52 Years Ago Hamden Firefighters Gathered at Hull's Rathskellar February 28, 1962
February 28, 1962 gathering of old Platoon 1 at the Hull's Brewery Rathskellar (Photo courtesy of Tom Doherty)
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Until it closed in 1977, the Hull Brewing Co. at 820 Congress Avenue in New Haven made their Rathskellar available for private parties.
The above group photo was taken at a February 28, 1962 gathering of Hamden's old 1st "Battalion," with some guests from Platoon 3, as well as one retiree and a couple of unidentified gentlemen, possibly Hamden cops. CLICK on the photo to enlarge and for the names of the attendees.
Billed as the "Second Semi-Annual Beer Party," there undoubtedly were more of these gatherings in the future.
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74 Years Earlier
Fire at the brewery!
April 15, 1888 - Fresenius Brewery, future home to Hull's. Photo by A. Bowman, courtesy of Bill Celentano, Jr. and Box 22 Asssociates (CLICK to enlarge)
The Hull Brewing Co. was located on the site of a building previously occupied by the Fresenius Brewery. The photo at left shows the aftermath of an April 15, 1888 fire there. The Fresenius Brewery ceased operation in 1920 when the 18th Ammendment kicked in. Hull's resumed brewing operations in the building following the end of Prohibition in 1933. It closed in 1977.* (*Citation: OldBreweries.com)
The HFRA expresses sincere thanks to Bill Celantano, Jr. and Box 22 Associates for permission to use this photo in connection with our Hull's group photo.
Hundreds of other historic New Haven Fire Department photos can be found in Box 22's New Haven Firefighters (2005), in the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing. Highly recommended for local history buffs and fire buffs alike, this fascinating 128 page book can be found at Barnes & Noble and other area book stores for $19.99.
Website fan Bill Celentano, Jr. of New Haven's Box 22 Associates has provided the website with his photos of a 1970s multiple-alarm fire at Hull's Brewery - the same building that burned in 1888. These photos will be posted here in next week's update.
Some examples of Hull's advertising and a vintage Hull's six-pack.
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Brand name serving trays like these were commonly found
in restaurants and other establishments that sold their company's beverages.
(Photos by Dan Johnson)
Interesting New Fire Districts Proposed 50 Years Ago New Building Codes Envisioned
The article below appeared in the March 3, 1964 edition of The New Haven Register. It described efforts by Chief V. Paul Leddy and Marshal Al Purce to reduce the possibility of a major conflagration by implementing new building codes for commercial and industrial areas of Hamden. If approved, the new building codes would have prohibited or restricted the construction of wood frame buildings within six specific areas of town. Considering all of the new wood frame construction in the proposed zones since 1964, it is unlikely that the new codes were ever approved.
New Haven Register, Tuesday, March 3, 1964 (Courtesy of Chan Brainard)
60 Years Ago
Hamden Pee Wee Bowling at Old Station 3
The photo below, scanned from the 1954 Annual Report of the Town of Hamden, was taken at the four-lane bowling alley in the basement of Co. 3's Putnam Avenue fire station. The building was sold over four decades ago to a private buyer, but we understand that the alleys are still there.
Setting the pins was done manually by the "pin boy." When a pedal was depressed at the back of each alley, ten small rods raised up from the floor onto which each pin was placed.
Retired Hamden firefighter and HFRA member Bob Slater wrote, "I was one of the pin boys along with Bob Carangelo and Reuel Belcher, son-in-law of Chief Leddy. The fire department was assigned a given night, and depending who was working the other shifts would be there with their wives. At that time, boys bowled on Friday night and girls bowled on Saturday morning. During the rest of the week there were groups of teachers, postal workers, our HFD men and their wives, and a few others. Those were the good old days!"
"Instructions To A Group Of Pee Wee Bowlers At The Whitneyville Recreation Alley" - 1954 Hamden Annual Town Report
Meanwhile, upstairs on the first floor of the fire station . . .
Photo by Ed Doiron, Sr.
January 1966 - "Alarm Readiness" at old Station 3 on Putnam Avenue. Here in the dayroom are Firefighter Sid Trower, Lt. Joe McDermott and Firefighter Ray Bantz. The members of the career department occupied only the first floor of the station. The meeting rooms of the Whitneyville Volunteer Fire Association were on the second floor.