Lordship Casino & firehouse

LORDSHIP CENTER

Lordship Center remains to this day the heart of Lordship. It became the center of the little village in the late 1890's as Lordship started to become developed. The Trolley line ran up Pauline Street, turned right onto Jefferson, past the Lordship Memorial Green, through the Center and down towards the water. The Lordship Casino held the first Lordship School on the second floor and the first firehouse on the first floor. It was also the commercial and cultural center of Lordship.

Lordship Casino & firehouse

Lordship Casino & firehouse

1920 Jefferson St with trolley tracks

1918 Jefferson St with trolley tracks

1920 Lordship Green

1918 Lordship Green

1920 Lordship Green with Trolley

1918 Lordship Green with Trolley

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1926 Halloween

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Center 1910

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Casino Being Built

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Casino Being Built

CasinoInterior

Casino Interior

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Center Houses

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Center Houses

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Center 1916

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Stratford Rd 1914

1920 with trolley tracks in foreground

1918 with First Avenue in foreground

Lordship construction

Lordship construction

Casinoside

Lordship Casino

1947 Gertl's Drugstore

1947 Gerstl's Drugstore

1920 Lordship towards rotary

1918 Lordship towards rotary

Above photos courtesy of the Stratford Historical Society

November 18, 1912: HANDSOME CASINO FIRST OF MANY NEW BUILDINGS AT LORDSHIP MANOR: Plans for Palatial Hotel on the Bluff Accepted and Ground Will Be Broken in the Spring: The new Casino at Lordship Manor has been completed and is attracting much attention from visitor to the place. It is the first building in the series planned by the company to be completed and it gives a fair idea of the manner in which the Wilkenda Land Company, the owners of the manor, intends to carry out their ideas. This Casino is built for the benefit of visitors and residents of the Manor. It is 100 feet square on the ground and two stories high with broad verandas on every side. The lower floor is devoted to the garage, chauffeurs quarters, office and two retiring rooms. The second story is reached by a handsome broad staircase finished in weather oak. On the second floor is one large room to be used for dancing or other amusements agreeable to the residents of the Manor. The floor is of white maple brightly polished. The side walls and ceiling are of beaver board paneled with weathered oak which is also used in all the trim of the room. A broad balcony extends out from the floor from which a fine view of the Sound can be obtained and also of the games in the four tennis courts below. Thirty beautiful residences have been built at the Manor since the Wilkenda Company assumed the management of the place. These residences are all of the better class and are a credit to the builders and the architects. Contracts have already been made to build 30 more next spring as soon as the weather permits. Architects plans for the big hotel which has been in contemplation for a long time, have been adopted and work will be begun in the spring. These plans call for the finest hotel building along the shore. It will contain 50 rooms and will be equipped with every modern luxury. The site selected is on the bluff near the lighthouse which overlooks the Sound. The Lordship, as it has been called here for two centuries at least, is considered the finest location for a summer hotel and residences anywhere in the state. Its southern extremity, Point-No-Point, juts out into the Sound miles further than any other land in Connecticut. It is an ideal spot and it is fortunate for the town of Stratford that it has passed into the hands of a company with ample capital to develop it. The Wilkenda Company has millions to use at Lordship Manor if it is needed and every cent will be used if there is any consistent demand for it. It has been decided to abandon the plan to extend the trolley line across Long Beach to Sea Breeze. The line will be built down Main Street from Hards corner to the highway across the meadows. The assistance of the most talented landscape gardener in the world has been called in to lay out the property. One of the features of the Manor will be Victoria Lawn, modeled after the thoroughfare of the same name in London. It will extend from the Stratford road half a mile to shore where it will end within a width of 200 feet. At the northern end it will be 60 feet wide. This plan will enable every residence on the street to command a view of the Sound. Lawns, flowers, gardens and other attractions will add to the natural attractiveness of the location. A.W. Burritt is building a handsome residence for himself about 200 feet from this street facing the Sound. It is a model of all that is latest in home construction. All of the residences to be built in this part of the property will be mansions of the most expensive kind. Another handsome street will be Sound View Avenue, two miles long and 100 feet wide which will connect with Hollister Avenue and furnish the principal artery to and through the property. The old Lordship farm house which has stood on the point for over a century will be removed carefully and transformed into an English tea room and grill to be open all year round to furnish residents and visitors with refreshments. The ancient character of the house will be preserved as much as possible and it is proposed to make it the show place of the settlement. The Bridgeport Hydraulic Company is still at work extending its water mains through the streets. A steam excavator has taken the place of 60 men who were at work on the job. This machine is operated by three men and does the work as fast and satisfactorily as the three score men did. Many months will pass before water mains are installed in all the streets. It is an enormous project and the largest the hydraulic company has ever been called upon to carry out. It is expected that in a few years the Lordship Manor project will double the grand list of the town, which means that it will pay half of the taxes. Under these conditions the Wilkenda Company should receive a hearty welcome from everyone and especially taxpayers who are apprehending an increase in the already high tax rate.

