Friday, January 1, 1932

  • Rising temperatures turn snow into rain. The rain continues all night, a total of 1.6″ falls. Roads are slippery late in the afternoon. 
  • ANSONIA – The Capitol Theater is closed for the day, the police reported not a single car was parked on Main Street, which was very unusual.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid has raised $19,174.58 – more than anyone else in Valley (partly due to the fact they were the first relief group to organize), but short of the $20,000 goal it established in 1931. The group spent $7,450.77 for labor in 1931.

January 2

  • ANSONIA – Second annual doll carriage show and parade held at the Boston Store
  • SHELTON – Vital statistics given for 1931 – 106 deaths (52 of which were at Laurel Heights). 178 births, 69 marriages, and 175 arrests. This compares to the 96 deaths, (22 at Laurel Heights), 163 births, 89 marriages, and 275 arrests in 1930. 

January 4

  • ANSONIA, DERBY, & SHELTON – The mayors of these three cities meet at Ansonia City Hall, where they agree to press the Derby Gas & Electric Company for lower electricity rates.
  • DERBY – Accident involving an automobile striking a horse pulling a wagon. The horse was killed, the two wagon occupants were injured.

January 5

  • ANSONIA – 112 city World War I veterans need work. 40 are in desperate need, 72 are doing a little work but not enough to support themselves or their families.
  • DERBY – A 70 year old woman is struck and killed by a car on Water Street.
  • DERBY – The local J.C. Penney store on Main Street has above average volume compared to the other 1400 stores in the chain.
  • OXFORD – The Sentinel says that while Oxford families are undergoing hardship in the Great Depression, few if any are truly destitute. 

January 6

  • ANSONIA – General sentiment in the City that a new Ansonia High School is needed.
  • ANSONIA – Last November and December, the Salvation Army, cooperating with Mayor’s Relief Committee and Ansonia Mutual Aid, gave out 798 garments and 100 pairs of shoes to 117 families.
  • DERBY – Madame Nina Tarasova, a Russian singer of peasant songs, gives a recital in Derby Methodist Church hall. The event is sponsored by the Derby Woman’s Club. 
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education votes to make the controversial move to not extend contracts to married teachers after May. Some of the effected teachers have worked for the City for 10 to 20 years.

Thursday, January 7, 1932

  • Orthodox Christmas. Hundreds board two special trolleys which carry Seymour residents to the Russian and Greek churches in Ansonia to celebrate.
  • January’s rainfall already exceeds that of the entire month of December 1931. 3.08″ fell so far. Wells that nearly went dry have been replenished.

January 8

  • ANSONIA – Fourth Annual Police Department Ball is held. Special trolleys are used to bring the over 2000 people who pack into the Ansonia Armory to dance to an 11 piece orchestra.
  • DERBY – A large three-engine New York City to Boston airplane gets lost over Derby in a dense early morning fog and snow squall. The aircraft flew up and down the Housatonic River at 1000 feet, trying to get its bearings, and crossed over the city several times. Finally it caught sight of a beacon light (a string of which ran between New York and Boston, through the Valley) and continued on its way.
  • DERBY – Silver Hill Road improvements are nearly done. The rest will have to wait until Spring. Derby Relief Fund men are now working on improving Sentinel Hill Road and Sodom Lane.
  • SHELTON – A volunteer firefighter is injured after he is struck by a car on Church Street while parking cars for the Huntington Fire Company Ball.

January 9

  • ANSONIA, DERBY, AND SHELTON – The mayors of the three cities agree they will not get into a rate fight with the Derby Gas & Electric Company over their electricity rates, because the court costs would be too high.

January 10

  • DERBY – William Dunne, the teacher who was with Principal Costello when he was killed in an automobile accident last month, is discharged from Bridgeport Hospital. He is now recovering at his home in Derby.

January 11

  • DERBY – Max Durrschmidt, a longtime local contractor and president of Max A. Durrschmidt, Inc., dies at his home on Atwater Avenue. 
  • SEYMOUR – Mutual Aid of Seymour has registered 270 men. Its total pledges are up to $7,831.94
  • SEYMOUR – A new wooden hotel building on Housatonic Avenue partly burns in the early morning. The structure had been under construction several years, and was owned by New York City parties. It was located across from Actor’s Colony, and those residents put out most of fire with hand extinguishers.

January 12

  • ANSONIA – 215 men have been given 4489.5 hours work, and were paid $1,795, by Ansonia Mutual Aid between December 14 and January 9.
  • SEYMOUR – A section of the Naugatuck River that had a longstanding problem with people throwing refuse in it has been cleaned by Seymour Mutual Aid. The health officer vows to keep it that way.
  • SHELTON – A 45 year old Maltby Street man is invited into the basement of Shelton Congregational Church by City Treasurer George Willis, who knew him. The man had been unemployed for a long time, and was despondent, so Mr. Willis invited him to have some of the food that was being served for a Kiwanis Club meeting. Suddenly the man takes out a vial of cyanide, and before anyone can stop him drinks a fatal dose of it.
  • SHELTON – The Stolzman & Chernin bakery reopens, after being damaged in December 20 fire.

January 13

  • Warmest January 13 in the area’s history. The temperatures climb to 65, and fall to only 56 overnight.
  • ANSONIA – A 32 year old Tremont Street man walks into the Ansonia police station, surrenders a gun, and confesses he shot his ex-wife. She is found at his address in critical condition and rushed to Griffin Hospital.
  • ANSONIA – A gas station at 21 Beaver Street is held up by 2 men. An attendant knocked unconscious when he hesitated. They try to break the lock on the cash register but flee when someone screams outside. A 12 year old boy gets a good description and license number. (See Shelton below).
  • DERBY – The Derby Relief Fund spent $4440 to put 202 men to work. An additional $360 has been spent for food and clothing for destitute cases.
  • SHELTON – Two men hold up a gas station at the corner of Howe Avenue and Grove Street, and escape with $31 and cigarettes. These are same two who unsuccessfully held up an Ansonia station the same night. A third man served as the getaway driver, and speeds south toward River Road. Stratford police set up road block at the Shelton border, but do not catch the criminals.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Social Services distributed 1200 lbs of meat in divided among 205 baskets, along with canned goods and vegetables, over Christmas.

Thursday, January 14, 1932

  • Temperatures rise to 68 degrees. It feels like early May.
  • ANSONIA – Ells-Wood Rebekah lodge No. 9, IOOF, celebrates 40th anniversary in its hall on Main Street. 

January 15

  • An unusual number of seagulls have been seen flying up and down the Housatonic River and Naugatuck River.
  • SEYMOUR – The State begins replanking the covered Broad Street Bridge.
  • SHELTON –  Six state policemen make four raids in Shelton. A slot machine is found at a Howe Avenue pool hall leading to one arrest. Another slot machine and a small amount of moonshine is found a couple doors down, leading to another arrest. Raids at two Center Street locations yield nothing.

January 16

  • ANSONIA – Eight city industries – American Brass Company, HC Cook Inc., Farrel Birmingham, Ansonia O&C, Cameron Electrical Company, Ansonia Electrical Company, Ansonia Manufacturing Company, and the SO&C all announce they will match employee contributions to Ansonia Mutual Aid dollar for dollar.
  • ANSONIA – A new branch of the Fulton Supermarket opens on 5 Maple Street.
  • DERBY – John West, President of Southern New England Ice Company says if not enough ice is produced naturally, due to the warm weather, his firm will expand the capacity of the former Derby Avenue brewery to do so. If the winter closes without ice being able to be harvested naturally, it will be for the first time in 26 years.
  • SHELTON – Since November 9, Shelton Mutual Aid has employed over 200 men each week, for a total of 3076 days labor, and paid $9228.

January 17

  • ANSONIA – The woman shot last week by her ex-husband on Tremont Street dies of her wounds at Griffin Hospital. He will now be charged with murder.

January 18

  • ANSONIA – State and City police are investigating the theft of 5 automatic revolvers from the Ansonia Armory.

January 19

  • ANSONIA – The 1931 Ansonia Grand List counts 2401 houses, 1366 barns & garages, 2813 lots, 435 commercial buildings, 73 mills, 2636 acres, 40 horses, 133 cows, and 2856 automobiles in the City. For the first time since automobiles began appearing on the Grand List at the turn of the century, their number has decreased, with 116 less than 1930. Also, only 14 new dwellings were constructed. These numbers are attributed to the Great Depression.
  • ANSONIA – Last week, Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 139 men, who worked 2,222 hours for $888. To date 354 men have worked, and were paid a total of $3,230.55.
  • SEYMOUR – The covered Broad Street Bridge is now closed to traffic for replanking. 

January 20

  • DERBY & ANSONIA – Jazz legend Cab Calloway, along with his pianist and tap dancer, appear as entertainment for about 300 people at a Derby Fire Department card party at the Hotchkiss Hose Company No. 1 on Caroline Street, to benefit the unemployed. Afterward, the group dines at Sam’s Restaurant on Main Street in Ansonia, where they begin singing and dancing into the early morning and sign autographs. All are very entertained at both locations, the Sentinel’s Ansonia section headlines “Calloway entertains, and how, at Sam’s”.

Thursday, January 21, 1932

  • DERBY – Rev. Andrew J. Plunkett, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Shelton for the past 13 years, has been appointed to replace the late Father Fitzgerald as the new pastor of St. Mary’s Church. He will only be the third pastor assigned there in the last 42 years.
  • SHELTON – Rev. John J. McCabe, of St. Mary’s Church in Jewett City, will succeed in Rev. Andrew J. Plunkett, who is taking over St. Mary’s parish in Derby.

January 22

  • ANSONIA – There were 54 less births, 18 less marriages, 22 more deaths, and 25 more tax liens in 1931 than there were in 1930 in Ansonia.
  • ANSONIA – Spector Furniture will move to the Ansonia Hotel building at 332 Main Street. They had been at 415 Main Street since 1924.
  • SEYMOUR – The Selectmen pass a curfew for boys 16 years old or younger. They must be off the streets by 9 PM.

January 23

  • SEYMOUR – The replanking of the covered Bank Street is completed, and it reopens for traffic.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s 1931 Grand List shows a $56,520 loss.

January 24

  • ANSONIA – Fire guts the Mazzola dry goods store in the Larkin Building at 441 Main Street. Miss Ann Larkin, principal of the Elm Street School and her relatives who live upstairs flee, but the fire does not reach their apartment.

January 26

  • With mild temperatures continuing it does not appear that there will be an ice crop this year.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 148 men a total of 2204.5 hours and paid them $881.80 last week.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid employed 172 men last week, its largest force ever. A total of 299 men are registered for the workfare program.

January 27

  • DERBY – The City’s 1931 Grand List shows a slight increase over last year.
  • DERBY – Due to lowering contributions, the Derby Relief Fund will reduce its weekly employment force from 100 to 35.
  • DERBY – There were 103 marriages and 106 deaths in 1931 in Derby.
  • SHELTON – Instead of following the usual practice of giving a gift to Shelton High School, the Class of 1932 will thoroughly clean up the school and grounds.

Friday, January 29, 1932

  • SEYMOUR – The State Public Utilities Commission agrees with Seymour and Beacon Falls in their fight over water rates with the Seymour Water Company, which is ordered to reduce them substantially.

January 30

  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Selectmen enact parking rules on Bank Street. Cars may only park on one side between Third Street and Main Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s vital statistics for 1931 are births – 103, marriages – 49, and deaths – 76. This compares to 111 births, 51 marriages, and 51 deaths in 1930.

January 31

  • DERBY – Father Plunkett, who was just transferred from St. Joseph’s in Shelton, preaches his first mass as pastor at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.


Tuesday, February 2, 1932

  • Cloudy skies prohibit the groundhogs from seeing their shadows.
  • ANSONIA – In the past week Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 146 men a total of 1972.5 hours and paid them $789. Today, despite a snowstorm, 25 men continue to work on North End sewers, while 16 work at Athletic Field.
  • SEYMOUR – Five cases of smallpox are discovered. The victims are removed to Englewood isolation hospital in Bridgeport. They are all children, from 2 families, who are neighbors on Broad Street.

February 3

  • SEYMOUR – Another 5 smallpox cases are found, making a total of 10. As before, the victims are all children, 5 brothers and sisters who reside on New Street. All affected houses are under quarantine. Vaccinations are taking place in the public schools. 
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education votes 4-3 to ask the Board of Aldermen for an $80,000, two wing addition to Shelton High School.

Thursday, February 4, 1932

  • ANSONIA – The Tremont Theater, which was built in 1926 by Max Olderman at the corner of Main Street and Tremont Street, is badly damaged by a two-alarm fire. The fire is discovered around 9:45 AM when the owner of the Valley Novelty shop, which was on the the first floor, smell smoke and open a trap door to the basement, which was on fire. She and a customer flee smoke billowed into the shop, leaving the trap door open. When the smoke begins pouring out of the front door, it encompasses the whole building, darkening the windows and catching the attention of the 76 women employed by the Ansonia Dress Company factory on the third floor. This is fortunate, because the early discovery allows all of them to flee down the two flights stairs to safety. The Captain of Webster Hose Company falls through the trap door in the novelty shop into the basement, but is pulled out by his men only slightly injured. Another group of firemen, led by the Fire Chief, went to the third floor, and finding the dress factory empty started opening windows. At that point, the entire floor was engulfed in flames. The Chief and most of the men ran down a staircase, but one Webster fireman was trapped and leapt out a window. Hundreds of people gasped as the fireman dangled from the window by his fingertips as flames roared above him. Firemen pulled the life net off the Eagles’ hook and ladder truck, and along with the crowd called for him to drop into the net, but he refused. Other firemen shot water into the window from hoses in the street, darkening down the flames and allowing him to climb back in and dash down an interior stairwell to safety. He suffered from smoke inhalation. The two first floor stores, the Valley Novelty store and a confectionary suffered heavy smoke and water damage. The Tremont Theater, also on the first floor, suffered less damage. The Hevesy bowling alley on the second floor was badly damaged by smoke and water, while the Ansonia Dress Company was completely destroyed. For the week following, inquiries were held on the fire, as the Chief insisted that there were actually two separate fires (although most likely the fire climbed behind a wall or void to the dress company on the top floor). The City was also extremely lucky that all 76 women in the crowded dress factory survived before the place was incinerated. Max Olderman vowed to repair the building.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid’s funds are nearly exhausted. At a meeting held today, it is voted to cooperate with city officials on 5 municipal projects to ensure program will continue at least until May 1.
  • Heavy rain begins falling in the evening hours, turning to snow by midnight.

February 5

  • The snowstorm that began the night before leaves 4 to 6 inches on the ground, making it the first substantial snowstorm of the year. Telephone wires are down in Derby and Shelton. Heavy rain returns later in the morning, getting rid of much of the new snow.
  • SEYMOUR – A 10-year old West Street boy is diagnosed with smallpox, the 11th case in a week.
  • SHELTON – D. N. Beard purchases old Huntington Piano Company building from the New York corporation that held it for the last ten years. The factory once employed 400 people, with it four upper floors devoted to manufacturing pianos, and the ground floor serving as a showcase. There are rumors Sears & Roebuck is planning to put a store there.

February 6

  • ANSONIA – Since Ansonia Mutual Aid was formed late last year, the workfare program has employed 804 men, who have worked 13,041 hours and were paid $6,054.13. This week, 150 men worked 2,152.5 hours on 3 projects and earned $861. Income for past week was $1,771.41.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid employed 166 men this week, the most since it was formed.

