LORDSHIP OUTLAWS

AUGUST 23, 1898: HIGHWAYMAN AT LORDSHIP: An attempt at highway robbery was made last evening on the Lordship Park Road, but instead of the would-be robber getting any money he got a good drubbing. J.E. Trinder, a piano tuner and repaired in the employ of the Treat & Shepard Company was returning to this city from a visit at the residence of some friends in Lordship Park by way of this road about 10:30 last evening and it was from him that the highwayman had an idea he could get some of the needful. Mr. Trinder had gone nearly the whole distance across the meadows and was about a mile from the New England Vitrified Pipe Companys works when suddenly from out the semi-darkness he saw something fall in front of his wheel. The next instant his front wheel struck the object and to save himself from falling Mr. Trinder jumped from his wheel to the ground landing on his feet. His bicycle had hardly stopped when the rear wheel was grabbed by a tall slim man who wore a slouch hat well over his eyes. Trinder turned around and the fellow said: Where are you going? About my business as you should be doing, replied Trinder. The highwayman then said he wanted some money and was told that he would not get any from the party he was then dealing with. With the wheel in his grasp the thief then attempted to get away towards Lordship Park. Trinder had no idea of letting his wheel melt away into nothingness in that manner and stooping down he picked up the object which had first stopped his progress. It proved to be a sandbag about three feet long and three inches in thickness. Armed with this he ran after the man who also ran and when he got within striking distance, Trinder felled him to the earth with one blow. The fellow then got a few punches to remind him that peaceable citizens must not be interfered with especially the type of which Mr. Trinder is a representative. Thinking the man would then sneak away, Trinder let him up but on the contrary the rascal was full of fight and landed both fists on Trinders chest. In response to this broadside he received a swing from Trinders left in the mouth. The fellow then succeeded in landing another body blow and got both fists in the face in return. This keeled him over and he fell down the embankment into the dike which is full of water and runs beside the road at this point. Mr. Trinder then thought that discretion was the better part of valor and mounting his wheel he made record time to this city. He stated this morning that he did not know whether the fellow recovered from his involuntary bath or not, but from what he later heard he thinks he must have done. A party of six wheelmen were returning about 11:30 by the same road when they noticed a man answering the description of Trinders assailant run across the road and disappeared in the darkness. The road across the salt meadows which was built by the Lordship Park Association is a private way and is used at the travellers risk. After dark it is one of the loneliest stretches of roadway about the city. It runs from the old Hollister Mill Bridge to Lordship Park and is between three and four miles in length. On either side are the salt meadows and after 7 pm travel is restricted to a few teams and still fewer pedestrians. There is no artificial light along the road and last evening the thin edge of the moon which showed itself was not sufficient to light the place to any appreciable extent. The fellow who sought to illegally enrich himself at the expense of Mr. Trinder was not a professional evidently as apparently all the weapon he had was the sandbag with which he intended to throw the wheelman. As Mr. Trinder did not have an unusually large sum of money about his person the fellow could not have had any special object in attacking him unless he mistook Trinder for someone else. This should be a warning to travelers over the Lordship Park road to get across before dark or carry a small sized arsenal with them.

June 25, 1904: POACHING AT POINT-NO-POINT: Four Italians who are residents of Bridgeport were arrested in Stratford by Deputy Sheriffs Heisler and Stagg for violation of the statutes regulating the size of seines. It is claimed that the men have been fishing off Point-No-Point in Stratford for weeks and have taken barrel after barrel of fish of all sizes from the water. Residents of the town have seen the men at work, made complaints and yesterday the deputy sheriff caught them at work with a three-quarter inch seine. They had upwards of 100 pounds of fish of about every species to be found at this season of the year. Fish not over two and one-half inches in length were taken for the water by the Italians. The quartette was arraigned before Justice Charles Peck in Stratford. They gave the names of Gallo Genraro, Arosin Tosein, Tony Surtine and Niccolo Coppertrin. Genraro produced a postal card signed by an attachee of the U.S. Fish Commission which he alleged that he paid a man $14 in New Haven. The card was a permit for a man to use a three-quarter inch seine on his own ground. Justice Peck fined each prisoner $50 and cost. The fine was the minimum penalty. The costs in each case was an additional $15. The quartette was unable to pay and will be obligated to go to jail. All of the Italians claim to have been in this country less than six months.

