Torah scroll as a gift in from the parents of Herman Bellin. He suffered 10 years from spinal trouble, but has recovered.
  • DERBY – A conference occurs between the management of First Street’s Alling mills (sometimes called Paugassett Mills) and the female strikers. The conference ends with the situation unchanged – the strikers feel their jobs are threatened by low-paid “foreigners”, while the company feels they can train anyone they want.
  • SEYMOUR – The peach crop at Hale Orchards is not as abundant this year, but the peaches are of much higher quality.

August 15

  • DERBY – Bridgeport’s former major league baseball player James O’Rourke is trying to get Derby to join the State baseball league. Apparently years ago there was quite a baseball rivalry between Derby and Bridgeport.
  • DERBY – A new “Ten Bencher” trolley car arrives in on a railroad freight car, to be used on the local beltline. Many are happy. In the past the trolley company, CR&L, has been accused of dumping old junk trolley cars from other lines with fresh coats of paint.
  • OXFORD – The town is seeing many summer boarders visiting from outside cities.

August 16

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Opera House is being renovated. Roller skating may be introduced this fall.
  • DERBY – Housatonic Avenue is being rebuilt by the State. A gravel bank has been found, saving Shelton contractor Bennett N. Beard the expense of having to haul it there.

August 17

  • DERBY – Hallock’s Rock, a landmark which protruded onto New Haven Avenue and has blocked traffic since the trolley line was built, is blasted away by 50 lbs of dynamite. This is part of a general road improvement, to make enough room to double-track the trolley line to New Haven. The blast causes a 500 lb stone to crash into a nearby house, badly damaging it. Prior to the blast, Hallock’s Rock narrowed the roadway for a 60′ long stretch, and was 20′ high in spots.
  • SEYMOUR – Maple Street, near the railroad bridge, is opened to traffic for the first time in several months after extensive improvements to the area.
  • SEYMOUR – The new water turbine at the James Swan Company is turned on for the first time.
  • SHELTON – The R.N. Bassett Company on Bridge Street gets new 20 ton, 175 hp steam boiler, one of the most powerful in the area at the time.

August 18

  • ANSONIA – The bricks paving the Maple Street Bridge are in poor shape. Many are broken and protruding, causing a hazard for horses.
  • SEYMOUR – The town’s State League baseball team beats Bridgeport Consolidated 5-0.

August 19

  • Temperatures are around 90. Many are going to the shore or simply riding the trolleys to catch a breeze.
  • DERBY – The steam launch Minnie strikes a submerged tree stump and sinks in the Housatonic River with 13 people aboard. Another launch manages to rescue all aboard, and they arrive safely at Derby Docks.

Monday, August 20, 1906

  • High temperatures and humidity make it one of the most uncomfortable days of the season. Rain is desperately needed, as the roads have become quite dusty and the brooks are running low. The heat is forcing factories to shut down due to the intolerable conditions inside. The uncomfortable weather lasts until Thursday.

August 21

  • ANSONIA – City baseball fans want Ansonia to join the State League.
  • DERBY – Coal hauled by the Derby Trucking Company to the Sterling Piano Company’s store yard. As the coal pile gets higher, planks are utilized to get the horses and wagons to the top of it. At one point, the horses start to back down the planks when they were only half way up. They lose their footing, and slide down incline right into the Birmingham canal. The Sterling’s superintendent jumps into the canal, cuts the horses’ harnesses, and leads them out before they drown.
  • DERBY – The renovation plans for the Sterling Hotel have changed. Instead of moving the building outright, it will be remodeled. Four stores will be built, attached to the building, extending to Elizabeth Street. Two of these stores will continue into the former hotel itself, making them extra long. The upper floors will become tenements – four on the second floor, and two on the third and fourth floors.

August 22

  • SEYMOUR – Fight on Third Street  results in man slashed by knife. A crowd grabs the assailant and holds him. He begs to be let go, but is held anyway until the town constable arrives. The Sentinel notes all participants were Italian, and contrasts the crowd’s behavior with an incident earlier in the year when Italian railroad workers were accused of allowing an accused murderer to escape.

August 23

  • ANSONIA – Henry Kornblut will construct a 16 room house will be constructed on Jersey Street.
  • DERBY – The Board of Education votes to extend summer vacation one week because the new Derby High School on Minerva Street will not be ready in time.
  • SHELTON – Two problems on the railroad today. A freight train derails at a bend near Indian Well, causing 2 heavily laden cars to roll down an embankment. Later, another train uncouples and goes several miles before it realizes it left half its cars behind, and has to slowly back up to reattach them.

August 24

  • The heat wave finally breaks, as the temperature drops 24 degrees just after midnight.
  • ANSONIA – A 23 year old Austrian man drowns in Naugatuck River. His companion could not rescue him because he could not swim.
  • ANSONIA – The Russians of St. Peter and Paul’s parish have outgrown their little church in the past two years, and will build larger one. They are also contemplating building a school.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen recind the permission they gave at an earlier meeting to allow Aaron Olderman to move a building from Central Street and Canal Street to Canal Street, just below Colburn Street, citing that he is moving an old-code wooden building into the fire protection district.
  • DERBY – Sterling Opera House opens for the season with its largest opening night crowd in years. The Production is called “The Queen of the Highlanders”.
  • SHELTON – Rev. Frederick H. Mathison, the rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, dies at his home shortly after receiving an operation.. He was rector for nearly 10 years, and was instrumental in the building of the church. He was sick for several months, and was 35 at the time of his death. His funeral a couple days later was very largely attended.

August 25

  • ANSONIA – One day after losing permission to move his building, Aaron Olderman starts moving it anyway.
  • SHELTON – The Housatonic is covered with boats as the Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club holds their first annual regatta.

August 26

  • ANSONIA – Aaron Olderman completes moving his building, despite being told he could not. The Board of Aldermen are unsure what to do.
  • SEYMOUR – Miss Mary Kadeshon, a native Alaskan princess, lectures at the Seymour Methodist Church.

