Tuesday, January 1, 1907
- Blue skies and bright sunshine greet the New Year at dawn. It is the first clear day in a week, and a fine one to finally get outside and take a walk, which many do. The streets are filled with well wishers.
- ANSONIA – The Pure Food Law goes into effect in Connecticut. Nevertheless, the appearance at Ansonia grocery stores is virtually unchanged. Many merchants don’t know much about it, other than the fact that many food manufacturers have discontinued products and brands that do not meet its specifications. Labels must now contain food ingredients.
- DERBY – Nearly 800 are present at the sunlight hop and dance at the Gould Armory, a record crowd.
- DERBY – Roller skating will likely be discontinued at Gould Armory, because the owners are upset that the floor is being damaged by skates, and continuing it would ruin the dance floor. It took more time to clean up after the 200 skaters on December 26 than it did to clean up after hosting 800 dancers on January 1.
- SEYMOUR – The town officially has 36 societies, lodges, and associations, many of which are secret and beneficial. With a population of 354, that’s one society for every 100 people, not including the numerous church clubs, etc.
- ANSONIA – The long drawn out affair which began when Aaron Olderman moved a building into the new fire limits finally ends when he is found guilty in City Court of violating city ordinances and fined $100.
- ANSONIA – The police made 225 arrests in 1906, as opposed to 270 in 1905. They were: Intoxication – 51; Assault – 26; Liquor violations – 25; Breach of peace – 16; Intoxication and abusive language – 12; Burglary – 8; Theft – 8; Intoxication and breach of peace – 5; Vagrancy – 5; Assault and beach of peace – 4, Murder – 1.
- DERBY – Derby Neck residents want trolley service extend to them, in a loop that would go up Housatonic Avenue, up to Hawthorne Avenue, then down to Elizabeth Street.
- SEYMOUR – Many have colds in town.
- ANSONIA – The dwindling Thomas M. Redshaw Post GAR has vacated the top floor of the Hotchkiss block, known as Grand Army Hall, and leased rooms in the Colburn Block. It was organized after the Civil War with 125 members, and met in the Ansonia Opera House. In 1896 it moved to Grand Army Hall, at which time it had 100 members.
- December 1906 saw a high of 54 degrees, and a low of -2. A total of 4.13″ of rain fell over a total of 11 rainy days, including 2.03″ which fell in a 24 period December 30 & 31. Six inches of snow also fell.
- ANSONIA – Fire in back of a store and tenement building owned by Max Olderman on 414 Main Street at 8 AM. Occupants panic and start throwing belongings out of the windows, but the Fire Department puts the blaze out before it could spread.
- SEYMOUR – One of the oldest buildings in downtown Seymour has been sold – a blacksmith shop built before 1798 on Maple Street and Pearl Street.
Monday, January 7, 1907
- Orthodox Christmas. Many factories allow Greek and Russians to have the day off to celebrate.
- The temperature rises 68 degrees. The unseasonably warm weather is putting a severe strain on the ice companies, which rely upon cold weather to manufacture their product. A thunderstorm passes through at 10:30 PM. Many have colds due to the variances in weather.
- ANSONIA – Great prevalence of la grippe in the city. Doctors and druggists are busy. The West Side is particularly hard hit.
- ANSONIA – 150 attend a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Webster Hose Company #3 at its Platt Street firehouse.
- DERBY – Democrat Alfred F. Howe is sworn in as Derby’s new mayor. The oath was administered by the man he defeated in the November election, outgoing Mayor Hubbell. Other city officials are sworn in too.
- DERBY – Mayor Benjamin Hubbell’s administration ends. The newspaper cites the major improvements on New Haven Avenue and Housatonic Avenue, as well as sewage improved, as some of his major accomplishments.
The temperature drops 30 degrees by early morning.
- ANSONIA – Johnny o’ the Woods is in the City. This well known traveler has been walking a circuit in Connecticut for many years. However, the Sentinel notes that age is catching up to him, and that he is “becoming a pitiable object”. When told to leave a Main Street restaurant he was given food, he grew so violent that the police chief was called.
- SHELTON – The cash till at the J. Edward Dockery store on Howe Avenue and Bridge Street is stolen in a brazen morning theft, as he stepped out for a moment to talk to someone.
- SHELTON – The remodeled and rebuilt hook and ladder truck returns to the Echo Hose H&L Company.
- DERBY – Housatonic Avenue residents between Olivia Street and Third Street complain that some tenants are playing banjos and other instruments, and dancing very late into the night.
- OXFORD – The town registered 19 births, 3 marriages, and 14 deaths in 1906. 24 students are currently attending Center School.
- ANSONIA – Considerable complaint over people cheating vending machines by using slugs.
- DERBY – 1906 vital statistics: 253 births, 157 marriages, and 186 deaths. This compares to the 266 births, 103 marriages, and 150 deaths in 1905.
- OXFORD – The mud on the roads is very deep – up to the wheel hubs in some spots.
- ANSONIA – Johnny o’ the Woods is still in town, which is a little unusual because he normally does not stay so long. Many places he used to sleep are now closed to him. He is found tonight by the police in the freight yard, apparently looking for a place to sleep. He is escorted off before he gets hit by a train, and refuses lodging in the lockup.
- SEYMOUR – R. Rev. Chauncey B. Brewster, Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, makes his annual visit to Trinity Church.
Monday, January 14, 1907
- DERBY – Clothesline thieves are at work in the Caroline Street and Cottage Street neighborhoods.
- SEYMOUR – Wood dealers arrive in town, pulling timber on large sleds with difficulty. There was adequate snow in the Oxford hills to do so, but there is little if any snow in town.
- SHELTON – Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET) is installing audiophones in Huntington Congregational Church to assist people with hearing difficulties. The device uses a telephone circuit.
- ANSONIA – There Savings Bank of Ansonia has 6,852 depositors.
- The weather turns bitter cold – 22 below in some areas at midnight. By 6 AM it has risen 4 above in Ansonia. A snowstorm breaks out later that morning, and dumps 5″ by evening.
- DERBY – George Pixley will reopen the Bassett House around March 1. Furniture being bought in New York City at this time. The hotel has been closed since June.
- SEYMOUR – Trolley car slips off the rail in the snow and hits a telegraph pole 30′ away on South Main Street. No injuries.
Monday, January 21, 1907
- ANSONIA – Jumbo trolley car derails on Bridge Street. No injures.
- DERBY – About 2,000 people line the Housatonic riverbank, as well as the Huntington Bridge and the railroad bridge, at sunrise despite a 30 mile per hour wind, to view what appears to be a sea serpent. It appeared to be 50′ long, and every now and then what appeared to be a head would rise out of the water, and its body would twist all the way down the body to the tail, which would point one way or another. To some it appeared that it was swimming slowly up the river. Some claimed it was first sighted at 6:30 AM under the railroad bridge, and had swum halfway to the Huntington Bridge. Others claimed to see water spouting from the head. It appeared to have scales that glistened in the morning sunlight. Finally a man who had been watching the thing for an hour near the water’s edge declared it had not changed position the whole time he had watched it. He identified that the “serpent” was actually long pieces of rope or cloth that were caught on a stump. The scales were small pieces of ice that had formed on the object. The spouting was caused by boys who were hiding nearby and throwing rocks at it.
- SEYMOUR – Many people want to change Seymour’s name to Humphreys, and some are proposing a special town meeting. David Humphreys established Humphreysville in the early 1800s. It was renamed Seymour after Connecticut’s governor at the time, as a means of gaining votes towards splitting with Derby in 1850 in the State Legislature. As the debate continues, a few old timers stir superstitions by recalling how an old railroad engine originally named Seymour was renamed Humphreys. After that, it met many misfortunes.
- ANSONIA – A brass cannon used for many years by the T.M. Redshaw Post GAR is moved to City Hall. It is placed under the main staircase, in the basement. The cannon was one of the mountain howitzers used by Union Gen. Franz Siegel in Missouri during Civil War.
- Temperature 3 to 10 below overnight. Many frozen water pipes.
- ANSONIA – Quillinan’s Reservoir has ice 9-10″ thick.
- SEYMOUR – The Citizen’s Engine Company’s fire engine, the only steam fire engine in the Valley, is shipped to Bigelow Boiler Works in New Hampshire for a new boiler.
- SHELTON – Ground broken for a temporary St. Joseph’s church building in rear of the new parish’s recently purchased property off Coram Avenue. The building will be a plain structure, measuring 65’x35′.
- Coldest January morning since 1886.
- ANSONIA – Ice harvesting begins on Quillinan’s Reservoir off Beaver Street by the Ansonia & Derby Ice Company.
- DERBY – Albert H. Yudkin’s new wood tenement house on Derby Avenue near Bank Street is completely destroyed by fire. The building had 2 stories, and housed 3 families, all related to Mr. Yudkin. There were two stores on the first floor, Mr. Yudkin’s grocery and the Cohen dry goods store, which is where the fire originated. The blaze goes to two alarms, with all four companies of the Derby Fire Department responding. The temperature is 4 below zero, causing water drops to freeze in mid-air and fall to the ground. Ice forms everywhere. Six to eight firemen are treated for frostbite.
- DERBY – The Ansonia & Derby Ice Company is harvesting ice at Pink House Cove.
- DERBY – The Board of Education passes a resolution that children caught smoking going to, from, or at school will be suspended on the first offense, and expelled on the second.
- Using 1903-4 figures, Derby ranks 23rd out of the 168 towns in Connecticut in terms of school spending per pupil. Ansonia ranks 100, and Huntington is 122.
- ANSONIA – 2,000 tons of ice have been removed from Qullinan’s Reservoir so far. The ice company is trying to make up for the late start in the ice cutting season, with 60 men cutting, and numerous teams transporting the blocks to ice houses. Electric lights have been set up to illuminate the pond so work can continue into the evening.
- ANSONIA – Close call when a long, slow freight train slams on its brakes and stops just 2 feet away from broadsiding a trolley car on Bridge Street.
- DERBY – Much complaint about the heating system at Sterling Opera House, which also houses City Hall, the police, and a fire company. Mayor Howe has steam fitters looking over the building to remedy the situation.
- ANSONIA – At this time there are 70 men working at Quillinan’s Reservoir. 4,000 to 5,000 tons have been taken by the Ansonia & Derby Ice Company. The ice is now 11-12″ thick. Despite the late start, it will be a good ice harvest this year.
- DERBY – The police raid the Durrschmidt building on lower Main Street on this fine Sunday, and find a hidden saloon in full operation. The saloonkeeper and 13 men are arrested.
- DERBY – George S. Arnold, who was born September 30, 1850, dies in New York City. He was warden of Birmingham in 1887 and 1888, during which the Sterling Opera House was built.
Monday, January 28, 1907
- DERBY – 8″ thick ice being harvested by 50 men on Lake Housatonic, by the Ansonia & Derby Ice Company.
- SEYMOUR – Merchants’ Ice Company completes ice harvesting its pond. Its storehouse is filled.
- SHELTON – The New York City firm that is starting a box factory in the Scattergood Building gets only get 30 applicants, many of which are already employed. They are looking for 100 females, but the economy is so good help is scarce.
- ANSONIA – Much sleighing and sledding going on. Prospect, Fourth, Hill, Jewett, High, Maple, and Grove Streets are popular. Mayor Charters will post Fourth Street due to the number of near misses with the Seymour trolley. A Woodbridge Street boy is thrown from a sled on North Prospect Street and is unconscious for half an hour, but recovers.
- ANSONIA & OXFORD – The Ansonia High School senior and junior classes take evening sleighs to Oxford, where they have supper and a dance at the Oxford Hotel.
- DERBY – Storm Engine Company members are shocked when they realize how much room the tanks for the new fire alarm will take in their basement – nearly the whole area. They now have little room for storage.
- DERBY – New Haven Avenue is a popular place for sledding today.
- OXFORD – Oxford is a popular destination for sleighing parties. This night there are 3 from Seymour, 3 from Naugatuck, and three or more from Ansonia and Derby.
- SHELTON – The hills on Coram Avenue and Wooster Street are popular spots for sledding.
- SEYMOUR – The Little River Manufacturing Company is in receivership. Founded in 1902, they made nail clippers, and were sued by the HC Cook Company of Ansonia for patient infringement.
- 6 inches of snow falls overnight. The snow changes to a rainy drizzle later, but there is so much snow on ground it has little effect.
Saturday, February 2, 1907
- Area groundhogs see their shadow due to the sunny day, which means more weeks of winter.
- ANSONIA – Clan MacDonald, Order of Scottish Clans, is formed at German Hall. Many of the Valley’s Scottish residents join.
- SHELTON – Membership in Echo Hose Hook & Ladder is low. Young men are not inclined to join the volunteer fire company these days.
- DERBY – Rev. George H. Buck celebrates his 20th year as pastor of St. James Episcopal Church. In that time, he has baptized 502, confirmed 332, performed 161 marriages, and conducted 413 funerals.
Monday, February 4, 1907
- A major snowstorm breaks out late in the afternoon, and continues all night.
- DERBY – 10″ thick ice is now being cut at Lake Housatonic. Unless one or more of the icehouses burns down, there is now enough ice to supply both Derby and Shelton until next winter.
- SEYMOUR – The Seymour Congregational Church votes to move the parsonage off the church lot, to make room for the new Albert Swan Memorial Parish House. The Society has an option to move the parsonage on one of 9 lots located on or close to Derby Avenue.
- The snowstorm continues past dawn, dropping about 18″. But because of the high winds, in some spots there are 5 to 6 foot high snowdrifts while in other spots the ground is practically bare. All schools are cancelled. Trains are at least one hour late. All country roads are blocked, and heavy teams are trying to break paths through the snowdrifts. Milkmen can’t get into the downtown neighborhoods, causing a run on condensed milk in grocery stores, and many of them run out of it by afternoon. Many can’t get to work, and mills are running with skeleton crews. The trolley service is very erratic, despite an effort by the trolley companies to keep the tracks plowed. The District Nurse Association visiting nurse breaks her wrist while making a home visit in Derby.
- People are having trouble hitching horses on main streets, as many hitching posts are under the snow. The trolley company is now helping clear snow from the streets that their tracks run on, because their plows caused it to pile up and make them impassible. The day was actually quite sunny, a welcome change as this has been a particularly gloomy winter. Greenhouse owners, preparing for Valentine’s Day, are very happy at the sunshine. Travel is improving in the cities, though country roads are still treacherous, and horse-drawn sleighs are tipping over due to the high snowdrifts.
- SHELTON – New St. Joseph’s chapel has been completed completed and is used for the first time this evening for a Mardi Gras festival. The temporary building is lighted by electricity.
- Coldest morning this winter, at 8 below zero in Ansonia. The coldest spots seem to be on Oxford Road in Seymour, where it is 20 below, and on Bank Street in the same town, where it is 14 below.
- DERBY – The 25th anniversary of the St. Aloysius Total Abstinence and Benevolent Society (TAB) is held at St. Mary’s hall. Members refrain from drinking alcohol.
- DERBY – The 3rd Annual District Nurse Association meeting held at Derby Public Library. The sole visiting staff nurse made 1050 recorded visits and at least 486 unrecorded visits to Valley homes in the past year. She is convalescing after breaking her wrist from falling in the recent snowstorm.
