Wednesday, January 1, 1958

  • DERBY – A girl born at 11:35 AM to McLaughlin Terrace couple becomes first baby born in 1958 at Griffin Hospital.

January 2

  • SHELTON – Yale drama students put on a benefit performance at Shelton High School for the rebuilding of the Church of the Good Shepherd, which was swept by fire last week. Meanwhile, the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut has written all state parishes and missions seeking aid for the church. 

January 3

  • DERBY & SHELTON – B.F. Goodrich Sponge Rubber Products Division announces it will be laying off 110 due to seasonal drops in the furniture and automobile industry.
  • SHELTON – Fire badly damages a Victory Street home undergoing renovation.

January 4

  • ANSONIA – A man points a gun at a bus with 4 passengers aboard at a Clifton Avenue bus stop. He then climbs aboard, hesitates, and says he was going to hold them up but “chickened out”. He then climbs off the bus. The bus speeds away and flags down an Ansonia police car. A search is conducted, but the gunman is not found.

January 5

  • DERBY – Many are ice skating at Pickett’s Pond.
  • SHELTON – The Church of the Good Shepherd conducts its first Service since the fire last week, at Fowler School.

Tuesday, January 7

  • Snow begins falling in the afternoon, coming down heavy at times.
  • SHELTON – Developer Frank Kazo buys 51 acres off Ripton Road, with the intention of building a suburban neighborhood.

January 8

  • Connecticut experiences its worst snowstorm since 1947. The storm yesterday afternoon, and it snowed all night. Schools and businesses are closed. The storm left 1′ of heavy wet snow, with drifts up to 2′. Many cars are stalled, traffic is at a crawl. 
  • ANSONIA – An Avon Street man has a heart attack while shoveling, and dies later in the day. 
  • DERBY – A trailer truck jackknifes on the Route 8 expressway near the Farrel-Birmingham factory during the storm, shutting down the highway.
  • DERBY – In the evening, after the storm, supervised sledding begins on Fifth Street between Minerva Street and Caroline Street, and on Seventh Street hill.
  • DERBY – The first baby born in 1958 at Griffin Hospital, to a McLaughlin Terrace couple, will get a shower hosted by 16 Valley merchants who deal with baby items. A full page ad was taken out in the Evening Sentinel on the last day of 1957, announcing the contest for the first 1958 baby.
  • OXFORD – Traffic is at a virtual stop, with many cars stalled and blocking the country roads.
  • SEYMOUR – A trailer truck jackknifes after striking a utility pole on South Main Street, and the cab subsequently catches fire. It is quickly put out by a standby crew from Citizen’s Engine Co. No. 2.
  • SHELTON – Two snowplows blow their engines. As such, there are many accidents.

January 9

  • ANSONIA – Christ Episcopal Church will have a special offering every Sunday this month to help rebuild the burned out Church of the Good Shepherd in Shelton.

January 10

  • DERBY – B.F. Goodrich donates $250 to Storm Ambulance to purchase a portable incubator.

January 11

  • ANSONIA – Because of lack of orders, American Brass Company employees will for now work a 7-hour workday. Employees of the Brass Rod and Hot Press departments will work 4-day workweeks.
  • ANSONIA – A fire on the second floor of the A. Hodos & Son feed and grain building on 1 Central Street causes $500 in damages and kills 800 15-week old chickens The first floor, containing a freezer section, had been reconditioned after the Flood of 1955 and was waiting to be rented.

Tuesday, January 14

  • 1.76″ of freezing rain falls, creating the worst driving conditions of the winter so far. The rain is accompanied by high winds.
  • DERBY – Birmingham National Bank holds its annual meeting. The bank’s holdings are listed at $9,030,651.
  • OXFORD – A 4′ long x 3′ high snow sculpture of a rabbit is attracting much attention on Wyant Road.
  • SEYMOUR – Schools close early due to the storm.
  • SHELTON – 510 building permits were issued in 1957, including 241 new homes, 4 industrial buildings, 14 non-resident buildings, 110 additions, 56 garages, 1 church (St. Lawrence), and 84 miscellaneous.

January 15

  • ANSONIA – C.E. Eyanson, chair of Gov. Ribicoff‘s Naugatuck Valley Flood Control Commission, tells the members of the Citizen’s Action Committee and city officials that the farther we get from the 1955 Floods, the harder it will be to get Congress to set up funds for flood control. This is especially true with the “new climate” in Washington caused by Soviet Union’s Sputnik Program, which is making Congress more defense and economy minded.
  • DERBY – The City approves the retirement of William J. Burke, after 36 years of service to the Derby Police Department.

January 16

  • ANSONIA – A new government study finds 57.6% of all Ansonia deaths are caused by heart disease, which is above the 53.8% average.

January 17

  • ANSONIA – The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit, the world’s largest such vehicle, which is capable of feeding 1,800 persons per hour, is on display at the Ansonia Armory tonight. It will be used in “Operation Valley” tomorrow. A 200 bed mobile hospital is also erected there today.

January 18

  • A permanent polio vaccine clinic will be set up by the Naugatuck Valley Medical Association.
  • OPERATION VALLEY –  1000 volunteers take part in the regional Civil Defense exercise. A highlight of the exercise are dozens of “victims”, requiring rescue from buildings, and in some cases from roofs. Rescues are made by fire departments, civil defense units, and ambulance corps. The victims are transported to the field hospital for treatment. 800 hot meals are served by the Salvation Army mobile feeding unit. After the operation is completed, the Captain Mulcahy, the State CD Director, calls it the biggest and best in State history and a model of regional cooperation for responding to large emergencies.
        – Ansonia- 40 casualties are treated at the field hospital at the Armory. The Armory serves as the regional headquarters, and many spectators are present. Explorer Crew 10 rescues a man from the Pierson Building on Main Street. 
        – Derby- Smoke bombs are set off at Irving School, and a number of people are trapped inside. Rescues are made here by the fire departments from Derby, Ansonia, Shelton, Oxford, and Woodbridge. The Boy Scouts provide first aid in the field as triage is made. As this is going on, an old Model A Ford is set on fire on Main Street as part of the exercise.
        – Seymour- Casualties are rescued at the Seymour Grain and Coal Company building on Main Street. A stokes basket with a “slide for life” rig is used for the first time in Connecticut at high elevation for this operation. 
        – Shelton- 2 casualties are rescued by the ladder truck off the Community Center building at Howe Avenue and Center Street. A total of 8 rescues are made.

Monday, January 20

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Aimilanos Tsirpanlis, newly assigned to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, is 23 years old, born on Kos Island, Greece, and speaks 4 languages.
  • DERBY – The City has not experienced a single traffic fatality in a year. Prior to a fatal accident on January 18, 1957, Derby went 8 years without one.
  • DERBY – Night ice skating, with lights provided by the Fire Department, is enjoyed at Charlie’s Pond.

January 21

  • ANSONIA – Stockholders of the Ansonia National Bank and the Union & Trust Company of New Haven vote to merge their banks under the latter’s name on February 10.
  • SHELTON – The Boards of Aldermen, and Apportionment & Taxation accept a preliminary $1 million building plan. It calls for adding 10 rooms to Sunnyside School, and 10 rooms to Shelton High School. Also to buy the Gazy property on Coram Avenue for a new Police Headquarters, renovating and adding to the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 firehouse on Howe Avenue, renovating the Municipal building on White Street, and buying additional land around the City for a new elementary school, dump, and parking.
  • SHELTON – Laurel Heights Sanitarium has officially changed its name to Laurel Heights Hospital.
  • SHELTON – Laurel Heights Hospital participates in the Civil Defense exercise Operation Welfare, along with the local Civil Defense and Police Department. It simulates a train wreck in a nearby town. Twelve displaced and 6 injured people are sent to Shelton as a welfare center. 

January 22

  • 1.87″ of rain falls in 24 hour period ending at 8 AM. 
  • ANSONIA – The rain floods Wakelee Avenue and Hall Street, staling cars. A cave-in occurs at Sunset Drive where a sewer was being repaired. At least 4 manhole covers blown off.
  • DERBY – The Fire Department pumps out 5 flooded cellars, including the Charlton Press.
  • DERBY – The New Haven Foundation offers $50,000 for a Permanent War Memorial Community Center providing the local commission raising funds has $200,000 on hand by December 1. It now has $83,000 on hand.

January 23

  • ANSONIA – Patrick Reidy, manager of the Ansonia Furniture Company, dies. He was very prominent in Valley veterans’ affairs, a past commander of Gordon-Viselli Post American Legion, chair of the Valley Veterans’ Council, and a charter member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He served in World War I, where he was wounded and gassed. He lived on 61 Church Street.
  • ANSONIA & OXFORD – Rev. Lincoln Bell Hale, Ph.D., dies in New York City at 58. An Ansonia native who graduated from the local High School, Class of 1916, he served as director of US operations mission in Israel from 1954 to 1957. Prior to that, he was the President of Evansville College, Indiana, from 1941 to 1954. He also served as pastor of Oxford Congregational Church from 1930 to 1934, and the church plans a memorial service in his honor.
  • DERBY – Capt. Mulcahy, The State Director of Civil Defense, presents a $7500 check to Griffin Hospital to cover the government’s contribution to a 150 KW emergency generator installed at the hospital.
  • SHELTON – The key to first US Army Capehart house presented to Master Sergeant Donald Dietle, on the Palemetto Circle in Huntington. 16 houses are now open to military personnel from the Nike Site.

January 25

  • ANSONIA – Aaron Y. Hodos, 88, dies in New Haven. Until 1953 he conducted the A. Hodos Feed and Grain Company on 1-3 Central Street. Prior to that he operated a grocery store on 397 Main Street. Born in Russia, he immigrated to the USA 60 years ago, and had lived on Lester Street for many decades, where he was a member of Beth El synagogue.
  • DERBY – The six families living on Osborndale State Park must move, as the structures are to be razed. These include 506, 508, and 510 Hawthorne Avenue (the first 2 are vacant), 3 Silver Hill Road, 74-76 Chatfield Street, and a 3 family house at 369-373 Hawthorne Avenue.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s Grand List is $26,397,717, and increase of $1,776,947 over last year.

Monday, January 27

  • A total of 1.72″ of rain falls over the weekend.
  • ANSONIA – Ensign Richard Edward Irwin, 22, United States Naval Reserve, whose father lives on Cottage Avenue, is killed when 2 Navy helicopters collide on the ground and explode at Quonset Point, RI.
  • DERBY – The new Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 dress uniforms include bowties.

January 28

  • OXFORD – A 100 year old house sustains $18,000 in damage when it is gutted by a fire on Route 67 in Oxford. The Seymour and Beacon Falls fire departments are called to assist. The fire was started by a defective chimney. Water for fighting it was drafted from the Little River behind the house.
  • SHELTON – The members of Boy Scout Troop 2 of the Church of the Good Shepherd is commended for their work at the recent fire. The boys assisted in removing equipment, furniture, and other items from the church on the day of the fire which gutted it late last year.

January 29

  • The total rainfall in January up to this time is 7.5″, which is the highest since 7.64″ was reported in January 1936. Prior to that, 7.8″ fell in 1923.
  • An AWOL Derby sailor steals a car in Derby. He is chased by the Derby police, who fire a warning shot, into Shelton, where they lose him. The Derby police car pulls over to talk Shelton police officers near Hazel’s Stand on Route 8. While the officers are comparing notes, the car is spotted near Armstrong Road. The police cars chase the sailor up Route 8 into Ansonia, then through city streets into Seymour. The Derby police cars break off the chase, but the Shelton police car continues in pursuit. The car blows a right front tire near Rapp’s Paradise Inn, but continues on as a Seymour police car joins the chase into Oxford. The car is forcibly pulled over on Seth Den Road, where the sailor is arrested at gunpoint by Shelton and Seymour police officers.
  • ANSONIA – The City’s Grand List is $38,653,510, which is $633,702 higher than last year, despite a $460,404 loss in industry. The loss is mostly due to the SO&C Company moving to Shelton.
  • DERBY – The City’s Grand List is $48,746,380, an increase over last year’s $46,701,297.
  • DERBY – Derby High School graduate Lou Pitney is drafted by the New York Giants.

January 30

  • ANSONIA – Canal Street will be paved from Bridge Street to Central Street this spring. The old pavement was washed out in the Flood of 1955, and the temporary surface which replaced it is now terribly rutted.
  • ANSONIA – The razing of the Palosky buildings on the corner of Maple Street and High Street has begun. The buildings are making way for an improved abutment and approach to the new Maple Street Bridge. Speaking of the new bridge, the first concrete was poured yesterday, for the pier footing between the railroad tracks and the Naugatuck River.

January 31

  • ANSONIA – A 41 year old Water Street man is arrested after he fatally shot a Broad Street 32 year old man. The victim was a World War II veteran, who was trying to break up a fight in a dark alleyway behind 9 Colburn Street. The shooter was in a fight with a Powe Street man, and intended to shoot him, not the victim.
  • SHELTON – A 30 year old New Haven man, the father of 7 children, as well as a 13 year old Congress Avenue boy who was riding in the other car, are killed in 2 car accident on Route 8 near Hazel’s Stand. Three others critical, including the driver which was carrying the boy. He was planning on marrying the young victim’s sister tomorrow, and they were returning from Bridgeport to pick up her wedding gown. The occupants of both cars had to be pried out by rescue crews.


Saturday, February 1, 1958

  • ANSONIA – Burglars chop a hole in the rear wall of Kasden Fuel Company office at 562 Main Street Ansonia to avoid the burglar alarm. They steal cash and checks worth $2319.25, jewelry valued at $1400, and 2 industrial bonds worth $1800.
  • ANSONIA – 226 persons get the Salk vaccine at Lincoln School.
  • SHELTON – 309 persons get the Salk vaccine at Shelton Community Center
  • SHELTON – A 22 year old US Navy sailor stationed at New London crashes his car about 700′ from 689 River Road, and ends up in a 20′ gully near Stuttering Jack Brook. The car is not discovered for 12 hours, until 8:30 AM the next day. By this time the car is covered with frost after 12 hours. The sailor is in critical condition at Griffin Hospital.