August 10, 1917: LORDSHIP POST OFFICE: The local post office which has been serving Lordship winter and summer for the past two years by delivery to lock boxes located at the school house at Lordship is to give a house to house delivery during the remainder of the summer and this will probably lead to full delivery service the year around as soon as the section is provided with good connecting sidewalks and streets named.

April 29, 1938: NEW STORES OPEN FRIDAY IN LORDSHIP AREA: Malafronte Renovates Building As First Community Center Of Town: The first community shopping center in Stratford will open in Lordship, the beach suburb of Stratford on Friday in the building known for many years as the Casino at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Stratford Road. The building, purchased by James Malafronte of Stratford has been completely remodeled and will feature in addition to a complete fruit, vegetable and meat market operated by Mr. Malafronte as the West Shore Market, a community barber shop, a tailoring and cleaning establishment with a full line of mens wear, a place where orders will be taken for shoe repairing and a combination drug store and soda fountain. The Community Center also scheduled to include a beauty salon and other features when the entire plan of renovation is completed has been since 1910 the axis around which the district has grown. For many years the hall on the second floor of the building was used first as a school room, then as a community dance hall and as a temporary library headquarters, a dancing school and was at one time the home of the Lordship Country Club. Since purchasing the building from the Lordship Park Association through James Staple, Mr. Malafronte has expended considerable money in completely rebuilding the structure to make it one of the most modern in this section. Final construction work was completed this week and it was not until Thursday that the electricians finished their job of placing the electrical fixtures. With 20 years of market experience, Mr. Malafronte will bring to Lordship an established meat, fruit and vegetable business which he has been identified in the East End of Bridgeport for many years. His market in Stratford Avenue was one of the most popular of the East End establishments. The West Shore Market opens on Friday morning with a most complete line of groceries and meats. The store has been modernly equipped including a new refrigerating unit to protect the high class meats to be purchased fresh daily from the leading wholesale houses in Bridgeport. The concrete sidewalks around the exterior of the building and the modern garden spot to be planted on both sides of the main entrance to the building were constructed by Charles Heimann of Stratford, sidewalk contractor. Although not a part of the community center building, P. Tristini proprietor of the Soundview Grill at Lordship Beach front joined with the residents of Lordship in welcoming the new community center to Lordship. The Lordship Community Shoppe, a part of the center, is operated by Fred Marino of Stratford. The store will carry a full line of patent medicines, ice cream, cigars, cigarettes, magazines and newspapers in addition to featuring a special soda fountain service. All the stores in the center will feature free delivery on any order. The Lordship Shop will be operated by J.V. Palacino who for 15 years was with the Arcade Barber Shop in Bridgeport. The shop will specialize in womens and childrens hair cuts in addition to its regular service to the men of the community. All new modern and sanitary fixtures have been installed during the past week. James Roomy, who for 15 years has been in the tailoring and cleaning business, will open the Lordship Cleaners, a part of the community center, with a full line of mens wear and tailoring and cleaning. Mr. Roomy plans to specialize in alterations and lining work and general repairing in addition to his cleaning business. As a convenience to the people patronizing the community center orders for shoe repairing can be left with the Lordship Cleaners.

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Ballroom 1917

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Dance 1919

1938LordshipBarberShop

1938 Lordship Barber Shop

BiebelStore1963

Fred Marino

PlukasPharmacy

Plukas Pharmacy

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Hirsch & Stratton 1961

LordshipPizza2016

Lordship Pizza 2016

May 20, 1938: NEW BEAUTY SALON AT LORDSHIP WILL BE FIRST OPENED: For the first time since the shore community was settled, some 27 or 28 years ago, Lordship is to have a beauty shop. Mrs. S. Birdseye who for ten years has been known throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts for her ability in beauty culture announced this week that by Saturday she will be prepared to meet the residents of Lordship and Stratford at her new Lordship Beauty Shop, an addition to the Lordship Community Center at Jefferson Street and Stratford Road. The beauty shop will be located on the second floor of the Community Center building. The color scheme will be royal blue and antique white with chrome fixtures. The shop will be one of the most modern in this section with all new equipment, using the latest in the field of beauty culture. Mrs. Birdseye will specialize in permanent waves, marcelling, finger waving, facials and manicuring. The addition of the modern beauty shop to the community center assures the residents of Lordship of almost every type of business in one building.

May 20, 1938: LORDSHIP MAY SOON HAVE A POST OFFICE SUBSTATION: Fred Marino proprietor of the Lordship Community Shoppe announced this week that application has been made to United States Post Office officials for a post office substation at the Lordship Community Center.

July 29, 1938 - HARVEY HUTCHINSON OPENS NEW STORE IN LORDSHIP DISTRICT: Former Lovell Employee Starts General Store In Community Center, Native Of Town: Harvey Hutchinson has become a merchant! For 16 years, from a few hours each day after school until he finally became a full time worker, Harvey labored at the H.C. Lovell Company in Stratford Center. He waited on counter, made keys, is a licensed electrician and in his spare time took a lot of kidding. Now Harvey is in business for himself. Announcement was made this week that the F. H. Hutchinson store will open on Saturday as a part of the Lordship Community Center at Stratford Road and Jefferson Street. The Hutchinson store will carry a full line of hardware, paint supplies, electrical supplies and fixtures, garden tools, household furnishings, sporting goods. In fact there will be everything but the pot belly stove and the cracker barrel a real general store. Mr. Hutchinson who lives at West Broad Street with his mother, Mrs. Belle Hutchinson, reveals that in time his mother will take over one half of the store space for a dry goods establishment. Real estate listings will also be available at the store. Harvey was graduated from Stratford High School in 1933 and is well known throughout the town. Among the features of the new store, we are told will be free delivery to any part of Stratford. Mr. Hutchinson also plans to continue in the electrical field.

