Thursday, January 1, 1959

  • DERBY – 3 babies are born at Griffin Hospital today. The first of 1959 was a daughter to a North Main Street, Ansonia family at 4:19 AM.
  • SHELTON – A crèche on the marquee of the new St. Lawrence Church is lit at night and attracts much attention.

Sunday, January 4

  • High winds all night long into the next morning. 
  • DERBY – A parked car is crushed when wind blows down a tree on Coe Lane. 20 roofs on Sentinel Hill are damaged. The low income housing project at Direnzo Heights sustains wind damage, too.
  • SHELTON – The new Boy Scout shooting range at the Cawthra Farm off Shelton Avenue is blown off its foundations.
  • SHELTON – Shelton and Derby firefighters extinguish a fire on a diesel locomotive near the freight station.

January 5

  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo sworn in for sixth term.
  • SHELTON – Mayor LeMay is sworn in at 12:01 AM, replacing outgoing Mayor Cicia. The Board of Aldermen are sworn in at 800 PM. One of their first official acts is to lay off the former street commissioner (also a foreman) and 5 others dropped from the Street Department, setting up a showdown with Teamsters Local 145.

January 6

  • ANSONIA – City police officer Charles Piwonski dies after a short illness. He was a police officer for 27 years.
  • ANSONIA – Evening Sentinel newsman Edward Cotter Jr. fights a fire with his own fire extinguisher in a store on the corner of Tremont and Factory Streets, after a police officer kicks in the door. The two have the fire under control before the fire department arrives.
  • SEYMOUR – Fire guts a year-round cottage just above Actors’ Colony Inn.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Canal freezes, shutting down production at Chromium Process and B.F. Goodrich Plant #4, idling over 700 workers for a day.

January 7

  • ANSONIA – The Army Corps of Engineers recommends extending the loan of the Bailey Bridge to Ansonia to December 1961, due to the imminent replacement of the Bridge Street Bridge.
  • ANSONIA – Burglars break into Pine High School, and ransack the offices of the Superintendent and Principal. They roll a heavy safe into a corridor, in a failed attempt to try to open it with a blowtorch stolen from the machine shop.

January 8

  • DERBY – Vandals have heavily damaged the refurbished park ranger’s home at Osborndale State Park, located just north of Kellogg homestead on Hawthorne Avenue.

Monday, January 12

  • SHELTON – J. Sterling Edwards dies. Born in Shelton on November 9, 1881, he was the City’s first ever City Clerk, appointed January 1, 1917. He served until 1923, but was reappointed in 1925, and ended up serving until 1950.

January 13

  • DERBY – James B. Atwater retires as President of Birmingham National Bank, a post he held since 1931. At the time, he was only the sixth president in the bank’s 111 years. Thomas J. Manning is elected to succeed him.
  • SHELTON – Shelton was one of 12 towns in Connecticut with a population of over 10,000 people, that did not suffer a single pedestrian death in 1958.

Monday, January 19

  • SEYMOUR – Town voters reject a proposed new 1000 student Seymour High School, which would have cost $785,000, by a vote of 1329-1106. This is the second high school referendum to be defeated in less than a year.
  • SHELTON – A Hoffman fuel truck with 1,000 gallons of fuel oil stalls halfway up a hill on Kanangum Trail in Pine Rock Park, rolls backwards over an 8′ embankment, and overturns. Some fuel leaks out.

January 21

  • The heaviest fog of the season blankets the area at dusk.
  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital receives a $40,000 grant from the Friend A. Russ Fund, established in 1918, to establish an out-patient psychiatry clinic.

January 22

  • OXFORD – New mercury vapor lights have been installed on the Stevenson Dam bridge, making it by far the brightest street in Oxford. The Connecticut Light & Power Company installed twin taintor gates on the dam at an angle downstream, altering part of the dam and eliminating a sharp traffic approach. The gates will increase the dam’s spillway capacity and give it better control of high waters such as that encountered during the 1955 floods. The spillway approach channel is still under construction.
  • SHELTON – The S&R Service Station on 144 River Road is held up and robbed of $200 by two teens.

Sunday, January 25

  • ANSONIA – 300 attend the ice skating races on Colony Pond, sponsored by the Ansonia Recreation Commission.
  • ANSONIA – Burglars break into the North Italian Club on Cheever Street Extension sometime after midnight. They roll a 500 pound safe into the street and leave it in front of the building. Change is stolen from the jukebox, pinball, and cigarette machines.
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