February 2

  • SEYMOUR – 34 year old man who lived on Woonsocket Avenue, Shelton, dies when his car smashed through highway fence near Grasso’s sand bank at Route 8, plunged down a steep embankment, and lands upside down in the Naugatuck River.
  • SHELTON – A third victim dies of injures from the horrible accident on Route 8 two days ago. A 35 year old New Haven father of 8 succumbs. Both he and the other victim in the car he was riding in were postal workers in Westville.

Monday, February 3

  • SHELTON – The Police Department’s new patrol car is put in service, bringing the force’s number of patrol cars to 3.

February 4

  • DERBY – The United Jewish Building Fund of the Associated Communities announces the awarding of a contract to build new Jewish Center on Elizabeth Street. Val Carlson of Shelton will be architect.
  • OXFORD – The Board of Education votes to institute a 9th grade at Oxford School next September.

February 5

  • ANSONIA – The Federal government says Ansonia has until October 30 to submit downtown redevelopment plans, or the City will lose its urban renewal funds. But they can’t be done until United States Army Corps of Engineers complete a survey of flood work needs, and all attempts to get them to start have failed. The fact that the Army Engineers is also a Federal Agency is not lost on the local press, and the hopelessness and absurdity of the situation makes page one headlines.

February 6

  • SHELTON – The Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 votes unanimously to go on record as opposing plans to renovate the Howe Avenue firehouse they have occupied since 1882, favoring instead a new facility.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia writes Gov. Ribbicoff, asking for a traffic light at Route 8 (Bridgeport Avenue) and Mill Street after the fatal accident earlier in the week. 2/7-5 2/8-3 Atty. Harold Yudkin writes Gov the only way to stop fatalities is make it 4 lane highway.

February 7

  • ANSONIA – The United States Army Corps of Engineers directs its New England Division to contact Mayor Doyle. The Engineers will be in the City to start their survey on February 12.
  • SHELTON – The sailor involved in the accident on River Road on February 1 dies of his injuries at Griffin Hospital. He is the fourth victim to die from injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents in Shelton so far this week.

February 8

  • SHELTON – Derby’s Atty. Harold Yudkin writes Gov. Ribbicoff, saying that the only way to stop the rash of fatal accidents on the Shelton stretch of Route 8 is to make it a four lane limited access highway.

Monday, February 10

  • ANSONIA – A fuel oil truck with 500 gallons of range oil, parked on North Prospect Street Extension, rolls down the steep embankment and flips over several times, landing upside down in a ravine. Some oil leaks out.
  • OXFORD – Residents vote 86-35 against joining the proposed new Valley Health District.

February 11

  • DERBY – A missing 16 year old Derby girl has been found. She is a stowaway on the SS Italia, which is on a 16 day cruise to the West Indies. She was found after she got seasick in a restroom, and is now flying home.

February 12

  • ANSONIA – A $50,000 2 alarm fire destroys the Seccombe Monumental Works on 185 Howard Avenue. Much of the firm’s machinery is destroyed.
  • ANSONIA – Army Corps of Engineers Brig. Gen. Alden Sibley announces June 1 is the target date for completion of flood protection survey of the Lower Naugatuck Valley area.

February 13

February 15

  • ANSONIA – An early morning fire causes $25,000 to Walt’s Market on 89 Prospect Street. Webster firemen leave their annual ball, as well as their wives or dates, while wearing their dress uniforms to respond.
  • SEYMOUR – The President of the Seymour Public Health Association backs the Valley Health District proposal.

February 16

  • The worst blizzard since 1934 strikes the area. 19″ of snow falls, blowing into drifts 5-6′ deep with the 50mph winds. The storm ends early the next morning, February 17. All schools are closed, factories are shut down, and several churches cancel services. A number of motorists are stranded in drifts and abandon their cars. Most hunker down and ride the storm out at home.
  • ANSONIA – The hinges are chiseled off the door of a 1500lb safe at the West Oil Company at 700 Main Street during the blizzard. $212 in cash and 100 three-cent stamps are stolen.
  • SEYMOUR – A Second Street home hit by $3,000 fire during the blizzard, leaving a family of 6 is homeless.
  • SHELTON – Frederick Sboril, Grand Knight of Bernardo Council, Knights of Columbus, dies shoveling snow in front of his residence at 565 Howe Avenue.

Monday, February 17

  • The blizzard continues, ending early this morning. All schools and factories are closed.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle is pressed into service as part of the Ansonia ambulance crew to help a 55yo Buswell Street woman who broke her leg after falling down a flight of stairs.

February 18

  • ANSONIA – Huge snow banks are removed from Main Street. 2 plows have broken down.
  • DERBY – Downtown snow removal continuing. 
  • SEYMOUR – Snow piles are being removed from Main Street. The municipal parking lot is cleared today.
  • SHELTON – A six year old Hillside Avenue girl suffers a fractured skull when her sled hits a parked milk truck on Crescent Street.

February 19

  • ANSONIA – Members of the Ansonia Nike Site are moving into new 16 Capehart houses just off Ford Street. 
  • DERBY – The new moderate rental project on David Humphreys Road will be named Dirienzo Heights, after the current mayor, Anthony Dirienzo. It is the third such project constructed during his tenure, the first two were Lakeview Terrace and McLaughlin Terrace. The new project will have 25 duplexes for 50 families. 42 of the units are already occupied.

February 20

  • ANSONIA – Donald Drapeau, whose parents live on 43 Mary Street, was one of the 5 High Point College, NC, students who fired a 14″ aluminum tube 2,000 feet into the air in Kernersville, NC, an event which made national headlines.
  • DERBY – The executive secretary to John Santangelo, president of Charlton Press, is assaulted on the Division Street side of plant. He is struck by a revolver handle, and a briefcase containing company mail stolen. A very similar incident occurred there with the same man 3 years before, in which a briefcase containing the company payroll was stolen, and it is believed that his assailants may have thought that the stolen briefcase contained the payroll.
  • SHELTON – Gov. Ribicoff notifies Mayor Cicia that the State is conducting a “speed-accident” study on Route 8 (Bridgeport Avenue) in light of the recent crashes on the state road.

February 21

  • ANSONIA – A two day event called the “Ansonia Goes Crazy” Sale begins. Prices are slashed all over the city.
  • DERBY – Not to be outdone by Ansonia going crazy, Derby begins a similar two day event called the “Wa-Bi-Sa Days” sales – or Washington’s Birthday Sales.
  • SHELTON – A 3-room trailer home at Sunnyside Trailer Park, on Ann Avenue, is destroyed by fire.

February 22

  • DERBY – A 3-car pileup occurs in front of 334 Derby Avenue at 9:37 PM. 4 suffer minor injuries. Just as the accident is cleared, 2 more cars crash into each other at the exact same spot at 10:30 PM. An additional person is injured, who was transported to Griffin Hospital in a police car.

February 23

  • SHELTON – Rev. Howard C. Champe, pastor of the Shelton Congregational Church since 1945, submits his resignation, effective June 1.

Monday, February 24

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education goes on record opposing any addition to Ansonia High School. They also say they favor of Junior High School at Nolan Field.

February 25

  • ANSONIA – Paul Vivian Tippet, 78, of 125 South Cliff Street, dies only 3 days after recognized for 50 years of service of being on the Board of Directors of the YMCA. He was the organization’s president between 1931 to 1944.
  • DERBY – The Ideal Manufacturing Company of Beacon Falls will take over the 3-story brick building on lower Caroline Street formerly occupied by Corsetry, Inc. They will use it as a warehouse and for packaging the pins it manufactures. Some manufacturing will eventually occur there too.
  • SHELTON – A special referendum is held, to vote yes or no on 6 resolutions. 3 pass – they are: adding 10 rooms each to Sunnyside School & Shelton High School; performing major repairs to Huntington School and Ferry School; and the aquisition of land for school sites, parking, and garbage disposal. The three that failed were – building a new city court and police headquarters; renovate the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder firehouse on Coram Avenue; and renovate the Municipal Building (City Hall) on White Street.

February 27

  • OXFORD – The Riverside Fire Company fire chief says he will resign in interest of harmony. He cites “a certain few” who feel social activities should come before the reason the fire company was organized.

February 28

  • The US Weather Bureau issues a flood warning for the Naugatuck River Valley, due to heavy rain and melting snow. 2.31″ of rain falls in 24 hours. The threat lifts at the end of the day.
  • ANSONIA – The Mill Street Connector is under 2′ of water in the early morning hours. The Civil Defense on standby, and evacuation centers are posted, though they are not needed. Merchants are glad the tailrace is gone. 
  • DERBY – Charlton Press is flooded off Division Street. The ice goes out on Housatonic. 
  • DERBY – A car strikes the side of a passenger train on Derby’s side of the Division Street railroad crossing. The driver was unhurt, and the train continued as the engineer was unaware of the accident.
  • OXFORD – Riveriera Terrace is flooded.
  • SEYMOUR – 10 homes on Sunset Terrace have flooded cellars, the street is under 2′ of water.


Sunday, March 1, 1958

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Elks burn the mortgage of their Main Street home, at a celebration attended by 200. The clubhouse was acquired in 1951 – the other half of the building is Seccombe’s Men Shop.

Monday, March 2, 1958

  • SHELTON – A 3-room house on Hurd Street is gutted by fire.

March 3

  • DERBY – The home of Judge and Mrs. John O’Connell on Mason Street is broken into – $1200 in cash, furs, and jewelry stolen.

March 5

  • A hearing is held on dredging the Housatonic River at Stratford Town Hall, sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers. The mayors of Ansonia, Derby, Shelton all speak in favor of the project. All 200 at the meeting agree they’d like to see the river dredged from its mouth to Derby and Shelton, forming a channel 18′ deep, 200′ wide, 5 miles long. The last time the river was dredged was 1944, and silt on the riverbed was a contributing factor to the devastation of the 1955 Floods.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen goes on record favoring an addition to Ansonia High School to act as a Junior High School. This is in direct conflict with the Board of Education, which wants new Junior High School building, not an addition.
  • DERBY – The Lombardi Motor Car Company officially opens its new sales and display rooms at 304 Seymour Avenue. The company will retain the garage at 69-71 Minerva Street, which it constructed in 1902. It is the oldest dealer in the area, organized in 1896.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The P. Francini and Co. of Derby is given contract to build the new Elim Park Baptist Home, which is moving from Shelton to a 22 acre site in Cheshire.
  • SHELTON – A picture in the Sentinel shows the arches rising for the new St. Lawrence Church in Huntington.
  • SHELTON – The well that supplied water for the Nike Site on North Street, including the Army housing on Palmetto Circle, runs dry. The Huntington Fire Company is up all night pumping 24,000 gallons of water into a storage tank.

March 6

  • SHELTON – The 1957 Grand List shows a net increase of $3,956,900 over the previous  year. It includes 3,955 houses, 163 factory buildings, 6,874 automobiles, 8,218 lots, 2,722 garages or barns, 282 commercial buildings, 18 horses, and 1,057 cattle.

March 7

  • ANSONIA – Traffic lights have been installed on Main Street and Bank Street, and they will begin operating tonight.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Farrel-Birmingham set a net sales record of $50,878,485 last year.
  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital formally opens a recovery room for patients coming out of surgery. It was constructed with a $10,000 grant from the New Haven Foundation.

March 8

  • ANSONIA – A body found in the Naugatuck River, 50 yards south of the Bailey Bridge, is identified as a 65 year old North Fourth Street man. 
  • ANSONIA – Frank Cushner, founder of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is nominated for the Ansonia Board of Police Commissioners.

Monday, March 10

  • DERBY – Harold Beard, 71, dies in Milford. He founded Beard Sand & Gravel, Inc., and the Beard Concrete Company, Both are headquartered in Milford, though the concrete company has a plant in Derby.

March 11

  • ANSONIA – A two-alarm fire breaks out in a three story brick building on 5 Colburn Street, in the same second floor apartment where a man was shot and killed on January 31 of this year. The blaze causes $4000 in damage, and spreads to a room in the building next door. But the fire is prevented from spreading further by asbestos brick. The fire started when a space heater exploded, burning the apartment’s occupant. An Eagle Hose, H&L fireman is overcome by smoke.
  • ANSONIA – The Willis School PTA is opposed to the relocation of Big Jim’s Tavern to 13 Murray Street, near the school.

March 13

  • ANSONIA – Air Force Captain Tavers Lindgren, is given a Commendation Ribbon for Meritorious Service for repairing several aircraft damaged by crashes or fires in interior and remote regions of the Arctic.
  • DERBY – Boxing Champion Mickey Walker is the guest speaker at the Derby Elks Club Irish Night.

March 14

  • DERBY – As of now, the Boy Scouts of the Housatonic Council are prohibited from swimming in West Side Pond in at Scout Reservation, which is under construction, in Goshen, CT. This is due to an 1894 law, that states no one can bathe in reservoir watershed. Water from West Side Pond eventually drains into the Shepaug Reservoir in Waterbury. The Council is seeking amendments to the law through the General Assembly.
  • DERBY – The Sentinel reports that Sister Mary Elizabeth, who once taught at St. Mary’s, has died. The funeral will be in Hartford.
  • SHELTON – Pvt. John J. Brennan Jr., of 27 Cliff Street, is named “Soldier of the Month” at Camp Jackson, SC.

March 15

  • The weather goes back and forth between snow, rain, and slush.
  • DERBY – In a shocking event which is still remembered by many to this day, three nuns from St. Mary’s convent are killed in a four-car accident on the Berlin Turnpike in Berlin, CT. The Sisters of Mercy were driving to Hartford, to attend the funeral of Sister Mary Elizabeth. The convent’s Mother Superior, Sister Maria Denise, 55, was driving the parish station wagon, when she made contact with an oil truck she was trying to pass, resulting in a four-car chain reaction . Both she and Sister Mary Marcian, 66, were killed at the scene, while Sister Mary Celestine, 68, died en route to the hospital. The oil truck overturned, though the driver’s injuries were non-life threatening. Sisters Mary Marcian, Mary Celestine, and Mary Elizabeth were all classmates at Laurelton. St. Mary’s Parish, the City of Derby, and the Roman Catholic community are thrown into a state of shock.
  • SEYMOUR – A 2 year old Seymour boy drowns in 18″ of water in an uncompleted cellar being excavated near his Mountain Road home.

Sunday, March 16

  • DERBY – Masses at St. Mary’s Church are very somber in the wake of yesterday’s deaths of 3 Sisters of Mercy from the parish convent. The St. Mary’s schools are closed until further notice.
  • DERBY – Over 400 attend the ground breaking ceremony of the new Beth-Israel Synagogue Center at 294 Elizabeth Street.