June 29, 1918: HOWLAND DRIVER AND CAMP TAKEN IN BY POLICEMEN: Graham Alleged to Have Stolen All His Equipment from Employers: Securing a tent and other camp essentials from the Howland Dry Goods Company without the formality of paying for them, Malcolm Graham, 17, of Beardsley Street, a delivery clerk, is held by the police on complaint of R. B. Whitcomb, manager of the Howland sporting goods department. Graham had leased a lot at Lordship and has been going there every night from work. After his arrest by the Stratford police he was turned over to the Bridgeport authorities. Goods had been missed from the Howland store for some time and a watch was put on some of the employees, with the result that it was found Graham was acquiring a camper's outfit of magnitude. Many of the articles, including the tent, are at the Stratford police station, the balance being returned to this city, and when they are positively identified they will be given to the Howland Company. The articles that were found at the tent at Lordship and which are claimed to have been taken from the Howland store are: One large tent, oil stove, 10 cups and saucers, 13 plates, bathing suit, three balls of cord, 10 glasses tent poles, jug of orangeade, 10 knives and forks, 10 spoons, tent fly, five serving dishes, one large spoon, white coat, apron and cap, one flashlight and three cans of vegetables.

November 10, 1922 - RAID ON COTTAGE NETS TWO SUSPECTS DISTILLING HOOCH: Lonely House between Long Beach and Lordship Manor Housed Still - GOODS ON TRUCK - Men Said to Have Been Preparing to Move Apparatus to New York: Reilly's cottage, situated on a lonesome part of the shore half-way between Long Beach and Lordship Manor, over which a cloud of mystery has hung for the last month because of the activities of two men, David Chitel and Isador Palacof, was raided by the federal officials and Stratford police yesterday afternoon and the occupants of the cottage all alleged to have been caught in the act of attempting to move 100 five gallon empty containers, each smelling heavily of alcohol and a 250 gallon still preparatory to departure for New York. According to officers who participated in the raid, the men have been under surveillance ever since they rented the cottage October 1 and it is believed that they have been actively engaged in the traffic of liquor for the last month. It is thought the hooch manufactured was transported to New York by motor truck. Caught in the net of attempting to move their goods to a truck and to New York, according to the officers, the men submitted to the authorities and claimed that they were only moving machinery to that city for the purpose of manufacturing neats-foot oil, a preparation used for bottling. Late last night it was said; the men, David Chitel, who gave his address as Tisdale Street and Isador Palacof of New York, were appealing to many local citizens in an attempt to secure bondsman. They are to appear before United States Commissioner Hugh Lavery at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon. That their manufacture of liquor had been fostered locally is the opinion of officers. The truckman was grilled at length in an attempt to gain additional information, but they said he only was employed to move the still and containers. He said he had been rather skeptical about moving a still, but the men told him everything was all right because they were going to use the apparatus in making oil. He was allowed his freedom under the custody of Officer E.B. Doolan of the enforcement squad. The officers who participated in the raid were led by E.H. Herman, were E. J. Flaherty and Victor Wardwell of the prohibition department and Officers Leonard Holmes and Edward Manchester of the Stratford Police department.

April 20, 1923 - MYSTERIOUS AUTO SEEN IN DARK AT LORDSHIP MANOR: Disappears After Flashing Signals to Boat Prowling Near Shore: Lordship Manor stirred by stories of rum running and lightless boats in the Sound was last night visited by many curious persons, anxious to get a glimpse of the mysterious craft that has prowled in the Sound near the place for the last two days, showing only one light and bearing a heavy cargo completely hidden from sight by canvas coverings. The air of mystery about the spot was added to last night when a high powered touring car was seen by a Telegram reporter parked in an obscure part of the beach after nightfall. Suddenly aware of the approach of the reporter, the driver of the machine, turned in a position for a quick getaway, suddenly threw its lights on and off several times then with a quick grinding of gears and brakes the motor started and the car disappeared in a cloud of dust. As the sound of the auto motor was muffled and immediately after the waning "honk honk" of the horn, the chugging of a motor boat hastily making away from the shore could be heard. The driver of the auto evidently believing that an attempt would be made to follow him swung his car from side to side until it had progressed some distance, then turned off all the lights and proceeded on into darkness. Residents of Lordship last night declared they had seen a large car parked in different corners of the beach at various times and added that the approach of persons always resulted in the same thing, the flashing of the auto lights several times and then a hasty retreat.