February 8

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen directs Corporate Council to make an application to the state Public Utilities Commission for a reduction of electrical rates by the Derby Gas & Electric Company.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen vote down Board of Education’s request for an $80,000 addition to Shelton High School by a vote of 4-1.

February 9

  • DERBY – Major General Smedley D. Butler is the guest of the Woman’s Club of Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton at the Sterling Opera House. His talk centeres on law enforcement, and how it can be applied selectively depending on who people were in town and what they did. At one point he gestures toward a Derby police officer, and states that he no doubt knows which people in the audience can get away with parking in front of a fire hydrant, and which ones would get tickets. He keeps the audience of 1,000 laughing with jokes, and his speech is picked up by the State newspapers which begin debating the pros and cons of his argument.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s Health Officer orders a general vaccination of all Seymour residents against smallpox to begin immediately. One more case is discovered on this date, a 10-year old Bank Street boy. A basketball game between Seymour and Derby High Schools is postponed because too many Seymour players have sore arms from the vaccination shots.

February 10

  • Working with the Mutual Aid charities, the Salvation Army recently distributed 328 garments and 49 pairs of shoes, to 85 different families.
  • DERBY – The Connecticut Hotel Association meets at Hotel Clark. They adopt a resolution that will be forwarded to President Hoover asking for repeal of the 18th Amendment.

Thursday, February 11, 1932

  • ANSONIA – The Aerie of Eagles will abandon their old quarters at 230 Main Street, and take over entire top floor of the Terry Building at 88 Main Street as their new hall.
  • SHELTON – A 1000 gallon still, and 4 vats containing 300 gallons of mash are found by State Police in a raid on a farm off Waverly Road in Huntington. So large was the still it took all night to dismantle it. The farmer is arrested and released on $500 bond.

February 12

  • ANSONIA – 900 high school students gather at the Capitol Theater for a Lincoln Day assembly.
  • DERBY, ANSONIA & SHELTON – The 27th Annual District Nurse Association Meeting is held at Hotel Clark. A total of 11,539 home visits were made in 1931 – including 8,474 nursing; 2,625 advisory; and 440 for social service. There were 1962 cases, 1300 of which were new. Of the new cases – 644 were in Ansonia, 390 were in Derby, and 275 were in Shelton.
  • SHELTON – The First Baptist Church changes plans to build a new church at 444 Coram Avenue. Instead it will build an addition with a larger kitchen and dining hall on the old church at Howe Avenue and White Street instead.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid workmen tearing down an old barn behind City Hall, that served as a work shed and catch-all for city departments An old carriage shed used to shelter horses of town officials many years ago will become a 3-car garage.

February 13

  • ANSONIA – 3 men are stealing coal from the freight yard east of Wooster Street are discovered by the Railroad Police. One is caught, but later escapes and allegedly fires a concealed handgun at another Railroad Officer. Four shots are fired at the suspect as he tries to flee across the trestle spanning the Naugatuck River. Half way over, he appears to have been hit, and then falls between the tracks into the river. The Ansonia Police are called, though there seems to be a considerable delay in calling them after the early morning shooting. The Railroad Police claim they did not see anyone get out of the water.
  • DERBY – A ten month old Derby collie named Future of Arken wins high honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
  • SEYMOUR – A high school basketball game against Milford is called off due to the smallpox outbreak. In the past 10 days 5,000 of the approximately 7,000 people in town have been vaccinated.

February 15

  • ANSONIA – It is now feared that the man who was shot on the trestle two days before was a popular retired lightweight boxer who lived on Jewett Street, who has not been seen since the incident. But the fact that he may have been the victim raises new questions, as he was not seen as the type of person to steal or get violent.
  • DERBY – The Derby Relief Fund is continuing, despite a reduced workforce due to lack of donations. Great improvements have been made to Sodom Lane.

February 16

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid made $1469.89, employed 176 men 2124.5 hours, and paid them $846.60. 156 are working at Athletic Field, 10 at Holbrook Court where new a wall is being built, and 10 more are making new meeting hall for the American Legion at the Ansonia Armory.

February 17

  • ANSONIA  – A Bank Street, Seymour man walking to Griffin Hospital to visit his sick wife is struck by a car on Clifton Avenue near Howard Avenue, and is extremely critical. The driver is held for reckless driving.
  • DERBY – Southern New England Ice Company will expand its plant on Derby Avenue, due to the fact there is no ice crop this year. 
  • OXFORD – Oxford schoolchildren will be vaccinated against smallpox.
  • SEYMOUR – Abandoned house owned by the Birmingham Water Company, about 1.5 miles north of Actors’ Colony on River Road burns down. It takes the Fire Department 2 hours to put it out with water drafted from the Housatonic River.

Friday, February 19, 1932

  • All Valley schools hold patriotic celebrations and assemblies in honor of  the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.

February 20

  • SEYMOUR – Six of the twelve smallpox cases, all of which were juveniles, have recovered, and returned home. The remaining 6 are improving. There have been no new cases.
  • ANSONIA – Big patriotic service at the Methodist Episcopal Church for the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Over 500 attend, and many veterans’ groups are represented.

February 23

  • ANSONIA – The police raid a barn behind a Columbia Street house, where they find 5 vats containing 5000 gallons of beer, and another containing 500 gallons of cider brandy mash, along with the latest brewing equipment. 1 arrested. The Sentinel describes the operation as a “huge hootch plant”.
  • ANSONIA – The shifting of the Naugatuck River 200 feet west of the American Brass Company plant, off Liberty Street, has been completed. The large digger that was a landmark in the City through the long process is being dismantled.
  • DERBY – Ralph Greenleaf, world champion pocket billiard player, appears at Jeff’s Smoke Shop on Main Street, Derby.

Thursday, February 25, 1932

  • DERBY – All 40 car operators, bus drivers, and shop men of the Derby Division of the Connecticut Company vote on a 10% wage cut. It is feared that if they do not accept the cut, layoffs and even closing of trolley lines will follow.
  • DERBY – Former state representative John F. O’Sullivan dies. The Cottage Street resident conceived of Island Park, and extended Caroline Street to the island that now bears his name. Read his full obituary and interesting life here.

February 26

  • SEYMOUR – After a 3 week lapse in new cases, an 11 year old Pine Street boy is diagnosed with smallpox.

February 27

  • ANSONIA – Fire badly damages a Star Street apartment.
  • DERBY – The results of the Connecticut Company vote are in. The Derby Division narrowly voted to reject the wage cut, though the proposal was defeated by a higher margin elsewhere in the State.

February 28

  • SHELTON – 500 gather at Clark’s Hall to protest Mayor Crofut’s removal of Bennett M. Beard as Street Commissioner. A road builder, he has served in government since 1909, and many say his removal is political. The mayor only says he “had cause”, and won’t elaborate.

February 29 (Leap Year)

  • ANSONIA – 200 attend a  Board of Apportionment and Taxation meeting to protest the 1.5 mill increase in the tax rate, to 27 mills, but are unsuccessful in stopping it.


Tuesday, March 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 204 men in the past week on 4 projects, and paid them $1,272,40.
  • ANSONIA –  A 39 year old nurse is shot 3 times by her husband when she enters her home on 139 Clifton Avenue, and is in extremely critical condition. He wanders downtown in a daze, and calls for someone to arrest him. There is no known motive, and everyone is perplexed. In the days that follow, it is learned that he was drinking a home brew of moonshine, and had no recollection of what he had done. When he realized what he had done, he was inconsolable, leading the police to term the entire case as “pathetic”.
  • SHELTON – Two Echo Hose firemen injured fighting a fire that gutted a Gordon Avenue house.

March 2

  • ANSONIA – Two boys’ clubhouses burn down overnight, making four fires in such clubhouses in the last 2 months. It is now believed rival groups are burning each others’ clubhouses down.

Friday, March 4, 1932

  • DERBY – 500 attend a Women’s Club meeting at the Derby Methodist Church, in which famed novelist Kathleen Norris is the guest speaker.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid is in financial trouble. The workfare group has a “demand note” from Shelton Trust Company of $500, and it only has a balance of $337.01 in its bank account.

March 5

  • DERBY – The Derby Relief Fund has been working on improving Marshall Lane, which has been in bad shape for a long time.

March 6

  • A storm brings 28 mph winds, and 1.3″ of rain falls. Trees are blown down, tin blows off some roofs.
  • SHELTON – Fanned by the high winds, a fire destroys a chicken coop and incubator shed on Riverview Avenue. The place was empty, though 400 chicks were expected following day.

March 8

  • ANSONIA – 250 men worked 4125 hours this week on 5 projects for Ansonia Mutual Aid.
  • ANSONIA – The President of the Savings Bank of Ansonia, William A Nelson dies at the same home he was born, at 235 North Main Street.
  • DERBY – George B. Chamberlin, born February 14, 1855, dies. He ran a large farm on Academy Hill which included Brownie Castle
  • DERBY – The Fitch Smith estate on 14 Seymour Avenue is sold to a Shelton man. The mansion’s grounds front both Seymour Avenue and Elizabeth Street, and its dimensions are 311′ x 270′. Until a few years ago it was occupied by his daughters, the last of whom, Miss M. Helen Smith, died about 1930. The mansion would be razed on September 3, 1953, to make room for the new St. Mary’s School, which is St Mary – St. Michael School today.
  • OXFORD – Only 21 residents attend a town meeting, due to very cold winds. They vote to set a tax rate of 18 mills – which was 7 less than last year. (Democracy works!)

March 9

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen votes to rescind its earlier vote to petition the Public Utilities Commission for a reduction in electrical rates, and accept the Derby Gas & Electric Company’s offer of a rate reduction, which amounts to about $5 less per customer per year.
  • DERBY – The 25-year old alarm tower at Storm Engine Company on Elizabeth Street is in dangerous condition and must be repaired.
  • SHELTON – Former mayor Bennett N. Beard, president of Shelton Tax and Rent Payers’ League and recently fired Street Commissioner, tells a large gathering of his group at Clark’s Hall that an “invisible power” that they thought they had got rid of in the 1930 election still controls the current administration. The disillusioned group is talking of forming an independent party.

March 10

  • ANSONIA – The Eleventh Annual Automobile Dealer’s Association of Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton opens at the Ansonia Armory. The show contains 40 automobiles, of 21 makes, from 14 local dealers. Hundreds attend.
  • ANSONIA – The Irving jewelry store on 102 Main Street Ansonia celebrates first birthday. Its 50 piece birthday cake becomes the most popular food in town when it is learned that there are $2.50 gold pieces hidden inside four of the pieces.
  • DERBY – Mrs. J. B. Stobierski opens new restaurant at 130 Main Street, featuring “a clean place with home cooking” and a daily dinner special.
  • SEYMOUR – 4,000 pine trees are ruined by a forest fire that breaks out at the Fountain Lake Watershed, owned by the Ansonia Water Company, on Great Hill.

Friday, March 11, 1932

  • ANSONIA – A four-family house on 109 Central Street is gutted by fire. One resident burned.
  • ANSONIA – Bankruptcy sale at Nat’s Shoe Store on 132 Main Street causes a crowd to swell inside at the store’s opening, breaking a large display window.

March 12

  • ANSONIA – The Commercial Department of Ansonia High School takes top honors at the Connecticut Business Educators state competition in New Haven. Alice Drozdewski take First Prize in the 2 year typing competition, while Helen Prohorich wins First Prize in the one year typing. Hariet Kryzewski wins First Prize in shorthand, and Olga Lenoff wins Second Prize in 2nd year bookkeeping.
  • ANSONIA – Over 500 cords of wood was cut over the winter by 396 men with permits, on Ansonia Water Company land.
  • SEYMOUR – George M. Foster, of 14 Culver Street, has established the Seymour Oil Company. This is the company of its type in town, and it will deliver oil, furnace coil, kerosene, and oil burners.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid employed 153 men last week.

March 13

  • DERBY – It is announced at Sunday mass that St. Mary’s Church has purchased the Fitch Smith property on Elizabeth Street and Seymour Avenue (see March 8). The parcel is intended for future development, no immediate changes will be made now.

March 14

  • DERBY – Governor Wilbur Cross addresses the Derby-Shelton Board of Trade at Hotel Clark, where he analyzes the conditions and causes of the Great Depression.

March 15

  • ANSONIA – Two boys, ages 17 and 19, from two Francis Street homes, are arrested in connection with 30 burglaries over the past 6 months in Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton. $5000 in stolen goods is found in their homes. A third suspect is being sought.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid paid $1838.50 to 272 men last week. 1,879 have been employed to date.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Education votes to cut teachers’ pay by 10% due to the Great Depression. The same night, at town hall, all other town employees voluntarily vote to give up 10% of their pay, too.

 March 17

  • ANSONIA – 200 couples dance at a St. Patrick’s Day ball given by Company I, of the Connecticut National Guard, at the Ansonia Armory.
  • DERBY – Friedrich Schorr, leading bass-baritone of the Metropolitan Opera Company, gives a rare recital at the Sterling Opera House for the Women’s Club. 1,000 attend.

Friday, March 18, 1932

  • ANSONIA – All of the machinery from the old American Brass Company fine wire mill in the north end has been transferred to the new mill on Canal Street and Bridge Street.
  • DERBY – 600 attend a St. Patrick’s Day music program at St. Mary’s Hall.

March 19

  • ANSONIA – The four day Home Progress Exposition closes at the Ansonia Armory. 15,670 attended in all. The Armory was so packed today that 7 fainted in the crowd.
  • ANSONIA – Everett G. Hill, editor of the Evening Sentinel, is stricken in the editorial room of the newspaper, and is rushed to Griffin Hospital.
  • DERBY – 83-year old man dies after falling into Derby Canal off Housatonic Avenue.

March 20

  • SEYMOUR – Bishop Adam Philipovski, head of the North American Carpattio-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese, visits the newly organized Russian Orthodox Church at 22 Church Street.

March 21

  • Freezing rain causes many accidents across the area.
  • ANSONIA – Everett G. Hill, editor of Evening Sentinel, dies at Griffin Hospital at age 65. He lived at 133 Jackson Street. The Sentinel’s editorial page accordingly features black columns today.

March 22

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 217 men on seven projects for 4033 hours this week, paying them $1607.60.
  • DERBY – The Woman’s Club of Derby is providing schoolchildren with a bottle of milk, some crackers, and a straw at each morning recess as a way of combating child hunger during the Great Depression. Those that can pay do, but no one is denied the snack.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid is razing the old Second Street School, built about 1847. See the complete article here.

March 24

  • ANSONIA – The police stop a maroon car with New Jersey license plates containing a man, woman, and baby on Hill Street. The car fits the description of a car sought in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. The couple is cooperative, and the police and let them go after questioning.
  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – Milford police arrest 15 Ansonia and Shelton high school students who broke into cottage to have a drinking party.
  • DERBY – Volunteers plant 100 dogwood trees along city roadways.

Easter Sunday, March 27, 1932

  • Cloudy skies in the morning, though the rain holds off until 9 PM. The day was mild, but at night the wind picked up, and brought torrential downpours with it. 
  • ANSONIA – The old 2-story James homestead on Ansonia Water Company property off Ford Street burns to the ground, leaving a man and wife homeless.