- ANSONIA – 700 people cram into the Ansonia Opera House for the Webster Hose Company’s ball. There were 185 couples in the Grand March alone.
- SHELTON – A new firm called the Derby Paper Company purchases the unexpired lease of the former Derby Paper Mills, and will begin operations at the Canal Street factory.
- Another inch of snow falls in the morning, but the later sunshine causes it to melt off surfaces that have already been cleared.
- ANSONIA – An apartment fire in the Stillson Block on High Street causes a big commotion and panic within the tenement. Two Eagle Hose H&L Company firefighters are injured.
- ANSONIA – Saloon on Main Street and Central Street raided by Ansonia police for conducting business on a Sunday. The proprietor and 2 customers are arrested. News of the raid spreads quickly, and other illegal saloons quickly empty out. Tracks in the snow to these illegal establishments now is making secret entryways obvious.
Monday, February 11, 1907
- ANSONIA – State Police serve warrants to 3 officers of the Ansonia Mannerchor club, including a former City Treasurer. Warrants are also served to the proprietors of the German Hotel, Warcholic Hall, and 2 other men of the Russian and Slovenian Liberty Club. All of the warrants are for selling liquor on Sunday. By the time the day was over, a total of 14 warrants were served, and the bar at the Dayton House Hotel was raided.
- ANSONIA – The Evening Sentinel reports that people in Ansonia want to rename the Town Farm, popularly called the Poor House, to make it easier for people to go there without the attached stigma. Among the suggestions are Riverview, Sunnyside, or Hillside farm.
- ANSONIA – It is revealed that the Rabbi of Synagogue Benai Israel on Colburn Street has not filed a single marriage certificate since 1892, despite the fact he has performed many ceremonies. He pleads he was not aware he had to file marriage certificates, and will not be prosecuted. By the end of day 16 affidavits have been filed by married couples seeking marriage licenses, with many more pending.
- DERBY – Armour & Co is expanding in East Derby. The meat packing firm has bought the old Smith house next door and tore it down. Its expanded property now fronts Derby Avenue, Gilbert Street, and New Haven Avenue, and there are plans to expand the buildings there.
- DERBY – Practically every seat is taken at the Sterling Opera House as the Derby Choral Club does their annual recital of Handel’s Messiah.
- SEYMOUR – The temperature is recorded at 16 below on Oxford Road.
- SEYMOUR – The Merchant’s Ice Company has begun supplying its stockholders with ice. The Company has 1300 tons stored for summer.
- Exchanging Valentines is becoming more popular, the mail is loaded with them. Picture cards have become very popular, and unlike previous years there is quite a variety.
- DERBY & ANSONIA – Holy Name Society of St. Mary’s Parish votes to ask Ansonia’s Assumption Parish to help them take better care for St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, on Wakelee Avenue and Division Street.
- DERBY & SHELTON – The Ansonia-Derby Ice Company has 8000 tons of ice stored in ice houses on Lake Housatonic to meet the needs of Derby and Shelton.
- OXFORD – Oxford continues to be busy with sleighing excursions from other towns. The Oxford House furnished 350 meals in the past week.
- SHELTON – A new Town Clock, which regulates fire alarm tests and incidentally furnishes correct time to citizens, has been placed in position in the post office lobby. The old clock was so bad it was a running joke when someone put a sign reading “This is a Clock” next to it.
- SHELTON – Young boy loses part of a finger in a sledding accident on Coram Hill.
- ANSONIA – 2,000 gather to watch man jump off the roof of the YMCA building. The man lowers to the ground slowly, using his patented fire escape which is basically a cable that lowers him slowly. Some Ansonia businessmen have subscribed a total of $26,000 to manufacture it here.
- ANSONIA – An Oxford man driving home from New Haven drives his horse and sleigh onto the railroad tracks over the Birmingham Canal, north of Division Street, in the early morning hours. Apparently he thought he was following trolley tracks. The horse breaks its leg on the trestle, and the man falls into canal. While he is struggling in the water, the sleigh is struck by a passing train. The train crew rescues the man, and a police officer is forced to shoot the horse.
- DERBY – Over 30 sleds and double-rippers coasting on Watering Trough Hill on New Haven Avenue – including a number of residents from downtown Derby and Shelton. The largest double ripper is called “Man Killer”, because man was killed on it 2 years ago, and others have been injured in other accidents involving it. The sled is stored at the R.M. Bassett Hook & Ladder Company firehouse. On this date the “Man Killer” nearly lives up to its name again, when the sled strikes the trolley rails, just as a trolley was approaching. A number of people land in a pile on the tracks, and one man and a girl are pinned underneath the sled. The trolley motorman, who was aware of the sledding, was proceeding cautiously, and stopped the trolley just 10 feet from the struggling group trying to get the sled off the two in time. The man was injured, and required a doctor’s attention. Trolley motormen in Derby and other Valley towns are complaining that sleds have been going over the tracks, and several times they have had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.
Monday, February 18, 1907
- ANSONIA – The work of replacing the alter at the Church of the Assumption with a new one is continuing. It already is looking very impressive.
- Light snowfall followed by rain.
- DERBY – The infamous Derby double-ripper “Man Killer” (see last week) sled smashes into a telegraph pole at the bottom of Watering Trough Hill, and is badly damaged. Twenty persons are thrown off the contraption, and 2 have minor injuries. The accident occurred the same night it set a sledding record on Watering Trough Hill. It was clocked from the top of the hill, to the bottom at New Haven Avenue and Gilbert Street, in 29 seconds.
- SHELTON – A double-ripper loses control on Coram Hill, and smashes into utility pole at 10 PM, throwing 16 young men a considerable distance. Four are badly injured, with some knocked unconscious. It takes one young man an hour to wake up.
- ANSONIA – Man badly injured when a sled collides with an ice wagon at the bottom of North State Street hill in Ansonia.
- The snow has been thawing by day and freezing at night, making ideal conditions for coasting.
- ANSONIA – A 12 year old girl is struck by a double-ripper on Kankwood Hill and is badly injured. This sled was clocked running from Prindle Avenue to Columbia Street in 48 seconds.
- DERBY – Three are injured, the most serious being a broken ankle, when a double-ripper loses control and strikes a tree on the New Haven Avenue hill.
- DERBY – A half mile track has been laid out over the frozen water of Lake Housatonic. The track is wide enough for 6 horses to travel abreast, and many impromptu horse races are occurring on it, to the delight of local residents on both sides of the river.
- Many are complaining that the trolleys are inadequately heated this year.
- ANSONIA – A double-ripper with 9 children on it overturns while avoiding a horse team on Kankwood Hill. 3 of them are injured. It is estimated that sleds are hitting 60 mph by the time they enter Platt Street.
- ANSONIA – A 5 year old suffers fractured collarbone in a sledding accident on Myrtle Avenue hill.
- ANSONIA – The newly patented Engel fire escape, which many local businessmen have invested in and are planning on manufacturing in Ansonia, is tested for a second time, at Main Street’s Terry Block. The first person to jump off the block is lowered safely, but the second person to jump off becomes stuck, and is suspended along side of building. He had to be taken into window, in view of several hundred spectators. Mr. Engel notes this is the first time the same device was used for two different people, and that the contraption is still undergoing field testing to identify and eliminate flaws such as this in the design.
- Another 5″ of snow falls in the evening.
- DERBY – A fire breaks out in a basement of a duplex on East Ninth and Olivia Streets. Derby firemen are hampered by sub-zero temperatures, frozen fire hydrants, and low water pressure, and are unable to stop the house from burning to the ground. The fire spreads to the duplex next door, and that burns to the ground, also. The fire then spreads to 2 more houses on Hawkins Street, but these are saved. Five firefighters are injured, 3 of which suffer from frostbite. This starts a major controversy between the fire department and the Birmingham Water Company, with many statements and denials being issued by city and company officials
Monday, February 25, 1907
- Johnny o’ the Woods seen again in Seymour, where he was given a set of gloves by a concerned person, and in Ansonia, apparently on his way to Derby. Frequent sightings of this well-known vagrant, second only in fame to the late “Leatherman” lead many to believe he is sticking pretty close to Derby, where is reportedly where he is originally from.
- ANSONIA – The Olderman Block, on the corner of Main Street and Colburn Street, is now completed, and the first floor stores are occupied. The second and third floors are ready for tenants. The brick building is now considered one of the largest and best appearing structures on Main Street
- DERBY – Stagehands at Sterling Opera House go on strike, in protest over two non-union stagehands that arrived with the company now playing. The company insisted that they perform some of the tasks that the Sterling stagehands normally would do. The show goes on regardless, though the Sterling’s stage manager and other members of the company to do all of the scene shifting and operate the curtain, causing some delay between scenes.
- DERBY – A large crowd is on the horse racing track on Lake Housaonic today.
- SHELTON – The new Borough of Shelton clock, located in the post office, tests the fire alarm for the first time. Although running the fire horns is its primary purpose, the clock will also be the accepted “standard time” for the borough, which all are expected to set their timepieces around.
- DERBY – The stagehand strike at Sterling Opera House is now over.
- DERBY – Many out of towners are visiting the horse race track on Lake Housatonic.
- DERBY – The city suffers yet another serious fire, this time in the Benham Shoe Store in the Gould Armory. The fact that the fire was at night, and originated on a floor that is considered the basement on the Main Street side and the third floor on the First Street side complicated things. The fire was very smoky due to burning leather shoes burning. Some neighboring businesses received smoke and water damage, but the fire was confined to the store, and the building survived until 2006.
- ANSONIA – About 85 librarians from all over the state attend the annual meeting of Connecticut Library Association, held at the Ansonia Public Library.
Friday, March 1, 1907
- SEYMOUR – There are currently 3 houses under quarantine in town. Two are for diphtheria, and the other is for scarlet fever. There have been 35 diphtheria cases in town since the start of December, with five proving fatal.
- ANSONIA – Rain and fog in the morning. The snow is melting fast. Only a layer of ice is left, about 5″ thick in places on Main Street and clogging gutters. This causes water to back up to several inches on the south side of City Hall. A dyke composed of ashes is built around that side of City Hall to protect the basement.
- ANSONIA – Man shot in the head at the Kelley House, which was a rooming house on Main Street and Bridge Street, lies for 14 hours before discovered. He is taken to New Haven Hospital in critical condition. A suspect is being sought.
- ANSONIA – There is talk of fixing up the triangle at the foot of Kankwood Hill, known as the Elm Street Green. It is the largest piece of city-owned open ground, and is being used by neighborhood children as a playground.
Monday, March 4, 1907
- DERBY – Controversy over the February 24 fire that destroyed or damaged a number of houses at Olivia Street and East Ninth Street continues. Many are now advocating a horse drawn chemical fire engine. Others are willing to go one step further and say Derby now requires a steam powered fire engine, even though this will necessitate the hiring of a paid fire department. Meanwhile, the Birmingham Water Company continues to be questioned regarding the low water pressure in the fire hydrants in that part of the city.
- DERBY – The police commissioner wants a call box system installed in downtown Derby.
- DERBY – The average thickness of the ice on Lake Housatonic is 21″, and it is even thicker in the coves. This is very unusual.
- SHELTON – 29th Annual Report of the Borough of Shelton published. Among its highlights- the Health Report stated the following cases – measles 3, whooping cough 86, scarlet fever 19, typhoid fever 5, diphtheria 16, tuberculosis 2. Ferry School is overcrowded. The Bailiff’s Report listed 72 arrests, including 28 for intoxication. The entire Republican slate, along with two Democrats, are elected to the Borough Board, with 204 ballots cast. William S. Healey got the most votes, making him the Borough Warden, the chief elected office.
- A Valley-wide effort has begun to raise funds to care for Johnny o’ the Woods, aka John Brennan, the famous, aging transient originally from Derby who wanders the State. After spending a longer amount of time than usual in the area, he was most recently sighted in Southington.
- SEYMOUR – The ice on the Housatonic River at Squantuck is 21 to 28″ thick. There are fears that when the ice breaks, it will result in a damaging freshet, which were well known in the Housatonic Valley back then..
- DERBY – Extensive renovations have changed just about everything inside the Bassett House. The hotel is expected to reopen in about 2 weeks.
- OXFORD – The prolonged cold weather has caused many well pumps to freeze.
- ANSONIA – A section of the retaining wall at the Wooster mansion (later Pine High School) on Clifton Avenue caves in.
- DERBY – A new style Connecticut Company trolley car makes its first appearance in the City. It has 10 seats large enough to accommodate 2 people, and at each end are side seat that can accommodate more.
- SEYMOUR – A 14-year old Humphreys Street girl dies of diphtheria.
- SHELTON – 1906 Grand List for the Town of Huntington lists 965.5 houses, 86 stores or mills, 490 horses, 1031 cattle, and 356 carriages.
- DERBY – The ticket agent at Sterling Opera House is often approached by foreigners wanting to pay taxes or obtain marriage licenses. They are confused over the fact that the City Hall offices are upstairs.
- DERBY & SHELTON – There are concerns that the Huntington Bridge is unsafe.
- SEYMOUR – J. H. Hale, owner of the extensive Hale peach orchards in town, fears that the state’s peach crop may be completely ruined due to the mild start of winter which caused them to bud, followed by months of bitter cold weather.
- SHELTON – The Shelton Water Company will lay a 12″ main on Howe Avenue, from Wooster Street to Wharf Street. This will be its largest main yet, designed to help with fire protection and providing a better supply to the factories.
- Just when everyone thought that the hard winter of 1906-1907 may be over, 5″ of snow falls. The fact it fell on the 19th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1888 didn’t help people’s frustration.
- ANSONIA – Landslide off 100′ high bank at Central Avenue smashes into a wagon shed, nearly burying a delivery wagon inside.
Monday, March 11, 1907
- DERBY – Gould Armory opens under the name Nickel Theater, showing continuous exhibit of motion pictures and illustrated songs every afternoon and evening. Admission is 5 cents, making it a true nickelodeon.
- The Northern Lights are spectacular from midnight till 3 AM.
- DERBY – The Evening Sentinel laments that although the ice on Lake Housatonic has not been thick enough for horse racing for many years until now, not nearly as many horses were racing on the course as last time.
- SEYMOUR – Spring thaw making travel difficult.
- St. Patrick’s Day postcards are popular.
- ANSONIA – Filth on Main Street Ansonia left over from the spring thaw looks “disreputable”
- DERBY – Robins and bluebirds are spotted for the first time this year on Caroline Street.
- DERBY – The Howard & Barber department store on Main Street now has a telephone intercom system, as well as 2 phone lines.
- SEYMOUR – Complaint that children that living in diphtheria quarantined houses have been seen playing in the streets.
- ANSONIA – The “Our Baby” nickel slot machine, seized in a raid at the Hotel Dayton on January 17, 1906, is finally ordered destroyed by the City Court. It is rumored that there is $75 in nickels inside. It actually yields 623 nickels, totaling $31.15, though it is unclear where the money should go.
- DERBY – Ground broken for a six family apartment house on Fourth Street, near Caroline Street.