February 15, 1946: LORDSHIP RESIDENTS UNITE IN HIGH PRAISE OF ERNEST GERSTL: Ernest Gerstl, PHG, received unanimous permission from the Town Planning Board on Wednesday of last week to subdivide two lots in Jefferson Street and the board at the same time granted a change of zone from Residence B to Business 1 for a corner portion of the two properties in order that he may construct a couple of store rooms upon it. The unanimous approval by the Planning Board was not the remarkable feature of the evening for most decisions voted by that tribunal are unanimous. The truly remarkable feature was the unanimity with which Lordship citizens endorsed not only the two petitions presented by Mr. Gerstl but went to pains to extol his as an excellent pharmacist and merchant generally and helpful friend and neighbor. George Moore chairman of the Planning Board took formal notice of the unusual situation and commended the Tenth District residents for their interest in government. Milton Hausman as counsel for Mr. Gerstl explained matters to the board. The petitioner has been conducting the Community Pharmacy at 216 Jefferson Street for five years or so. Diagonally across Jefferson Street are lots 442 and 443 which he owns; in order to meet requirements of the zoning ordinance he could not divided the lots as he wished without the boards approval. The portion on which he wishes to build stores is at the corner of Jefferson Street and Stratford Road 100 feet along Jefferson and seventy-five feet along the other highway. Probably two stores will be built although perhaps all the area which was rezoned as Business 1 will not be occupied. The audience at the hearing included quite a number of Tenth District residents. When Chairman Moore asked all in favor of the petition to rise some fifteen or more Lordship folks got to their feet. This change is necessary for the proper expansion of the Lordship business community, said Cliff Hutchison of 109 First Avenue. We used to have quite an area for a business zone but the town has taken over much of it and probably will take the remainder. I am very much in favor of these applications and hope they will be granted, said Martin Tristine of 241 First Avenue. Mr. Gerstl is the best druggist we have ever had in Lordship. Another neighbor told the board Mr. Gerstl always served the community well and that during the war years when help was scarce the pharmacist would, should need arise, close his store to deliver medicine regardless of weather. Not a hint of opposition appeared when Chairman Moore asked if anyone wished to speak against the petitions.

The 1940 Lordship Center Fire

1940 Lordship Center fire

1940 Lordship Center fire

NOVEMBER 29, 1940 - LORDSHIP BLOCK GUTTED BY FIRE: Five Stores and Apartment Hit by Early Morning Blaze. A $30,000 fire which stated in the cellar of a two story business block at Jefferson Street and Stratford Road in Lordship and spread to the second floor kept three fire companies busy for three hours early this morning and provided a spectacular show for late passersby and residents of that neighborhood. The building known as the Lordship Community Center had five stores on the ground floor and an apartment on the second floor, occupied by Martin Tristini, his wife and their baby. Mr. Tristini is the proprietor of the Soundview Grill in Lordship. The family was forced to the street and the apartment was gutted as the flames hurdling the stores on the first floor soared upward and swept through to the roof. The fire started in a pile of paper boxes near a hot furnace pipe in the cellar of the Community Pharmacy owned by Fred Marino of Ocean Avenue, attracted the attention of Fred Donaldson Jr., son of the captain of the Lordship Fire Department at 12:20 as he was on the way home from work. Donaldson gave the alarm and Lordship Engine Company No. 3 responded. A second alarm was sounded immediately and the Stratford Center fire department arrived a few minutes later, followed by members of the Nichols Avenue Company of volunteers who fought the blaze while their truck stood by in the Center Engine house to answer any alarms from other sections of the town. The stucco exterior of the building made it difficult for firemen to penetrate the walls, while a brisk southeast wind whipped the flames so that sparks carried more than a block away. It was not until after 3 a.m. that the Center firemen and the volunteers returned to their engine houses and the Lordship firemen remained until 10 a.m. The owner of the building is James Malafronte, proprietor of the West Shore Meat Market on the ground floor. His store and the others on the first floor were badly damaged by fire and water. A restaurant owned by Samuel Donofreo, a barbershop owned by John Cicero, the Lordship Beauty Shop and the pharmacy all were damaged. The building was erected in 1912. Mr. Marino the druggist had been negotiating for the sale of his business for several weeks and the deal had fallen through on Wednesday he told friends today.

