Tuesday, January 1, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The first hours of 1957 are disrupted by firecrackers going off on North Main Street. A man is arrested at 12:55 AM for discharging them. At 2:40 AM a car strikes a stone wall at Elm Street and Main Street. A 19 year old Ansonia man is in critical condition with head injuries – he had to be cut out of the car. 4 others, 2 from Ansonia, and 2 from Derby, hospitalized, none older than 21.
  • ANSONIA – Ansonia has now gone 2 years without a traffic death.

January 2

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle signs an agreement with the State to build a replacement for the Maple Street Bridge, destroyed in the August 1955 flood. He later says he is optimistic that the bridge will open by Christmas.
  • SEYMOUR – The cost of redeveloping the Second Street area, which was hard hit by the August 1955 flood, is now estimated at $533,375.
  • SHELTON – Supervised ice skating begins at Matto’s Pond on Bridgeport Avenue, Baranowsky’s Pond at Pine Rock Park, and Donofrio’s Pond on Walnut Avenue.
  • SHELTON – The Plumb Memorial Library sets a one day record for loaning books – 212 adult and 246 juvenile.

January 3

  • ANSONIA – A car is rammed by another vehicle on Wakelee Avenue and Division Street, sending it careening through the fence at St. Mary’s Cemetery. The car strikes a large monument, shifting it 6″, and knocking a symbolic stone urn off the top of it.
  • DERBY – It is announced that former fire chief Edward Cotter Jr. will be appointed director of Civil Defense.
  • DERBY – Charlie’s Pond, off New Haven Avenue near Sodom Lane, is open to supervised ice skating. 200 attend. Paugassett Hook & Ladder Company provides lighting.
  • DERBY – A large fire on the roof of Housatonic Dyeing & Printing Company is controlled by plant personnel and the fire department.

January 4

  • ANSONIA – Bomb threat called into Capitol Theater. The manager responds by turning on the lights, walking onto the stage, and explaining the threat to all 30 patrons in the theater. He adds that the police were searching the building, and anyone who wishes to leave will get a refund. No one leaves. At this time, a nationwide spate of fake bomb threats are occurring.
  • DERBY – A bomb threat is called into Derby High School. Police find nothing.
  • SHELTON – The Valley Hungarian Relief Committee has collected $1,338 to aid refugees of the Hungarian Revolution.

January 6

  • ANSONIA – Over 500 enjoy the first night of supervised skating at Colony Park pond.

Monday, January 7, 1957

  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzio is sworn in for his fifth mayoral term at City Hall.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Frank Cicia sworn into office. Republicans now control Shelton government. The new Republican officials all wear Mamie Eisenhower carnations.
  • SHELTON – Huntington resident and pioneer aviator Clarence Chamberlin becomes manager of the Monroe Flying Service at Monroe airport, located off Moose Hill Road.
  • SHELTON – The H. K. Porter Company announces it has purchased the Mullite Refractories Company, which has been manufacturing fire bricks in Shelton since 1926. The firm says it will continue to operate the plant with no changes.

January 8

  • ANSONIA – A fire causes $1000 worth of damage to a Grove Street home.
  • DERBY – Despite the recent death of Mr. Lewis, the Lewis Funeral Home will remain open under his associate, Glenn Wyatt.
  • SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Association reorganizes at the War Memorial.

January 9

  • SEYMOUR – A school bus with 52 children on board skids down an icy incline on Mountain Road, just below Brook Street, near the Oxford town line. The bus crashes into a town truck about to sand the hill. 15 children are injured, 3 are taken to Griffin Hospital, though none are seriously hurt. The children were taken to Town Hall after the accident where they were evaluated for injuries before being sent home.
  • SHELTON – Rev. Cyril Bentley, rector of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Huntington for the past six years, dies in a Long Island hospital. 

January 11

  • OXFORD – The temperature dips to 2 below.

January 12

  • ANSONIA – Miss Julia Margaret Steele of Holbrook Street dies. Born in 1877, she was valedictorian of the Ansonia High School class of 1896. She was involved in Ansonia education for over 50 years, teaching at the Hill Street, Grove Street, and Holbrook Street Schools. She served as Principal of the Fourth Street and Peck Schools.

Monday, January 14, 1957

  • DERBY – Housatonic Lumber Company will open a new display and salesroom on the ground floor of its building at 96-100 Main Street. May 1957 will mark the company’s 100th anniversary.
  • SHELTON – Dr. Winston J. Reed of Trumbull purchases the Eli Baldwin stump joint factory on Mill Street. The site, which contained a woolen mill that burned in 1865, and was replaced by the present stone mill, had been in Baldwin family since May of 1846. Three days later Dr. Reed announces his Reed Research Corporation, formerly the Aerosol Process Company, will move from Bridgeport to the old mill.

January 15

  • Temperatures at 12 below in the morning in Ansonia. 
  • ANSONIA – A fuel truck is rammed from behind by another car on Wakelee Avenue, causing 3200 gallons of fuel oil to spill down the storm drains.
  • ANSONIA – The State offering the City $19,500 for land to be taken for new Route 8 Expressway.
  • DERBY – A 6 year old boy is treated for exposure he incurred while walking to school.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour, Derby, and Ansonia IOOF lodges incorporate into a single lodge called Mechanic’s Lodge No. 73, in Seymour.

January 16

  • 6″ of snow falls in the morning, having started the previous nights. Schools are closed. This is the third significant snowstorm in 2 weeks. The temperature is 10 below.
  • ANSONIA – The police capture a 23 year old man in the rear of Spector Furniture trying to steal car. While being walked to the police station he tries to escape. The man stop after 2 warning shots are fired over his head.

January 17

  • The bitter cold continues.
  • DERBY – A police car is struck by another car in a minor accident on Elizabeth Street and Fourth Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The low temperature reading for the Valley this night is in Quaker Farms, 24 below zero.
  • SHELTON – The State opens an outpatient clinic for Tuberculosis patients at Laurel Heights Hospital.

January 18

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Girl Scout Council is having a contest to name the new Girl Scout Camp in Oxford. (Hint: the ANsonia Girl Scout Council also included SEYmour and OXford).
  • DERBY – The City’s streak of no traffic fatalities, which had lasted since February 22, 1949 and captured national attention, comes to a sad end when a Seymour man is killed after his car leaves Roosevelt Drive and rolls over several times near Pink House Cove. The victim was a 46 year old research chemist with a Ph D. 

January 19

  • ANSONIA – A house is badly damaged by a late night electrical fire on Locke Street. The family of 5 was a New Haven movie theater at the time. 

January 20

  • ANSONIA – 250 people attend ice skating races at Colony Park.
  • DERBY – The ice on the Housatonic River is 4″ thick near the Yale Boat House, leading to people skating on the river for the first time in 10 years. The ice is thinner and contains holes in the middle of the river, and that area is wisely avoided. The rare opportunity ends the following day when a thaw makes the ice unsafe.
  • SHELTON – 500 people go sledding at the Highland Golf Club, supervised by the police department.
  • SHELTON – Albert Crowther, also known by his nickname “Ducky”, dies. He played semi-pro baseball as a catcher, and was well known in state baseball circles. He played on many Valley teams, including the Derby Elks when they played New York Giants at Sunnyside Park. He was also a World War I veteran.

Monday, January 21, 1957

  • SHELTON – The new addition to Huntington School, built in 1951, leaks badly in a heavy rain storm, flooding the basement. Three days later Mayor Cicia blames it on poor construction.
  • SHELTON – The Bassett Building on 5 Bridge Street is sold by the Shelton Industrial Corporation to Polk Realty, Inc., of New Haven. In 1957 the building housed the Wire Novelty Company, the Slipco Company, the Bernan Hat Company (the former Miss America Hat Company), the Furniture Loft, and the Lerner Knitwear Company. (In 2007 this building was converted into a residential facility called The Birmingham).

January 22

  • SEYMOUR – A car strikes a guardrail in very thick fog on Route 8 near the Seymour Sand and Gravel Company. A 58 year old Litchfield man dies of his injuries on six days later, becoming the first fatal accident in Seymour since May 1955.
  • SHELTON – Bad accident on Route 8, about 1000 feet from the beginning of the expressway, on Bridgeport Avenue. A car driven by the assistant editor of the newspaper New York Journal-American, Guy Richards, and a photographer strikes a large truck in thick fog. They were speeding back to New York from Waterbury, after their newspaper had cracked the case which led to the arrest in Waterbury of George Metesky, the notorious “Mad Bomber” who terrorized New York City for 16 years. The two are taken to Griffin Hospital. Among those caught in the traffic jam is the convoy of New York City Police Department vehicles transporting Metesky to the City, along with more New York media. When they realize the New York Journal-American car is involved, a number of NYPD officers rush to the scene to offer assistance to Shelton police.

January 23

  • ANSONIA – Fire damages a third floor apartment on 54 Broad Street.

January 24

  • DERBY – Rev. John H. Quinn, pastor of St. Mary’s Church, is elevated to Monsignor by Pope Pius XII. He is the first pastor in Valley history to be honored with that title. Rev. Quinn been at St. Mary’s Church since July of 1941.
  • SEYMOUR – Residents vote 73-41 at a Special Town Meeting by secret ballot to reject a proposal to locate 20 low income housing units at Second Street and at Kerite Court.

January 25

  • SEYMOUR – 400 attend the Seymour Police Benefit Association Ball at the Russian-American Hall.
  • SHELTON – Dan Beard Sr. announces he plans on erecting a shopping center on his property near the top of Huntington Street, with 150 feet of street frontage, and additional stores and parking on a lower level in the rear.

January 26

  • SHELTON – 400 attend the annual Huntington Fire Company ball at Huntington School.

Tuesday, January 29, 1957

  • A mix of rain and hail begins falling after midnight, leaving an icy surface. Schools are cancelled.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour’s claims for damages to public property and facilities from the Flood of 1955 is second only to Waterbury statewide. The damage amounts to $146,354. This includes $139,373 for the destroyed Seymour Public Library and $6,000 for damage to the High School.
  • SHELTON – The US Army purchases another 4.2 acres off North Street for the new NIKE site.

January 31

  • ANSONIA – Retired theater manager John Shields gives an interesting talk to the Ansonia Rotary in the YMCA, about his tenure at the Capitol Theater and the Sterling Opera House in the days of vaudeville. Read the transcript here.
  • SEYMOUR – The milk house at the Ajello Brothers Dairy on Great Hill Road, a 1.5 story stone barn, is destroyed in a spectacular fire.


Friday, February 1, 1957

  • 5″ of snow falls overnight. This is the heaviest accumulation of the year, so far.
  • Starting April 7, all residents in the Ansonia-Derby and Seymour telephone exchanges will be able to call any town in Connecticut, as well as 31 other states, directly without operator assistance.
  • ANSONIA – $100, plus 3 bottles of liquor, stolen from an overnight break-in at the Savell Poultry Farms Store on 48 East Main Street.
  • SHELTON – Valley Chevrolet donates a driver training car to Shelton High School.

February 3

  • ANSONIA – $1,300 in cash and checks, along with 2 bottles of whisky, are stolen from an overnight break-in at the Arlington Restaurant, on 3 Bank Street.
  • ANSONIA – Sgt. Thomas J. Condon, longest serving member of the Ansonia Police Department at the time, dies in Griffin Hospital after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while on desk duty at the police station on February 1. Appointed in 1918, he was the City’s motorcycle patrol officer for years. He was promoted to sergeant in 1948.

Monday, February 4, 1957

  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour School Building Committee holds its organizational meeting at Town Hall, and goes on record as favoring a new Seymour High School.

February 6

  • ANSONIA – Funeral for Police Sgt. Thomas Condon at the James F. Shay funeral home on 75 North Cliff Street and the nearby Church of the Assumption is “thronged” according to the Evening Sentinel.

February 7

  • ANSONIA – There are 6,380 automobiles registered in the City, which is 247 more than last year.
  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – As of April 1, the 967th Army Anti-Aircraft Group, based in West Haven, will be manning the NIKE sites in Ansonia and Huntington. The Army is now looking for 3-year leases for additional housing for married personnel assigned to the bases.
  • SEYMOUR – The State will begin construction on a new Broad Street Bridge on July 1, and is expected to be complete it around February of next year.
  • SHELTON – The Pyramids, a popular doo-wop band from Detroit, will perform at the Shelton Police Association Second Annual Variety Show at Shelton High School. They recently appeared on the Ted Steele television show and are recording a record.

February 8

  • The General Henry Shelton Sanford Library dedicated in Sanford, FL. The museum contains many items donated by Mrs. Abbott Low Dow, his only surviving child in 1957, from the family homestead at 147 Caroline Street in Derby. Mrs. Dow was present at the dedication.
  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital begins a $40,000 remodeling of its maternity ward, which is expected to last for 70 days.
  • DERBY – The inventory of the estate of the late Mrs. Francis Kellogg is filed in Probate Court. The total value $3,895,044.58, including over $2.8 million in stocks and 26 realty parcels in Derby valued at $463,425.

February 9

  • DERBY – Derby will make a number of streets one-way, on a trial basis when the winter weather clears. This includes (in the new direction of travel) Minerva Street, from Fifth Street to Cottage Street; both Cottage Street and Fourth Street, from Olivia Street to Caroline Street; and Third Street, from Caroline Street to Olivia Street.

Monday, February 11, 1957

SHELTON – Mayor Cicia will ask the Board of Aldermen to hold a referendum authorizing $1,650,000 for a new combination City Hall, police station, and fire station, as well as 16 new rooms at Shelton High School, and 8 new rooms at Huntington School.

February 12

  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – Seymour Board of Education votes to notify Oxford Board of Education that Oxford High School tuition students may attend Seymour High School for the 1957-1958 academic year. However, Seymour cannot assure Oxford that the students will be able to stay for the full 4 years.