March 17

  • DERBY – Mayor Anthony Dirienzo calls the loss of the three Sisters of Mercy from St. Mary’s Church “a tragic loss and a great shock”. Thousands attend their wake this evening at the convent.
  • SEYMOUR – At a special town meeting, voters refer a $1,970,000 bond issue for a 1,000 pupil high school to a March 28 referendum.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen approves a 40 hour work week for the Police Department, and creates a Bureau of Purchases.

March 18

  • DERBY – Thousands attend the funeral for the three Sisters of Mercy at St. Mary’s Church. Surrounding streets are closed. The triple funeral is presided Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien, assisted by Auxiliary Bishop John F. Hackett, as well as Bishop Lawrence Sheehan of the Bridgeport Diocese. Dozens of priests and deacons assist, and the church is packed, with the crowd spilling outside. All three are buried Mt. St. Peters. All City schools, both pubic and parochial, are closed out of respect.
  • DERBY – The Woman’s Club of the Second Congregational Church changes its name to the Woman’s Fellowship.

March 20

  • The first day of spring brings a snowstorm. Much of the snow initially melts on contact with ground, but it starts to stick as the night goes on. Much of the Valley sees 4″. But in the hills it is a different story, with 10″ or more falling, and high winds whipping the snow into deep drifts. All schools are cancelled.
  • ANSONIA – The Williams Temple Church of God in Christ, on 57 High Street, has purchased a bus for use by church school pupils.
  • ANSONIA – Residents of Woodbridge Avenue have made a very large Easter rabbit out of snow.
  • DERBY – St. Mary’s schools were supposed to reopen today for the first time since the three Sisters of Mercy were killed five days ago, but the snow puts a stop to that.
  • SEYMOUR – The snow has blown into 8′ to 12′ drifts on Great Hill.
  • SHELTON – Snowplow drivers report 7′ drifts in White Hills.

March 21

  • SHELTON – Former mayor Ralph Booth dies in North Carolina, where he lived with his daughter for almost 2 years following the death of his wife. A Democrat, he served as mayor from 1941 to 1946. He was born in Shelton on July 20, 1895, graduated from Shelton High School in 1914, and was a veteran of World War I. 

Monday, March 24

  • ANSONIA – A purse containing $150 snatched from a woman walking on New Street.

March 25

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Housing Authority applied to the Federal Housing Administration for approval of a site south of Central Street, and east of Powe Street. A 50 unit low rental housing project to accommodate some of those who have been or will be displaced in the Broad Street area, is planned.
  • ANSONIA – It is reported that 400 dynamite caps were stolen over the weekend from a shed behind Paradise Inn on the new Route 8 expressway. The police warns of the dangers from them.
  • DERBY – John Santangelo, president of the Charlton Press, signs a 20-year lease with a 10-year option with Stop & Shop. They will build a 135’x150′ cinder block building on the Mill Street Connector behind Atwater Avenue. Blasting begins 4 days later.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia receives word that the State will recommend blinker lights be installed at Route 8 (Bridgeport Avenue) at Mill Street and Armstrong Road.

March 26

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia residents had 449 births (2 actually in the city) in 1957, 40 more than 1956. Ansonia’s population had 244 deaths (80 in the city itself) in 1957, 29 more than 1956. The number of marriages was 216 (134 in the city), 33 less than 1956.
  • DERBY – Burglars are unsuccessful in trying to rip open a large safe at the business office of the Housatonic Lumber Company on 100 Main Street.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education goes on record at a special meeting, asking Mayor Cicia to explain his remarks made four days ago in the Evening Sentinel, in which he said “through my efforts, discrimination against trailer park children in our schools was eliminated”. No one seems to know what he is talking about.

March 27

  • ANSONIA – The Connecticut National Bank seeks permission to open a branch on the corner Mill Street and Division Street, across from Charlton Press, and south of the new First National Supermarket now under construction.
  • ANSONIA – The Army Corps of Engineers tells Mayor Doyle that if the 4 planned flood control reservoirs were completed, in addition to Thomaston Dam, the flooding from the August 1955 Flood would have been 8′-9′ less, and Ansonia would have experienced $3 million instead of $30 million in damage. He is also told that flood walls and dikes on the east side of the Naugatuck River is ‘economically doubtful’.

March 28

  • ANSONIA – A federal judge rules that Deerfield Road should not be replaced by the Army since it was abandoned a very long time before it was taken over for theNIKE site. To make his ruling, the judge has to cite a law dating all the way back to 1795. Ansonia is awarded $1. Three days later, it is announced that the Army will take 1.06 acres off Ford Street.
  • SEYMOUR – Voters defeat planned new $1,970,000 Seymour High School, which would have housed 1,000 students, in a referendum by a vote of 933-706.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia accuses 2 Board of Education members of “trying to make a political football of this matter” of discrimination against trailer park children at the schools He further claims that there is still discrimination.
  • SHELTON – The Sunnyside Drive Moderate Rental Housing Project Association is formed. They will join with the Geissler Drive Housing Project Association in opposing $6 rent increases and higher electric and gas bills.

Sunday, March 30

  • SEYMOUR – A well known, 15 year old Elm Street boy dies. A freshman at Seymour High School, he had been fighting muscular dystrophy since early childhood, and appeared on the controversial Strike It Rich television show a few years ago.
  • SHELTON – The Sunnyside Drive Moderate Rental Housing Project Association and the Geissler Drive Housing Project Association form the Moderate Rental Housing Association at the War Memorial, at a joint meeting attended by 60 families.

March 31

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Parking Authority agrees to purchase the entire “Railroad Property”, from Bridge Street to a point 200′ north of Railroad Avenue, for $195,000. The original price was $250,000.


Tuesday, April 1

  • DERBY – The grandson of Mayor Anthony Dirienzo is seriously injured when he is hit by a car in front of the new Jewish Community Center on Elizabeth Street.
  • DERBY – Derby High School announces Rosalind Cafasso of Minerva Street will be the Class of 1958 valedictorian. Anne Fitzmaurice of Laurel Avenue will be salutatorian.

April 2

  • ANSONIA – Two piers are in position on the east side of the new Maple Street Bridge, and a third is currently being worked on.
  • ANSONIA – Local 3571, United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, has donated an electric scoreboard to Lincoln School for Biddy Basketball and public school use.
  • SEYMOUR – The west end of the new Broad Street Bridge is almost ready for paving

Easter Sunday, April 6

  • Rain dampens the late morning. 1.89″ falls in a 24 hour period starting 8 AM today. The churches are packed.
  • SHELTON – Several hundred attend sunrise Easter Sunday services at Highland Golf Course.

April 7

  • The Housatonic rises to 3′ above normal, but there is no danger.
  • ANSONIA – The Naugatuck River swells to within 3′ of flooding. The contractor building the new Maple Street Bridge has to move his heavy equipment away from the riverbank as a precaution. 
  • DERBY – It is discovered that $6,000 in cash and $8,000 in checks have been taken from a safe at the Housatonic Public Service Company at 33 Elizabeth Street sometime between Saturday afternoon and this morning. The police are investigating.
  • SEYMOUR – The contractor building the new Broad Street Bridge has to move his heavy equipment away from the riverbank as a precaution. 

April 8

  • ANSONIA – A 1,000 gallon water tank truck has been donated to the Hilltop Hose Company No. 5.
  • SEYMOUR – A fire in the basement of Klarides Supermarket at 271 Bank Street causes minor damage.

April 9

  • DERBY – A small one room guest cottage is destroyed by fire just north of McConney Flats on Roosevelt Drive.

April 10

  • Rain turns to snow in the evening, leaving 2-3″.
  • SEYMOUR – A $10,000 fire guts a one story addition of the Valley Garage on North Main Street. 2 families, totaling 7 people, flee the upstairs apartments in the 3 story section. A family dog dies in the blaze.

April 12

  • DERBY – City firemen burn down a house near Hawthrone Avenue in a “controlled burn”. The house was located on the new Osbornedale State Park.
  • DERBY – State and local police raid a billiard parlor on Bank Street, and arrest the owner and 4 other men on gambling charges.
  • SEYMOUR – Harold Moore Donovan, 55, dies at Griffin Hospital, on what would have been his 24th wedding anniversary. Born in Ansonia, he lived in Seymour 47 years and was the owner and manager of the Strand Theater. 

Sunday, April 13

  • DERBY – 20 to 30 New Haven youths invade a sweet sixteen party for an Orange girl at Falcon Hall. A general melee breaks out, in which Coke bottles, chairs, and fists are freely thrown. As the boys try to escape, one throws an Army practice grenade into the crowd, causing a flash that lights up the neighborhood for two blocks. Alerted by the flash and screaming, a supernumerary police officer chases the boys, firing shots after them, but they make it to their car and all but one escapes. The one remaining may have been the one who threw the grenade – he is injured with a broken nose. The hall is completely trashed, with makeshift weapons including boards, pipes, and clubs everywhere. The grenade is Army-issue, the arrested boy admitting it was stolen from the New Haven armory. It is just like a regular hand grenade in every way, except it does not have the explosive charge or fragmentation of the standard issue. The grenade fortunately bounced off the front door of the hall, instead of into the crowd, which is fortunate because as it was the suspect and at least one male party chaperone were badly injured from being too close to the explosion. The suspect is at Griffin Hospital, where he is allegedly naming his co-conspirators. They were “looking for trouble” that night, and knew about the party in advance.

April 14

  • DERBY – New Haven police have begun rounding up boys named by the suspect captured from yesterday’s attack at Falcon Hall.
  • SEYMOUR – A Pine Street house unoccupied since the August 1955 flood, across from Seymour High School burns down. The house had been slated for demolition anyway, but the flames are so intense many in town think the high school is on fire.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Teachers Association president says the City is in an “education crisis”. City teachers’ pay ranks 152nd in the State, which is why 45 teachers have left in the last 5 years. New teachers tend to move on before long to communities that pay more.

April 15

  • ANSONIA – A drum explosion kills a 38 year old New Haven man, employed by the Levine Scrap Metal Company on 90 Central Street. The owner is burned trying to rescue him. The drum shot 30′ into the air, spreading fire everywhere.
  • DERBY – William Reilly of 8 Cottage Street, a retired police officer, dies at St. Raphael’s. Appointed a supernumerary in 1907, he was promoted to patrolman in 1911 and assigned to guard the Sterling Opera House during performances. He was appointed a regular full time patrolman in 1923, and retired January 10, 1955 after 47 years of service. City flags are at half staff.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Ferdinand Weimann dies at Griffin Hospital at age 74. A Shelton resident who had immigrated from Germany, he helped found the Weimann Brothers Manufacturing Company in Derby in 1917, which made special tools and stampings. He was the company’s Chairman of the Board at the time of his death.
  • SHELTON – Ground is broken for additions to Shelton High School and Sunnyside School.
  • SHELTON – A house under construction on Oronoque Trail in Pine Rock Park is destroyed by fire, burning to the ground before the fire department arrives.

April 16

  • SEYMOUR – Residents vote 124-23 against joining a proposed new Valley Health District, at a special town meeting

Sunday, April 20

  • DERBY – The Derby Historical Society plants about 300 pine and spruce trees in and around the Uptown Cemetery. They also plant an oak tree to replace the ancient one that was blown down in the Hurricane of 1938.
  • OXFORD – The Oxford Congregational Church building committee is authorized to construct a new $60,000 addition to the parish house.
  • SEYMOUR – A 38 year old Ansonia man is in critical condition after being hit by a train.

April 21

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen unanimously adopts a resolution directing Redevelopment Agency to apply for a $2.7 million loan, and for project capital grants and relocation grants to the full amount available, to redevelop Broad Street for public housing.
  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education adopts changing from 6 to 4 semesters, each 6 weeks long, and awarding letter grades, on a trial basis for Ansonia High School.
  • SHELTON – St. Joseph’s School will add 8 new classrooms for 320 more students. The addition will be 2 stories, with 4 classrooms on each side of the auditorium. The school will then have a total of 16 classrooms. Enrollment right now is 360.

April 22

  • ANSONIA – The first steel arrives for the new Maple Street Bridge. Within an hour workers started mounting it on the piers. 
  • DERBY – Rev. Olszowka, pastor of St. Michael’s Church appeals to the State Highway Department to change the plans for the proposed new bridge over Naugatuck River, saying it will create a serious traffic condition in front of the church and school.
  • OXFORD – Plans are unveiled for new addition to the Oxford Congregational Church parish house, which will be “L” shaped and connect the present parish house to the church, for $60,000. It will measure 96′ east and south, 20′ wide, and include a pastor’s study, offices, 4 classrooms, a kitchen, a Fellowship Hall that can hold 100 people, and restrooms. 

April 23

  • DERBY – A coroner places some of the blame for the accident which killed 3 St. Mary’s nuns last month on the headdress worn by the driver, which restricted her vision, as well as her inexperience driving. Three days later the Sisters of Mercy nuns announce they will now push their habits back when driving.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Manufacturing Company announces it will go to a 32-hour week due to sluggish sales, and top salaries will be reduced.

April 24

  • ANSONIA – It is revealed that Mayor Doyle is being considered for nomination to Lt. Governor in the upcoming state election. He’s reportedly “pleased and interested”.
  • ANSONIA – A 36 year old Shelton worker is killed at the site of the new Maple Street Bridge, after a boom strikes a 8″ tree branch. The branch falls to the ground, knocking him off a 10′ wall onto a pile of rocks.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Selectmen vote to borrow $70,000 from the Connecticut National Bank and Trust Company to buy property for the proposed new Seymour High School.

April 25

  • DERBY – State Engineers meet with Rev. Olszowka regarding the proposed new Naugatuck River bridge in front of St. Michael’s Church.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Redevelopment Agency receives approval to apply for grants up to $375,000 in federal & $70,000 in state grants to redevelop Pine Street in a town referendum, by a vote of 325-292.

April 26

  • ANSONIA – A Washington hand press owned by the Evening Sentinel since at least 1878 is donated to University of Utah, where it will be permanently exhibited in the typography museum in the school of journalism. The press is interesting to them because it was portable, and fit in a covered wagon, which is why many western newspapers used these presses when they first started.