- Many are out walking, or riding the trolley on this fine spring-like St. Patrick’s Day, though many were surprised when they woke up to find a light snow fell overnight. Some churches had special services with Irish music, etc.
Monday, March 18, 1907
- DERBY – The old fire whistle which was used for decades, at Alling’s Mill, off First Street, has been taken down. It may eventually be used for something else.
- DERBY – The Bassett House hotel reopens. Many from Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton are present at the open house.
- Navigation reopened on Housatonic River, as it is clear of ice from the mouth to the Shelton Docks. The timing is perfect, as coal, which is normally barged up the river, is starting to be in short supply.
- ANSONIA – Mayor Charters’ mother, Bridget Charters, passes away at her Wakelee Avenue home.
- ANSONIA – Practice of dumping refuse collected from street cleaning behind City Hall is generating complaints.
- DERBY – Paugassett Hose (today’s Pauguassett Hook & Ladder) Company will get a new 25’x40′ brick two-story firehouse on Derby Avenue.
- ANSONIA – The Salvation Army barracks on High Street is for sale, in the hopes that the proceeds can be used to relocate the barracks on Main Street.
- The temperature rises to a high of 76 degrees.
- The “ice goes out” on the Housatonic River, causing no damage. Any fears earlier in the month that there would be damaging freshet were dashed with the warm weather in the days prior causing the ice to melt rapidly. The entire river is now free of ice.
- ANSONIA – The various German fraternal and benefit organizations of Derby and Ansonia form the United German Societies of Ansonia and Derby at Mannerchor hall.
- The temperature drops to 28 degrees, a 48 degree difference from yesterday.
- DERBY – William Peat’s small lunchroom near the trolley carbarn on lower Main Street is broken into sometime between 3 and 5 AM. Finding no money, the thieves prepare themselves a breakfast of 18 eggs, 3 slices of ham, 3 hamburgers, and potatoes. Mr. Peat is getting a guard dog.
Monday, March 25, 1907
- SEYMOUR – Frequent forest fires are breaking out in the hills around town. Some are caused by boys, others by sparks from passing trains.
- DERBY – Robinson S. Hinman, who lives on River Road, offers to supervise rebuilding the road near the Pink house for free, providing city reimburse his material expenses. He is tired of complaints about the mud, and his oxen often have to pull wagons out that get stuck there.
- SEYMOUR – Ground broken for the first house off Pearl Street near Arethusia Spring, in a new housing development called Broad View Heights.
- SHELTON – The Grand List of the Borough of Shelton is 365 houses, 74 mills, 127 horses, 2 cattle, 131 carriages
- The Johnny O’ The Woods Fund is now up to $206.35
- ANSONIA – 11 bodies were placed in the receiving vault of Pine Grove Cemetery over the winter season, waiting for the snow to melt. They are gradually being buried as the weather thaws.
- ANSONIA – Bronze tablets are being put on the exterior of Ansonia National Bank. One tells of the bank’s organization in 1865. The other will say the name of bank and announce that it has safety deposit vaults.
- SEYMOUR – The Town announces the trolley company will replace its wood poles with steel poles in the business center.
- SEYMOUR – There are currently 3 houses under quarantine in town – two are for measles, and 1 for diphtheria.
- Automobiles have been reappearing, some have been rebuilt and repainted.
- Many brush and field fires throughout the Valley.
- Public schools close at 11 AM for Easter Recess, which will last until April 8.
- The bakeries have hired extra help to make hot cross buns.
- Fine displays of spring millinery on are on display at the Boston Store, Howard & Barber, and many other places.
- DERBY – A large number of Derby High School boys are laying out 1/6 mile running track at Derby Meadows.
- DERBY – The Street Commissioner has the Fire Department flush the block (cobblestone) pavement on Main Street and Elizabeth Street of winter dirt.
Good Friday, March 29
- All mills are shut down for the holiday.
- Open car trolleys make their first appearance of the year.
- Many spend the day off hunting for better houses or rents.
- Lawns are turning green in the fine weather.
- DERBY – Bassett House prices are – $2.50 per day, 50 cents for all meals. $1 for just a room. 75 cents for Sunday dinners. Lower rates for 2 days or over, and terms for weekly board can be worked out.
- DERBY – The J. N. Wise Bakery sells 30,000 hot cross buns.
- SEYMOUR – Complaints that chickens are running loose in Trinity Cemetery.
- SEYMOUR – The first baseball game of the season is played at Park Field, against two scrub teams. There are proposals to form a Valley baseball league.
- ANSONIA – A boy runs into the almshouse near the Seymour border, and tells the supervisor of a forest fire at nearby Schuetzen Park. He and five other men rush to the scene, and barely manage to save nearby a house occupied by a hysterical woman and 4 small children.
- ANSONIA – The Evening Sentinel is now a joint stock corporation
- DERBY – Major Wilbur F. Osborne dies at his home at Osborndale Farm (today’s Kellogg Homestead) on Hawthorne Avenue. See his obituary.
Easter Sunday, March 31
- The weather is cloudy at dawn. Many go to church to enjoy fine sermons, music programs and floral decorations. Florists have been very busy. Snow begins before midnight and continues into the following morning.
Monday, April 1, 1907
- Many April Fools jokes – some of the more popular ones involve putting bricks in paper bags for people to kick out of the way. Sawdust and cotton confectionary and loaded cigars are also popular.
- SHELTON – Special meeting held in the Borough of Shelton, where it is voted to acquire a site and erect a new 8-room schoolhouse somewhere north of Bridge Street.
- The temperature is 22 degrees at 6 AM, which is the coldest reading for this date since 1874.
- SEYMOUR – A sick man at Trinity rectory has been diagnosed as having diphtheria, so the building is now under quarantine. Rev. Woodford has left the rectory, and is staying at a neighbor’s house across the street.
- DERBY – A large number of Sterling Piano employees walk off their jobs over a man’s refusal to join the Piano Makers Union. He claims he cannot afford it.
- DERBY – The Piano Makers Union walkout is over. The man who refused to join the Union will do so.
- SHELTON – Shed being torn down at Whitlock Printing Press on Canal Street falls down prematurely, burying 4 men and injuring them.
- The famed, aged wanderer who was originally from Derby, Johnny o’ the Woods, has not been seen since the rescue fund was started for him in the Valley towns. It is feared that he may be avoiding area because he does not want to give up his wanderings
- Kite flying and top spinning are popular pastimes right now.
- DERBY – The Secor Typewriter, being manufactured at Williams Typewriter Company, is selling very well. The total orders for the machines are now around 9,000, enough to keep the plant busy for the next couple years at least.
- ANSONIA – Mayor Charters joins a large delegation of “Slavs” holding a huge protest in Bridgeport against the treatment of Magyars in Hungary by the Habsburggovernment.
- SEYMOUR – Fire destroys a duplex on Derby Avenue.
Monday, April 8, 1907
- Mixed snow and hailstorm in the early morning.
- DERBY – The Business Mens’ Association of Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, and Seymour hold a banquet at the Bassett House, where they are addressed by Lt. Governor Everett Lake, the State Highway Commissioner, and the State Business Men’s Association President.
- SHELTON – The peach crop in White Hills is expected to be a failure due to the unseasonably warm weather, followed by bitter cold this year.
- DERBY – Miss Frances Osborne is elected president of the Derby Neck Library Association, filling her late father Maj. Wilbur Fisk Osborne’s seat.
- SHELTON – The ancient Oronoque Paper Mill on the Far Mill River, near Pine Rock Park, is destroyed by fire.
- ANSONIA – Rumors have been circulating this week, first that Hollbrook Street School, then all schools on the West Side, will close due to a diphtheria outbreak. These rumors are false. There are currently four houses under quarantine for various reasons on the West Side.
- DERBY – Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary lectures at the Sterling Opera House before a large audience as a guest of the Pickwick Club, where he talks about his hopes of reaching the North Pole.
- DERBY – Sterling Piano employees are surprised when it is announced that as of April 29 the factory will run 9 hours a day, but employees will still receive 10 hours pay.
- SHELTON – Derby Gas Company is replacing its 4″ gas mains on Howe Avenue with 6″ gas mains, due to increased demand.
Monday, April 15, 1907
- ANSONIA – The physicians of Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton meet at the Ansonia YMCA. Vote almost unanimously to increase their rates 50% – all charge the same.
- DERBY – The Sterling Pin Company is adding a 80×40′ addition to its Housatonic Avenue side. The addition will be 3 stories, along with a basement, adding 10,000′ to the existing 12,000′ the factory currently has. The firm began in October 1899 in Shelton, and makes hair pins, hooks and eyes, paper boxes, and novelties.
- SHELTON – The Huntington Piano Company, like their parent corporation Sterling Piano in Derby, will reduce their hours from 10 to 9 per day, without reducing pay. Back then, the typical workweek included Saturdays, so it has gone down from 60 to 54 hours.
- ANSONIA – The latest fad with Ansonia girls is “hair pillows”, in which girls cut the hair of boys they like, and stick them into small souvenir pillows. The Sentinelwarns that there may be an increase in the number of bald-headed boys shortly.
- OXFORD – The grass is “as green as summer” on Oxford Green.
- SHELTON – Shelton’s jobs are outpacing its housing, because land values are so high. The Derby-Shelton bridge crowded with employees crossing at the start and end of the workday. The reason cited for this is land values are too high in Shelton.
- ANSONIA – Two children die of diphtheria within 24 hours in the same Smith Street home.
- OXFORD – Two older boys, allegedly from Naugatuck, interrupt class at Red Oak School. They begin by barging into the one-room schoolhouse and insult the teacher. When they tire of that, they go outside, and one begins shooting at the roof with a revolver, while the other pelts the school with stones. The children are terrified. Two boys risk their lives to run down the lane to a nearby farm house. The assailants chase the boys, until they find the farmer outside, at which point they turn and flee. No one is injured, though the town is in an uproar. The two boys are being sought, their identities are known.
- SHELTON – The R.N. Bassett Company on Bridge Street will have another large addition – the second major one in 2 years.
- SHELTON – The Bridgeport Hydraulic Company buys the water rights of the Far Mill River below Pine Rock Park from the Oronoque Paper Mill, though the mill retains its right of manufacturing and salvage of the machinery that survived last week’s fire. BHC will keep the water supply as a reserve, for now
- SEYMOUR – Seymour Congregational Church celebrates the 60th anniversary of the building of its present edifice.
Tuesday, April 23, 1907
- The Evening Sentinel notes the surge in baby carriages seen outside, in a headline entitled “Sure Harbinger of Summer”.
- ANSONIA – Complaints about “foreign shopkeepers” keeping Sunday hours, which is against the. There are also complaints of gangs of beer drinkers in the Factory Street area.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Boats and launches are being put into Housatonic River for the summer. Some are noting that the channel seems to have changed from last year, causing navigational difficulties that have even led to some boats running aground.
- SEYMOUR – 10 year old boy killed instantly by a work train on the tracks off South Main Street.
- SHELTON – The Ousatonic Water Company withdraws an offer of property on Union Avenue for a town school site, citing complaints from neighboring property owners.
- OXFORD – The Town’s Grand Juror is investigating the April 19 shooting at Red Oak School. Apparently this is not the first incident involving Naugatuck youths at isolated town schools, though it is the most serious. Such behaviors will no longer be tolerated, and the boys will be found and prosecuted.
- ANSONIA – The Ansonia Floral Company has offered to distribute 1,000 geraniums to Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton students to decorate veteran graves this Memorial Day.
- SEYMOUR – The Seymour High School senior class arrives home from their trip to Washington DC. While there, they had a few minutes audience with President Theodore Roosevelt on April 21, and all got to shake his hand. They described the tales of his firm, hearty handshake to be true, and had an overall positive impression of the popular President.
- ANSONIA – No serious opposition at public hearing regarding the American Brass Company’s request to close the sections of Tremont Street and Cheever Street, that are west of Canal Street, as ABC owns all the land on both sides of the streets, and wants to put coal bins there.
- SEYMOUR – A teacher at Center School is sick with a severe case of diphtheria. The school is closed for rest of week and into next as it is completely fumigated.
- SHELTON – The body of a man missing since March 30 is found in the Shelton Canal. It is uncertain if he drowned or was murdered.
- DERBY – The building that until recently housed the Paugassett Hose Company firehouse on Derby is moving south to its new destination in front of the Mansion House on the same street.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Huntington Bridge vibrates whenever anything crosses it, even dogs. It seems to vibrate worse with horses than trolleys. Even the wind causes the steel span over the Housatonic to vibrate, and some are afraid of its stability.
- OXFORD – The Oxford constable and the Naugatuck Police Department arrest 2 Naugatuck youths in connection with the April 19 shooting at Red Oak School. According to the Sentinel, they’re from “respectable families”. They are brought to Oxford, where the youths subsequently plead in Town Court that they meant no harm, but that they were just having fun. The boys are heavily fined, and released.
Monday, April 29, 1907
- DERBY – A large number of forest fires have residents calling for a fire warden to be appointed.
- DERBY – Drivers are complaining that only a little water is trickling out of the memorial fountain on Seymour Avenue and Atwater Avenue, because the pipes are stopped up. This leaves little for horses to drink.
- SHELTON – The factory of the Whitlock Printing Press will nearly double its size with a new addition. The 4 story building will cover the space between its current building and the Huntington Piano Company.
Wednesday, May 1, 1907
- Today is the opening day of “Moving Season”. Virtually every van and truck wagon in the Valley has been reserved for moving occupants from one apartment or house to another.
- SHELTON – The Board of Education recommends naming the new school to be built “Isaac Hull School”. The name is changed to “Commodore Hull School” before the end of the week.
- SHELTON – 13 International Silver Company employees walk off the job for higher wages.
- It has been unseasonably cold this May. The temperature drops to 36 degrees early this morning. Farmers and gardeners are in a state of despair.
- SHELTON – The 50 acre J. C. Wakelee Farm, which reaches from the Housatonic River, to and across River Road, and further to and across Old Coram Road, is purchased by the Swedish Baptist Club of New York and Brooklyn. The farm will be utilized as a summer home and health resort for clergy, women, and children.
- DERBY – The Sterling Opera House will be open 7 nights a week this summer, showing moving pictures and illustrated songs. This is a departure from previous years, where it was closed on Sundays. It is cited that other major theaters are remaining open on Sunday, and Sterling must do the same.
- Temperatures down to 31 degrees early in the morning.
- SHELTON – Ground broken in a ceremony for the new St. Joseph’s Church, which will be 52′ wide fronting Coram Avenue, and 108′ long.
Monday, May 6, 1907
- SHELTON – 600 people pack Clark’s Hall to celebrate the first anniversary of the founding of St. Joseph’s Parish, and the breaking of ground for the new church.
- SEYMOUR – Town Hall’s exterior appearance on Second Street is greatly improved, and now there is talk of beautifying the grounds.
- ANSONIA – A “reserve hose house”, which will utilize an old fire department hose cart, will be installed on the Nelson property on North Main Street to better protect the area.
- DERBY – Governor Woodruff and his staff visits Derby to open a Spanish American War Veterans’ fair at the Gould Armory, where he makes an address. Crowds cheer him as he proceeds from the railroad station to the Armory.
- Snow falls in early morning, but does not stick.