December 27, 1940: MALAFRONTES BUILDING CAN BE RESTORED: When preliminary examination of the fire-gutted building of James Malafronte in the Lordship section brought an estimated damage of $30,000 those Lordship people who are trying to eliminate all business from the section thought they was a chance to get rid of Mr. Malafrontes business building. According to one of Stratfords planning regulations, no burned structure may be rebuilt without approval of the planning board if it has been damaged to one half its value. In the case of Malafronte, half the value was $30,000. It looked bad for Malafrontes investment. But a subsequent investigation by Fire Chief Allen Judson brought a revised figure of the damage done and the revised figure was only $20,000. The insurance men agreed with the chief on the revised estimate. Consequently, Mr. Malafronte has been given a building permit to rebuild his structure and business will soon be going on as usual. He says it will be a credit to the community when it is done over. But he cannot make some of the Lordship people happy about it, no matter how he tries. This reminds readers of the Stratford News that nothing has ever been heard about the cause of the fire which almost destroyed this building. There were some very suspicious circumstances connected with it and it was announced that a probe was under way. Nothing new has happened in regard to Peggy Duanes restaurant which part of Lordship would like to close up. The no-business-in-Lordship group have scored a victory in Mrs. Duanes case. By stopping her from securing a full liquor permit, they have succeeded in driving her out of business. Mrs. Duane is going to take herself and family out of Lordship and is only waiting for a purchaser of her property. An important announcement may be made by Mrs. Duane shortly after the New Year. When that announcement comes, the war drums will again roll over the dunes of Lordship.

1939 - LORDSHIP BUSINESS PERMIT IS DENIED: Davey Advised to Obtain Approval of Nearby Residents for Block. A request by Peter Davey of Bridgeport that a small area in Lordship be changed from a residential to a business zone was denied last night by the Stratford Town Planning Board at a meeting in the town court room, Davey was instructed to petition for the change and present the signatures of property owners in an 800 foot radius approving the change. Davey in a letter to the board stated that he owns property on the northwest corner of Stratford Road and Jefferson Street that in 1933 was changed from business to residential zone without notice to him He plans the construction of a business block if the zone is changed it was said.

December 5, 1941: NEW PHARMACY IN LORDSHIP INVITES VISIT: Recently Remodeled Store Offers Complete Stock of Drugs, Medicines and Courtesy: Although Lordship residents boast of living in a healthy section, there are times when they are likely to need medicines and other things that can be found in an up-to-date pharmacy, Ernest Gerstl and Michael Piazza had this in mind when they opened their new Community Pharmacy at 201 Jefferson Street in the Lordship section of the town and they are now ready to cater to the most exacting. The store is of the modern type, with new fixtures and a complete stock of drugs, medicines and other articles. It was recently enlarged and the two managers, who have had a life time of experience in the business, are ready to aid anyone who needs their assistance. A registered pharmacist is always on duty and a doctors prescription will receive special attention. Mr.Gerstl has conducted similar stores, one in Fairfield and another in East Norwalk and Mr. Piazza has had similar experience. All residents of Lordship are welcome to call at any time and look over the store, whether they are in a buying mood or not and discover that even a drug store can be attractive. Those who are not in need of medicines may find something else they may be looking for and with courteous treatment assured to all who call; the visit will be a pleasant one.

October 12, 1945: WEST SHORE MARKET: Stock And Service Won Friends During War Years And Plans To Advance To New Esteem Among Patrons: During the difficult war years when the food situation was tight and stores all over America were finding it difficult to provide amply for their patrons, West Shore Market kept to a high level of efficiency in its work and made a name for itself by catering to the requirements of those who visited it. Located at 220 Jefferson Street, Lordship, West Shore Market has instituted the best methods and measures of endeavor in all its work and commands a place of esteem and consequence that is deserved. In the daily plan of endeavor here is more than just the filling of market baskets and seeing that customers get as much food as possible under present limitations. The spirit of neighborliness and friendliness that prevails has been largely instrumental in building the market up in the minds of its customers and enabling it to retain the standing of a leader. Fairmont frozen foods that save housewives needless hours of work in the kitchen are available in excellent selection, while meats, groceries, fruits and vegetables are contained in stock. Baked and dairy products add to the variety at West Shore. Anthony Malafronte Sr., established the business, but gives full credit to his wife, two sons and a daughter for helping him bring it so far along the road to success. Mrs. Malafronte aids in managing the store while Tony Jr., Gabe and Rose assist their mother and dad.

CenterDump1947

Center Dump 1947

January 23, 1948: LORDSHIP CLEANERS: Complete is the word which best describes the quality work and service by Lordship Cleaners, 205 Jefferson Street, Lordship. An enterprise which has captured a wide share of public approval and patronage since its inception in September 1946, this firm is a boom to many housewives through its program of dependable aid. Beautiful dry cleaning of mens and womens garments and uniforms, rugs, draperies, slip cover and other fineries; cleaning, glazing and storage of furs and fur garments feature the offerings. Repairs and alterations are carefully made as needed, requested and desired. Raymond Babcock, proprietor has experience spanning 12 years in this specialized field of endeavor. Capable assistance by his wife, Mr. Edna Babcock enables a detailed thoroughness in the entire schedule to keep customer satisfaction prompt and pleasant. One truck is operated. Items entrusted to this dry cleaning firm look and serve like new again, after the expert and careful work is completed there. The firm thus saves housewives time and trouble by taking the responsibility for the upkeep of all garments, furs and fineries.