November 9, 1924: Signals Flash as Rum Boats Land at Lordship: Since disclosing in the Herald last week the extensive rum running being carried on at Devon under the very noses of federal and town authorities it had been called to the attention of the Herald, a ride to Lordship Manor in Stratford would disclose a rum running scene which would do justice to a movie plot. Residents of the beach have noticed the stealthy movements of trucks and boats during the early hours of the morning for the past three months. According to reliable information, two large trucks were loaded within the past week from a motor launch which signaled to shore for nearly an hour before the truck arrived and answered the signal. The rum running is carried on it is said by Lordship residents right in the heart of Lordship near the bathing pavilion between 3:30 and 4:00 am two or three mornings a week. Federal agents have made two or three attempts it is known to catch the elusive so called bootleggers but to no avail, the liquor agents arriving either too late or on the wrong morning. Twice the agents have been fooled when the rum was moved in the night about four hours before they arrived. Two large gray trucks are employed by the rum runners arriving at Lordship and backing up near the large cement sidewalk on the beach. Suddenly a light appears on the water two or three hundred feet off shore flashing three or four times. It is answered by a flashlight from the truck if the coast is clear. The big boat lays a half mile or so from shore and unloads a portion of the cargo into a small power boat. Trips are made back and forth until the trucks are loaded. No licenses can be found on the trucks although efforts have been made to obtain the registration at various times. On some occasions a Hudson sedan follows the trucks into Bridgeport or apparently to Bridgeport for the cars start across the 3 mile meadow road from Lordship toward Bridgeport, although no one has knowledge of them reaching the city. It is thought that the bootleg liquor is taken to Avon Park or some section of Stratford and distributed before Federal agents can get on the trail. A month ago, according to a resident of Lordship, efforts were made by individuals in Lordship to determine the size of the craft delivering the liquor and possibly recognize some of the occupants of the boat. About 3:30 am a large sailing sloop under sail and slipping noiselessly through the water approached Lordship about a half mile off the beach from a westerly direction as though coming through Hellgate or from New York State somewhere. The boat was plied high on the decks although the hour was too early to ascertain the nature of her cargo. About opposite the bathing pavilion a rumble and splash was heard as the anchor dropped into the water and an interval of perhaps fifteen minutes passed before the light flashed with no answer, the trucks being late in arriving. When the trucks arrived and the signal was returned the cargo was uploaded and the trip completed. Residents of the beach claim this has been going on for more than three months and that many hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of liquor has been landed at Lordship and shipped to Bridgeport and Stratford. Not once have the ever careful federal agents or town authorities been able to apprehend the rum runners and they continue to make Lordship Manor a dumping ground for bootleg hooch similar to conditions existing in Devon at Briarcliffe.

November 10, 1924 - Police are on the watch for rumrunners, reported to be landing liquor from boats at Lordship and at points along the Housatonic River on the Riverside shore. According to the reports which have reached the ears of police several cargos of liquor have been landed at these points recently and removed in covered motor trucks.

May 17, 1937: MURDER AND SUICIDE IN 2 STRATFORD DEATHS: Gilmore Bell, young radio engineer employed by General Electric and his 24 year old wife, Marie were shot and killed early today in the bedroom of their home in the Lordship section of this town. Police who battered down a locked door, found Mrs. Bell dead in her bed and Bell lying on the floor. Their 22 month old daughter, Arlene was asleep in an adjoining nursery. Dr. Luther Heidger, medical examiner said after a preliminary investigation, the deaths probably were murder and suicide with Bell shooting his wife before taking his own life.