February 13

  • ANSONIA – 13 year old Ansonia boy & 2 others attack a guard and escape a reform school in Meriden. They steal a car in that town, and drive to Ansonia. They sideswipe a car on Pulaski Highway, and a neighbor gets the stolen car’s license number and calls police. The stolen car is subsequently wrecked on a stone wall on Finney Street. The boys then break into the St. Sebastian Club on Powe Street, where they loot cash box and vending machines. Meanwhile, the police receive word that 3 boys, including one form Ansonia, escaped the reform school, and a car stolen nearby has been seen in town, and begin searching the City for the boys.
  • DERBY – The Hurlburt & Preston Garage on 385 Seymour Avenue in Derby, along with 9 brand new Buick automobiles and 3 more owned by customers, are badly damaged, and a truck and 5 used cars are destroyed, by the worst fire to strike Derby since 1946. The fire appears accidental. The building also houses the Seymour Auto Company which had relocated there from Seymour after it was destroyed by the 1955 Flood.
  • SHELTON – A record 330 boys and girls attend the Teen Bandstand at the Community Club, where The Pyramids perform.

February 14

  • ANSONIA – A book written by Rev. Dr. J. Good Brown, of the First Congregational Church has recently been released, called I Came Here to Pray, by the Christopher Publishing House in Boston.
  • ANSONIA – The escaped three reform school boys are spotted on Main Street and Front Street by police in the early morning hours. They are apprehended without incident are returned to Meriden.
  • ANSONIA – A fuel truck pumping 2050 gallons of gasoline into underground fuel tanks catches fire at the Kasden Fuel Company off Main Street this afternoon. The truck and 2 coal sheds are destroyed in the spectacular blaze. Firemen risked their lives to put out the fuel truck before it could explode.
  • ANSONIA – The two-story Comen Block on 150 Main Street, at the corner of Railroad Avenue, is completely gutted in a 2 alarm fire. The two stores on the first floor – May’s Variety Shop and Lee’s Specialty Shop (both badly damaged in the August and October 1955 floods), and the offices on the second floor including a dentist, a medical office run by Dr. Fred Haddad, a law office, the Model Beauty Shop, and the headquarters of the A.C. Turner Company, as well as a mending establishment in the rear of the building, are all completely destroyed. The entire Ansonia Fire Department, and 3 companies of the Derby Fire Department, respond. The fire took 3 hours to control, and was very smoky. Eight firefighters, including Ansonia’s fire chief, are injured, but none seriously. 32 people are evacuated from the 34 room Arlington Hotel next door, and Derby’s aerial ladder sets up a “water curtain” to prevent the fire from spreading there.

February 17

  • ANSONIA – James H. Shay, a member of the Ansonia High School Class of 1910, a former Evening Sentinel employee and writer for a labor publication, dies in Washington DC. He made national headlines several years ago when he discovered that President Harry Truman had compared the publicity the Marine Corps had received to Communist propaganda in the Soviet Union.

Monday, February 18, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The City releases its vital statistics for 1956 – there were 409 births (only 3 in the City), 215 deaths, and 249 marriages.
  • ANSONIA – The Army plans to build a reserve training center in Ansonia, which will include a 1 story building with classrooms that can accommodate 100 people. It will be at least 12-18 months before it is built.

February 19

  • DERBY – Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton fire departments team up to battle a fire in a barn loaded with potatoes, fruits, and vegetables at the Marcucio farm on Sentinel Hill. This occurs while many grass fires are burning simultaneously in Derby and Ansonia.
  • SHELTON – A 13-year old refugee of the Hungarian Revolution living with his aunt and uncle on Center Street leaves for school, but once out of sight starts walking to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, which is the processing center for Hungarian refugees. He is homesick for his mother, and wants to return to Hungary. He is discovered 10 miles away, in Stratford, where through an interpreter his plight is understood. He is returned to the custody of his aunt and uncle. 

February 21

  • ANSONIA – The Cameron Electric Company Building on Main Street is being razed to make a parking lot for Savings Bank of Ansonia. Cameron bought the lot from the American Brass Company in 1902 and subsequently erected the present building in 1906, which it used it continuously until it closed in 1955.
  • ANSONIA – The Army Corps of Engineers advises the Ansonia Redevelopment Commission to raise the level of Broad Street to that of the level reached by the August 1955 flood. With the new Thomaston Dam and other projects along the Housatonic River, it is expected that the overall depth of the river would drop 4 feet, in theory the level will be 4 feet above a catastrophic flood.
  • DERBY – 2 boxcars derail near Gilbert Street.
  • DERBY – Derby Savings Bank’s new 90’x100′ 36-car parking lot has been completed behind the bank, which was on the corner of Main Street and Olivia Street, directly across from the Derby-Shelton Bridge. The lot fronts 100′ of Olivia Street and 90′ of Third Street. The retaining wall along Third Street is 22′ high in places. 3 buildings were razed to make room for the lot (today the Derby Parking Garage covers both the lot and Third Street).
  • SEYMOUR – 2 police officers are credited with saving a couple from a house fire on Johnson Avenue at 1 AM. The fire was contained to the kitchen.
  • SEYMOUR – New traffic light at Bank Street and Franklin Street.
  • SHELTON –  The newly formed 1956 Grand List shows the following – 3710 houses; 2648 garages or barns; 7690 building lots; 217 commercial buildings; 168 mills; 6497 automobiles; 24 horses; 1018 cattle; and 8 boats.
  • SHELTON – SNET is installing a switchboard at the Police Station for 5 new call boxes, to be used by foot patrols. Four will be on Howe Avenue, at the corners Roberts Street, White Street, Center Street, and Grove Street, as well as the intersection of Center Street and Perry Hill Road.

February 22

  • ANSONIA – Today is “Ansonia Goes Crazy Day”, where over 40 downtown stores have big sales, billed as the best bargains “ever offered in the history of Ansonia”. The Sentinel proclaims ” Dig Those Crazy Low Prices Ansonia Merchants Will Offer in Washington Birthday Sale Friday!”
  • DERBY – Big sales in all of downtown Derby’s stores, the theme being “Derby will rock and roll around the clock for the big sale with real cool bargains in the stores that “hep” shoppers will benefit by the great savings offered”. Huge crowds attend.

February 23

  • ANSONIA – William W. Wadyka, A World War II veteran and commander of the Comcowich-Carver VFW Post, dies at home at age 38.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour High School basketball team wins the 1956-1957 Housatonic League Championship, beating Shelton 60-32 in a home game. Their record was 10-2.
  • SHELTON – 200 attend the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Company’s 75th anniversary banquet at the American-Russian Club Crystal Ballroom.
  • SHELTON – Hewitt Memorial Hospital unveils 4 new portraits on the occasion of the institution’s third anniversary. They are of Alvin E. Hewitt, who provided endowment trust in his will for the hospital, and his wife Mary, daughter Mrs. Flora Hewitt Gardner Goddard, and her first husband Edward E. Gardner.
  • SHELTON – Two new factories are taking shape. The first is the new United Shoe Manufacturing plant on River Road. The S.O.&C. in Ansonia is a division of U.S.M., and some of the operations there are moving to Shelton. The second is the new A.H. Nilson off Long Hill Crossroads near Bridgeport Avenue. This firm had to vacate its factory in Bridgeport to make room for new I-95 throughway. 

February 24

  • ANSONIA – Two supernumerary police officers assist in the birth to a healthy 7lb, 9 ounce baby boy on Platt Street.

Monday, February 25, 1957

February 26

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company is spending over $150,000 to bring 3 miles worth of water mains to sections of Hilltop.
  • ANSONIA – The fire siren at Marshall Lane and Pulaski Highway is not working. It is discovered that someone “peppered it” many times with .22 caliber bullets. It has been taken down to see if it can be repaired. The police is investigating.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour High School basketball team defeats Lyman Hall 56-53 at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium in New Haven, to advance to the semifinal round of the Class M tournament. 

February 28

  • ANSONIA – A policeman sees a brand new end table sitting in sleet and rain late this night on Front Street, and notes the man who was arrested for the February 3 burglary at Arlington Hotel and is now on parole, and his wife, walking away. He investigates the area, and finds a hole punched into wall of an inner hallway of a building, allowing access into Jacey’s Furniture Store on 511 Main Street. A car belonging to the paroled man is discovered running on Front Street with a vacuum inside it clearly stolen from store. The paroled man and his wife, who live on Broad Street, are found and arrested.


Friday, March 1

  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – 31 teenagers from Ansonia and Shelton high schools appear on the “Bandstand” dance program on WNHC-TV.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour High School basketball team pulls an upset by defeating Killingly 68-49 at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium, to advance to the final round of the Class M tournament.
  • March 2
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Community Ambulance, formed by a Webster Hose drive in 1949 but now operated by the police department, has made about 3,153 calls in 8 years.

March 5

  • ANSONIA – The new St. Joseph’s Convent for the Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth is nearing completion off Jewett Street.
  • DERBY – The District Nurses’ Association, headquartered on Caroline Street,  drove 25,725 miles serving Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton in 1956. They made 7,961 house calls, 332 of which were to tuberculosis patients.
  • OXFORD – 28 residents have signed a petition to make the dogwood the official town tree.
  • SHELTON – An oil burner fire smothers 207 baby chicks in a brooder house on 299 Bridgeport Avenue.

March 6

  • ANSONIA – Miss Dorothy Walters of Wesley Street is the Valedictorian of Ansonia High School, and Robert Bell of Clover Street is the Salutatorian. Alfred and Joseph Macowksi, brothers, of Riggs Street are the Valedictorian and Salutatorian at Pine High School.
  • ANSONIA – Organizational meeting is held at Ansonia Armory among World War I veterans. They form the General Pershing Barracks of the Veterans of World War I.
  • ANSONIA – Webster Hose Company will launch a drive to replace the Ansonia Community Ambulance. It is estimated a new fully equipped vehicle will cost about $10,000.

March 7

  • ANSONIA – About 200 American Brass Company sheet metal workers walk off their jobs over a grievance involving a study, which will reportedly eliminate one or both of its handicapped workers.
  • ANSONIA – Demolition begins on the Cameron Electric Company building on next to City Hall on Main Street. 
  • OXFORD -Two town boys, ages 9 & 10, become lost in the woods. They use their Cub Scout training to follow a stream to a road, and then get help. By the time they find help, 100 state and local policemen, firemen, Boy Scouts, American Legionnaires, and neighbors were searching for them.
  • SEYMOUR – East Haven defeats Seymour High School 57-38 for the Class M basketball championship at Yale’s Payne Whitney gym.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia warns department heads their budgets either must be “slashed to the bone” or residents will face a tax hike of 6 mills.

March 8

  • ANSONIA – All American Brass Company sheet metal workers are back to work. Both handicapped workers will be retained.
  • ANSONIA – The Connecticut Historical Society will make one of its next projects the repair and restoration of the Mansfield House on Jewett Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The town’s new Civil Defense rescue truck has arrived. It will be housed at Kertie. The truck has a 7.5 ton winch, ladders, a 2.5 kilowatt generator, rope, stretchers, tools, and air masks. It operates with a crew of 10.
  • SEYMOUR – The town’s share in the cost to redevelop flood ravaged Pine Street will be $26,000. The total project cost is $196,800.
  • SHELTON – The T.E. Donovan Funeral Home on 65 Oak Avenue is entering its 58th year of serving the community.

March 9

  • SHELTON – First Lt. Albert Disante, whose parents live on New Street, was aboard a KC-97 Stratotanker which participated in the refueling a squadron of B-52s in an historic round the world flight, called Operation Power Flite, in January.

Sunday, March 10

  • SHELTON – Pinecrest Country Club officially opens on River Road. 250 people attend the open house.

March 11

  • A statewide Civil Defense test called “Operation Water” simulates a major flood in Connecticut. Sealed orders delivered to all Valley towns cannot be opened until 7:30 PM. Derby discovered it was considered a “stricken city”, with the Main Street bridge over the Naugatuck River impassible. Seymour’s downtown was considered “completely inundated”. The test showed the need for more radios.
  • ANSONIA – A car driven by an elderly couple crashes into Chippy’s Gas Station garage at 136 Wakelee Avenue, badly damaging it and injuring them. The driver was Everett H. Kneen, owner of E.H. Kneen Company.
  • ANSONIA – Charles Gardella of 156 North State Street, who has been in grocery business in Ansonia for 54 years, has retired. Other family members will continue the business in the city.
  • ANSONIA – Vandals topple the 1902 memorial in front of the Ansonia Public Library dedicated to Anna Sewell, author of the classic novel Black Beauty. A rope was tied around the pillar and it was pulled down with a car. Picture. If the monument is not restored, the land the library will sit on will revert to the Phelps-Stokes Fund. Ansonia residents are very upset.

March 12

  • OXFORD – First meeting of all organizations dedicated to planting dogwood trees all over Oxford. As of now white dogwoods are offered free, and pinks dogwoods at reduced prices.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour High School announces Babette Rogol its valedictorian, and Joan Harrigan its salutatorian.

March 13

  • Many brush and forest fires in the dry conditions.
  • ANSONIA – A fire destroys the main dome of Sts. Peter & Paul Ukranian Greek Catholic Church on Clifton Avenue. The principal of nearby Pine High School releases a number of boys to assist firefighters in removing religious articles, as flames spread through interior. The pastor saves the tabernacle. The fire grows to a general alarm, calling all Ansonia firemen to the scene. The fire in the dome started by workmen soldering. To get to the deep seated fire, the copper had to be ripped off, and a 50′ ladder raised inside the church itself to get to the underside of it. The inside wood timbers supporting the dome are badly damaged.  Two firefighters receive minor injuries. Ansonia firefighters were battling a brush fire near the David Humphreys House when the fire began, they could see the smoke plume from across the Valley.
  • ANSONIA – A bathroom fire breaks out in a Church Street home at the same time as the fire at Sts. Peter & Paul. The Derby and Shelton fire departments respond.
  • DERBY – A 73 year old woman is critically burned while fighting a grass fire near her home at 34 Sodom Lane. This is one of a number of brush fires the Derby Fire Department responded to recently. She would later die of her injuries.
  • DERBY – St. Mary’s Church is “thronged” as Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien of Hartford invests Rev. John J. Quinn as Monsignor
  • OXFORD – Camp An-Se-Ox is chosen as the name for the new 47 acre girl scout camp in Oxford. The selection panel was composed of Ansonia’s Mayor and Seymour and Oxford’s First Selectmen. A total of 174 names were suggested. Susan Fulton of Troop 16 Ansonia and Vivian Wheeler of Troop 9 Seymour suggested An-Se-Ox, which incorporates the first names of all three towns the camp will serve.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education accepts Karl E. Tarbaell’s resignation as Shelton High School principal for health reasons, with regret. He was the principal for 12 years, and served 33 years in the school system. John L. Freiheit, a High School faculty member, is voted his replacement. The Board also votes Miss E. Eleanor Smith, who served as the High School’s guidance director, into the newly created assistant principal position, by a vote of 7-1.