- ANSONIA – A smallpox case is discovered in a gypsy camp north of the Town Farm near the Seymour border. The entire camp is quarantined, with a 24 hour guard posted to keep anyone from entering or leaving.
- ANSONIA – There are 19 automobiles registered in Ansonia. Only one person owns two. 5 are Packards. There are also two Pierce-Arrows and two Columbias. There is also one each of the following: Locomobile, Pope-Hartford, National, Peerless, Franklin, Reo, and Oldsmobile. Franklin Farrel has the only foreign car, a French made Rochet-Schnieder
- The morning temperature is 30 degrees, causing frost conditions.
- ANSONIA – The Frank A. Robbins circus arrives in Ansonia, and begins to unpack at Woodlot. $200 in tickets is stolen during the unloading.
- DERBY – The planned Sunday shows at Sterling Opera House are cancelled, due to protests by the ministers of Derby Methodist, Second Congregational, and First Congregational churches
Monday, May 13, 1907
- ANSONIA – The Frank A. Robbins circus continues at Woodlot. A man’s pockets are picked of $400 there today.
- ANSONIA – The gypsy infected with smallpox is removed from his camp and taken to the pest house on the town farm nearby.
- SEYMOUR – The new trolley tracks on Main Street are completed, but have been covered with dirt so they will not be an inconvenience before they are ready to use.
- Today is considered Straw Hat Day, when the temperature is normally considered warm enough to wear straw hats. There are many for sale in local stores, but few being bought because of unseasonable cold.
- ANSONIA – The gypsy camp near the town arm is still quarantined and under 24 hour guard. People from throughout the Valley who came there recently to have their fortunes told are now afraid of contracting smallpox.
- DERBY – Judge Downs announces anyone arrested for intoxication on Sunday in Derby will be sent to jail. Residents generally approve of this measure.
- ANSONIA – The Maple Street Bridge will be reinforced with a dressing of crushed stone. Last fall’s concrete was laid too late into the year, and is a bit soft.
- ANSONIA – The State hive of Ladies of the Maccabees, which is an auxiliary of the Knights of the Maccabees, hold their annual convention at Ansonia Opera House. The City’s hive was chartered on August 3, 1903, and numbers 33 members.
- DERBY – Many of the Ladies of the Maccabees delegates are staying at Bassett House. They hold a banquet there this evening.
- SHELTON – Pine Rock Park will open this summer. Roller skating and dancing will be the main attractions, and picnickers will be better catered this year
- ANSONIA – The pest house now has a telephone. The doctor who is treating the gypsy infected with smallpox is grateful that he now has a means of communicating with the outside world.
- ANSONIA- The Ladies of the Maccabees convention closes. This is the only day that the convention is open to the public.
- DERBY – The trolley employees of the Consolidated Railway & Lighting Company employees form a labor union.
- SEYMOUR – The new trolley bridge over Bladen’s Brook is nearly completed.
- SEYMOUR – Citizen Engine Company’s Button steam fire engine returns with a new boiler from the Bigelow Company in New Haven.
- SHELTON – The Shelton Trap Rock Quarry reopens.
- SHELTON – The Wells Hollow Schoolhouse is overcrowded. It is 14’x16.5′, 9′ high, and houses 34 students.
Tuesday, May 21, 1907
- 150 area men of the Naugatuck Division of the New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad join the section men and work train hands from other divisions on strike, for a 10% increase in wages. The strike began in the main division yesterday.
- ANSONIA – The quarantine is lifted at the gypsy camp on the edge of town. The gypsies immediately pack up and leave Ansonia, although the man who was infected with smallpox is still in the pest house, though his condition is improving. His wife is also has stayed in Ansonia to be with him.
- ANSONIA – An auction is held for the assets and equipment of the defunct Omega Steel Company. One of the items up for auction includes the company’s so called “$1 million secret” for making steel. Only gets one bid is received for the secret, for $25, which is refused.
- SEYMOUR – A Boys’ Brigade branch is formed in town. So far 38 have joined, and it is expected that 75 will join eventually. The organization is billed as a uniformed, paramilitary organization sponsored by Christian churches for “Christian manliness”.
- SEYMOUR – The weather is unseasonably cold. Snow squalls are reported in town today.
- Temperatures just above freezing overnight and early this morning. A slight frost is reported in Seymour, Oxford, and the White Hills of Shelton.
- DERBY – The landscaping at Derby Green, the Derby Public Library, and the new Derby High School on Minerva Street, are attracting much favorable attention
- SEYMOUR – A band of striking railroad workers pass through Seymour, trying to induce other railroad workers to join them.
- Area farmers disagree on the severity yesterday’s late frost will have on crops, though all are concerned.
- DERBY – There has been an increase in the number of females spotted driving automobiles, which at this time in history is considered an odd sight.
- SHELTON – All union carpenters, plumbers, etc, walk off job at International Silver Company on Bridge Street, because they will not work with a gang of non union laborers who are whitewashing the interior of a new building on the factory complex.
- DERBY – 100 striking railroad workers gather for a peaceful rally at Elks’ Hall.
- DERBY – Valvoline Oil Company will build oil tanks near the Derby Docks.
- DERBY – The newly organized Housatonic Lumber Company has bought out the buildings and equipment of Carter & Hubbell lumber company, and will soon begin conducting a lumber business in Derby. 100 years later, they are still doing so.
- SHELTON – The new Commodore Hull School will be 84’x66′, 2 stories high, with outer walls composed of terra cotta blocks. It will have 2 large recreation rooms on the first floor, 1 each for boys and girls, and 4 classrooms on second floor.
May 26 DECORATION DAY
- ANSONIA – The City holds evening memorial services in evening at Ansonia Opera House for Civil War dead.
- DERBY & SHELTON – The cities hold joint Decoration Day exercises this evening at Sterling Opera House and the Civil War monument on Derby Green, sponsored by the Kellogg Post GAR, which serves both communities.
- SEYMOUR – Upson Post GAR conducts memorial exercises at the Seymour Methodist Church.
- SHELTON – Kellogg Post GAR holds memorial services this rainy afternoon on Huntington Green. It is noted that Spanish American War veterans participate in the ceremonies for the first time this year.
Monday, May 27, 1907
- ANSONIA – A downpour causes the Naugatuck River to rise 6″, and overwhelms city’s drainage system. Beaver Brook almost overflows its banks. Many cellars are flooded, and several inches of water covers Jersey Street.
- SEYMOUR – At 2:15 PM, Car No. 142, the first trolley car to travel on the new Seymour extension arrives at Main and Bank Streets.
- ANSONIA – The mattress allegedly used by the gypsy smallpox patient wasn’t fully burned along with the rest of the items he came into contact with, and has reportedly been left by the side of road. Feathers from the mattress are blowing around, alarming many.
- ANSONIA – Railroad agents are reportedly combing the “foreign sections” of town, hiring strikebreakers. There is no end in sight to the railroad worker strike.
- SEYMOUR – A freight car derails just south of the North Main Street bridge. The Sentinel reports “something is radically wrong with the tracks at that point”.
- SEYMOUR – The famed wanderer Johnny ‘o the Woods, who has not been seen since early March, spent the night in the Seymour lockup.
- SHELTON – The International Silver Company on Bridge Street is still on strike, even though the non-union whitewashing of its new building is nearly done. The union says its members won’t return to work unless the union gets to whitewash the building, or if the amount that would have been paid to do the job is put into union’s treasury.
- Severe frost in the early morning.
- ANSONIA – Johnny o’ the Woods is reportedly heading towards Ansonia, where a charitable fund has been raised to pay for his care. Apparently not wishing to spend the remainder of his days on Ansonia’s Town Farm, he seems to elude detection, as there is no mention of his whereabouts in the paper for the rest of the week.
- ANSONIA – The gypsy smallpox patient has been discharged into the custody of his parents and wife. They are heading to New Jersey to rejoin their band. All bedding that came into contact with the patient has been destroyed, and the pest house has been disinfected.
- SEYMOUR – 100 striking Italian railroad workers armed with clubs pass through town early in the morning. They later get into “serious trouble” in High Rock Grove in Beacon Falls.
- ANSONIA – 5000 gather for the decorations at Pine Grove and St. Mary’s Cemeteries. 2000 march in the city’s first Memorial Day parade. The address is given by Rev. Mr. Blatz Jr., of Ansonia Methodist Church
- DERBY – A baby carriage gets loose on Main Street near Minerva Street, and rolls down backward down the hill. It strikes a horse drawn truck, but the driver stops the horses before the impact to avoid crushing it. The carriage topples, but a pillow falls under the baby, saving his life.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Fine weather for the Memorial Day parade. The parade stops in Oak Cliff Cemetery, and the Civil War monument on Derby Green, where Gen. Charles Pine gives a stirring address.
- SEYMOUR – The Memorial Day parade goes from Second Street up Bank Street to Central School. 300 schoolchildren march in the parade carrying small flags, all the way to the Spruce Street soldier’s monument. Rev W. H. Kidd of New Haven gives the address.
- DERBY – The R. M. Bassett Hook & Ladder Company has had its firehouse on the Fourth Street side of the Sterling Opera House renovated.
Saturday, June 1, 1907
- SHELTON – Many new homes are being erected in the North End of downtown.
- DERBY & ANSONIA – A meeting at St. Mary’s Church to organize care for the St. Mary’s cemeteries is largely attended.
Monday, June 3, 1907
- ANSONIA – A new New England Order of Protection lodge is formed.
- ANSONIA – The city’s expenses to care for the recent gypsy smallpox case cost $395. The physician, Dr. Sanford’s expenses alone were $225.
- ANSONIA & DERBY – Stephen Tracy, of 223 Elizabeth Street, Derby, reveals to the Ansonia Board of Charities that he had sheltered the locally famous, elderly wanderer Johnny o’ the Woods in his barn behind St. Mary’s Church. He told Johnny in March he had to chose to go to Town Farm, where many Valley residents had contributed a large fund to pay for his care, or leave. Johnny did chose to leave, but returned few days ago. He absolutely does not want to live on the Town Farm (a.k.a. Poorhouse).
- DERBY – Double tracking of the trolley line has begun. The pavement is torn up on lower Main Street.
- ANSONIA – Ice slips out the back of an ice wagon on Main Street. Half of the thoroughfare is blocked, from the curb to the trolley tracks, with several hundred pounds of ice.
- DERBY – The Derby Lodge, BPOE votes to lease the upper 2 floors of the B.J. McManus building on Elizabeth Street, starting about September 1.
- SEYMOUR – The first trolley car to travel between Seymour and Naugatuck makes its inaugural run this afternoon. The trolley was loaded with officials from both towns, as well as Beacon Falls (which is along the way), and Waterbury (which is now connected to Seymour via Naugatuck. The large closed car, #261, leaves at 3:54. It encounters a bit of trouble in Beacon Falls when it slips off the track but it is quickly put back on. The trolley left later than scheduled, and that combined with the minor derailment along the way led to a great amount of apprehension when it was late arriving in Seymour. The crowd that gathered to see the first trolley arrive was relieved when it came into sight at Main Street and Bank Street at 5:00 PM.
- OXFORD – “The village green has been clipped and is looking very nice. The center never looked prettier than at the present time. The houses’ frontings on the green have all been put in order for the season, and look very neat and trim”.
- SHELTON – Frequent dynamiting is occurring at the Shelton Trap Rock quarry.
- ANSONIA – The large 18 to 20 room house and spacious grounds of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Wallace on North Cliff Street sold to Church of the Assumption. It fronts 90′ of both North Cliff Street and North Main Street. The Church would later convert the house into a convent, and it burned down just prior to the first Flood of 1955.
- ANSONIA – An Imperial Japanese Navy Lieutenant is in the city to inspect work being done at Farrel Foundry and Machine Company for his government. The factory is making castings for turbine engines, which will be used for navy cruisers being built in Fall River.
- DERBY – Boaters who moor near the Derby Docks are upset that thieves who they call ‘dock rats’ are stealing articles from their boats. This includes draining tanks of gasoline. They vow to catch them.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Several launch owners in Derby and Shelton plan to attend the Jamestown Exposition, by boating down there.
- DERBY – Construction on the new St. Michael’s Church is expected to be complete by July 4.
- SEYMOUR – A 16 year old local boy is killed when he struck just above the heart with a fastball while at bat during a baseball game, in front of a large crowd of people.
- SHELTON – A large dog goes on rampage in White Hills. It starts by attacking 2 cows and a horse at one farm, then attacks an ox at another. Moving to a third farm, it kills 2 ducks at another. People are in an uproar. Many arm themselves and search for the animal. The dog is killed by Tracy McEwen
Wednesday, June 12, 1907
- ANSONIA – Bridge Street shopkeepers want their street to receive the same level of maintenance and cleaning that Main Street does.
- DERBY – The Board of Aldermen is again debating the question of whether to start leaving streetlights on all night.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Bass are dying off in Lake Housatonic. No one is sure why.
- OXFORD – A large room in the basement of the Episcopal Rectory has been made into a meeting room for socials in the community.
- ANSONIA – Many are violating the law that says all bicycles and rubber-tired vehicles must have at least one lantern lit at night.
- SEYMOUR – The macadam road under the Maple Street viaduct is nearly completed. The road, unofficially called “the subway”, will hopefully no longer be known by its other nickname, the “mud-way”.
- ANSONIA – The 22 members of the Ansonia High School Class of 1907 are awarded their diplomas at the Ansonia Opera House.
- DERBY – The 11 members of the Derby High School Class of 1907 are awarded their diplomas at the Sterling Opera House.
- SEYMOUR – The 8 members of the Seymour High School Class of 1907 are awarded their diplomas at the High School.
- ANSONIA – 17 members of the High School graduating class accept an invitation to take a trip up the Housatonic River in F. B. Westmore’s launch “Bessie J”.
- SHELTON – Howe Avenue barber George Gade’s ice water fountain is very popular this time of year.
Monday, June 17, 1907
- DERBY – People in are upset that there are piles of peanut shells and fruit skins on and around nearly every bench on the Green, left over from the weekend.
- DERBY – Two Lafayette Street brothers, ages 7 and 5, are playing with high explosives they found on Anson Street. The explosives go off, apparently when the 7 year old was hitting it with a rock. He is killed instantly. His 5 year old brother is horribly mangled. Accounts vary as to exactly what happened.
- Barefoot boys and girls are appearing on the streets again, a sure sign of summer. Icemen are warned to be careful, as the children try to get behind the wagons to get chips of ice to cool themselves.
- SHELTON – Much of the foundation of the new St. Joseph’s Church on Coram Avenue has been laid.
- Farmers have complained for years about how dust kicked up by automobiles ruins their crops. Now there are so many autos on the road, the drivers themselves are complaining that driving on the roads is like “taking a dust bath”.
- OXFORD – “The temperature of the last few days has made it safe to let the fires go out for the first time this season. It now gives promise to the other extreme, too warm to be comfortable. The ground is becoming very dry and dusty and a good rain would be welcome”.
- SHELTON – The Shelton High School Class of 1907 has its graduation exercises at the Sterling Opera House in Derby.
- Foul odors are starting to come from backyard garbage heaps
- ANSONIA – A boy is struck while darting out from behind an ice wagon. He suffers minor injuries.