Wednesday, August 29, 1906

  • ANSONIA – In a further development over Aaron Olderman moving a building into the fire district, after the Board of Aldermen rescinded permission for him to do so, the City Building Inspector and Fire Committee send him a letter telling him he must now fireproof the building.
  • OXFORD – Mrs. Elizabeth Tucker, mother of well known local actors Sam Tucker and Ada Valentine, dies in Oxford at 64. Mr. & Mrs. Valentine have had a medicine show tent in Oxford for the past few years.
  • SEYMOUR – Obnoxious advertising billboards are a problem throughout the region. In a new low, billboards are found in the Seymour Congregational Cemetery. They are removed.
  • SHELTON – A man suspected of looting a house a year ago spotted, and chased for over a mile by neighbors. When the homeowner whose house was looted falls over a wall and is hurt, the suspect manages his escape.

August 30

  • ANSONIA – 8-10 Central Street being moved to New Jerusalem by William Olderman. Another tenement building on Canal Street will be moved soon. With so many buildings being moved in Ansonia, it is noted that many them still have their old street numbers still on them, causing much confusion.
  • ANSONIA – The trolley company announces it will shift the tracks on the Bridge Street covered bridge to allow double tracking. It will cost between $300 and $400 to reinforce the bridge. This will also allow “jumbo” sized trolley cars on the belt line.
  • ANSONIA – The SO&C Company is suing the Ansonia Water Company for $25,000, for diverting water from Beaver Brook, causing it to fill up with vegetable matter and filth. This is causing them problems in drawing needed water power for their operations.

August 31

  • ANSONIA – A 7 year old boy drowns when he falls off the Division Street bridge into the Birmingham Canal. His family lived on the canal bank off Division Street.
  • ANSONIA – The moral residents of Ansonia and other Connecticut cities and towns are up in arms over new medicine company billboards that feature a scandalously clad woman draped over a crescent moon, with the slogan “Tonight”.
  • ANSONIA – There have been numerous complaints, and several close calls, due to automobiles speeding on Wakelee Avenue. The State speed limit is 12 miles per hour in city limits, 15 miles per hour outside city limits.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Trap Rock Company, located above downtown on Howe Avenue, is rebuilding its plant to operate more efficiently. The previous mining operation was very poorly designed.


Sunday, September 2, 1906

  • ANSONIA – It is noted that illegal Sunday selling of alcohol is once again becoming more widespread in upper Ansonia.
  • DERBY – An Italian immigrant, apparently trying to break up an argument between two others, is stabbed 3 times and dies at 3 Lafayette Street. One arrest is made. Although there were many witnesses, the police express frustration that no one is cooperating with them.
  • DERBY – The need to fix the fire department’s long broken auxiliary fire alarm becomes very apparent today. A firebox is pulled when a lamp explodes on Minerva Street, and Bassett Hook and Ladder Company firemen respond to their firehouse on the Fourth Street side of the Sterling Opera House. However, the horses they use to pull their ladder truck, which are loaned by Mayor Hubbell’s Third Street livery, fail to appear. When the firemen go to the livery, they find no one there heard the alarm, which has been the issue firemen have been complaining about for months. Angry words are exchanged at the livery, and the bad feelings spread throughout the other fire companies. The fire on Minerva Street was put our prior to the other fire companies’ arrival.

Labor Day Monday, September 3, 1906

  • Rainy Labor Day morning. Many go to Oyster Bay, NY to see the 1906 US Naval Review. Others to other cities, beaches, and amusement parks. Those at home see Washburn & D’Alma’s traveling animal show on the Ansonia Flats, while others visit the Orange Fair.

September 4

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia schools open. The Sentinel reports “It was rather hard on the children to remain cooped up on such a beautiful day after running around in the open for the past ten weeks, and many a little footstep lagged on the way to the study rooms”.
  • SHELTON – Schools open. Ferry School is overcrowded.
  • SHELTON – David Torrance, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and a Derby resident, suffers an attack of angina pectoris while on a drive on Long Hill Avenue. He was accompanied by two women plus his wife. They stop at a home, where he stayed for a few hours until he felt better. An automobile is summoned from Derby to bring him home, driven by his son, James. But the automobile breaks down in Shelton, near the trolley line. The party then boards a trolley for home, by the time they arrive it is after midnight.

September 5

  • DERBY – David Torrance, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, suffers another attack of angina pectoris in his Atwater Avenue home early in the morning. Two of the area’s best physicians are summoned. He suffers two more serious attacks, and dies at 11:00 AM. 
            Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1840, Justice Torrance immigrated to the USA with his widowed mother in 1849. He joined the Army during the Civil War, and was a sergeant when he was captured with 500 other men at the second Battle of Winchester on June 15, 1863, and subsequently survived the horrors of Libby Prison before being transferred to Belle Island. After he was liberated, he was promoted to the rank of Captain, and served under Col. William B. Wooster, an attorney who lived on Clifton Avenue in what is now Ansonia, and practiced in Birmingham. After the war, Col. Wooster trained him as an attorney, and after passing the bar they started a highly regarded law firm called Wooster & Torrance in Birmingham. He represented Derby as a State Representative in 1871 & 1872, and was elected that Secretary of the State in 1878. He was appointed a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas of New Haven County in 1881. In 1885 Judge Torrance was appointed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, becoming its Chief Justice in 1901. At the time of his death he was President of the Derby Savings Bank, and on the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Company, the Ousatonic Water Company, and the Derby Public Library. He was survived by his wife, Annie (France) Torrance, who he married in 1864, a daughter, and two sons. He was later buried at Oak Cliff Cemetery, most of the Valley downtowns essentially shutting down for his funeral.
  • ANSONIA – Interior renovation of the Ansonia Opera House is almost completed. The former dark blue ceiling and somber walls now have been painted lighter colors with scattered artwork painted upon them.
  • OXFORD – Because of the recent rains, “The roads on the hillsides are very much washed, and small boulders are also very much in evidence, making riding over them very rough”.
  • The Ansonia & Derby Ice Company report the company only has a week’s supply of ice left at its big storehouse in Pittsfield, MA. Rationing measures are now being employed, but there is talk of an “ice famine”, and high prices for the refrigerant, this fall.