Monday, April 28

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle suggests that the US Army name the Ansonia NIKE site after Joseph C. Hines, an Ansonia native killed in Europe on February 21, 1945. Hines was with the 459th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Battery B, at the time of his death, while the the 967th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Battery B is based in Ansonia.

April 29

  • 1.33″ of rain has fallen in the 24 hours ending at 8 AM today. A total of 6.32″ has fallen in April so far, which is well above the normal level of 4″ of rain.
  • ANSONIA – A granite honor roll bearing about 200 names of Woodbridge Avenue area veterans of World War II and Korea will be erected at Woodbridge Avenue and Prospect Street, replacing a temporary one erected there in 1943.
  • SEYMOUR – Two young men, a 21year old from Seymour and his 20 year old friend from Ansonia, have constructed a gyrocopter in the Seymour boy’s Buckingham Road house. The craft has glided 4′ in the air in high winds, though the boys have not been able to afford a motor yet.

April 30

  • ANSONIA – City Hall driveway will be extended to East Main Street.

Thursday, May 1

  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Today is the 70th anniversary of the first electric street car running between Ansonia and Derby, the first use of an electric streetcar in New England.
  • DERBY – The Howard & Barber Department Store marks its 150th anniversary. All Main Street stores will stay open until 9 PM in tribute, normally stores only do that on Fridays in 1958. The store is decorated to look like 1858. Impressive ceremonies are held in the morning, broadcast live over the Valley’s AM radio station WADS. It is interesting to note that the anniversary of the streetcars received much attention in the newspaper in 1933, while the Howard & Barber anniversary received no coverage at all, probably due to the Great Depression. 25 years later, the streetcar anniversary was barely more than a photo and caption, while the Howard & Barber anniversary was a huge event.
  • SEYMOUR – The police department has received a new Ford station wagon.

May 3

  • SHELTON – Joseph Michael Fitzgerald, son of Mr. & Mrs. John Fitzgerald of 38 Elm Street, is ordained at St. Augustine’s cathedral in Bridgeport. Rev. Fitzgerald would serve as pastor of St. Lawrence Church from 1974 to 2004.

Tuesday, May 6

  • OPERATION ALERT 1958 – In a simulated nuclear attack on the United States, four nuclear bombs are said to have detonated on Connecticut’s largest cities. Public scrambled into bomb shelters at 10:37 AM. Traffic is halted. Fire engines and civil defense unites scramble to remote parts of various cities and towns to avoid destruction. Parts of Shelton said to be uninhabitable from the nuclear attack on Bridgeport. When the all clear is sounded, everyday life goes on.

May 9

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Peter L. Manfredi of Holy Rosary Church celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination. He was one of the first Italian priests ordained in Connecticut. Born on February 13, 1880, assigned to Holy Rosary on April 3, 1913.
  • DERBY – Gov. Ribicoff vetoes a State bill that would allow Goshen residents to swim in Tyler Lake and West Side Pond. Because of this, the Housatonic Council of the Boy Scouts of America announces from its Derby office that it cannot build the proposed Housatonic Scout Reservation along West Side Pond now, and will have to sue to recover the $10,000 down payment it made on the property.
  • SHELTON – Fire damages an Isinglass Road home.
  • SHELTON – The P. Francini Company of Derby has been assigned the work of rebuilding the fire-gutted Good Shepherd Church, for an estimated cost of $200,000.

Monday, May 12

  • DERBY – 19 New Haven boys are sentenced for April 13 riot at Falcon Hall.

May 13

  • ANSONIA – A volunteer firefighter is burned on his neck battling brush fire on Knights of Columbus and Ansonia Water Company property off Deerfield Lane. 50 to 100 acres burn for 6 and a half hours. The wind driven 2-alarm blaze reaches the firebreak at the edge of the Ansonia Nike Site, but does not cross it. NIKE soldiers and Explorer Post 10 assist in fighting the fire.
  • SHELTON – The former City Clerk wanted by the police surrenders at the State Attorney’s Office in Bridgeport. He is brought to Shelton, where he is charged with embezzlement, forgery, and other charges in connection to $1958 that was discovered missing in a recent audit. He is then transferred to the Fairfield County Jail in Bridgeport, where he is held for two days in lieu of $3,000 bond.

May 14

  • DERBY – The East End Hose Company received a 2000 gallon tanker, which will be pulled by the tractor recently secured, from Stewart Air Force Base in New York.
  • SHELTON – Miss Elizabeth Shelton announces she will retire at the end of the school year after 50 years of teaching, 46 of which were in Shelton. 5 other teachers also announce they will be leaving at the end of the year. Elizabeth Shelton School is named after Miss Shelton.

May 15

  • SHELTON – A short circuit causes a $5000 fire to two vacant stores at 6-8 White Street.

May 17

  • OXFORD – Several hundred Boy Scouts and about 500 parents and friends attend annual weekend camporee on the Raymond Renker property off Riggs Street. This is considered the biggest camporee the Housatonic Council has held so far.

Sunday, May 18

  • SHELTON – Rev. E. Herbert Nygren is appointed pastor of the Shelton Methodist Church.

May 19

  • DERBY – The railroad viaduct over the road to Island Park (lower Caroline Street) catches fire, giving off thick clouds of choking, black smoke. The Fire Department extinguishes the blaze before the viaduct is destroyed, and rail traffic resumes 15 minutes after it is put out.

May 20

  • SHELTON – Shelton’s former City Clerk pleads guilty of embezzlement and forgery at Bridgeport Superior Court. He will be sentenced June 3.
  • SHELTON – SNET has purchased 1.5 acres of land off Ripton Road, for a new dial center.

May 21

  • ANSONIA – A small Luscombe 8-A light airplane crashes through the roof and into the living room of a Capehart house for married soldiers on the Ansonia NIKE siteadjacent to Ansonia airport. The pilot’s face is cut, but there are no other injuries, and the house’s occupants were away at the time. Mayor Doyle happened to be one of the first on scene. He climbed onto the roof of the house, and turned off planes the ignition and gas line before it could catch fire and/or explode. Mayor Doyle served in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and the airplane was designed in the 1930s, so he knew what to do. The pilot is transported to Griffin Hospital, where he is in fair condition, though he faces arrest for flying without a license.
  • SEYMOUR – The new loading platform at the Post Office is nearly completed. It will be able to service four trucks at the same time.

May 24

Sunday, May 25

  • ANSONIA – A neighborhood honor roll is dedicated despite heavy rain on Woodbridge Avenue and Prospect Street in Ansonia. It lists World War II and Korean War veterans from the neighborhood.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Association services held at Shelton High School. The keynote speaker is Rep. James T. Patterson, who warns that “serious conditions which exist…could easily flare into World War III”. He calls the atom “a lethal monster”.
  • SHELTON – Battery A of the 741st AAA Guided Missile Battalion becomes the LT Patrick J. Tisi Battery at ceremonies held in Huntington School. The event was supposed to be on Huntington Green, but was moved due to rain. The Huntington parade is cancelled. Lt. Tisi (1914-1944) of Coram Avenue was killed in the Battle of Metz while fighting across Europe in Gen. Patton’s Third Army.

May 27

  • ANSONIA – On the Fourth of July, the Ansonia NIKE site will be named after Corporal Joseph V. Hines, of 55 Platt Street, who was killed in France on February 21, 1945.

May 28

  • ANSONIA – The General John J. Pershing Barracks, World War I Veterans, will enter a float in the Ansonia Memorial Day Parade for the first time. It will feature an actual flag used during the Civil War.
  • DERBY – For the second time in 2 days, vandals have broken the flag staff at the Civil War monument on Derby Green and toppled the flag to the ground.
  • SEYMOUR – Three are injured in a crash involving a car and 2 trucks on Roosevelt Drive. 4,000 gallons of fuel oil spill into the street and down an embankment into the Housatonic River.

May 29

  • ANSONIA – The police arrest 4 boys in connection with March 20 theft of 400 dynamite caps from the Route 8 expressway construction. They buried 300 in theWoodlot off Westwood Road, hid 50 under a rock off Smith Street, had alreadyt exploded 50 others.


  • ANSONIA – Impressive parade in Ansonia following memorial exercises at Nolan Field, where Mayor Doyle is the principle speaker. An unarmed Nike Ajax missilefrom the Ansonia NIKE site is also in the parade.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Memorial Day parade starts in Shelton ends in Derby. It includes a brief but poignant ceremony at Derby Green. The Connecticut Hurricanes unveil their new “trooper” style uniforms for first time. An unarmed Nike Ajax missile from the Huntington NIKE site is also in the parade.
  • OXFORD – Hundreds watch the Oxford Memorial Day Parade, which started at Seth Den Road, and marched to the Oxford School where Memorial Services were held.
  • SEYMOUR – Hundreds attend the Seymour Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Services at French Memorial Field.
  • SHELTON – The new honor roll is dedicated at the War Memorial at Riverview Park just before the Memorial Day Parade.

May 31

  • DERBY – Formal ceremonies are held to dedicate new home of the John Collins Post American Legion on Caroline Street.

Monday, June 2

  • SHELTON – A shouting match breaks out at a Board of Aldermen meeting between Mayor Cicia and Building Inspector LeRoy Hellman. The argument culminates with the mayor threatening to throw Hellman in jail. Hellman later resigns as building inspector, and his resignation is almost immediately accepted by the Board. The fight was over Hellman’s approval of 3 US Army surplus homes off Mohegan Road.


June 3

  • ANSONIA – Two goats found grazing on the green across from Elm Street School in the morning. The police find that they wandered from Jewett Street.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – The Constitution of Beth Israel Synagogue Center is accepted at a meeting in Ansonia. This merges Congregation Sons of Israel of Derby, Congregation Beth-El of Ansonia, and the Ansonia-Derby Jewish Community Center into one organization.
  • SHELTON – The former City Clerk is sentenced to 1-3 years in State Prison for embezzlement and forgery.

June 7

  • SHELTON – Robert Baldwin purchases 54 acres of land off Ripton Road from Spencer Booth to construct new homes.

Sunday, June 8

  • ANSONIA – Holy Rosary Church celerates its Golden Jubilee with a mass in the church, then a celebration at Warsaw Park. In addition to the church’s 50th anniversary, the parish is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Father Manfredi’s ordination. He has been the pastor of Holy Rosary for 43 years.
  • DERBY – St. Mary’s Church is packed as Rev. Michael M. Caprio, whose parents live on Grove Avenue, says his first high mass.

June 9

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen approves a request from the local Jewish War Veterans chapter, to name the new Maple Street Bridge the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen directs the builder of the Birdseye View Manor housing development off Soundview Avenue to stop blasting until he fixes damaged septic tanks and replaces top soil he removed from lots.
  • SHELTON – Fire chief Leslie Bauer submits his resignation, for personal reasons, effective as soon as new chief is appointed.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education accepts a plan to relieve overcrowding at Huntington School by transferring 71 grade school and 123 kindergarten students to Ferry School. There are 846 known students in the district, which encompasses most of Huntington..

June 10

  • Heavy rain dumps 1.37″.
  • ANSONIA – Many catch basins clog in the heavy rain.
  • ANSONIA – Holy Rosary Church wants to move a house from 73 Factory Street to 451 Main Street, to be used as a rectory.

June 11

  • DERBY – The Derby Historical Society holds its Annual Meeting at First Congregational Church. Guest Speaker Miss Helen Upton gives a talk on Huntington’s Far Mill River mills. Dr. Samuel Rentsch is reelected as President.
  • SEYMOUR – The Chair of the Seymour Redevelopment Agency announces the final report of the Second Street Urban Redevelopment Project is complete. The plan calls for demolition of entire Tingue Mills plant on Raymond Street, along with all west side buildings on First Street, and those on the east side of Second Street. Second Street and Raymond Street are to be widened to 50′. The Tingue Mills site will be used for municipal parking, and there will also be a large parking lot on First Street next to Town Hall.

June 12

  • SEYMOUR – Seymour High School holds its 71st commencement, awarding diplomas to 95 graduates – 60 girls and 35 boys. A number of them are from Oxford, and in fact Annette Gray of Oxford is the salutatorian. David Tocher of Seymour is the valedictorian. 1325 attend the exercises outside of Bungay School.

June 13

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia’s average household income was $7,126 in 1957. This is above both the US average of $5,921, and the New England average of $6,610.
  • SEYMOUR – Two Palomino horses and a pony escape a Woodbridge stable, and wander into the Garden City section of Seymour. Neighbors could not catch them. Police officer John Falbo does the trick by attracting them a behind North State Street building with a bucket of oats he got from Seymour Grain and Coal.

June 14

  • ANSONIA – Father Benedict Gauronskas of St. Anthony’s Church in Ansonia celebrates the 25th anniversary of ordination with a mass, then a banquet at Warsaw Park. A native of Lithuania, he came to Ansonia in 1948.
  • ANSONIA – Mr. M. Allen Pond, an Ansonia native now living in Bethesda, MD, is appointed as the nation’s Assistant Surgeon General. Born in Ansonia October 17, 1912, he attended the city’s public schools. His family lived on Wesley Street, where his father worked for Farrel-Birmingham and was member of the City’s Republican Town Committee. He died in 1937.
  • ANSONIA – The pilot of the plane that crashed onto a Capehart house at the Ansonia NIKE site is fined $25 for flying without a license.

Sunday, June 15

  • DERBY – Rev. Frederick Martyn Bradley, son of Mr. & Mrs. Louis Bradley Jr. of New Haven Avenue, is ordained as a Congregational minister in West Avon, where he will be pastor.
  • OXFORD – A flagpole and memorial stone in front of Riverside firehouse are dedicated with impressive ceremonies.

June 16

  • ANSONIA – Work begins to extend Ansonia City Hall driveway from Main Street to East Main Street.
  • DERBY – The State Highway Department advertises bids for the construction of a 3-span, 4-lane welder girder bridge over the Naugatuck River between West and East Derby along Main Street. This will replace the concrete bridge built in 1906. 
  • DERBY – For third time in recent weeks, the offertory receptacles at St. Mary’s Church are robbed of their donations. The Church’s doors were forced open, and the receptacles smashed.

June 17

  • SHELTON – Fire Chief Leslie Bauer withdraws his resignation after meeting with Mayor Cicia and ironing out personal differences.