June 1, 1952: CUSTOMERS RALLY TO AID BEDDED LORDSHIP BARBER: Down at the Polo Grounds, Sal “The Barber: Maglie is the toast of the town because of his baseball pitching genius. But in Lordship, there is a fellow named Joseph The Barber Dubee just as popular and really a barber by trade. In fact, Joe is so well liked that during the past few weeks his many customers decided to show the 46 year old trimmer just where their sentiments lie. Joe who has been a Bridgeport native through the years, was knocked into bed by a virus bug. Well for a barber, especially when he is a one man shop (The Lordship Barber Shop in Lordship Center) this could be fatal. Back in his Noble Avenue home, Joe took stock; there would be no money coming in for weeks, there would be doctor bills to pay and he was not working. But Joe did not reckon with his tonsorial fans in Lordship. Led by Ernie Gerstl, owner of the Gerstl Pharmacy on Stratford Road, Lordship, Joe’s faithful decided to take matters into their own hands. Ernie set up a large glass jar at his heavily frequented soda fountain. And on the jar was appended a sign which read: Your barber and mine is most seriously ill. He will not cut our hair this week or perhaps for several weeks. To my mind it would be a most cheerful and satisfying gesture if I left my $1 for the haircut I did not get this week for a man I like to do business with. Signed Ernie. There was not reluctance in the ranks. While Lordship hairs have been growing longer every day, the glass jar has been filling just as rapidly. A call to Joe revealed he knew nothing of the nice thing done by his friendly customers. They are a wonderful bunch of people. I hope to be back tomorrow. Kinda makes you want to get back, Joe said. An ex-Navy serviceman, Joe is married and has worked at the Lordship Barber Shop for nearly three years. If the contents of Ernies jar are any indicator, those three years have been good ones.

NOVEMBER 12, 1955 - WILLIAM PARSON HAS NEW NAME FOR LORDSHIP STORE: William Parson of Housatonic Avenue, who recently purchased the Lordship Gift and Tag shop, 348 Stratford Road, has announced that effective today the store, catering to young folks' fashion, will be known us The Lordship Shop and will be open daily from 10 a.m., to 3:30 p.m. Mr. Parson said that Mrs. Katherine Brockway, former Girl Scout official and active in PTA and youth activities of the town, will manage the store.

1957 Lordship Center Ads

BeautyAD

Beauty Parlor

CleanerAD

Cleaners

HardwareAD

Hardware Store

MarinoAD

Marinos Store

PenguinFoodAD

Penguin Food

PharmacyAD

Pharmacy

WestShoreAD

West Shore Market

October 2, 1960: THE BATTLE OF LORDSHIP CENTER: The battle of Lordship Center residents with the Malafronte brothers goes on. In the latest skirmish, the embattled home owners are opposing grocer Anthony Malafrontes plans to establish a gas station on a lot he owns at Jefferson Street and Stratford Road across from his store. The grocer is not adding to his popularity by telling the protestors that if he is balked in the gas station move, he will rent the lot for a drive-in refreshment stand for which no special approval is needed. Opponents will be on hand Tuesday evening when the Stratford Zoning Board of Appeals holds a hearing on Malafronte’s application for approval of the location for the gas station. They will bring with them a petition which is being circulated the weekend on which residential property owners can register their protests. As of Friday, over 50 persons had signed the petition. Mrs. Norman Coleborne and Mrs. Alfred Zotak of First Avenue and John Pape of Pauline Street are leading the protest movement. Principal objections are that a gas station in the center area will bring a dangerous increase in traffic and create noise and odor. The traffic safety hazard for young children in the area is particularly cited by parents. They also say there is not need for another gas station in Lordship which now has two. The center area is partially zoned for business to provide for the establishment of convenience stores such as a pharmacy, grocery stores, a cleaner, etc. Malafronte operates his store in a building owned by his brother James. It is designated as a nonconforming use in a residential zone. The lot in question was formerly residential. Owner Anthony Malafronte got it zoned for business about a year ago on the plea that he wanted to put up a small store there for his own use. There were no objections. A few years ago, the home owners were similarly aroused when James Malafronte started enclosing a part of his building without obtaining permission for extension of the nonconforming use. The work was halted by the Town building department. Subsequently the Zoning Board of Appeals after hearing protests from the residents decreed that the work already done could remain rejected Malafrontes plan to create offices in his building and to use land at the rear of the building fronting on residential Pauline Street for off street parking. The unused portion of the property becomes overgrown with weeds during the summer. In the past two years, Malafronte has failed to heed Health Department warnings.

