Friday, January 1, 1960

  • ANSONIA – “The new decade was greeted with the blare of horns and song with confetti, streamers, and gay paper hats, adding to the merry-making Orchestras providing music for dancing and dinners and refreshments were served”. 
  • DERBY – The New Year passes quietly.
  • DERBY – The first baby of the year at Griffin Hospital is born to a West Street, Seymour couple.

January 2

  • SHELTON – “Supervised skating and sliding were enjoyed by young and old alike over the weekend. Skating was enjoyed at Donofrio’s Highland Acres pond on Walnut Avenue; Matto’s pond off Route 8 and at Pine Rock Park. Sledding was enjoyed at the Highland Golf Club’s property under supervision of police, in addition to sliding at the various hilly parts of the city under supervision of police, in addition to sliding at the various hilly parts of the city”.

Monday, January 4

  • DERBY – Three bomb scares occur in a 2 hour period – at JC Penney’s on Elizabeth Street, Woolworth’s on Main Street, and the Derby Public Library. Each is evacuated. The FBI is joining the investigation. 
  • SHELTON – A car skids on an icy spot on Mill Street, and goes over a 15′ embankment, stopping just short of going into the Far Mill River by some trees.

January 5

  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen defer a proposal to change 675 acres in White Hills from Beardsley Road to the Monroe town line along Leavenworth Road, from RU-1 residential to IA-1, light industry. This is after the Board hears complaints from neighbors, and receives petition with 262 names opposing it.

January 8

  • DERBY – Albert Yudkin dies at his Seymour Avenue home. He was one of the founders of Congregation Sons of Israel. Born in Ansonia, he started a newsstand there about 1910. He later moved to Main Street Derby, then the corner of Elizabeth and Third, where he sold radios, hardware, and appliances.
  • DERBY – Bomb threats are called into St. Mary’s convent threatening both St. Mary’s Schools.

January 9

  • Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, and Seymour are placed by the State into a new Valley Planning Region.
  • DERBY – A New Haven District Court judge issues a temporary injunction banning picketing at the Charlton Press for 90 days. Many employees were fired for joining the International Typographical Union nearly a year ago. They were later offered a chance to return, but the employees refused to do so unless their union was recognized. The picketing has been going on ever since.
  • SHELTON – The new Elizabeth Shelton School is dedicated by the City. Its namesake, Miss Elizabeth Shelton is in attendance.
  • SHELTON – Boy Scout Troop 26 is organized at St. Lawrence School.

Sunday, January 10

  • ANSONIA – Over 70 children participate in a skating contest at Colony Pond, sponsored by the Ansonia Recreation Commission
  • DERBY – A car driven by an Ansonia man loses control on New Haven Avenue, knocking down 9 poles, and going over a 75′ embankment. The car flips over once, landing on its tires, then slides backwards into a Bradley Florists greenhouse, breaking several panes of glass. The driver is not injured.

January 12

  • 4″ of snow falls, turning to sleet and freezing rain at night.

January 13

  • ANSONIA – It is revealed that four guard dogs and their handlers have been assigned to protect the NIKE site.

January 14

  • ANSONIA – The east pier of the new Clancy Bridge which will span the Naugatuck River at Bridge Street is complete. Work continues despite the cold weather.

January 15

  • DERBY – The police are rounding up a group of High School boys, and questioning them in connection with the recent bomb scares.
  • SHELTON – The Huntington Fire Company will start a building fund to replace their firehouse, which is the old Huntington Town Hall erected in 1869.

January 16

  • Many are able to see a balloon attached to a rocket after it is launched from Wallops Island, VA, at 5:45 PM.

Monday, January 18

January 20

January 21

  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital’s census reaches 172, beating the old record of 170 set in the winter of 1958. There are an additional 240 adults and children on the waiting list.
  • SHELTON – Former Mayor Bennett N. Beard dies at age 88 at his home on Shelton Avenue. Born on his father’s Century Farm on Long Hill on August 2, 1871, he was Shelton’s third mayor, serving in 1924-1925, and the first Democrat to be elected to that post. He also served as First Selectman of the old Town of Huntington for several years, and served on the State General Assembly. Mayor Beard was a member of the committee which drew up the Shelton’s City charter in 1916, consolidating the Town of Huntington and the Borough of Shelton. He began building roads in 1895, initially using teams of horses and oxen, before he founded the B. N. Beard Construction Company, Inc., in 1907. That company was the first in the state to use a steam shovel in 1910. In 1934 he gained national recognition when he proposed combating the Great Depression by putting 40 million men to work building a $7 billion superhighway between Boston and California, and even produced sketches similar to today’s ‘cloverleaf’ entrance and exit ramps, ideas which predated Interstate Highways by decades.

January 22

  • DERBY – Fire damages a dryer room at the Housatonic Dyeing and Printing Company on Roosevelt Drive, with flames shooting out of the building’s roof, at 7:18 AM. A Storm Engine Company fireman slips off a 50’ roof and falls between two buildings, but lands on a catwalk while his helmet falls to the ground.
  • SHELTON – The Professional Office Building has its formal opening at 30 Huntington Street. This building is 2 stories in front and 3 stories in the rear. The main floor is occupied by City Savings Bank of Bridgeport.

January 23

  • ANSONIA – An 8 year old Front Street boy is killed after he is hit by a train on the railroad trestle, knocking him into the Naugatuck River.

Monday, January 25

  • DERBY – The Stop & Shop supermarket on the Mill Street Connector will be enlarged, adding 3600 more square feet.

January 26

  • ANSONIA – The City’s Grand List shows a $1,286,935 net increase over last year. 
  • DERBY – A near riot starts in the fourth period of a basketball game between Ansonia High School and Derby High School at New Irving School. It is stopped before it gets out of control by both teams’ coaches as well as the police. The game ends in a major upset, with Derby defeating Ansonia 64-56.
  • SEYMOUR – Demolition of buildings for the Second Street Redevelopment Project has commenced.

January 27

  • ANSONIA – Demolition of buildings for the Broad Street Redevelopment Project has commenced.
  • ANSONIA – The Public Works Department has set up a 60×80 skating rink at Nolan Field, and a 40×75′ skating rink at Colburn Field.

January 28

  • DERBY – The City’s Grand List shows a $810,794 net increase over last year.

January 29

  • ANSONIA – For the fourth straight year, former Mayor Frank Fizpatrick’s Plymouth dealership has supplied a late model car for the Ansonia High School student driving instruction program.


Monday, February 1

  • OXFORD – Former Selectman Albert Pope dies at 85. He was the former owner and manager of the Oxford Country Store in Oxford Center.

February 2

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Charities reports that its caseload increased from 62 to 70 in January.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s Grand List is up $1,399,184 over last year. The list includes 2,578.5 houses.
  • SHELTON – A truck driver spots a house fire in a 4-room home which also houses Eight Acres Package Store on Route 8 at 6 AM. He calls for help at telephone booth and warns the family. The fire is put out in 45 minutes, and causes $20,000 damage. Eight Acres Restaurant, 50′ away from the fire building, is saved.

February 3

  • ANSONIA – Thomas Joseph Cooke, 53, dies at his North State Street home. A union activist who was also involved with the City’s Democratic Party, Mr. Cooke was one of the founders of the Valley Association of Retarded Children and Adults (VARCA) and was its secretary-treasurer at the time of his death. His son, John Patrick Cooke, was a member of the Yale Olympic Rowing Team.

Wednesday, February 10

  • 0.75” of rain falls.
  • DERBY – A shorted out ice cream freezer motor starts a 5 AM fire which causes $800 damage to DeBarbieri’s Ice Cream and Fruit Store on 68 Elizabeth Street. A police officer sees it on patrol and calls it in.

February 11

  • The day is warm, but brings 0.3” of rain, hail, and thunderstorms.
  • ANSONIA – Heavy rainfall causes a section of retaining wall supporting Clifton Avenue at Mill Street to collapse, taking 15′ of sidewalk with it. The dry-laid stone wall is over 100 years old. On the other side of town, Jewett Street is covered with debris washed down from the new residential sections on Hilltop. 
  • ANSONIA – Construction of the new Clancy Bridge on Bridge Street is slightly ahead of schedule.
  • DERBY – A New Haven Railroad boxcar loaded with scrap rubber is badly damaged by a 9:30 PM fire at the Derby freight yard. The flames shoot 25′ high.

February 13

  • DERBY – A 72 year old Derby Avenue woman is killed when she is hit by car while crossing the street in front of her home. The car was driven by a 55 year old Bank Street man.
  • DERBY – A houseboat which has been berthed on the Housatonic River, at the foot of Cedric Avenue, for the past 30 years is badly damaged by fire.

Monday, February 15

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Apportionment adopts a tentative budget of $4,612,279 with a tax rate of 44.5 mills, an increase of 3 mills over last year.
  • DERBY – The 55th Annual District Nurse Association meeting held. A total of 9,396 visits were made in the Valley past year.
  • SEYMOUR – The Board of Finance request raising the tax rate 5 mills, from 35 to 40.

February 16

  • ANSONIA – The City’s vital statistics for 1959/1958 are: Births 436/471; Marriages 223/203; Deaths 206/225.
  • ANSONIA – Rev. Benedict Gauronskas, pastor of St. Anthony’s Church, delivers the opening prayer on the floor of US Senate, on the anniversary of Lithuanian Independence Day.
  • DERBY – A 68 year old Elizabeth Street man suffers a fatal heart attack while driving down Elizabeth Street. He strikes 2 cars at the Main Street intersection before stopping. A police officer’s quick thinking warns shoppers and pedestrians out of the runaway car’s way just in time.
  • SHELTON – The 1959 Grand List includes 4332 houses, 2743 garages, 6099 lots, 199 commercial buildings, 49 factories, 7609 automobiles, 14 horses, 1298 cattle, and 176 boats.

February 17

  • DERBY – The “Yale Navy” moves into the Bob Cook boathouse for the season, and begins rowing drills on the Housatonic River.

February 18

  • ANSONIA – It is expected that 50.6% of Ansonia residents will live to see the 21st century. The City has an estimated population of 10,400, with a median age 33.5. It is expected that the average life expectancy in 2000 will be 74 for men and 79 for women. Remarkably, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the average life expectancy for men in 2000 was 74 years. The average life expectancy for women in 2000 was 79 years.

February 19

  • ANSONIA – City native Brig General Reuben H. Tucker III has been transferred to the Pentagon as chief of the Infantry Branch of the Officer Assignment Division at Headquarters, Department of the Army.

February 20

  • A morning snowstorm leaves 2″ of wet snow in the valley and 7″ in the hills.
  • ANSONIA – The Salvation Army gave aid to 173 families in 1959, including food, fuel, clothing, shoes, furniture, and transportation

Sunday, February 21

  • Between 8:00 PM and 10:15 PM, Valley fire departments scramble to a sudden onslaught of false alarms – 3 in Ansonia, 2 in Derby, and one each on Seymour and Shelton. In addition, grass fires are set in Ansonia and Derby. A Derby fireman is nearly struck by a car at a New Haven Avenue grass fire, and the driver is arrested. A Shelton fire engine gets in a minor accident while responding to a false alarm. Police in all four locales begin stopping cars in the area looking for suspects.

February 23

  • OXFORD – The dog warden issues a “shoot on sight” permit for residents, against a pack of three dogs that have been killing sheep in the Chestnut Tree Hill and Wire Hill areas, and urges dog owners in area to keep them on leashes.