June 18

  • ANSONIA – 164 seniors from Ansonia High School and Pine High School take part in the City’s 75th commencement, held at the Ansonia High auditorium.. Mary Anne Mankauskas is the salutatorian, and June Edith Abate is the valedictorian. This year a new type of diploma is awarded, encased in a lavender leather case protected with plastic. The Pine High graduates number 27 boys.

June 19

  • DERBY – Derby High School graduates 74 seniors at outdoor exercises at Coon Hollow Park. Rosalind Cafasso is the valedictorian, Anne Fitzmaurice is the salutatorian.
  • DERBY – Four 14 year old Shelton girls are caught defacing the Civil War Monument on Derby Green with chalk by a policeman. They are marched to the police station at the Sterling Opera House, where they are given 2 buckets, brushes, mops, and soap. They are then marched back to the Green, where they clean the monument, as well as pick up all trash on the Green. No charges are filed.
  • DERBY – The Board of Aldermen, in special session, votes to buy 16.2 acres of land on David Humphreys Road for $2,500 per acre from the Marcisuio family for a new school site. This is the future site of Bradley School.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – The Boards of Education from Seymour and Oxford agree to a 10 year contract, to send Oxford’s 9th through 12th grade students to the new proposed Seymour High School.
  • SHELTON – Derby’s police commissioner Dominick Jeanette, who works at Driscoll Wire Company, has been watering a dandelion alongside the building every lunch break. It is now 6′ 8″ tall.
  • SHELTON – The Evening Sentinel features a picture of “Yale’s navy”, consisting of motorboats and launches owned by the rowing team, passing through the lowerShelton Canal lock on their way back to the Yale boathouse in Derby. It took 3 days for them to come home from New London due to rough weather.

June 20

  • SHELTON – Shelton High School graduates 93 seniors at the high school auditorium. Lewis Mark Norton is the valedictorian, and Patricia Helene Kuncik is the salutatorian.

June 21

  • ANSONIA – Hugh O’Brian, who plays Wyatt Earp on the ABC television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, is at WADS for a radio marathon to support Valley Mental Health. The marathon raised over $5000. Mr. O’Brian is greeted by many children who are his fans outside of the station.
  • DERBY – A gas leak causes an explosion in a 6-family home at 92 1/2 Olivia Street, after a 26 year old man changes a light fixture, causing a spark. He’s burned on the face and hands. There are no other injuries, and there is no fire.

Monday, June 24

  • DERBY – The City’s Department of Public Works is clearing out the heavy undergrowth at Colonial Cemetery (Uptown Burying Ground).
  • SHELTON – Mrs. Mary Kuzenski Deptula dies at 81. A Polish immigrant, she married Michael Deptula, who began the Deptula Trucking Company in 1900. She became president at his death in 1922, and Deptula Trucking is one of the foremost freight carriers in the State in 1958.

June 26

  • SHELTON – A fire destroys a wooden fueling dock and 2 gas pumps at the Shelton Yacht and Cabana Club, opposite Pinecrest Country Club off River Road. Burning fuel from the fuel pumps spread across the surface of the river, and consumed the dock.

Monday, June 30

  • ANSONIA – Miss Mary Ellen DeCoursey dies at Hewitt Memorial Hospital in Shelton. She was a City first grade teacher for 45 years, retiring in December 1954. She taught from 1909 to 1925 at Grove Street School (later Willis), from 1925 to 1939 at Lincoln School, and from 1940 to 1954 at Nolan School.
  • SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Girl Scout Council approves plans for a 20’x40′ masonry building at Camp Millcroft off Huntington Street, to be used for overnight camping. It will be able to accommodate 20 girls and their leaders.

Tuesday, July 1

  • ANSONIA – 81 construction permits were issued in Ansonia in June of 1958. This includes 72 for single family homes, the largest amount in 16 years.
  • SHELTON – Police officers begin a 40-hour workweek.

July 2

  • DERBY – The Shelton Canal Company successor of the Ousatonic Water Company, quitclaims the land occupied by the Recreation Camp, conveying it to the non-profit organization that taught so many generations of Valley residents how to swim.
  • SHELTON – Rev. Alfred Carmody of St. Lawrence Church dies at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford at age 50. He was reported in critical condition three days before. Before slipping into a coma over the weekend, one of the last things he said was he hoped he could live to see dedication of the new church, which was nearing completion. Father Carmody was the first, and up to this time only pastor of St. Lawrence parish, formed in 1955, and had purchased the land and rectory the parish now occupies, and was instrumental in the construction of the church, which is expected to be completed next month.

July 3

  • DERBY – The destroyer USS Hull (DD-945), named after Commodore Isaac Hull, is commissioned in the US Navy.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – City stores will now stay open until Thursday at 9 PM, instead of the same time on Fridays.
  • SHELTON – Father Carmody’s body lies in state at St. Lawrence rectory from 5 PM today until 7:30 PM tomorrow. Hundreds come to pay tribute.
  • SHELTON – A small street parade leads a crowd from White Street to the annual Fourth of July tribute at Lafayette Field, which involves a pie eating contest, clowns, singing, and other entertainment. It is followed by a fireworks display. Thousands attend despite hot sultry night.


  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia NIKE site named after Cpl. Joseph Hines, who lived on 55 Platt Street. He was killed in France February 21, 1945 with the 459th AAA Battalion. 300 attend the ceremony.
  • DERBY – The 23-piece Valley Community Band plays classical and popular music from 7pm to 9pm at Coon Hollow Park, followed by the City’s Fourth of July fireworks display. Thousands attend.
  • OXFORD – A 16 year old Milford girl who developed a cramp and began drowning in Lake Zoar is saved by her friend and off-duty Seymour policeman Kenneth Connors. Officer Connors was in a boat with a friend, saw the girl in trouble, and jumped in to rescue her. She was removed unconscious, and Officer Connors applied artificial respiration for 15 minutes before she was revived.
  • SHELTON – 6,425 people visit Indian Well State Park today

July 5 

  • SHELTON – Father Carmody’s Pontifical requiem mass and funeral is celebrated by Bishop Sheehan at St. Augustine’s Cathedral in Bridgeport.

Sunday, July 6

  • DERBY – A police officer spots a man breaking into the home of Atty. Harold Yudkin and his wife. He fires a warning shot, but the burglar escapes by fleeing into the woods.

July 7

  • DERBY – A 15 year old boy steals a car from a used car lot in Ansonia. He and a 13 year old  friend drive to Derby, where a city police car gives chase. The car crashes into a tree on Chatfield Street after sideswiping another car. The 13 year old is arrested in the car, the 15 year old flees into woods, but is caught.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town announces it has agreed to establish swimming facilities on the former Camp Palmer on the Oxford Town Line on the Housatonic River. It contains 150′ of beach on a 200×200′ parcel, as well as a parking circle for cars and busses. The facility will open in about a week.
  • SEYMOUR – A rowboat fills with water and sinks in Hoadley’s Pond, plunging a 60 year old man and 7 year old  boy into the water. Neither can swim. A passing motorist stops, jumps in, and rescues both.
  • OXFORD – Girl Scout Day Camp An-Se-Ox opens for its second season. A total of 147 have registered so far this summer.
  • SHELTON – Girl Scout Day Camp Millcroft opens off Huntington Street. 176 girls have registered so far this summer.

July 8

  • ANSONIA – A picture in the Sentinel shows the Mariani Construction Company beginning to lay concrete on the new Maple Street Bridge.
  • DERBY – A picture in the Sentinel shows the DeFelice Construction Company beginning to lay concrete on the new Route 8 expressway just above Mohawk Avenue
  • DERBY – 700 have so far registered for swimming classes at the Recreation Camp.

July 9

  • Many are complaining about today’s train on the Valley passenger line. 397 passengers were crammed into a 230 seat train. The train was standing room only before it left Waterbury, and many embarked at each station – 50 in Derby alone. Wednesdays are normally the “Ladies Days” sales in Bridgeport, but there were also many vacationers heading for transfers in New York City.
  • SHELTON – A call of a boat floundering in the Housatonic near Indian Well State Park causes Derby’s Storm Engine Company and Yale University boathouse to launch their rescue boats about 10:30 PM to search for it, while the Shelton, Derby and Seymour police departments scour the shores. Nothing is found.

July 10

  • SHELTON – United Shoe Manufacturing (USM) Company puts one of the most modern industrial waste treatment plants into operation on the Housatonic River at their River Road plant.

July 11

  • ANSONIA – The Mead School playground supervisor tells four boys to leave when they become unruly. When they refuse, he grabs one and starts escorting him away. The boy responds by breaking a bottle and going after the supervisor. Not to be outdone, the supervisor grabs a baseball bat and starts chasing the boy, who is cornered until the police arrive. The boy is brought to the police station, where he is released after getting a “stern warning”. He and his 3 companions are also barred from all City playgrounds for the summer.

July 12

  • DERBY – A 72 year old Shelton man dies instantly when he is hit by a car on the corner of Derby Avenue and Gilbert Street. He is the first auto fatality in Derby in 18 months.

Sunday, July 13

  • SHELTON – A 41 year old man fires a rifle at a group of young men getting water near spring on River Road. They call the police. As the police arrive in the area, they hear another shot and a woman scream. The man’s girlfriend tells the police after the man opened fire on the young men, he went to her porch, and suddenly started playing Russian Roulette on her porch, and pulled the trigger 3 times. He pulled the trigger a fourth time, shooting a round into the ground. He then raised the gun to his head, firing a fatal shot into it. The victim was reportedly despondant.

July 14

  • DERBY – It is announced today that Sarong, Inc., will open a plant on First Street. The firm descends from I. Newman & Sons, founded 1872 in Birmingham. As of 1958, Sarond is one of top 10 manufacturers of bras and corsets among 400 firms. The plant will employ 130.
  • SEYMOUR – The town is now using the old Camp Palmer on the Oxford town line as a beach area for its summer playground children. There are toilet facilities and a lifeguard, and some sand was put down to form a beach.

July 15

  • ANSONIA – A general-alarm fire breaks out in the 3-story Tremont Theater Building on the southwest corner of Main and Tremont Street. The fire damages 4 stores on the first floor, the Tremont bowling alleys on the second and the Valley Dress Company, which employs 75, on the third floor. One fireman is overcome by smoke.

July 16

  • ANSONIA – Hoodlums break into and vandalize airplanes at the Ansonia Airport.

July 17

  • ANSONIA – City residents spent $7,347,000 for food in 1957, topping 1956’s total of $7,013,000. This comes to $1,230 per household, which is more than the US average of $949, and the Connecticut average of $1,145.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – The Oxford Zoning Board has received complaints about toilets being set up near town line by Seymour at the old Camp Palmer swimming area. Seymour offers to move them, but Oxford says they may remain as long as they are screened. It is noted that 20 Oxford children are already regularly using the swimming area.

July 19

  • ANSONIA – The police simultaneously raid the Blue Rose Restaurant on 40 Colburn Street, and the H&K Sandwich Shop on 5 Central Street. 16 are arrested, mostly on gambling charges.
  • DERBY – A City-hired consultant submits a comprehensive downtown Derby development plan. Suggestions include closing Elizabeth Street from the Green to Main Street and making it into a pedestrian mall. Also forming a two-level shopping center on First Street and Main Street, connected with an escalator.

Monday, July 21

  • ANSONIA – The establishment by the State Water Resources Commission of encroachment lines on the Vartelas property on the Naugatuck River, without compensation for loss of value, is declared unconstitutional in Waterbury Common Pleas Court. The ruling will set a precedent for other Valley owners of affected riverside property. The case was argued by Ansonia Atty. Carl Lundgren. The lines drawn by the Commission seized all but 60 square feet of the Vartelas’ land, which was devastated by the 1955 Floods. The remaining tract has since been donated by the family for a memorial to the 1955 Floods, called Vartelas Park.
  • SEYMOUR – A 33 year old Christian Street, Oxford man driving his wife and newborn son home from Griffin Hospital is stopped by a woman near Hoadley’s Pond, where he is informed that two people are drowning. He jumps in, and rescues a 44 year old man and his 7 year old son from drowning. The boy had fallen off a 6′ retaining wall into the pond, and his father jumped in to get him. Neither could swim. The father needed artificial respiration but was revived.

July 23

  • SEYMOUR – An armored track and 3 armed guards from Shawmut Bank in Boston arrives at the Waterman Pen factory with $1 million in $10, $20, & $50 bills. This is part of Waterman’s new public relations campaign touting its pen and pencil set as “a million dollar value”. Police guard area while pictures of company officials and actors swamped in the money are taken. The Seymour Trust Company arranged the transfer, saying it is the largest amount of cash it ever had on hand at one time. The money safely returns to Boston later in the evening.

July 24

  • DERBY – Halper’s women’s’ clothing store starts a closing out sale, marking the end of 90 years in business. Founded in Seymour, it moved a year later to 223 Main Street Derby in 1868. The firm moved to 2 full stores at Hotel Clark in 1913, but moved back to Main Street about 1916. The store moved to its present Main Street location years later, and as of 1958 is one of Derby’s oldest retail stores.

July 26

  • ANSONIA – Police raid a Factory Street home, and arrest 3 on gambling charges.
  • SHELTON – A 4-car accident occurs near Eight Acres Restaurant on Route 8 (Bridgeport Avenue). A 48-year old Waterbury man is treated at Griffin Hospital and released, only to be found dead in bed early the next morning of internal bleeding.

Monday, July 28

  • SHELTON – A Far Mill Road man missing overnight is found dead at 8 AM in his garage, of accidental asphyxiation from working on his car.

July 29

  • ANSONIA – Although the new Maple Street Bridge is 3 months ahead of schedule, it will not be ready in time to dedicate on the third anniversary of the Flood of 1955.
  • SEYMOUR – The new General David Humphreys Bridge on Broad Street will be dedicated on August 19, which is the third anniversary of Flood of 1955.
  • SHELTON – A Special Meeting of the Board of Aldermen authorizes the school building committee to take a 90 day option on 35-36 acres of land at the corner of Willoughby Road and Soundview Avenue. Twenty-five of the acres are considered ideal for both an elementary school and/or high school. This is now the site of Elizabeth Shelton School.