April 25, 1968 - GUNTHER RECEIVED WORD ON LORDSHIP POST OFFICE: State Senator George Gunther who has for the past months been working on getting a post office for Lordship received news this week that the Boston Regional Office has received a bid from a merchant in Lordship to locate the post office in his establishment. In February Gunther had made inquiries of the regional office to see what could be done to get the post office returned to the Lordship area. The regional director, Ronald Steele said a contract unit was formerly operated in the Lordship area, however the contractor resigned and we have been unable to find anyone interested in the operation of a contract unit. Gunther explained that a contract unit is one in which a contractor submits a competitive bid for the operation of a station or a branch. The bid is specified for an annual amount of money. The director had told Gunther that because the office could not obtain an acceptable contract for the operation of a post office that no further action could be taken. He also said that if an interest is shown in Lordship Branch Post Office by bids, he would be happy to reopen the case at that time. Gunther said that the office receive a bid and now if the bid is acceptable to the regional office a post office might appear in the Hobbyshop, 245 Jefferson Street owned by Harold Walsh of Milford. Gunther who has been on the post office project for months said that he had been contacted by Lordship Improvement Association several months ago and has been working on getting the service for Lordship residents ever since.

APRIL 28, 1968 - Lordship Post Office to Reopen As Senior Citizens Win Battle: Through the efforts of the Lordship Senior Citizens club and Congressman Robert N. Giaimo, the residents of the Lordship area will once again have a Post Office contract station, effective June 1. The announcement was made last week by Rep. Giaimo in a letter to Mrs. Marie F. Manion, of Ocean Avenue, president of the local club for elderly citizens of the Lordship district. Rep. Giaimo's letter, dated April 11, said, "It is with great pleasure that I advise you that Lordship is getting a contract station, effective June 1. It will be located in a hobby shop at 245 Jefferson Street, Lordship operated by Harold Walsh. I understand this location is only about 40 feet from and in the same building as the drug store where the previous contract station was conducted for a number of years. "I cannot tell you how pleased I am with this matter and I know that the reopening of a postal facility in Lordship will be welcomed by many. I am delighted that I had this opportunity to assist, Mrs. Manion. You may be certain that I am always glad to help whenever possible, and it will be a great measure to hear from you at any time you believe I may be of any further service." The battle by the senior citizens club for reappointment of a Post Office contract station for the area, which is located several miles from Stratford and Bridgeport Post Offices, began last November, after the previous contractor had announced he did not wish to renew his contract. The Lordship district, located in the southernmost tip of Stratford, along the Long Island Sound coast, had been served by a post office station for the past 27 years. The area has approximately 6,000 residents, who must travel to the center of Stratford by auto, as there is no bus service from Lordship to other sections of the town. The cancellation of the postal service struck the senior citizens hardest, because most do not drive, and often could not leave their home and were without mail contact to the outside world, Mrs. Manion said. After contacting various postal officials and making personal visits to the small number of merchants in the Lordship area, without success, Mrs. Manion drew up a petition and presented it to a regular meeting of the Lordship Seniors, requesting that each of the 54 members present sign the document for submission to President Johnson, Postmaster General Lawrence O'Brien and Congressman Donald Irwin, who, in turn, referred the group to Congressman Giaimo, who represents the area. A portion of the petition included the paragraph, Our interest in this matter is great indeed and, as substantiated the signatures of the citizens the attached page, all members of this Lordship community, more than attests to their sincerity and the urgency of this request." The document also stated that the former contractor for the postal service "reportedly realized 1966 stamp sales amounting to $18,000, not including countless packages and sales of Postal Money Orders. Because of the heavy influx of mail submitted daily by residents of this community, he was forced to disband this service for lack of sufficient funds to hire additional personnel." Cries of protest arose from Mrs. Manion and other members of the Lordship Senior Citizens club when last Thursday they read a local weekly newspaper that State Sen. George L. Gunther had arranged for the renewal of the postal contract station in the Lordship area. The article stated, "Sen. George L. Gunther, who for the past month has been working on getting a post office for Lordship, received news this week that the Boston Regional office has received a bid from a merchant to locate the post office in his establishment. In February, Gunther had made inquiries of the regional office lo see what could be done to get the post office returned to the Lordship area. Gunther, who has been on the post office project for months, said that he had been contacted by the Lordship Improvement Association several months ago and has been working on it ever since." Mrs. Florence Davis, publicity chairman for the Lordship Seniors' club, stated that, "at each weekly meeting, Mrs. Manion would inform us of her activities in trying to secure the post office station. We all wrote letters to Congressman Giaimo; we petitioned our neighbors, and went door to door looking for a place to locate the substation." Commenting on Mrs. Manion's individual efforts, Mrs. Davis said, "She deserves credit for working so diligently toward obtaining this project. All the people of Lordship will appreciate this important service which will be made available to the public once more through her hard work." Contacted yesterday, Mrs. Manion declared that the seniors' group "was unaware that any efforts to relocate the substation in Lordship" were being made by Sen. Gunther, who had not contacted the group at any time. "We do not feel that it is fair that Sen. Gunther should take credit for something that we senior citizens worked so hard for," Mrs. Manion said. She added that, when the first announcement of the cancellation of the post office station was made, the seniors contacted various merchants, organizations and individuals, seeking either another location for the station or support in their efforts to gain renewal of the service. When their requests went unanswered, Mrs. Manion said, "We decided to do it ourselves," even though the post office will be enjoyed by all residents of the area. It was reported that Mr. Walsh, resident of Milford, plans to operate a hobby shop at the Jefferson Street address, serving clientele interested in model railroading. He was said to have selected the Lordship site in response to a classified advertisement by owner's of the building, which stipulated that the rentee include in his operations the management of a postal contract station.