March 28

  • 2.6″ of rain falls in the morning. Brooks and streams are swollen.
  • DERBY – The Knights of Columbus Paugassett Council No. 28 celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding with a reception at Hotel Clark
  • SHELTON – Shelton Police Department raid a barn producing moonshine near Laurel Heights Sanatorium and arrest one.

March 29

  • Ansonia Savings Bank, Derby Savings Bank, Shelton Trust Company, and the Seymour Trust Company, announce it will no longer be necessary to give 90 days notice before withdrawal of savings deposits. This had been enacted after the Great Depression began, to prevent panic runs on savings accounts when financial news turned bad.
  • ANSONIA – In the past week, Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 193 men a total of 2,592 hours and paid them $1,032.80. Since its founding last fall to combat the Great Depression, the group has employed 2,289 men a total of 36,186.5 hours, and paid them $14,445.80. 
  • DERBY – There have been some problems along the new River Road, constructed by the state two years ago. Nothing will grow in the area where gravel was removed to make the road, adjoining Osborndale Farm. This has resulted in sand slides over the winter, which uprooted some fine old white oaks. Measures are now being considered to halt the environmental damage.
  • SEYMOUR – The smallpox epidemic is now entirely over.

March 31

  • ANSONIA – Mutual Aid of Ansonia will employ more men starting April 4.
  • DERBY – Complaints that the public water supply tastes and smells bad.. It is explained the problems are seasonal changes in the water due to decomposition of leaves that fell into the reservoirs last fall, and that the water is safe. PS – this is why reservoirs are surrounded by pine trees today.
  • DERBY – St. Mary’s Church has put 20 unemployed men to work to help clear Mt. St. Peter’s cemetery for the spring. The Church plans pave the main road of the cemetery.
  • SHELTON – State police raid a “moonshine factory” on Long Hill Avenue, and confiscate a 1000 gallon still and ten 50 gallon barrels of moonshine. One is arrested.


Friday, April 1, 1932

  • DERBY – The Derby Board of Aldermen are equally split over whether the new police car that will be purchased will be a station wagon or a 4-door sedan. Those in favor of the station wagon are hoping the police car can also be used as an ambulance. The debate turns heated until Mayor Riordan settles the tie to buy a 4-door sedan.
  • DERBY – The Derby Garden Club is getting good responses from property owners to loan land for the unemployed to plant vegetable “Prosperity Gardens”.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid votes to suspend active operations on May 1, but will remain intact ready to respond to any emergency that may arise from the “present economic crisis”.

April 2

  • Derby Gas & Electric announces it will drop its electrical rates, effective April 1.
  • SHELTON – City resident Donald Waldhaus is selected for the 1932 American Olympic fencing team. 

April 5

  • ANSONIA – Rabbi Jerome Widesky, a noted Jewish divine, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, dies while walking up Platt Street hill. He was in the city to help reunite the B’Nai Israel synagogue on Colburn Street with B’Nai Jacob synagogue of Factory Street, which split over a dispute some time ago. Rabbi Widesky was well-known in New England Jewish circles, and translated sacred texts into English. His death is a shock, and both synagogues vow to continue the reconciliation effort he championed.
  • ANSONIA – There has not been a case of diphtheria in Ansonia since April 1, 1929.
  • DERBY – Robert Wiltsie, of 21 Elm Street, is part of the cast of “The Village Virtuosos”, which is considered the first “genuine New England” movie.

April 6

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 249 men in the past week a total of 3,667 hours, and paid them $867.70

April 7

  • DERBY & SHELTON – Shelton resident Donald Waldhaus, who will be in the upcoming Olympics, is elected president of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club at the Hotel Clark

Friday, April 8, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Hundreds visit the Community Motor Sales showroom at Main Street and Tremont Street, as first of the new Ford V-8 automobiles is now on display.
  • DERBY – The body of George Beall, better known as Rex Bell a former boxer, is found behind Pinney buildings at the foot of Mount Pleasant Street in the Naugatuck River in Derby. He was last seen falling into the river from the Ansonia railroad trestle, after a Railroad Police shot at him for allegedly stealing a small amount of coal with a group of men, in the early morning hours of February 13. The shooting was controversial because the Railroad Police took three hours to notify the Ansonia Police. An autopsy conducted later in the day claims that Mr. Beall was not shot at all, that drowning was the cause of death. A strange twist to the tragic story was many had come to believe Mr. Beall had swum to shore and escaped. This greatly upset his mother, who stated she knew all along that her son had drowned, as he appeared to her in a vision shortly after the shooting, and told her so.

April 9

  • SEYMOUR – The roof is removed from the pedestrian portion of the covered bridge on Bank Street. The boards were rotted, and will probably not be replaced.

April 11

  • ANSONIA – Schoonmaker’s Drug Store is held up in Ansonia 2 men. $17 taken.
  • DERBY – A railroad flagman from Waterbury dies after he falls under the wheels of a caboose about 200 yards north of Derby-Shelton train station.

April 12

  • Torrential downpours that started late last night have dropped 2.18″ of rain. The Naugatuck River is high
  • ANSONIA – In the past week Ansonia Mutual Aid has employed 235 men a total of 4213 hours, and paid them $1680. The organization has helped 2580 men since it  started late last year.
  • SHELTON – A retaining wall behind 578 Howe Avenue gives way in the heavy rain, and knocks a 5 car garage below it off its foundation, demolishing it and 3 cars inside. A nearby shed containing antiques was also destroyed. The wall was owned by Police Chief William Donovan, who lives above on Perry Avenue.

April 13

  • ANSONIA – Thomas Mulcahy left Ireland 50 years ago to search for gold in Alaska. He visited Ansonia 20 years ago, where he met Michael Cook, who is now the Mayor. He arrives back in Ansonia on this date, and asks Dan Mulcahy where he can find Cook at the Ansonia depot, not realizing he was talking to his brother until he asked him his name. They had not not seen each other since Tom left Ireland 50 years ago, and Dan, who came to Ansonia after Tom visited 20 years ago, and was told Tom died after he fell into a canyon.
  • SEYMOUR – Snow squalls on Great Hill
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Taxpayers’ League meets at Clark’s Hall, to talk about organizing as a third political party. The members are wary of it, and Shelton Socialists are discouraging it, saying they have been the third party for decades. Former Mayor Beard, who is President of the League, instead invites Democrats to join his organization’s cause.

April 14

  • The water going over the Ousatonic Dam is 3.6′ deep, the highest it has been since 1927.

Friday, April 15, 1932

  • DERBY – Hershey Metal Products is in temporary receivership.

April 19

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 217 men a total of 3,894 hours, and paid them $1,552.50 in the past week.
  • ANSONIA – Commander Johnson of William H. Gordon Post American Legion declares war against the Great Depression. He says his Post will lay out its “battle plan” at a meeting to be held in three days at Ansonia City Hall.
  • SEYMOUR – State police raid a chicken coop of a well known Pearl Street poultry farmer at 3 AM. They find 2 large stills in operation.

April 20

  • DERBY – St. Mary’s Church is entered and ransacked overnight, but nothing is taken as there was no money inside.
  • SEYMOUR – The Pearl Street poultry farmer is arrested for manufacture of alcohol, a violation of Prohibition.
  • SEYMOUR – Shopkeepers and the public are warned that counterfeit $10 bills are being circulated around town.

Saturday, April 23, 1932

  • DERBY – Yale defeats M.I.T. on its Housatonic rowing course. Unlike previous years where the Yale races were mobbed with spectators, and other colleges participated, this year only 5,000 show up in this Great Depression Year. There was no observation train or extra police. The races weren’t even called “Derby Day”, as they had in the past, and the Evening Sentinel says that’s just as well because the “entire spirit was lacking”.
  • SHELTON – The construction of the million dollar Nurses’ Home and Infirmary at Laurel Heights Sanatorium is almost completed. 

April 26

  • The first thundershower of spring passes by at 7 PM.
  • ANSONIA – Miss Alice Drozdewski of Ansonia High School wins first place in a national typing contest – typing 90 words per minute for 15 minutes, against 2,000 others. Miss Mildred LaForte, also of Ansonia, places third.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid spent $1,571.20 this week, for 207 men to labor 3,941 hours. The initial Mutual Aid subscriptions expire in July, and the workfareprogram organizers are not sure what to do. Their options are to suspend the Program until fall, or try to keep it going through the summer.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – 150 plot owners gather at St. Mary’s Church in Derby, to form an association to beautify St. Mary’s Cemetery in Ansonia. People with plots in Ansonia, Shelton, and Seymour are asked to help the Derby parish.

1931 MOTOR VEHICLE STATISTICS – The State releases motor vehicle statistics for 1931. They are, by city and town:

  • ANSONIA – 2677 registered automobiles. 88 accidents, with 6 killed, and 49 injured. 51 motor vehicle violations. 
  • DERBY – 1754 registered automobiles. 102 accidents, with 4 killed, and 71 injured. 46 motor vehicle violations. 
  • OXFORD – 381 registered automobiles. 15 accidents, with 1 killed, and 6 injured. 8 motor vehicle violations.
  • SEYMOUR – 1346 registered automobiles. 58 accidents, with 3 killed, and 38 injured. 67 motor vehicle violations.
  • SHELTON – 1716 registered automobiles. 65 accidents, with 5 killed, and 35 injured. 54 motor vehicle violations.

April 27

  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid will try to extend its workfare program to August 1, if it can. There is talk of using the $17,750 road appropriation given by the State to help Mutual Aid keep going.

April 28

  • SEYMOUR – The Ladies Aid Society of Immanuel Lutheran Church celebrates its 40th anniversary

Friday, April 29, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Throngs from all over Valley attend the grand opening of City Hall Market, located next to Ansonia City Hall. The store sells food in bulk for lower prices to help combat the Great Depression.

April 30

  • ANSONIA – A new hard maple floor has been laid at the Ansonia Armory
  • ANSONIA – Frank Fitzpatrick, of the recently dissolved partnership Gans & Fitzpatrick, has opened Fitzpatrick’s Battery & Electric Service Station on 14 Maple Street.
  • ANSONIA – Hevesy Bowling Alleys reopens for first time since the February 4 fire in the Olderman Building.
  • ANSONIA – 220 barrels of flour received by American Red Cross for the needy in Ansonia.
  • OXFORD – 125 attend a special town meeting. They vote to spend $17,500 from the state to improve the dirt roads on Riggs Street, Chestnut Tree Hill, and Park Road.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid closes after 6 months of workfare relief operations to help the needy. 


Sunday, May 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – The upper 2 floors of the 3 story brick Haggis Building, on 114 Main Street, is gutted by a 2-alarm fire. The top floor was the headquarters of the Michael J Comcowich Veterans of Foreign Wars headquarters. The VFW’s furniture, fifes and drums, and other items are destroyed. Their marching band’s uniforms, however were spared destruction as they were at the homes of the members. On the second floor, $1200 worth of drugs and chemical in Dr. Senfield’s laboratory is destroyed, and it is unclear if valuable X-rays and other machines may have been lost, too. The chemicals caused the fire to be unusually hot and smoky.  Dr. Senfield’s records are saved, however. A confectionary located on the first floor is ruined by water.

May 2

  • SEYMOUR – The Citizen Engine Co. No. 2 votes to purchase an E & J resuscitator and inhalator, to aid victims in respiratory distress, smoke inhalation, and drowning situations.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Crofut asks all city employees to take a voluntary 10% salary cut, due to increasing demands of serving the unemployed. They agree the following day.

May 3

  • ANSONIA – In the past week Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 202 men a total of 3,901.5 hours and paid them $1,584.20.
  • DERBY – Meeting at Derby High School, schoolteachers agree they are in favor of 10% reduction in their salaries, the proceeds of which would go towards the overwhelming rising costs of the City Charities Department. However, they make it clear that they want all to participate, not just some of them. Their slogan is “everybody or nobody”.

May 4

  • SHELTON – In a very controversial move, The Board of Education carries out its planned laying off of 9 married teachers, employed from 4 to 22 years, to help combat the Great Depression. It is felt that with jobs so scarce, it is not fair for some families to have two wage earners while so many others have none. Five new unmarried teachers are hired in their places.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen vote to allocate $10,000 for a special relief fund to start a similar program of the recently disbanded Shelton Mutual Aid. It should be noted that Shelton Mutual Aid was the first such plan to organize in the Valley, and was also the first to disband. It was a private relief organization. The fact Shelton’s government was starting to take the responsibility for relief operations, beyond merely doling out money from the Charities Department, was a logical progression as the Great Depression continued to get worse. It also showed a growing dissatisfaction in the policies of President Hoover, whose administration did not believe in government assistance. This would lead to his defeat to Franklin D. Roosevelt later this year, and the New Deal programs that followed.

May 5

  • ANSONIA – The much-heralded Ansonia Sales Days begin. All downtown merchants participate. Free trolley rides to the sales are chartered to bring people in from Derby, Seymour, and Shelton. “Throngs” attend to view the many bargains.
  • DERBY – Over a half mile of new paved 20′ wide roadway has been laid at Mt. St. Peters Cemetery. There are many other pleasing improvements to the landscape.

Friday, May 6, 1932

  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid has its final meeting. 92% of the pledges that were raised were actually paid, a total of $18,483.16. The program lasted for 26 weeks. A total of $15,718.39 was paid to the unemployed in exchange for labor.

May 7

  • DERBY – A Spanish villa type house will be built at 118 Park Avenue.
  • SHELTON – Reacting to the suspension of Mutual Aid, the Board of Apportionment and Taxation votes $10,000 to the Aldermanic Relief Committee.

May 9

  • DERBY – Derby Relief Fund, which was the equivilent of the Mutual Aid organizations in Ansonia, Seymour, and Shelton, ceases operations. Over the winter, it employed over 500 residents who were otherwise out of work. There are now concerns of what to do for the unemployed.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid will stop collecting pledges on June 15, which will effectively shut it down.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen appoints the Street Commissioner as the head of all Aldermanic Relief Committee projects. The unemployed will be used as labor on 5 State funded dirt road improvement projects – on Long Hill Avenue, Waverly Road, Isinglass Road, Willoughby Road, and Walnut Tree Hill Road.

May 10

  • ANSONIA – Gordon Post, American Legion, formally begins its War on Depression. Heads are appointed for four major groups, which are veterans, clubs, merchants, and industrialists. Canvases will soon begin.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 164 men in the past week a total of 3,622 hours, and paid them $1443.60.
  • ANSONIA – The Comcowich VFW Post, which was burned out of its headquarters last week, will occupy the second floor of 43 Bridge Street.
  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital announces a Valley-wide $15,000 fund drive to augment its operating expense fund.
  • SEYMOUR – Strand Theater is closed for the summer.

May 12

  • SHELTON – Over 250 unemployed have registered at Shelton Social Services to work for the Aldermanic Relief Committee. Ten began work today fencing and repairing Indian Well Road, while another four are cleaning up the steep bank below High Street.

Saturday, May 14, 1932

  • ANSONIA – New data is revealed about the 1930 census. Of Ansonia’s population of 19,894 people, 32.7% are native white males. 33.5% are native white females. 28.4% of the total population is foreign born. 5.4% of the population is African American. 
  • SEYMOUR – 1000 red pine trees are planted at Legion Park.

May 16

  • SHELTON – One of the city’s two motorized fire engines blows its engine while responding to a brush fire in Well’s Hollow. It now needs a new $500 motor.