August 1, 1941 - DEATH LURKS AT LORDSHIP: Police Patrol Needed In Bluff Section During Summer: How much the Lordship section needs more police protection than it has clearly shown by the incident last Sunday afternoon in which a Stratford man and a Stratford boy had a narrow escape from death by gunshot wounds. The facts were that Rodney Knecht of Stratford, formerly employed in the town engineering department was swimming at Lordship when he felt a sharp sting in his back. About the same time, Robert Whitney, eight year old son of David Whitney of Stratford was walking along the beach when he felt a sharp pain in his right leg from which blood began to flow. The answer proved to be that a couple of Bridgeport boys were up on the Lordship Bluff shooting at bottles with .22 caliber rifles and when their aim was bad the bullets fell among people on the beach or in the water nearby. When any section of Lordship outside of the Remington Gun Club can become a shooting gallery without the police knowing anything about what is going on, until after somebody has been shot, the time has arrived when the police schedule should require a systematic patrolling of that section during the summer months. Many people from Bridgeport come to Stratford and act as if they thought they were out in the country where the wide open spaces are destitute of human population. The Bluff has long been notoriously wild, anyway, what with the petting parties cluttering up the place. The most innocent strangers might be forgiven for assuming that there just is not any law down that way and the sight of a policeman every half hour or so would make the area safe for those who are swimming in nearby waters or strolling along the beach. The policeman should be a mounted man, because the ruts worn in the bluff make motoring or motor-cycling a grave peril. But a horse would be just the thing.

August 20, 1942: MURDER AND SUICIDE ON LORDSHIP MEADOW ROAD: Less than three weeks before the day set for their marriage, a Stratford man and his Bridgeport fiancee died together last night. Murder and suicide is the official verdict in an auto parted in a lonely section of Lordship Meadow Road, Stratford. The victims were Albert Kurisko, 26 of Bruce Avenue and Louise Prew, 24 of Poplar Street. Medical Examiner H.R. DeLuca said that Kurisko, his plans for married life frustrated by an imminent call to military service, killed Miss Prew and then shot himself. Shot the girl friend, read a scribbled note the man had prepared in advance in what Dr. DeLuca said was a premeditated action. She made me lose my mind so that the two of us had to go. The medical examiner learned that Kurisko, previously classified as 1-B in the draft had been reclassified as 1-A and would have been called into the Army soon. Terming the case open and shut, Dr. DeLuca said that Kurisko had obtained the 32 caliber revolver used in the double killing at a Newfield Avenue newsstand. Police are investigating that angle today. It appeared, the medical examiner said that the man was really out of his mind and probably carried out destruction of Miss Prew and himself in a nonchalant manner. Evidence to support that belief was the fact that a cigar burned down to about one-third of its original length was found between the fingers of his free hand. Both were seated in the front seat of the car and Miss Prew, Dr. DeLuca said, probably was not aware of what was happening until Kurisko placed the barrel of the revolver against her chest and pulled the trigger. A medal on her dress deflected the bullet slightly and it penetrated her heart. Powder burns were found on the clothing. The man then fired another bullet into his own heart. The victims probably died at the same time or a few minutes apart. Kurisko and Miss Prew had been dead about three hours when their bodies were found and Dr. DeLuca said that death occurred about 10 pm. The double tragedy was discovered about 1 am by Patrolman Gilbert Thorne of the Stratford Police department. Coming upon the parked car, he halted to investigate and as he opened the door of the auto, the revolver tumbled out and fell at his feet. Examination of the weapon showed that two shots had been fired. In the rays of his flashlight, the patrolman saw Kurisko slumped over the wheel of the car and Miss Prew slumped on the other side of the drivers seat.

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February 14, 1949: BOYS WHO SET FIRE RETURNED TO CITY: The five boys all under 14 years of age who were apprehended by Stratford police Tuesday night and charged with setting fire to William Cronins cottage at Long Beach were turned over to juvenile authorities in Bridgeport Wednesday. Police picked up four of the boys after receiving a call that another cottage in the same area was being broken into. This cottage is owned by Dr. Harold Oesau of Main Street. A call from neighbors resulted in the arrival of police before any damage was done to Dr. Oesaus cottage. Sergeant William Troland dispatched radio patrolmen John Havery and Robert Horkheimer in one car and William McDonald in another. Two Bridgeport patrolmen on the request of the Stratford police department, set up a road block on the Stratford-Bridgeport town line on the Lordship road (Great Meadows Road). Patrolman Havery said that two of the boys were picked up as they raced away on bicycles on the Lordship road. Two others made an attempted get-away in a row boat across a small creek but were apprehended after a short chase by patrolmen Havery and Horkheimer. When patrolman Havery asked the boys which one had set fire to the cottage, one of the boys pointed to one of his companions and told the patrolman about a fifth boy who was later picked up in Bridgeport. The boys said that the fire was started with some birthday candles which they found in the cottage. One of the youths said that he was almost trapped in the cottage when flames swept the dwelling. Police said the boys had some fireworks in their possession when they were picked up. In a statement to the Stratford News, Fire Chief Allan Judson said that the damage to the cottage was in excess of $1,500. The alarm was sounded at 8:15 Monday night and apparatus from the Lordship and Central fire companies responded, battling the blaze under control a few minutes later. Mr. Cronin, superintendent of mails in the Bridgeport Post Office was at his home in Bridgeport when Stratford police notified him of the fire, a few minutes after the fire alarm was sounded. The cottage was built by the superintendent in 1927. Zoning regulations now in force prohibit the rebuilding of any cottage in the summer camp zone which is more than 50 percent destroyed by fire, hurricane, high seas or other reasons. Unless the zoning board grants a variation, Mr. Cronin will be unable to rebuild his cottage.