February 24

  • A surprise, state-wide mobilization of the Connecticut National Guard results in 85% of the Combat Support Group of the First Battle Group reporting into the Ansonia Armory. Valley homes are hit by sonic booms of Air National Guard jets. This is the first time the National Guard has been activated in the Valley since the Floods of 1955.
  • ANSONIA – The first steel for new Clancy Bridge brought to the Bridge Street construction site from the Derby freight yards.
  • ANSONIA – A 21 year old married woman, and a 16 year old boy, both from the City, are arrested and charged with all of the false alarms rung three days ago, except for the one in Shelton.

February 25

  • A snowstorm starts the early afternoon, turns to rain, and continues into early hours of the following morning. The total accumulation is 1.67″. The cumulative monthly total is 5.69″ so far, compared to only 2.78″ in 1958.
  • ANSONIA – The first of nine girders for the new Clancy Bridge’s deck is put in place between two 48’ piers in the Naugatuck River.
  • ANSONIA – A small, smoky fire in the basement of the Save-More Market on Bridge Street damages meats and groceries above.
  • SEYMOUR – A proposal is unveiled to build a First National Stores Supermarket on property bordered by North Street, New Haven Road, and Roberts Street. Presently there is a garage and auto repair building on site.
  • SHELTON – A kitchen fire in a Newport Drive house burns a 15 year old girl on her face and hands. The Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 has hard time finding the home, because houses are not numbered on that new street yet, and end up going door to door before they find the right location.

February 26

  • ANSONIA & DERBY – A third suspect in the spate of false alarms five days ago, a 17 year old Ansonia boy, is arrested as an accomplice. The Derby Fire Department announces it will award commendations to the Ansonia and Derby police departments for cracking the case.

February 27

  • ANSONIA – A pickup truck being serviced at George and Cliff’s Preferred Atlantic Service Station on 142 Wakelee Avenue catches fire. The truck is pushed outside by employees, shortly after which a 5 gallon container of gasoline in the back of the truck explodes, sending flames 50′ into air.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – The Derby Historical Society is considering assuming ownership of the Rev. Richard Mansfield House on Ansonia’s Jewett Street to save the historic structure.
  • DERBY – Today is Bob Skoronski Day in Derby. Among the day’s highlights, the hometown hero who now plays for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers is presented the key to the city by Mayor Dirienzo. He is feted at Eagles Hall on Anson Street, and attends a banquet attended by over 500 in his honor at New Irving School.

Monday, February 29 (Leap Year)

  • OXFORD – The new Oxford Community ambulance is in service.


Tuesday, March 1

  • SEYMOUR – Today’s Evening Sentinel contains a unique picture, showing piers rising for new Route 8 expressway over the Town on one side, with Tingue Mills, which will soon be razed, on the other.
  • SEYMOUR – A 15 year old Fox Street boy blows up his bedroom, burning his chest and left hand. He was working with a chemistry set, and mixed potassium chlorideand phosphorous. There is no fire.

March 2

  • ANSONIA – A northbound tractor-trailer jackknifes on the Route 8 expressway. The driver claims he lost control after boys threw stones at his truck, chipping the windshield. The police are investigating.

March 3

  • Snow begins falling at 10 AM. By 4 PM, 6” of snow is on the ground, making for a tough rush hour. The storm continues overnight, Valley firehouses are manned by all-night crews, and numerous car accidents are reported.
  • ANSONIA – Work begins on last pier of the new Clancy Bridge on Bridge Street, before being called off due to snow.
  • DERBY – Firemen battle a living room fire on New Haven Avenue at 3 PM during the storm.
  • OXFORD – A school bus containing 25 children slides down a hill on Punkup Road, smashing into a car. None of the children are injured, but the car driver has minor injuries.

March 4

  • By the time the snow ends today, there is 14” of snow on level surfaces, making it the worst snowstorm to hit the Valley since 1934. Many factories open late or are closed. School is cancelled. Cars and trucks are stranded on Route 8 and city streets.
  • DERBY – Mayor Direnzio declares a state of emergency, activating the Civil Defense. A brand new split level home on Coppola Terrace is badly damaged when city-hired plow smashes into it after hitting another plow. The driver flees the scene, but is caught in the freezing cold, and is arrested. He was driving while intoxicated.
  • SEYMOUR – There are an exceptional number of automobile accidents during the storm, including a 5-car pileup near Kerite.

Monday, March 7

  • DERBY – A large “snow cat” on Dr. Samuel Rentsch’s front lawn is attracting much attention.

March 8

  • ANSONIA – A late-night fire at Snedeker & Co. on 163 Main Street is controlled by sprinklers, but damage to its stock of webbings and looms is estimated between $10 and $20,000.
  • SEYMOUR – At a Town meeting, residents vote 346-0 for a school bond referendum, proposing $1,675,000 for a new Seymour High School at Bungay School, and additions to the present High School to convert it into a Junior High School. The referendum is scheduled for March 16.

March 9

  • SEYMOUR – A power shovel owned by the Palmer-Tarinelli Construction Company ties up traffic for hours when it becomes stuck under the upper railroad underpass on Main Street.

March 10

  • Results of a 1958 Business Census, in which 49 Valley retail businesses participated, shows an annual total wholesale trade of $33,310,000. This includes 17 inAnsonia, with total sales amounting to $10,352,000, with a payroll $301,000, divided among 70 employees. 22 Derby businesses realized $18,564,000 in sales, with a $1,091,000 payroll divided among 224 employees. Three Seymour businesses realized $640,000 in sales, with a payroll of $43,000 divided among 22 employees. Seven Shelton businesses realized $3,754,000 in sales, with a payroll of $352,000 divided among 70 employees.
  • SEYMOUR – A nighttime fire destroys a small frame house on Great Hill Road.

March 11

  • ANSONIA – A $10 to $20,000 fire strikes a 2-story brick building on the southeast corner of East Main Street and Tremont Street. The early morning fire started in the kitchen of a second floor apartment, gutting that floor. The Polish National Alliance clubrooms and bar below are damaged by smoke and water.

Monday, March 14

  • DERBY – A 79 year old Park Avenue woman is hit by a school bus with 50 children on board, on Roosevelt Drive near E Street. She later dies at Griffin Hospital.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen authorizes $17,500 to purchase the Gazsi property behind the White Street Municipal Building. The property fronts Coram Avenue, and is being considered for a possible new police and fire headquarters.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen votes 4-1-1 to rezone 675 acres in White Hills, from Beardsley Road to the Monroe Town Line, from RU-1 to IA-1, from residential 1-acre to light industrial. The move is condemned by most area residents. In a published letter, a White Hills Civic Club official questions the Aldermen’s competence, and suggests Shelton would be better served with a Town Manager form of government.

March 15

  • DERBY – Fire guts the bedroom of a 26 Sunset Drive home. This is the second time a fire has broken out in this relatively new house, the first time was on April 30, 1957. As the firemen are fighting the, the Storm Ambulance’s 1956 Cadillac parked in front catches fire when oil spills on a hot surface in the motor. The fire in the ambulance is quickly extinguished, and returns under its own power.

March 16

  • SEYMOUR – A referendum for floating $1,675,000 in bonds for new a senior high school, to rebuild the current high school as a junior high school, and to put an addition to Bungay School passes 1649-1008.

March 17

  • ANSONIA – A M56 Scorpion, which is a tracked self propelled 90mm gun that can be airdropped, has been added to the arsenal of the Combat Support Company of the Connecticut National Guard at Ansonia Armory. Its crew consists of four local guardsmen.

March 18

  • DERBY – 58 new vapor lighting units mounted on aluminum standards turn on for the first time, along a ¾-mile stretch of the Route 8 expressway and Mill Street Connector. Ironically, this makes Derby Meadows, historically one of the darkest parts of Derby at night, now one of the brightest.
  • DERBY – 20 are arrested in gambling raids in 6 Connecticut cities by Treasury Agents the State Police. They are arraigned before a United States Commissioner, who sets up a special office in the basement of Derby Post Office. The Post Office was selected because it is a Federal Building which is central to the cities which were raided. A parade of special agents and suspects goes in and out of the building all day. Many of the suspects try to hide their faces to the media, while the faces of the Treasury Agents are blacked out in the Evening Sentinel to protect their undercover identities.

March 19

  • SHELTON – 847 are administered the polio vaccine at a $1 clinic sponsored by the Naugatuck Valley Medical Society.

Thursday, March 24

  • DERBY – A $1 million lawsuit is filed by the Capital Distributing Company, which is the distributor for Charlton Press off the Mill Street Connector, against theInternational Typographical Union and Local 285. The lawsuit claims Capital’s business was harmed by picketing at Charlton Press over labor issues, which started on March 9, 1959 and ended by court order January 8, 1960.
  • DERBY – Monarch Books, a subsidiary of Charlton Press, plans to sell scented books, using perfumes and cooking smells, in a process called Perfume-O-Book.
  • SHELTON – The White Hills Civic Club files suit against the Board of Aldermen and the Gordon Rubber Company. This is over a zoning controversy, which will rezone Leavenworth Road (Route 110) from Beardsley Road to the Monroe town line Light Industrial, and allow Gordon Rubber to build a plant there. The Civic Club says the rezoning hurts their interests directly and materially.

March 25

  • DERBY – High winds blows out a large plate glass window at the Howard & Barber Department Store on Main Street.

March 26

  • DERBY – 940 get the polio vaccine at a $1 clinic at Griffin Hospital sponsored by the Valley Medical Society.

Monday, March 28

  • ANSONIA & DERBY – A 13,800 volt power line breaks on North Coe Lane in Ansonia, causing homes, factories, and the NIKE site to lose power for several hours. Derby’s Sentinel Hill area and the Farrel-Birmingham complex also lose power.
  • OXFORD – A wild car chase up Roosevelt Drive involving State Police ends with the getaway car smashing into an embankment. The driver flees into the woods, but is tracked down three hours later in his Seymour home. He claims he fled because he was driving with a suspended license.

March 29

  • OXFORD – Ground is broken for a new professional building on Center Road.
  • SEYMOUR – Fire destroys a 2-story storage barn on Lane Street. The flames, which can be seen for miles, spread to a nearby 1½-story house under construction 20 feet away, but that fire is put out.

March 30

  • 2.86″ of rain falls, leading to washouts and the Naugatuck River rising.
  • ANSONIA – The president of the Ansonia Water Company tells the Ansonia Rotary Club that the City uses 2.8 million gallons of water daily. Ansonia has 52½ miles of water mains.
  • SHELTON – Dr. J. Chauncey Lindsley dies at in Huntington at 101. A Huntington native, he was believed to be the oldest Episcopal Priest in the country at the time of his death, having retired at 89.

March 31

  • ANSONIA – A Tiano Construction Company power shovel being used to remove fill from an area north of the City dump is stranded by rising waters of the Naugatuck River. Derby’s Storm Engine Company rescue boat brings an operator to the shovel so it can be moved to higher ground.
  • DERBY – The Derby Business Men’s Association formally changes its name to Derby Chamber of Commerce.


Friday, April 1

  • ANSONIA – John J. Adzima of 5 Franklin Street dies at Griffin Hospital at age 57. He was a funeral director here for 33 years.
  • ANSONIA – “April Fool’s Day dawned bright and clear. The river was still high after the drenching rains with which March closed its accounts. And last night ‘the peepers’ were heard here for the first time. Residents in the neighborhood of Colony Pond said they were out in force, making their springtime ‘music’. Old timers recalled the legend whereby the peepers are supposed to be frozen in 3 times before the real spring weather arrives. April Fool jokes and pranks were common today among those who have not grown too grumpy to enjoy them”.