July 31

  • ANSONIA – 29.0% of Ansonia’s men and 23.8% of the City’s women over 14 have never been married, making a combined percentage of 26.4% This is higher than both the national average (23.4%) and the State of Connecticut (25.3%).
  • SHELTON – Marine Corps Col. William J. Piper Jr., whose parents live on 782 Howe Avenue, is promoted to Brigadier General and retires from active service on the same day. This caps a 22 year career that included combat in both Guadalcanal and Guam during World War II.
  • SHELTON – In construction news, the new St. Lawrence Church is nearly completed, but its dedication date is uncertain due to the death of its pastor, Father Alfred Carmody. The rebuilding of the fire-ravaged Good Shepherd Church is progressing well, as are the 10-room additions to both Shelton High School and Sunnyside School.


Saturday, August 2

  • SHELTON – D. Alonzo Nichols announces he will not seek reelection as Town Clerk due to ill health. He has held the office for 26 years.

Monday, August 4

  • OXFORD & SEYMOUR – A Waterbury youth leads State Police on a 90mph chase from Middlebury through Oxford. He finally gives up and pulls over just over the line in Seymour when a second police car joins the chase.

August 5

  • ANSONIA – The new Maple Street Bridge will be dedicated September 25.
  • SHELTON – The 14 year old son of the owner of Pinecrest Country Club is overcome by chlorine gas fumes near the machinery to the club’s giant pool. He is admitted to Griffin Hospital.

August 6

  • OXFORD – A four room house is completely destroyed by fire on Prokop Road. The nearest water source was a pond a quarter mile away.
  • OXFORD – A new spillway is under construction at Stevenson Dam, which will for the first time allow the Connecticut Light & Power Company to control the water flow.
  • SEYMOUR – Work is progressing on the new Seymour Public Library on West Street. The new General David Humphreys Bridge is nearing completion on Broad Street.
  • SHELTON – A 19 year old male from Fairchild Trailer Park, and a 14 year old female from Birdseye Road, have been admitted to Englewood Hospital in Bridgeport for polio. His condition is “much improved”, hers is “fair”.
  • SHELTON – Steel is rising for the new B.F. Goodrich warehouse on Canal Street.

August 7

  • ANSONIA – The first section of the reconstructed Canal Street, from Bridge Street to Mechanic Street, reopens.
  • SHELTON – Rev. John F. Culliton, assistant pastor of Blessed Sacrement Church in Bridgeport, is named pastor of St. Lawrence Church, replacing the late Rev. Alfred Carmody.

August 8

  • ANSONIA – A 7year old Broad Street boy is saved from drowning by a 17 year old Star Street boy and a second unidentified youth, after he jumped off a wall into 5′ of water at Colony Pond and failed to rise above the water. He needed artificial respiration, and was taken to Griffin Hospital semi-conscious.
  • ANSONIA – The City has purchased a practically new power shovel scoop and boom from surplus Civil Defense equipment, for $250. A new machine would normally cost $17,000.
  • DERBY – Ralph Vollaro, 80, surprises a burglar in his Vollaro’s Market on Minerva Street. He chases the crook with a large knife and throws it at him. The knife missed, the burglar got away, but nothing was stolen.

August 9

  • DERBY – A high pressure water main breaks on High Street, wrecking a pumping station there and leaving Sentinel Hill without water for 12 hours. The Fire Department relays water for 20 hours straight, bypassing the pump station to keep the water holding tanks at the top of Sentinel Hill full.
  • OXFORD – Spectacular fire destroys a $20,000 dairy barn on Quaker Farms Road, just before the farm’s livestock was to return to it. The fire briefly spread to 2 other structures but was contained.
  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Water Company is denied its request to raise water rates 70%, by the State Public Utilities Commission. The Commission suggests it re-file, and ask for a 40% increase.
  • SHELTON – The Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET) proposes ending the 15 cent toll charge between Huntington and Bridgeport, and 10 cents to Trumbull and Milford, by setting up a Huntington telephone exchange. The new exchange would have 1,200 subscribers and their monthly rates would increase in return for the enhanced service. Right now most Huntington residents are part of the Ansonia-Derby exchange, though 200 are in Bridgeport, and 150 in the Trumbull exchanges.

Monday, August 11

  • ANSONIA – Workmen begin moving a house at 73 Factory Street, to a site north of Holy Rosary Catholic Church on 451 Main Street, opposite Green Street, where it will be converted into a rectory. The new site was where the original rectory for the Church of the Assumption was located, and later used as a convent for the Sisters of Mercy. That structure was torn down in 1930s. The soon to be vacated Factory Street lot will be used for parking for 40 automobiles.

August 12

  • DERBY – A disturbance breaks out in the first minute of the Democratic Primary, when a man enters the First Ward polling center with an envelope very similar to those used to enclose primary ballots. He said he was a checker for one of the candidates. Checkers for other candidates, fearing voting fraud, loudly tell him to get out, and are very imaginative in telling him where he should go. Tempers flared as the man refuses to leave, and the police are called as newspaper cameras record the whole thing. The following day, it is released that it was a “misunderstanding” over the handling over the ballot envelopes.

August 14

  • ANSONIA – Connecticut National Bank opens its 18th office in the State on 38 Mill Street, in the shopping center at the corner of Division Street.
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle is notified that improvements and repairs to the Bridge Street Bridge will not start until January 1 at the earliest. 
  • DERBY & SEYMOUR – The new Route 8 expressway from Fall Street, Derby to Kinneytown flats in Seymour will open around February.

August 15

  • ANSONIA – It is announced that the State wants to build a new Bridge Street Bridge, which will measure 393′ long and 65.5′ wide, and have 3 spans over Naugatuck River and a fourth over the railroad tracks. It is expected to cost $1 million.
  • DERBY – A State contract to construct a new Main Street Bridge over the Naugatuck River awaits approval.

August 16

  • DERBY – The oldest part of the Old Irving School roof is being dismantled. This includes the upper story which originally housed the Derby High School. The  building is now basically a brick skeleton.

Sunday August 17

  • About 2″ of rain falls. 
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – Both the Mill Street Connector and Division Street flood, as they often have lately due to inadequate drainage, and is under 2′ of water. Two cars become stalled in it.
  • DERBY – Several manhole covers are blown off from water pressure. David Humphreys Road has several washouts.
  • SHELTON – The first masses are held at St. Lawrence Church this Sunday.

August 18

  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen, in a special meeting, authorizes the school building committee to take 90 day option on the 47 acre Shelton Farm on Birdseye Road as a possible site for a new 20-room elementary school.
  • SHELTON – The Echo Hose Ambulance Corps is involved in an accident on River Road while transporting a patient from Shelwood Convalescent Home to Griffin Hospital. The ambulance swerved to avoid a car coming the other way and rear ended another that pulled over for it. There are no major injuries, though the patient died, apparently for non-related causes, the following morning.

August 19

  • Today is the third anniversary of the Black Friday Flood of 1955, which devastated the Valley and changed the course of its history.
  • SEYMOUR – The new General David Humphreys Memorial Bridge on Broad Street is dedicated with a ribbon cutting by Gov. Abraham Ribicoff, the State Highway Commissioner, the First Selectman Kenneth Catlin, and Dr. Harry B. Miner, who was pastor of nearby Seymour Congregational church in 1955. The bridge cost $672,000, and has four lanes and 5 piers. Miss Katharine Matthies reads an account of the life of David Humphreys at the event. The bridge is one of 300 Connecticut bridges repaired or reconstructed since the Flood. American flags adorn it for the ceremony. The Sarah Ludlow chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution unveils the memorial plaque they donated. The bridge opens to traffic at noon, but closes again at 7 PM for a concert by the Naugatuck Community Band and block dance. There is also an organ concert at Seymour Congregational Church, which was miraculously spared the destruction that wiped out the rest of the neighborhood, at this time.

August 20

August 22

  • SHELTON – Three workers are hurt, 2 seriously, when a section of the new B.F. Goodrich warehouse under construction on Canal Street collapses. Tons of newly poured concrete crash to the floor below, though initial fears of trapped workers proves unfounded.

August 23

  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital has taken 8,361 Tuberculosis chest X-rays in the past 3 years. From June 1, 1957 to June 1, 1958, 2,321 received free X-rays. Two cases of TB have been found, while 84 had chest abnormalities other than TB.
  • DERBY – Today is the last day for the 90 year old Halper’s women’s clothing store on Main Street.
  • SHELTON – Boy Scouts are assisting in the erection of a new 100’x44’ rifle, pistol, and archery range on Cawthra farm half a mile off Shelton Avenue. This was the same site of a World War II aircraft observation tower. 

Monday, August 25

  • ANSONIA – The brass industry’s first semi-continuous casting machines for extrusion billets and rolling mill slabs are put in service at the American Brass Company. They need only one operator per machine, and are considered one of the most significant advances in copper and brass production technique.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – The Mill Street Connector and Division Street are once again covered with water after a downpour.

August 26

  • SHELTON – A manhunt for a 24 year old Maine slasher who had jumped bail for an assault with intent to kill charge sees 40 State policemen sweep into Shelton to search for him last night and this morning. The trouble started when he and a female companion kidnapped a Hartford High School student, took his money, and stole a car. The pair tied the student to a tree in North Haven before fleeing. After the car crashed through the entrance tollgate to the Merritt Parkway, Shelton Police were notified they might head into the City. Shelton Police spot the car on River Road, and chase it. The car speeds through a roadblock set up by local police, at which point warning shots were fired. The shots disoriented the driver, causing him to crash into a ledge, but the car kept going a short distance before the man fled into the woods, leaving his 17 year old female companion behind. She is taken into custody, and after some interrogation reveals his name. The State Police block all roads leading out of Shelton. He is found sleeping in a car in a barn owned by a Coram Avenue woman, who quietly alerts the police, and he is arrested without further incident. His gun is found in the woods off Grove Street.
  • SHELTON – A contract for an 8-room addition to St. Joseph’s School is awarded to Mutual Construction Company of Bridgeport for $174,257.

August 28

  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Selectmen vote to enter an agreement giving them a 6 month option of buying the Strand Theater for a Community Center.
  • SHELTON – Rev. Vincent J. Finn, 62, pastor of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, dies at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury where he had been a patient since being stricken six days before. He had been pastor since 1954 when took over following the death of Rev. Thomas Hanley. He also served as Assistant Pastor in St. Mary’s Church in Derby from 1924 to 1927. He completely refurbished St. Joseph’s for its recent 50th anniversary. Father Finn was a nephew of Knights of Columbus founder Rev. Michael McGivney.
  • SHELTON – B.F. Goodrich has recalled over 200 laid off employees due to business improvements.

August 29

  • ANSONIA – A late evening fire destroys a house owned by the US Army on Ford Street, across from its Capehart housing.

August 30

  • SHELTON – After laying in state in St. Joseph’s rectory and church yesterday and today, Rev. Vincent Finn’s funeral is held in the church by Bishop Lawrence Sheehan. The church is filled to capacity.

Sunday, August 31

  • ANSONIA – Airman First Class Salvator Ferla, whose parents live on 3 Franklin Street, appears on the Ed Sullivan Show on WCBS-TV as part of the Skyliner Trio. The band had placed second place in U.S. Air Force’s 1958 World-Wide Talent Contest.
  • SHELTON – 50 attend the dedication of the new rifle range at the Cawtha farm off Shelton Avenue, including local Boy Scouts and Mayor Cicia. It took the Scouts 2 months to build the range.


Monday, September 1

  • SHELTON – A high speed chase begins at Perry Hill Road and Oak Avenue, with speeds up to 75mph. The car, driven by an Ansonia man, makes a turn from Shelton Avenue onto Willoughby Road on 2 wheels, nearly crashing. The driver lost his nerve at that point and tried to escape on foot at the Papale farm but was caught. He told police his accelerator was stuck.

September 2

  • SHELTON – Former Mayor Malachi LeMay blasts Mayor Cicia for spending $25,000 a year on what he calls unneeded jobs and perks to award the Republican Party faithful. This includes buying badges for all city officials, including a gold plated badge for the Mayor.

September 3 – Most Valley schools open today.

  • ANSONIA – A 14 year old girl falls from her third story porch while hanging clothes on a line at 246 Main Street. Her fall is broken by a first floor clothesline. She suffers no serious injuries.
  • ANSONIA – 61 more students are enrolled in grammar schools than last year. The breakdown is Larkin 261, Lincoln 363, Mead 122, Nolan 328, Peck 333, and Willis381. St. Joseph’s School is at 371, including its kindergarten, and Assumption School is at 680, not including its kindergarten. Ansonia High School is at 580, up 98 over last year; Pine High School is at 190, up 10 over last year, and the Junior High school is at 417, up 2 over last year.
  • DERBY – The school breakdown is St. Mary’s 700, St. Michael’s 400, New Irving 358, Franklin 356, Lincoln 272, Hawthorne (which at this time in history only teaches Grade 3) 16, and Derby High School 465.
  • OXFORD – There are about 600 grammar school pupils in Oxford School.
  • OXFORD – Fire destroys a shed and 75 tons of hay on Hog’s Back Road.
  • SEYMOUR – 1815 pupils are enrolled this year. The breakdown is Center-Annex 593, Bungay 365, Maple Street 546, and Seymour High School (including Oxford) 614.

September 4

  • ANSONIA – The first Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter forms in the Valley.
  • DERBY – The Military Order of the Purple Heart is given a national charter through a Congressional vote, which is signed into law by President Eisenhower. This gives the Valley a proud claim to founding most exclusive congressionally chartered veteran’s organization in America both before and since.

September 5

  • There are about 1,400 Boy Scouts in the Housatonic Council, a dramatic increase over the 590 just a decade ago.
  • ANSONIA – The Martinez Tobacco Company has discontinued its business. Started by a Civil War veteran on 210 Main Street in 1876, the establishment became a favorite meeting place for his fellow servicemen. Three generations of the family ran the business, most recently the founder’s grandson for the past 38 years. At the time of its closing, the business occupied part of the United Cigar Store on Main and Bank Streets. At one time, the firm had 26 cigar makers employed at a Beaver Street facility, but discontinued manufacturing in favor of strictly sales 1919.
  • SHELTON – 135,128 people used Indian Well State Park over the summer. This includes 25,990 in June, 64,387 in July, and 44,301 in August. 3,801 visited on Sunday, and 2,945 on Labor Day Monday.

September 6

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle welcomes Hon. Richard Akwei, the Secretary of External Affairs in Washington DC for Ghana, at Ansonia City Hall.
  • DERBY – Hundreds have attended the grand opening of the new Saxon-Kent Store on 36 Elizabeth Street. It sells women’s clothing in the old D.H. Kelly building.

