Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that pursuant to a presidential proclamation from President Donald J. Trump directing flags across the country to be lowered on the day of the interment of Reverend Billy Graham, U.S. and state flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, March 2, 2018.
Still awaiting installation of the cab doors, Hamden's brand new 100' "Ladder 2" is pictured here at the Middleboro, Massachusetts factory in the summer of 1970. The truck remained in service at Station 3 until 1990, when it was replaced by the Pierce 105' rear mount.
Firefighter Paul Tavaras, driver of Engine 5, is pictured beside the department's 2005 Ferrara Inferno 1,500 g.p.m. pumper. Ed Doiron Jr. shot this photo in 2012 at a brush fire located on the water company's Mather Street property, just off Dixwell Avenue. Engine 2, Engine 3, Engine 5, and Car 3 responded.
This March 1, 1861 New Haven Palladium article provided fascinating details of a devastating explosion at Hamden’s Eli Whitney gun factory, resulting in one fatality, several serious injuries, and halting the factory’s production of arms on the eve of America’s Civil War.
The article was provided by Tony Griego, one of several volunteer researchers at Hamden Historical Society's history room at Miller Library. Griego, a retired New Haven Police Department sergeant, has been investigating some of the Whitneyville landmarks that disappeared because of the 1860-62 construction of the dam that created Lake Whitney.
New Haven Palladium, March 1, 1861 - Courtesy of Tony Griego, Hamden Historical Society
With the "War of the Rebellion" still six weeks off, and President Lincoln’s inauguration in just three days, this news account mentions several pieces of fire apparatus from New Haven that responded to the incident, which was located at the base of the Whitney Dam, then still under construction.
The explosion at the Whitney gun factory occurred one year before New Haven established its career fire department and about 35 years before the formation Hamden’s first volunteer fire company, Highwood's Pioneer Hose Company, organized in December 1896.
The Al Gorman History Room, on the third floor of Miller Library at 2901 Dixwell Avenue, is open to all from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Tuesday.
The two previously published photos below of HFD's 1930 600 g.p.m. pumper are fresh scans from the original negatives provided by Chan Brainard. The pumper, which was delivered to Mt. Carmel on January 6, 1930, was more than 20 years old when these photos were taken.
The photo immediately below was taken at the start of Hamden's 1952 annual Fire Prevention Week parade of fire apparatus, which began on Dixwell Avenue in Highwood and proceeded north and east to Whitney Avenue, then north to the Cheshire line. Kids of all ages would line up along the sidewalks of Dixwell and Whitney Avenues to watch the caravan of Hamden's fire apparatus pass by.
October 11, 1952 - Dixwell Avenue
November 28, 1953 - State Street opp. Ridge Road
The photo above was taken on November 28, 1953, when, as Engine 6, the 1930 Maxim was parked on State Street during a barn fire. The dark building in the background is the old St. Stephen's Church.
Below is a scan of a portion of the November 14, 1960 meeting minutes of the Hamden Board of Fire Commissioners. The Commission noted that this pumper, erroneously referred to as a "750 gal" pumper, had been traded in to the O.B. Maxwell Co. for $300 in credit. (This was the same meeting in which V. Paul Leddy was appointed as Hamden's second paid fire chief.)
From the minutes of the November 14, 1960 meeting of the Hamden Board of Fire Commissioners
At the March 1960 meeting, the Commission minutes noted that this was the 1927 750 g.p.m. pumper. However, department maintenance and insurance records indicate that the 1927 750 g.p.m. pumper - it was actually listed as a 1928 model - had been traded in to O.B. Maxwell in July 1952 for $500 credit toward the purchase of a new Maxim 750 g.p.m. pumper.