April 2

  • SHELTON – Rev. A. Lester M. Worthey, pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Huntington since May 9, 1957, dies at Bridgeport Hospital after being stricken at home. He was 60 years old.

April 3

  • ANSONIA – The First Methodist Church is filled to capacity, as a stained glass window is dedicated to Rev. Donald H. Dorchester, who will retire this year.
  • DERBY – An 11-bed self care unit opens at Griffin Hospital, part of the new west wing addition, which is almost completed.
  • SHELTON – Ground is broken off Garden Street for a new Coram Gardens firehouse.

Monday, April 4

  • SHELTON – Princess Raja Nor Mahani, niece of the Sultan of Malaya, addresses the newly chartered Huntington Exchange Club at Rapp’s Restaurant.

April 5

  • The Housatonic River is experiencing high water, measuring 5 feet, 7 inches over the Ousatonic Dam.
  • ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The water on the Naugatuck River is high, but is not flooding.
  • DERBY – McConney’s Flats is flooded. Island Park is inundated. Despite this, The Yale rowing team is still practicing on the river. Concerns about flooding on lower Caroline Street prompt the mayor to order bulldozers to build a temporary dike along First Street to keep the water from spilling into United Lumber, Housatonic Lumber, and the Derby Feed Store. At 11:00 PM the water starts receding.
  • OXFORD – The new floodgates are opened at the Stevenson Dam for the first time, attracting many spectators.
  • SHELTON – The two families living year-round at the Maples are evacuated. Shelton Docks is underwater, and the nearby fire tower is surrounded by water. All of lower Indian Well State Park is submerged. Some factories, such as Axton-Cross, are moving their stock to higher ground. The State Civil Defense sets up an office in Shelton in case a disaster strikes the area.

April 6

  • SHELTON – The police made 561 arrests in 1959. This includes 290 motor vehicle violations, 92 for disorderly conduct, 31 for public drunkenness, 24 larcenies, 23 assaults, 37 miscellaneous, and 15 burglaries.

April 7

  • The Housatonic is back to normal levels this morning.
  • Residents awaken to a snowstorm that leaves a dusting on the ground. The snow is completely melted by noon.
  • State Board of Education recommends a Vocational Technical School to serve Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton.

April 9

  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo cuts the ribbon at the official opening of the new Stahl’s Rambler showroom at the corner of Fourth Street and Olivia Street.

Monday, April 11

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Aldermen adopt a 1-acre minimum lot size for the northeast area of city, bounded by Ford Street, Benz Street, Kimberly Lane, Myrtle Avenue, Beaver Street, and the city lines.
  • ANSONIA – 73 people, including 22 from Pilgrim Congregational Church, sign two petitions protesting two 12’x25’ billboards on top of Blume’s Pharmacy at the corner of Beaver Street and Mott Street.

April 12

  • DERBY – A 46 year old Beech Street man is charged with possessing and conspiring to sell $1 million worth of pure heroin. Federal agents seize 4.5 lbs of the drug under a toilet in his home, and another 7 lbs on a merchant ship which he serves as cook in. Two New York City men are arrested in Orange as accomplices.
  • SEYMOUR – West Street will be closed until the Mariani Construction Company finishes blasting nearby ledge for the new Route 8 expressway.

April 13

  • DERBY – A bomb scare causes Derby High School to be evacuated at noon.

April 15

  • ANSONIA – The Ansonia Redevelopment Agency has started its first condemnation proceedings in the Broad Street Renewal Project area, against a family who refuses to sell at 55 High Street.

April 16

  • ANSONIA – 871 polio shots are administered at Lincoln School by the Naugatuck Valley Medical Society.
  • SEYMOUR – The Town’s forest fire warden for the last 7 years is suspended pending an investigation of claims by two youths, who claim they saw him setting brush fires the evening before while they were riding motorcycles on Silvermine Road. The warden reportedly fled when he was spotted. The youths gave chase on their motorcycles. The warden raced into Woodbridge, striking a bank at a curve on Acorn Road. Both Seymour youths have signed sworn affidavits attesting to this sequence of events.
  • SHELTON – A 24 year old Monroe man is in critical condition after his motorcycle hits the back of a station wagon on Leavenworth Road, just north of Beardsley Road.
  • SHELTON – A 13 year old Howe Avenue boy goes target shooting with his friends at the Shelton Docks, and shoots himself accidentally in the right leg with a .22 caliber gun. He is in fair condition at Griffin Hospital.

April 17 – Easter Sunday

  • Churches are thronged for Easter masses and services.  The morning is overcast with threatening skies. But no rain falls, and the sun comes out after noon.
  • SHELTON – The annual sunrise Easter Services at Highland Golf Club draws a large crowd.

Monday, April 18

  • ANSONIA – Stanley Sidor Sr., a well-known local businessman and Polish immigrant, dies at his Westfield Avenue home. He conducted restaurant for many years, and later was proprietor of a package store, before he retired 1955.

April 19

  • ANSONIA – Reflecting national trends, consumer spending is up 56.7% in Ansonia in the last 4 years, totaling $1,185,000.

April 21

  • DERBY – The Derby Historical Society holds its Annual Meeting at First Congregational Church, and votes unanimously to accept the Rev. Richard Mansfield House on Jewett Street from Connecticut Antiquarian Society.
  • SEYMOUR – Work has begun demolishing the wooden portion of the old Tingue Mills buildings off First Street. The brick building will come down next week.

April 22

  • SEYMOUR – A 71 year old Colony Road man is burned to death while attempting to extinguish a brush fire on his property near the Ansonia line.

April 23

  • DERBY – A car driven by a 20 year old Derby Avenue youth, with two teenage girls as passengers, loses control on Roosevelt Drive near Pink House Cove, smashes through a guardrail, hits some trees, and ends up with its rear in river. All three are thrown into river. He is arrested for driving without a license, and driving an unregistered car. He is also arrested by Shelton Police for theft of license plates. The girls are admitted Griffin Hospital, while the young driver is returned to juvenile detention for violation of parole.

Monday, April 25

  • DERBY – 264 are given the polio vaccine at city-sponsored clinic at New Irving School.
  • DERBY – A fight between Derby and Oxford teens over a girl on Hawthorne Avenue near the Kellogg estate results in 10 arrests. Two Oxford brothers, one of whom is a Marine, are seriously injured. The arrests include 5 teens from Oxford, 4 from Derby, and 1 from Ansonia. The problem arose when the Oxford Marine learned his girlfriend was dating a Derby boy.
  • SEYMOUR – The 11-day investigation into the Fire Warden ends with him being arrested for setting a brush fire. His 17 year old nephew from Oxford and another 21year old are also arrested in connection with the crime.

April 27

  • SHELTON – The Oates Brothers trucking company auctions off old equipment, including 61 vehicles, trucks, trailers, and automobiles.

April 28

  • ANSONIA – The last pier for the new Clancy Bridge is completed. An old pier from the former bridge, built in 1912, was to be used here, but footing wasn’t as deep as plans said, so new one had to be built.
  • ANSONIA – A 19 year old Maple Avenue, Shelton youth is in critical condition at Griffin Hospital when his motorcycle hits a car head-on, on North Main Street. The car was driven by a 31 year old Washington Avenue, Seymour man.


Tuesday, May 3

  • Operation Alert 1960 is conducted today. All traffic comes to halt when air raid sirens sound at 2:15 PM, and all pedestrians ordered to take cover. The Derby Civil Defense Control Center is manned.
  • ANSONIA – Two cars and a fish truck collide on Foundry Hill at 10:20 AM, strewing fish and vegetables all over the road. The Street Department is called to pick it all up.

May 4

  • OXFORD – A grass fire spreads to a large barn off Bower’s Hill Road. The Fire Department confines the fire to the barn’s interior, though water had to be provided via a portable pump used to draft water out of a nearby pond, along with water tankers from the Oxford and Stevenson fire departments. The farmer was able to his get cattle out of the barn, but 50 prize chickens are killed by the smoke.

May 5

  • ANSONIA – The American Brass Company proposes donating all of River Road, from Maple Street to the northerly line of the Ansonia Manufacturing Company, to assist the Broad Street Redevelopment Project.

May 7

  • DERBY – Penn State wins the Blackwell Cup at this year’s Yale Regatta, edging Yale by 2½  lengths. Several thousand line the river banks on both the Derby and Shelton side. Yale sweeps the junior varsity and freshman races.
  • SHELTON – The Brownson Country Club is dedicated at a banquet attended by over 275 members.

May 8

  • SHELTON – A Derby man’s car blows 2 tires on the Canal Street railroad crossing, and gets stuck on the tracks. A Riverview Avenue man alerts Shelton police, who calls the Derby railroad tower. The tower manages to stop a southbound freight train at the Maples before it could collide with the stalled car.

Tuesday, May 10

  • ANSONIA – Dr. Robert Kelman, son of Mr. & Mrs. Max Kelman of 10 Holbrook Court, has been named to the staff of an advisory committee for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He attended City schools and graduated from Ansonia High School in 1948, after which he attended Wesleyan and graduated from summa cum laude from University of California, Berkeley. At the time of his appointment, he worked on the Mathematics Group at the IBM Research center in Yorktown, NY.
  • OXFORD – The Oxford Center Fire Company has received a new Picture of Oxford Center Fire Company’s new 750gpm Maxim pumper with a 1000 gallon water tank.

May 12

  • ANSONIA – Griffin Hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala event held at the Ansonia Armory.
  • DERBY – A fire completely engulfs the kitchen and parlor of a 1-year old Chestnut Street house, doing $9,000 in damage. Former fire chief Edward Cotter Jr. suffers a severe lacerated wrist requiring 7 stitches.
  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo orders the State Highway Department to stop installing a traffic light stanchion directly in front of the East Derby Honor Roll. He discusses the matter with supervisors later in day, resulting in the State promising to stop work until a new survey is done.
  • SHELTON – B.F. Goodrich lays off 45 due to cutbacks in the Texfoam section of the Sponge Products Division.

May 13

  • DERBY – An anonymous donor has come forward to donate the cost of installing a water dispenser at the site of the old town pump on Derby Green, at corner of Elizabeth Street and Fourth Street.

May 14

  • Church bells across the nation, including the Valley, ring for 15 minutes as part of a nationwide prayer for peace, as President Eisenhower leaves for the Four Powers Paris Summit. Sadly, the summit collapsed two days later after Nikita Khrushchev walked out after President Eisenhower refused to apologize in the aftermath of the U-2 incident.
  • DERBY – The new Self Care Unit addition to Griffin Hospital is dedicated, and guided tours are conducted for the public The Self Care Unit will treat patients who are not seriously ill.
  • SHELTON – 650 receive the polio vaccination at Shelton Community Center, sponsored by the Lower Naugatuck Valley Medical Society.

Wednesday, May 18

  • ANSONIA – A woman receives a severe gash on her leg when she is pushed through the plate glass window of the John Hancock Insurance Company on East Main Street. She was directing her friend in parking a car, when her friend stepped on gas instead of brake, pushing her through the window.
  • DERBY – The State will move a traffic light pole 2′ south so it won’t block the East Derby War Memorial.