September 6

  • SEYMOUR – Much activity at Hale Orchards on Great Hill, both picking and shipping peaches out in large wagons.
  • SHELTON – Many are alarmed when two simultaneous cases of diphtheria are diagnosed in a tenement block containing 27 families on Center Street.

September 7

  • SHELTON – Two more diphtheria cases are diagnosed on Bridge Street.

September 8

  • SEYMOUR – 1,000 baskets of peaches are picked at Hale Orchards. This is matched when 1,400 baskets are filled on September 9 and 10.
  • SHELTON – With the economic times good, many of Shelton’s factories which make what are considered luxury items, such as International Silver and Huntington Piano, are very busy.

Sunday, September 9, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen is petitioned by the trolley company to double-track North Main Street, from Fourth Street to the Seymour town line. 
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen vote unanimously that the Cohen building, which had been moved against their wishes to Colburn Street must be moved out of the fire district by October 1. The building currently houses a meat market.
  • DERBY – The City’s mourning for Chief Justice Torrance winds down with a memorial service at the Second Congregational Church.

September 11

  • DERBY – The City’s high schools open. Derby High School opens for the first time in the former Cheeseman estate on Minerva Street, with its largest enrollment ever, 87 students. An additional 21 students are attending St. Mary’s High School, at St. Mary’s School next to the church.

September 12

  • The region’s drought is broken with one of worst rainstorms in years. 2.75″ fall in one and a half hours.
  • ANSONIA – Foundry Hill is washed out. Main Street under ankle-deep water, causing trolleys to have to use wood planks as bridges to the sidewalk.
  • DERBY – Water shoots a foot above the manhole at the corner of Main Street and Elizabeth Street. The area of Main and Olivia Streets is under water. The Housatonic Avenue trolley is cut off by mud. Lightning blows apart the flagpole on top of Hoffman House.
  • SEYMOUR – The rainstorm is not as bad here.
  • SHELTON – The South End trolley line is struck by lightning, knocking it out of service. The top of the Adams block chimney on is torn out by lightning on the corner of Howe Avenue and Bridge Street. Hill Street is washed out, as is the intersection of Center Street and Oak Avenue.

September 13

  • DERBY – Merchants along Main Street, between Elizabeth Street and Minerva Street, as well as Elizabeth Street between Third Street and Main Street, are very upset that the storm sewers backed up again in yesterday’s storm and flooded out their basements.

September 15

  • ANSONIA – Mr. Cohen apparently ends the debate about Aaron Olderman’s moving his non-fireproofed Cohen building into the fire district on Colburn Street by announcing he will cover the building with tin by October 1, which would qualify it as fireproof.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Division Street is called the most dangerous road in either Derby or Ansonia. Neither city cares for it, there isn’t a single electric light upon it. Each city blames the other for its condition.
  • DERBY – The Board of Aldermen finally resolve the longstanding auxiliary fire alarm location debate by voting to position it on top of Storm Engine Company’s firehouse.
  • SEYMOUR – The former Tingue Opera House reopens as the Windsor Rink, for roller skating.

September 16

  • ANSONIA – A “socker” sports association is formed at the Hotel Dayton in Ansonia.
  • SHELTON – A young Center Street girl succumbs to the diphtheria epidemic.
  • SHELTON – The Methodist Episcopal Church on Coram Avenue (across from St. Joseph’s) reopens after a renovation.

Monday, September 17, 1906

  • DERBY – Hargreave’s circus arrives in 7 railroad cars. After parading through Derby it sets up its tents off Housatonic Avenue.

September 18

  • SEYMOUR – People visiting Seymour, particularly those from Oxford, have been in habit of hitching horses inside the covered bridge on Broad Street. The Board of Selectmen says this must stop, as automobiles are becoming more common, and the bridge was not intended to be used as a stable.

September 19

  • ANSONIA – Aaron Olderman summoned to Ansonia City Court – charged with 3 violations of building ordinances for moving the wooden Cohen building into the fire district. . 9/20-2 Phillip Cohen covered entire building in tin. Next to synagogue.
  • OXFORD – There are 20 students attending Oxford Centre School.

September 20

  • ANSONIA – Phillip Cohen has completed covering the Cohen building in tin, which he hopes will end the debate involving Aaron Cohen moving it into the fire district.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Opera House reopens as a roller skating rink to a huge crowd. See the Evening Sentinel article on the opening here.
  • DERBY – The diphtheria epidemic has spread from Shelton to Derby, with cases reported in two families.

September 21

  • DERBY – Derby-Shelton YMCA has secured an option on the Sterling property on Elizabeth Street, next to the Bassett House, and will likely purchase it for its new home.

September 22

  • Cape Cod cranberries hit the market a week ago. Because there is such an abundance, they are selling for 15 cents a quart. Last year, they were the highest since the Civil War due to a shortage.
  • ANSONIA – Hargreave’s circus arrives on train, and parades from the railroad tracks near Bridge Street to Woodlot. At noon, the circus parades down Main Street, and many watch it despite a downpour.
  • SHELTON – Shelton becomes first Connecticut town to hold a legal Socialist caucus under the State Enrollment Law, in which political parties must have 10% or more of the votes from last election in order to compete in a present one. The Socialists make a full town (not city) ticket.

September 23

  • ANSONIA – The new “socker football league” (soccer) completes its formation at Hotel Dayton. The league will have 6 teams, including 2 from Ansonia, 2 from Bridgeport, one each from New Haven and Naugatuck.
  • ANSONIA – Main Street’s Ansonia Methodist Episcopal Church reopens after being closed for 2 months for renovations.
  • DERBY – The cornerstone of the new St. Michael’s Church is laid by Bishop Michael Tierney of Hartford. Between 4000 to 5000 people attend. A time capsule is buried in the cornerstone.

Monday, September 24, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Harry Seccombe, former member of the firm Seccombe Brothers monument works, leaves Ansonia after buying a monument works yard in Kingston, NY. He was an Ansonia resident for 27 years. Seccombe Brothers still exists in Ansonia today.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – Light frost overnight in Oxford and Great Hill causes no major damage to vegetation.