- ANSONIA – Improvements have been completed at the Methodist Episcopal Church on Main Street. The entire front lot has been transformed, and it now has pleasing landscape.
- DERBY – 75 acres, on the west side of Seymour Avenue, between Hawkins Street and Division Street, are being developed into building lots.
- DERBY – A public telephone has finally been installed in the waiting room of the Derby Train Station.
- SHELTON – The newly completed Church of the Good Shepherd is consecrated by Bishop C.E. Brewster in a big ceremony on Coram Avenue.
- ANSONIA – The Church of the Assumption, which has been under construction for many years, is dedicated by Bishop Tierney in front of a huge crowd on North Cliff Street. The church is still not considered completed as of this time, as the steeple has not been built. (The steeple would never be added).
Monday, June 24, 1907
- SEYMOUR – Four machinists employed by Fowler Nail Company are on strike over their hours. This is the only unionized factory in Seymour.
- Fireworks are appearing in local stores. The law says they can not be set off before 4 AM on the Fourth of July.
- SHELTON – The Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat Club holds first meeting in its new clubhouse
- An afternoon shower breaks the heat wave of the last few days, dropping the temperatures dramatically. By 6 AM the following morning, the temperatures have gone from 92 to 60 degrees.
- ANSONIA – The first wedding is held at the new Church of the Assumption, when Teresa A. Darrigan of Ansonia weds Patrick J. Boland of Derby.
- OXFORD – “There is not the slightest doubt but that summer temperature is with us now, and it seems perfectly safe to shut up the coal bin for the summer. Can anyone be found who does not sound a note of rejoicing?”
- There have been 19 weddings in the Valley in three days. All but one of the brides are local.
- DERBY – A contest is being held to name the new subdivision off Seymour Avenue. It is open to all Derby, Shelton, and Ansonia children, and the prize is $25.
- DERBY – Boaters are complaining about “naked” men bathing below the Derby Docks. Whether they are actually nude or simply not wearing “appropriate clothing“, which back then covered the neck to the knees, is unclear.
- SHELTON – A 21 pound turtle is captured in the Shelton Canal.
- SEYMOUR – The Dayton House, also known as the William Hull house, has been moved from its old location to a new foundation further south on the same lot, and is being made into a two family tenement.
- SEYMOUR – The old Humphreys Mill, one of Seymour’s most ancient landmarks, is rapidly being torn down. It will be replaced by a concrete structure to be occupied by the H. P.& E. Day Company. Many are taking old nails as souvenirs.
- SHELTON – A serious fire breaks out at the Derby Rubber Reclaiming Company on Canal Street after midnight. The pouring rain hampered both the fire’s ability to spread and the firemen’s ability to put it out.
- SHELTON – The factories are very busy, despite the fact this is normally a dull period of the year. The Shelton Canal will be drained next week, as it is annually, and the factories normally give their employees their summer vacations at that time. But this year some factories are only giving 3 day summer vacations, the absolute minimum, for their shutdowns.
Tuesday, July 2, 1907
- ANSONIA – 15 local meat dealers, who primarily cater to Slovak and Russian immigrants, sign an agreement that they will no longer extend credit to people who rent in boarding houses. They say they have lost thousands every year on that segment of the population.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Many are camping in tents along the banks of the Housatonic River.
- OXFORD – “There is one remarkable feature of the season that we have not seen mentioned heretofore and it is the entire absense from apple trees of the worm nests. So far we have failed to notice one on any trees in the village”.
July 4 – INDEPENDENCE DAY
- ANSONIA – The City has a rough Independence Day. Many fireworks are set off. The Ansonia Congregational Church is broken into early in the morning so the bell could be rung in the early morning. The Baptist Church is also broken into at that time for the same reason with a ladder. Both churches are damaged. Guards thwart attempts to break into Christ Church and the Methodist Church. Many fireworks are set off. There are some arrests and injuries throughout the day. Vandalism occurs on Main Street. Ansonia – some arrests & injuries. Many fireworks. Congregational Church broken into to ring bell, Baptist Church with ladder. The entire police department is on duty, but officers can’t be everywhere at once.
- DERBY – Many fireworks are set off. Many are injured by them.
- DERBY – The new St. Michael’s Church is dedicated at 10:30 AM. The square in front of the church is packed with people. A parade with 500 people, including all of the local Polish societies, precedes the dedication.
- DERBY – A 31 lb. fish is caught in Lake Housatonic.
- SEYMOUR – The town is largely quiet, as many have left for the shore or the country. There is one injury – a man firing a gun into the air to celebrate.
- SHELTON – Independence Day is largely quiet, with one notable exception. A number of boys delight themselves by placing dynamite caps along the trolley line, as they pop when the trolleys run them over. Finally, someone gets the idea of placing the whole box along the line. The continuous pops under the trolley frighten the passengers, and it comes to a stop. While people’s attention is diverted to the trolley, hoodlums ransack a nearby fruit store.
- ANSONIA – A man drowns in the Ansonia Canal. His body is recovered the following day.
- SHELTON – The Borough lockup has been renovated to more humane conditions.
- DERBY – The new organ is dedicated at the Unitarian Church, presented by Andrew Carnegie and Captain & Mrs. Paul Schabert.
Monday, July 8, 1907
- DERBY – Police Chief Charles H. Arnold announces his resignation, effective at the end of the month. All are surprised, normally the position lasts for life. No reason is given.
- DERBY – The Imperial Moving Picture Company movies at the Sterling Opera House are very popular, but because of the hot weather they will be discontinued until fall.
- SEYMOUR – The opening of the new Seymour – Naugatuck trolley line has been delayed due to legal technicalities. Many are disappointed.
- SHELTON – A 6 year old boy falls into the Shelton Canal and drowns. The water had to be drained out of the Canal to locate him.
- Trolleys on the Consolidated line (serving Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton) will be getting revolving signs that show the stops the trolley will be making.
- “Haying is now in full swing. Indications are that the crop will be fully as large as last year. The weather is just right for haying, and some of the farmers have hopes of getting in their entire crop without wetting”.
- ANSONIA – The Theodore Giuse farmhouse in David’s Meadow (part of today’s Ansonia Nature Center) burns to the ground. The house was one of the oldest in town. The barn also caught fire but was saved.
- DERBY – Much reporting is being done on the Derby Police Department since Chief Arnold announced his resignation. There are many claims that the force has much troubles with petty jealousies and other major problems. The Sentinel now says the force “needs a shakeup”, and there is talk of dismissing every police officer, except for a few, and starting all over again.
- ANSONIA – African American residents gather at the Tabernacle Baptist Church on Colburn Street to incorporate a “Negro Business League”.
- DERBY – The body of a man missing since Wednesday is found in Birmingham Canal near Sterling Piano.
- DERBY – The job of Chief of Police has been offered to John W. Nolan. He has not accepted as of yet.
- DERBY – The Board of Aldermen orders an investigation of the Derby Police Department by their own committee and the Police Commissioner. The announce plans to abolish the Grade A patrolmen, who patrol the streets during the day, saying the new Chief will do the patrols himself. They also raise the Chief’s salary. It is later reported that people are confused and dissatisfied with these moves.
- SEYMOUR – The Seymour – Naugatuck trolley line begins regular operations. The Seymour stop is at Main and Bank Street. The cars leave south toward Ansonia at 18 & 48 minutes past the hour, and north to Naugatuck and Waterbury at 22 and 52 minutes past the hour. By coincidence, the new steel trolley poles for Main Street arrived today, too.
- ANSONIA – 12,000 people ride the trolley over the weekend, which is now newly connected to Waterbury via Seymour, over the weekend.
Monday, July 15, 1907
- SEYMOUR – A 10 ton road roller crossing over Bladen’s Brook near Cedar Ridge Schoolhouse crashes through the bridge into the brook below. No one, including the engineer that was driving it, is injured.
- ANSONIA – Many are complaining about the odor coming from Naugatuck River near Jersey Street, which is being made worse because walls are being built right up to the riverbank to extend yards into the river. This is interfering with the river’s natural current, and sewage from the neighborhood goes directly into the river, where it collects in stagnant pockets along the banks. The odor is noticeable from the Maple Street Bridge. The diverted current and new river walls are also raising fears of increased flood risk.
- ANSONIA – Many are upset that no arrests have been made in the Fourth of July break-in at the Congregational Church, despite the fact many were involved and there were many witnesses. Complaints are now arising that the police department is “too lax”.
- SEYMOUR – The road roller is removed from Bladen’s Brook
- ANSONIA – Christopher Kelley dies in Ansonia. Born in Ireland in 1828, he came to the United States 60 years ago, at one time working at Colt Firearms Manufacturing Company in Hartford. When Samuel Colt died, he was one of the employees that served as his pallbearers. He rode the first train from Ansonia to New Haven, later recalling that its passengers had to dismount the train and help it push it over Turkey Hill in Derby.
- OXFORD – “With the completion of the trolley from Seymour to Waterbury, there seems to be a very logical reason that there should be a line built from Seymour through to Woodbury, which, when completed, would not only prove a popular route for pleasure seekers, but would also prove profitable as a freight line”.
- SEYMOUR – A new temporary bridge is under construction over Bladen’s Brook near the Cedar Ridge Schoolhouse, where a road roller destroyed the bridge 2 days before.
- The area is in the grip of a heat waved. The temperature is 95 degrees today in Ansonia, the hottest day of the year so far. Many are seen sleeping at night on their roofs and verandas to try to beat the oppressive heat.
- ANSONIA – A trolley strikes a bakery wagon on lower Main Street. 3 injured, all from the wagon.
- DERBY – The temperature is 96 in Derby. The pump on Derby Green is in constant use, with lines forming at it by residents desiring to fill buckets up with its cool, clear water.
- SHELTON – The new Naugatuck Valley Motor Boat clubhouse has an open house. 150 attend.
- SHELTON – The Specialty Weaving Company shuts down in the early afternoon due to the intense heat. Other Shelton factories follow suit later.
- SEYMOUR – The trolley jumps the rack on Main Street near the New Haven Copper Company. It is righted in about an hour. There is talk in town of putting extra patrolmen on duty on Saturday and Sunday nights, due to so many coming in on the new trolley.
- SHELTON – Frederick Dimon of White Hills is using his automobile to drive cows to and from pasture.
- SHELTON – Lightning destroys the barn of George Shelton on Booth’s Hill. This marks the first time lightning destroyed a building on Booth’s Hill in 70 years. The barn is a total loss, all the newly cut hay inside is destroyed.
- SEYMOUR – Another trolley derailment today.
Monday, July 22, 1907
- ANSONIA – Many attend the first night of the Ansonia Firemen’s Carnival at Woodlot. It includes a circus, trained dogs, a “Hindu theater”, magicians, and a tent called “Fairyland” with a dancer.
- SHELTON – The Mill Street Schoolhouse and Coram Schoolhouse (off River Road) have been enlarged.
- Canoeing is becoming popular on the Housatonic River.
- Riders on the new Naugatuck trolley are complaining about sewer odors coming from the Naugatuck River. In the days that follow, the Sentinel has articles on the pollution in each of the Lower Naugatuck Valley towns. There is no fish in the river anymore, and no town along it has an adequate sewage system.
- ANSONIA – Ansonia merchants are demanding cleaner streets. The newspaper says the citizens are realizing that city is “a dirty place”. Some women with white dresses on won’t even get off the trolley.
- DERBY – Mayor Howe sends Police Commissioner Kerwin a registered letter, stating in effect that he is fired. The letter does not reach Commissioner Kerwin until the 26th.
- SEYMOUR – The general manager of Tingue Manufacturing Company, along with his wife and 2 other women, are riding in a horse drawn wagon on Derby Avenue Seymour when they are struck by an automobile operated by Atty. Torrance (son of the late Chief Justice David Torrance) of Derby. The wagon overturns, and the occupants are thrown out. No serious injuries.
- ANSONIA – There are many complaints about locomotive whistles and bells at night.
- DERBY – Main Street merchants threaten a class action lawsuit against the City if their basements flood again this year. The sewer pipes are too small, causing them to back up into their basements at times of heavy rain. There have been several disastrous floods which ruined stocks and merchandise in the past few years.
- DERBY – John Nolan, who was asked to replace Chief Arnold, who resigned as the Derby Police Chief, informs Mayor Howe and Commissioner Kerwin that he is declining the position. Kerwin, apparently unaware that a letter stating that he is fired is in the mail, asks Joseph Casey to accept the position. Meanwhile, outgoing Chief Arnold refuses to appear before a the Board of Aldermen Police Investigation Committee.
- ANSONIA – The Forepaugh & Sells fire circus arrives at the freight yard during a thunderstorm early in the morning. The first heavy circus wagon becomes stuck in the mud on Mill Street, The fire engines that are part of the circus had to take Clifton Avenue to get to Division Street, where the canal bridge was strengthened by an advance circus team prior to their arrival to bear their weight. Because of the muddy roads, the circus train backs down the tracks to Division Street to unload the rest of the heavy equipment. Later that morning, a big crowd from all over the Valley watches the 20 minute long parade down Main Street, as the Forepaugh & Sells circus heads to Division Street. There are many fire engines in the parade, as that his a major feature of the circus. The Ansonia police warns citizens that a large band of pickpockets are following the circus, but no incidents are reported.
- DERBY – Sellout crowds exceeding 10,000 people attend both of the shows of the Forepaugh & Sells Circus, which set up in the old horse race track off Division Street. Highlights of the shows include an “automobile somersault”. This is considered a “higher class” than some of the other circuses that visited previously – employees are forbidden to swear at any time when around the public, for instance. Division Street is torn up by the circus wagons, but the troupe has a crew that fixes it up to the condition it was in before leaving.
- DERBY – The police department mess continues. Commissioner Kerwin receives his termination letter, and now it is unclear where that leaves his appointment of Jospeh Casey for Chief of Police. Meanwhile, a patrolman submits his resignation.
- DERBY – The rain causes a small backup of water into the basements of Main Street basements, causing worry but little damage among merchants’ stocks. The complain to the City’s health officer.
- DERBY – Mayor Howe says Police Commissioner Kerwin’s removal is due to his refusal to allow the mayor the sole right to dictate the new Chief of Police and officers. Kerwin thought that he had the sole right. The rumor mill is in full swing in the City over this, and the stories are turning nasty.
- DERBY – Lots will be sold at auction at the new development off Seymour Avenue, which is to be called Mountainside.
Monday, July 29, 1907
- DERBY – The police department controversy continues. The Board of Aldermen’s police committee will press for an inquiry with outgoing Chief Arnold, who refuses to appear. Meanwhile, Mayor Howe appoints John Hurley the new police commissioner. Commissioner Hurley announces that he has chosen Daniel T. O’Dell as the new police chief, and he is sworn in immediately.
- ANSONIA – The Century Gas & Electric Fixture Company of New York City will open a branch in the Gardner Building, in an area formerly occupied by Omega Steel.
- DERBY – A trolley collides with a loaded undertaker’s wagon on Housatonic Avenue. One man on the wagon breaks his leg.