Wednesday, May 25

  • DERBY – John Santangelo will build a $600,000 40-lane 10-pin bowling alley behind the Charlton Press along the Mill Street Connector.
  • SEYMOUR – Trees are being removed near the Kinneytown Dam for the new Route 8 expressway. 
  • SHELTON – Two boys age 13 and 15 are arrested an hour and a half after a 2 PM attack on Liberato Buccelly, a 78 year old grocer, at his store on 191 Howe Avenue.

May 26

  • DERBY – At their 44th Annual Meeting, the Directors of the Recreation Camp approve a capital fund drive to replace the camp’s buildings, which have been in place since it started in 1916.
  • DERBY – Workmen digging at the site of the old Town Pump on Derby Green strike water.

May 27

  • ANSONIA – The old red tile roof on Ansonia Public Library is being replaced by a copper roof from Anaconda Copper. This is highly symbolic since it was Caroline Phelps Stokes, the granddaughter of Anson Phelps, who started the library. Anson Phelps founded both Ansonia and the Ansonia Brass and Copper Company, which became part of the American Brass Company consortium, which was was purchased by Anaconda Copper.
  • ANSONIA – The Supervisor of Veterans’ Graves reports 743 flags have been placed in eight Valley cemeteries where Ansonia veterans are buried. This breaks down to 14 Revolutionary War, 265 Civil War, 20 Spanish-American War, 322 World War I, 116 World War II, and 5 Korean War.
  • SEYMOUR – Demolition begins on the Miles Heritage home above Derby Avenue to make way for the new Route 8 expressway. Built in 1703, it was constructed of solid stone.

May 28

  • ANSONIA – The Derby Historical Society obtains title to the Rev. Richard Mansfield House from the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society of Connecticut.
  • SHELTON – The Brownson Country Club golf course opens for the first time. The golf pro is Ed Kowalski, a 38 year old member of the PGA. The club’s pool is dedicated, too.
  • SHELTON – Alton “Nippy” Russell, of South Little League, orders league flags at half staff for Joseph Mariani, a New Haven contractor, who was killed in a car accident in New haven yesterday. Three weeks ago, Mr. Mariani donated 50 yards of loom and 25 yards of clay for the infield of Cowey Field.

May 29

  • SHELTON – Over 2,000 attend Huntington’ Memorial Day Parade, which ends with services on Huntington Green. Rev. Charles Smith of Huntington Congregational Church is the principal speaker. 
  • SHELTON – Only 60 attend the Derby-Shelton memorial services in the Shelton High School auditorium. The guest speaker is Thomas Bennett, past state VFW Commander.

 Monday, May 30 – Memorial Day

  • ANSONIA – About 6,000 people witness the 54th Annual Memorial Day Parade. Temperatures are in the 70s, the sky is overcast but no rain falls. A Marine HUS-1 helicopter from Sikorsky Aircraft does a flyover of the parade before landing at Nolan Field for the memorial services. Mayor Nolan gives the principal address.
  • DERBY – The Derby Police Benefit Association dedicates a monument to deceased members at Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery.
  • DERBY – At a special meeting, the First Congregational Church unanimously votes to approve Dr. Lawrence Tee as its minister. He succeeds Dr. James Brown, who retired January 1.
  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Derby-Shelton Memorial Day begins in Shelton. Derby City Hall (the Sterling Opera House) has a fresh coat of white paint, and both it and Civil War monument covered in bunting. 
  • OXFORD – Hundreds watch the parade, from Seth Den Road to Oxford Road, to Oxford School where services are held. Former Congressman James Patterson is the guest speaker.
  • SEYMOUR – The parade marches to French Memorial Park. Former State Senator William Ablondi is the master of ceremonies. After the parade, open houses are held at Disabled American Veterans, the VFW and American Legion rooms.

May 31

  • ANSONIA – A 51 year old Public Works employee, who lives on North Main Street, dies on the job after 9 AM while working on Rockwood Avenue near the East Side Greenhouses.
  • DERBY – “The Derby Green presented a handsome appearance with its carpet of green and blossoming shrubbery. The new aluminum stanchions and mercury lights gave an added touch of color to the scene”.


Wednesday, June 1

  • DERBY – Ground is broken for the new Bradlees department store on the Mill Street Connector.
  • SHELTON – The City buys the 3-story Gazy property at 377-379 Coram Avenue for $17,500.

June 4

  • A violent lightning storm passes over the area in the early morning hours.
  • ANSONIA – A Hotchkiss Terrace home is damaged by a fire after being struck by lightning. 
  • SEYMOUR – Lightning hits a tree on Old Ansonia Road, setting the rear of a nearby barn on fire. A horse inside the barn is rescued. The barn is saved, but a ton of hay is destroyed. The same lightning bolt travels along a cable, and sets the attic of a nearby farmhouse on fire, also.

Monday, June 6

  • OXFORD – The bridge over the Little River on Seth Den Road is closed to trucks due to a cracked beam. Cars are still allowed.
  • SEYMOUR – A ground breaking is held for the new Bungay School addition. 

June 7

  • ANSONIA – Commander Francis J. Berry, a graduate of the Ansonia High School class of 1938 and US Naval Academy class of 1942, assumes command of the cruiser USS Little Rock. He survived the sinking of the USS Alexander Hamilton in the North Atlantic in 1942, and was on the USS Canberra when that cruiser was torpedoed in 1944. He served as executive officer of the destroyer USS Perry 1949-51 and captain of the destroyer USS Shannon and later USS Conway. His parents live on Holbrook Court.
  • DERBY – Griffin Hospital will put up two bronze plaques in its new wing in memory of James B. Atwater and George H. Gamble Sr., both recently deceased former presidents.

June 8

  • SEYMOUR – Construction is now in progress for the 50-acre, 9-hole Great Hill Country Club golf course at the intersection of Great Hill Road and Botsford Road.

June 9

  • ANSONIA – The new John G. Predergast School, and the Ansonia High School addition, are both 75% complete.
  • SHELTON – Hoppy’s Boat Yard off Victory Street already has 22 boats in the water for the season, and is expecting to put more in soon.

June 10

  • 1960 CENSUS – Census results are in for the following towns:
  •     Ansonia – total population 19,736, up from 18,706 in 1950.
  •     Derby – total population 12,090, up from 10,250 in 1950. There has been heavy growth in the Yudkin development and Sentinel Hill areas in East Derby.
  •     Oxford – total population 3,306, up from 2,037 in 1950.
  •     Seymour – total population 10,054, up from 7,832 in 1950. The greatest increase has been in the Great Hill, Skokorat, and Roosevelt Drive areas.
  •     Shelton – results not yet in.
  • Over 465 Valley Boy Scouts and leaders attend the first Annual Camporee at the Houatonic Council’s new Houatonic Scout Reservation in Goshen, throughout the weekend.
  • SHELTON – A 71 year old Darien woman leaps to her death from the roof of the 7-story administration building at Laurel Heights Hospital.

June 11

  • ANSONIA – The last Naugatuck Valley Medical Society dollar clinic for polio shots is held at Lincoln School. A total of 690 are inoculated.

June 12

  • SHELTON – Daniel Teevan makes the first hole in one at the new Brownson Country Club golf course, on the second hole.

Wednesday, June 15

  • ANSONIA – The police is investigating the overnight theft of planks from the Bailey Bridge, off the south side of the sidewalk. The planks are quickly replaced.

June 16

  • DERBY – A large microwave relay reflector is put on top of SNET building to relay telephone signals.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Baptist Church will once again conduct summer services at the old White Hills Baptist Church.

June 17

  • DERBY – An 8-year old Laurel Place boy named Michael puts a quarter in a milk machine on Seymour Avenue. The machine starts jumping up and down, shooting sparks and eventually catching fire, while showering him with over 100 pennies & dimes. His father an assistant chief in the Derby Fire Department, and they return the money.
  • SHELTON – The 1960 Census figures are in. The total is 18,111, which does not include the NIKE site personnel. The overall increase is 5,417 since 1950 when it was 12,694. Note – officially, the historical 1960 number is 18,190, which probably includes the later addition of US Army personnel from the Nike Site.

June 19

  • SHELTON – A 9 year old Hawthorne Avenue Derby boy is saved from drowning in Shelton Canal at 5:30 PM. He and a friend were trying to cross canal on five 6” wide conduits carrying telephone lines across the canal, when he fell in. The boy could not swim, and was going under until he was saved by 21 year old Hull Street man.
  • SHELTON – Father’s Day takes a tragic turn when a 16 year old boy, apparently distraught over years of bickering between his now separated parents, arrives at the family home on Nichols Avenue, where only his father is living now. He waits all day until 9 PM, when his father arrives home, when he ambushes and shoots him as he enters the house. The victim collapses next door, and dies before he can reach Griffin Hospital. The son then calmly waits for police, surrenders immediately, and tells them what happened.

Monday, June 20

  • DERBY – A 61 year old Kneen Street, Shelton man suffers critical injuries when he hits a parked trailer truck at full speed on Route 8 southbound, south of the Bluff Street overpass. Despite valiant attempts at saving him, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by Evening Sentinel photographer Edward Cotter, he dies three days later at Griffin Hospital.
  • SEYMOUR – The 124 members of Seymour High School Class of 1960 graduates outside, on Bungay School’s grounds. The class is the second largest class up to that time, the only larger one was the Class of 1940. 65 of the graduates are going on to college, with another 24 entering the military. Audrey Belske is the Salutatorian, while Theodora Zopko is the Valedictorian.

June 22

  • ANSONIA – The Derby Historical Society holds its first open house at the Rev. Richard Mansfield House.
  • ANSONIA – The 248 members of Ansonia High School and Pine High School Class of 1960 graduate at the Ansonia High School auditorium. The Valedictorian is Barbara J. Fama, while the Salutatorian is Gloria M. Holub.
  • SHELTON – A school bus driver leans over to pick up a musical instrument which fell out of its case and landed near his bus’ pedals. In the process, the driver loses control and slams into a culvert off Meadow Street at 8:10 AM, knocking off the bus’ two front wheels and causing minor bruises to ten Fowler School students.

June 23

  • DERBY – The 120 members of the Derby High School Class of 1960 graduates at Ryan Field. The Salutatorian is Theresa Lenart, while the Valedictorian is Donna Mae Armstrong.
  • DERBY – The new water fountain is in operation on Derby Green, and is dedicated in memory of Albert H. Yudkin.
  • SHELTON – The 174 members of Shelton High School Class of 1960 graduate at the high school auditorium. The Valedictorian is Carole Joseph, while the Salutatorian is Ronald Collins. 81 of the graduates are going to college.

June 24

  • ANSONIA – A smell of smoke at 3:30 AM leads neighbors to discover a major fire in the Fountain Hose Co. No. 1 firehouse. It appears the fire was burning for some time, as the clocks in the firehouse are stopped at 2:05 AM, a little over an hour after a late night get-together with Derby’s Hotchkiss Hose Co. No. 1 broke up after a softball game. The fire causes $20,000 damage, and guts a first floor kitchen, before making its way into the hose tower, destroying 2,000 feet of hose. The firehouse’s recreation rooms are also badly damaged. It is believed that new concrete apparatus floor, which sits on steel beams, prevented the complete loss of the building.
  • ANSONIA – The Fountain Hose Co. No. 1 has bought the 100’x50’ land parcel which was originally the Howard Avenue entrance to Pine Grove Cemetery, from Seccombe’s Monument Works. The land is on south side of the firehouse, and will be cleared by firefighters as a parking lot.

