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100 Years Ago, August 1917: Local


100 Years Ago, August 1917: In and Around The Haddams

selected from the pages of the Penny Press and lightly annotated by Sally Haase

Heat Wave, Middletown, August 1, 1917: The thermometer reached a level one degree higher than yesterday, or 105 in the shade along Main street. Manufacturing throughout the town was practically at a standstill on account of the heat. [And I thought global warming was a recent phenomenon.]

Intense Heat, New Haven, August 1, 1917: Following yesterday’s record heat which took a toll of seven deaths in Connecticut and caused scores of prostrations in many cities and towns. Practically all the factories dismissed their help on their arrival for work this morning. Thousands slept in the parks and the shore and trolleys were taxed to their capacity late into this morning, carrying many persons to their homes after an evening at the shore. Local stores closed at noon and most of the streets were deserted.

Higganum, August 3, 1917: A very severe thunder shower visited this town yesterday doing a great deal of damage. Trees were torn up by the roots and blown-down. A tree in one place fell on the house, tearing the chimney down and knocking a hole in the roof. Telephones were put out of commission; wires of the electric lights were down.

Haddam, August 6, 1917: The community picnic on Saturday proved a success. Harry W. Arnold introduced Hon. E.W. Hazen, who gave a fine address. He spoke of the part which the sons and daughters of Haddam had always borne in the history of the country, of their readiness to serve whenever and wherever needed, reminded the younger people that they had a reputation and example to live up to and exhorted them to honor and cherish the flag. Capt. George Parmalee, the oldest resident, 93 years of age, assisted in unfurling the flag, which was cheered as it floated out to the breeze. Julia A. Russell, Evelyn Clarke and Betty Ingersoll recited the Connecticut hymn to the flag. The children of the Home sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Higganum, August 6, 1917: A young man working for Mr. Latshaw, of Haddam, was struck by an auto near Olson’s store, Saturday evening. He had just come from Haddam by jitney and was crossing the road near the store when a large auto coming from the opposite direction struck him and throwing him[sic] about ten feet, breaking his leg and three ribs.

Ponsett, August 7, 1917: Miss Alice Foote will give a demonstration in canning, at the National Slovaks’ hall, Ponsett, Thursday evening. Miss Ester Knowles will act as interpreter.

Moodus, August 9, 1917: Mr. Klapper, the Main street baker, had a smash-up to his auto on Wednesday by running into the hitch rail opposite the churches on Methodist Hill.

Middletown, August 10, 1917: Last night seven companies of the Home Guard, armed, fully equipped and ready for service, with 320 men and 20 line officers, were assembled in this city in two hours and fourteen minutes after the call came in.

Higganum, August 11, 1917: Our citizens of Haddam and Higganum have cause to feel proud of their Home Guard Company. At the quick mobilization demonstration for the governor and the staff of army officers, in Middletown, our company made by far the best showing of any, both in point of time in appearing for duty and in the proportion of its total membership. Colonel Elliot announced that greater credit was due our company than any other summoned. One reason why this was possible was because the officers of our company had notification which provided for a complete delivery of the order in six minutes to every man of the organization. Captain Kitchell was so pleased that he cancelled the Friday drill and took all the men to Stueck’s for a little supper after dismissal from the ranks.

Tylerville, August 14, 1917: The thirty-ninth annual camp meeting of the Life and Advent denomination will be held at the camp ground commencing August 16, 1917. Several hundred will be in attendance from all parts of the country. Special interest centers about this session because of the entrance of the United Sates into the world war. The calling of young men to do military duty is also causing considerable stir among Adventists, a denomination opposed to war. Many of the leaders believe this war to be the battle of Armagedn prophesied to take place at the end of the world.

Camp Bethel

Washington, August 17, 1917: Much surprise, speculation and not a little dissatisfaction is being shown among local shippers at a stringent new order…which restricts all shipping and sailing vessels plying in the sound from the use of any waters in this vicinity, except those north of a line drawn from the whistling buoy just south of Cornfield Light vessel to the buoy south of Middle Ground Light at Stratford Shoal.
Haddam, August 20, 1917: The state police moved the scene of their activities to Haddam, yesterday, on Saybrook road between Higganum and Chester. Sixteen autoists landed in the meshes of the law, the crowd returning from the shore being rich picking for the officers.

Saybrook, August 21, 1917: Eight persons lost their lives and one was injured when a locomotive running on the New Haven road struck an automobile at the Ferry grade crossing, 500 feet east of the local railroad station last midnight, smashing the Overland automobile to bits and crushing the occupants to pieces. The party was returning from visiting the troops at Niantic. The flagman riding on the engine called to the engineer to stop too late to avoid a crash. The car had nine occupants, one of which, a little girl, will live. The Ferry crossing is said to be one of the most dangerous in the state.

Haddam Neck, August 27, 1917: Much interest is being taken to make the Haddam Neck Fair bigger and better than ever. Committees are busy setting the grounds in order.

Excellent ferry accommodations have been made for autos, cattle, teams and passengers, from the Haddam dock to the Haddam Neck fair on Labor day. Bring your babies for the baby show.

Haddam Neck, August 31, 1917: Charles Strom has finished moving the school house. It now occupies an attractive location adjoining the Congregational church. The children will now enjoy a playground of over an acre, an advantage which seems generally to have been denied school children in New England.

100 years ago, much has changed and, then again, nothing has changed.