March 14

  • ANSONIA – A Derby man, employed by John J. Brennan Construction Company of Shelton, is badly burned when sewer gas explodes in the manhole he was working in near the American Brass Company powerhouse.
  • DERBY – Derby High School names Linda Byrne Valedictorian and Lorraine Gasjerini Salutatorian.
  • SHELTON – The Democratic Town Committee votes to censure Mayor Cicia for holding an Apportionment & Taxation meeting without giving notice.

March 15

  • ANSONIA – Stanley Seccombe, of Seccombe Monument Works, assisted by Ansonia Public Works and a Connecticut National Guard crane from the Ansonia Armory, restore the Sewell monument at Ansonia Public Library that was toppled on March 11.
  • ANSONIA – The flagpole on top of Ansonia City Hall since it was built over 50 years ago is taken down by the crane demolishing the Cameron Electric Company next door. For years no flag flew on it, because no one could be found to replace the halyard located so high up. It is hoped the pole can be set up on the City Hall lawn.
  • DERBY – 7 of 18 families who have eviction notices at the soon-to-be-closed Buddies Terrace Housing project do not know where they are going to relocate to.
  • SHELTON – SNET is installing 5 police call boxes in downtown Shelton.

March 16

  • ANSONIA – 750 people attend the annual Housatonic Council Scout-O-Rama at the Ansonia Armory.
  • SHELTON – 1,000 attend 45th anniversary celebration of the Derby-Shelton Girl Scout Council at Shelton High School auditorium.

Sunday, March 17

  • ANSONIA – Everett H. Kneen dies of injuries from his March 11 motor vehicle accident. He started the E. H. Kneen Manufacturing Company in 1920 behind his home on Westfield Avenue, making clips for collapsible tubes. The business moved to 149 Wakelee Avenue in 1922 – and was one of biggest makers of surgical adhesive tape spool.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Congregational Church launches a reconstruction drive to fix damage from the 1955 Floods to its property. The church itself has already been repaired.

March 19

  • ANSONIA – Pump building and loading station of the Walter Onopiak fuel oil company on Howard Avenue is destroyed by fire.
  • DERBY – At a public hearing, the Derby Board of Aldermen authorizes Mayor Dirienzo to ask the State for a pedestrian overpass on Mountain Street, from Emmett Avenue to Mohawk Avenue, and to barricade Mountain Street and West Spring Street, due to the pending extension of the Route 8 expressway.
  • DERBY – Residents of Hawkins Street and Olivia Street complain to the Board of Aldermen that foul chemical odors are coming from the Utica Pan Company on Hawkins Street, which are bad enough to burn eyes.

March 20

  • DERBY – Effective April 1, Sixth Street will be one way street running from west to east, from Elizabeth Street to Hawkins Street. This is the opposite direction originally intended. It was changed due to the fact that fire engines often use Sixth Street to reach Hawkins Street.
  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital adopts a new policy of presenting prepared infant formulas to mothers of babies born at the hospital.

March 21

  • DERBY – In a freak accident, a gust of wind lifts the hood of a police car up on New Haven Avenue, smashing the red light on top of it. A dog the officer was returning home was inside, and jumps on the officer in fright as he tries to stop the vehicle. The officer is able to retain control and stop the car without further damage.
  • SEYMOUR – Seymour Housing Authority announces Chamberlin Road will be extended to include the 4.2 acres it recently purchased at the end of it. Thirteen duplexes will be constructed, each with 5.5 rooms.
  • SEYMOUR – Townspeople overwhelming vote against a preliminary flood redevelopment project for Derby Avenue and Pine Street.

March 23

  • ANSONIA – The Fire Department fights fifteen brush fires over the weekend.
  • SHELTON – The Fire Department fights fourteen brush fires over the weekend.
  • SHELTON – A new children’s section in the reading room at Plumb Memorial Library marks the first major change in the interior arrangement in years.

March 24

DERBY – Volunteers plant 100 dogwood trees along Derby roadways.

March 25

  • DERBY – Derby Neck Library Association holds a special meeting, where it votes to file a certificate of incorporation. Such certificate was never filed when the library’s charter was authorized by the State General Assembly in October 1899. When this was discovered the present General Assembly voted to allow the library an 58 year extension to October 1957.

March 26

  • ANSONIA – City Health Officer Dr. John Renehan donates a 65′ flagpole for the Ansonia City Hall north lawn. Mayor Doyle says it will be erected by Memorial Day.
  • ANSONIA – The 967th Army Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion takes over the Ansonia NIKE site. 6 men are permanently assigned, while the rest are temporarily detailed from other batteries before about 30 other men will arrive later this week.

Sunday, March 27

  • DERBY – Elvis Presley sends greetings to the Derby Elvis Presley fan club through Airman Bruce Pettengill of Silver Hill Road, who met him on a train last week on a train to Memphis. Airman Pettengill described Mr. Presley as a “real nice guy”.

March 28

  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Planning Commission recommends building a new Seymour High School west of Bungay School, and converting the old high school into a Junior High School. They also recommend improving and enlarging Maple Street School, improving the Center School and Annex School, and look into building schools on Colony Road and Great Hill Road.

March 30

  • DERBY – Hotchkiss Hose firemen are alerted to a brush fire spreading up the hill from Water Street toward their Caroline Street firehouse. They put a hose through a back firehouse window to keep it from spreading until other fire companies arrive.
  • SHELTON – 73 year old Henry Diedrichsen, who has operated a gas station next to his River Road home for 20 years, has won $28,000 in the Irish Sweepstakes. He and his wife may retire and move to Florida.

Sunday, March 31

  • ANSONIA – Clan MacDonald, Order of Scottish Clans, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a dinner at the Masonic Temple on North Cliff Street.
  • DERBY – A two-family house on Derby Avenue is badly damaged by a fire caused by gasoline fumes from an outboard motor placed in the basement.
  • DERBY – Dogwood trees are planted at the corner of Atwater Avenue and Seymour Avenue


Monday, April 1, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Health votes to favor pumping water out of the tail race, as the stench from the stagnant water will only get worse as the weather gets warmer.
  • DERBY – Frank Pepe, a member of the Board of Aldermen, dies at his home on Elm Street.
  • DERBY – Derby High School names Linda Byrne Valedictorian and Lorraine Gasperini Salutatorian for 1957.
  • SHELTON – House fire on Hillside Avenue injures one firefighter.
  • SHELTON – Rev. A. Lester M. Worthey will replace the late Rev. Bentley to become the 41st Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
  • SHELTON – The Sutter-Terlizzi Post No. 16, American Legion, takes an option to buy 10 acres off Bridgeport Avenue near Ignace’s Lumber Yard for a “country club” like headquarters.

April 2

  • SHELTON – The Huntington NIKE site will be ready in 6 weeks. The facility off Mohegan Road has an administration building, dining hall, and barracks for 52 and 46 men.

April 3

  • ANSONIA – Former Mayor Frank Fitzpatrick’s auto firm donates a 1957 Plymouth to Ansonia High School for its student driving program.

April 5

  • ANSONIA – 3.9″ of rain has fallen since April 1. A total of 1.25″ will fall in a 24-hour period starting at 8 AM today. 

April 6

  • ANSONIA – The American Brass Company flood gauge shows a rise of 3.25′ above normal along the Naugatuck River in the last 24 hours. There does not appear to be a serious flood threat, but given recent experience the river is being closely monitored.
  • SHELTON – Charles Harang celebrates his 96th birthday at Hewitt Memorial Hospital. Born in France, he was a chef who decided to return to France in 1898. He was aboard the French Lines ship La Bourgoyne when she collided with another vessel on July 4, 1898 off Newfoundland. 562 people died in the shipwreck, he was 1 of very few survivors, and the only one in his lifeboat which drifted for 4 days. After the wreck, he decided he would remain in America, and settled in Derby where he resided for many years.

April 7

  • ANSONIA – A new home is invaded by two burglars on Prindle Avenue. A husband, wife, and child are tied up, the telephone lines are cut, and $513 is stolen and the home ransacked. The couple freed themselves after 3 hours. The police and other residents are searching for the criminals.

Monday, April 8, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen vote 10-5 to adopt a resolution uniting the five Valley towns into a single Health District. Derby has already voted to join. At the same meeting, the Aldermen also vote to ban BB guns. And they accept the resignation of Dennis Neville as Selectman, a post he has held since 1928. He is moving to Derby
  • ANSONIA – Miss Mae Gaffney dies. She was a school nurse in Ansonia for 40 years. She also served as truant officer for many years. During the Great Depression, she made frequent appeals for items that the Ansonia children were lacking in the Evening Sentinel.
  • DERBY – The newly organized Sentinel Hill Parents’ Club want a new elementary school on Sentinel Hill.

April 9

  • ANSONIA – The police department will get a new police cruiser, numbered Car 1, and a station wagon, numbered Car 2. They will replace similar vehicles, that will be traded in.

April 10

  • SHELTON – The B. F. Goodrich, Sponge Rubber Products Division, takes out a full page add asking its employees not to vote in favor of joining the United Rubber Workers Union, citing they have a better package already.

April 11

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle has been invited by the Army to attend Nike missile firing demonstration at the El Paso proving grounds in Texas.
  • ANSONIA – Planning consultants hired after the Flood have released a report, stating that Ansonia’s population declined 3.5% in the 1930s, and a further 2.6% in the 1940s. In 1955, there were 2,425 less industrial jobs than there was in 1947. 30% of the city’s housing was found substandard. And parking facilities were 1802 spaces below accepted levels downtown. They estimate by 1982, the population will go up to 20,200 (actually, the population rose to 21,160 in 1970, but fell to 19,039 by the 1980 US Census).
  • ANSONIA – The rear of the Ansonia Armory will be fenced, and civilian vehicles will no longer be allowed to park there. The lot has been designated as concentration area for military vehicles for this part of the state, including units outside Ansonia.
  • SHELTON – B. F. Goodrich, Sponge Rubber Products Division employees vote 1233-338 against joining the United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum, and Plastic Workers of America. The vote was conducted by National Labor Relations Board. 97% of the employees voted.

April 12

  • ANSONIA – A section of a 2 story brick building on Howard Avenue on the Pine High School property caves in. When the school opened in 1925, it housed the woodworking and automobile shops, until an addition to the main building eliminated the need for it. After that, it was used for storage. The building was notable, however, a it was the last structure standing from Col. Wooster’s estate, which occupied the ground the high school was built upon. The building served as his stables.
  • DERBY – Judge Patrick O’Sullivan of Orange, formerly of Derby and son of the City’s first mayor, is sworn in as Chief Justice of that State of Connecticut. Because his wife was in a New Haven hospital, he is sworn in at her bedside.

 April 14

  • ANSONIA – A car crashes through wall containing 48 panes of glass at Shea’s Gas Station on Wakelee Avenue. No one is injured.
  • SHELTON – 100 children in Easter Egg hunt sponsored by Ladies Auxiliary of St. Joseph’s Post, Catholic War Veterans, at the Shelwood Convalescent Home grounds on River Road.

Monday, April 15, 1957

  • DERBY – Rev. Charles E. Benedict dies at his home in Thomaston at age 64. He served as pastor of the Derby Methodist Church 1911 to 1915. During his tenure he founded the Valley’s first Boy Scout Troop – Troop 1, which was sponsored by the church. The Troop ran its own summer camp, Camp Hemlock, which was located at Zoar in Oxford, in an area now under Stevenson Dam.

April 16

  • OXFORD – Buildings are being erected at the new Girl Scout Camp An-Se-Ox.

April 17

  • DERBY – Derby Civil Defense is building a mobile canteen that will be used in emergencies to serve food and coffee.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Police Community Ambulance gets into an accident with another car on First Street while responding to a call. The left side damaged, but there are no injuries.

April 19

  • SHELTON – A 14-year old boy Stratford boy dies of massive injuries after his car crashes into the back of a truck on Route 8 (Bridgeport Avenue) near the Trumbull town line. Another 14 year old boy is in critical condition, and the 16 year old driver and an additional 15 year are also in hospital.

April 21 – Easter Sunday

  • The temperature reaches into low 80s on this fine Easter Sunday. Churches are crowded.
  • DERBY – Two young men from New Haven nearly drown when their kayak with a sail on it capsizes in the frigid Housatonic River. They launched from Indian Well in Shelton, but are able to swim to shore off Roosevelt Drive, where they are helped by residents.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town is shocked when a police sergeant who had been on the force for 33 years commits suicide with his service revolver at the police station.
  • SHELTON – Over 200 attend Easter sunrise services at 5:30 AM at Highland Golf Course.

Monday, April 22, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The underpinning of the bridge over the tail race on Canal Street, behind the Ansonia Furniture Company catches fire. A large creosote-laden smoke cloud wafts  across the Naugatuck River to the West Side, causing women to quickly close their windows and haul in their washes on clotheslines.
  • SHELTON – The Huntington Nike site will be one of several in the area where the new long range Hercules missile, which carries a nuclear warhead, will be used. The Army emphasizes there is no danger to the community.

April 23

  • ANSONIA – It may cost as much as $60,000 to fill in the tail raceThe history of the tail race, the Ansonia Canal, and how they tied to Ansonia’s early history are given here.
  • SHELTON – An overheated wood stove destroys an old log cabin off Ridgefield Road in White Hills.
  • SHELTON – Shelton High School acquires permanent possession of the James L. Holmes trophy by beating Derby High School’s baseball team 4-1 at Lafayette Field. Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton High Schools were eligible, and in order to gain the trophy, a team had to defeat the team holding it. The first team to win 10 games while holding the trophy, gained permanent possession. Shelton won 10, while Ansonia and Derby won 4 each, and Seymour one a single game.

April 24

  • ANSONIA – George P. Cowles, 57, inventor of electric alarm clocks, dies in Massachusetts. He was born in Ansonia, and worked for the Ansonia Clock Company before becoming a designing engineer at General Electric Clock and Timer Division.
  • OXFORD – Oxford Paint and Hardware Company opens on Route 67.
  • SEYMOUR – The General Assembly votes to name the new Naugatuck River Bridge after General David Humphreys.