September 25

  • The trolley company inaugurates its winter schedule. Enclosed trolley cars appear for the first time this season.
  • ANSONIA – A number of residents are afflicted with mumps.

September 26

  • SHELTON – The Borough rents two rooms in the Wells Block on the corner of Coram Avenue and Bridge Street to handle school overcrowding.

September 27

  • SHELTON – The Sidney Blumenthal Company on Canal Street will build a large addition consisting of two new buildings. The first will be two stories, 36’x80′, while the second will be a single story measuring 80’x80′. The textile plant began 9 years ago with 50 looms. When the new buildings are completed the firm will operate at total of  250 looms.

September 29

  • ANSONIA – A new blacksmith has bought the blacksmith shop on the corner of Factory Street and Tremont Street. It will reopen under his management.


Monday, October 1, 1906

  • OXFORD – Oxford holds its Annual Town Meeting. The finance report shows it has a budget of $8993.05, with total assets of $25,665.57. The townspeople vote to spend $700 to $800 of appropriated state funds to repair Otter Rock Road.
  • SEYMOUR – The entire Republican ticket is elected in the town election.
  • SHELTON – Judge Frederick W. Curtiss dies in his Fairmont Avenue home.
  • SHELTON – The elections for the Town of Huntington are held. Although Republicans sweep nearly every office, the election makes Statewide headlines for the one office they did not win. J. W. Cribbins wins a spot on the Board of Education, and thus becomes the first Socialist Party candidate elected into any office in Connecticut history.

October 2

  • ANSONIA – No one appears in opposition at a hearing concerning the City relinquishing control of Second Street and a strip of land at North Main and Liberty Streets to the Coe Brass Company.

October 3

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia’s Rockland Spring Water is condemned and forbidden to sell when colon bacilli and typhoid are found in it. About 300 Valley families regularly drink bottled water from the spring. Five days later, it is announced that Rockland Spring Water will substitute their water with Indian Spring Water imported from Shelton. Meanwhile, another Ansonia bottler, Beaver Spring Water, is still deemed satisfactory by the Health Officer.

October 4

  • Farmers are at a loss to explain this year’s poor apple crop.

October 5

  • ANSONIA – 400 people attend a reception to welcome the new pastor of the Ansonia Congregational Church, Rev. O. W. Burtner.
  • ANSONIA – Long awaited repairs to the Maple Street Bridge begin. Brick pavement will be replaced by tar concrete, which is a mixture of tar and crushed stone. The bridge is closed to horse teams during the repairs.
  • SHELTON – Hopes that the diphtheria epidemic has ended after a week of no new cases are dashed when 6 new cases appear in the Kneen Street and Coram Avenue area. As is the custom, residences of the victims are quarantined, and marked with a yellow placard to warn the public.

October 6

  • ANSONIA – An addition is being added to a small barn on Blacksmith Hill (Tremont Street) that was recently used as a paint shop. The structure will be converted into a house.
  • ANSONIA – A serious fire breaks out at the Ansonia Novelty Company factory on Main Street. The entire fire department is called out, and the blaze burns out of control for an hour. Much of the factory is burned out, and it will remained closed until further notice. The factory is the former Phelps & Bartholomew Clock Company, the Novelty Company having moved there in December of 1905.

October 7

  • A heavy frost in the early morning hours causes the leaves to fall rapidly from the trees later in the day. This makes hunters happy, as the late foliage was hindering them.

Tuesday, October 9, 1906

  • ANSONIA – William A. Nelson is erecting a 3-story block that will house 6 families on North Main Street. He’s also building four 6-room cottages on Hubbell Avenue.
  • SEYMOUR – After a young boy contracts diphtheria, both his home and nearby Cedar Ridge School are quarantined as a precaution.

October 11

  • The first snowflakes of the winter season fall, though nothing sticks.
  • ANSONIA – City workmen blasting for a new sidewalk on North Cliff Street shower the Fourth Street School with stones, throwing both the staff and children inside into a panic. One window broken. The school is closed, as the blasting continues. Many in the City are upset, as 200 children were located on the side of the school that faced the blast, and it is almost a miracle no one was hurt. 
  • DERBY – The Bassett House Hotel is still closed, though it is under renovation. It is now painted dark green with white trimmings. Prior to that it was yellow with dark red trimmings.
  • DERBY – The new cast iron street signs are erected today, and they attract much attention. Many of the streets have not been marked in years, which was a constant complaint for visitors.

October 12

  • The temperature drops to 28 degrees overnight. In the morning the frost is so thick in place some initially think a light snow had fallen overnight.
  • ANSONIA – The Fourth Street School reopens after it is determined it is now safe from the blasting on North Cliff Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Selectmen approve the Naugatuck Valley Electric Railway Company’s plan to extend its tracks from Bladen’s brook to the corner of Main and Bank Streets. From there will be able to hook up with the trolleys arriving from Ansonia. Once this new extension is completed, there will be a continuous trolley system through entire Valley reaching all the way to Waterbury.

October 13

  • The second thick frost in two nights effectively kills off any vegetation that was remaining.

October 14

  • SEYMOUR – The young boy with diphtheria near Cedar Ridge School dies of the disease.

Monday, October 15, 1906

  • DERBY – Trolley strikes a coal cart on Derby Avenue. Cart driver severely injured.
  • SEYMOUR – A 5-year old Derby Avenue boy succumbs to the diphtheria epidemic.

October 17

  • ANSONIA – The police department made 363 arrests in the past year ending on October 15. Most were for intoxication, breach of peace, or minor offenses, but also included 1 murder, 1 arson, and 9 burglaries.

October 18

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Alton Farrel announces he will not run for a second term.
  • OXFORD – The town’s only residing physician, Dr. Lewis Barnes, is critically ill with heart problems.

October 19

  • DERBY – Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton veterans who served in the Spanish-American War convene at Gould Armory to form a veteran’s organization. 15 attend, and they agree to form an organization which will merge with the national group.
  • DERBY – The new Derby High School on Minerva Street, in the former Cheeseman estate, is being used, and is nearly completed. The Cheeseman family, now residing in New York, is pleased that their former home is being used as a high school.
  • SEYMOUR – After several weeks of large, disruptive crowds from out of town congregating in a football field near the Ansonia border, First Selectman Divine orders the police to arrest anyone caught playing football on Sundays in town.