May 17

  • ANSONIA – Last week, 194 men worked 3,001 hours for Ansonia Mutual Aid, and earned $1,239.50.
  • SHELTON – The Aldermanic Relief Committee puts 35 unemployed men to work on various Street Department projects.

May 18

  • DERBY – Harry S. Hansen, assistant Scout Executive of the Hamden Boy Scout Council of Springfield, MA, is elected Executive Secretary of the local Housatonic Council. He replaces Jerome Higgins, who is now the principal of Derby High School.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Summer camps and cottages are being prepared for summer on both sides of the Housatonic River.

Friday, May 20, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Yesterday, a student at Fourth Street School was sent home due to bad case of poison ivy. This apparently gave some students the idea of rubbing poison ivy on themselves so they would also not have to attend school. They convince about 40 of their fellow students to join them. Today, there was a veritable “parade” of school children walking to Ansonia City Hall, where the school nurse’s clinic is located, with cases of poison ivy. School officials quickly learn who the ringleaders of this zany scheme were, but the general feeling is the students have suffered enough to avoid further punishment.
  • ANSONIA – The Bristol Drug Company, on 96 Main Street, has been in business for 84 years.
  • DERBY – Dr. Royal W. Pinney, a millionaire who currently lives in New Haven, but spent most of his life in this City, walks into Derby with a harrowing tale. He was held up on the New Haven Road in Orange. When the criminals discover he only has $16 in his wallet, they take a watch, his car, and kidnap a 22 year old female companion he was traveling with, after knocking out one of his teeth. A manhunt begins for the robbers/kidnappers.

May 21

  • ANSONIA – A suggestion to cancel the children’s portion of the Memorial Day parade, due to many children not having shoes or proper clothing is shot down. However, there is still about 150 children who are in need of these items in this Great Depression year. School Nurse Miss Mae Gaffney puts out an appeal for them, so the all of the children may march proudly.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid’s insurance policy has been cancelled. All work on this laudable private workfare program is forced to stop, until a new policy can be found.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Extensive improvements are being made to the St. Mary’s cemeteries in Ansonia. 38 unemployed men have been put to work on the projects, their salaries paid through collections taken at several churches.

May 22

  • ANSONIA – The Webster Hose Co. No. 3 pumper collides with Eagle Hose H&L Co. No. 6 ladder truck in front of the Eagle firehouse, while responding to an alarm. There are no injuries. The ladder truck is out of service.

May 23

  • DERBY – Police now believe that the girl with Dr. Pinney that was “kidnapped” three days ago was a actually working with the kidnappers, in an attempt to rob him. Among the clues – he only knew her for 3 weeks, she has not turned up, her name does not appear in the New Haven city directories, and there have been no reports of a young girl kidnapped or missing.

May 24

  • ANSONIA – It is announced that Frank J. Cushner of this city will be one of the first to receive the newly revived Purple Heart Medal
  • ANSONIA – The Eagle Hose H&L Co. No. 6 ladder truck remains out of service, with a bent frame, though local mechanics are busy trying to fix it.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 119 men on 6 projects the past week, and paid them $1,203. Negotiations are being completed for new insurance policy. 
  • DERBY – Police are still stumped over Dr. Pinney’s May 20 assault on New Haven Road in Orange. It is revealed today that the robbers did not get $200 and 2 valuable diamond rings which were sewn into the millionaire’s coat.

May 25

  • DERBY – Derby Public Library circulated 133,655 books in 1931, the largest amount ever up to that time.

May 26

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid is able to obtain a new insurance policy, and unemployed men return to work for it today.
  • DERBY – The John H. Collins American Legion continues to distribute used clothing to needy families in Derby. The Legion is also maintaining gardens to grow food.

May 27, 1932

  • ANSONIA – A 50 year old Howard Avenue man hangs himself at the police department lockup after he was arrested by the State for keeping and selling liquor.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Tax and Rent Payer’s League organizes the Citizens’ Party. 400 are registered, but they need an additional 600 more before a ticket can be put on the fall election. Former Mayor Bennett N. Beard is the chairman

May 28

  • ANSONIA –  3 firemen are overcome by smoke & ammonia as a fire hits 22 Maple Street. Sundick’s Restaurant, a grocery, and 1 apartment are gutted in the 3 story brick building on the corner of River Road. The owner of the building and the restaurant suffers a heart attack from the stress. 2 are removed from the third floor in a “thrilling rescue” by firefighters. One of the rescuing firefighters is on the Board of Aldermen.
  • ANSONIA – Sandlot baseball very popular in the city.
  • DERBY – Police officer William J. Burke will be awarded the newly restored Purple Heart.
  • OXFORD – The town holds what is billed as the biggest celebration in its history to commemorate 250th anniversary of the arrival of its first settlers, and the 200thy anniversary of George Washington’s birth. Gov. Wilbur Cross gives an address on Oxford Green. A historical pageant is staged.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Mutual Aid workfare program will continue until June 15.
  • SHELTON – William E. Jones of 17 Forest Avenue will receive on of the newly re-commissioned Purple Heart medals.

May 29

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Lewis K. Davis of Ansonia’s First Baptist Church gives the address at the City’s Memorial Service at Assumption Hall.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Memorial Day observances are held at Derby High School. Captain Daniel Strickland of the 102nd Regiment, Connecticut National Guard, is the featured speaker.
  • OXFORD – Memorial Day observances are held on the Oxford Green. Children from Seymour’s Maple Street and Center Schools from Seymour also participate.
  • SEYMOUR – Union Memorial Day services are held at Seymour Congregational Church.


  • ANSONIA – Hundreds of schoolchildren march in the Memorial Day parade. Many participate in the exercises at Pine Grove & St. Mary’s Cemeteries.
  • ANSONIA – The pastor of Immanuel Episcopal Church preaches a highly controversial sermon, in which he attacks Prohibition because it is not in the Bible. He also attacks Memorial Day as glorifying war.
  • DERBY – Big ceremony is held at Mt. St. Peters Cemetery for the dedication of the monument over the grave of Rev. Fitzgerald of St. Mary’s Church, who died last December 29th.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Parade starts in Shelton this year. This parade marks the first appearance of the John. H. Collins American Legion Post Drum Corps.
  • SEYMOUR – Bright sun, and cool breezes are present for the large crowds attending the Memorial Day parade. Many floats participate this year.

May 31

  • ANSONIA – Pews and other furniture for new Immanuel Episcopal Church are being purchased from the Grace Episcopal Church in New Haven, which is being demolished. It is hoped the new church can be dedicated on October 2.
  • DERBY – $500 has been raised by the Board of Education by selling school supplies to students, which is illegal in Connecticut. The President of the Board of Education wants $300 of that money to go to purchasing a used printing press for the school system. He adds if the City followed the law, it would not have the money to purchase the press.
  • SHELTON – The Echo Hose, Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 holds its anniversary dinner, 50 years from the date it was first organized, at its Howe Avenue firehouse. 3 of 9 surviving charter members are present.


Wednesday, June 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – In the past week, Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 145 men a total 2159 hours, and paid them $853.40.
  • ANSONIA – Joseph Staffey, of 178 Beaver Street will receive a Purple Heart medal.
  • DERBY – The new Lakeview Inn on Lake Housatonic opens. The exterior is green and white, of French colonial architecture. The interior is decorated with hangings of shell pink and moss green. A large dance floor is in the middle of the first floor.

June 2

  • ANSONIA – Capt. Harold Thompson of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, Company M, of the Connecticut National Guard at the Ansonia Armory, announces a meeting of World War I veterans and others interested in combining Washington bicentennial observances with awarding of Purple Heart medals to Valley residents on June 7. Although they had no way of knowing it at the time, this would lead to a chain of events that would result in the founding of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
  • ANSONIA – The William H. Gordon Post, American Legion, now has 201 members.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Many summer resorts and camps on both sides of the Housatonic River are opening.

June 3, 1932

  • ANSONIA – State police raid a Wooster Street address. They find a 500 gallon still, 5 gallons of moonshine, and 10,000 gallons of mash. 3 arrests are made.
  • SEYMOUR – A 13 year old boy playing baseball is killed when he is struck by a truck at South Main Street and Westerman Avenue. The truck driver did not know he hit anyone, and kept going. He was being followed by one of his family members, who witnessed the accident and pulled over the truck. When the driver found out he became “frantic” and tried to cut himself with a knife. He is stopped, and is arrested and held pending an inquest.

June 4

  • ANSONIA – State police raid a North Main Street address, and arrest 4 on Prohibition and prostitution charges.

June 6

  • ANSONIA – About 20 city World War I veterans will leave for Washington tomorrow to join the Bonus Army.
  • OXFORD – A meeting is held at Episcopal rectory by the executive committee of the Oxford historical celebration. It is voted to give $75 remaining in treasury to establish a library in town.

June 7

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid employed 214 men a total of 2853.5 hours, and paid them $1,138.97 in the past week.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company informs the City Health Officer it plans to shut off water to 20 houses for lack of payment on June 18.
  • SHELTON – The new Citizens’ Party now has over 500 members. Stanley A. Warner elected “permanent chairman” at a meeting in Clark’s Hall
  • SHELTON – The Harris-Seybold-Potter Company sues the City for a reduction of it’s 1931 tax assessment, from $183,572 to $65,000.

June 9

  • ANSONIA – Federal agents raid a Maple Street residence, and arrest 1 on liquor charges.
  • SEYMOUR – Pledges for Seymour Mutual Aid expire on June 15. There has been no letup in demand for the workfare services, however.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Auto Company is now a Hupmobile dealer.

Friday, June 10, 1932

ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid will suspend its workfare program on July 1.

June 11

  • DERBY – A grocer on 10 Bank Street extended credit to customers through Great Depression, even though they couldn’t pay. Now he himself owes $6,000 in debt. His credit will no longer be accepted, so his store is empty, and his family is now facing hunger themselves.

June 13

  • DERBY – The Commodore Hull Theater announces that it will operate only on Saturdays and Sundays through the summer.
  • SEYMOUR – At a Seymour Mutual Aid meeting, it is announced that 1786 bags of flour were received in the past month. 577 have already been distributed.

June 14

  • SHELTON – The new nurses’ home and doctor’s cottage at Laurel Heights Hospital are occupied for the first time.

June 15

  • ANSONIA – State Police arrest a woman for the sale of alcohol on Maple Street, Ansonia.
  • DERBY – The State funded improvement of Third Street begins, putting some unemployed men back to work.
  • DERBY – The $25,000 allocated to poor relief at beginning of the year has been exhausted.

June 16

  • ANSONIA – A man who has been referred to in many recent Prohibition court cases in Ansonia as “the mysterious Mr. Dunn” by State prosecutors finally reveals himself. He is a New London man, whose last name is actually Druin. He was paid $30 a week by State Police to work undercover trying to buy alcohol, or to find out where moonshine was being made. He sometimes wore a fake mustache. Court officials are not amused.
  • ANSONIA – The American Red Cross has distributed over 1,300 bags of flour to families whose names were recommended by churches, fraternal societies, and citizens. 35 National Guard members from the Ansonia Armory assisted in loading and unloading, and delivering the flour to the needy in trucks.
  • DERBY – The City’s American Legion has received 2,500 24.5 lb bags of flour from the Red Cross. As of this date 500 bags have been distributed to needy families, with deliveries continuing.
  • DERBY – 6 brand new General Electric refrigerators that will go to Laurel Heights Hospital in Shelton have been on display at the Howard & Barber Department Store on Main Street.

Friday, June 17, 1932

June 19

  • ANSONIA & DERBY – The General David Humphreys Branch No. 1 of the Sons of the American Revolution, decorates the 42 Revolutionary War graves at Colonial Cemetery and 11 at Elm Street Cemetery.
  • SHELTON – The new addition to the Shelton Baptist Church is dedicated. 

June 20

  • DERBY – A 7-year old Bank Street boy dies after being hit in the stomach by a baseball at a game he was watching at a Derby playground.
  • SHELTON – 10 boys and 10 girls graduate from the first ever graduating class from St. Joseph’s School.

June 21

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid paid $1,135.80 to 184 men for its workfare program last week.
  • DERBY – Edward Kurtyka, of 28 Dziadik Court, will receive one of the new Purple Heart medals.
  • DERBY – The 82 members of the Derby High School Class of 1932 graduate in the school auditorium. It is the largest graduating class to date.

June 22

  • ANSONIA – The 174 members of the Ansonia High School Class of 1932 graduate at the Capitol Theater

Friday, June 24, 1932

  • SEYMOUR – The 53 members of the Seymour High School Class of 1932 graduate at the Strand Theater. 7 of the Seniors are from Oxford.
  • SHELTON – The 83 members of the Shelton High School Class of 1932 graduates in the school auditorium. 700 attend the ceremony.

June 25

  • DERBY – Miss Margaret Degnan, of Caroline Street, ties for third place in the national oratorical contest in Washington DC, sponsored by the United States Commission on the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of George Washington.

June 27

  • DERBY – 400 children flock to the Recreation Camp on this first very hot day of the summer.
  • DERBY – Charlie Celone’s poolroom in on lower Main Street is invaded by 4 men with guns. They line everyone against a wall, and demand they hand over a racing book. When, at length, the owner convinces the group he does not have a racing book, and never did, the gangsters are finally convinced that they made a mistake. So they rob the 12 men in the poolroom of $70 and flee.

June 28

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid paid $1,136 to 166 men for a total of 2,854 hours during its last full week of operation.
  • DERBY – Police officer William Burke will receive one of the newly recommissioned Purple Heart medals.

June 29

  • ANSONIA – It appears that Ansonia’s municipal playgrounds will not formally open this year due to lack of funds.

June 30

  • ANSONIA – The local American Legion has $48,000 in pledge cards for their War Against the Depression.
  • DERBY – The Hotel Clark is now in receivership.


Friday, July 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – More than a hundred people have applied for teaching positions at Ansonia High School.

July 2

  • DERBY – Leo Meade, a former Derby resident who served as post office clerk, now lives in Hopewell NJ. He is currently working as a private investigator in theLindberg baby murder case.

July 3

  • DERBY – John Stobierski, one of Derby’s first Polish residents, dies at his home at 130 Main Street after being ill for 3 weeks. Born 1863, he came America when he was 17 years old. He settled in Pennsylvania, living there for 2 years before he moved to Derby. He worked at Alling Mills, and the Sterling Piano Company in Derby, the Sidney Blumenthal Company (Shelton Looms) in Shelton, and in later years ran a confectionary on Main Street.
  • DERBY – A small barn on New Haven Avenue near Sodom Lane is destroyed by fire.
  • SHELTON – Peter Serbinofsky, 24, of New York City, becomes area’s first drowning victim of the summer. He apparently had a heart attack while swimming near Birchbank. The Echo Hose H&L Company responds to try to revive the victim, and the car carrying the inhalator is nearly hit by a fast train at the crossing.


  • The holiday is “tame” in comparison to previous years, probably due to the rain that began early in the morning and lasted until 3:30 PM.
  • DERBY – 7,000 people attend the opening day of the William Glick circus, which features 35 attractions and rides, on Island Park. The event is sponsored by the Polish Falcons. 

July 5

  • DERBY – A pure Holstein cow at Osborndale Farm, named Mantuk Pietje Bess Ormsby No. 858276, is the largest living cow of that breed in the world, weighing 2400 pounds. The cow was born at Osbornedale on July 17, 1923.