April 25

  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – The Army will build 16 Capehart Housing units at both the Ansonia and Shelton Nike sites.
  • DERBY – The Derby Feed Store was founded 30 years ago today, in small store at corner of Main Street and Caroline Street. They constructed a brick building at 176 Main Street in 1937, and a warehouse at the end of Caroline Street in 1955.
  • SHELTON – Cement is being poured for the foundations of the new Huntington Shopping Center at the end of Huntington Street.

April 26

  • ANSONIA – The Webster Hose Company emergency truck’s motor catches fire in the firehouse as it was responding to an alarm. The fire is quickly put out by extinguishers. The truck is old, needs constant repair, and needs to be replaced.

April 27

  • SHELTON – Pine trees are planted on upper Howe Avenue and Indian Well Road by Boy Scouts.

Monday, April 29, 1957

  • The state is critically dry due to lack of rain. Many brush and forest fires are breaking out. Only the major ones are noted below.
  • ANSONIA – A 45′ steel flagpole is erected on Ansonia City Hall lawn, with help from Eagle Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 6 and a Connecticut National Guard 5 ton crane from the Ansonia Armory.
  • SHELTON – 3 local fire companies fight a fire at Papale’s dump off Willoughby Road.

April 30

  • Carpenter’s Local 127 reaches an agreement with Valley contractors, and cancels a strike set for tomorrow. The agreement includes a 7 hour workday and $3.40 an hour.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle officially welcomes the personnel of Battery B, 741st AAA Battalion, to the city. He meets with Captain Robert E. Hughes, the battery commander of the Ansonia Nike Site.
  • DERBY – Mrs. Francis Leeney, 25, runs into a neighboring new house on fire at 26 Sunset Drive, and rescues an 18 month old baby. The baby was in a crib as fire blew into his bedroom from an adjacent closet.
  • SEYMOUR – A 15 acre forest fire in the Castle Rock area threatens a trailer, home, and a barn. Seymour and Ansonia fire departments respond.


Wednesday, May 1, 1957

  • DERBY – The Kellogg Post, Women’s Relief Corps, No. 17 hold their last meeting at Masonic Hall, and disband. Formed in July 1883 as an auxiliary to the Civil War veterans of the Kellogg Post No. 17, Grand Army of the Republic, they once boasted 158 members, but now only have 5. One of their last votes is to give their books and bible to the Derby Historical Society.

May 2

  • ANSONIA – City native Dr. Arthur Yudkin, one of East Coast’s leading eye specialists, dies in his car in Wallingford of a heart attack.
  • DERBY – A 100 acre wildfire is burning along the boarder with Orange, along Derby-Milford Road. Derby, Ansonia, Orange, State Forestry Crews, and other fire departments are called to fight it.
  • DERBY – John H. Collins Post, American Legion, is soliciting funds to build a new home on Caroline Street. 

May 3

  • DERBY – The wildfire along near Derby-Milford Road continues to burn just over the line in Orange. Derby and Ansonia fire departments are assisting.
  • DERBY – Because local resources are so stretched, Ansonia, Shelton, and Seymour join Derby Fire Department in battling a fast spreading brush fire behind 138 New Haven Avenue. Across town, a small barn used as a bull pen is destroyed at Osborndale Farm in a suspicious blaze.
  • OXFORD & SEYMOUR – Two of the “flood houses” for sale at Kerite Court in Seymour will be relocated to Roosevelt Drive, Oxford. These temporary structures erected by the government housed flood refugees right after the August 1955 Floods, and were used for about 18 months. Another proposal to move 6 more of the flood houses to Oxford’s Swan Lake is tabled.

May 5

  • DERBY – Yale defeats Penn State and Columbia to retain the Blackwell Cup at the Housatonic River rowing course. John Cooke of Ansonia is a key member of the Yale rowing team.

Tuesday, May 7, 1957

  • SEYMOUR – The State Highway Department is in town today. Officials are proposing a new 4 lane Broad Street Bridge with a pedestrian walk. Also, construction on the Route 8 expressway should reach town by July.

May 8

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Police Commissioners approve one way traffic, heading north, for North Cliff Street and South Cliff Street.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Furniture Company on 200 Main Street is having a 99th anniversary sale.
  • DERBY – Cattle breeders from the USA, Canada, South America, and Europe converge at Osborndale for dispersal of the award winning cattle herd. It is announced two days later that $170,180 was raised.
  • DERBY – The Board of Education informally recommends constructing a new Derby High School, converting present high school into a junior high school, and acquiring building sites in the David Humphreys Road area, on Hawhtorne Avenue, and a new high school site.
  • SEYMOUR – The fire department is called to a shed fire behind the Mountain View Inn on South Main Street, and 3 brush fires, in 15 minutes. Both fire companies and Explorer Post 13 respond.
  • SHELTON – 95 men and 4 officers take over the Huntington Nike Site.
  • SHELTON – Harry B. Brownson sells 51 acres near Huntington Center to a Fairfield man, who will develop it for homes.
  • SHELTON – The bridge over Pole Brook on Old Shelton Road is finally replaced with an 8′ wide span, by the State Highway Department. The old bridge was washed out in 1955 Flood

May 9

  • DERBY – Both of the Storm Engine Company #2 pumpers have broken down. They are using a spare fire engine on loan from the New Haven Fire Department.
  • DERBY – Fire destroys 2 empty apartments at Buddies Terrace. Only 6 tenants remain in the soon to be closed housing complex.
  • SEYMOUR – The  Democratic Town Committee recommends the Town adopt an aldermanic form of government.

May 10

  • ANSONIA – A 50′ high, 350,000 gallon standpipe water tank is being installed on Kimberly Lane near Benz Street, to serve the Hill Top area, by the Ansonia Water Company.
  • SEYMOUR – Contracts are signed to remodel the Seymour Congregational Church.

May 12

  • DERBY – Storm Engine Company begins moving into their new Olivia Street firehouse, which was built for $116,975.
  • DERBY – Four babies are born on Mother’s Day in Griffin Hospital. The new mothers are from Shelton, Seymour, Ansonia, and New Britain.

Monday, May 13, 1957

  • ANSONIA – A proposed new $149,795 brick addition to the Ansonia Public Library is unveiled at a Board of Aldermen meeting. The original plans for matching brownstone were scrapped because they were cost prohibitive.
  • SEYMOUR – Governor Ribbicoff signs into law a bill naming the new Broad Street Bridge the General David Humphreys Memorial Bridge.

May 14

  • A cloudburst drops 1.5″ of rain within a few hours late in the evening.
  • ANSONIA – 3″ of water floods the Ansonia City Hall basement.

May 15

  • DERBY & SHELTON – Shelton Metal Products Company on 304 Seymour Avenue, Derby, is moving to Access Road off Route 8 in Shelton next month. The new plant is a 62×180′ cinderblock building with 11,500 square feet of factory space.
  • SHELTON – The old Scattergood Mission Building on 68 Perry Avenue collapses at 3:30 AM after its foundation is undermined by the rainstorm the night before. It is now tilting dangerously to the north, and will have to be razed. Automobiles in the garages on Howe Avenue have been moved in case the building crashes below.

May 16

  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – Beacon Construction Company of Boston will build 16 housing units at both of the NIKE missile sites.
  • SHELTON – An ammonia leak at Axton-Cross at 113 Canal Street sends 2 employees to the hospital.

May 17

  • DERBY – The Derby Businessmen’s Associations sponsors a huge sale downtown, saluting the first anniversary of the Valley’s radio station WADS-AM. Gyro the Robot is on hands for the kids. Large crowds attend.

May 18

  • ANSONIA – Marine Corps Technical Sergeant. Louis H. Lazarko, whose parents live on 20 Parker Street, Ansonia, is in the Mark VII Limited film “The D.I.” He plays Sgt. Joey, an envious drill instructor who gives Jack Webb a hard time about a problem recruit. He is in a number of scenes, on of which involves a physical altercation with Webb. The Marines screened a number of personnel before selecting Lazarko and others to appear in the movie.
  • OXFORD – The Annual Camporee of the Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts, is held on the Flannery and McGeever properties. 425 Boy Scouts participate over the weekend, the largest number the event ever attracted up to that time.

Monday, May 20, 1957

  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – Mrs. Catherine Wilhelmy, widow of William W., of Ansonia, dies at Shelwood Convalescent Home in Shelton, at the age of 100. Born in Germany on May 11, 1857, she immigrated to the USA over 70 years ago. She had 12 children, 6 of which were still alive at the time of her death.
  • DERBY – The Grassy Hill Men’s and Women’s Club donate a new stretcher to the Storm Ambulance Corps.
  • SEYMOUR – The easterly abutment of the Bank Street Bridge, damaged in the 1955 floods, is being repaired.

May 21

  • ANSONIA – Following a successful fund drive, a new Cadillac Beau Mobile super rescuer ambulance is ordered for the Ansonia Community Ambulance.
  • SEYMOUR – The Sentinel publishes an architect’s drawing of the new Seymour Public Library, which will be built on Church Street to replace the one destroyed in the August 1955 flood.

May 22

  • ANSONIA – Fire guts the residence of Rev. Dr. Julian Taylor, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church.

May 23

  • A cloudburst spills an inch of rain in about 2 hours late in the evening, causing many problems. 
  • ANSONIA – The  City Hall basement is flooded. Several cars are stuck in high water on Mill Street. Mud from a new housing development under development chokes Hill Street, North Spring Street, and Tramantana’s Restaurant. 
  • ANSONIA – The Dearborn Screw Machine Company on 70 South Cliff Street is struck by lightning just before midnight. 2 firefighters are injured, and another 8 are overcome by smoke, including Corporation Council Joseph Buckley, who is a member of Webster Hose. The Christ Church parlors are used as a first aid station.
  • SHELTON – Lightning storm sets minor fires at the Harvey Textile Company on Platt Road, and in a house on Leavenworth Road.

May 25

  • DERBY – The Civil Defense conducts Operation Rescue, which simulates a major flood with casualties and a fire in Derby.  Aid rushed from Branford, East Haven, Milford, Hamden, Seymour, Ansonia, West Haven, Shelton, and Norwalk. A helicopter lands at Coon Hollow Park with medical supplies, while the Salvation Army serves meals.
  • SEYMOUR – 200 gather at Woodford Memorial for the 70th anniversary dinner celebration of the Nonnawauk Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men. This is the second oldest tribe in Connecticut, formed on May 23, 1887.
  • SHELTON – The statue on Huntington Green that was smashed on August 3, 1954, after being restored by the Street Department, is put back on its pedestal

May 26

  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Memorial Day service is held at the New Irving School in Derby.
  • SHELTON – Soldiers of the NIKE missile battery in Huntington participate in the Memorial Day services on Huntington Green for the first time. 

Monday, May 27, 1957

  • ANSONIA – Vin Drake of Ansonia, former most valuable player in All-Army Football while serving in Germany, has signed an NFL contract to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.

May 28

  • ANSONIA – Federal immigration officials arrest 2 Portuguese aliens and 1 Spanish alien at 417 Main Street. One tried to flee, but stopped running when an official threatened to shoot him.
  • DERBY – It is announced that 19 Explorers in Post 33 will become Eagle Scouts on June 5. This many boys receiving the difficult to obtain Boy Scout rank is reportedly unprecedented in New England history, and possibly in American history as well.


  • ANSONIA – Battery B 741st AAA Missile Battalion at the Ansonia Nike Site, and the 388th Engineer Construction Battalion, US Army Reserve, participate for the first time. Mayor Doyle is the main speaker at Nolan Field.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Parade starts in Shelton this year. Soldiers assigned to the Huntington Nike Site march for first time.
  • OXFORD – Hundreds see the Memorial Day Parade, which runs along Main Street from Seth Den Road to Oxford School.
  • SEYMOUR – Many Oxford units take place in this year’s Memorial Day Parade.

May 31

  • DERBY – Derby Public Library circulated 80,990 books in 1956.
  • DERBY – Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America, will start a campaign in next February to raise $200,000 to purchase a camp site in Goshen, and construct buildings and buy equipment there. The camp has between 180 and 200 acres, and a 75 acre lake.


Saturday, June 1, 1957

  • ANSONIA – Four cars of a 96 car New Haven Railroad train jump the tracks near the American Brass Company. This is the second major derailment in the area in 2 days. Yesterday a freight train jumped the tracks on the same line in Orange, just below Derby.

June 2

  • ANSONIA – Ceremonies for the opening of the Little League season at Pratt Field are largely attended.
  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – Bullets taken from a Bridgeport shooting victim are being analyzed to see if they fit with those from a May 9, 1954 murder on Isinglass Road in Shelton. The Bridgeport victim had just been released for robbing the Main Package Store on 576 Main Street Ansonia on January 27, 1956.
  • SEYMOUR – A 46 year old Derby Avenue man is killed instantly when he is hit by a car on his street in the early morning hours.
  • SHELTON – A thousand people attend the dedication of South League Field at Sunnyside Field. The field is renamed Edward Cowey Jr. Little League Field, which comes as a surprise to its namesake. Mr. Crowey has volunteered in the Little League for over 20 years.

Tuesday, June 4, 1957

  • SEYMOUR – 3 cars and 2 trucks, including a ‘store bus’ (a bus converted into a refreshment stand) are involved in a chain reaction crash on Roosevelt Drive near Actors’ Colony. An Ansonia grocer in the store bus is trapped under hundreds of bottles and cans which fell on him during the crash, before he is cut out by the Derby Fire Department rescue truck. He is in fair condition, all other injures are minor.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Public Health Association staff nurses made 2,400 home visits last year.

June 5

  • ANSONIA – The Hilltop Civic Association votes to lease land which will allow the Hilltop Hose Company to build a firehouse.
  • DERBY – 19 Explorers from Explorer Post 33 receive their Eagles awards at an impressive ceremony at New Irving School. This was the largest court of honor ever held in Housatonic Council history up to that time, and was the first in New England history to award 19 Eagles. During the ceremony, a letter from First Lady Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower was read, congratulating them and stating she wished she could be there.