Pharmacy1967

Pharmacy 1967

Barber1967ad

Barber 1967 ad

BarberAD1967

Barber 1967 ad

Gallery1970

Gallery 1970

Gallery1970A

Gallery 1970

BiebelStore1963

Biebel Store 1963

June 17, 1977 - POSTAL STATION DUE AT LORDSHIP SITE: A postal contract station will open June 20 in the Lordship area of Stratford for the convenience of south Stratford residents. Postmaster William Keller announced. The station, located in the Nationwide Insurance office at 316 Stratford Road, Stratford, will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday hours will be 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thomas Beauchene of Ryegate Terrace, Stratford, the manager of the Nationwide Insurance office, was awarded the contract for the postal subunit, All postal services will be provided at this contract station.

WestshoreMarketJune1988

Westshore Market 1988

WestshoreMarketJune1988a

Westshore Market 1988

1970s to 90s Lordship Center Ads

Directory1976pharmacy

1976 Pharmacy

Directory1987video

1987 Lordship Video

Directory1992A

1992 Penguin Food

Directory1998deli

1998 deli

Directory1998lady

1998 barber

The 1989 Lordship Center Fire

April 19, 1989 - FIRE DESTROYS SHOPPING COMPLEX IN LORDSHIP: A block of stores in the towns Lordship section was extensively damaged after the second of two separate fires burned down a small shopping complex Wednesday night, fire officials said. An 8:14 p.m. call brought firefighters to the Lordship Video Store on Jefferson Street after a blaze broke out near the stores video drop off slot. The fire had little time to spread and was burning only minutes before fire personnel arrived, so damage was minimal according to Assistant Fire Chief Dan Chanda. Three hours after the blaze was extinguished however firefighters received another call and found the entire block of stores at 220 Jefferson Street, including the video store as well as Lordship Hardware and Electric, West Shore Market, Jans Dressmaking and Alterations and a barber shop in flames according to a fire official. In all, five stores and four private apartments were gutted after the 11:30 p.m. blaze. Nearly 20 firefighters representing all the fire personnel in the town were at the scene all night fighting the fire officials said. Fire officials were still at the scene early this morning and some of the debris continued to smolder. Firefighters said the first blaze is suspicious in origin and a fire department source said whoever started the first fire may have returned to set the second after engine companies left the scene, although exact cause of the fire and what store it started in was undetermined. No one was injured and the residents of the four second floor apartments fled the scene after the first minor fire and are staying elsewhere. No one could be reached at any of the stores. Gabriel Malafronte of Hamden, owner of the property was unsure what he was going to do next. Malafronte who said his family has owned the building 40 or 50 years said he has insurance but not enough to rebuild the complex. He expressed dismay that he was not notified of the second more damaging blaze and found out only when he arrived at the property this morning.