July 6

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid is now closed, though it may reopen next fall. 142 men worked 2,404.5 hours on 6 projects in it’s final week, earning $953.40. The total subscriptions raised to date are $40,787.35 for the workfare program.
  • DERBY – Osbornedale farm is the first Holstein breeding place in America to have 2 cows complete yearly records exceeding 1,000 lbs of butter fat within 2 weeks.
  • OXFORD – A 6 year old boy drowns when he reaches for fish being kept at the bottom of a barrel that was sunk into a spring, on a farm in the Governor’s Hill section of town.
  • SHELTON – Camp Pershing, run by the Naugatuck Boy Scout Council, opens for the season along the Housatonic River.

July 7

  • DERBY – I.M. Thompson & Son Buick dealers, located on Third Street, will move to 166 Clifton Avenue in Ansonia. The firm has been there since 1909, starting out as a livery.
  • SEYMOUR – The first week of the public swimming pool being open at Legion Park saw a record 3,500 people attend.

Friday, July 8, 1932

  • Local veterans from Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton are planning a September event for Washington’s 200th birthday in which the newly recommissioned Purple Heart medals will be awarded to those receiving them.
  • ANSONIA – The directors of Ansonia Mutual Aid meet, and decide to continue the workfare program for 10 more days.

July 9

  • Haying going on in the fields. In the old days, factory workers would earn extra money during their factory vacation shutdowns by helping the farmers. Today, 3 men and a tractor can do the job once done by dozens of men.
  • SHELTON – As the hot weather progresses, many bathers can be found at the Shelton Docks, The Maples, Birchbank, and Indian Well.

July 11

  • SHELTON – The Boy Scout Camp Irving opens for the season.

July 12

  • DERBY – Legal skirmishes over the Hotel Clark end when the proprietor who leased it, L. L. Degal, is evicted and possession reverts to its owner, Mrs. Ellen L. O’Brien.
  • SHELTON – Camp Irving lifeguards rescue two men from a capsized canoe on Lake Housatonic. 

July 13

  • ANSONIA – The City Health Officer notifies offenders to immediately stop dumping garbage into the tail race. The American Brass Company now says the Ansonia Canal behind City Hall will be used as storage reservoir for the new sunken wells they recently installed to obtain water, not filled in as was previously announced.
  • SEYMOUR – Frank Trevelin and Andrew Masavege, both of Seymour, will receive Purple Hearts.
  • SHELTON – The Women’s Relief Corps presents new American flag to Camp Irving.

July 14

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Patrick Murphy of Ansonia, ordained as a priest in Rome, Italy 11 days before, died suddenly at Ostia, which is 15 miles from Rome. Much shock and sympathy is expressed in Ansonia.
  • SHELTON – Isinglass Road – called “the Trapfall reservoir road between Curtiss Corner on Nichols Road and Huntington Street” has been improved and oiled. It is one of the busiest in the City according to the Sentinel, used by Huntington, East Village, and Monroe residents to get to Bridgeport.
  • SHELTON – Officers are elected for the new United Italian American Citizens’ Club, located in a vacant store next to Shelton Theater

Friday, July 15, 1932

  • All Boy Scout Camps on the Housatonic are now open. This includes Camp Irving and Camp Pershing in Shelton, Camp Palmer opposite Irving in Oxford, and Camp Waramaug and Camp Pomperaug on Lake Zoar.
  • SHELTON – The City pays a $1 bounty for a gray fox shot off Rocky Rest Road. The foxes are considered pests against chickens. Despite the bounty, many are still seen in that area.
  • SHELTON – Police Chief Donovan bans all swimming in the Housatonic from The Maples to the Shelton Docks because of fears of swimmers drowning. A total of four drowned in the river last year.

July 16

  • A soaking rain is needed soon to salvage the drought stricken potato and corn crops.
  • ANSONIA – David Lee, who sells harness and other horse hardware, will soon close his store on 290 Main Street, where he has been for 33 years. He is the last of Main Street’s “old time merchants”.
  • ANSONIA – William Alexander Smith dies at age 66 in Ossining, NY. He was Ansonia’s school superintendent from 1880 to 1902.
  • OXFORD – 100 pullets are stolen from the Lane chicken farm on upper Oxford Road. A barking dog arouses owner, who chases the thieves away. As they flee, they drop sacks containing 30 more chickens.
  • SHELTON – Camp Irving now enjoys the fire protection afforded by an old Derby Fire Department soda acid extinguisher mounted on an old Ansonia Fire Department jumper.

July 17

  • Five men hold up the Chestnut Ridge Inn in Orange shortly after midnight. The Derby police spots the getaway car speeding through East Derby. A chase ensues, with speeds up to 60 mph. The chase continues through Ansonia and Seymour, and police from those towns join. The car is too fast, though, and just as it was about outdistance the police cars, it is found overturned near the Ansonia-Seymour line. The police find 2 of the outlaws in the woods on the Ansonia side of the town line. Valley police are searching for the other three.

July 18

  • SHELTON – The Housatonic Scout Council votes to allow boys 10 years and older who are not Boy Scouts to attend Camp Irving.

July 19

  • The area’s George Washington Bicentennial Committee will hold its observance on September 17. A parade is scheduled tol march though Derby and Ansonia, and a ceremony will be held afterward to honor the Valleys newly decorated Purple Heart veterans. Frank Gates will be the honorary chairman, Local historian Henry Bradley Jr. will speak, and Gov. Wilbur Cross is invited.
  • ANSONIA – High School enrollment is expected to increase by 160 this fall.
  • DERBY – The Sponge Rubber Products Company is selling a product called “Spongex”, which is byproduct of cutting and trimming other products made at theHousatonic Avenue plant. Spongex is sold in 10lb boxes. Children enjoy playing with them, shaping them, and gluing the pieces together.

July 20

  • ANSONIA – The City’s 3 swimming pools – at Mead School, Fourth Street, and Colburn Street, are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The pools are packed with children every time they are open.
  • DERBY – 790 visit the Recreation Camp – largest number ever up to this point. Many participate in the new “Learn to Swim” program.
  • DERBY – Stephen O’Shaughnessy of Hawthorne Avenue and William H. Keefe of Tenth Street will receive Purple Hearts.

July 21

  • SHELTON – $5470.35 of the $10,000 appropriated to the Relief Committee by the Board of Apportionment and Taxation was spent between May 12 and June 30 putting unemployed men to work. The balance is now down to $2894.20.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen has a special meeting, and votes to float a $50,000 bond for highways and sewers. The work will be done men receiving aid from the Board of Relief. There are 557 unemployed men in Shelton.

Friday, July 22, 1932

  • ANSONIA – After 1 year of toil, a 67 year old man who was laid off due to the Great Depression has completed making his grave at Three Saints Cemetery on Division Street. It is one of the of largest monuments there, featuring a 12′ tall cross, and elaborate sepulcher.

July 23

  • 1.2″ rain falls, effectively ending the drought.
  • DERBY – The new post office is nearing completion on Olivia Street, across from Fourth Street.
  • SHELTON – Generoso Orsetti of River Road, George Clark of 223 Howe Avenue, and John Crapalichio of 296 Howe Avenue, will all get Purple Heart medals.
  • SHELTON – There have been numerous complaints about the condition of Indian Well Road.

July 24

  • ANSONIA – Fire causes much damage to a new home at 60 Woodbridge Avenue.
  • OXFORD – William Rhodes Palmer, a former US marshal and Democratic State Central Committeeman from the 17th Senatorial District, dies at St. Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven, after suffering a heart attack at his River Road home. He had prominent, statewide influence, and at the time of his death was on the Oxford Board of Education.

July 25

  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Dolly Dress Company begins operations at its new location at the former Huntington Piano building on the corner of Howe Avenue and Center Street, in Shelton. Its previous location was on Caroline Street, Derby.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen vote to float $50,000 bond for public improvements, to put unemployed men to work.

July 26

  • DERBY – Drownings on the Housatonic River have noticeably decreased in the last 10 years. The Recreation Camp receives credit for teaching many children how to swim.
  • SHELTON – 200 gallon still seized by State Police on Coram Road. 1 arrested.

July 27

  • SHELTON – Lightning strikes the St. Joseph’s Church steeple, splitting several beams and loosening up the slate roofing

July 28

  • ANSONIA – Today, the line for free bags of flour at the Red Cross distribution headquarters, which stretches for several blocks, reminds many of the bread lines that have appeared in larger cities during the Great Depression.
  • DERBY – Mayor Riordan orders Derby’s playgrounds to close on July 30, so the money can be sent to the Charities Department to help those unemployed by the Great Depression. When asked, he says feeding Derby’s children is more important than supervised play. It is later revealed that 4,363 attended the playground programs in the 5 weeks they ran this year.
  • DERBY – Miss Mary E. Lathrop, Derby High School librarian for 13 years, resigns. She was as English teacher there from 1888 to 1920, and then served as the school librarian from 1920 to 1932. She also served as the High School’s acting principal in 1918, after the death of Principal Fitzgerald.
  • SHELTON – Another gray fox is shot near Rocky Rest, this one while trying to enter a chicken coop.

Friday, July 29, 1932

  • SHELTON – James Canganelly, of 549 Howard Avenue, proprietor of the North End market, will receive a Purple Heart with Oak Leaves. He was the first in the area to be reported wounded in World War I, at the battle of Seicheprey on March 17, 1918. He was also wounded later, at the battle of Chateau Thierry on July 15, 1918.
  • SHELTON – Fire destroys the Fred Drew home on Far Mill Street. The fire appears to have started in the chimney fire. One son had to run a quarter of a mile to get to a phone to call the Huntington Fire Company. The house is a total loss. It was built 15 years ago, and enlarged 8 years ago.

July 30

  • ANSONIA – 2 Ansonia girls, who are described as “upright” and of clear minds, drive down to Bridgeport to see a show. Along the way, they see an old woman walking along the road in Nichols. They offer her a ride, which she gratefully accepts, and gives them a Bridgeport address. When they arrive, they find the old woman has vanished without a trace. Unnerved by this, they go to the door of the residence, and the people who live there initially think they are playing a joke on them. When they realize the girls are serious, they state that the description they gave of the woman sounds very much like their mother, who died 5 years ago.
  • ANSONIA – The YMCA cuts the cost to swim in their pool, so more men and boys may use it.
  • ANSONIA – The George Washington bicentennial and Purple Heart observance, which is scheduled for September 17, started modest. But now the planned celebration is growing to one of the biggest events in Valley history, and is capturing Statewide interest. The most recent groups who have agreed to be there are the Governor’s Foot Guard, and New Haven Greys will be here. Also, it is announced today that William J. Pratt of 15 Vine Street, will be awarded a Purple Heart.

July 31

  • ANSONIA – Miss Rose Klancko, 16, of Franklin Street, saves a pair of Ansonia girls, aged 15 & 13, from drowning in the Housatonic River.
  • SHELTON – The 20th anniversary of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Society is celebrated at Sudella Park on the Bridgeport-Nichols Road. People from all over Connecticut and New York attend. The Society now has 69 senior members and 26 junior members.


Monday, August 1, 1932

  • SHELTON – William Wessell, assistant national camping director for the Boy Scouts of America, inspects Camp Irving. He states his approval of the Scout camp, particularly of the appearance and food. 

August 2

  • OXFORD – Robert Elder plans to establish a riding academy with his 6 saddle horses.
  • SEYMOUR – The State making repairs to the ironwork and wiring, and also repainting, the Broad Street Bridge.

August 3

  • DERBY – The City has $32,525.83 remaining in the city treasury. It is estimated the Charities Department will need $32,500 for the rest of year. It is doubtful that no other city department will need more money.
  • SHELTON – Stanley J. Kaiser of 92 Hill Street will receive a Purple Heart

August 4

  • ANSONIA – Boys plug the drain of the Fourth Street pool with rocks. The pool took 8 hours to drain, and the plumbers can only clear 14′ of the drainpipe, which goes 120′ to the city sewer. The amount to clear the drain may exceed this year’s appropriation, and the pool may have to be closed for the summer. In these pre-chlorine days, the pool is routinely emptied and refilled to keep the water fresh.
  • DERBY – A 2 alarm fire guts the Veterans’ Memorial home on Seymour Avenue and Atwater Avenue. The expensive American Legion drum corps equipment saved, but much of the rest of the contents is destroyed. The fire, which burned for 2 hours, appears to have started from an electrical short circuit, and the worst damage is in the auditorium.
  • SEYMOUR – Many berrying parties are leaving Seymour each morning to pick blackberries and huckleberries in Great Hill and Bungay.

Friday, August 5, 1932

  • As the Great Depression worsens, local police departments are now starting to receive reports of starving animals through the region.

August 6

  • DERBY – The City will apply for $10,000 in state aid to fix roads which will put unemployed men to work.
  • SHELTON – The vote to approve a $50,000 bond to help the City’s unemployed is the biggest special election in Shelton’s history. The measure passes – 652 for, 291 against. 

August 7

  • ANSONIA – An 18 month old girl falls out a third story window at 521 Main Street, onto the concrete pavement below. She suffers only an abrasion to the head.

August 8

  • The summer season along the Housatonic River is at its height. Several thousand now line its banks. Every summer cottage is occupied, as are all summer camps, hotels and summer boarding houses.

August 9

  • ANSONIA – A car from Derby rams into the storefront of the P. Lippman Grocery Store, in the Karg building on 97 Clifton Avenue, while trying to avoid a collision with a milk truck. There are no injuries.
  • DERBY – The State Highway Department plans on replacing the wooden bridge on Sodom Lane with a concrete one.
  • SEYMOUR – The Chamber of Commerce wants to do more to promote the summer resorts along the Housatonic River, billing the area as Seymour’s “Vacation Land”.

August 10

  • SHELTON – Charles H. Smith & Sons, who are contractors from Derby, are found “not guilty” in Shelton city court of employing illegal aliens while erecting new buildings at Laurel Heights Sanatorium.

Friday, August 12, 1932

  • SEYMOUR – Of the 3400 bags of flour received to feed the needy in May, only 640 remain.

August 13

  • SEYMOUR – James Swan has purchased Old Jumbo from Hartford Fire Department, which served 1889-1928. It is the largest self propelled steamer fire engine in the USA. It will be at Citizens’ Engine Company as reserve piece, and will be in the upcoming bicentennial parade. 
  • SHELTON – Camp Irving has the last night of the season, after 5 weeks, with a burial of the “Spirit of Camp Irving”, which will be unearthed the first day of 1933 season. 

August 15

  • SHELTON – A man crashes his car through a billboard on River Road, and goes over a 45′ embankment. The car lands on 4′ high stone wall, turns over twice and dumps him out without a scratch. He later confesses the accident was a suicide attempt.
  • SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Girl Scout Council begin two weeks of summer camp at Camp Irving.

August 16

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid closes operations. The private workfare organization employed a total of 861 men for a grand total of 5,030 days on 18 projects from December 14, 1931 to August 13, 1932.
  • ANSONIA – The first asphalt sidewalk in Ansonia is laid at the Holbrook Street School.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Michael Cook celebrates his 65th birthday.
  • DERBY – Philip F. Little Jr., of Troop 3, becomes the youngest Eagle Scout in the country, at age 13. He is the only cub scout in Housatonic Council history to get the silver arrow award. He became a Tenderfoot the night he joined Troop 3 on January 9, 1931, which is also a troop record. It took him only 18 months to get his Eagle rank.