October 20

  • Torrential rain falls in the morning, and continues on and off for the next two days. A total of 5″ of rain falls, and the Naugatuck River rises to the highest it has been in months.
  • DERBY – Sunday football games at Derby Meadows are annoying many people in town. The police may be called to break them up.
  • SEYMOUR – There is a growing movement in Seymour to return the town’s name to Humphreysville.

Monday, October 22, 1906

  • Torrential rain has been falling for two days. Naugatuck River is highest than it has been in months.

October 26

  • ANSONIA – Democratic caucus held. Former Mayor Stephen Charters overwhelmingly elected to return to office.
  • DERBY – A dozen neighbors team up to extinguish a chimney fire in a house on Chapel Street in Burtville.
  • DERBY – Early morning wreck of a freight train at Derby Junction. Two rail cars damaged.
  • SEYMOUR – Improvements to the newly extended section of Trinity Cemetery in Seymour are completed. Many new lots are now open.
  • SHELTON – Secretary of the State of Board Education, addresses an overflow crowd at the White Hills Baptist Church

October 27

  • ANSONIA – Waterbury High School defeats Ansonia High School 12-6 in an away game. Waterbury newspapers claim AHS left the field a minute early, after claiming they were beaten unfairly.

October 28

  • DERBY – Valley Spanish American War veterans meet in Derby, and complete the necessary paperwork to join the national veteran’s group as a local camp.

Monday, October 28, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Democratic Town Committee votes to endorse Republican nominee for city treasurer, Frederick Drew, due to his qualifications and fact they have no equal candidate.
  • ANSONIA – Work begins on improving Blacksmith Hill on Tremont Street.

October 30

  • DERBY – Valley coal dealers are rushing to get their supplies before cold weather sets in. There are 4 barges at Derby Docks today.

October 31

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeated 32-5 by Bridgeport High School in an away game.
  • HALLOWE’EN – The night is quiet in Ansonia, with less rowdiness than usual. When the fire alarm went off, most firefighters thought it was a false alarm so typical for this night, but it was actually a chimney fire on Smith Street. Derby and Seymour were also quiet too, with many out in costume.
  • SHELTON – Man murders his wife before committing suicide at their Kneen Street home.


Friday, November 1, 1906

  • Consolidated Railway and Lighting, the company that operates the trolleys in Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton, has been sold to the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. Rumors are flying as to how this will affect service in the area.
  • SHELTON – Pistol shots are fired at Central House – a downtown rooming house. While investigating inside the building, a man fires upon Police Chief Robbins. He jumps the man and arrests him before he could fire any more rounds. The intoxicated man had threatened to shoot wife, and was attacked by the house’s other boarders and nearly thrown out a third story window prior to the chief’s arrival.

November 2

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Electrical Company plans a big addition. Several small 1-story buildings just below the YMCA on Main Street, housing a Chinese laundry, a tailor shop, and Wirth’s lunch wagon, will be removed. The new addition will have a 50′ frontage on Main Street, and will be 80′ deep, and 4 stories high.
  • DERBY – The R. M. Bassett Hook & Ladder Company holds its 32nd annual ball at Gould Armory. The event features one of largest grand marches ever held there up to the time, with over 200 couples.
  • SHELTON – High winds causes a guy-wire to break on a 50′ tall smokestack. The smokestack falls toward Howe Avenue, but comes to rest on the trolley lines above the street. Trolleys are halted in this area until the stack is taken off the wires.

November 4

  • DERBY – The newly organized Spanish-American War Veterans of Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton meet at Gould Armory, and name their group the Henry W. Lawton Camp.
  • SEYMOUR – Large crowd witnesses the blessing of new section of St. Augustine’s Cemetery.
  • SHELTON – A large Socialist rally is held on Viaduct Square.

Monday, November 5, 1906

  • DERBY – Large Democratic Party rally at Sterling Opera House attracts large crowds.

November 6 – Election Day
Note Oxford, Seymour, and Huntington/Shelton did not hold municipal elections, as Connecticut towns held their elections on a different day than cities. They did, of course, participate in the State races.

  • The new local directories show an increase of 465 entries for Ansonia. Derby and Shelton (which shared a directory) increased 63, while Seymour increased 32. Each entry represents a family.
  • ANSONIA – 7 year old boy dies of diphtheria on Jewett Street.
  • ANSONIA – Former Mayor Stephen Charters defeats Republican Jens Nielson, securing for himself a third term by a vote of 1236-1153. The Democrats also win 6 seats on the Board of Aldermen, though the Republicans still maintain a 9-6 majority. The man who unseated Stephen Charters in the last election, Alton Farrel, did not seek reelection as mayor, as he ran for the State Senate instead. Outgoing Mayor Farrel, a Republican, gained the majority of votes in Ansonia (proving that many split their vote between the two parties), by a 1315-1069 margin, and wound up wining the 17th Senatorial District.
  • DERBY – Democrat Alfred F. Howe defeats incumbent Mayor Benjamin Hubbell 779-680. The Democrats now control the Board of Aldermen. After the results are announced, 300 march from the Sterling Opera House to Mayor-Elect Howe’s house on Olivia Street for a street party.
  • OXFORD – The town voted Republican in the State Elections.
  • SEYMOUR – The town voted Democrat for the first time in many years in the State Elections.
  • SHELTON – The Town of Huntington votes Republican in the State Elections.

November 8

  • SEYMOUR – Forest fire on Castle Rock lights up the evening sky and can be seen all over town. The Sentinel said it appeared “like a small volcano”.

November 9

  • ANSONIA – 2 tenement blocks under construction on North Main Street.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Farrel had hired his own secretary when he was mayor – and actually paid him more than his own salary. Now there is talk of making the Mayor’s Secretary a permanent position.
  • SEYMOUR – The 3 story brick Crowley Building on lower Main Street is nearing completion.
  • SHELTON – The International Silver Company, Factory B, will add a 97×37 4 story brick addition to it’s Bridge Street plant. Production has recently been hampered from lack of space.