June 25

  • SEYMOUR – Tent caterpillars have stripped the foliage off 25 acres of trees off Steep Hill Road.

Monday, June 27

  • ANSONIA – Swimming season opens at Colony Pond.

June 28

  • SHELTON – There is a plan to build a duckpin bowling alley called Route 8 Lanes on Platt Road. The proposed building will measure 232’ x 147’, and have 16 lanes.
  • SHELTON – Local and State police, along with Federal Agents, raid a farm they were keeping under surveillance off East Village Road. They arrest one for making high quality moonshine in a 50 gallon still, deep in the woods.

June 29

  • SEYMOUR – A new softball field has been developed on Chatfield Street, to alleviate overcrowding at the diamond at Bungay School.
  • OXFORD – Hundreds attend the Oxford Fire Department Parade, featuring 21 fire companies, several auxiliaries, and many Civil Defense units and bands. The parade starts from Seth Den and Old State Roads and proceeds to Oxford Center.
  • SHELTON – The White Hills Baptist Church has been restored, and Shelton Baptist will hold services there on Sundays. The organist is Mrs. Caleb Hull, daughter of late Rev. Nathaniel Prindle, who was ordained there in 1898.

June 30

  • SHELTON – Better Packages, B.F. Goodrich, and Viking Tool close down for summer vacation. Star Pin Company and Shelton Tack Company will close tomorrow. Within the next two weeks, the A.H. Nilson Manufacturing, Chromium Process, Wire Novelty Company, and Apex Tool will all close for vacation.


Friday, July 1

  • DERBY – The cap shop of the Weiman Brothers Manufacturing Company on Roosevelt Drive closes for summer vacation. Other departments will go later. The W. E. Bassett Company, the Charles J. Dickgiesser & Company, the Bond Rubber Company, and the Housatonic Dyeing and Printing Company will go on vacation tomorrow. Farrel-Birmingham will have staggered vacations for each department.
  • OXFORD – Camp An-Se-Ox is open for the summer.

July 3

  • ANSONIA – Lightning strikes an Ells Street home at the corner of Granite Terrace, causing $300 damage.
  • SHELTON – A thunderstorm strikes just as the annual Fourth of July street parade reaches Lafayette Field. The fireworks are quickly rescheduled for tomorrow.

 Monday, July 4

  • ANSONIA – “”The birthday of the world’s freest nation, for the most part, was celebrated with all the enthusiasm of a funeral. There were some family gatherings, picnics and dog roasts. Some went to the shore, some to the country, state parks and shore and lake resorts were crowded. You could have shot a Revolutionary War cannon up or down Main Street at almost any time without hitting even a stray cat. Except for the occasional bootlegged ‘salute’ or the deep rumble of Shelton’s Fourth of July fireworks display a pall hung over Ansonia on the Glorious Fourth”. The newspaper seemed to be lamenting the fact that amateur fireworks were now illegal in Connecticut.
  • DERBY – William Shaw of Hawthorne Avenue dies. Born in London, England in 1873, he came to the USA at 6, and arrived in Derby in 1895. He was proprietor of Shaw and Greene grocery store at Elizabeth Street and Sixth Street for many years, eventually buying out his partner. He was one of the first in the area to specialize in Battle Creek foods, which is better known today as Kellogg’s.
  • SHELTON – 13,240 visit Indian Well State Park over the long weekend. This includes 1,400 on Saturday, 5,723 on Sunday, and 6,117 today.

July 5

  • ANSONIA – Due to complaints of young men sitting on the steps of the Ansonia Post Office throwing papers around and insulting women as they pass by, the police will enforce an 1894 law banning crowds of three or more from assembling on downtown sidewalks.
  • OXFORD – Girl Scout Camp An-Se-Ox opens for the summer.
  • SHELTON – Girl Scout Camp Milcroft opens for the summer off Huntington Street along the Far Mill River..

July 6

  • DERBY – The State Fire Marshal’s office is being called after a $100 fire on Sunset Drive last night. There have been 5 recent fires in Sentinel Hill area homes, all started in or near closets.

July 7

  • ANSONIA – Farrel-Birmingham announces it has received an order for a large andem sugarcane grinding mill from Argentina, which will proved an estimated 75,000 man-hours of work for the factory’s employees.
  • ANSONIA – The John T. Prendergast School is nearly completed. One new feature is a bus port in front of the school – a canopy to keep kids dry in rain and snow.
  • DERBY – Most of brick work on new Sentinel Hill school is done. This is today’s Bradley School.

July 8

  • ANSONIA – A number of buildings in the Broad Street area will be demolished next week for redevelopment. Right now exterminators are going through the vacant buildings trying to kill all of the rats.
  • ANSONIA – A shed behind 60 Broad Street is destroyed by a 3:15 AM fire. An attempt was also made to destroy the 1-family house in front of the shed. An extra police officer will be assigned to the area, as there are still some families living in it.

Monday, July 11

  • DERBY – The Paugassett Council Knights of Columbus vote to form building corporation to exercise option of purchasing Bassett farmhouse and land on Silver Hill Road.

July 12

  • DERBY – Work is progressing on a new addition adjacent to the machine shop at the Farrel-Birmingham Derby plant. It will be used for Banbury Mixer body teardowns and will have a small machine area. The teardown is dirty work, so the addition will isolate it from the rest of the plant.
  • OXFORD – Work on an addition has begun, which will add meeting rooms, a minister’s study, kitchen, dining facilities, and Sunday school rooms to Christ Episcopal Church in Quaker Farms.

July 13

  • DERBY – Three City employees narrowly miss injury when a garbage truck became hooked onto the top of the front door of the Derby incinerator off Marshall Lane. The front of building is torn off, causing $5,200 in damages.

July 14

  • SHELTON – A head-on car accident occurs on Leavenworth Road south of the entrance to the entrance of Indian Well State park. Six are hurt, 3 critically Two Ansonia boys aged 15 and 16 years old are ejected from their car. Unfortunately, a 54 year old Monroe woman dies of her injuries at Griffin Hosptial 4 days later.

July 16

  • SHELTON – An overnight robbery at Beechwood Supermarket results in $2,000 taken from the safe. The thieves broke into the rear of the adjacent Huntington Pharmacy, cut a hole in ceiling crawled through there into the grocery store, helping themselves to beer and bananas as they looted the safe.

July 17

  • SEYMOUR – Fire destroys an unfinished 3-story frame house on Hillside Avenue. The house had been standing unfinished for several years and was condemned. Unfortunately, the fire also spreads to the house next door, damaging it.

Monday, July 18

  • ANSONIA – Two houses in the Broad Street Redevelopment area are razed.
  • OXFORD – A 34 year old Bridgeport man drowns in Lake Zoar, one mile north of Stevenson Dam, in 150′ of water off Oxford. He was pulling a water-skier on his homemade speedboat, which was made from an airplane pontoon, when it capsized while making a sharp turn, throwing him and others into the water. He grabbed his 11 year old son and held him afloat, until he was put on the back of only passenger with life jacket. He then dove after the sinking boat to get more life jackets and never came back up. The boy and other passengers were saved by a pair of girls from Stevenson, aged 14 & 16, who rowed a quarter mile to save them.
  • OXFORD – 23 teenagers are arrested by the State Police and Oxford constable at a party at a Roosevelt Drive cottage. The police were responded to a noise complaint, but found drag racing, underage drinking, and gambling going on.

July 21

  • ANSONIA – Three more houses in the Broad Street Redevelopment area are razed.
  • OXFORD – The body of the drowned Bridgeport power boat owner is recovered in 55’ of water in Lake Zoar. He is found under the sunken boat, his leg entangled in the rope that was towing the water-skier.

July 22

  • SEYMOUR – Piers for the new Route 8 expressway are being installed just above the Falls Dam, and in the area of the recently demolished Tingue Mills.

July 23

  • OXFORD – The new Oxford professional building is dedicated. The one story colonial structure on Oxford Road contains four offices and the Oxford Pharmacy.
  • SHELTON – A 23 year old New Haven woman drowns after she is thrown from a power boat making a sharp turn to pick up a fallen water-skier off Indian Well State Park.

Tuesday, July 26

  • SHELTON – The Housatonic Public Service Company announces it wants to build a power plant near the Shelton Docks site.

July 27

  • ANSONIA – The local police, along with the state and neighboring police departments, have set up road blocks in search of three men who stole a car and ran from a foot patrolman downtown this morning. The car hit a milk truck on Liberty Street shortly afterwards, and the suspects then fled. They may be responsible for another car which was stolen not long afterward on Main Street near Division Street.
  • ANSONIA – In the past year, City residents’ net earnings totaled $44.5 million. This is an increase over the previous year’s net earnings of $40,622,000. This results in an average income of $7,807 per household per year, significantly above the U.S. average of $6,385 as well as New England’s average of $7,321. Total retail sales totaled $27,384,000, significantly above the pervious year’s $20,744,000.
  • SHELTON – Brophy’s General Store on Huntington Street suffers $15,000 in damage to stock and equipment after a window air conditioning unit catches fire at 7 AM.

July 28

  • ANSONIA – The McMahon and Wren Building on Water Street will be razed to make room for the extension of Canal Street to Bank Street. Built in 1885, it was one of the most modern apartment houses in Connecticut at the time. It later became a warehouse for the Connecticut Fruit Company, where the Lavietes Brothers conducted a wholesale fruit and grocery business. After that, it was reconverted  using federal funds back into an apartment building called Watercress Apartments to handle an influx of new factory workers.
  • SHELTON – Girl Scout Camp Millcroft has its final program of the season and closing ceremonies off Huntington Street.

July 29

  • ANSONIA – The Sewell Fountain will be moved from the tip of the curve at South Cliff Street and Cottage Avenue onto the Ansonia Public Library grounds.
  • ANSONIA & DERBY – A new flashing traffic signal has been installed at the junction of Division Street, Clifton Avenue, and Atwater Avenue.
  • OXFORD – The season’s closing exercises are held at Girl Scout Camp An-Se-Ox.
  • SEYMOUR – Children from the Maple Street playground parade through neighborhood holding signs protesting the dismissal of their playground director. The Police Chief and First Selectman disperse the children, and make them give up their signs. The children were reported “most unhappy” with this.
  • SHELTON – The Shelton Basket Company division of Shelton Products has been sold to a newly formed corporation, also called Shelton Basket Company, out of Haywood, Wisconsin. The basket company will move there on August 15. It has become increasingly hard to find wood to make the baskets at this time, and foreign competition is high. The new corporation is composed of a local Native American tribe. The Shelton Basket Company has been in its same location since it was founded in 1910.

July 30

  • Tropical Storm Brenda drops 2.58” of rain in the area, but causes only minor damage. The Housatonic rises 2’ in less then an hour.
  • SEYMOUR – Derby Avenue experiences minor flooding. Construction equipment near the riverbank for the new Route 8 Expressway has to be moved to higher ground.


Monday, August 1

  • DERBY – The annual two-day celebration of the Santa Maria delle Virgine Society’s patron saint, which was interrupted Saturday due to Tropical Storm Brenda, are rescheduled for today. The Society held their parade through the streets on Sunday.

August 2

  • DERBY – Miss Katharine Kennedy dies at her Olivia Street home. A member of the Derby High School class of 1905, she became a teacher at Irving School in 1910. She became the principal of Lincoln School when it opened in 1924, and served in that position until she retired in 1957.
  • SEYMOUR – A 9 year old Bank Street boy slides down a 26’ bank into the Little River. His friend runs home to tell his father. The father rushes to the scene and pulls the drowning boy out of the water.