June 7

  • The New Haven Foundation (now the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven) reports the Gates funds totaled $4,351,750.66 on December 31, 1956. The Foundation made $198,729,44, which was bequeathed by two Derby brothers. 18 allocations were made to the Valley in 1956, totaling $53,928.30.
  • ANSONIA & SHELTON – SO&C announces it will close for summer vacation from June 17 to 24, at which time the old Ansonia plant will close for good. When the employees return from vacation, it will be to the new Shelton plant on River Road.

June 8

  • DERBY – An Ansonia man drives from Derby to West Haven in the wrong lane in heavy rush hour traffic on Route 34. He is pursued by a Derby police car, which passes him in the right lane and tries to stop him at a roadblock ahead. The driver just keeps going, almost hitting a policeman. There are no accidents, but it is later learned that he hit 3 cars cars on Derby Avenue prior getting on Route 34. When he finally does stop, he explains he had just ate a large dinner of corned beef and cabbage and…you can probably figure why said he was in a hurry.
  • SEYMOUR – The 25th State Convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart opens at Actors’ Colony Inn.

June 9

  • SEYMOUR – The Military Order of Purple Heart convention closes at Actors’ Colony Inn.

Tuesday, June 11, 1957

  • ANSONIA – City retail merchants earned $30,728,000 in 1956. This is up from $24,737,000 in 1955. The average net income was $6,440 per family, which is higher than both the national average ($5,736) and New England’s average ($6415).
  • ANSONIA – The Hilltop Hose Company will lease a 2’6×24′ parcel of land from the East Side Hilltop Civic Association, where it will build a firehouse.
  • DERBY – A tractor trailer breaks an axle on while climbing the hill on Main Street, causing it roll backward and jackknife, completely blocking the road for 2 hours.
  • SEYMOUR – The 100 members of the Class of 1957, 58 girls and 42 boys, are awarded their diplomas at the Seymour High School’s 70th commencement, and second in a row to be held outdoors, on the Bungay School grounds. 

June 12

  • DERBY – Allis & Company, on 231 Main Street, Derby, is sold to a New York concern. The clothing firm was founded in 1881.
  • DERBY – 5 West Haven youths go on a shooting spree with a high powered air rifle and pistol on Sentinel Hill. They shoot out streetlights and lawn lights from a convertible. The police switchboard lights up at 9:40 PM with multiple calls. Derby Police hasten to the scene, and apprehend the youths.
  • DERBY – A man who snatched a purse on the Derby-Shelton bridge is pursued by passerby to First Street, where he is cornered and apprehended by the police department.
  • SEYMOUR – The Chicago Cubs sign on Jack Sledjeski, who graduated from Seymour High School yesterday.

Monday, June 17, 1957

  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen reject a request to rezone 850 acres in the Long Hill Avenue area from RU-1 to RU-2, which will change it from 1 acre to half an acre.

June 18

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education will look into an injury sustained by a 16 year old who was cut and required 14 stitches, while being ejected from the woodworking department at Pine High School.
  • DERBY – The Derby Historical Society elects Dr. Samuel Rentsch as its President. 

June 19

  • ANSONIA – A 2′ 4″ long sand shark is speared and landed by 2 Pine High School students in Beaver Brook, north of the Crystal Bottling Works. How it got into Beaver Brook is a mystery.
  • ANSONIA – The 155 members of the Ansonia High School and Pine High School Class of 1957 graduate at the Ansonia High School auditorium.

June 20

  • ANSONIA – A natural gas line is laid under the Naugatuck River to supply the American Brass Company, whose furnaces have been converted from burning oil to natural gas. 
  • DERBY – The 72 members of the Derby High School Class of 1957 graduates in the City’s first ever outdoor graduation exercise at Coon Hollow Park.

June 21

  • SHELTON – The 82 members of the Shelton High School Class of 1957 graduate at the school’s auditorium.
  • SHELTON – A bill requiring the State to maintain Indian Well Road is signed into law by Gov. Abraham Ribicoff

June 22

  • SEYMOUR – Thus far, $8,800 has been received to rebuild the Seymour Public Library, which was destroyed in the August 1955 Flood.

Wednesday, June 26, 1957

  • SHELTON – Frederick M. Daley, who founded the Sponge Rubber Products Company in Derby 34 years ago, will step down as the president of the B.F. Goodrich Sponge Rubber Products Division (which incorporates the old company) on August 1. Co-founder William Todd will take his place.

June 27

  • ANSONIA – 42 Ansonia stores kick off the 3 day Ansonia Circus Sale Days. Downtown takes a circus theme, with clowns, music, vendors, and free refreshments. Random names are placed on store windows – if see your name you win prizes.

June 28

  • SEYMOUR – An artist’s conception of the redesigned Second Street area, incorporating the new Route 8 overpass, is published in the Evening Sentinel. The highway is to run between Second Street and Third Street. New commercial buildings would be constructed facing First Street and Second Street, with a parking area wide enough to accommodate 80 cars. Second Street would be widened 10 feet. The weave shed of the Tingue Mills, which has not been occupied since the 1955 floods, will be demolished to build a 140 car parking lot. Third Street will be discontinued.
  • SHELTON – Preliminary grading is underway for the new St. Lawrence Church and hall in Huntington.

June 29

  • ANSONIA – A street parade is held on Main Street in conjunction with the Ansonia Circus Sale Days.
  • DERBY – A record 550 register for Recreation Camp this week.


Tuesday, July 2, 1957

  • SHELTON – The Fire Department fills the new 500,000 gallon pool at Pinecrest Country Club – the largest pool in New England.

July 3

  • SEYMOUR – Land is being cleared on town line with Ansonia for the new Route 8 expressway.
  • SHELTON – The Evening Sentinel is being delivered in the Maple Lane area by brothers Brian and Carl Miller, on a bicycle built for two.
  • SHELTON – A four act show at Lafayette Field, sponsored by the City, is followed by fireworks.


  • No major incidents are reported in any of the Associated Cities and Towns.
  • DERBY – A large crowd witnesses the City’s fireworks display over Coon Hollow Park. A public dance was held while waiting for dusk to fall.

July 6

  • SHELTON – Camp Millcroft, the Derby-Shelton Girl Scout day camp located off Huntington Street, opens for the summer.

Monday, July 8, 1957

  • OXFORD – The Girl Scout Camp An-Se-Ox opens for its first season.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town votes 430-133 to approve the Second Street Redevelopment Project. Seymour will pay 1/6 the cost of redeveloping this area, once the heart of town, which was terribly damaged in the 1955 floods, and the Federal government will pay the rest.

July 9

  • ANSONIA – $672.30 is stolen from the North Italian Club on Cheever Street Extension. $250 of it was in quarters and dimes in a jug. 
  • ANSONIA – Burglars are frightened away by the alarm at Falcon Hall, on 108 Central Street.
  • ANSONIA – Hilltop Hose Company takes out a lease on 26×24′ parcel from the East Side Hill Top Civic Association, to build a firehouse.
  • DERBY – 165 tons of steel for the new Division Street Bridge arrives at the Derby freight yards.
  • DERBY – A 22 year old man leads the Derby, Ansonia, and State Police through a wild 55 minute car chase through East Derby. The man’s wife and 5 year old child were in the car, and the wife could be heard pleading with him to stop. 22 police officers were involved, including many off duty Derby officers who were attending a Police Mutual Benefit Association meeting. At least 15 shots were fired by the police, mostly warning shots, and finally at the tires. The driver drove over streets espenades, lawns, sidewalks, before being stopped by heavy traffic in front of the old brewery on Derby Avenue. The man is captured at gunpoint.

July 10

  • ANSONIA – The custodian of the North Italian Club breaks down under police questioning and admits stole the money the day before. It is found buried behind his Woodland Trailer Park trailer in Shelton.
  • OXFORD – An underground fire has been burning at Swan Lake since July 4. The Fire Department has been called 3 times since then to soak the ground when it threatened to spread to structures. A good rain is needed.
  • SEYMOUR – The Sentinel publishes the first conceptual picture of new proposed 4-lane Broad Street Bridge, to be called the General David Humphreys Memorial Bridge.

July 12

  • DERBY – At the urging of Derby-Shelton Board of Trade, the New Haven Railroad has painted the Derby-Shelton train station pillars and angle braces red, the undersides of roof over the walks and platforms blue, and the window and door frames gray. This is the Lower Valley’s last operating passenger station since the 1955 Flood destroyed Ansonia’s. The rest are platforms.
  • OPERATION ALERT 1957 – Operation Alert 1957 is staged, a nationwide test of readiness for a Soviet nuclear attack on the United States. The Mayor has sealed orders pertaining to it. Although the usual precautions are taken, such as having everyone take cover when the alarms go off, civil defense stations manned, and emergency vehicles dispersing to the suburbs, it is rather sobering to learn that one of the two hypothetical nuclear bombs to strike Connecticut detonated over the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck River. Derby and Ansonia, as well as much of Shelton and Seymour, suffer “100% Casualties”. The Sentinel’s headline the next morning is “Valley Towns are Wiped Out, in Theory”.

July 13

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Public Library now has microfilmed copies of the Evening Sentinel from 1896 to 1928.
  • SHELTON – A car gets hung up on the railroad tracks in the path of an approaching train at Birchbank. The driver exits before the train hits, and the car is destroyed.

Monday, July 15, 1957

  • SHELTON – The A.H. Nilson Company begins operations at its new plant on Bridgeport Avenue near Long Hill Crossroads.

July 17

  • ANSONIA – The awning of Joe’s Meat Market on 129 North State Street catches fire. It is believed to have been caused by a careless cigarette tossed out of a car. The northeast corner of the building is scorched. Another awning catches fire, under the same circumstances, at L&S Bootery at the Capitol Building on 280 Main Street. The second awing fire is put out by a police officer before it could spread.

July 18

  • ANSONIA – The SO&C is moving all its machinery out of its Main Street Ansonia plant to new River Road Shelton plant. When the moving is finished, it mark the first time since the Ansonia building was constructed for the SO&C in 1882 that it has been vacant.

July 19

  • ANSONIA – The City’s Health Officer and the Assistant City Engineer issue a joint statement urging voters to approve filling in tailrace in the upcoming July 27 referendum. The tailrace is cited as a health, fire, and flood menace. Three days later the Mayor and Evening Sentinel also urge approval.

July 21

  • Major heat wave in the area. Many are sunburned.
  • ANSONIA – Temperatures are 110 downtown, and 97.5 in the shade.
  • DERBY – Three Derby boys have found a novel way of beating the heat, by walking up to 50′ deep along the riverbed of the Housatonic River. They have made an improvised diving outfit, composed of half of an old hot water heater and a garden hose that reaches air on the surface.

Monday, July 22, 1957

  • The severe drought and heat wave continues.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY- Ansonia and East Derby are swept by a major sandstorm, which derived from loose sand from the dyke project near the river, coupled with sand from new housing developments on the hills, combined with very strong winds. The temperature is 104 degrees. 
  • SEYMOUR – A gust of wind blows over an antenna and starts small fire at the 21 family Vitello Apartments on Roosevelt Drive.

July 23

  • SHELTON – B.F. Goodrich Sponge Rubber Division will build a half million dollar warehouse next to Plant 6 on Canal Street. It will be 350′ long, with 50,000′ of floor space, and will handle all storage for Plants 2 and 6.

July 24

  • DERBY – A police cruiser is slightly damaged when it catches fire on while on duty at Olivia Street and Fifth Street for a funeral.
  • DERBY – A temporary injunction granted to the W. E. Bassett Company, which restrains the H. C. Cook Company of Ansonia from making a pocket knife similar to one that the Bassett Company makes.
  • SEYMOUR – The superintendent of the Seymour Water Company issues emergency restrictions, ordering no car washing or lawn sprinklers. 

July 25

  • ANSONIA – Vandals break into the American Legion Home on North Cliff Street during the night. They vandalize it, along with Boy Scout and Army Reserve equipment stored inside.
  • SEYMOUR – Two boys, ages 13 and 15, are arrested after they shoot a 19 year old farmhand. They were trying to see how close they could shoot at him without hitting him, and try to frighten him. The victim is in the hospital in good condition.
  • SEYMOUR – An anti tank rocket, that would have been fired out of a World War II bazooka, is found by a 13 year old boy on the flats off Derby Avenue near the river. It is removed by the Army, and taken to the Shelton Ordinance Depot. It is announced two days later that the rocket was only a training round, with the explosive removed.

July 26

  • ANSONIA – The fire department pumps 6,000 gallons of water to the Ansonia Nike Site, when their water supply goes low due to the drought.
  • OXFORD – Campfires are banned at the Girls Scout Camp An-Se-Ox due to the severe drought.

July 27

  • ANSONIA – City voters approve floating a bond to fill in the tailrace in a referendum, by a 2-1 margin.

July 28

  • DERBY & SHELTON – A 16′ outboard motor boat goes over the Ousatonic Dam, with two Bridgeport men on it. The boat did not tip over, and the occupants are all right.

Monday, July 29, 1957

  • 1.11″ of rain falls today.
  • SHELTON – Heavy rain causes a section of River Road to wash away.
  • DERBY – The house at 314 Elizabeth Street, next to St. Mary’s School, will be converted into a medical building.

July 30

  • ANSONIA – The fire horn is moved from City Hall, where it had been for years, to the American Brass Company wire mill.

July 31

  • ANSONIA – The Pierson Better Furniture Store on 403 Main Street celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The business was first located at 527 Main, then moved to 511 Main, before moving to its present location in 1928. The establishment also has a warehouse on East Main Street. 
  • DERBY – Lightning strikes a residence at 301 Roosevelt Drive, setting the living room on fire. The fire department extinguishes it.


Thursday, August 1, 1957

  • ANSONIA – A 24 year old Division Street Navy veteran, drowns in Lake Zoar, when he jumps off a boat to swim 120′ to Monroe side.
  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company says the last 6 month period was the driest it has recorded since 1923, but the reservoirs are OK for now.
  • ANSONIA – The Evening Sentinel has pictures of the Route 8 expressway under construction in Ansonia. The first shows a grader tearing apart a former little league field in the northern part of town. Another shows the new highway cutting in just behind the bleachers at Nolan Field. Supposedly the bleachers won’t be disturbed, despite the fact they are very close to where the highway will run.