November 10

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby defeats Stamford 11-0 at Derby Meadows.
  • SEYMOUR – Merchants’ Ice Company incorporated with $10,000 capital. Many in town are unhappy about high ice prices, and hope the new concern will bring them down.

November 11

  • ANSONIA – Organizational meeting in German Hall to organize an Ansonia branch of the Order of the Scottish Clans.

Monday, November 12, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Yale Rubin applies for permission to move two frame buildings out of the way of the pending Ansonia Electrical Company’s addition on Main Street, to the corner of Factory Street and Front Street.

November 13

  • ANSONIA – Yale Rubin decides to tear down the frame buildings on Main Street, rather than move them, due to expenses. Lumber salvaged from the buildings will make a new building on the corner of Factory Street and Front Street.
  • ANSONIA – Grammar and High School teachers form the Ansonia Teachers’ Club, designed to bring authors and lecturers to town to further the teachers’ knowledge.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – A morning snow squall leaves no accumulation.

November 14

  • SEYMOUR – There is a large tent city of Italian laborers on the western border, working on the new Naugatuck trolley line.

November 15

  • Snowstorm dumps 3″ of snow in the morning, catching everyone by surprise. Shoe dealers are busy selling rubbers. The heavy, wet snow turned to hail at 2 PM, and rain and slush by evening.
  • ANSONIA – William Blake, proprietor of Palace Stables on North Main Street, is the first person of the year out in a horse-drawn sleigh with bells along Main Street.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Apportionment decides to wipe out the City’s $15,000 floating debt.
  • SEYMOUR – A new club, called the United Germans, will join the National Band of German Societies
  • SEYMOUR – Young boy dies of diphtheria on Pearl Street. Three other children are also sick with it in same family.

November 16

  • Warm and sunny. Some report flies are out, which is strange considering snow can be seen in places.
  • DERBY – A five year old New Haven Avenue boy dies of diphtheria.

November 17

  • The hills surrounding the Valley are still covered with snow.
  • ANSONIA – People aboard a trolley are thrown into a panic at 8:30 PM, when the trolley is struck by a boxcar at the Bridge Street railroad crossing from a passing freight train. The collision tears a portion of the trolley’s fender and rear platform off. Many are windows smashed, and a woman faints. Both the trolley and boxcar stay on their tracks.
  • SHELTON – A 16 year old working on the addition to the International Silver Company on Bridge Street falls when a hoist gives way, and plunges 50′. He bounces onto and down a 1 story building and rolls to the ground. Despite the distance, the building below breaks his fall, and he is not badly injured.

November 18

  • SHELTON – A 30 year old man falls from the railroad trestle into the Shelton Canal while trying to cross to Derby and drowns.

Monday, November 19, 1906

  • ANSONIA – A driver of a coal wagon is fined $25 for hitting his mule “Maud” over the head with a shovel. 5 witnesses testify against him.
  • DERBY – Despite numerous protests from neighbors, county commissioners grant the transfer of the Sterling House liquor license to 27 Hawkins Street.
  • SEYMOUR – A religious census has been completed. 1019 families totaling 4293 persons are surveyed. The largest religious groups (over 99 people) were: Roman Catholic – 1132, Congregational – 830, Methodist – 672, Episcopal – 662, Lutheran – 562, and Greek Orthodox – 249. The survey also covered national origin, and those over 99 people were: Native born – 2154, German – 637, Polish – 356, Irish – 281, Russian – 196, English – 115, and Welsh – 99.
  • SHELTON – The Ousatonic Water Company holds its annual meeting in Derby, and votes to build a new 150’x130′ building for the Sidney Blumenthal Company. Part of it will be 3-4 stories, the other part 1 story. The new building will attach to the existing plant.

November 20

  • DERBY – Sidewalk in front of Novitzky Bros & Co. on Main Street drops 4 inches. It is discovered that the cause is an old forgotten oven from the C. R. Just Bakery that had been there in the 1800s.

November 21

  • SEYMOUR – 2-year old Meadow Street girl dies of diphtheria.
  • SEYMOUR – Passenger train wrecks just south of the train station on Main Street when a baggage car takes wrong set of tracks and derails, blocking both sets. No passengers are injured.
  • SHELTON – An automobile strikes the viaduct bridge, and almost goes through the railing into the Shelton Canal below.

November 22

  • DERBY – The Derby Trucking Company is having its busiest season ever. The firm’s resources have been pushed to limit and it is hiring additional teams from as far as Oxford and Milford, and subleasing other work. A total of 40-50 additional horses have been added to help with the rush. 
  • SEYMOUR – Franklin Farrel of Ansonia is purchasing the large 300 acre farm of Andrew Wheeler, adjacent to his duck farm, off North Main Street. The purchase includes Silver Lake, where ice is harvested. 
  • SHELTON – A vein of trap rock has been discovered on land owned by the South End Land Company, originating from the trolley tracks.

November 23

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Memorial Day Committee completes its organization at a meeting at City Hall.
  • DERBY – The US Navy orders twenty-five 3″ caliber rapid fire guns from United States Rapid Fire Gun & Power Company on Housatonic Avenue. The order should keep the plant busy for 18 months, and also supply work for the OK Tool Company in Shelton.
  • SEYMOUR – Franklin Farrel will extend the ice monopoly on his newly purchases Silver Lake to the newly formed Merchants’ Ice Company.
  • SEYMOUR – Central Annex, Cedar Ridge, and Castle Rock schools close due to the diphtheria epidemic on orders of the health officer.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby and Ansonia battle to a 0-0 tie at Derby Meadows.

November 25

  • DERBY – Rev. Dr. W. S. Morgan of the Derby Unitarian Church resigns to accept a position in Albany. He was the church’s minister for 6 years which included the erection of the church itself on the corner of Seymour Avenue and Atwater Avenue.