August 3

  • ANSONIA – The paving is finished on the new Clancy Bridge on Bridge Street.
  • SHELTON – A 12 year old Sorghum Road boy is in serious condition after he is hit by a car while riding his bicycle on Huntington Street in front of the HuntingtonShopping Center.

August 6

  • ANSONIA – The Federal government gives the Ansonia Housing Authority permission to build a 165 unit housing project in the Broad Street area in two sections. Eleven 3-story brick buildings will be built as soon as the land cleared east of High Street. Two more will later be erected on the west side of High Street.
  • DERBY – The popular new water fountain on Derby Green has been stolen. The Evening Sentinel states “the police are looking for the humanity hating thief who walked off with the bubbler. If he is found, he may be examined by a psychiatrist to discover what makes a punk like that tick”.

Monday, August 8

  • ANSONIA – A large vacant chicken coop burns down behind 132 Westfield Avenue.

August 9

  • SHELTON – Rev. William Murry has resigned as pastor of the Shelton First Baptist Church. He will move to Riverside Church in New York City to become minister of students and director of student work, and will also continue his master’s degree. He will leave on September 1.

August 10

  • ANSONIA & SEYMOUR – The new Valley Lanes duckpin bowling alley is under construction at Ansmour Plaza.
  • SEYMOUR – “Workmen building the new Route 8 in Seymour have changed the course of the Naugatuck River to allow for the construction of an overpass. A temporary road has been constructed across the bed of the river where water normally flowed. The channel has been dug along the east bank to allow water to flow”.
  • SHELTON – Capt. Frederick Champan, whose mother lives on New Street, will take command of the Shelton Nike Site on August 22.

August 12

  • ANSONIA – The demolition of the buildings in the redevelopment area on Broad Street and the east side of High Street will be completed by the end of the year.

August 13

  • OXFORD – A 14 year old Washington, CT boy is arrested for robbing an empty summer home on Coppermine Road, then burning it down to cover up the crime. Three other homes were robbed last in the neighborhood in the past few weeks.

Monday, August 15

  • SHELTON – Phillip DeMarco, of Oak Avenue, dies after a short illness at age 54 after a short illness. He was president of Shelton Laundry on Howe Avenue, which was founded by his father in 1909.

August 16

  • SHELTON – The White Hills Civic Club adopts a resolution opposing the proposed new Municipal Building on Coram Avenue, because the City lacks a master development plan.

August 17

  • ANSONIA – The name plate has been installed on the new John C. Prendergast School, which should by ready by September 1. School starts on September 7.

August 19

  • ANSONIA – On this fifth anniversary of the Flood of 1955, the Edward G. Clancy Bridge is dedicated with great fanfare. The bridge replaces the Bridge Street Bridge, the only one of Ansonia’s three public bridges to survive the flood.

Monday, August 22

  • SEYMOUR – Formal groundbreaking exercises are held off Botsford Road for the first new Seymour High School since 1921. The new building will have 24 classrooms.

August 24

  • DERBY & SHELTON – The Gordon Rubber and Packing Co. Inc., established 10 years ago at 126 Oak Avenue, Shelton, begins moving into its new building at former American Laundry building on Cemetery Avenue, Derby. The firm makes molded rubber products used on aircraft, submarines, and commercial enterprises.

August 25

  • ANSONIA – Now that the new Clancy Bridge has been completed, all three of Ansonia’s bridges are less than five years old. The Bailey Bridge, which replaced the two destroyed in the Flood of 1955 and was retained while the Bridge Street Bridge was replace, is no longer needed, and its dismantling begins today.
  • ANSONIA – Lt. Gen. Robert Wood, the commanding general of the US Army Air Defense Command, visits the Ansonia Nike Site.

August 26

  • DERBY – Reconstruction of the Housatonic Public Service Company substation on Roosevelt Drive is almost complete, and 115,000 volts are flowing into it.

Monday, August 29

  • SHELTON – A storage shack behind a High Street building is gutted by fire and its contents destroyed.

August 30

  • A rainstorm dumps 2½ inches of water in 30 minutes, causing trees to fall and causing much damage.
  • ANSONIA – A large sinkhole develops on the Platt Street hill roadway. A car falls into another sinkhole on Central Street hill. Water is ankle-deep on Front Street. A foot of mud is left on Central Street, between Main Street and Beaver Street. The lower ends of Factory and Powe streets are under water. Lightning starts four minor fires. Clifton Avenue cellars flood, as does Ansonia City Hall and the Capitol Theater.
  • DERBY – Summer Street and Seymour Avenue are flooded under 2′ of water. The Charlton Press suffers $30,000 damage with 4′ of water in the plant’s shipping department, destroying stock. The western approach of the Division Street Bridge is undermined. Lightning starts four fires, causing only minor damage.
  • SEYMOUR – Flooding occurs on Derby Avenue, Main Street, and North Main Street. Water enters Union Hall and the New Haven Copper Company. Lightning strikes the radio antenna at Town Hall, coming through a wire into the Seymour Police Department and narrowly missing electrocuting some police officers.
  • SEYMOUR – An estimated 1,523 will be enrolled in the Town’s grammar schools and 768 in grades 8 through 12.

August 31

  • ANSONIA – A 3-story wood frame buildings on the east side of Broad Street is demolished. It was built years ago on fill from Farrel-Birmingham, on what had been a steep riverbank. The new river view is startling to some people who are used to it being blocked by buildings.
  • ANSONIA – The submarine USS Crevalle, AGSS-291, was built in 1942 and still carries its original propulsion reduction gears built by Farrel-Birmingham, serving without replacements or repairs.
  • SEYMOUR – The police are notified of shark sighting near Journey’s End in the Housatonic River. It was probably a 4’ to 5′ carp chasing a school of fish. Years ago, a sand shark beached itself by the Derby-Shelton Bridge.


Thursday, September 1

  • ANSONIA, DERBY, & SHELTON – The Route 8 Expressway and Mill Street Connector, from Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton to the new Clancy Bridge in Ansonia, have been named Pershing Drive by the Ansonia, Shelton, and Derby Boards of Aldermen, at the request of the General John Pershing Barracks, World War I Veterans.

September 3

  • ANSONIA – A 54 Tremont Street rooming house suffers a $500 fire. A 60 year old woman trapped in her room is carried to safety by a neighbor.

Monday, September 5, Labor Day

  • ANSONIA – A discarded cigarette damages the front seat of the Hilltop Hose Co. No. 5’s pumper.

September 6

  • ANSONIA – The Board of Education votes 4-3 on who will be the new clerk for the Superintendent of Schools. The candidate who won is a niece of a Board of Education member, while the one who lost is a sister in law to another Board of Education member and the wife of a Board of Aldermen member. No Board members abstained from voting.

September 7

  • DERBY – Derby’s municipal incinerator, badly damaged when hit by a truck two months ago, starts to fall apart when vibrations from a passing truck causes part of a wall to break away.

September 8

  • ANSONIA – The school population is as follows: Ansonia High School 1,023, Pine High School 142. Larkin School 125, Lincoln School 408, Mead School 164, Nolan School 351, Peck School 373, Willis School 343, and the new Predergast School has 333 pupils. Assumption School has 690, while St. Joseph’s School has 392.
  • DERBY – The school population is as follows: Derby High School 504, New Irving School 362, New School (today’s Bradley School) 306, Franklin School 278, Lincoln School 255, and Hawthorne School 48. There are 715 registered at St. Mary’s School and 430 at St. Michael’s School.
  • SEYMOUR – The school population is as follows: Bungay 427, Center-Annex 570, and Maple Street 544. Seymour High School (grades 8-12) has 749. Grades 10-12 attend morning sessions, while grades 8-9 have afternoon sessions.
  • SHELTON – The school population is as follows: Shelton High School 833, Commodore Hull School 226, Ferry School 366, Fowler School 415, Huntington School596, Lafayette School 222, Elizabeth Shelton School 449, and Sunnyside School 584.

September 10

  • SHELTON – A referendum is held calling for the sale of bonds amounting to $670,000 for a large new municipal building which would house City Hall on the White Street side, Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1’s firehouse on the Coram Avenue side, and the Shelton Police Department in a parking lot off White Street. The measure is defeated 1816 to 1446, losing in all 3 wards.

Monday, September 12

Hurricane Donna strikes the area. Many utility lines are blown down, causing widespread interruptions in power and telephone service. Trees and branches fall in the 70 mile an hour wind gusts, and some streets are washed out. Despite the heavy rain, the Naugatuck River does not crest over its banks. All schools and many places of work are closed.

  • ANSONIA – Hurricane Donna – Locally, 7.16″ of rain falls. Lower Main Street is flooded. Beaver Brook overflows its banks and floods Front Street and sections of Powe Street and East Main Street. A total of seven families are evacuated to the emergency shelter at Ansonia Armory. The Derby Fire Department assists Ansonia with helping to pump our numerous flooded cellars and evacuating expensive equipment out of flooded stores. A house under construction on Highland Avenue blows down, and its debris strike the house next door, causing significant damage there, too.
  • DERBY – Hurricane Donna – Locally, 6.43″ of rain falls. The worst injury occurs at the very end of the storm, when the sign is blown off Civil Defense Headquarters on Elizabeth Street and strikes an 11 year old boy, breaking his nose and chipping a tooth. Radio station WADS is knocked off the air. Roosevelt Drive from A Street to the Dickgiesser plant is underwater. A Water Street life up to its name, as it is also flooded. The foundation of a Marshall Lane house caves in. Water is observed cascading off the new retaining wall at Stop & Shop like a waterfall on Pershing Drive at the height of the storm.
  • OXFORD – Hurricane Donna – A mud and rock slide on Punkup Road closes it for hours.
  • SEYMOUR – Hurricane Donna – A 15’x20’ section of the exterior wall to collapses at Seymour Manufacturing Company when the riverbank supporting that supports it slides into the Naugatuck River. There little other major damage. 
  • SHELTON – Hurricane Donna – Water washes out Oak Avenue and floods Center Street under 6” of water. A Buddington Road house is badly damaged by the Far Mill River The railroad tracks above Riverview Park are undermined.
  • SHELTON – The Captain of Echo Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 asks the Board of Aldermen to add a referendum for the upcoming November election, to approve a scaled back plan to build a new firehouse on Coram Avenue, minus the previously proposed City Hall and Police Station.

September 15

  • ANSONIA – The American Brass Company will start being called the Anaconda American Brass Company as of October 3.

September 16

  • ANSONIA – The New Haven Foundation has issued a $2,000 grant from the Gates Fund to the Derby Historical Society for repairs and improvements to its newly acquired Mansfield House on Jewett Street.
  • SEYMOUR – The first of several steel H-shaped pilings are being pounded into the west bank of the Naugatuck River near Second Street, for the new Route 8 bridge which will pass over it. Each piling is 78′ high and weighs 5,694 pounds.

Wednesday, September 21

  • ANSONIA – Mayor Doyle inspects new the courtroom facilities of District Court 5 at Ansonia City Hall.
  • SEYMOUR – The public school population is: Bungay (grades K through 6) 430; Center (K-7) 574; Maple Street (K-7) 547; and Seymour High School (8-12) 764.