Sunday, September 7

  • ANSONIA – Despite the heavy rain, City Hall basement is dry when it normally would have flooded. This is due to 2 new storm drains installed under new driveway between Main and East Main Streets, and the alleyway between it and the Evening Sentinel building.

September 8

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen, by a roll call vote of 9-5, reject an application for the new Valley Shopping Center on the Mill Street Connector in Derby to temporarily tie into Ansonia’s domestic sewers.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – The Seymour Board of Education votes unanimously to approve a contract to send Oxford students to new Seymour High School.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen authorizes the School Building Committee to obtain 90 day options on the 35-36 acre Wolfe property at Soundview Avenue and Willoughby Road for a possible grade school, and the 23 acre Foote property on Soundview next to St. Lawrence Church for a possible new high school.

September 10

  • ANSONIA & DERBY – The State is working on a new storm water sewer to eliminate the flooding on the Mill Street Connector and Division Street.
  • DERBY – The State begins constructing the new East Derby Bridge on Main Street. Steel piles for east abutment are driven by the end of the day. The old bridge just north of the new one will continue to be used, traffic will not be affected.
  • DERBY – Police officer John Cwanek is struck by an object they may have been a spent .22 caliber bullet, while driving on Silver Hill Road. The wound stung but did not break his skin.

September 11

  • ANSONIA – The new Maple Street Bridge opens for traffic for the first time at 5 PM. 
  • DERBY – An ordinance creating a Derby municipal parking authority is adopted by the Board of Aldermen.

September 12

  • Temperatures are 37 degrees at sunrise.
  • ANSONIA – Seven brilliant mercury-vapor lights on high arched stanchions will be turned on for first time on the new Maple Street Bridge tonight.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Valley football season begins with Shelton High School Gaels defeating Seymour High School Wildcats 26-6 at French Memorial Field. This is the 5th year in a row Shelton has defeated Seymour. Shelton running back Lenny Rich scores the first 2 point conversion in the State under new the rules which allow them this year.

September 13

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Ansonia High School Lavender defeats Waterbury’s Croft (formerly Leavenworth) High School Tigers 14-6 at Nolan Field. The Sentinel laments the Lavender’s performance was less than impressive.

Sunday, September 14

  • OXFORD – A ground-breaking ceremony is held for the new Oxford Congregational Church parish house, following Sunday services.

September 15

  • SEYMOUR – The Seymour Trust Company inaugurates both a new drive-in window and walk-up window in the rear of their building. A new building may be built next door to accommodate the services, connected to the main building by an underground tunnel. A new parking lot has been constructed in the rear, on the First Street side.
  • SHELTON – 37 year old resident, Army Sgt Andrew McIntyre, dies in Tacoma a week after being stricken in Korea.

September 16

  • ANSONIA – 60 cases of 7-Up soda are smashed when they fall from a truck on Division Street near St. Mary’s Cemetery.
  • DERBY – The Derby High School Thrift Program opens its 60th year. The program was created in 1898 by Derby Savings Bank to give students an opportunity of starting thrift accounts to save their money.

September 17

  • SHELTON – The Board of Education names biology teacher and football coach Edward Finn as a part time vice principal of Shelton High School, with no addition to his salary.

September 19

  • ANSONIA – A NIKE site soldier living in the Mackowski Block on 411 Main Street is burned when fumes from the gasoline he was using to clean the apartment’s kitchen floor bursts into flames. He is reported in fair condition at Griffin Hospital the next day. The fire causes $500 damage to 2 rooms.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Ansonia Lavender beats the Shelton Gaels 14-0 before 6,000 at Lafayette Field.

September 20

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Seymour Wildcats beats the Derby Red Raiders 22-20, in an unlikely come from behind victory after being down 20-0, at French Memorial Field.

Sunday, September 21

  • DERBY – The cornerstone of new Beth Israel Synagogue Center is laid on Seymour Avenue.

September 22

  • ANSONIA – A banner day in the history of the City, as the Governor Ribocoff dedicates two new bridges, replacing spans that were destroyed in the August 1955 Flood. At 9:45 AM, Gov. Ribicoff dedicates the Division Street Bridge, now renamed the Peter Hart Bridge after Ansonia’s former Mayor. Mayor Hart’s widow was in attendance. At 10:00 AM, the action moves to the new Maple Street Bridge, where Mrs. Helena Olson, president of Housatonic Valley Chapter of American Gold Star Mothers, unveils a plaque dedicating it as the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge. The Governor is the main speaker at that event. Peter Waniga, the last man to cross the Maple Street Bridge in the act of rescuing people, before it collapsed into the floodwaters in 1955 (losing his brand new station wagon) drives the first car that crosses the newly dedicated Veterans’ Memorial Bridge. The new Veterans’ Bridge cost $320,000, and is 439’ long, 30’ wide, with 2 sidewalks and 6 spans. This compares to the old one which was 375’ long, 24 to 28’ wide, and had 4 spans. Thousands attend both dedications. Main Street from Bridge Street to Water Street is closed from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM as 3,000 attend a celebratory block party which features a live band and dancing in the street.

September 24

  • ANSONIA – Dr. Samuel Gould, from the Ansonia High School Class of 1925, will leave his post as President of Antioch College to become Chancellor of theUniversity of California -Santa Barbara on June 30, 1959.
  • SHELTON – The Huntington Fire Company pumps nearly 10,000 gallons of water to the Nike Site after the missile base’s water main breaks.

September 25

  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo lays the cornerstone for the new Stop & Shop Supermarket on the Mill Street Connector. The stone contains a copper box with the Evening Sentinel, a picture of the site prior to construction and 1955 flood pictures taken from the site. Charlton Press magazines, and pictures of the first Stop & Shop are also in it.

Monday, September 29

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Crosby High School of Waterbury 22-0 at Nolan Field. The Branford Hornets defeat Derby High School 22-6 at Coon Hollow Park. Lyman Hall defeats Seymour High School 14-0 in Wallingford. Shelton defeats the Cheshire Rams 20-14 in an away game.
  • SHELTON – About 50 residents attend an organizational meeting of the Coram Gardens Civic Association is held in the Municipal Building. Their initial goals are to establish a fire company and a recreation area in their neighborhood (which would be on and around the top of Coram Hill).


Thursday, October 2

  • The temperatures are between 30 and 35 degrees in the morning, with a heavy frost.

October 3

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The East Haven Yellowjackets defeat Shelton 28-0 on Lafayette Field.

October 4

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Stamford Black Knights hand Ansonia their first defeat of the year, in an away game. The North Haven Indians defeat Derby 34-12 at Coon Hollow Park. Seymour High School defeats Cheshire 28-6 in an away game.

Sunday, October 5

  • DERBY – A 20′ cabin cruiser owned by a Fairfield man sinks in the Housatonic at the breakwater behind Bradley’s Greenhouses in East Derby. A large cruiser from Murphy’s Boat Yard in Shelton salvages it later.
  • DERBY – An amphibious DUKW (“duck”) to be used by Derby Civil Defense is driven into the Housatonic at Camp Palmer on the Seymour-Oxford town line, and sails down to McConney’s Flats before driving out of the water.
  • SHELTON – Bishop Laurence Sheehan dedicates the new St. Lawrence Church in Huntington.

October 6

  • ANSONIA – The Bowlers’ Group is negotiating to build a 35 lane bowling alley, restaurant, and recreation center on the former SO&C parking lot on Main Street.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen vote to purchase the Wolffe property off Willoughby Road for an elementary school site for $43,000. (This will become Elizabeth Shelton School)

October 7

  • ANSONIA – A new Civil Defense Control Center opens at City Hall.

October 8

  • SHELTON – The Board of Education forbids hula hoops on school buses, saying they cause confusion and difficulty boarding and leaving.

October 9

  • ANSONIA – A spectacular fire destroys a 2-family house and all its contents on 11 Colburn Street, leaving 4 homeless. The house was surrounded on all sides by businesses and crowded apartments, but the Fire Department keeps it from spreading. The fire apparently started when an oil container exploded in the kitchen.

October 11

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Danbury Hatters defeats Ansonia 38-6 at Nolan Field. The undefeated East Haven Easties defeats Derby 24-0 in an away game. The Amity Spartans defeats Shelton 14-6 in Woodbridge.

Monday, October 13

  • DERBY – The Little Red Shoe Store on 288 Roosevelt Drive is gutted by a fire in the main office and storage area. The fire is extinguished quickly, but the store sustains high losses due to ruined inventory.

October 16

  • ANSONIA – The Public Housing Administration has given tentative approval for 125 housing units as part of a federal low income housing project on 3.5 acres offBroad StreetBroad Street was later re-rerouted and renamed Olson Drive.

October 18

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Cheshire Rams defeat Derby 20-8 at Coon Hollow Park. Seymour defeats the North Haven Indians 14-12 at French Memorial Field. Shelton defeats Lyman Hall of Walllingford 26-0 at Lafayette Field
  • SHELTON – George Anger of Meadow Street, the Executive Secretary of the Derby-Shelton Community Center and General Secretary of the Derby-Shelton YMCA, dies at Griffin Hospital at 63.

Sunday, October 19

  • ANSONIA – Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the ordination of its priest, the Very Rev. Basil Lar.

October 22

  • ANSONIA – One-way traffic on Tremont Street between Canal Street and Main Street had been reversed so it is now eastbound. Mechanic Street and Colburn Streetare already one-way westbound.
  • DERBY – A temporary wooden structure has been built to allow mobile cranes to operate in middle of Naugatuck River for the construction of the new Main Street Bridge over the Naugatuck River
  • DERBY, ANSONIA, & SEYMOUR – The new Route 8 expressway between Mohawk Avenue, Derby and Seymour Flats is almost completed.

October 23

  • SHELTON – Town Clerk candidate G. Alton Russell is feeding coins into downtown parking meters and leaving notes on the cars saying that while he can’t fix tickets, but he can prevent you from getting one.
  • October 24
  • ANSONIA – There are 10,898 registered voters in the City, a drop of 652 from 1956.
  • ANSONIA – In the past year, over $1.5 million in construction had been authorized in Ansonia. $1.282 million represents 131 new homes. In ten years, 986 new homes have been authorized.

October 25 Rainy day for football

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia beats Derby 12-6 in the rain at Coon Hollow Park. The Branford Hornets defeats Seymour 14-0 at French Memorial Park. Shelton and North Haven battle to an 8-8 tie in an away game.

Monday, October 27

  • It has rained 5.44″ in 5 days. The Naugatuck River is high
  • SHELTON – A $5,000 fire destroys a 20×20′ barn and 17 tons of hay on 197 Leavenworth Road. The barn was owned by Sterling Hubbell, and the baled hay owned by Wabuda’s Dairy on Maple Avenue.

October 30

  • DERBY – The Hartford Archdiocese announces the transfer of Rev. John Killeen, assistant pastor at St. Mary’s, to St. Joseph’s Church in New Britain. He has been assigned to Derby for 11 years. He will be replaced by Rev. George Hughes, of St. Patrick’s Church in Hartford, who will also take his place as the Ansonia-Derby Director of the Diocesan Bureau of Social Services.

October 31 HALLOWE’EN (as it was spelled in the Evening Sentinel)

  • ANSONIA – Some shop and car windows are soaped, 4 grass fires are set, and a North Main Street barber shop is broken into and $7 stolen. The City is quiet otherwise.
  • DERBY – The night sees “One of the wildest Hallowe’en sprees on record”, according to the Sentinel. The police clear everyone out of Elizabeth Street, between Main Street and Fourth Street. There, teenagers, mostly High School students, battled each other in the street using, flour, eggs, honey, jam, tomatoes, toothpaste, shaving cream, and fire crackers. Several teens refuse to leave, so they are taken to the police station and given warnings. The City is quiet otherwise.
  • DERBY – Residents in Sentinel Hill area, including Laurel Avenue and Dirienzo Heights are complaining of people firing revolvers and shotguns indiscriminately in area. The police issues warnings that they are searching for the shooters.

Saturday, November 1

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Torrington defeats Ansonia in a 22-0 upset during an away game. Derby is defeated by the Amity Spartans in Woodbridge 25-8. East Haven defeats Seymour 48-14 in an away game.

Sunday, November 2

  • ANSONIA – Isaac Sovitsky of 297 Wakelee Avenue, dies at Grace-New Haven Hospital at 82. Born in Russia, he immigrated to America, settling in Ansonia that same year in 1900. He ran a poultry business until 1917, when he founded a grain firm. He began offering coal in 1922. The business was wiped out by the 1955 Flood. He was also one of the founders of Congregation Beth El.
  • DERBY – Rev. Elmer Patterson, pastor of both the First Congregational Church and Second Congregational Church announces he is resigning to accept a call at Wildemere Beach Congregational Church in Milford. He has been here since 1953.
  • SHELTON – Mayor Cicia lays the cornerstone of the new Shelton High School wing on Perry Hill Road.


  • NATIONAL ELECTIONS – Although President Eisenhower still has two more years to his second term, widespread dissatisfaction with Republicans leads many Democrats being elected. Abraham Ribicoff (Democrat) is reelected as Connecticut’s Governor. Other winners include Thomas Dodd for Senator and Ella T. Grassofor Secretary of the State, both Democrats..
  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle wins reelection in biggest the Democratic sweep in Ansonia’s history, becoming the first Democrat ever to win the City’s 5th Ward. He wins a record-breaking 2,435 more votes than his opponent, Republican Board of Aldermen president Antonio LoPresti. Democrats win 15 seats on the Board of Aldermen. The City also back Gov. Ribicoff 5563-3042 over Fred Zeller. A total of 8605 voted. Republicans still controls the Board of Aldermen. Referendums to add an addition to Ansonia High School for 8th and 9th graders fail, as does one asking for a new Junior High School for 7th to 9th graders. A referendum for a new 8 year grammar school passes, along with one for a 4 year High School system. Lastly, a referendum allowing bazaars and raffles to operate in the City passes.
  • DERBY – Democrats sweep the election. Mayor Dirienzo wins reelection for a 6th term, beating Republican Anthony DeLallo 3337-1807. Ribicoff wins Derby for the gubernatorial race by 1795. Rep. Thomas Dodd wins the City for his Senate bid by 1716, and Ella T. Grasso wins 3464-1658. 84% voted.
  • OXFORD – Buckling national trend, only 2 Democrats win the elections today. including Gov. Ribbicoff by only 7 votes over Zeller, and local resident Mrs. Evelyn Fisher for State Representative 700-560. She is the first female representative in Oxford’s history. This election sees the highest number of voters turn out in Oxford’s history, 1279 out of 1493 registered voters. 
  • SEYMOUR – The town experiences the first Democratic sweep in its history. Ribicoff is reelected as governor 2479-1788. Thomas Dodd is elected to the US Senate 2377-1877, Ella T. Grasso is elected 2405-1876. 82.5% of the population voted.
  • SHELTON – Former Mayor Malachi LeMay defeats sitting Repubican Mayor Cicia 3844-3826, winning by a margin of 18 in the closest election in City history. Democrats sweep most other elections, backing Ribicoff for Governor 4419-3387,and  Dodd for Senator 4011-3712. Democrats now control the Board of Aldermen 5-1. A White Hills school bond issue wins 1233-988, the purchase of property for the new school site wins 1206-1014. A referendum to finance construction of a municipal garage in White Hislls loses 1227-868. Mayor Cicia refuse to concede, and demands a  recount. 
  • SHELTON – While Public Schools are closed for Election Day, St. Joseph’s Grammar School is closed for the coronation of Pope John XXIII.

