On Sunday, November 26, 1950, a hurricane with winds of 70 m.p.h. hit southern Connecticut. In an article published on the front page of the November 30th edition of The Hamden Chronicle, Fire Marshal Albert Purce opined that this hurricane "was far more destructive than the fabled 1938 hurricane." Indeed, for Hamden it was. The majority of damage to Hamden in 1938 was in the form of about 400 fallen trees. The 1950 hurricane damage was far more severe. The photographs published in that edition of the Chronicle convey the magnitude of destruction that affected some Hamden areas.
The practice of naming hurricanes began in 1954, the year Hurricane Carol hit southern Connectricut. The last significant hurricane to hit Hamden was Hurricane Gloria in 1985, although the town has been hit by three tornadoes since 1989, when an F4 twister devastated much of Highwood and Newhallville.
For the whole story and lots of photos - CLICK HERE
When the lights went out all over the northeast on November 9, 1965, the event became one of life's "snapshot" moments that is so memorable that you will never forget what you were doing when it happened. Platoon 2 was just about to end the day shift when the lights began to flicker. At around 5:20 in the afternoon the entire electrical grid in the northeastern U.S. and part of Canada went dark, although the were some rare exceptions (like the city of New Haven).
According to The Hamden Chronicle (see below), the loss of power caused a fire alarm malfunction at Sacred Heart Academy on Benham Street, resulting in the dispatch of Engine 4 and Rescue 2 out of Station 4. That was apparently the only fire department incident recorded during the outage, which only lasted about two hours in Hamden, but as long as thirteen hours in the New York City area.
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The above article notes, "Though unable to serve hot food, the Friendly Store nearby [in the Hamden Mart] plied a number of customers with ice cream and cold orders." If you were looking for some great hot food that night you could have gone to the Glenwood, as did the author and his brother. They were open during the blackout, preparing their famous dogs and burgers on their gas fed grille for scores of customers.
Less than two years later another Friendly's would open directly across from "the 'wood," but it closed on March 26, 2000. The Glenwood is still going strong after 60 years in business.
- Hamden's [still] newest fire station dedicated -
- Rev. Owen Sanderson officially sworn in as department chaplain -
"New" Station 3 in 1970
Hamden, CT, November 1, 2020 - Hamden Fire Chief V. Paul Leddy, who led the department from 1960 until his 1984 retirement, must have been a miracle worker. He was able to get his department its first two new fire statiions, both within two years.
It was fifty years ago today that the Hamden Fire Department dedicated its newest fire station, "New Station 3," located at the junction of Ridge Road and Hartford Turnpike. The new station, opening less than two years after Hamden's first new free-standing fire station in West Woods, replaced old Station 3 on Putnam Avenue, built 43 years earlier by Co. 3 volunteers, and Station 6, built 49 years earlier by the Co. 6 volunteers.
In some departments in municipalities the size of Hamden, a 50-year old fire station would have been replaced or thoroughly renovated by now. But despite fifty years of new schools and a brand new police headquarters completed several years ago, our 50-year old "New Station 3" is still Hamden's newest fire station. The oldest Hamden station still in use, Humphrey Station No. 2, was built by the Humphrey volunteers and dedicated January 1913.
Dedication Program for Station 3 - November 1, 1970 (CLICK to enlarge)
November 1, 1970
Rev. Owen Sanderson Sworn In As a Department Chaplain
at Dedication of Station 3
Town Clerk Thomas Raccio swears in Rev. Sanderson as department chaplain
The new Station 3 dedication fifty years ago was also an appropriate occasion on which to officially swear in the department's newest chaplain, Rev. Owen Sanderson of Christ Lutheran Church on Shepard Avenue.
"The Rev," as he is affectionately and respectfully known, has been a good friend and advisor to both career and volunteer department members of all religious persuasions since the 1960s. Now, 89 years of age, Rev. Sanderson retired recently as pastor of his church. But he is still on the job as department chaplain and chaplain of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association.