September 23

  • DERBY – A total of 7,025 patients were treated in the Griffin Hospital Accident Room in 1959.
  • SEYMOUR – The Ralph Hull Funeral Home at 161 West Church Street has been remodeled, redecorated, and enlarged.
  • SHELTON – The Bures Package Store at 25 Long Hill Avenue is held up by 2 men before 9 PM. The 61 year old proprietor fights back, hitting one with a soda bottle and hit by a tire iron himself. The criminal flee, but are found 5 hours later in Bridgeport.

Tuesday, September 27

  • ANSONIA – The first of a new type of police call box is placed at the corner of Main Street and Maple Street. The box contains a telephone to be used by the public for emergencies.
  • DERBY – An early morning, 2-alarm fire guts the second floor apartment and attic of the Marcucio farmhouse on Sentinel Hill, causing about $5,000 in damage. One fireman is injured, requiring 4 stitches in his hand.

September 29

  • DERBY – Mayor Anthony Dirienzo is defeated by 445 votes, losing all 3 wards, in the Democratic Primary by Board of Aldermen President John Bartimole. The upstart ticket sweeps all wards, uprooting many incumbents.

September 30

  • ANSONIA – An open house is held at the new 16-room addition to the Ansonia High School, where a cornerstone dedication ceremony is held.
  • SEYMOUR – A Waterbury man escapes serious injury when a bulldozer dislodges a 400 pound boulder, sending it rolling 75′ down an embankment and landing on his car on Derby Avenue, near Nichols Brook.


Saturday, October 1

  • ANSONIA – The McMahon and Wren Building on 41 Water Street will be demolished next week, along with the old Terry Warehouse behind the Ansonia Furniture Company, to make way for new the West Main Street.

October 2

  • SEYMOUR – A new sacristy is dedicated at Trinity Church.

Monday, October 3

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Arthur Brown, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Ansonia, dies of a heart attack while walking in Barkhamsted to look at burial plots. Born 1898, he had only been pastor of Ansonia Methodist Church on June 12th.

October 6

  • DERBY – A joint meeting of the Board of Aldermen and the School Building Committee results in the new school on Sentinel Hill named Bradley School, in honor of the Bradley family. Other names which were considered for the school were Sentinel Hill, Katherine B. Kennedy (after a longtime principal of Lincoln School), Sen. Henry M. Bradley (recommended by the Derby Historical Society), and Edward Fitzgerald (a former Board of Education Chairman). The votes were Bradley – 8, Sentinel Hill – 5, and Katherine B. Kennedy – 3.

October 7

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Shelton defeats the East Haven Yellowjackets 25-0 at Lafayette Field.

October 8

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia trounces Sacred Heart 54-16 at Nolan Field. The North Haven Indians defeat Derby 16-6 at Ryan Field. Seymour upsets the Cheshire Rams 20-16 in an away game.

Wednesday, October 12

  • ANSONIA – The old Hotchkiss Beef House behind the Ansonia Furniture Company has been razed for redevelopment to extend Canal Street to Bank Street. The new street will be called West Main Street. The former beef house’s last use was as a furniture warehouse.

October 13

  • SEYMOUR – Steel work for the new bridge carrying Route 8 over the Naugatuck River has started.

October 14

  • DERBY – The last of 200 new homes built on Sentinel Hill has been sold.

October 15

  • ANSONIA – About 50 members and friends Derby Historical Society members and friends attend the second annual Old House Tour. A number of old landmarks are visited, including the Rev. Mansfield House, the Gen. David Humphreys House, and the White Hills Baptist Church. 
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – The Amity Regional Spartans defeats previously unbeaten Shelton 8-6 in Woodbridge. Ansonia crushes West Haven 30-6 at Nolan Field. The East Haven Yellow Jackets defeat Derby in an away game 8-0.

Monday, October 17

  • DERBY – Miss Charlotte Bradly, 76, and Mrs. Louis R. Bradley Sr., 60, both of 113 New Haven Avenue, are hit by a car and killed in front of their home at 11:30 PM while crossing the street. The 47 year old Bethel driver is arrested. The ladies were returning from a meeting of the First Congregational Church’s Ladies Aid Society meeting at Mrs. Harriet Gilbert’s home at 260 New Haven Avenue, and other members of the Society witnessed the horrific accident.

October 18

  • SEYMOUR – Fire guts a barn at the Frank Ajello Jr. farm on Great Hill, and scorches a nearby house.

October 20

  • SEYMOUR – A 41 year old New York man is killed when a truck he was directing backs over him in the rear of the Seymour Sand and Gravel Company off North Main Street.

October 21

  • DERBY – A 21 year old Shelton nurse is killed, and her 21 year old husband critically injured, in terrible crash on Route 8 near the Farrel-Birmingham plant at 7:40 AM. The accident happened after their car jumped the esplanade and crashed almost head on into a tractor-trailer going the opposite direction, pushing the car 60′ and flipping it upside down. Passerby had to lift the car off the victims. The woman was the only daughter of Ansonia’s Superintendent of Charities.

October 22

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Seymour defeats the previously undefeated North Haven Indians 22-8 at French Memorial Field. Shelton defeats Lyman Hall 2-0 at Lafayete Field. Ansonia defeats Crosby High School 34-30 at Nolan Field. Derby doesn’t play this week.

October 23

  • ANSONIA – City native Michael Joseph Frawley, 88, of Wakelee Avenue, dies. He and his twin sister Mrs. George W. Larkin were considered the oldest living twins in the State. They would have turned 89 on November 12.

Monday, October 24

  • The first snowflakes of the year fall, mixed with rain.

October 25

  • DERBY – Mayor Direnzio announces the Recreation Commission of the Board of Aldermen will conduct roller skating every Friday night at the Derby High School gymnasium.

October 26

  • DERBY – The Board of Aldermen is asked to accept the East End Hose Co. No. 3 into the Derby Fire Department. Most are favorable to the idea, but no action is taken.

October 27

  • DERBY – Mayor Dirienzo fails to persuade the Board of Apportionment and Taxation appropriate $100 in bunting to decorate City Hall for Sen. John F. Kennedy’s planned visit to Derby on November 6. Five voted yes, 2 abstained, while some didn’t show up for the meeting. Seven votes are needed for approval. The meeting degenerates into a shoving match between two members before they are separated.

October 29

  • DERBY – The Valley Bowl on Pershing Drive has its grand opening.
  • DERBY – A 1950 police car is badly damaged in a head on crash on Prindle Avenue. The car was parked while the officer was checking a small grass fire.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Derby upsets Ansonia 12-8 at Ryan Memorial Field. Seymour defeats Branford 30-8 at French Memorial Field. North Haven and Shelton battle to scoreless tie in an away game.

Monday, October 31 – Halloween

  • Halloween is very quiet with only isolated cases of vandalism. Popular costumes are skeletons, wildcats, bunnies, tigers, witches, bums, and beatniks.
  • ANSONIA – A wooden platform behind the West Oil Company on lower Main Street near Division Street catches fire. It threatens to spread to a 5,000 gallon fuel tank before the fire department extinguishes it.
  • SHELTON – The asphalt mixing plant of the Grasso Construction Company off River Road near the Stratford line is heavily damaged by an accidental fire at 10:30 AM.
  • SHELTON – William E. Sheehy, the local Republican candidate for the State General Assembly, calls attention to an abandoned 2 story, 230’ long building with a full basement at Laurel Heights Hospital. Sheehy says the building has been neglected for years and offers a number of suggestions for its reuse. He cites it as an example of government waste and inefficiency. This touches off a considerable debate about how the building fell in such poor repair, and what its future may be.


Tuesday, November 1

  • DERBY – Classes begin for first time at the new Bradley School. Outgoing Mayor Angelo Dirienzo is the principal.
  • SHELTON – A 5 year old girl awakens at 1:45 AM to find her New Street home filling up with smoke. After alerting her parents, it is discovered that car is on fire in the basement garage. The father pushes it out into the driveway before emergency crews arrive. The girl is credited with saving the house and quite possibly her family’s lives.

November 2

  • SHELTON – The Annual Report of Hewitt Memorial Hospital shows a total of 10,879 hospital days, up 155 from last year.

November 3

  • DERBY – The new Bradlees Department Store is nearing completion off Pershing Drive, and is expected to open day after Thanksgiving.

November 5

  • DERBY – A 69 year old Caroline Street man, a World War I veteran and city native, chokes to death in a city restaurant.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Seymour defeats East Haven 22-20 in an away game. Cheshire defeats Derby 30-20.

November 6 

As the 1960 Presidential Campaign draws to a close, Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy, Democratic Candidate for President, barnstorms through the Valley in the early morning hours while traveling from the airport in Stratford to Waterbury. He travels with Governor Abraham RibicoffSenator Thomas Dodd, and other local congressmen. Thousands line the route in the raw, damp weather. (In order to make his visit easier to follow, the order of towns is presented in the order he visited them).

  • SHELTON – As Sen. Kennedy’s motorcade travels up River Road, it has to make an unexpected stop in front of a home. Seeing the motorcade, a 12 year old girl runs out in her pajamas to greet Sen. Kennedy, who waves to her and seems amused at the incident. Minutes later, he is swarmed by a crowd of 1,200 to 1,400 when he arrives in front of the Community Center on Howe Avenue at Center Street at 1:25 AM. He is introduced by Mayor Malachi LeMay, who has such trouble being heard over the cheering crowd that Governor Ribicoff has to wave his arms to silence them. Sen. Kennedy says “We are traveling around to ask your support on Tuesday. I appreciate your staying up this late to wait for us”. After a few more brief remarks, he returns to his car, where police have a hard time keeping people back, and speeds up Howe Avenue to Bridge Street and Derby.
  • DERBY – Sen. Kennedy’s motorcade arrives from Shelton at 1:35 AM, proceeding up Main and then Elizabeth Street and stopping in front of City Hall (then the Sterling Opera House). He is greeted by about 2,500 people. Waiting for him are Mayor Anthony Dirienzo, as well as the Democratic nominee for Mayor John Bartimole. City Hall is decorated with signs saying “Welcome Jack!” and a Civil Defense truck lights up the building from Derby Green across the street. While waiting for Kennedy, the loud speakers played music, including “High Hopes”, the themes song of his campaign. Among Kennedy’s remarks are “Ladies and gentlemen, I come without a team, without President Eisenhower or Governor Rockefeller, as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. I ask your support on Tuesday. I ask your support for your mayor-to-be, John Bartimole…In just 57 hours, the campaign will be over. I came into Connecticut to ask for your help”. Mayor Direnzo would remark the next morning how strikingly quiet the crowd was as Kennedy spoke. He remained for 10 minutes before leaving for Ansonia.
  • ANSONIA – As Sen. Kennedy’s motorcade crosses the Clancy Bridge on Bridge Street at 1:45 PM, the City appears deserted, causing his campaign manager to remark “What at town! There’s not a soul on the streets!” As Kennedy’s car turns onto Main Street, the same man exclaims “Holy mackerel! Look at that crowd!” About 6,000 people, stretching from the Post Office almost to Bridge Street, are screaming “We want Kennedy!”, and the illuminated marquee of the Capitol Theaterreads “Welcome Sen. Kennedy”. State Police at one point had to remove a man from the roof of the Capitol, it is unclear what he was doing up there. The crowd surges against the vehicles to the extent that the security detail has trouble exiting their cars. Stopping in front of City Hall, Mayor Joseph Doyle reaches through the crowd, grasps Kennedy’s right hand and says “Welcome to Ansonia”. Kennedy actually had to step over the windshield of his convertible and stand on its hood to introduce the dignitaries riding with him. Sanding on the steps of Ansonia City Hall, which is dressed in patriotic bunting and a huge sign with his picture that says “Welcome Sen. Kennedy”, he states “Let me just say that I don’t know any other place in the United States except Ansonia where everybody would come out at this hour of the night. It’s possible we’re all crazy but I must say I do appreciate your being here…” Noticing some pro-Richard Nixon signs, including one which says “Click with Dick”, Kennedy responds “That door of the White House is going to click with Dick Tuesday night, November 8”, which drives the mostly Democratic crowd wild. He continues “I come here in the last two days of the campaign for your support on Tuesday, November 8, for President of the United States. I would appreciate it if you would vote”. At that point, someone from the crowd yells “Use the PT boat on him!” Laughing, Sen. Kennedy replies “We’ve used everything else and we may come to that by Monday. This election is important because the office of the presidency is important. All of us are concerned about our country. I believe in the 1960s the United States is going to have to move forward again. I come here on that program and that commitment and ask your support here in Connecticut”.
  • SEYMOUR – Sen. Kennedy is not scheduled to stop in Seymour, so many residents wait for him in Ansonia. His motorcade enters town around 2:00 AM. Many line the route, some holding flares. Kennedy smiles and waves to everybody. The car makes an unscheduled stop for about 5 minutes in front of 400 people on Maple Street, near the Maple Street School, where Kennedy shakes hands and interacts with the crowd.