August 2

  • ANSONIA – Edward McQuade, of Johnson Street, celebrates HIS 86th birthday. He is owner and proprietor of McQuade’s Pharmacy on 22 Clifton Avenue. He still works 12 hours, 7 days a week. Mr. Johnson invented Velvet cream many years ago, which was still on the market in 1957.

August 3

  • SHELTON – 900 B.F. Goodrich  employees honor outgoing Sponge Rubber Products division head Frederck M. Daley at the annual outing at Warsaw Park in Ansonia.

August 4

  • SHELTON – A Holy Communion Service is held for the first time in over 40 years at the White Hills Baptist Church on School Street.

Monday, August 5, 1957

  • In contrast to the raging floods of two years ago, the Naugatuck River is so drought-stricken that it is now possible to wade across it.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Apportionment and Taxation appropriates $25,450 to buy 8 acres at the corner of Ford Street and Finney Street to build a new school.
  • ANSONIA – The State has made $45,000 available to widen Canal Street from Mechanic Street to Central Street. There are also provisions to widen Central Street toColburn Street, but there are difficulties with railroad right of ways. The American Brass Company has offered to buy the land from the railroad, and sell a 16′ strip to the City for the widening project.
  • DERBY – A human jawbone is found by the Beard Construction Company near the Main Street Bridge. The Medical Examiner says it probably washed here from Unity Cemetery in Seymour during the August 1955 Flood.
  • SHELTON – A 30 year old Wakelee Avenue Extension man employed by the Housatonic Public Service Company is fatally electrocuted by a 2300 volt line he was trying to remove from a tree limb on Huntington Street and Maple Lane.

August 6

  • DERBY – Donald L. Murphy has signed a contract to open a Ford Edsel dealership on 304 Seymour Avenue, this fall.
  • DERBY – Large bulldozers are clearing the area between Mohawk Avenue and Emmet Avenue Extension for the new Route 8 Expressway.
  • SEYMOUR – A new loading platform is being constructed just north of the Seymour railroad station for the Kerite Company.

August 7

  • SEYMOUR – Seymour ranks 14 our of 16 among larger Connecticut communities in retail sales per capita. The Town’s population increased by 600 from 1950 to 1955. There has been a 29.1% increase in automobiles, and a 20.8% increase in housing. There has also been a 12.4% increase in manufacturing employees, despite a 12.5% decrease in the industries themselves.

August 8

  • ANSONIA – The river wall behind the Ansonia Lumber Company has a serious collapse. It was badly damaged in Flood of 1955.
  • SHELTON – The White Hills Fire Company is planning a $5,000 campaign to purchase a 2,000 gallon water tanker. There were 75 families in White Hills in 1947. There are now 250 families.

August 9

  • ANSONIA – Work begins on filling in the tailrace. A pipe is laid into its stem under the Ansonia Furniture Company warehouse. A big scooper dug out the end of stem, while a subterranean bulldozer breaks the barrier, letting out long stagnant water into river.
  • SEYMOUR – Charles H. Stevens, New York Bible Society’s Assistant Treasurer, offers to make a gavel to be used at Seymour town meetings out of beams his family salvaged when the David Humphreys Mill was demolished 50 years ago.
  • SHELTON – A 9 year old Oak Avenue boy drowns off Riverview Park, opposite the Yale boathouse, after he slipped off a shoal into the deep channel.

August 10

  • ANSONIA – The Annual Music in the Air competition is held at Nolan Field, sponsored by the Connecticut Hurricanes. 7,000 people attend. A New York City American Legion band called The Skyliners win the top prize.
  • DERBY – Judge Patrick B. O’Sullivan of Orange, son of Derby’s first Mayor, concludes his career as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors, when he turns mandatory age of 70. He was appointed to the post in 1931.

Monday, August 12, 1957

  • ANSONIA – An 8″ water main bursts along a 2′ section along East Main Street at 9:10 PM. Crews work into the early morning to repair it.

August 13

  • ANSONIA – A serious fire strikes an unoccupied new home on Chester Street.
  • DERBY – A Minerva Street man saves his 8 1/2 year old son from drowning in the Derby Canal. But the rescue takes all his energy and he begins drowning. He is saved by employees of the nearby B.F. Goodrich Plant 1.
  • SEYMOUR – 101 people sign a petition opposing the construction of 26 5-room duplexes by the Seymour Housing Authority next to an existing housing project. They also demand an “accounting of the action ignoring the voice of the people”.

August 14

  • DERBY – A new parking lot is completed for St. Michael’s Church on the corner of Derby Avenue and Bank Street.
  • DERBY – Walt Disney’s Cinderella is playing at the Commodore Hull Theater, along with Davy Crockett and the River Pirates, through Saturday.

August 15

  • ANSONIA – US Navy Commander Francis J. Berry, of Ansonia, is serving as flag secretary of the commander in chief of the Atlantic Fleet.
  • SEYMOUR – Fire destroys the vacant Birch Bar Inn on Derby Avenue, Seymour.1 firefighter is injured when he stepped on a nail. The building was being razed to make way for Route 8. The fire was fought for 2 hours, with fire engines having to draft out of the Naugatuck River.

Monday, August 19, 1957

  • On the second anniversary of the disastrous Black Friday Flood of 1955, the Naugatuck River is a mere trickle today, due to an ongoing drought.
  • SHELTON – B.F. Goodrich will consolidate most of its entire office staff at Plant 4 on Canal Street.

August 20

  • ANSONIA – Workmen dismantling the tailrace report industrial waste and sewage are still being poured into it.

August 21

  • DERBY – The Board of Aldermen authorizes Mayor Dirienzo to negotiate with the Marcucio family to buy 10 acres on Sentinel Hill, off David Humphreys Road, for a new school site.
  • DERBY – The State Highway Commissioner notifies the City that they will build a vehicle and pedestrian overpass over Route 8 at Bluff Street, instead of pedestrian only bridge at Mountain Street.
  • DERBY – The State announced that the Main Street bridge, which survived the 1955 Flood despite being badly damaged, will soon be replaced.

August 22

  • DERBY – The Board of Education adopts a pupil discipline policy, which bar weapons as well indecent magazines, books, or pictures. Students must wear proper clothing, which does not include dungarees, shorts, or short skirts. Any student caught with alcohol will be banned from school events for the rest of the year. Smoking is strictly forbidden.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Wildcats high school football team is dealt a blow when it is announced that Bob Deegan, their first string quarterback, is moving to Texas.

August 23

  • SEYMOUR – Popular television host Ed Sullivan files a lawsuit for $100,000 against the Ansonia man who crashed into him on Route 8 on August 6 of last year.

August 24

  • DERBY – 24 men who worked at Birmingham Iron Foundry gather for a reunion at a home on Housatonic Terrace, Seymour. The oldest was Mr. Steve Conlon, who joined in 1897. The Birmingham Iron Foundry was founded in 1836, and merged with Farrels in 1927, forming Farrel-Birmingham.
  • SHELTON – 500 children show up for a fishing rodeo at Chordas Pond off Nells Rock Road, where they are feted with free ice cream. Some even go fishing. The event was sponsored by the Shelton Bass Club and Shelton Playground Commission.

August 25

  • 1.36″ of rain falls in 24 hour period beginning at 8 AM.

Monday, August 26, 1957

  • ANSONIA – Harold “Bing” Smoot, 51, of 478 Main Street, the proprietor of Bing’s Restaurant, is shot and critically wounded during a holdup in his apartment. Two men attempted to rob him at gunpoint. Mr. Smoot fought back, pushing one down a flight of stairs before the other shot him. Both men escaped, and are being sought by the local and state police. 
  • SHELTON – Both the police and health director are investigating the ongoing dumping of garbage into Burying Ground Brook

August 28

  • ANSONIA – Two brick buildings, one on the corner of Maple Street and High Street, and the other next door on Maple Street, will have to be razed for an improved westerly abutment to the new Maple Street Bridge.
  • ANSONIA – The new Ansonia Community ambulance arrives. It is a 1957 Cadillac Beau Monde Super Rescuer. The fund drive was conducted by Webster Hose Co. No. 3, which also raised the funds for its 8-year old predecessor.

August 29

  • DERBY – Dr. Samuel Rentsch, the President of the Derby Historical Society, says he has received many comments from people opposed to the removal of a 300 year old Elm Tree from the island at Division Street and Seymour Avenue. The tree is considered a traffic hazard by the State Highway Department, who applied for permission from the Board of Aldermen to remove it. The Board referred the matter to the Derby Historical Society. The tree has a plaque placed many years before by the Sarah Riggs Humphreys Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, saying it was on the road between New Haven and Albany.

August 30

  • SEYMOUR – The last 5 pre-fab houses at Kerite Court, erected after the 1955 Flood, have been sold and will be removed.

August 31

  • ANSONIA – Local gas stations are in a “price war”. The price is now down to 24 cents a gallon for regular, and 28 cents per gallon for high-test.
  • SHELTON – Ripton Road resident Col. Clarence Chamberlin is touring Germany, where he accomplished his greatest aviation feat 30 years ago, when he became the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean with a passenger, shortly after Lindberg became the first person to cross it.


Monday, September 2, 1957 – Labor Day

  • DERBY – A 34 year old man, who lives at Vitello Apartments on Roosevelt Drive, is killed when the plane he is piloting crashes in Fonda, NY.

September 4

  • ANSONIA – Schools reopen to a total of 3780 students. The student population is: Annie Larken School – 243, Lincoln School – 302, John C. Mead School – 125, Andrew F. Nolan School – 308, Georgeanna Peck School – 321, Minnie Willis School – 376, Assumption School -703, St. Joseph’s School – 351, Pine High School – 180, Ansonia High School – 482, and Junior High School (8th and 9th grade) – 415.
  • DERBY – Schools reopen to a total of 1295 students. The student population is: St. Mary’s School – 704, St. Michael’s School – 450, Derby High School – 420, Franklin School – 282, New Irving School – 313, Lincoln School – 249, Hawthorne School – 31.
  • OXFORD – The town has accepted 3 new bridges washed out in 1955 floods, on Hurley Road, Laughlin Road, and O’Neil Road. Work is progressing on the Hog’s Back Road and Barry Road bridges, which were also washed out.
  • OXFORD – Oxford Centralized School reopens to 542 students.
  • SEYMOUR – Schools reopen to a total of 2189 students. The student population is: Maple Street School – 507; Seymour High School – 630; Annex School – 240; Center School – 314; Bungay School – 345.
  • SHELTON – Schools reopen to a total of 3,356 students. 2,956 attend public schools, and 400 attend St. Joseph’s School.

September 7

  • SEYMOUR – Kerite is suing the Seymour Paper Mills, Inc, for $500,000 for the pollution of Bladen’s Brook. It claims an unreasonable amount of noxious chemicals has been dumped in the brook so it can’t be used by Kerite. The suit also asks for an injunction against the pollution.

September 8

  • ANSONIA – The funeral for Herman Rosenthal, 88, of 144 South Cliff Street is held. He was Ansonia’s oldest Jewish resident. His father, Michael, was one of the first Jews to settle in Ansonia, in the 1880s. Michael ran a meat business at Factory and Cheever Streets. Like his father, Herman was born in Russia, ran a dry goods store on Main Street, and later a shoe store.

Tuesday, September 10, 1957

  • SEYMOUR – The course of the Naugatuck River below Kinneytown Dam is being changed  for the new Route 8 Expressway.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia asks the Board of Aldermen to look into entering a contract to rent marshland behind the Grasso sand and gravel pits off River Road, near the Housatonic River, as a dump, because the Willoughby Road dump can no longer be used.

September 12

  • ANSONIA – Retired Farrel-Birmingham president Franklin Hoadley dies in Stonington at 68.
  • ANSONIA – The City purchases 8 acres at the corner of Ford Street and Finney Street for $24,000, as a future school site. The money came from funds received when city land was taken for the new Route 8 Expressway.
  • ANSONIA – Holy Rosary Church buys 14 acres at the corner of  Prindle Avenue and Ford Street for future parish development.

September 13

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Shelton defeats Seymour 12-0 at Lafayette Field.

September 14

  • DERBY – The new $57,000 field house at Coon Hollow Park for the Derby High School football team is ready for its first season. The 1st floor has public restrooms and equipment storage. The 2nd floor contains 22 showers, individual dressing rooms, a coaches room, and a meeting room.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats the Leavenworth Tigers at Waterbury’s Municipal Stadium 14-0. Derby beats the North Haven Sparks 12-0 in an away game.

September 15

  • SEYMOUR – A convertible driven by a Beacon Falls man, being chased by the State Police at speeds reaching 90 mph, ends up skidding 176′, then flying 83′ through the air over an 11′ embankment, before landing upside down and killing the driver, who was alone. The accident occurred on Derby Avenue (Route 8).

Tuesday, September 17, 1957

  • SEYMOUR – A Special Town Meeting authorizes the floating of a bond issue of $125,000 to replace the Seymour Public Library, which was destroyed in the August Flood of 1955. The new gavel, which is made of wood from the old David Humphreys mill, is used for the first time at this meeting.

September 18

  • ANSONIA – A Vauxhall automobile, made in Britain and sold by Pontiac, is on display at the Thomas Weisz Inc. showrooms on 182 Clifton Avenue, and is attracting much attention.
  • SEYMOUR – 19 year old Navy Fireman Harold Donovan, whose parents live on 235-237 Pearl Street, Seymour, was washed overboard from the destroyer USS Stoddard and is presumed lost, while the ship was operating west of Midway Island. An air and sea search continues. 
  • SHELTON – Mr. & Mrs. Karl Tarbell leave for Grand Rapids MI, where they have a new home. They lived on Knollwood Terrace for 33 years. Mr. Tarbell is a former coach, assistant principal, and principal of Shelton High School.

September 20

  • OXFORD – A religious census is concluded of Oxford. 95% of the Town’s residents responded. The breakdown is: 725 Congregational, 556 Episcopal, 312 Methodist, 971 Roman Catholic, 33 Baptist, 46 Greek Orthodox, 12 Uniate Catholics, 22 Jewish, 108 Lutherans, 2 Muslim, 11 Presbyterians, 37 Russian Orthodox, and 46 other Protestants
  • SEYMOUR – The US Navy informs the Donovan family that after searching for their son for 72 hours in the Western Pacific, the search had ended without him being found.

