The Board of Directors and members of the Hamden Historical Society wish everyone a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. We remind ourselves that this special day is for remembering those who lost their lives in defense of our country and to reflect soberly on their sacrifices.
On this Memorial Day in the year 2020, it is entirely appropriate to also remember and reflect on the sacrifices of the health care and guardian service professionals on the front lines of the current COVID-19 pandemic who have lost their lives to this vicious coronavirus while saving the lives of others.
Please fly your flag on Memorial Day - half-staff from sunrise until noon, full staff from noon until sunset.
Since the end of World War I, many Hamden streets have been named to honor those Hamden servicemen who have died while serving during wars and other armed conflicts.
In conjunction with Memorial Day Weekend 2020, and continuing his website series on the origins of Hamden street names, Hamden Historical Society Researcher Paul Saubestre is focusing on those Hamden servicemen for whom streets were named in the Sebec Street neighborhoodin eastern Hamden.
CLICK HERE for Paul's military profiles on each of these Hamden men from the information available. As with all of Hamden's other fallen servicemen, we hope their sacrifices will always be remembered.
Former Mayor Carusone earlier this year
In his 84 years, former Hamden Mayor John Carusone has cultivated friendships with many of his fellow Hamdenites, not only in the political arena, where he maintained warm relationships with members in both political parties, but also [if you'll pardon] the sports arena as well, which is one of Carusone's greatest passions.
With Memorial Day 2020 approaching, in a letter to Municipal Historian Dave Johnson, former Mayor Carusone reflected on several of his friends and acquaintances who died in military service during three different wars.
In "Remembering Hamden's Fallen," Johnson presents Carusone's reflections on these fellow Hamdenites, with photos and facts about these brave souls who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country - our country.
Carusone's vivid memories of young Private Edward Duel are perhaps the most poignant. Like so many of the others, this was a young man with a very promising future, who answered his country's call and lost his life only days after his 20th birthday. CLICK HERE!
The History Room houses over 100 distinct document collections, cataloged and preserved, to meet the research needs and interests of the community. The Library has many texts on state, regional and local history, volumes of agency and government publications, directories of services, and several historical society publications. Regional and town maps from 1854, grave-site directories, family and personal narratives, Bibles, diaries and ledgers from the early families in Hamden complement the document collections and shed additional light on the history of Hamden.
Among the collections:
The Mount Carmel Ecclesiastical Society
The Whitneyville Congregational Church
The Sleeping Giant Park Association Archives
The Hamden Chamber of Commerce
The Webb Family Papers
The Rachel Hartley Files
The Thornton Wilder Papers
The Leather Man Collection
The Rectory School Records
Golden Bells Archives
The Farmington Canal Records
Hamden: Our Architectural Heritage
The Hamden Historical Society Archives
Hamden Historic Districts Collection
Hamden Schools and Board of Education Records
Mount Carmel Free Public Library and Hamden Public Library Archives
Check out Paul Saubestre's article about the original and current St. Rita's and St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Churches. The parishes have recently merged, with St. Stephen's Church soon to be put on the market.
St. Rita's new "upper" church under construction in late 1963.
Before he and his wife relocated to their new home near Buffalo NY, Mr. Leonard Corwin, formerly of Patterson Road, recently presented the Hamden Historical Society with three pieces of antique furniture from the Corwin family.
Hamden Historical Society Researcher Paul Saubestre is researching the origins of Hamden's street names. In conjunction with the recent Presidents Day holiday, Paul investigated the origins of those streets with the same names as former U.S. presidents.
In April 1638, David Atwater Sr. was one of the original settlers in New Haven and was given a house lot there. But in 1646 he chose to build two miles as the crow flies, into the wilderness of what is now Hamden. Hamden Historical Society Researcher Anthony Griego has been researching the origins of this brick Dutch gambrel roof style house, gone since 1905, in the area later called East Farms/Cedar Hill.
Hamden Historian David Johnson chonicles the story of the senseless 2019 destruction of Hamden's "Door-Tree," the ensuing world-wide news coverage, and how the vandal was caught. Links to related articles included.
Julie Hulten, a Wallingford school system retiree, has been one of our history room volunteer researchers for several years. For a post-graduate course, Julie recently completed a thoroughly researched outline of Hamden history that encapsulates nearly three-hundred years of Hamden history highlights. Enjoy this great read!
Paul Saubestre's research provides insights into the origins and the present locations of the surviving highway Milestones. All but one of Hamden's milestones have survived along Whitney Avenue - same for Hartford Turnpike.
In a book borrowed from a friend years ago, local historian and Hamden Historical Society researcher Anthony Griego first learned of four skeletons disinterred from what had been the cemetery at the former St. John's Roman Catholic Church, adjacent to what is now Yale-New Haven Hospital. Reporter Liz Teitz interviewed Tony for a September 9, 2019 article in The New Haven Register, which sheds some light on the mystery surrounding those four skeletons - one of them resulting from a judicial hanging.
A couple of Hamden churches, a firehouse, the floor above a hardware store, and even the building that housed Hamden's first telephone exchange, are among the former locations of Hamden's earliest public libraries. Check out Dave Johnson's tour of Hamden's libraries from the turn of the last century to the present.
The late Henry and Lyndell Betzner lived on Maher Avenue. Mrs. Betzner was an avid tag sale attendee. When the Betzner's daughters held their own tag sale years later, some of Mrs. Betzner's Whitneyville memorabilia was included. A couple of the items were purchased by Stan Troski, which he generously donated to the HHS last year. Check it out.
In April 2019, Quinnipiac University junior Shayla Colon and fellow student Joe Torgerson visited the Al Gorman History Room at Miller Library to conduct research for Ms. Colon's project, "Revisiting Hamden." From vintage photos and interviews with longtime Hamdenites, Ms. Colon has painted a portrait of a town that has evolved from the tiny agrarian community of colonial times to a vibrant municipality of more than 60,000 individuals, perhaps on the verge of "cityhood."