- DERBY & SHELTON – The United Realty Company is incorporated with a stock of $25,000 in Derby. Its purpose is to build houses in Derby and Shelton for working class families. The company will initially build five 6-family buildings, each apartment will have 4 rooms. Two will be on Howe Avenue, across from Riverview Park. Three others will be on Howe Avenue near Maltby Street.
- SEYMOUR – One of the first nighttime baseball games played under electric lights in the area starts at 8 PM at Park Field. The lights are made possible becaues the visiting team, the Cherokee Indians, brings their own lights and dynamo. The local team defeats them 4-1.
- ANSONIA – The Southern New England Telephone Company is found installing telephone poles on Ansonia Public Library property without permission. The work is ordered stopped by the library president. SNET explains the work was approved by the street commissioner, but it turns out he had no authority to do so. SNET apologizes, and says the company will repair the damage.
- OXFORD – “The sewing school has been given a vacation from this date until the warm weather is over”.
Thursday, August 1, 1907
- ANSONIA – The switcher engine that was used for years at the Ansonia freight yard is being replaced by a new one which is much larger. The new locomotive has a fire pump on it, which will be useful for fighting both building fires near the railroad tracks, as well as train fires on the line itself.
- Rain is needed. The potato crops are drying up in the fields. The corn is OK for now, but there are fears the drought may affect the apple crop.
- The trolleys now equipped with fire grenades, or chemical fire extinguishers.
- DERBY & SHELTON – The American Typewriter Company, whose machines were assembled by Williams Typewriter Company in on Housatonic Avenue in Derby, moves to space in the OK Tool Company on Riverdale Avenue in Shelton,, because Williams now too busy to assemble American typewriters.
Monday, August 5, 1907
- DERBY – The trustees of the Derby-Shelton YMCA vote to purchase the Sterling property, adjoining the Bassett House, for $18,000. The Sterling house will be used for the YMCA.
- OXFORD – “There is a great scarcity of milk in the village this summer, the demand being much greater than the supply. If someone would purchase an extra cow and supply this want, there would be much rejoicing among the people”.
- ANSONIA – Complaints of many homeless people in the Maple Street and Franklin Street area.
- SEYMOUR – Fire destroys W.O. Davis stable and livery on Broad Street. All 12 horses, carriages and much of the equipment inside is saved. The flames threatened the Seymour House, but the Seymour Fire Department kept it wet to prevent that from happening.
- ANSONIA – The Naugatuck River is filthy, particularly above the Bridge Street Bridge. Local officials are at a loss of what to do.
- SEYMOUR – A New Haven father and son, staying at a summer home on Chestnut Tree Hill, are seriously injured when a powder can they were going to use to blow up a log explodes.
- Lack of rain is now lowering the Naugatuck River, making it harder for the industries that draw water power from it.
- DERBY – The Fire Department waters the dry grass on Derby Green.
- DERBY – Suburban Park, a new baseball field at McDermott’s farm, opens for the first time. A Shelton team beats Derby 7-6.
Monday, August 12, 1907
- ANSONIA – A report shows possible Black Hand activity on in the City. An Italian immigrant received a letter, allegedly from them, instructing him to deliver a sum of money to a representative in Ansonia. The man was so badly frightened he went back to Italy.
- ANSONIA – Mayor Charters calls for the removal of all overhead wires on Main Street, so they won’t hamper operations of the fire department’s new ladder truck.
- Horse owners are complaining that rising costs are making them almost as expensive as automobiles.
- SHELTON – There has been a call to cover Burying Ground Brook within the Borough of Shelton limits. With water running very low due to the ongoing drought, the many animal carcasses and junk thrown into it is not washing away. In some cases the garbage is creating dams, which is very bad considering sewage is still flowing into the brook, despite ordinances against it.
- DERBY – Derby state representative Ira Hoyt resigns, to assume the post of deputy sheriff. At least one Hartford newspaper accuses it of being a political kickback.
- OXFORD – “The drought in this vicinity is becoming quite serious. It is said that the ground for 2′ or more in depth is entirely devoid of moisture. Jack’s brook, running through the Centre, is almost dray, and the springs and wells are feeling the effects of so long a dry spell”.
- ANSONIA – There are 14 cases of typhoid fever in Ansonia, leading to fears of an epidemic.
- DERBY – The bridge over the Birmingham Canal on Water Street is being replaced.
- SHELTON – The Borough of Shelton needs a new garbage dump, as the section of Riverview Park serving the purpose can no longer be used. Officials are looking at a 100′ deep ravine at under the trolley tracks at High Bridge in the South End. There is talk of building a platform over the ravine to drop garbage to the bottom.
- ANSONIA – The typhoid fever cases have been traced to a single milkman, who makes deliveries to those afflicted. The route is closed down, and as a result 200 families do not receive their milk deliveries this morning. Meanwhile a 15th case is reported, and the first death associated with typhoid fever occurs.
- DERBY – Bennett N. Beard, (future mayor of Shelton) will rebuild 800′ of River Road, starting from the Seymour line, south.
- SEYMOUR – The recent loss of the Puddle Hollow neighborhood has caused other Seymour tenements to become overcrowded. Third Street in particular is overcrowded, and there are fears that a fire there may be catastrophic. For instance, one tenement has 13 men and 3 women boarders. Most of the tenants are immigrants.
- SHELTON – The cornerstone is laid for the new St. Joseph’s Church.
Monday, August 19, 1907
- Drought-stricken farmers are desperate for rain.
- ANSONIA – The railroad owns both sides of Cheever Street off Canal Street. Thus, the railroad felt justified erecting a fence across Cheever Street two days ago, to stop residents from dumping garbage on its property. Mayor Charters is outraged, and orders it torn down. He personally supervises the removal of the fence, and says he will seek legal action if the railroad does it again.
- DERBY -The Board of Education, in special meeting, votes to accept St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School to alleviate overcrowding. St. Mary’s Church offers the school, on the conditions that Father Fitzgerald be made assistant superintendent, and and no teacher be appointed there without his recommendation. The conditions are accepted. In the days that follow, the deal generates much talk and controversy.
- SEYMOUR – The first meeting of promoters for building athletic fields and a picnic area along the Naugatuck trolley line at Rimmon Rock is held. Two days later, the name “Rimon Park” is suggested for its name.
- SEYMOUR – The drought has now affected the water that powers the industries along the Naugatuck River. Rain is desperately needed.
- SEYMOUR – It is feared that Thomas Cosgrove may have died in Davis Stables fire on August 8, as he has not been seen since then. It is thought that he may have been smoking in the hayloft, and fell asleep, causing the fire.
- ANSONIA – The new ladder truck arrives for the Eagle Hose Co. No. 6.
- ANSONIA – There are now 23 typhoid fever cases in Ansonia. 1 more is added later in the week.
- OXFORD – “The great need of rain in this vicinity increases. Jack’s brook is entirely dry and Little river is but a very low brook. The village green shows the burning heat of the sun, where not shaded and is in places quite brown. Just at present very cool nights are the order, and Monday am at 9 o’clock, thermometers not exposed registered thirty degrees. The sun, however, gets in its work heavily each day”.
- The Daniels’ Comet is visible overhead.
- SEYMOUR – The steel trolley poles on Main street Seymour are installed, and are a big improvement over the old wooden ones.
- The drought is so bad it is noted there are even less birds and insects.
- Rain finally arrives at 11:15 PM, and it rains the remainder of the night. It is thought the rain will save the late summer and fall crops, but it may be too late for others. Many are convinced it had to do with St. Swithun’s Day on July 15, because exactly 40 days since then.
- DERBY – The grass on Derby Green is yellow and burned.
- SEYMOUR – The second blaze in 2 weeks breaks out at W.R. Brixley Kerite works, in a top floor stockroom.
- SHELTON – Cows in White Hills are coming down with rabies. Several have died.
- SHELTON – The Naugatuck Valley Motorboat Club has its annual regatta. The main event is a 25 mile speedboat race. The speedboat Red Devil, of New Haven, wins the 25-mile race.
- ANSONIA – The American Brass Company has organized 3 fire companies – one each from the copper, wire, and bass mills. Each fire company consists of 10 men. The ABC is now buying equipment and apparatus for them.
Monday, August 26, 1907
- ANSONIA – The well known elderly wanderer Johnny o’ the Woods makes a short visit to the City. The fund up set up for his care is now up to $200. He implies he wouldn’t mind staying in Ansonia, but would like to remain free until the cold weather comes. It was noted that unlike his prior appearances, this time he was very clean and dressed nice.
- DERBY – The Sterling Opera House opens for the season, with the Wayne Campbell play “Across the Desert”. The performance is very crowded, and people had to be turned away.
- The temperature drops to 48 degrees at sunrise. People are wearing blankets on the open trolley cars.
- DERBY – A trolley hits an 800 lb cow on New Haven Avenue, killing it and derailing the trolley. No injuries are reported.
- DERBY & SHELTON – A women gets her pocketbook snatched by a man on Elizabeth Street. When she resists, he punches her in the face. The man, who is quite overweight, is chased by a crowd down Elizabeth Street, but every time they get close he keeps them at bay with a revolver. When a Derby police officer tries to apprehend him, he points the gun at him and implies he is with the Black Hand. He runs across the bridge to Shelton, where Chief Robbins arrests him at gunpoint. The man had been released recently for shooting a New Haven police officer, and was “living by his wits”. Both he and the woman he robbed are immigrants from the same Italian village.
- SEYMOUR – Work on new the baseball diamond at Rimon Park progressing. It was decided yesterday to adopt the name Rimon Rock for the new area.
- ANSONIA – The number of typhoid fever cases in the city is up to 28.
- ANSONIA – The police made 56 arrests in August, which is the most in any month of the department’s history, up to that time.
Sunday, September 1, 1907
- DERBY – The First Congregational Church holds its first service since it closed for repairs and renovations. Many of the Victorian era decorations have given way to a simple, plain, Colonial setting. Many people find it favorable, and more in keeping with the church’s traditions.
Monday, September 2, 1907
- Labor Day – Most everyone has the day off. Rain spoils many outings. 300 canoe enthusiasts meet at Lake Housatonic.
- Children return to school throughout the region today.
- ANSONIA – There are now 35 cases of typhoid fever in the City.
- ANSONIA – 26 year old James Ervin dies at his parents William Street house of typhoid fever on William Street. He had acted as an assistant to the City Clerk.
- DERBY – The new hospital association (which will later be called Griffin Hospital) will build a 41×45′ three-story building of red brick. The first floor will have 1 ward with 4-6 beds. The second floor will have the same, along with a 3-4 bed children’s ward. The third floor will feature a 14×14′ operating room, and 2 private rooms. As of today, the entrance is planned to be on Division Street, near Seymour Avenue.
- The Consolidated Rail and Light Company begins a popular new service allowing school children to purchase 40 tickets for $1, which 50% of the normal fare, to be used only on school days. More children are riding trolleys to school
- ANSONIA – The trolley company begins a new express trolley service. 2 cars will run twice a day, direct between Waterbury, Ansonia, Bridgeport, and New Haven.
- ANSONIA – 2 more cases of typhoid fever are discovered, bringing the total up to 37 cases.
- SEYMOUR – There are 6 cases of typhoid fever in town.
- ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The Ansonia Water Company is building a road in Seymour to the Peat Swamp Reservoir. Now 200,000 gallons, the reservoir size will be be doubled to supply the East Side of Ansonia.
- SHELTON – Diphtheria is discovered among the children of 2 families in the Paper Mill block, which is on Wooster Street. The entire block is quarantined, and guards are posted. Most of the inhabitants are immigrants who speak little or no English.
- ANSONIA – A 38th case of typhoid fever is discovered.
- SEYMOUR – A 21 year old man dies of typhoid fever.
- SHELTON – A distraction is created at the quarantined Paper Mill block to allow a woman to slip past the guards. She rushes to Health Officer Dr. Gould Shelton’s office, where she appeals for aid from the Town. She is escorted back to the block, and both Dr. Shelton and Shelton police officers have to be disinfected.
Monday, September 9, 1907
- ANSONIA – There are 3 cases of diphtheria on Tomlinson Street. One of the victims, a 12 year old boy, dies today.
- DERBY – A proposed merger of all typewriter factories in the USA includes Williams Typewriter.
- SHELTON – A fire at Meyer’s iron foundry on Wooster Street guts part of the 2-story factory. It takes firemen an hour to put it out.
- ANSONIA – Two fires destroy much of the Olderman Building on Main Street, and badly damage the Cohen Building next door. Some businesses, including a grocery store and a barber shop, suffer severe damage, and a number of apartments are ruined. Many firemen are burned by falling plaster.
- DERBY – St. Michael’s opens a Polish school in the church basement. Students will first be taught how to speak English, then will receive a regular curriculum and religious instruction.
- SEYMOUR – Shanties that were occupied for quite some time are being demolished and burned. The nearby Garden City neighborhood is now infested with fleas from the shanties.
- ANSONIA – The ruined barbershop in the fire damaged Olderman Building is looted overnight.
- SEYMOUR – The Seymour Athletic Association has organized, and is leasing quarters in the Stoddard Building on Main Street.
- SHELTON – Work commences on Shelton’s first brick sewer – 3′ diameter, from the canal to Howe Avenue. It is hoped it can handle the large amount of water that comes down Maltby Street in rainstorms.
- SEYMOUR – The Dayton Tavern is being converted to house 2 families.
- ANSONIA – The insurance loss on the Olderman Building is $8500. The Cohen Building suffered a $900 loss.
- DERBY – The old blacksmith shop on lower Main Street has been torn down, and will be replaced by a 2 story brick building.
- SHELTON – The work of excavating the basement of the new Commodore Hull School on Oak Avenue is completed.
- SHELTON – The body of a man missing for 4 days is found in the Shelton Canal.
Monday, September 16, 1907
- ANSONIA – The Board of Education says more school rooms are needed, particularly at the Fourth Street School, where there are 123 first and second graders, a ratio of over 60 per teacher. The school is now running half sessions. Some transfers have been necessary. School enrollment is: Ansonia High School – 238, Elm Street School – 320 Garden Street School – 453 Hill Street School – 325 Fourth Street School – 479 Grove Street School – 629 Holbrook Street School – 168.
- SEYMOUR – There is an abundance of wild grapes in the woods just outside of town.
- ANSONIA – Columbia bowling alleys opens for the 1907-1908 season.
- DERBY – Stakes have been driven, and excavation of the cellar commenced, on the new hospital off Seymour Avenue at Division Street.
- OXFORD – Notwithstanding the heavy rains of the past week, the roads have again become quite dusty and showers would be welcome. The freshening of vegetation by the late rains is quite noticeable, and the outlook in consequence quite cheery. The heat during the day of several days now, has had the intensity of midsummer, but after the sun goes down the nights become quite cool.
- SHELTON – A White Hills woman captures a hawk alive after it flies into her house while going after her chickens.
- Ice houses are still stocked unusually high from last winter’s bumper crop of ice.
- SHELTON – Telephone lines on Howe Avenue are being placed in underground conduits. Overhead wires will soon disappear.
- ANSONIA – 2 diphtheria cases are discovered on Holbrook Street. No new typhoid cases have been reported in the last few weeks.
- DERBY – “Raymond” the escape artist is performing a 3 night engagement at Sterling Opera House.