August 17

  • SHELTON – The United Shirt & Blouse Company is incorporated on 82 Center Street with capital of $25,000.

Saturday, August 20, 1932

  • DERBY – The Republican Town Committee has endorsed local historian Henry M. Bradley for nomination for State Senator of the 17th District. 
  • SEYMOUR – A special town meeting sets a record for only lasting 8 minutes. Citizens vote a $50,000 bond issue for public improvements to put unemployed to work, and authorize $42,000 in state aid for road improvements.
  • SHELTON – 32 members of the Derby-Shelton Girl Scout Council are enjoying summer camp at Camp Irving. The camp ends on August 27, with a total of 50 girls staying at the camp, which is owned by the Housatonic (Boy) Scout Council, over the course of two weeks.

August 23

  • ANSONIA – The American Brass Company is now pumping surplus water from its underground wells into the Ansonia Canal. Since then, vegetation has started to reappear along the canal banks for the first time in many years, and the water is more clear. The Naugatuck River itself is a bit cleaner due to less industry because of the Great Depression, and vegetation is returning there, too.

August 25

  • ANSONIA – A Division Street man is found dead in his garage of carbon monoxide poisoning. It appears he was working on his car, with the engine running, when he was overcome.
  • DERBY – The empty Dr. Royal Pinney house on Derby Avenue struck by fire. The blaze is put out quickly by the Fire Department. The caretaker was burning paint off with a blowtorch when it exploded, severely burning him. The house has been empty since Dr. Pinney’s mother died, with its furnishings still intact. This is the Catholic War Veterans’ home today.

Saturday, August 27, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Cook has been invited to a reception for New York Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Black Rock, Bridgeport, on September 3.

August 29

  • ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The pastor of Holy Rosary Church is building a new 3-story brick building in Seymour, near the Ansonia line. The apartment block will have 3 five-room flats.

August 30

  • ANSONIA – Samuel E. Beardsley, a well known Socialist from Shelton with statewide recognition, addresses 100 people at the corner Main Street and Water Street. He says the Prohibition issue is being used as smoke screen by both Democratic and Republican candidates in the 1932 elections, because neither party has any real ideas on how to get people who lost their jobs in the Great Depression back to work.
  • DERBY – Former Mayor George Sullivan announces he will seek nomination to run for mayor in the upcoming Democratic Primary. He served longer than any other mayor up to this point – 10 years, with 8 of them consecutive. Has not been involved in politics since 1920.
  • DERBY – Furnishings have been moving into the new Derby Post Office on Olivia Street for the last couple days. The opening date has not been announced yet.
  • DERBY – Tony Frisco, of 100 Smith Street, will receive one of the new Purple Heart decorations.
  • DERBY – A car driven by a local man hits another car carrying five New Haven men, at the corner of Olivia Street and Main Street. All five are seriously injured. The Derby driver who struck them is charged for the accident, and is held in jail.
  • SHELTON – Attio Gambancini, of 175 Division Avenue, who lost his right arm in combat from wounds received in World War I, will receive a Purple Heart.

August 31

  • Cloudy skies mar the view of a partial eclipse of the sun. 1.76″ of rain falls afterwards.
  • ANSONIA – The Boston Store has added a grocery department.
  • DERBY – One of the five New Haven men from yesterday’s car accident dies in the hospital.
  • SEYMOUR – Peaches are in bloom at Hale’s Orchards in Great Hill.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – As of this time, 10 members of the Emil Senger American Legion Post have been informed they will receive the new Purple Heart decoration.
  • SHELTON – The President of Bridgeport Hydraulic Company says the water supplying Huntington School from the Saw Mill City collection reservoir is OK for washing, but not for drinking.


Friday, September 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – The Railway Express Agency closes its Ansonia office, says all business now is to be done at the Derby office. The Ansonia Chamber of Commerce tried to get them to stay, but could not. Needless to say, Ansonia people are unhappy with this.
  • SEYMOUR – Frank Trevelin and Dennis Bennett are informed that they will receive the new Purple Heart decoration.
  • SHELTON – The Street Department completes work on Indian Well Road. Much blasting has been done, and new gravel laid on dirt road. The road is in fine shape, and a number of unemployed men were put to work to complete the repairs.

Friday, September 2, 1932

  • DERBY – Derby High School will open with 619 students – the most in its history up to that time. In 1918 there were 1192 in the lower grades, and 275 in DHS. In 1910 there were 1292 in the lower grades and 275 in Derby High School. In 1920 there were 1379 in the lower grades and 282 in Derby High School. In 1925 there were 1141 in the lower grades and 256 in Derby High School.

September 3

  • ANSONIA – There are 1115 students between Ansonia High School and Pine High School, a record.
  • ANSONIA – The City’s “police patrol” car is severely damaged while responding to an ambulance call on Central Street, at Main and Bridge Streets. Over 10 years old, the police car is probably not worth repairing.
  • ANSONIA – James T. Bird of 280 Wakelee Avenue will receive a Purple Heart. He also holds the Croix de Guerre from France.
  • DERBY – The Commodore Hull Theater reopens today for full fall and winter seasons. It was only open weekends in the summer.
  • DERBY – The new Post Office on Olivia Street near Fourth Street opens for the first time to public inspection.
  • OXFORD – A baby bull calf born last month on the Prokop farm has 3 nostrils, 2 tongues, and a double lower jaw.
  • SEYMOUR – Many peaches are being taken each day from Hale Orchards in Great Hill.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Public Health Association appeals for clothing and shoes for schoolchildren whose parents cannot afford any due to the Great Depression.
  • SHELTON – 26 Huntington Center residents are told by the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company that they must now boil their water because it comes from the Saw Mill City collection reservoir

September 5 – Labor Day

  • OXFORD – A farmhouse burns down in Quaker Farms. The owner severely burned trying to put it out. The fire started when a lit gas lamp overturned close to where another lantern was being refilled.

September 7

  • ANSONIA – First day of school sees 839 students at Ansonia High School, 216 at Pine High School, 603 at Assumption School, and 310 at St. Joseph’s School. The public grammar schools haven’t submitted figures yet.
  • DERBY – First day of school sees 662 at Irving School (Grades 1-8), 354 at Franklin School (Grades 1-7), 261 at Lincoln School (Grades 1-7), and 66 at Hawthorne School (Grades 1-4).
  • SHELTON – The first day of school sees about 2,150 students, which is about 67 less than last year.

September 8

  • ANSONIA – Assistant Secretary of War Frederick B. Payne will present the purple hearts medals to Valley veterans on September 17. Also, former resident Redvers Blowen of New York City, will come here for his purple heart.
  • DERBY- The new Post Office on Olivia Street near Fourth Street opens for business for the first time.

Friday, September 9, 1932

  • DERBY – The Derby Coal and Charcoal Company completes the erection of a 100,000 gallon oil tank off Commerce Street.

September 10

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Red Cross announces a boxcar containing 2400 bags containing 25.5 lbs of flour each has arrived for the needy has arrived. This morning 30 members of Co. I, of the 102nd Infantry Connecticut National Guard based at the Ansonia Armory canvassed the Ansonia area, distributing orders to 1300 needy families for the flour. The orders will serve as vouchers, part of a new system designed to make the distribution more orderly and fair.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia’s school enrollment is 3,688. There are 166 fewer in grammar schools, but 150 more in the high schools than last year. The sum total is 19 less students than last year.
  • DERBY – Local farmers claim fruit, corn, and tomatoes are being stolen before they are ripe.
  • DERBY – Mayor Riordan signs contract with the State to lay macadam pavement up Academy Hill Road, from Derby Avenue to as far as it can go before the money runs out, which is hopefully as high as Brownie Castle.

September 12

  • ANSONIA – A fire at the Berggren Dairy on Prindle Avenue starts in a straw shed and spreads to a silo. The fire reaches 2 alarms. Because the nearest hydrant is thousands of feet away, neighbors form bucket brigades while the firemen set up their hoses from the hydrant and drafting water from a nearby stream.  Their efforts save a large barn which was right next to the silo.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Cook asks the Board of Aldermen for a bond issue of no less than $100,000 to cope with unemployment relief needed to combat the Great Depression.

September 13

SHELTON – William Goodman of 223 Kneen Street, a member of the Shelton Police Department, will receive a Purple Heart.

September 14

  • SEYMOUR – Citizen’s Engine Co. No. 2 will use their old parade carriage, which has been in storage for about 30 years, in the Washington Bicentennial parade in a few days.
  • SEYMOUR – Registration at Seymour High School is 464, an increase of 61 over last year. There are less grammar school students, however, causing an overall drop of 11 students in the school system this year.

September 15

  • DERBY – Coach Leo Ryan is dissatisfied with with the Derby High School football team after reviewing it in several practices, and he makes many changes to the squad.
  • DERBY – The State decries lack of parks in Derby. The City only the maintains the Green itself and Buddies’ Memorial Field as parkland. The State recommends a 100 acre state park be established somewhere in the City.
  • SEYMOUR – Frank Marshall, Floyd E. Clark, and William Arthur Ulrich will receive Purple Hearts.
  • SHELTON – The Bridgeport Hydraulic Company has offered to reimburse the Board of Aldermen the costs of laying a new pipe to supply fresh water to Huntington School.

Friday, September 16, 1932

  • Frank J. Cushner issues a request for veterans who will receive the Purple Heart at the Washington Bicentennial observance tomorrow, to meet after the exercises in the Ansonia Armory to organize the first chapter of the Order of the Purple Heart.

September 17

  •  ANSONIA & DERBY – The George Washington Bicentennial and Purple Heart Observance begins with a parade that starts in at Elizabeth and Third Streets, Derby, and culminates in a ceremony at Athletic Field off Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia. This was a pivotal event in the history of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.Follow this link for extensive coverage of this event, which resulted in the formation of the national veterans’ organization Military Order of the Purple Heart. The Evening Sentinel’s banner headline on Page 1 reads: “VETS TO GET PURPLE HEARTS TODAY, Associated Communities Join in Celebration of Washington Bicentennial”. After the ceremonies, the Purple Heart Association is founded, with Stephen Honas of Shelton its temporary chairman. The group will have an organizational meeting on the 21st.
  • DERBY – 35 unemployed men are selected as the first group that will be hired for the state funded paving of Academy Hill Road.
  • DERBY – Liquor, lottery tickets, and a handgun are seized in a State Police raid of store on Housatonic Avenue. 1 arrested.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as the First Methodist Church) celebrate their 75th anniversary.
  • SHELTON – Shelton High School will not have a football season if older and heavier boys do not join the squad. The only boys to volunteer so far are “light and inexperienced” according to Coach Karl Tarbell.

September 18

  • DERBY – The 13th Annual Pilgrimage to Colonial Cemetery (also known as Uptown Cemetery) is held. 90 graves are decorated, including 40 Revolutionary War veterans. An Elm tree planted in memory of Commodore Isaac Hull near the DAR monument to him is dedicated. The tree was donated by the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club.

September 20

  • DERBY – The State Police raid a restaurant on lower Main Street, and seize 2 slot machines. A large quantity of illegal liquor is seized at a second raid on Housatonic Avenue.

September 21

September 22

  • ANSONIA – The President of the Ansonia Dress Company on 400 Main Street is arrested on charges of working his female employees over 10 hours a day, and over 55 hours a week. This is the second time he has been arrested on a labor related violation this week. The first time was over charges he failed to pay his foreman.
  • OXFORD – Oxford grange holds its 100th Annual Meeting. Many guests from other granges are present.

Friday, September 23, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Articles of incorporation are signed for the Purple Heart Association at the Ansonia Armory.
  • DERBY – The Polish Falcon society has purchased the Mongillo bank building at the corner of Main Street and Caroline Street, to be used as its clubhouse. Still standing, this building housed both the Birmingham National Bank and the Derby Savings Bank in its history.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby ties Darien an away game 0-0. Shelton will have a football team after all.
  • SEYMOUR – The shortest Town Meeting in Seymour’s history up to that time (and likely since) is held- 3 minutes. Voters authorize the Town the ability to borrow money against expected tax revenue

September 24

  • ANSONIA – The Eagle Hose, Hook & Ladder Company wins the top prize, Best Appearing Unit, in Bridgeport’s Washington Bicentennial parade. The company faced stiff competition against both fire companies and military units. The Comcowich VFW Post Drum Corps provided the music for the Eagles.
  • ANSONIA – Sam’s bowling alleys open for the season.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Lewis High School of Southington 13-0.
  • SHELTON – The Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America, announces a new program that will allow camping all year at Camp Irving.

September 25

  • SEYMOUR – Immanuel Lutheran Church celebrates its 40th anniversary. 

September 26

  • ANSONIA – Mrs. Laura B. Prisk of New York City, known as the “Mother of Flag Day“, sends a letter of commendation to Frank Cushner, over the formation of the Purple Heart Association.
  • DERBY – James Cash Penney makes an unannounced visit to the Derby J.C. Penney store, where he waits on customers anonymously. He is on his way from his White Plains home to a dinner in Meriden.
  • DERBY – The 14 Holstein-Freisan cattle sent to the Syracuse and Springfield fairs return to Osborndale Farm, having won 34 ribbons.
  • SHELTON – The regular force of 60-75 men employed at Factory B of the International Silver Company, which is still known locally as the Derby Silver Company, is increased to 160 due to increased demand.
  • SHELTON – The State will replace the Nichols Avenue Bridge with a concrete one 20′ wide x 24′ long, to be called Webb’s Bridge.

September 27

  • ANSONIA – Over 2,500 people are receiving some form of assistance from the Charities Department.
  • SHELTON – The owner of the United Shirt and Blouse Company is charged with employing minors overtime. The company employs 130 girls.
  • SHELTON – The White Hills dirt road improvement project is completed. The project includes Maple Avenue and Willoughby Road.

September 28

  • ANSONIA – Another shipment consisting of 2,400 bags of government flour is on its way to the City.
  • DERBY – The Housatonic Council holds its Court of Honor at the Sterling Opera House. Three are from Derby’s Troop 3, including the youngest Eagle in the country, Philip Little, and cubmaster and assistant scoutmaster Edmund Strang. The fourth is from Troop 5, Ansonia. 800 people attend.

September 29

  • DERBY – Coach Leo Ryan fires his first string team during football practice, saying they will now start second string at the upcoming game. He cites a lack of discipline and spirit as the reason, but also says some or all may return to first string.


Saturday, October 1, 1932

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby defeats Branford at Island Park 14-0 before a crowd of 1000 people. Ansonia beats Shelton 24-0 at Athletic Field.
  • SHELTON – A horrible tragedy occurs on White Hills, when a 5 year old boy dies in a barn fire on his grandfather’s farm. The farm is on Lower White Hills Road, which is now Meadow Street. A silo and 3 sheds are also destroyed in the inferno. His 7 year old playmate was able to escape and alert the grandfather, who braved the flames and rescued the boy. He was rushed to Griffin Hospital in a car owned by a volunteer fireman, but he died from his injuries an hour later.

October 2

  • A young couple in a parked car along Oxford Road, Oxford is held up by three men. The man fights back, and the men flee. Seymour police are first on the scene, and they work all night to crack the case. Acting on a tip, they find the getaway car found in Buddies Field in Derby in the early morning. Within hours 2 Shelton men and 1 Ansonia man are arrested.