September 21

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Shelton 20-12 at Nolan Field before 7,000 people, ending a 4 year “jinx” that saw Shelton ruin Ansonia’s perfect season last year.  Ansonia Board of Education President Dr. Frank Alu is knocked unconscious when light stanchions fall on him, but is OK at Griffin Hospital. Seymour High School beats Derby 13-0 at Coon Hollow Park before 2,000 people.

Tuesday, September 24, 1957

  • ANSONIA – John J. Waters dies at age 63. He was the clerk of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation for 40 years, and lived at 189 Wakelee Avenue.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Education approves the purchase of the DeWolfe property in the Bungay area for a new 1,000 pupil high school.

September 26

  • DERBY – Housatonic Council purchases 185 acres in the Town of Goshen, to be developed into a Boy Scout Camp that will open next summer.

September 27

  • The temperature dips to 24 this morning in Oxford, and 27 in Ansonia, producing a killing frost.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia beats Crosby at Waterbury Municipal Stadium 28-14 

September 28

  • Another exceptionally cold morning.
  • ANSONIA – An oil burner explodes at 238 North State Street, and causes $6000 in fire damage in the early morning hours.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Branford Hornets defeat Derby 7-0 in an away game at Hammer Field. Seymour beats Lyman Hall of Wallingford at French Memorial Park 14-6.
  • SEYMOUR – Flames cause $15,000 damage and gut the second floor of a house at 279 Maple Street, when an oil burner explodes in the early morning hours.
  • SHELTON – Ground is broken for new the home of Sutter-Terlizzi Post, American Legion, off Bridgeport Avenue. A parade from downtown Shelton to building site precedes the groundbreaking.

September 29

  • ANSONIA – $5,000 in cash and an unknown amount of jewelry is stolen from a Maple Street house. No one was home.


Tuesday, October 1, 1957

  • ANSONIA – United Shoe, which recently moved to Shelton, will sell all its real estate in Ansonia, including the former SO&C factory complex, to a New York City firm.
  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo will recommend to the Board of Aldermen that a traffic light be installed at Seymour Avenue and Division Street.

October 3

  • SHELTON – Huntington Fire Company gets a new fire engine.

October 4

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – East Haven defeats Shelton 20-6 in an away game.

October 5

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Discount Store on 153 Main Street is broken into early this morning (or possibly late last night), and its safe is emptied. As much as $5000 has been taken. The Police are investigating. 
  • ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – A car that was stolen in New York is spotted by Ansonia Police and chased into Seymour, at speeds reaching 100 miles per hour. The car hits a parked car and house on South Main Street. The driver flees and escapes. The police are searching.
  • DERBY – A 100×80′ addition is being added to the Charlton Press building on Division Street. Another big addition is being erected in the rear of the building.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia beats Stamford 7-0 at Nolan Field. Southington beats Seymour 33-13 in an away game.
  • SEYMOUR – Harry Mannweiler retires after serving as Seymour’s First Selectman for 26 years.

October 6

  • ANSONIA – The new St. Joseph’s convent is blessed by Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien. A cornerstone is put into the wall and dedicated.
  • SHELTON – The new A.H. Nilson Company on Bridgeport Avenue at Long Hill Crossroads has its dedication ceremonies.

Monday, October 7, 1957 – Election Day in Connecticut Towns

  • ANSONIA – 20% of school students are absent today with conditions resembling Asian Flu. The word “resembling” is used because it takes two weeks to accurately diagnose the disease in lab tests in 1957.
  • OXFORD – Republican Fred B. Bice defeates Z. Alphonse Niestemski 644-436 for First Selectman. The election is the largest turnout in Oxford’s history up to that time.
  • SEYMOUR – Kenneth Catlin becomes the Democrat to capture the First Selectman spot since 1884, by a vote of 2204-1918. Democrats sweep almost every other election. The only Republican to retain his seat was town clerk Richard Pearson, who held on by 1 vote, 2064-2063.

October 8

  • ANSONIA – Afternoon classes are cancelled due to bad weather, and the fact absences averaged 25% due to what appears to be Asian Flu. 14 football players, including 6 first stringers, are sick.

October 9

  • SEYMOUR – There are 200 cases of people sick with conditions resembling Asian Flu in Town. 

October 10

  • ANSONIA – Nearly 1,000 absences from the school system today. The upcoming Ansonia-Danbury game is cancelled, as 26 out of 42 of the players are sick. Danbury’s players are ill, also. This is a big deal, because these are the two top teams in Connecticut in 1957, and the outcome would have basically amounted to the State Championship.
  • DERBY – 60 of 420 Derby High School students are sick with flu like symptoms. The football game with East Haven is cancelled. 
  • SHELTON – The football game with Southington High School is cancelled due to the flu epidemic.

October 11

  • ANSONIA – 1595 students are absent today.
  • OXFORD – Oxford Congregational Church will build a new Parish House.

October 12

  • ANSONIA – The job of filling in the tail race should be complete within a week.
  • DERBY – A fire at 51 Bank Street rips through an attic, but is extinguished by the Derby Fire Department. However, the fire causes 23 people from 7 families to be driven into the early morning cold. The building has an interesting history, as it used to be owned by Dr. E. R. Melbourne, who conducted a tuberculosis sanitarium there.
  • DERBY – The John H. Collins Post, American Legion, holds its first formal meeting in their new quarters on Caroline Street.

October 13

  • ANSONIA – A 3-alarm fire at 481 Main Street completely guts Bing’s Restaurant, as well as 4 apartments on the upper 2 floors of the 3 story building. 2 firefighters are overcome by smoke, and a women hospitalized for hysteria. 18 people from 4 families lose everything.
  • ANSONIA – All masses of Sts. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are thronged as they celebrate their 60th anniversary. Most Rev. Bishop Amborse Sensyshyn conducts the 9 AM mass.
  • SHELTON – Ground is broken for the new St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church by Rev. Alfred Carmody.

Monday, October 14, 1957

  • ANSONIA – 1,588 pupils are home with conditions resembling Asian Flu. The incidence among adults is not as high.
  • SEYMOUR – 230 of 615 are home with conditions resembling Asian Flu at Seymour High School, along with 230 at Maple Street School, and 136 at Bungay School.
  • SEYMOUR – A Brookdale Avenue, Seymour woman says she saw Sputnik for a minute and a half in the early morning hours. This was the first of a number of sightings of the first artificial satellite by Valley stargazers.
  • SHELTON – 700 students are out with the flu. The City Health Officer estimates a fourth of city residents are infected.

October 15

  • DERBY – Corsetry, Inc., of 30 Caroline Street, one of the city’s oldest manufacturers, temporarily ceases production. The firm was incorporated in 1938, succeeding the M&P Corset Company. That firm, in turn, succeeded the Derby Corset Company about 70 years ago.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Shelton and Derby Community Center, which has been in the old Huntington Piano building on Howe Avenue in Shelton since 1940, caters to 50,000 annually, ranging from the Shelton-Derby Boy’s Club to the Golden Agers Club.

October 16

  • ANSONIA – The City’s Health Officer reports 80% of Ansonia’s children have been ill with upper respiratory ailments resembling Asian Flu since the outbreak began. The percentage of adults is much lower.
  • DERBY – Mrs. Alice Russ Cochran, president of the Griffin Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary, cuts a ribbon opening the Barclay Gift Shop there.
  • DERBY – The coach of the Derby High School football team says he will suit up and play for the team himself rather than cancel the upcoming game against New Canaan, despite the large number of players sick with the flu on both sides.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – There are 650 boys and 150 adults from Derby and Shelton registered in the Housatonic Boy Scout Council.
  • SEYMOUR – The upcoming football game against North Haven has been postponed due to the flu outbreak.
  • SHELTON – The football game between Shelton High School and Lyman Hall is cancelled due to the flu outbreak.

October 17

  • ANSONIA – The six week examinations at Ansonia High School, Pine High School, and the Junior High School have been deferred due to the large number out with the flu, though informal tests may be given at teachers’ discretion.
  • ANSONIA – The new Division Street Bridge is open to traffic.
  • SEYMOUR – A Special Town Meeting is held. $70,000 to purchase the DeWolfe Property in the Bungay Road – Mountain Road area is approved for a new High School site.
  • SHELTON – The Echo Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 has its 75th anniversary dinner dance at Actor’s Colony in Seymour.

October 18

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia and State police make raids across Ansonia against those involved in pool selling and policy playing. 9 are arrested.
  • DERBY – Half Derby High School students are out with the flu. The football game against New Canaan is cancelled. The coach changed his mind from his statement two days ago when he came down with the flu himself. 

October 19

  • SEYMOUR – A 24 year old Derby man dies after his car crashes head on into a cement wall at South Main Street and Pearl Street, across from the Whittmore Tavern.

Monday, October 21, 1957

  • SHELTON – A near fistfight breaks out at a Board of Alderman meeting, after a Milford man calls a Kazo Drive resident’s property “a dump”.

October 22

  • There are 402 tuberculosis cases in the Valley.
  • SEYMOUR – Miss Katharine Matthies is elected chairman of the Seymour Library Board in a special meeting.

October 23

  • ANSONIA, DERBY, & SHELTON – A car owned by an Oxford man is stolen in Ansonia on Main Street, and speeds south into Derby. It is detected and chased by the Derby Police down Route 8 into Shelton, and the police from that city join the chase as well, at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. The car overturns at the intersection of Route 8 (Shelton Road) and Huntington Turnpike at the point of Nichols Green in Trumbull, after hitting a highway fence. The two occupants flee the police cars from the three towns. A 20 year old Ansonia man is arrested in a nearby back yard. His 15 year old friend escapes. The injured boy hitchhikes a ride in Trumbull, which drops him off at the Shelton Police Station, where he promptly faints. He is taken to Griffin Hospital, where his injuries are not considered serious.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – The Peter Hart Memorial Bridge formally opened on Division Street, as the Mayors of Ansonia and Derby shake hands in the middle of it. The new bridge, which still stands today, replaces a much smaller bridge that was washed out in the August 1955 Flood.

October 25

  • DERBY – The First Congregational Church holds its 282nd Annual Meeting.
  • DERBY – The Derby Neck Library and the Home Trust Company are suing the executors of that late Frances Kellogg’s estate, which includes a Fairfield man and the Birmingham National Bank (which is right next door to the Home Trust Company), to determine the legal title to the $147,500.41 in bonds and cash left to the Derby Neck Library by Mrs. Kellogg.
  • DERBY – The Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET) buys a 3 story brick building at 78-80 Elizabeth Street, which is next door to SNET’s building, for future expansion.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia announces restoration work has been completed on the Huntington Green fountain.

October 26

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Derby 6-0 at Nolan Field. Branford defeats Seymour 27-0 in away game. Shelton beats North Haven 28-14 at Lafayette Field.

October 27

  • Snow flurries fall across the state overnight.
  • A 16-year old Seymour boy, a member of Oxford Explorer Post 1, is separated from his New Haven Hiking Club group on Mt. Everett in Salisbury. He spends all night in the cold and snow. Relying upon his Boy Scout training to survive, he follows a stream to Route 41, hitchhiked a ride to Salisbury at dawn, & called the State Police, who were just about to launch a massive effort to locate him.

Tuesday, October 29, 1957

  • ANSONIA – About 3,200 people in the City have had the Asian Flu. The Health Officer says the first wave has passed, and is expected to quiet down by the end of the week. He warns that there may be another wave of the disease.

October 31 – HALLOWEEN

  • ANSONIA – A World War II veteran his ankle chasing boys soaping his windows. A mailbox is set on fire, and car tires and convertible top is slashed at the VFW parking lot, and driver is hit in the eye by a tomato at Elm Street and Main.
  • DERBY – A Caroline Street woman calls the police about a strange man outside her home. It was a tall child dressed as a spaceman trick or treating. The police twice break up rival gangs throwing tomatoes at each other, on Sentinel Hill and David Humphreys roads.
  • SHELTON – 118 children are awarded prizes for being home after 9 PM for the Annual Shelton Recreation Commission Halloween Telephone Hour.


Friday, November 1, 1957.

  • ANSONIA – A 65 year old Smith Street man is hit by a small truck crossing North Main Street in the rain, and is killed.

November 2

  • HIGH SCHOOL – Ansonia defeats Torrington 26-0 at Nolan Field. Derby defeats Amity Regional 14-0 at Coon Hollow Park. East Haven defeats Seymour 19-0 at French Memorial Park. All 3 games were played in the rain.

Monday, November 4, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The Health Director reports that other than isolated cases, the Asian Flu epidemic is over.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY –  Two escapees from Meriden School For Boys, from Milford and Ansonia, go on crime spree in Meriden, Milford, and Ansonia. Utilizing a car stolen in Meriden, they smash and rob a payphone at Hilltop Civic Association clubhouse. Spotted by the Derby police, they are chased over Marshall Lane, Sodom Lane, and David Humphreys Road. The police fire warning shots into the air. The car hits a telegraph pole at David Humphreys Road and Sunset Drive. The boys flee on foot, running into a field and hiding. They are found by the police and arrested at gunpoint.

November 6

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Housing Authority is exploring the east end of Central Street as a possible site of low income housing.
  • ANSONIA – So far this year, the fire department has hauled 301,700 gallons of water from a Ford Street hydrant to the missile silos at the Ansonia NIKE site. Firefighters have put in 947 hours to this task, and the fire trucks 265.5 hours. The launching area does not have an adequate supply of water. Ansonia Water Company recently extended mains to the launching area on Osborn Road, Woodbridge
  • DERBY – The Birmingham Water Company has put a second 850,000 gallon capacity well on the Weimann Bros. property on Roosevelt Drive. This is to augment the reservoirs’ drinking water.
  • DERBY – The Police Commissioners vote to make Bank Street one way, north to south, for a 1 month trial.

November 7

  • SHELTON – 57 employees of Driscoll Wire Company reported sick yesterday and today. Most of them call in this morning, saying they are feeling better and will report in at 7 AM tomorrow morning. They then attend a Steelworkers’ Union meeting. The Sentinel reports there is some dissatisfaction over a contract proposal.

November 8

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company’s Beaver Lake Reservoir is 160″ below full mark and still dropping. There is a 10 week supply of water on hand. The lowest the reservoir ever dropped up to this point was 174″ in 1931.

