The Hamden Fire Retirees' Association's website got its first hit on June 16, 2009. During the past five years hundreds of photographs and scores of articles have been published here thanks to the generous contributions of our retirees, active HFD department members, and our website fans. The members of the HFRA are grateful for your interest and appreciate your contributions. Thank you!
This remarkable 1943 photo by Don Steele was scanned from a 35mm slide that Don took of Hamden's 1941 Diamond-T ladder truck as it passed by the town hall on Dixwell Avenue. This is the oldest color photograph posted thus far.
During the week of Flag Day 1996, a number of historic flags were displayed outside Station 4 at Memorial Town Hall. Every day from Flag Day until July 4th, a different U.S. flag design was flown from the pole between the bay doors.
L-R - Ff. Paul Turner, Ff. Roberta Angiletta, Ff. Jim Dunlop, Ff. Ron Desroches, Lt. Frank Critchett, Capt. Paul Wetmore, Jr., B/C Bill Coppola, and Ff. Mark Barletta.
The flag of the United States of America is unique among all other flags of the world. No other national flag has undergone as many design modifications, and all of them for a very good reason.
In the 237 years since the American Flag was adopted by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, it has been modified twenty-six times, each modification signifying the admission of a new state, or states, to the Union.
The first modification to our flag came in 1795, several years after Vermont and Kentucky became the 14th and 15th states. Two stars and stripes were added, making a total 15 stars and 15 stripes. In 1818, five more stars were added, representing states admitted since 1795. But the number of stripes was permanently reduced to thirteen, to represent the original thirteen states.
Thereafter, new stars were added on the Fourth of July following the admission of new states. The last modification to Old Glory became official on July 4, 1960, when a fiftieth star was added following the admission of Hawaii in August 1959. Alaska, admitted in February 1959, resulted in a 49-star flag that was a current design for only one year.
The present 50-star flag has served as America's longest current design, although any older flag design, regardless of the number of stars, is considered an official flag and may be flown as such.
The Wallace-Davis Company, situated approximately where One Evergreen Avenue is today, manufactured "baby anchors" - baby anchors? - and swimming pool filters. Just before 7 a.m. on Friday, August 29, 1958, a West Haven truck driver drove to the nearby police headquarters to report smoke coming from the building.
According to newspaper accounts, the fire was the result of spontaneous combustion of discarded waste paper in a first floor barrel. Engines 4, 5 and 2 responded, along with the hook and ladder truck and the squad. Firefighters were forced to don Scott air packs to enter the basement, where plastic materials had ignited. Although the fire did "extensive damage" to portions of the building, it was not considered a total loss and remained standing for many years thereafter. The incident was commanded by Battalion Chief Paul Leddy, who would be appointed Chief two years later.
New Haven Evening Register, Friday, August 29, 1958 (Courtesy of Chan Brainard) - CLICK to enlarge
CLICK to enlarge
The newspaper account stated, "The building is situated on the corner of Evergreen and Old Dixwell Avenues, but has a Dixwell Avenue address," which means that the building was there before Dixwell Avenue was straightened sometime before 1934..
When Dixwell Avenue was straightened (in YELLOW), the resulting dogleg (in RED) became Old Dixwell Avenue. Making things even more confusing, the beginning of Evergreen Avenue was moved from the "X" out to "new" Dixwell Avenue. As a result, the building at #2813 Dixwellk Avenue now fronted on Evergreen Avenue, but kept its Dixwell Avenue address.
This 1965 aerial view courtesy of the Connecticut State Library Digial Collection shows that #2813 Dixwell Avenue was still standing seven years after the fire. It was eventually razed in the mid-1970s for the construction of One Evergreen Avenue which, ironically, actually fronts on Old Dixwell Avenue (go figure).
The original path of Dixwell Avenue (RED) before it was straightened (YELLOW) prior to 1934. In this 1965 view, #2813 Dixwell Avenue still stands on what is now the first block of Evergreen Avenue - CLICK to enlarge
Only one building in this 1898 photo still stands in 2014, but not where
it's pictured in this photo of the crossroads of Whitney and Dixwell.
1898 - Dixwell and Whitney looking west before Dixwell was straightened. Grace Episcopal Church was moved to the south side of Dixwell in 1966, where it remains today. According to the church's website, the tall steeple in this photo blew down in 1915 and was replaced by a shorter one in 1921.
You have wisdom to share. Wehave children who need it. Experience Corps needs people age 50+ to tutor literacy in Hamden and New Haven elementary schools 3 mornings a week. Volunteers also participate in fun community events to encourage reading. Training, a small stipend and college tuition/loan help for your child/grandchild provided. Interested?
AARP Experience Corps - Greater New Haven is a program of the Agency on Aging of South Central and a proud member of the National Service Network. For more information, please visit www.experiencecorps.org