October 3

  • OXFORD – 238 votes are cast in the town elections, and Republican Richard Jacobs beats his opponent by 17 votes. Republicans sweep most other offices.

October 4

  • DERBY – A River Road farmer accidentally feeds his cows sodium nitrate, mistaking it for rock salt. By morning, the entire herd of 7 cows are dead. The cows were his family’s only means of support, and they are not sure what they will do.

October 6

  • SHELTON – The First Baptist Church of Shelton holds a 50th Anniversary Supper.

Friday, October 7, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid meets at City Hall, it is the feeling of the members that conditions are worse than they were last year, and they are considering restarting the private workfare program.
  • ANSONIA – The Purple Heart Association meets at the Ansonia Armory. New chapters have been established in Bridgeport and Providence. Articles of incorporation have returned from the Secretary of the State
  • DERBY – Former Mayor Frank Conway announces he will seek the Democratic nomination for Mayor
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – West Haven defeats Ansonia in an away game 19-0. Milford defeats Shelton in an away game 14-0.

October 8

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby beats the Derby High School Alumni at Island Park 7-0.

October 9

  • ANSONIA – The body of 21 year old man missing since September 14 is discovered near the ruins of the old Baldwin house at the corner of New Haven and Prindle Avenues in Ansonia. It is believed he died of natural causes.

October 10

  • ANSONIA – 500 attend a big Democratic rally at City Hall. Gov. Wilbur Cross, congressmen, and state representatives are also present.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid meets at Town Hall, and it is felt it will have to operate its private workfare program again this year.
  • SHELTON – The new $300,000 infirmary building at Laurel Heights Sanatorium opens, which can house 150 patients, and is outfitted with the latest equipment.

October 11

  • SHELTON – Shelton Police find one of the largest stills discovered in the City yet in a raid on Long Hill Avenue. The 1000 gallon still was actually making illegalmoonshine when it was found, along with 1500 gallons of mash. One man is arrested.

October 13

  • SHELTON – Mayor Frank Crofut survives a major challenge to his nomination in the Democratic primary from William Hurley by a vote of 338-234.

Friday, October 14, 1932

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby beats Stratford in an away game 13-6.
  • OXFORD – State police raid a residence in the Chestnut Tree Hill district, and find a still in operation, along with four 2000 gallon vats of mash. 1 man is arrested, and also charged with polluting wells in the area.

October 15

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia beats Waterbury’s Wilby High at Athletic Field 13-0.

October 17

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid will restart its workfare program next month.

October 18

  • ANSONIA – State police raid a Beaver Street, and find a 100 galloon still and vats. 1 man is arrested.

October 19

  • Almost 4″ of rain has fallen in two days.
  • SEYMOUR – A large crowd flocks to the First Methodist Church to see Princess Rahme Haidar of Syria present a program on her native land.

October 20

  • ANSONIA – The new police patrol wagon is ready for use. The Board of Apportionment approved it 2 days ago, and the new vehicle was purchased yesterday from Community Motor Sales at Main and Tremont Streets, for a cost $771 plus the old wagon. The wagon is a Ford, which can both transport prisoners and also serve as an ambulance.

Friday, October 21, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Officer Thomas F. Murphy, a popular police officer, dies after an illness at Griffin Hospital. He was appointed as a supernumery in 1902, and put on regular force in 1912.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby ties Commercial High School of New Haven 0-0 at Island Park

October 22

  • DERBY – 42 Army busses, carrying the West Point football team, as well as cadets, pass through Derby on the way to the Yale-Army football game. Crowds congregate to watch the convoy pass.
  • DERBY – Polish White Eagle Hall opens on Main Street, in the former Indian Well Hall. It can accommodate 265 couples, and has been under renovation for 3 months.

October 23

  • ANSONIA – Hundreds attend the joint Ansonia Polish societies’ tribute to George Washington and Casimir Pulaski at St. Joseph’s Church.

October 26

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid is distributing pledge cards throughout the city.
  • ANSONIA – Valley and area manufacturers gather at the Masonic Temple for the reelection of President Herbert Hoover.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Crosby of Waterbury in an away game practice scrimmage 6-0.

October 27

Saturday, October 29, 1932

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia is defeated by Torrington 12-0 in an away game. Derby defeats Lyman Hall of Wallingford in an away game 13-7.
  • DERBY – The Derby Community Club has moved from 85 Elizabeth Street, where it was for 12 years, to Minerva Street, opposite the Green, in a house owned by Francis Kellogg. The Girl Scouts have an office there, too.

October 31 – HALLOWEEN

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Cook will be a member of the State Reception Committee welcoming Democratic Presidential Candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt when he campaigns in Connecticut tomorrow.
  • DERBY – A 100 year old stone pipe is replaced by unemployed men working for the Street Department on Academy Hill Road.
  • HALLOWEEN – The Police Departments are at full strength in case of trouble, but it is quiet in all Valley towns this year.
  • SHELTON – Board of Apportionment and Taxation has a special meeting to appropriate an additional $6,000 to the Charity Department to get through the year.


Tuesday, November 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – A boxcar loaded with flour for 1502 people arrives today. The flour will be distributed by the Red Cross. Within 24 hours 2,220 bags had been given out.

November 3

  • ANSONIA – The Red Cross has received 12,200 yards of cotton cloth for distribution to the needy.
  • ANSONIA – The newly organized Disabled American Veterans chapter has been named after the late Frederick M. McCarthy.

Friday, November 4, 1932

  • DERBY – 350 people fill the A.M. Hall on Hawthorne Avenue for a Democratic rally.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Shelton gets its first victory of the season, defeating Norwalk 7-0 at Lafayette Field

November 5

  • ANSONIA – 250 people gather at Liberty Hall for a Republican rally.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia ties Central High of Bridgeport 0-0. Derby does not play this week.
  • SHELTON – The Young Men’s Republican Club holds rally at Republican Headquarters on Howe Avenue.

November 6

  • ANSONIA – 3 masked bandits with revolvers hold up cigar store at 1 Factory Street and steal $300.
  • ANSONIA – 700 gather at the Tremont Theater for a Democratic rally sponsored by the Italian American Political Club.
  • DERBY – A Democratic rally packs the Sterling Opera House. Meanwhile, 400 Republicans rally at the A.M. Hall on Main Street.
  • SHELTON – A Republican rally is held at the Russian Citizens’ Club, while Democrats rally in the High School auditorium.

November 7

  • For nearly a week, the Evening Sentinel has had full page ads supporting Herbert Hoover’s reelection to the Presidency. Today, many prominent Valley industrialists, co-sign an ad with the title “KEEP YOUR HEADS!”, stating not reelecting Herbert Hoover will prolong the Great Depression. On another page, the Sentinel endorses Herbert Hoover for President.

November 8 Election Day 1932.

  • ANSONIA – Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) defeats President Herbert Hoover (R) 3666-3478. Governor Wilbur Cross (D) defeats former Governor John H. Trumbull (R) 3704-3447. However, Mayor Cook (D) is defeated by Peter Hart (R) 3720-3471. Hart will be Ansonia’s first Republican mayor in 18 years, although the Board of Aldermen still hold a Democratic majority. Mayor Cook first to congratulate Hart for his victory. Both the Democrats and Republicans claim victory for the mixed results.
  • DERBY – Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats President Herbert Hoover by 843 votes. Governor Cross wins Derby by 776 votes. Henry M. Bradley Jr. (R) is to the elected 17th Senatorial district by 900 votes overall. Mayor Riordan is reelected for a third term by a vote of 1990-1764. He is the first Derby man to become a State Senator since 1906, and the first from East Derby ever. The Board of Aldermen have a 5-5 split. Also the City votes 1395-94 in favor of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment(Prohibition).
  • OXFORD – Of the 380 votes cast, 202 vote the straight Republican ticket, while 74 vote the straight Democratic ticket, 3 the Socialist, and 3 the Independent Party. The repeal of Prohibition is approved 103-43.
  • SEYMOUR – President Herbert Hoover receives 669 votes over Franklin D. Roosevelt. Former Governor Trumbull receives 636 votes over Governor Cross. All local Republican candidates win.
  • SHELTON – Daniel Shelton (R) defeats Mayor Frank Crofut (D) by 307 votes. Republicans lead the Board of Aldermen is 4-2. President Herbert Hoover receives 138 more votes then Franklin D. Roosevelt, and former Governor Trumbull receives 94 more votes then Governor Cross. The repeal of Prohibition is endorsed 1155-195.

November 9

  • DERBY – The Board of Apportionment grants the Charities Department another $2500 to get through the year.

November 10

  • A severe storm began last night and continues to rage this morning, dumping 2.86″ of rain. So far 6″ of rain has fallen in November. The Naugatuck River is the highest in years, completely inundating the Ansonia Flats and Derby Meadows and washing over Division Street. Main Street Ansonia merchants are very worried thetail race will overflow into their basements. Island Park is under 8′ of water, only the tops of the goalposts are visible from the football field. Large trees are floating down the Naugatuck River. Basements are flooding in Derby’s lower Caroline Street area.
  • ANSONIA – The Capitol Theater is filled with Ansonia High School and Pine High School students honoring World War I veterans for Armistice Day
  • SHELTON – The Baldwin house in Huntington Center burns down in a driving rainstorm. The 10 room saltbox was over 150 years old, and was only 50′ across the street from the Huntington Fire Company. The water from both of Huntington’s chemical fire engines was exhausted, and 3 wells were drained, but the house was unable to be saved and burned down. A Bridgeport Hydraulic Company pipeline ran right past the house’s front door, but there was no way to tap into the water. Firemen are able to save much of the furniture before the house collapses.

 Friday, November 11, 1932, Armistice Day

  • ANSONIA – Hundreds line Main Street to watch the Armistice Day parade, which occurs before the Armistice Night Ball, sponsored by the Joint Veterans’ Association at the Ansonia Armory.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid meets at City Hall. The workfare program will resume in ten days. 
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Shelton is defeated by Stratford in an away game.
  • SEYMOUR – At a Special Town Meeting, citizens vote to purchase the residence property of the Tingue Textile Corporation. The land is adjacent to Town Hall and the Citizen’s Engine Company.
  • SEYMOUR – William B. Swan, president-treasurer of the James Swan Company, dies at 76 at his office at 279 Bank Street.

November 12

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby beats Ansonia 6-0 before a large crowd at Island Park.

November 14

  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Mutual Aid meets. The workfare program will restart this winter.

November 16

  • ANSONIA – Over 300 have registered for work at Ansonia Mutual Aid.
  • ANSONIA – A 46 year old man dies of asphyxiation in his sleep, due to a gas leak in his Jewett Street residence.
  • DERBY – The fire whistle sounds at 8:30 AM, announcing the start of Derby Days sales, offering “unprecedented bargains”. The event is called Derby’s “greatest sale”. All parking is free. 

November 17

  • DERBY – Dr. William J. Scott, whose office is in the Mott Building on Elizabeth Street, receives the Order of St. Sava by King Alexander I of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, for work on behalf of his people during World War I, when he was in the Army Medical Corps.
  • SEYMOUR – Great Hill residents are concerned about recent vandalism at Great Hill church and the Bell School.

Friday, November 18, 1932

  • SEYMOUR – Residents vote at a Town Meeting to construct a footbridge on the new concrete bridge over the Little River at Bank Street.
  • SHELTON – Federal agents raid 3 speakeasies, on Bridge Street, Center Street, and Howe Avenue. 3 are arrested.

November 19

  • 1″ of rain falls over the weekend. Many visit Stevenson Dam to watch the high water tumble over it.
  • DERBY – The police warn they will start arresting boys for playing football on Derby Green, as it is tearing up the turf.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Housatonic Council has recently registered 5 new troops and 75 new Scouts, bringing the total to 20 troops and 420 Scouts for the Boy Scout council.

November 21

November 22

  • SHELTON – Financing the high school football team is becoming a problem. It is hoped that the Thanksgiving day game will earn enough money for the sports program to remain viable. If not, its is very possible that baseball may be eliminated next Spring.

November 23

  • Today was the coldest November morning in years – 12 degrees.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – 25 federal agents raid 9 speakeasies in Derby and Ansonia, and arrest 9. In Derby alone, 1,000 illegal bottles of beer are seized.
  • DERBY – Improvements are continuing at Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery, including 1200′ of new road is in place. Unemployed men are being hired to do the work.

 Thanksgiving Day, November 24

  • Hundreds of baskets are given to the needy and poor families during this fourth Thanksgiving since the Great Depression began in October 1929. A typical gift basket was composed of a fresh shoulder of pork, a chicken, a lamb roast, turnips, potatoes, some fresh vegetables, a half pound of butter, a loaf of bread or a bag of flour, a pudding or cake, a half pound of coffee, a can of evaporated milk, a box of sugar, eggs perhaps, and oranges or some other fruit. These baskets cost two dollars to make, and are distributed by a variety of social agencies, religious groups, Boy and Girl Scouts, veterans’ groups, and some schools.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia is defeated by Naugatuck 26-6, before 7000 in an away game. Derby defeats Shelton 2-0 at a very exciting game at Lafayette Field, before 5000. The game was a nail-bitter, with Shelton threatening to score at the very end. At the final whistle, Derby fans rush the field, tear down both goal posts, and the parade up Howe Avenue, lead by the Derby High School Band, to Bridge Street and the victory celebrations in Derby.

Friday, November 25, 1932

  • DERBY – The Red Cross office on Elizabeth Street is open all day, gives out 200 bags of government issued flour.
  • DERBY – A 20 mile car chase between State and a Massachusetts shoe salesman exceeds 70 mph when it passes through Derby. The State police car hits a pole atMansion House corner. The pole snaps in half, and sails over the policeman’s head and into middle of road. Miraculously, neither he or anyone on the street was hurt. The officer commandeers another car and catches the man he was pursuing in New Haven, after putting hundreds at risk from the high speed pursuit through the Elm City’s streets. He is later returned to Derby to be arraigned. The chase began in Beacon Falls, when the officer wished to investigate the car’s license plate, as it resembled a stolen car. Ironically, the car wasn’t even stolen.

November 26

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Mutual Aid already has 3 projects lined up. They are widening Prospect Street to 40′, laying storm drains on Howard Avenue from Pine High School, and lastly, using the fill from the recent Jewett Street to fill in a ravine which will connect Hodge Avenue with North Hodge Avenue.

November 27

  • Frigid weather grips Connecticut, dropping to zero weather in some areas. The Naugatuck River is frozen from end to end between Seymour and Ansonia. 
  • SEYMOUR – Riverside church, a Union Church on Great Hill, opens for the first time in 6 years.

November 28

  • SHELTON – The Red Cross office in the Beard Building on Howe Avenue has given 796 bags of flour totaling 19,104 lbs since November 26. They have only 504 left.

November 29

  • The frigid weather is broken by a 10 degree rise in temperature.
  • OXFORD – The pupils at the local grammar schools are trying to form a town wide fife and drum corps.
  • SEYMOUR -Seymour Trust Company mailing out about $20,000 in Christmas Club checks.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Trust Company will mail $14,000 in Christmas Club checks.
  • SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton football game netted only $324.95 for each team. Shelton’s football team made no profit at all this year. The semi-pro Pollyville Ponies also made no money and will close down after only one season.