November 6

  • ANSONIA – Ansonia Furniture Company opens a 100th anniversary sale. It is the oldest furniture store in the area.
  • ANSONIA – John Pickett, who was born here and was a high school teacher before becoming  a (now former) Derby Superintendent of Schools, dies in Middletown at are 65. He was the first commander of the Gordon-Vilselli Post American Legion. 

November 7

  • DERBY – The Derby Historical society receives gifts of four  portraits, of Sheldon Smith, Emily Chatfield Smith, Fitch William Smith, and Priscilla (Burr) Bouton. These now hang on the second floor of Derby Public Library.
  • SEYMOUR & OXFORD – 22 grass fires are set in Oxford in one hour, starting at 9:20 PM. 25 are lit in 3 hours in Seymour, starting at 8:00 PM. The Seymour Fire Department  also assisted in Oxford and with the State Forest Fire Service in Naugatuck.

November 8

  • ANSONIA – The ashes of Dr. William Durand, the “Dean of American Engineering”, who died August 9, is interred at his family plot at Bare Plain cemetery. He was 99. Born in Beacon Falls, he lived in Derby and graduated from Birmingham High School in 1877.
  • ANSONIA – Bill “Moose” Skowron of the New York Yankees is unable to attend a sports show at Ansonia Armory sponsored by Eagle Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 6. Instead, his teammate “Bullet” Bob Turley fills in instead, entertaining the crowd. “Pop” Shortell is the master of ceremonies.
  • DERBY – Derby Civil Defense equipment includes a DUKW, a 2000 gallon water tanker, a truck which carries lights, canteen unit, light rescue, pickup truck, auxiliary police car, auxiliary police jeep, and a rescue ambulance.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats West Haven 14-12 before the smallest crowd of the year at Nolan Field. Derby defeats Lyman Hall 10-8 at Coon Hollow. Seymour is defeated by Naugatuck 22-0 in an away game. Shelton is defeated by the Branford Hornets 26-6 in an away game.
  • SHELTON – Work has started on an 8 room addition to St. Joseph’s School.

Sunday, November 9

  • SEYMOUR – A newly planted oak tree is dedicated in front of Seymour Congregational Church. This replaces the “Hero Oak” which saved the church by diverting floodwaters away from it during the Flood of 1955.

 November 11 – VETERANS’ DAY

  • ANSONIA – The City observes Veterans’ Day at the Ansonia Armory gun. The fire alarm and First Baptist Church bell ring 11 times.
  • SEYMOUR – Services are held at French Park.
  • DERBY – Services are held on Derby Green.
  • DERBY – The Commodore Hull Theater has been reportedly sold to James Mascolo of Mascolo Brothers, who are local appliance dealers.
  • DERBY – Public Works will not replace the goal post torn down by Derby High School students after the football victory over Lyman Hall three days ago. There will be no more home games this year.

November 12

  • DERBY – Negotiations between Housatonic Public Service Company and the Utility Workers’ Union are deadlocked. The Union has called a meeting a week from today at the Czecho-American Club in Shelton to take a strike vote.

November 13

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Board of Zoning Appeals approves the application of John Bennett to open a funeral home in the former Tuttle home on 91 North Cliff Street.
  • DERBY – The Clergy Club, meeting at Derby Methodist Church, changes its name to the Valley Ministerial Association.
  • SEYMOUR – Henry Oliver Chatfield, president of the Seymour Grain and Coal Company since its founding in 1920, dies at home at 88 Washington Avenue at 82.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Selectmen accept Mannweiler Road, named after the former long-serving First Selectman, and Kordick Heights.

November 14

  • DERBY – The Medical Arts Building opens on 314 Elizabeth Street in the former Dr. Paul Kennedy house, which has been subdivided into offices and is now air conditioned.

November 15

  • ANSONIA – Baseball great Jackie Robinson is the keynote speaker at the NAACP Fight for Freedom Rally at Ansonia High School. The mayors of Derby and Ansonia greet him. 900 attend the rally, and listen to Mr. Robinson urge African Americans to “stand up and be counted, work together and accomplish 100% citizenship”.
  • ANSONIA – 300 evacuate the Capitol Theater this afternoon, after a call for a bomb scare. No bomb is found.
  • ANSONIA – A bullet fired into the Silver Moon Restaurant at 11:15 PM on Factory Street. The bullet shatters a window and goes between two men who were talking. A total of three shots were fired, police are searching for the shooter.
  • DERBY – John Lombardi, manager of Lombardi Motor Car Company on 67 Minerva Street, dies at 53 in Milford Hospital. He was also an accomplished soloist earlier in his life.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia beats Sacred Heart 44-22 in the last home game of year at Nolan Field. Croft Tech defeats Derby 8-0 at Waterbury Municipal Stadium.

Wednesday, November 19

  • SHELTON – Meeting at the Czecho-American Club, the Housatonic Public Service Company’s Utility Workers’ Union votes 71-5 to empower negotiating committee to call a strike. 

November 20

  • DERBY – A strike at the Housatonic Public Service Company is averted when labor and management reach an agreement for a 4.5% across the board wage hike.
  • DERBY – The School Building Committee approves plans for a new 12 room, 22,500 square foot elementary school, including a library, Civil Defense control center, and fallout shelter on Sentinel Hill. This is today’s Bradley School.

November 21

  • SHELTON – A Superior Court judge orders a recount of the mayoral ballots from last election, in which former Mayor Malachi LeMay defeated current Mayor Frank Cicia.

November 22

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Seymour finishes its season with a 20-0 defeat to Amity Regional in Woodbridge. The record for this year was 3 wins and 6 losses.

Sunday, November 23

November 24

  • SEYMOUR – Controlling interest in the Waterman Pen Company is sold to Marcel L. Bich of Paris, France, who will increase output by 100,000 pens a day, and hire 100 new workers.
  • SEYMOUR – An unidentified young man assaults Shelton Mayor Cicia’s mother at her grocery store on Route 34, striking her in the head four times with his fist. He flees after she runs out of the store, without stealing anything. Seymour Police are investigating.

November 25

  • SEYMOUR – The Second Street urban renewal project has received federal approval.
  • SHELTON – Superior Court judge declares Mayor-elect LeMay victor over Mayor Cicia by a margin of 20 votes after a recount.

November 26

  • SHELTON – An empty 60-passenger bus owned by the Sportline Bus Company of Bridgeport is destroyed by fire on River Road near Stuttering Jack Brook. The gas tank exploded before firemen could put water on it.


  • DERBY – Six babies are born at Griffin Hospital today.
  • THANKSGIVING FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Naugatuck 24-0 in an away game. Shelton defeats Derby at Lafayette Field 22-8.

November 28

  • The Christmas lights are turned on in the downtown shopping areas of Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton this evening. They are turned off around 8:30 PM, however, as 2.5” of heavy rain and gale-force winds blow down trees and cause other damage. The Naugatuck River is high, and power is out in part of East Derby.
  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo suggests renaming King’s Court Extension off Sentinel Hill Road after the Bradley family.

Sunday, November 30

  • SHELTON – Huntington’s St. Paul’s Church dedicates its new organ in memory of Rev. Cyril E. Bentley, who died in January. The organ was originally from Christ Church in Guilford, and had been moved to St. Paul’s Church this past summer. A recital follows.


Monday, December 1

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Joseph Doyle sworn in for his second term.
  • DERBY – Edward L. Miller, vice president of Connecticut National Bank and the City Treasurer of Shelton, is elected president of Griffin Hospital. He is the hospital’s fifth president since 1901, and replaces George H. Gambel Sr., who served since 1938.

December 3

  • SEYMOUR – Klarides Supermarket has doubled its size at its Bank Street location. The supermarket has been in business 40 years.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Education approves the final plans for a 15 room school in White Hills, and vote to name it Elizabeth Shelton School.

December 4

  • SHELTON – Rev. Francis J. Sugrue is appointed the sixth pastor of St. Joseph’s Church. He succeeds Rev. Vincent Finn, who died August 28.

December 6

  • SEYMOUR – Hundreds attend the dedication of the new Seymour Public Library on Church Street. The library replaces the one that was completely destroyed in the August 1955 Flood. Some of the few pieces recovered from the old library, a bronze plaque and 2 pieces of marble, are incorporated into the new one.

Sunday, December 7

  • DERBY – Miss Regina Regan, principal of the City’s Lincoln School, dies at her Emmett Avenue home after an illness. A Derby native, she began teaching in Seymour in 1923, and came back to Derby four years later. She was appointed principal of Lincoln School in September, 1957.

December 8

  • The first heavy snowfall of the year falls. Many cars are caught without snow tires before the sand and plow crews clear the street.
  • ANSONIA – A police car is hit from behind on Mill Street and Clifton Avenue in the snowstorm, sustaining minor damage.

December 10

  • DERBY – Thousands throng the ribbon cutting and official opening of the new Stop & Shop supermarket on Mill Street Extension.
  • SEYMOUR – Pond Street is closed to traffic until 9 PM daily, for sledding.

December 11

  • DERBY – The Board of Aldermen unanimously vote to change the name of King’s Court Extension to Bradley Terrace.

December 12

  • The Industrial Association of the Lower Naugatuck Valley holds its annual meeting at Race Brook Country Club in Orange. Senator Prescott Bush and Senator-electThomas Dodd are among the guests.

December 13

  • ANSONIA – Ice is safe for skating at Colony Pond. 
  • SEYMOUR – There is supervised ice skating at Kochrin’s Pond in Seymour.

Monday, December 15

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education goes on record in favor of the 8-4 educational plan (elementary schools serving grades 1-8, high schools serving grades 9-12), as well as a new Hilltop neighborhood elementary school.
  • DERBY – The seats in the former Commodore Hull Theater have been removed to convert it into an indoor parking area for 30-40 automobiles. Proprietor James Mascolo announces there will be free parking in theater, entering from Minerva Street, until Christmas.
  • SHELTON – B. F. Goodrich has a ceremony marking the completion of a new $500,000 warehouse on Canal Street. The facility is 2 stories high, and has 100,000 square feet of floor space.

December 17

  • DERBY & SHELTON – A two-way speaker has been installed between St. Michael’s School and a sick 8th grader on Howe Avenue, allowing him to participate in class from his bed. St. Michael’s Fathers’ Club is the system’s sponsor.
  • SEYMOUR – A Special Town Meeting sees approval 9 resolutions by nearly 300 residents. Among the changes, the meeting establishes the office of Police Chief – previously the police reported to the First Selectmen. It also establishes a Seymour Municipal Parking Authority, and a Development and Industrial Commission.

December 18

  • DERBY – A new, white fire engine arrives for Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1. Mounted on a GMC chassis, the American-LaFrance is capable of pumping 750 gallons per minute, and carries a 500 gallon water tank.

December 19

  • SHELTON – A representative of the Sidney Blumenthal Company awards Shelton High School permanent possession of the Blumenthal Trophy, which was in competition between Derby and Shelton for 11 years and won by Shelton on Thanksgiving.

December 20

  • ANSONIA – About 1,300 children attend the 9th annual Christmas party of the Ansonia Brass Workers Union, Local 445, at the Capitol Theater.

Sunday, December 21

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Dr. J. good Brown, pastor of Ansonia Congregational Church, baptizes own granddaughter at a Christmas service.
  • ANSONIA – Starting today, one-way traffic is in effect on East Main Street, from Central Street to Front Street, during Sunday morning services at Holy Rosary Church.
  • OXFORD – 100 brave near zero temperatures at the first community carol sing on the lawn of Oxford School.

December 22

  • DERBY – About 400 gather on Derby Green to sing Christmas carols, sponsored by the St. Mary’s CYO.

December 24

  • DERBY – Many are ice fishing at Pinkhouse Cove, despite warnings that it is unsafe.

 December 25

  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital has 108 patients today, an unusually high number for Christmas. No babies are born today, though two were born on Christmas Eve.
  • OXFORD – Two Oxford men are in critical condition after a head-on crash on Route 67. The driver of the other car dies of complications from his injuries on January 3.

December 26

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle is asking Gov. Ribicoff not to remove the Bailey Bridge on January 5, because the Bridge Street Bridge will soon be reconstructed and closed for nearly a year.

December 27

  • DERBY – William Burke Sr., a retired City police officer who served from 1921 to March 1, 1958, dies. He was also one of the organizers of Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was born in Derby in 1894, and served in World War I, where he was wounded in action. He served as the second Commander of the George Washington Chapter Military Order of the Purple Heart, and was the National Sergeant-At-Arms at the organization’s very first convention at the Sterling Opera House in 1933.

Tuesday, December 30

  • ANSONIA – The first accident occurs on the Ansonia stretch of new Route 8 expressway. The accident was relatively minor, but it is noted that the fire and police departments had to go either into Seymour or Derby to reach it, as there is not as of yet any entrance ramps onto Route 8 in Ansonia.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Education approves a new 1,000 student, 40-classroom Seymour High School by a 5-2 vote.

December 31

  • ANSONIA – Removal of the Bailey Bridge has been delayed, pending a decision from the Army Corps of Engineers.
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