Monday, November 26, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The Health Officer announces he fears diphtheria may be reaching epidemic proportions in Ansonia. There are now 2 cases on Murray Street, and one each on Holbrook Street, Franklin Street, and Elm Street. The deadly disease is also widespread across the State.
  • ANSONIA – Little opposition is encountered at a Board of Aldermen hearing on double-tracking the trolley extension line to Seymour.
  • DERBY – Irving School needs about $1000 in repairs and upgrades to it’s plumbing and lighting.
  • SHELTON – The Radcliffe Bros. hosiery factory will erect a 78×38′, 6-story addition to it’s Howe Avenue plant.

November 27

  • The 1500 telephones in the Ansonia-Derby-Shelton  exchange will be converted soon to battery telephones, which will do away with the now antiquated hand crank required to get an operator, which are now embarrassingly obsolete.
  • ANSONIA – A local man is found dead in his 20 Front Street home. The house was filled with escaping gas from a broken hose to the heater. There are some suspicions of foul play.
  • SEYMOUR – The tent city composed mostly of Italian workers on the edge of town has basically disappeared, as the construction on the new trolley line has moved to Naugatuck.

November 28

  • The turkey supply not as great as previous years, and quality has suffered as a result. Native turkeys are rare – 30-32 cents/lb. Turkeys from New York and New Jersey average 28 cents/lb, while western turkeys, packed in ice, are 25 cents/lb. The farther away the turkeys are from, the cheaper but less fresh they are.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen approve the double-tracking of the trolley extension line to Seymour, with only one dissenting vote.
  • DERBY – 450 pack Gould Armory for the 56th annual Storm Engine Company ball.

 November 29 – THANKSGIVING

  • The day is generally quiet, punctuated by church services and football games. It is the coldest day of season so far, with a brisk northwest wind, but bright sun. There is heavy travel on the railroads.
  • DERBY – The Sunshine Society distributes 40 Thanksgiving dinners to the “worthy poor” in Derby. The group operates out of Unitarian Church on the corner of Seymour and Atwater Avenues.
  • SEYMOUR – A 9 year old Rose Street girl dies of diphtheria.


Saturday, December 1, 1906

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Charters takes his oath of office in the Board of Aldermen’s’ chamber at City Hall. The Aldermen are sworn in later that evening.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia soccer team is first place in the Connecticut Association Football League.
  • ANSONIA – There are now 10 known cases of diphtheria in the city.

December 2

  • The temperature falls to 10 degrees in the morning, the coldest so far this year.

Monday, December 3, 1906

  • The temperature is 48 degrees by 3 PM. 

December 4

  • About 1 AM, the temperature drops to 1 below zero. In some places, the temperature dropped 50 degrees in ten hours. 2″ of ice ice forms on some reservoirs, giving some the hope that the stockpile of refrigerant ice, all but depleted due to mild weather, may be ending. Both the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers are covered with ice as well. Plumbers are kept busy with many pipes frozen. Because the temperature drop was completely unexpected, many had left their cellar windows open to allow air to circulate, and many bushels of apples and potatoes which were being kept in basements for the winter were ruined. The remaining slushy snow that was left on the sidewalks is now frozen solid.

December 5

  • ANSONIA – An apartment in a 3 story tenement on lower Main Street catches fire when clothes drying next to a stove ignite. Two construction workers who were working nearby are heroes after they enter the burning apartment and rescue 3 children who were home alone. One of them, a 5 year old girl, is critically injured. The Eagle Hose H&L Co. No. 6’s men hitch their hand drawn jumper (hose cart) to Ansonia Water Company’s sprinter horse “Sweet Marie”, which then rushes barely under control at a breakneck speed to the fire, startling many along Main Street. The Eagle and Webster Hose companies quickly extinguish the fire.
  • ANSONIA – George Washington Lodge No. 82, Free and Accepted Masons, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala banquet at the Hotel Dayton in Ansonia.
  • DERBY – There are currently 8 diphtheria cases in the City – 5 on Hawkins Street, 2 on Eighth Street, and 1 on Caroline Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The New Haven County Women’s Christian Temperance Union has its annual meeting at the Seymour Methodist Church.

December 6

  • SEYMOUR – A barn on Ansonia Road destroyed by fire, along with 25 tons of hay and equipment. The Citizens’ Engine Co. No. 2 refuses to respond, as it is outside water limits. This ignites a controversy that lasts for some time, during the course of which it is revealed that the fire company’s steam powered fire engine is in disrepair and may need a new boiler.

December 8

  • DERBY & SHELTON – There is a shortage of local milk in these communities. Milk dealers are buying milk from as far as Naugatuck to meet the demand. Very cold weather, and the high prices of grain, hay, and cows are also cited as reasons, along with the fact that many Huntington dealers are now shipping their milk to the rapidly growing city of Bridgeport.
  • SEYMOUR – Ice is now 4″ thick on Silver Lake, and it is being harvested by Franklin Farrel’s employees. Mr. Farrel, of Ansonia’s Farrel Foundry, recently purchased the farm containing the lake.

December 9

  • Snow falls both in the morning and then later in the evening.

Monday, December 10, 1906

  • 2″ of snow falls overnight, then turns to freezing rain. Sidewalks are covered with ice. Blacksmith shops are swamped for horseshoes with calks that give extra traction in winter.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen reject 5 of incoming Mayor Charters’ nominees, including Corporate Counsel, as well as 2 for the Board of Education, and 2 for the Board of Charities. 
  • DERBY – The Sterling Piano Company lays off 30-35 men from its case department because some expected work orders have not come through.
  • SHELTON – A fire at Whitcomb Metallic Bedstead factory, on the bottom of Canal Street, is extinguished quickly. It is thought there is little damage, but several days later it is reported that the water damage caused by sprinklers was worst than thought. 

December 11

  • ANSONIA – A man is struck by locomotive, thrown 30 feet and badly shook up, but suffers no broken bones.

December 12

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Ice Company cuts the first ice of the year on Quillinan’s Reservoir on Beaver Street. It is 4-5″ thick, and sorely needed due to the current ice shortage.
  • DERBY – The sight of a sailing boat soundlessly gliding across the frozen Lake Housatonic, attracts attention and leads some to believe it is a ghost ship. Until closer investigation reveals it is actually an ice skiff, blowing across the frozen water on skis.
  • SEYMOUR – The footbridge attached to the side of the covered bridge to allow people to avoid the offensive sights and odors inside the bridge itself, is in rickety condition and people are becoming afraid of it.
  • SHELTON – Manufacturers are saying the shortage of housing in Shelton is hampering their finding good employees.