November 30

  • Residents living along the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers are being plagued with wharf and water rats. People are not sure if it is because of the cold temperature, rise in the water, or otherwise. In any event, the increased rat population is considered a health menace.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Disabled American War Veterans collect two truckloads of clothing to help the needy.
  • ANSONIA – Over 1,700 pairs of stockings, 1,128 pieces of underwear, and several hundred knickers, trousers, overalls, and jumpers made from government cotton will be received by the Ansonia Red Cross in within 15 days. This is in addition to the 14,200 yards of cotton that will be also distributed.
  • DERBY – Birmingham National Bank Bank sends $14,000 to 325 members of its Christmas Club. Derby Savings Bank sends $20,000 to 1,100 members, and the Home Trust Company $8,000 in Christmas Club checks. With the ongoing Great Depression, the importance of the Christmas Club checks cannot be overstated, as it infused a great deal of money in the local economy during the Holidays.
  • DERBY – In conjunction with the silver anniversary of Hoover Vacuum Cleaners, the Howard & Barber department store has on display one of the oldest in the country, complete with its original purchase receipt. The vacuum, purchased on April 1, 1909, was found in Ansonia.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Public Health Association puts out an appeal for children and adult shoes, saying they are badly needed.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education will have $15,000 less next year.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Social Services is reorganizing for the upcoming winter. Last year the agency took care of 300 needy and destitute families.


Thursday, December 1, 1932

  • ANSONIA – Peter Hart is inaugurated the Mayor of Ansonia before 80 people. The event was moved to the City Hall Courtroom due to far less people attending the inauguration that was expected. His oath of office administered by outgoing mayor Michael Cook, who keeping tradition turned over the gold key to the city. The two have supposedly become good friends since the election, and both decried the apparent political apathy that is prevalent.
  • DERBY – The Derby Business Men’s Association votes to use laurel for Christmas decorations instead of colored lights to save money. The light strings cost 50 cents per foot, while laurel is only 5 cents per foot.
  • SEYMOUR – An employee of the Seymour Ice Company rescues a 16 year old who tried to take a shortcut over the pond and fell through the ice.

Friday, December 2, 1932

  • DERBY – The City’s oldest hardware store, the F. Hallock Company, opens a new sales and showroom for electrical appliances and household supplies at 20 Elizabeth Street. The business was organized in 1838.
  • OXFORD – The teacher of Chestnut Tree Hill School is very sick with chickenpox. The school is closed as a precaution. 

December 3

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Dress Company closes, laying off 75 employees, mostly women and girls. The factory is located on the top floor of Tremont Theater building 400 Main Street. The factory suffered a major fire earlier this year, and the president was arrested for labor violations in September.

December 4

  • DERBY – The Polish Falcon Club holds its first Annual meeting at its new home, the former Derby Savings Bank on Main Street and Caroline Street.

December 5

  • SHELTON – Shelton Boy Scouts will run a Christmas toy shop, in which they will collect donations of old toys, fix them up, and then distribute them to needy families.

December 6

  • ANSONIA – 600 have signed up for the Ansonia Mutual Aid workfare program. About 200 of them will have received work by the end of the week. The programhas almost completed laying 300′ of sewer on Howard Avenue, and will start a Colony Street sewer job on December 8th.
  • ANSONIA – 75 former employees of the Ansonia Dress Company hold mass meeting at City Hall to air grievances against the company. They were paid in promissory notes on August 27, which were supposed to be payable December 27. Now, since the factory has closed, there are fears that they won’t be paid. Also some haven’t been paid their wages for the last couple weeks. The whereabouts of the owner is unknown. The City’s prosecuting attorney will put out a warrant for his arrest.
  • DERBY – A Christmas toy repair shop is opened by Derby Boy Scouts in an unoccupied store in the Hotel Clark building. Donated toys for the needy will be repaired and distributed here.
  • DERBY – The Polish Falcon club’s new home, the former bank building on the corner of Main Street and Caroline Street, is gutted by a 4 hour fire, causing $10,000 damage. The building served as the Birmingham National Bank from 1856-1893, and it was home to the Derby Savings Bank until 1913. The building was also home to the private Mongrillo bank before it closed due to the Great Depression in 1931. The fire apparently started with a basement oil burner. The main floor is gutted. Alderman elect Harry Gow of East Derby, a volunteer fireman, lost way inside while wearing gas mask, was overcome, and had to be rescued by other firemen. Other firefighters were overcome or cut by glass. The Shelton Fire Department had to be called, to use foam, in order to gain entrance to extinguish the fire.

December 7

  • DERBY – The Derby Relief Fund, a local workfare program, meets. Mrs. Frances Kellogg will donate 40 quarts of skimmed milk a day for needy children, to be distributed by the District Nurses’ Association. St. Mary’s Church offers the former Fitch Smith house that the parish owns on Seymour Avenue as Relief Fund headquarters, and they accept.
  • OXFORD – The Chestnut Tree Hill School reopens, with a substitute teacher.

December 8

  • ANSONIA – At a meeting at Ansonia Armory, the Purple Heart Association Chapter 1 chooses the name “George Washington”. The name is fitting, as Washington started the Purple Heart medal during the Revolutionary War.
  • ANSONIA – Salvation Army Christmas kettles start making their appearance in the shopping district.
  • DERBY – A hairdresser who had been missing since December 4 is found in a narrow closet off her office in the Howard and Barber department store building on Main Street, where she had lain, fully conscious, after apparently suffering a stroke. She is in fair condition.

Friday, December 9, 1932

  • SHELTON – Over 700 attend the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Company ball at Shelton High School – the largest crowd they ever hosted up to that time.

December 10

  • ANSONIA – The Joint Veteran’s Association holds its Annual Food Show at the Capitol Theater. 1700 attend, and 50 bushels of food are collected for the needy
  • DERBY – The Derby Relief Fund puts out an appeal, saying there is “a desperate need for warm clothing” for the needy.
  • DERBY – William Shaw, who has conducted a grocery business at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Sixth Street for the past 29 years, will soon retire and close the store.

December 12

  • More snow falls at night, dumping 3″.
  • ANSONIA – The police are directed to ensure property owners shovel sidewalks.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Public Library is broken into. A desk is smashed, and money taken.

December 13

  • ANSONIA – A 12 year old Elizabeth Street girl is struck by a car at the corner of Garden Street and Myrtle Avenue while sledding on Myrtle Avenue. She is “very critical” at Griffin Hospital.
  • ANSONIA – 63 year old public works employee George Curley falls from the rear of a dump truck in work yard north of Ansonia Lumber Company off Canal Street. He is seriously injured, and may have a broken neck. He is in critical condition at Griffin Hospital.

December 14

  • DERBY – The John Collins Post, American Legion, votes to pursue a captured German field cannon which will be set up in front of the Veterans’ Memorial Home on Seymour Avenue and Atwater Street.
  • SHELTON – The High School football team showed net loss of $351 this year. School officials urge support for the basketball team to recoup the losses.

December 15

  • ANSONIA – The William H. Gordon Post, American Legion, is seeking a permanent headquarters.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Dress Company is now in bankruptcy. A receiver has been appointed. A warrant for the president’s arrest has been issued.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The local branch of the American Red Cross gave $500 to local relief, in addition to the free flour, in the past year.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town will have a Community Christmas Tree. It will be in the Railroad Lot near the depot, and will be lit a week from today.

Friday, December 16

  • Temperatures fall to as low as 6 below in the early morning hours.
  • ANSONIA – The police pull over a truck on Jewett Street, and discover it was containing 200 gallons of illegal alcohol in tin cans. Two are arrested.
  • SHELTON – Construction work on Webb’s Bridge on Nichols Avenue is finished. There is also 250′ of good gravel roadbed laid on either side of approaches. Waverly Hill Road – from Booth’s Hill Road to Far Mill Street, has also been improved, although they are still all dirt roads.

December 17

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company is offering red pine boughs from its forest preserves as Christmas decorations again.
  • OXFORD – Chestnut trees, wiped out nearly 20 years ago, are making a gradual comeback in town.

December 18

  • 4-5″ of snow began falling last night and continues into the early morning hours.
  • DERBY – A 46 year old man dies in a burning 2 story building at 188 Elizabeth Street, near Sixth Street. The fire causes $6,000 in damage. 2 stores are on ground floor, one a shoe repair shop, the other used to store Christmas trees. The second floor, where the man’s apartment was, is gutted by the flames. It is later determined that the fire was caused by an overheated flue.

December 19

  • Zero weather in the early morning hours. It is -5 in Oxford.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Apportionment allocates $4,000 to Ansonia Mutual Aid to buy equipment for upcoming work projects.
  • ANSONIA – The president of the bankrupt Ansonia Dress Company, who has been wanted for over a week, is arrested in New Haven on the charge of fraud of obtaining services.

December 20

  • The Christmas mail rush begins at post offices. Derby Post Office has hired 17 extra workers, and Ansonia 20.
  • DERBY – Electrically lighted trees on the Academy Hill green in East Derby, and in front of Griffin Hospital are very well received.
  • DERBY – The four Derby Boy Scout troops hold a toy performance at Commodore Hull Theater. Admission is 1 toy. 800 toys collected for the needy
  • SEYMOUR – The Boy Scouts have fixed up 500 toys for the needy.

December 21

  • Icemen are predicting plenty of ice with this year’s low temperatures.
  • ANSONIA, DERBY, & SHELTON – The three cities will unite in a campaign to rehabilitate local industry. The feeling is that an economic turnaround is about to happen, and the campaign urges factories to begin preparing for it now to take maximum advantage. This also means getting banks on board, in order to secure low interest loans for modernization projects.
  • SHELTON – A 5 year old Myrtle Street girl is in critical condition at Griffin Hospital after she goes under the wheels of a moving automobile on Prospect Avenue between Myrtle and Kneen Streets.
  • SHELTON – 500 children attend a Food Show at Shelton Theater.  Admission is one piece of non perishable food. Sponsored by St. Joseph’s Charitable Aid Society.
  • SHELTON – Shelton Mutual Aid holds its first meeting of the season. Mayor Crofut makes special appeal for money, food, and clothing for the needy. The Charities Department is caring for 75 families.

December 22

  • The first day of winter sees the temperatures rise dramatically to 49 degrees.
  • ANSONIA – Federal Agents raid a Maple Street residence, and arrest 1 for having a quantity of liquor and beer.
  • SEYMOUR – Hundreds attend the lighting of the community Christmas Tree.

Friday, December 23

  • ANSONIA – The Red Cross is distributing government flour and finished cotton cloth garments for those with cards, which were received from filling out applications.
  • ANSONIA – The State Police raid a Main Street address, and arrest a woman on the charge of keeping and selling liquor. They also raid a Canal Street address, and arrest a woman for owning and keeping liquor for sale.
  • DERBY – The police vow a crackdown of people parking on Derby-Shelton Bridge, because it causes problems for passing traffic and trolleys.
  • SHELTON – The upper 2 floors of the 5-story Blake Block on the corner of Howe Avenue and Center Street are destroyed by an early morning 2-alarm fire, which is described as “an inferno”. Built in 1893, the building housed the Huntington Piano Company until it went out of business about 1922. Two smaller factories inside the building, the Plastico Company on the 2nd and 3rd floor, and the Dolly Dress Company on the 4th floor, are destroyed, throwing over 75 people out of work. The Derby-Shelton Red Cross stored 250 bags of flour for the needy on the 1st floor, but these are saved by firemen. Furniture from a used furniture store is also saved on the 1st floor. The entire Derby Fire Department responds to assist the Shelton Fire Department. The bottom 3 floors of the building would be salvaged. It would become the Shelton-Derby Boys and Girls Club, and burn down in 1991.

December 24

  • Sunshine and mild temperatures bring out shoppers in the Valley downtowns.
  • DERBY – Over 200 Christmas baskets are being delivered by various agencies in the City for the needy. In addition, Over 1,200 gifts, including many toys collected and fixed up by the Boy Scouts, are being distributed to the needy by District Nurse Association.
  • SHELTON – Carolers sing in front of houses in Huntington Center and surrounding roads, transported by Wisner Wilson’s truck.

 Sunday, December 25, Christmas 1932

  • The  weather is undesirable, with fog and an overcast sky. The snow has all melted.
  • The Sentinel notes this depression-era Christmas felt much those like before World War I. The restaurants and inns do poor business, but many private homes are crowded with guests and merry-makers. Many inexpensive, but thoughtful gifts are exchanged. Many homes are decorated for the holiday.
  • ANSONIA – Many Christmas baskets have been distributed to the needy. Those making and donating baskets include the Salvation Army (175), the Joint Veterans’ Association (48), the Webster Hose Co. No. 3 (60), the Charters Hose Co. No. 4 (35), as well as a number of churches and the Red Cross. 
  • SEYMOUR – 67 needy town families have received Christmas baskets from the 2 Seymour Public Health Association nurses.
  • SHELTON – Over 450 Christmas baskets are distributed to the needy by the Shelton Social Services, American Legion, Russ Memorial Fund, fraternal groups, and church welfare groups.

December 26

  • Today is a holiday, and in contrast to yesterday the weather is very nice. The streets have heavy traffic.
  • ANSONIA – A family of 4 is found unconscious after being overcome by gas at 57 Beaver Street.
  • SHELTON – A 45 year old Bridgeport Avenue World War I veteran is killed when he is hit by a car walking along Nichols Road.

December 28

  • ANSONIA – The body of a 79 year old Johnson Street woman missing since last night is found on the ice of the Ansonia Canal, near Farrel Foundry. It appears she became disoriented, and fell 10′ off a retaining wall onto the ice. It is a sad conclusion to an event which saw the police and relatives searching all night.
  • ANSONIA, DERBY, & SHELTON – The cities are hiring a professional to help get rid of the rats which are plaguing the waterfront areas.
  • DERBY – Donald A. Hallock, president of the F. Hallock Company, suffers an untimely death in a Bridgeport boarding house.
  • DERBY – The Derby Relief Committee will conduct a shoe repair shop for the needy at 89 Minerva Street, for the next 3 days. 
  • SHELTON – The Aldermanic Relief Committee spent $44,877.74 in four months helping the needy.

December 29

  • ANSONIA – A 2-story workshop and garage containing 2 automobiles and machinery on 180 Hodge Avenue, is destroyed by fire.
  • SHELTON – A 5 foot high star, equipped with 50 electric light bulbs has been put atop the 85′ Norway Spruce Tree, called the “Lincoln Spruce” as it was supposedly planted on the day President Lincoln was assassinated, at the top of White Hills. It can be seen for miles.

Friday, December 30

  • ANSONIA – Federal agents make 3 raids in the City. They find liquor on Factory Street, home brew at a Liberty Street establishment, and liquor on Central Street. 3 are arrested.
  • SHELTON – As part of the city’s shift from supporting its needy from workfare to direct relief, food cards will now be handed out. They are redeemable at local grocery stores.

December 31

  • ANSONIA – To date, Ansonia Mutual Aid has employed 453 men a total of 8066.5 hours, and spent $601.29 since November 21.
  • DERBY – A charter is forwarded to the Boy Scouts of America for the new Troop 1, at St. James Episcopal Church. Charles Rotteck Jr. will be the Scoutmaster.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – A contract has been awarded for a 6 mile reinforced concrete highway, from Hoadley’s Bridge over the Little River at Bank Street in Seymour to the Oxford-Southbury border awarded. This is the second largest of 10 new State highway projects. A new Hoadley’s Bridge will be constructed in Seymour. This is today’s Route 67.
Posted in