- SEYMOUR – Residents going to Waterbury to witness the cornerstone laying of St. Mary’s Hospital are delayed by the power station going out in Bull’s Bridge, Beacon Falls, on the Seymour-Naugatuck Trolley line.
Monday, September 23, 1907
- The heaviest downpour of the year thus far begins at 3 PM – 2″ of rain falls in a short time.
- ANSONIA – Main Street is under several inches of water.
- DERBY & SHELTON- The Housatonic is very high, a coal boat breaks from its moorings at the Derby Docks and drifts downriver. The sole occupant on the boat at the time, a woman, panics and jumps overboard, but is rescued. The boat runs aground on Two Mile Island in Shelton. Three other boats are missing and presumed swept downriver.
- OXFORD – “The storm on Monday will probably be called the fall equinoctial. The downpour was steady and heavy all day, and the earth must be well soaked to quite a depth. The brooks felt the efect perceptibly. About 6 PM the wind rose and blew violently with the force of a gale for some time, but aside from whipping leaves and small branches from trees we cannot learn if it did much damage around the village”.
- SEYMOUR – The Naugatuck River is very high.
- ANSONIA & DERBY – 4 bars of copper weighing 750lbs and costing $125 are found along the railroad tracks near Division Street, Ansonia. It is believed thieves snuck onto the boxcar in Derby, and threw them out, intending to retrieve them later. In the old days, copper was transported in open cars, but since in the years since the price of copper has soared, so the metal is now transported in closed boxcars.
- DERBY – A 10 year old Gilbert Street boy drowns while swimming in the rain-swollen Naugatuck River.
- DERBY & SHELTON – The coal boat, with 400lbs of coal, that was swept aground on Two Mile Island yesterday, is pulled back to the Derby Docks by 2 tugboats from Bridgeport.
- ANSONIA – The roller skating rink at the Ansonia Opera House opens for the season.
- DERBY – A Temporary Injunction is issued, restraining the City of Derby from paying any more money to support St. Mary’s School, to alleviate public school overcrowding.
- Heavy frost this morning.
- DERBY – The Oak Cliff Cemetery Association buys the Phalen house and the 200 x 275 lot it sits on. The lot is bound on two sides by the cemetery and on a third side by Hawthorne Avenue. The lot will be used for future expansion.
- Heavy frost again this morning.
- ANSONIA – The Fire Department assigns a reserve hose cart that until recently served the Eagle Hose Company at the old Crane property on North Main Street and Fourth Street, to protect the First Ward.
Monday, September 30, 1907
- SHELTON – The French District schoolhouse teacher discovers the school has been broken into and looted. Nothing of value has been taken, and boys are suspected.
Tuesday, October 1, 1907
- ANSONIA – A city man pays a fine of $24.06 (over $500 in 2007 dollars) for using “abusive language” in the presence of a woman.
- DERBY – Max Durrschmidt, well known Shelton builder, will construct the new Derby Hospital.
- OXFORD – “The last heavy rains have had the effect of raising the brooks and spings and there seems no danger of a water famine in this locality at present”.
- DERBY – An East Derby Italian has disappeared, days after he received a Black Hand letter demanding the either he pay $12.50 or be killed. The letter bore a Derby postmark, so it appears the group is active here. The man sent the amount, then got another letter, this time demanding $100. The man was so frightened he left for Italy. His coworkers are very upset and vow to find the extortionists.
- DERBY – The Elks have taken over 2 floors of the McManus block on Elizabeth Street, and have fixed it up nicely.
- DERBY – Investigation into Black Hand activity in Derby reveals the local men who are currently being accused are “worthless bums”. In another case a man was told to get money from his house, while a supposed Black Hand operative waited outside. When he came back outside with a pistol, the extortionist begged for his life, fled, and never came back. This is not exactly the type of vengeance the real Black Hand has a reputation for in 1907, which is why many suspect they are not really part of that group.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats a local team called the Emeralds in their season opener 11-0.
- OXFORD – A major scandal has erupted when it is revealed that no annual figures have been submitted by the tax collector, the treasurer’s books are not balanced, and no accounts appear for the school board. The Selectmen are accused of “laxity and neglect”, and it is said this might affect the upcoming local elections.
- SHELTON – Large Socialist rally on Viaduct Square.
- SEYMOUR – Residents are upset that a football game with 2 out of town teams was played on a field in town, just above the Ansonia line. Seymour teams not allowed to play on Sunday, and the town has laws prohibiting sports from being played on those days.
Monday, October 7, 1907 – Election Day in Connecticut Towns
- OXFORD – John B. Pope, Democrat, is elected First Selectman. Most of the Democrats who are running are elected.
- SEYMOUR – Republicans sweep the town elections. George A. Divine is elected First Selectman.
- SHELTON – Republicans sweep the town of Huntington elections. Stephen Palmer wins First Selectman.
- Heavy rain and high winds uproot trees, blow over fences and outhouses, and lays corn flat on the ground. Fallen trees interrupts train and trolley service. Schools are cancelled due to the rough weather.
- OXFORD – “The storm which came Monday night, accompanied as it was with violent wind, has greatly reduced the labor of apple picking, as a large percentage was blown from the trees”.
- ANSONIA – Complaints that families who are under quarantine are not observing it, and others are visiting them. Diphtheria is on the increase.
- DERBY – A new anti-spitting ordinance will cause one to face a fine not to exceed $10 per infraction if it is violated in public, or on trains or trolleys.
- SHELTON – Over 600 tickets are sold this morning at the railroad passenger station for the Danbury Fair.
- ANSONIA – There are now at least a dozen diphtheria cases. A special patrol of 2 guards is being formed by the Health Officer to enforce quarantines
Monday, October 14, 2007
- ANSONIA – Mayor Charters’ veto of a grading project for Platt Street and Elm Street is overruled by the Board of Aldermen.
- DERBY – The last stage line between Derby and New Haven has been taken over by trolleys. The freight business has greatly increased, putting too much strain on the horses.
- SHELTON – A heavy steel car used at the Shelton Trap Rock quarry loses control, rolling down a narrow gauge track, and smashes through protective bulkhead onto the northern part of Howe Avenue. The car smashes into a wagon that was loading crushed stone. One horse is killed, one seriously injured. The driver, sensing trouble when he heard the car rumbling down the hill, jumped out of the way just in the nick of time.
- SHELTON – Dennis Donovan closes his grocery and saloon he has conducted on Center Street since 1884, with a note that he can not pay his creditors. He has helped many poor families on credit during hard times, and owes $40,000 as a result.
- ANSONIA – There have been 14 identified diphtheria cases since the first of the month. 9 houses are under quarantine – 3 on West side, and the rest on East Side. Patrols to enforce the quarantine have been established on Jersey Street and North State Street.
- OXFORD – “The foliage on the hillsides is now showing the gorgeous colorings of the season, and the whole landscape is very beautiful. While the air is all that one can ask for the enjoyment of outdoor life, let everyone drink in all they can of it before the long winter really sets in”.
- SEYMOUR – The roof of the new reinforced concrete factory of the H. P. & E. Day Company, manufacturers of Waterman Pens, is completed. Construction workers hoist an American flag from the roof, as was custom at the time, to signal its completion.
- ANSONIA – Fire destroys a Prospect Street barn. The nearest hydrant was over 600 feet away, and there was not enough water pressure to put out the blaze.
- SEYMOUR – When the police learn of a football game being played in the southern part of town on this Sunday, they move to stop it. When they arrive at the game, everyone there, including 2 teams and 500 spectators, flee in a mad panic. Most of those at the game were from Ansonia, and Seymour residents are very aggravated over the fact that they come to Seymour on Sundays to play football, in violation of the law in both towns, thinking they can get away with it.
Monday, October 21, 2007
- Hard frost overnight. A thin layer of ice forms over small pools and buckets of water.
- ANSONIA – A coal cart is smashed into kindling by a trolley at Main Street near Division Street. The trolley could not brake in time to avoid the collision because of wet leaves on the tracks. The driver of the coal cart was inside a house on Division Street. The horse hitched to the cart strayed across Main Street street to feed on grass, leaving the cart across the tracks. The horse was knocked down, but not seriously injured.
- ANSONIA – First Baptist Church has a reception for its new pastor, Rev. Elbert E. Gates.
- DERBY – A passenger trolley collides with a Cole’s Express trolley at the New Haven Avenue switch. One woman sustains moderate injuries, while others on the passenger car experience minor injuries.
- DERBY – An new fire company, called the Independent Hose Company, is forming in the reserve hose house on the corner of Smith Street and Ninth Street.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Branford defeats Shelton 20-3 in an away game.
- OXFORD – “Work at the cider mill is very brisk these days, and Mr. Andrews is finding few idle minutes”.
- DERBY – Enumeration reveals there are 1,934 children of school age in Derby.
- DERBY – Two very old, large trees in front of St. Mary’s Rectory are taken down. One was a chestnut, the other an oak tree.
- SHELTON – The Bridgeport trolley crashes into the North End local trolley at Dockery’s Corner. The front of the local car is smashed, and the driver receives minor injuries.
- The new local Directories are out. Physically, they are much smaller than the previous directories, and the list of names are in double column format for first time. The directory has a total of 528 pages. Ansonia added 983 new names, and deleted 701, for a total of 6,292 listings. Seymour also increased its listings. Derby actually went down in listings in the past year, with 957 new and 986 deleted for a total of 5,914 listings.
- ANSONIA – Annual Report of the Almshouse, also known as the Town Farm or Poorhouse, on the Seymour boarder: 18 live there now. In the past year, the residents raised 325 bushels of potatoes, 100 bushels of turnips, 20 bushels of parsnips, 20 bushels of onions, 15 bushels of carrots, 10 bushels of beets, 180 bushels of corn, and two fattened pigs.
- DERBY – A 3-year lease has been taken in a large store in the Alling Block on Main Street. The store will be used for moving picture shows.
- DERBY – The Birmingham Water Company has purchased the Coe Farm, on Coe Lane, one of the oldest farms in the city. This was done to protect its water rights, and the company will move the house and buildings off the land.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Gunnery at Washington 12-5. Derby defeats Danbury 50-0 at Derby Meadows. The second half of that game is cut short to 10 minutes, to allow the Danbury team a chance to catch their train home. The Sentinel questions if their players even knew how to play the game.
- ANSONIA – The Connecticut Football League (which played what we now call soccer) meets at the Hotel Dayton, and decides to disband the league for lack of interest. The teams will still play in friendly contests.
- SHELTON – The Shelton Basket Company is now manufacturing an adjustable carpenter’s plane, and a chain lock. Demand for both items is brisk.
Monday, October 28, 1907
- Heavy rainstorms continue for the second day.
- ANSONIA – The Street Department estimates the storm water sewers put down earlier this year saved the City $500 flood damage from the last two days of heavy rain.
- DERBY – Johnny o’ the Woods stayed overnight in Derby. The locally famous, aging transient is now willing to accept boarding from funds raised over the past year through charity this winter.
- DERBY – There have been 15 diphtheria cases in the past month. 4 have died.
- SEYMOUR – The Naugatuck River is rising rapidly from the previous 2 days heavy rain. One good effect of this is it is washing away the garbage that lined the riverbank.
- SHELTON – High water on the Housatonic River causes many factories along Canal Street, including Star Pin, Griffing Button, Silver Plate Cutlery, and the R.N. Bassett Company to close. This is the first time the water level has caused factories to close in years.
- SHELTON – A trolley jumps the tracks on the north end of Howe Avenue after an axle breaks. Passengers are thrown about, but no serious injuries.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia is defeated by Naugatuck 15-5 in an away game.
- OXFORD – “It is rumored that the State Police have recently visited Oxford, securing personal evidence of the violation of the Sunday liquor laws here”.
- SEYMOUR – The Rimmon Manufacturing Company has changed hands, and is now called the Rimmon Eyelet Company of Connecticut.
- SHELTON – Canal Street factories are still closed due to high water on the Housatonic.
October 31 – HALLOWEEN
- Many bonfires are noted today, to get rid of fallen leaves.
- ANSONIA – Considerable damage is done by Halloween vandals throughout the City. Windows are smashed, outhouses overturned, vehicles and gates stolen – some are destroyed. The children are out early, but in the late night hours hooligans ruled. 1 arrested.
- DERBY – Very few major Halloween related incidents, with the exception of the carriage gate at the Greystone Mansion destroyed. It is noted that the children were noisier than usual.
- DERBY & SHELTON – The Anatomik Footwear Company will locate a factory in Shelton. They manufacture shoes that correct deformities without the use of braces and operations. Their temporary headquarters is in the Hubbell Brothers Shoe Store at Main Street and Elizabeth Street in Derby.
- SEYMOUR – Very quiet Halloween.
- SHELTON – Quietest Halloween in years. Stones are thrown from Ravine Street (today’s High Street) onto Center Street.
- SHELTON – People in the newly incorporated regions of the expanded Borough of Shelton are asking for modern improvements, such as water, hydrants, and streetlights.
Friday, November 1, 1907
- SHELTON – A new 10-room rectory will be built for the Church of the Good Shepherd.
- DERBY – 11 toolmakers at the Williams Typewriter Company are on strike due to their hours being increased from 9 to 10 per day, without a raise.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby defeats Danbury on a very wet field in an away game. 16-0. Because Danbury did not have enough players to take the field, Derby loaned them two of theirs.
- SEYMOUR – The canal wall of the Seymour Electric Light Company has washed away.
Monday, November 4, 1907
- DERBY – The Derby Neck Library dedicates its new library building this evening. The guest speaker is Yale Professor William Lyons Phelps, on “Novels and Other Books and How to Use Them”.
- ANSONIA – The City holds elections for sheriffs and selectmen. Since all are running unopposed and will be voted in regardless of the vote, by noon only 50 people had voted, and some officials were seen playing cards to pass the time. By the end of the day only 192 had voted.
- SHELTON – Millionaire James Graham Phelps Stokes delivers address in packed Clark Hall called “Why I am a Socialist“. His wife Rose Pastor Stokes gives speech entitled “Only Cure for Poverty” (is Socialism).
- SHELTON – The Shelton Trap Rock Company files for bankruptcy.
- Heavy rain dumps 2.52″ over the Valley.
- Yesterday’s heavy rain causes a rapid rise of the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers this morning to it’s highest point of the year. The water rises to only 14″ under the RR tracks on the trestle over the river in Ansonia. Lower Derby Meadows is completely covered with water. Shelton’s Canal Street factories are forced to close due to the high water. The water drops almost as quickly as it rose, lowering 3′ overnight, and back to it’s normal level the following morning.
- ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The Ansonia Water Company has recently planted thousands of trees on its 1,200 acres, with the help of the Yale School of Forestry.
- ANSONIA – A 16 year old girl held up on First Street, Ansonia, but her cries scare the two muggers away. Police are investigating.
- DERBY – Many Derby taxpayers are protesting the formation of the Independent Hose Company, saying that another fire company is not needed, and it will just cause taxes to go up.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – New Haven High School defeats Ansonia at Yale Field 13-7.
- SEYMOUR – 60 hands at the Seymour Manufacturing Company are laid off. There are also unconfirmed reports that 12 brass scratchers are out on strike, over a reduction of wages caused by going from piece to daily wages.