December 13

  • ANSONIA – Danger of a diphtheria epidemic seems to have passed. The last of the yellow cards indicating houses under quarantine will probably be removed this week.
  • SEYMOUR – Ice cutting is taking place on town reservoirs. 
  • SEYMOUR – Trolley work halted for the winter, due to the extreme cold weather.

December 14

  • SHELTON – Residents on the southern edge of town have lost a large number of cows, dogs, horses, and poultry in trolley collisions over the past 2 years.

December 16

  • SHELTON – The new St. Joseph’s parish has bought the J. W. Anderson house on Coram Avenue for a new church. The lot has 134′ fronting Coram Avenue and is 250′ deep. Mr. Anderson will remain in the house until March 1.

Monday, December 17, 1906

  • ANSONIA – The City’s Omega Steel Company is in receivership, and the plant is idle.
  • DERBY – The Sterling Piano Company was ready to rehire the case department men laid off last week. The firm does not do so, however, because some of them are harassing those still employed and demanding they be laid off for the same period of time.
  • OXFORD – A couple of inches of very wet snow falls. The temperature is 30 degrees.

December 18

  • ANSONIA – There are a large number of Christmas trees for sale around the city, and their prices are relatively cheap.

December 19

  • SHELTON – It is noted that Shelton appears to be a much bigger city than it really is at night, when viewed from the Derby trolley line. This is due to all the factories, which are built along the river, being lit up.

December 20

  • The New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Company has purchased control of the Connecticut Railway and Lighting Company, which operates the trolley lines in Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton. The railroad will operate and expand the trolley system, which will be called Consolidated Railroad. For some time afterward, locals would refer to the trolley line as “The Consolidated”.
  • DERBY – Four of the men laid off from Sterling Piano last week are arrested after they threaten another who is still employed. The men accosted the employee at a Main Street saloon, threatened him, and accused him of being a scab.
  • SEYMOUR – At a special meeting, the Seymour Congregational Church votes to accept a gift of a new parish house, to be built on Broad Street, from the late Albert Swan.

December 21

  • ANSONIA – The Grove Street School is closed after a boiler went out overnight. The rest of the Ansonia School System begins the Christmas vacation at 11:30 AM today.
  • ANSONIA – The Cameron Electrical Company will move into a vacant American Brass Company building next to the Evening Sentinel on Main Street.

December 22

  • Snow and rain falls.
  • DERBY – A city man is killed instantly when hit by an early morning freight train at Derby Junction.
  • SEYMOUR – 400 pounds of copper wire is stolen from the town’s Brixey Cable Works and loaded on hand cart. A Seymour police officer officer follows the hand cart’s trail in the newly fallen snow for miles, all the way into Woodbridge. There he found two men in the woods by a fire. The copper wire was hidden in a nearby brook. Both men are arrested.

December 23

  • The temperature drops to zero.
  • DERBY – The first mass is held in the new St. Michael’s Church, in what will be the basement of the edifice, which is still under construction. Nevertheless the two morning masses were very crowded.

Monday, December 24, 1906

  • CHRISTMAS EVE – Snow begins falling at 8 AM. Some stores remain open till midnight. The Evening Sentinel reminds readers it is customary to tip postmen and trolley conductors on this date.
  • ANSONIA – About 400 children, half from the city and the others from the other Valley towns, receive gifts from Santa Claus at the Ansonia Opera House. The event is sponsored by the Sunshine Society of Ansonia.

 December 25 – CHRISTMAS DAY

  • New fallen snow puts everyone in the holiday mood.
  • ANSONIA – Quiet Christmas. The police make no arrests after 4 AM.
  • DERBY – City merchants report they earned 25% more in Christmas sales than last year. The police arrest one for public drunkenness.
  • SEYMOUR – Quiet Christmas, no arrests.
  • SHELTON – Quiet Christmas. It is noted that public drunkenness, once a problem on the holiday, was practically non existent this year.

December 26

  • DERBY – Roller skating opens for the first time in Gould Armory. The opening received mixed reviews, as 200 attend, and only 190 pairs of skates were purchased. The fact the amount of larger size skates was underestimated, leaving these in high demand while a number of small size skates sat idle, didn’t help things either. Before long there were 50 people waiting in line for a pair of skates. Despite the setbacks, many said they were pleased that Derby now had a roller skating rink, and hoped that once the bugs were worked out it would be a popular venue.

December 27

  • ANSONIA – Five gallons of lubricating oil explodes on the Ansonia switching engine near Railroad Avenue, and the fire destroys the entire cab of the locomotive. The entire Ansonia Fire Department is called to the scene.

December 28

  • 1906 is rapidly drawing to a close. Christmas decorations are disappearing from homes and storefronts. 1907 calendars and almanacs are a hot item. In this period, New Year’s Day is second only to Christmas in terms of gift giving.
  • The bitter cold weather is causing an increase in ice fishing on ponds, where pickerel are being caught.
  • SEYMOUR – There is a shortage of coal in town, due to congestion on the railroads.

December 29

  • ANSONIA – Playing basketball on roller skates is becoming popular. Ansonia has 2 teams, and both make their debut on the Ansonia Opera House skating rink today before a good sized crowd. There is talk of organizing a city team to play in a new regional league.
  • SHELTON – Real estate in downtown Shelton is among the costliest in the State.

December 30

  • ANSONIA – An entire family, including a husband, wife and 4 children, are found overcome by coal gas in their North Main Street apartment, on corner of Third Street. They are rescued by concerned neighbors, who forced the door to reach them. All are recovering.

Monday, December 31, 1906 – WATCH NIGHT

  • Many socials and church services throughout the Valley. The date was known as Watch Night in those days. Rain fell all day, and the night was just as disagreeable. However, there were many warm dances and balls inside many places.
  • ANSONIA – The daily newspaper Evening Sentinel sold 1,583,975 newspapers in 1906, with a daily average of 5,143. The daily average in 1905 was 5,022.
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