1989 Lordship Fire

1989 Lordship Fire

1989 Lordship Center Fire

1989 Lordship Center Fire

The Lordship Casino

The Lordship Casino

1989 Center Fire

1989 Center Fire

Centerfire1989

Center fire

Firevideo1989

Center fire

April 27, 1989 - HOMES AND LIVELIHOODS VANISH: The April 19th arson fire that totally destroyed a shopping complex in Lordship Center wiped out five businesses and four apartments. It also took a big chunk of the communitys past and present. That is half of Lordship, one of the hundreds of onlookers remarked as the persistent blaze ate across the roof and through the 77-year-old building. In the small, tightly-knit community the store owners are friends and neighbors. Throughout the crowd people spoke quietly to one another, expressing their sympathy for the business people, calling them by their first names. Three had been family businesses for two generations. Everyone shared a history making the loss deeply personal. It is always been there my whole life, one young man remembered. Others recalled the stores and people who had been an integral part of their lives and many a moment to speak to the present owners who stood together viewing the scene in shock and disbelief. Still others could remember back to when the building was called the Casino. According to the Stratford Fire Department, the blaze was caused by someone pouring a volatile substance through the return slot at Lordship Video Store about 8 p.m. Responding from only two blocks away, firefighters extinguished the then small blaze and stayed on the scene until 10:30 p.m. A resident who wished to remain anonymous reported that the patrol car left on the scene after the initial fire left the area only minutes before the fire erupted again or was reset. Firefighters from Stratford, Huntington and Nichols battled the blaze throughout the night and were still pouring water on the remains the following morning. By Friday the remaining portion of the northern half of the building was being pulled down. Bitter tragedy loomed on the voices and remarks as storeowners spoke of the destruction. A piece of history and livelihood destroyed in one fell swoop. Building owner Gabriel Malafront could not be contacted but was said to have no plans to rebuild by one merchant. Jan Fagan owner of Jans Alterations said she may be able to salvage a pair of old sewing machines but considered it doubtful. I have lost everything, I do not even have a spool of thread in the house, she stated recently. When asked if her shop could have been a target for arson she thought not. She is especially devastated as she carried no insurance on her shop. The Stones, proprietors of the West Shore Market offered no comment under the advice of their attorney. Although the people who lived in the second floor apartments got out safely, their homes and personal belongings were completely destroyed and over the weekend the Lordship Fathers Club set up a collection center for clothing and furnishings for the displaced families. One tenant had been in the process of moving but lost all his personal effects. The others were wiped out completely. According to long-time resident Vincent Foley, the building was built in 1912 by the Wilkenda (Wilson, Kenworthy and Davis) Land Company to promote their real estate development in the Lordship area. Established as a recreation center for the new area, the building, called the Casino, housed a small store and garages for the companys limousines on the first floor and the Lordship Country Club on the second. The limousines were used to show clients around, Foley said and as an additional hook the company promised to transport children to school in them. Two tennis courts were built in the back and a small golf course and clubhouse nearby added additional incentive for buying a home. Dances were held weekly at the Casino which boasted a player piano and a wall of windows overlooking the then nearly empty acres and Long Island Sound. Despite its name there was no gambling in the Casino, Foley said. When the Lordship trolley line was built in 1915, the area became a mecca for people from all over the area and Lordship Manor was touted as Bridgeports newest and best resort. A bathhouse accommodating 100 plus an ice cram parlor, tea room and overlook balcony were built on the beach nearby. Soon a dance hall was added and later a skating rink. The Casino building later became the Lordship Volunteer Fire Department and housed a drug store. A grocery was always the linchpin of the complex. According to Foley, Al Tiburzi sold to Malafrontes brother James in the 30s and his sons Gabe and Tony ran the West Shore Market until four years ago when they sold to present owner Lordshipite Rick Stone. Dress shop owner Janice Fagan is the daughter of the late Helen Biebel who ran a dry cleaning store and postal substation in the complex for many years. Hardware owner Jean Browns father ran the store for many years before she and her husband took it over.

The Lordship Market - 258 Pauline St., Lordship phone ED 7-0432

The Lordship Market was originally built as the Lordship Fire company' new home where the trolley bends around the corner. Now the site of the teachers parking lot at Lordship School on Pauline Street. The building was opened on October 17, 1921 and became Lordship's second firehouse. The Tiburzi family bought the building in 1938 and leased the bottom floor to the fireman until the current firehouse was built in 1941. The building was converted into the Lordship Market which was on the second floor until 1941. The Lordship Fathers Club leased the second floor as a clubhouse during the 1950's until the early 1960's. The building was eventually sold to the Town of Stratford in 1964 for $17,000. The building burned down in 1965 (see article below).

February 26, 1943: LORDSHIP MARKETS STOCK IS FAVORED: Variety to please the most astute housewife is featured in the foods available at Lordship Market, 258 Pauline Street. Throughout its own community and the general Stratford area it is known for the quality of its meats, groceries, Birdseye foods, fruits and vegetables. Mitchells ice cream is sold in a variety of flavors. In 23 years of established success the market has kept its roster of activity apace of demands and through the efficient and thorough management behind it in the persons of Mr. and Mrs. Al Tiburzi the Lordship Market has been able to attain and hold its present place of acceptance. Despite shortages the best is available here.

October 5, 1945: LORDSHIP MARKET: Credit To Founders Policy; Richard Tiburzi, Owners Son Killed In War: The methods of service and excellent stock always available at Lordship Market have found high favor with astute customers. As a result, the business knows what it means to be held in high esteem and attain the coveted place of recognition a leader deserves. For almost a quarter of a century the business has been serving housewives in the same efficient and exacting day-to-day way. Ten years ago the present market was opened at 258 Pauline Street where more space and better facilities were available. Groceries, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables are in stock. Baked foods, delicatessen items and bottled beer are sold, also making the line available at Lordship Market one of the most complete in the area. Mr. and Mrs. Al Tiburzi teamed their abilities in business to make a success of the market. Their partnership in the store is one of the best known here. Courtesy and every consideration for the patron are stressed daily to assure the measure of satisfaction folks expect and appreciate. Richard Tiburzi, son of the directing heads of the business, was killed in the fighting in Holland during the bitter struggle of last November.

June 5, 1960 - LORDSHIP MARKET, INC ON TO COURT ON ZONE: The Lordship Market Inc., Pauline Street, has filed an appeal in Common Pleas court asking a change in the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals which granted it a request for an extension of a non-conforming use but with restrictions. The petitioner says that the restrictions are unfair and should not be permitted to continue as part of the permit to expand and extend the market. The appeals board granted the permit with the provision that the owners discontinue the rental of the second floor for dances and parties.

Lordship Market

1964 Lordship Market Fire

TiburziLordshipMarket1950s

Tiburzi Lordship Market 1950s

TiburziLordshipMarket1950sA

Tiburzi Lordship Market 1950s

Elaine's School

Elaine's School of Dance

Tiburzis

Tiburzis

Tiburzis1

Tiburzis

LordshipMarketprices 1950s

Lordship Market prices 1950s

We are looking for more photos and stories about Tiburzi's Hall. Anyone looking to add stories or pictures, please contact Tom Halverson.

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