- SHELTON – A young Polish immigrant is stabbed to death breaking up a fight at a wedding festival in the Donovan Block at 88-90 Center Street. His assailant is arrested.
- ANSONIA – Archbishop Plato, head of the Russian Greek Orthodox Church in North America, visits the local church. Hundreds attend.
Monday, November 11, 1907
- ANSONIA – The City is feeling the effect of the business depression. The factories are not offering any more overtime work, and are now operating at just normal capacity. Layoffs loom if the fiscal outlook does not improve soon.
- DERBY – Otter Rock, a rocky outcropping that extends about 100′ above the Housatonic River where it takes its southern bend, has been sold to Nellie Haynes, of Brooklyn, NY, who plans to build a private cottage there. For years, the place was used as a picnic area and scenic overlook, as its was useless as farmland.
- There are many signs that winter will arrive late this year. Muskrats have not yet built winter quarters. Deer still have thin coats. Ducks have been slow to migrate south. Beavers are not cutting down trees. Owls have not yet taken refuge into the deep woods, and some song birds can still be heard.
- DERBY – With the laying of Hassam pavement on the westerly approach to the Naugatuck River Bridge in Derby, the 5 year project is now considered completed. The new concrete bridge, has proved a boon for both sides of the bridge, particularly East Derby, where many of the adjoining buildings have been spruced up, Franklin School has since been built, and St. Michael’s Church is being constructed.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Naugatuck defeats Ansonia again, 5-0, at Athletic Field.
- OXFORD – “Hunters still report game as being very scarce, a tramp of a whole day often being rewarded with only one or two shots”.
- DERBY – Complaints that small boys are playing football on Derby Green and ruining the turf.
- SHELTON – Specialty Weaving Company’s production is down by 50% due to the business depression. Employees are working short time, but managers expect that everyone will be back to full time soon.
- ANSONIA – The business depression has caused a spike in applications to the Charities Department.
- ANSONIA – Millionaire James Graham Phelps Stokes delivers an address to fair sized crowd in German Hall. His usual speech “Why I am a Socialist” is amended to defining Socialism, due to the fact there are few Socialists in Ansonia. His wife Rose Pastor Stokes gives speech “Socialism, the Hope for the World”
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia plays Crosby of Waterbury at Athletic Field. The game ends in dispute, Crosby left the field with the score still tied, claiming there was an agreement to end the game when it became too dark to play. As Crosby’s players left the field, Ansonia’s players continued playing on the empty field, scoring a touchdown and claiming victory. Derby defeats Greenwich High School 6-0 at Derby Meadows.
Monday, November 18, 1907
- ANSONIA – Burglars break into the S. G. Resdshaw paper box shop. Although they ransacked the place, they were unable to get anything of value, so they set the place on fire. The fire causes $8000 in damage, badly damages the shop’s machinery, destroys the stock on hand, and temporarily throws 35 people out of work. Police are investigating.
- SHELTON – A section of a newly poured concrete floor collapses into the basement at the Commodore Hull School, which is under construction on Oak Avenue. No injuries.
- A balloon, called Stevens No. 21, carrying Albert Leo Stevens and millionaire A.H. Forbes passes over the Valley while traveling 100 miles between Pittsfield, MA, and Orange, CT. The balloon, and the occupants in it flies very low, east of the Naugatuck River, and is visible to all in the Valley downtowns and countryside. As it passed over Myrtle Avenue in Ansonia it starts to scrape trees, and the balloonists drop some ballast, causing it to jump higher. It makes a safe landing in Ansonia. This appears to be the second manned flight over the Valley (not counting stuntmen who parachute out of balloons at places like Pine Rock Park). The first was in 1870 or 1871, when one of the balloons trying to cross the Atlantic in a contest sponsored by the New York Herald flew over the area.
- The midnight passenger train, nicknamed “The Owl”, will be reinstated on the Naugatuck Division. Many are pleased to hear this.
- DERBY – A trolley jumps the tracks at Elizabeth Street and Cottage Street, and ends up on sidewalk in front of St. Mary’s School. No injuries.
- ANSONIA & DERBY – The news that Belt Line service will be restored between Derby and Ansonia in three days is received very positively. Trolleys will be on a 20 minute schedule.
- SHELTON – Up to 2/3 of the 80 female sewing machine operators in the Hose Supporter Department of the R.N. Bassett Company goes on strike today. Reports of the reason vary, though there appears to be dissatisfaction over an apparent cut in wages cut from 2 3/4 cents to 1 1/2 cents per dozen of rows stitched. Management claims nothing has changed – but a new style of hose that is being produced only needs one row of stitching instead of two, which is causing the trouble. The following day it is reported that the women are also upset that when five of them approached management with their issues, they were fired for “insolence”. The strike continues into next week.
- For some reason, hens are not laying as many eggs as usual. This is driving the price of eggs up to as much as 5 cents each.
Monday, November 25, 1907
- ANSONIA – New England Order of Protection celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Ansonia Opera House, which is packed with members and spectators. All 4 Valley lodges are present.
- SEYMOUR – The Seymour Water Company has hired 60 hands to build its new reservoir at Pinesbridge (Beacon Falls).
- SHELTON – The strike at the R.N. Bassett plant has been “quietly settled”, and all but the 5 female employees who were discharged for insolence have returned to work.
- The first snowfall of the season occurs today, witnessing big white flakes that melt immediately on contact.
- ANSONIA – Vacant tenements are becoming more common in the City due to the business depression. It is estimated that over 200 have left town.
- DERBY – The Storm Engine Co. No. 2 holds their 57th Annual Ball. About 500 people pack into the Gould Armory. The festivities go to 6 AM following morning.
November 28, Thanksgiving Day
- Turkeys cost 28-30 cents per pound. Those who cannot afford turkey eat pork. All hotels and restaurants have special turkey dinners
- ANSONIA – Thanksgiving Union Service at the Methodist Church. The Town Farm serves a big turkey dinner.
- DERBY – Thanksgiving Union Service held at the Second Congregational Church, involving the First & Second Congregational Churches, as well as the Derby Methodist Episcopal Church.
- HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The only game played on Thanksgiving in the Valley this year sees Derby High School defeating the Derby High School Alumni at Derby Meadows 15-2.
- SEYMOUR – Thanksgiving Union Service held at the Methodist Church.
- SHELTON – Neighbors call the police for a burglary in progress at Donvan’s Saloon. Not much is taken but the burglars escape.
- Ice an inch thick forms overnight.
Sunday, December 1, 1907
- DERBY – Democratic politician William Jennings Bryan was to be the guest of Mayor Howe for his speaking engagement at the Derby Elks Lodge at the Sterling Opera House. The venue changes its time over the course of the week, but an apparent miscommunication, which is blamed on the “forgetfulness” of Sen. McNeil, he arrives early in Derby, and asks to speak much earlier than he was scheduled. The Elks are unable to get the entire program together on such short notice, so Sen. Bryan leaves Derby early, without speaking at all, to attend an affair in New York City. The Rector of Immanuel Episcopal Church speaks in his place instead. The stage at the Sterling is very patriotically decorated, and many are disappointed when they learn that Sen. Bryan will not speak, as the event had been promoted for a week. The event experiences further problems when the lights fail to go on when the curtain raises. After sitting in the dark for about 15 minutes, the gas lights are lit. Not long after, the electric lights suddenly come on.
- SEYMOUR – Fire destroys an old barn on Woodside Avenue. It was one of the oldest structures in the neighborhood.
Monday, December 2, 1907
- SHELTON – Iowa Socialist John M. Work performs an address at a packed meeting at Town Hall.
- ANSONIA – Two female Ansonia High School students die of natural causes. A Howard Avenue girl does after only a few hours illness, and another who had been ill for seven months on Winter street died the day before. The Sentinel headlines “Gloom is Cast over High School”.
- DERBY – A big express trolley car jumps the tracks near Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery, blocking both directions of the tracks. Passengers have to transfer around the accident before it is cleared. No injuries.
- Although today’s snowstorm did not leave a lot of accumulation on the ground, it was enough for children to begin coasting on the hills. That night, the temperature drops to 19 degrees – the coldest this season so far.
- OXFORD – “The two snow storms of the past week are an augury of the coming winter. As the first one did not tarry long with us, we take courage that none will be of long duration through the season”.
- ANSONIA – Classes are dismissed at Ansonia High School so students may attend the funerals of the two classmates who died earlier in the week.
- DERBY – The Paugassett Hose Company holds first meeting in its new firehouse.
- ANSONIA – The S.G. Redshaw’s box factory, gutted by an arson fire on November 18, resumes full operations.
- Blacksmiths are busy putting sharp calked shoes on horses, due to the snow on the ground.
- DERBY – The new Lyceum Theater opens in the Alling Block on Main Street. The entrance has been changed to a theater entrance, complete with electric lights. The 225 seats are at an incline so everyone can see the stage, and there is standing room for 75 people. The storefront theater will show vaudeville, movies, and illustrated songs. On this opening night, the feature act is Mrs. Peter Maher, and her son of same name, performing a comedy sketch. All tickets are sold on the two opening night performances.
Monday, December 9, 1907
- ANSONIA – The Olderman Building suffers its second serious fire in 3 months. This time the fire started in an overheated stove in a second floor kitchen, and spread to third. Repairs from the November 11 fire had just ended that morning. The fire causes $1000 damage.
- DERBY – The semi-annual meeting of the Connecticut State Mayors’ Association is held in Derby. 16 members are present, representing 7 out of 18 of Connecticut Cities, including Governor Woodruff.
- Heavy rain affects the area for much of the day. The Naugatuck River rises 2′ to 3′. Ansonia’s Beaver Brook rises over 1′. The frost is washed out of ground, and many earthworms can be seen.
- ANSONIA – A large shipment of Christmas trees has arrived in the City, and is being distributed to different stores.
- DERBY – The United States Rapid Fire Gun & Power Company on Housatonic Avenue receives an extensive government order for ammunition that will keep it busy into the summer.
- DERBY & SHELTON – Despite many concerns over safety and structural stability of the Huntington Bridge, neither the Fairfield or New Haven county commissioners are alarmed over its condition. The locals feel the commissioners are just sweeping the problem under the rug, they are still convinced the bridge is unsafe.
- ANSONIA – A fire breaks out in the greenhouse of the Ansonia Floral Company near North Main Street and Fourth Street. While the fire itself causes small damage, it destroys thousands of potted plants. The First Ward’s auxiliary hose cart is the first fire wagon on the scene. Within days, the Floral Company announces it has arranged to get flowers from other florists, and is still in business.
- Heavy snow storm dumps 5″ by noon. The trolley plows are out.
- ANSONIA – Although the snow storm affects business Main Street, the merchants are actually relieved, because the storm also shuts down the street sweeper for the year. The cloud of dust his broom kicked up, caused many, especially women, to flee whenever he appeared in front of stores. The situation got so bad the merchants were considering suing the City over it.
- The snow turns to rain, then back to snow. Many skip church due to the bad weather.
- The snow turns back to rain, and the temperature starts to rise. The snow is disappearing fast.
- ANSONIA – A cat is procured for City Hall to take care of a mouse problem. Meanwhile, the stench from the dog pound in the City Hall basement is said to be unbearable.
Monday, December 16
- The snow turns back to rain, and the temperature starts to rise. The snow is disappearing fast.
- ANSONIA – A cat is procured for City Hall to take care of a mouse problem. Meanwhile, the stench from the dog pound in the City Hall basement is said to be unbearable.
- The Evening Sentinel reports of a “sudden falling of in the business in the mills”, which is now effecting commercial trade.
- SHELTON – The exterior edifice of the new St. Joseph’s Church is nearly completed.
- A number of sleighs are seen on city streets today. Many on their way to Oxford, where the country roads offer better trips and scenery.
- DERBY – Sterling pianos are already very popular in large cities. Now player pianos from Sterling are becoming popular as well.
- OXFORD – “The first really heavy snowstorm of the season came on Saturday, when there was a fall of some 12 inches on the level. The snow was followed by mist and sleet, which dampened it and made it more compact. Sunday and Monday, sleighing was the chosen mode of travel. The bright sunshine of Tuesday, accompanied as it was with mild temperature, makes it probable the stay of the visitor will be short”.
- The Christmas rush begins. Main Streets filled with shoppers.
- SHELTON – International Silver Company, Factory B workers, now on Christmas vacation, have organized a walking club. They meet each morning, walk to Ansonia’s west side, cross the Naugatuck River, and come back through East Derby, going 4 miles.
- Christmas vacation begins at the schools.
- Coasting (sledding) is occurring on many hills.
- ANSONIA – People are flocking to the “bog pond” off Hull Street for ice skating.
- DERBY – The young girls at the St. James’ Sewing school get their annual letter from Santa Claus.
- DERBY – A 400′ x 100′ ice skating rink being set up on Seymour Avenue, flooded with 2′ of water, and lit with electric lights.
Monday, December 23
- Heavy rain and high winds come down “by the bucketfulls, but with great violence” in the morning. The rain continues into the evening, a total of 2″ falls. Ice skating is spoiled. Some hills are gullied.
- After yesterday’s rain, the snow is “spotty” on the ground.
- Christmas trees are selling “unusually well.”
- ANSONIA – There is a moving picture show this afternoon and evening at the Ansonia Opera House.
Wednesday, December 25, Christmas 1907
- The weather is balmy and spring-like. Trolley travel is light
- Businessmen say the Christmas trade exceeded expectations.
- ANSONIA – Residents of the Town Farm are treated to a turkey dinner at almshouse.
- DERBY – There are evening performances at the Sterling Opera House and the Lyceum Theater.
- OXFORD – “The storm on Monday was one of great severity and the snow had almost entirely disappeared. The sleighing on Sunday was good, but is entirely spoiled at present. Wells and springs are very full, and there is no chance of a water famine this winter in this locality”.
- The temperature jumps from 28 to 54 degrees between 8 AM and noon.
Monday, December 30
- Country roads are in very bad condition due to the wet weather. Wagon wheels are sinking deep into the mud, and travel is a hardship.
- ANSONIA – The body of a North Main Street woman who disappeared from her house at 1:30 AM in a “demented condition” is later in the day found in the Ansonia Canal.
- SEYMOUR – At a Special Town Meeting in Seymour, it is voted to pay no more than $60 per carbon arc light to the Seymour Electric Light Company in 1908, as opposed to the $70 per light that was paid in 1907. The Electric Company has already pledged not to accept the new terms, and have threatened to remove all streetlights, which will throw town into total darkness at night.
- ANSONIA – The City’s mills are doing well, relative to the rest of the country, where industry is in decline due to the Panic of 1907. Employees of the Farrel Foundry are working 44.5 hours a week. American Brass Company employees are working 8 hours per day. In both cases this is less than normal for these plants.
- ANSONIA – The Columbia Bowling Alleys on Mechanic Street closes, and the alleys are moved to Norwalk. The large building is being converted back into the original purpose it was constructed for, as a roller skating rink.
- ANSONIA – A fire at Rabbi Samuel Bernstein’s house on Canal Street is put out by a police officer with a dishpan before the arrival of the fire department.