In other news on this date –

  • DERBY – A 70 year old Park Avenue man, a lifelong resident, is killed when hit by car at driven by 28 year old man who also lives on Park Avenue, at 7:15 PM on Roosevelt Drive in front of the B. F. Goodrich boiler plant. He dies early the next morning. The driver collapses at the scene and is taken to the hospital where he is later arrested. After many years without an automobile related fatality, this is the seventh one in 1960.
  • SHELTON – Three teenage girls between 16 and 17 years old from New York and New Jersey receive minor injuries when they are sideswiped by a car at 4:00 PM while walking along Huntington Street. They had been picnicking along the Trap Falls Reservoir.

Tuesday, November 8 – Election Day. Democrat John F. Kennedy defeats Republican Richard M. Nixon in the closest Presidential Election in US history.

  • ANSONIA – 10,002 of 10,840 voted, a total of 92% of the electorate. Voters chose Kennedy over Nixon 6132-3859 Mayor Joseph Doyle is reelected over his Republican opponent Louis Hawley 6005-3822. The Board of Aldermen is composed of 12 Democrats and 3 Republicans, with only the 5th Ward votes electing Republicans.
  • DERBY – Voters chose Kennedy over Nixon 4177-1750. Democrat John Bartimole is elected Mayor over Republican over Nebi Hassan 4045-1739. The Board of Aldermen is split 3-3 between the parties. Almost 91% voted, including 1,600 independent voters. 
  • OXFORD – A total of 1627 of 1730 voted, which is a record turnout. Voters chose Nixon over Kennedy 999-622.
  • SEYMOUR – 96% of the Towns voters participate in the election, narrowly choosing Nixon over Kennedy 2627-2614.
  • SHELTON – 9,270 out of 9,876 voters participate in the election, 93.8%. Voters chose Kennedy over Nixon 4666-4506. Republican Vincent Tisi Jr. defeats incumbent Mayor Malachi LeMay 4719-4372. The Board of Aldermen is split 4-2 between Democrats and Republicans. Only the Third Ward (Huntington and part of White Hills) votes in the majority for Nixon and chooses Republicans for the Board of Aldermen.

November 9

  • DERBY – Housatonic Public Service Company announces that its Board of Directors has recommend stockholders accept a merger of its electric service in the Danbury district by Connecticut Light & Power Company, and the Derby district by United Illuminating. All gas will become part of Connecticut Light & Power.

November 10

  • SHELTON – Joseph DeMarco, 79, president of the Shelton Hosiery Company and the Connecticut Footwear Company, dies at Griffin Hospital. Born in Salento, Italy in 1881, he came to American and settled in Shelton in 1897. He founded Shelton Wet Wash Laundry with brother Phillip in 1909, which later became the Shelton Laundry. Shelton Hosiery Mills was founded in 1928, and Connecticut Footwear, which makes knitted footwear, was founded in 1950.

 November 11 – Veterans Day

  • ANSONIA – Rev. Michael Buben will replace the Very Rev. Joseph Pishtey at Three Saints Russian Orthodox Church on November 30. Rev. Buben comes from Geneva, NY. Rev. Pishtey will be going to Garfield, NJ after serving 7 years here.
  • ANSONIA – The annual Veterans Day ceremony is held in front of Ansonia City Hall.
  • DERBY – Veterans Day observances are held at the honor roll on Derby Green.
  • SEYMOUR – Veterans Day observances are held at French Memorial Park.
  • SHELTON – Veterans Day observances are held in front of the Municipal Building.

November 12

  • A memorial fund drive has been established for Francis (Yip) Yirrell, one of the world’s outstanding helicopter pilots, who died last spring during a test flight. He rescued many people in Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Naugatuck during the 1955 Floods.
  • ANSONIA – A sellout crowd attends the 6th annual Ansonia Elks Club sports night, where Bill “Moose” Skowron, first baseman for New York Yankees, is the guest speaker.
  • DERBY – A 72 year old Lane Street Seymour man is in poor condition after being hit by a car after 10 PM on Elizabeth Street, in front of Hotel Clark. The victim had only 1 leg, and was on crutches. The 28 year old Howard Avenue Ansonia man is arrested. The victim dies of his injuries a week later.
  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Ansonia defeats Norwalk 26-14 at Nolan Field. Derby defeats Lyman Hall for the 9th time in a row 12-6 at Ryan Field. Seymour defeats undefeated Naugatuck 14-0 in an away game. Shelton defeats Cheshire 42-20 in an away game. 

Monday, November 14

  • ANSONIA – The Fire Chief recommends the Board of Aldermen accept the Hilltop Hose Co. No. 5 into the City’s Fire Department, on condition they not request a new fire engine or firehouse for 5 years.
  • SHELTON – The Board of Aldermen authorizes the sale of $305,000 in bonds for a new Echo Hose, Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 firehouse.

November 16

  • ANSONIA – An 8:30 PM fire breaks out at Solon Spots Furniture Store on 415-419 Main Street, at the corner of Colburn Street, causing about $1000 damage.
  • SEYMOUR – Rogol’s Department store at 141 Main Street is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1910 on Bank Street, its present building at Main Street and Bank Street was constructed in 1925. The store was completely remodeled after the 1955 Flood.

November 17

  • ANSONIA – The old City Hall courtroom is being converted into offices for the Mayor, Board of Public Works, and Registrar of Voters.
    Ansonia – 19,819, up 1,113 from 1950 despite the 1955 Flood
    Derby – 12,132, up 1,873 from 1950.
    Oxford – 3,292, an over 50% increase over the 2,037 in 1950
    Seymour – 10,100, up 2,268 from 1950
    Shelton – 18,190, up 5,496 from 1950.

November 18

  • DERBY – The New Haven Foundation will completely underwrite the $121,700 cost of Griffin Hospital’s new Self Care Unit.

November 19

  • HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL – Amity Regional defeats Seymour 16-6 in Woodbridge, ending Seymour’s 7 game winning streak. The other cities will play on Thanksgiving.

November 20

  • SHELTON – A basement fire which started in a hot water heater causes $2,000 damage to a Bridgeport Avenue home.

Wednesday, November 23

  • SEYMOUR – A Citizen Engine Co. No. 2 fireman, Arnold Hartley, 51, of 182 Walnut Street, collapses at a dump fire on North Main Street and is pronounced dead at Griffin Hospital. He was proprietor of Hartley Seafood Distributors Company.

 November 24 – Thanksgiving Day

  • THANKSGIVING FOOTBALL – Naugatuck defeats Ansonia 41-14 at Nolan Field. Shelton trounces Derby 40-0 at Lafayette Field before 8,000, clinching its 10th Housatonic League championship in 15 years.

November 25

  • ANSONIA – The Christmas lights over Main Street are turned on for the first time this evening.
  • DERBY – Santa Claus arrives on the Paugassett Hook & Ladder truck in the afternoon, and holiday lights are turned on for the first time that evening.
  • SEYMOUR – The Christmas lights are turned on for the first time this evening.

November 26

  • SEYMOUR – Solid rock is being blasted for the new Route 8 expressway north of the flats.

Tuesday, November 29

  • ANSONIA – “Wakelee Avenue, just south of Paradise Inn, is now a stop street. The (new Route 8) expressway has been blocked to traffic because of construction in the area of Seymour flats and northbound traffic must detour onto Wakelee Avenue at this point”.

November 30

  • DERBY – From November 30, 1959 to yesterday, the City issued 129 building permits with an estimated value of $1,822,232 (over $13 million in 2010 dollars). This includes 69 new single family homes, 34 additions or alterations, 19 garages, 3 factory additions, an addition to medical center on Seymour Avenue, and the new Valley Bowl, Bradlees Department Store, and Bradley School.


Thursday, December 1

  • DERBY – The new Bradlees Department store opens in the Valley Shopping Center. It is the sixth store in the chain, and the fifth in Connecticut. Mayor Dirienzo and Anthony Santangelo, grandson of the Shopping Center’s owner John Santangelo, cut the ribbon. A huge throng is waiting to explore the 68,000 square feet of retail floor space.

December 2

  • DERBY – Franklin Farrel III president of Farrel-Birmingham, announces the Derby foundry will close and a $1 million addition will be added to the Ansonia foundry. The Derby foundry will be converted into a welding shop, while the machine shop, erecting, and box shop will stay. 75 work at people work at the Derby plant. In a related story, sabotage is suspected after a workman at the Derby Farrel-Birmingham discovered grease in an oxygen line, averting serious explosion.

December 3

  • SHELTON – A $4,000 fire breaks out at 2 PM, in a cinder block and brick building at Center Street and Canal Street owned by B. F. Goodrich and used for storage. The building was formerly occupied by the Borden-Mitchell Dairy Company. The crude rubber burns fiercely, blowing out several windows and creating heavy black smoke. The Derby Fire Department also responds to the blaze.

Monday, December 5

  • ANSONIA – The big brick Prokopchyk Building, which housed the White House Restaurant with apartments on the second and third floors on Broad Street, is demolished as part of the Broad Street Redevelopment Project.

December 7

  • ANSONIA – The City Hall portal has been decorated with choir boys in a cathedral-like setting for the holidays.

December 8

  • OXFORD – An 8-room home on Roosevelt Drive, across from the Old Heidelberg, burns to the ground with all its furnishings just after 9 AM. Four dogs and a talkingmyna bird are saved, but 27 parakeets and a pet alligator die in the fire. Also lost are 150 African violets and a large number of fine orchids are also lost.

December 10

  • ANSONIA – Hundreds attend an open house in the new Ansonia Public Library addition, and renovated old wing. The new children’s room draws much positive feedback.
  • SHELTON – Jones Tree Farm was recently featured in the New York Times garden section. There are 100,000 trees currently growing, with another 100,000 trees in nurseries on the 300 acre farm. Normally about 10 to 15,000 trees are planted yearly, though last year the number was 21,000. Last season sold the farm sold 2,500 trees.
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