A storage structure at the Winchester powder farm off Putnam Avenue was destroyed the day before Fourth of July in 1934, when about 600 lbs. of gun powder exploded due to "spontaneous combustion." An airplane over the area was rocked by the resulting concussion, according to its pilot, Fred Fowler. According to this Hartford Courant article, six pieces of Hamden fire apparatus responded to the incident.
The Winchester powder farm was located generally within the Whitneyville area bounded by Putnam Avenue, Dixwell Avenue, Treadwell Street and Clifford Street, where Leeder Hill Drive is today. The area was cleared of Winchester buildings in the mid-1960s.
Originally posted 6/29/2018
The Hartford Courant, Wednesday, July 4, 1934
Hamden Fire Department Apparatus Inventory July 1934 Station 1 – Highwood Engine 1 – 1926 Maxim 500 g.p.m. pumper Hook & Ladder – 1926 Maxim city service ladder truck Station 2 – Humphrey Engine 2 - 1919 Seagrave 750 g.p.m. pumper
Station 6 – Merritt Street Engine 6 – 1924 Stutz 350 g.p.m. pumper Station 7 – Mix District Engine 7 – 1918 Stewart Chemical Truck (formerly of Co. 1) Station 8 – Dunbar Hill Engine 8 – 1918 Stewart Chemical Truck (formerly of Co. 5)