November 9

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia’s unbeaten streaks ends with a 7-0 upset in an away game, to the West Haven Blue Devils. Derby defeats Lyman Hall 19-8 in another upset in Wallingford. Naugatuck defeats Seymour 32-7 at French Memorial Field. Shelton defeats Branford 7-6 at Lafayette Field. They are now first in the Housatonic League.

November 10

  • SEYMOUR – An 11 year old boy is shot by a 17 year old girl in woods off Roosevelt Drive in Seymour. The reasons were unclear, the Sentinel reports he and two friends were trying to join some older Boy Scouts who were camping overnight nearby. He’s in good condition at Griffin Hospital.

 Monday, November 11, 1957 – Veterans’ Day

  • Ceremonies are held throughout the Valley to commemorate Veteran’s Day.

November 12

  • SHELTON – A new warehouse will be built for B. F. Goodrich next to Plant 6 on Canal Street. The next day, the Connecticut Public Utilities Commission gives permission to extend the Canal Street spur railroad tracks to the new warehouse.

November 13

  • ANSONIA – New York Yankee infield Gil McDougald is the speaker at the Fourth Annual Sports Night of the Ansonia Elks Lodge at Elks Home.
  • SHELTON – 14 year old Tony Garo, of 10 Angell Avenue, known as the “Rock ‘n Roll Kid”, has signed a 1 year contract with Atlantic Records. He is a freshman at Shelton High School. Click here for a song sample.

November 14

  • DERBY – The City reverses its decision to make Bank Street a one-way street, after complaints from the Fire Department.

November 15

  • 1.84″ of rain falls overnight, greatly aiding the low reservoirs.

November 16

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Sacred Heart of Waterbury in an away game 53-6. Derby defeats Leavenworth of Waterbury 27-0 at Coon Hollow Park. North Haven defeats Seymour at Memorial Field 25-12 in the Wildcats’ final game of year. Danbury defeats Shelton 19-6 at Lafayette Field.

November 17

  • DERBY – The police chase a deer through Fourth Street, Derby Green, and Olivia Street. The deer escapes to parts unknown.

Monday, November 18, 1957

  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen vote to further discuss a proposal to lease 15 acres of land off East Village Road for a new city dump, for $3000 a year.

November 21

  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo of Derby and Mayor Doyle in Ansonia are working together, to get the State to install traffic lights at the intersection of Main, Elm, an Division Street and Derby Avenue, as well as Division Street and the Mill Street Connector, and Division Street and Seymour Avenue.
  • SEYMOUR – The  Selectmen have been presented with a request from the Waterman Pen Company to rename DeForest Street “Waterman Place”.

November 22

  • DERBY – There are plans to raze the original section of the old Irving School, and use the newer wing, facing Fifth Street, for a Community Center.
  • SHELTON – Over 100 people attend a protest meeting at the White Hills Civic Club over the proposed East Village Road dump.

November 24

  • ANSONIA – William Worley, of 213 North State Street dies at 89. A retired janitor for Ansonia High School and Pine High School, he was also the oldest and longest serving supernumerary at the time of his death on the Ansonia Police Department.
  • SEYMOUR – The recently opened Della Rocco’s Restaurant, on North Main Street (Route 8), near Seymour-Beacon Falls town line, is badly damaged by smoke and water from a fire.

Monday, November 25, 1957

  • ANSONIA – 8 new homes at the new High Point development at Harris Road and Allan Drive are vandalized, including 2 model homes.
  • DERBY – The Board of Education recommends buying 10 acres of the Marcucio estate, with 586′ of frontage on David Humphreys Road, for a school site.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Education in special session votes to commission an architect to design a 34 room Seymour High School with room for 1000 pupils.

November 26

  • DERBY – Stahl’s Battery Service provides a Rambler Sedan for the Derby High School driver education program.
  • SHELTON – In a special closed meeting of the Board of Education, it is voted to build a 10 room addition to Shelton High School, and a 10 room addition to Sunnyside School. They also decide to begin a search for an elementary school site in White Hills.

November 27

  • ANSONIA – A police study finds between 1,300 and 1,500 cars pass the corner of Main and Division Streets between 4 and 5:30 PM each day.
  • DERBY – Two holdups in occur in the City today,, including a 70 year old man who was forced into a car at Main and Derby Avenue, and driven to Laurel Place, where he was robbed 29 cents and roughed up. The second holdup involved a 24 year old man ambushed by a car on Seymour Avenue. Both victims happen to be from Shelton.

 November 28, Thanksgiving Day

  • DERBY, SEYMOUR, & SHELTON – Residents along Lake Housatonic are treated to the odd sight of a girl wearing a bathing suit and a sweater waterskiing up and down the lake.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Ansonia Lavender beats the Naugatuck Greyhounds 13-0 at Nolan Field before 9,000 fans. The Derby Red Raiders beat the Shelton Gaels 20-6 at Coon Hollow Park. This is Derby’s first win since 1945, and now Shelton, Derby, and East Haven are tied 3-2 for the Housatonic League Championship. At the conclusion of the game, Derby fans go wild, parade through town, and carry the goalposts off the field to as far as Main Street.

November 29

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia’s Christmas lights are turned on by Mayor’s 4 year old son at 5 PM. The lights run along Main Street, from Maple Street to Central Street, and Bridge Street, from Canal Street to East Main Street. 
  • DERBY – The City’s Christmas lights are turned on for the first time. They along Elizabeth Street to the Sterling Opera House. They then run around the corner onto Main Street, and continue past Bridge Street, along a block of Roosevelt Drive.
  • DERBY – A car collides with the New Haven Railroad switcher locomotive at the Division Street crossing. There are no injuries, but the car is demolished.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s Christmas lights are turned on for the first time. They run along Main Street and Bank Street, including the new Bank Street Bridge.
  • SHELTON – Shelton turns on its Christmas lights for the first time this season. They run along Howe Avenue, from White Street to Center Street, and up Center Street to the Shelton Sports Center.

November 30

  • SHELTON – A serious collision between a station wagon and a light truck at Route 8 (Bridgeport Avenue) and Mill Street results in 6 people injured. 4 of them are hospitalized. All expected to survive.


Monday, December 2, 1957

  • DERBY – A meeting is held between the Congregation Sons of Israel of Derby and Congregation Beth El in Ansonia at the Derby synagogue. The two merge, and plan to build a synagogue and community center on Elizabeth Street. The new joined synagogue will be called Beth Israel.
  • SHELTON – Reacting to the public outcry in White Hills, the Board of Aldermen vote in special session to reject a proposal for a 15 acre dump off East Village Road.

December 3

  • First snowfall of the year starts at 9 PM, and dumps 3-4″.
  • ANSONIA – The Federal Housing Administration will offer mortgage insurance to finance up to 125 units of low income housing to help families dislocated by the upcoming Broad Street and downtown renewal projects.
  • SEYMOUR – Hurlburt and Preston, Inc., present a 1958 Buick to Seymour High School to be used as a Driver Education Car.

December 5

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Water Company does a controlled burn of an old 1-family house off Benz Street
  • SEYMOUR – A 2 story home burns to the ground on Mountain Road in freezing temperatures. A baby is dropped from a low second story window by father into the arms of his sister. A 73 year old wheelchair bound woman is rescued by 2 Great Hill Hose Company firefighters. She is in fair condition with burns. The house is destroyed. The fire started when an oil burner exploded.

December 8

  • DERBY – Miss Elsie Tiffany Woodruff of Cottage Avenue dies. Born  in 1899, was on the Derby Neck Library staff for 38 years. She was stricken with an illness at the library last week.

Monday, December 9, 1957

  • ANSONIA – The ground gives out under intersection of Ford and Chester Streets, creating a sinkhole. A mail truck and a city truck are stuck. A tow truck trying to pull them out also gets stuck. The second tow truck frees all of the vehicles.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen reject using Grasso property off River Road as a dump site 4-2. This is the site of today’s Shelton landfill.

December 10

  • OXFORD – 4 adults and 3 children flee when a space heater explodes on in their Punkup Road house in the early morning hours. 3 of the adults are burned, 1 had to jump out a 1 story window. The explosion blows out the windows, and the interior is gutted.

December 11

  • 3.58″ of rain have fallen in the past 11 days. The rain is a big help in filling the low reservoirs. It rains today, followed by 3″ of snow, which makes driving hazardous late evening.
  • DERBY – The Derby Historical Society votes to incorporate at a meeting held at the First Congregational Church. There are 22 new members.

December 13

  • ANSONIA – Gov. Abraham Ribicoff announces that the State Highway Department has signed a contract for construction of a new Maple Street Bridge with Mariani Construction of New Haven, who was the low bid with $320,076. The Governor visits Ansonia later in the day, and the Mayor shows him the bridge before he attends a speaking engagement.
  • DERBY – The Turner Candy Corporation announces it will relocate to 64 Smith Street, Derby, after being in Maine for 45 years. They make Turner’s famous butter caramels, which are popular at the Danbury and Big E fairs, among other places.

Monday, December 16

  • The Connecticut Railway & Lighting Company offers to sell its bus operating rights 7 Connecticut municipalities, including Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton. The Company right to operate public transportation in these communities date back to the early 20th century, when it operated trolleys.
  • DERBY – The November issue of Geophysical Year Bulletin, issued by the National Academy of Sciences, credits James Plato of Orange, a former Derby resident, as the first person in the USA to see the Soviet satellite Sputnik.

December 17

  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Woman’s Club is on record as opposing changing the name of DeForest Street to Waterman Place. They suggest changing the name of Raymond Street if anything. DeForest Street is named after John DeForest, who took over the Humphreys mill after the 1818 death of David Humphreys to manufacture cotton yarn goods.

December 18

  • DERBY – Mrs. Elizabeth Cruite Manion, wife of Police Chief Frank J. Manion of 279 Olivia Street, dies at Griffin Hospital after an extended illness.

December 19

  • ANSONIA – It is nnounced that Ansonia National Bank and Union & New Haven Trust Company will merge, under the later name. Each share of Ansonia National Bank shares will be worth 16 new ones. The Ansonia directors will remain as an advisory board, and Ansonia branch will stay open. The Ansonia National Bank was organized in 1861.
  • ANSONIA – A permit is issued for a new 100’x145′ supermarket to be built on Northeast corner of Mill Street and Division Street, to be rented by First National Stores.

December 20

  • Heavy rain dumps .38″ and causes washouts in Ansonia and Seymour.
  • ANSONIA – The former Ansonia Community Ambulance is given to the Ansonia Civil Defense.
  • DERBY – Superior Court rules in favor of Derby Neck Library and the Home Trust Company against the executor of the late Mrs. Francis Kellogg’s will and Birmingham National Bank, saying that the $156,321.17 she left in stocks, bonds, and bank accounts were intended to benefit the library.
  • SEYMOUR – Labor leader James Hoffa‘s wiretap conspiracy trial deadlocks when one juror refuses to convict him in New York City. The holdout was Earle T. McHardy, a former Seymour High School teacher.

December 22

  • ANSONIA – Over 1300 children of members of Local 3571, United Steelworkers AFL-CIO enjoy a Christmas Party at Capitol Theater.

Monday, December 23

  • ANSONIA – 18,753 automobiles pass through the City’s busiest intersection, Main Street and Bridge Street, between 9 AM and 9 PM. The count for same time yesterday was 25,857.

December 24

  • Crèches are selling very briskly in stores. Food sales are setting records, and many private homes are decorated.
  • ANSONIA – Thousands of Christmas trees have been trucked into the City in the last 2 weeks, where they are sold at a total of 12 lots for prices ranging from $1.50 to $4. There are also large sales of crèches in stores. Food sales are setting records, and many private homes decorated.
  • SEYMOUR – There is a huge lighted cross at French Memorial Park. The Community Tree has been lit, and a large sign on Town Hall reads “Seasons Greetings”.

 Wednesday, December 25, Christmas 1957

  • ANSONIA – $754 is stolen from a Holbrook Place residence. The house was ransacked while the family was out.
  • ANSONIA – A 32 year old father of two goes berserk at his Hull Street home. He smashes most of the furniture, broke all of the windows, and set his house on fire. The fire is quickly put out, he and his brother are arrested.
  • DERBY – A fire breaks out in a 6 family block on 199 Caroline Street, at 2 AM. All residents evacuate, but the damage is slight. One fireman suffers a cut on his nose.
  • DERBY – Only one baby is born on Christmas day at Griffin Hospital, to a Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia family.

December 26

  • 1.72″ of wind-whipped rain falls. The Naugatuck river rises swiftly, though it was already so low already it doesn’t pose a threat. The Housatonic rises to 4.2′, but goes down to 3.9′ early the next morning.

December 27

  • DERBY – The D. H. Kelley Company will go out of business at the close of the year. The wholesale distributor of popes, valves, fittings, and steam specialties was founded by Dennis H. Kelley in 1881. For its entire existence, it operated out of 36 Elizabeth Street.

December 28

  • DERBY – There are no plans that call for any development of Osborndale State Park in 1958.
  • SHELTON – A major four-alarm fire strikes the 50-year old Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd at the corner of Coram Avenue and Kneen Street, a little after noon. The fire burns out of control for almost 3 hours. The cause was electrical, and the church was completely gutted, and most of the stained-glass windows were smashed. Derby, Ansonia, and Seymour, assist the Shelton Fire Department. 10 firemen from Shelton, Huntington, and Derby are injured. The pipe organ collapses into the basement, and the stone church is reduced to a burned out shell. The church would be repaired, and reopen Easter Sunday, 1959. The last stained-glass window was not replaced until 1987.

December 29

  • DERBY – A portrait of the late Mrs. Frances Kellogg is unveiled at a ceremony at Derby Neck Library.

Monday, December 30

  • ANSONIA – Equipment for reconstructing the Maple Street Bridge, which was destroyed in the August 1955 Flood, has arrived.
  • DERBY – The Storm Ambulance is badly damaged when a pickup truck broadsides it at Derby Avenue and Forest Avenue in West Haven. The impact sends the patient hurling off the stretcher, further breaking his pelvis. The reserve ambulance is called to finish the trip.
  • SEYMOUR – Ground is broken for the new Seymour Public Library on Church Street in a brief ceremony. The old one on Broad Street was completely destroyed by the August 1955 Flood.

December 31

  • ANSONIA – Permits for 124 new homes were issued in 1957.
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