June 12, 1949 - BEACH RAID NETS DOZEN GIRLS, BOYS: A noisy party in a Long Beach cottage rented for the weekend by a dozen youthful fun seekers was crashed yesterday morning by a reinforced squad of Stratford police. Five girls and seven boys ranging in age from 15 to 23 were arrested on charges of breach of the peace in bonds of $50 after repeated requests by neighbors for quiet had failed. According to Police Chief William Nichols, the young people had taken over the beach cottage consisting of one floor for the weekend. Occupants of nearby cottages, calling for less noise were answered with scornful laughter. Subsequent sounds of glass breaking and crashing of furniture resulted in a call to the cops. Three prowl cars swooped in to find two of the boys squaring off in a fight, while others were in an apparently drunken condition. (Note: names are being excluded, but none were from Stratford.) A 15 year old Bridgeport girl was held for juvenile authorities. All were released in bonds of $50 for appearance in town court June 27. Yesterday mornings events were coincident with a campaign currently being conducted by the police department to crack down on teenage delinquency.

June 12, 1957 - FATHERS CLUB SEEKS SHORE AREA POLICE AID: The Lordship Fathers club has asked Town Manager Harry B. Flood to provide additional police protection at the shore area to take action against speeding motorcycles. Warren P. Ernst, president of The Fathers group, in a letter to Mr. Flood, says that a fulltime patrolman is necessary in the area if the speeding of motorcycles on Washington Parkway and other streets is to be stopped. Commenting on the condition, Mr. Ernst told the Town Manager that he believes the Lordship people are sufficiently aroused over the dangerous condition that they would be willing to pay an extra tax to have a policeman on duty. Mr. Ernst said that the regular radio police car assigned t the district "is doing a good job" but points out that the service is not adequate to overcome and eliminate the speeding because of the inability of the car to be on Washington Parkway and adjacent streets at all times. Lordship residents say that the motorcycles using the streets are from out of town and have been using Washington Parkway as a speedway for several months. They point out there are no sidewalks in the area and children walk in the streets.

July 25, 1957: POLICE CRACK DOWN ON BEACH HOT RODS: Lordships nerve shattering brush with The Wild Ones, a group of leather jacketed teenagers who raced their motorcycles up and down Washington Parkway ended abruptly this week following the assignment of additional patrolmen to the neighborhood. In a letter to Warren Ernst, spokesman for the Lordship Fathers Club which recently protested that rambunctious teenagers were frightening residents with the motorcycle gymnastics, the situation is now under control, Police Chief Patrick Flanagan disclosed yesterday. Chief Flanagan assured the fathers Washington Parkway is being patrolled by extra policemen and plainclothesmen who warn motorcycling youngsters to slow down or face arrest. Apparently the word got around because we have not had any trouble. I only saw two motorcycles this week and they were traveling slowly. But for a time it was pretty wild, said Ernst. Ernsts complaint to the town fathers said the motorcyclists were not only joyriding down one of Lordships busiest streets, but even crossing the center dividing line in a show of derring-do. It was more a case of fooling around than anything else, but with three or four children in almost every home on the Parkway it could have been serious. There are no sidewalks in this part of Lordship and a motorcycle could easily run up to the front of a home, he said. Ernst doubted if any of the speeding teenagers lived in Lordship but thought they were members of motorcycle clubs which visited soda fountains along the beach. I know the police issued quite a few warnings and told the kids in effect to obey the laws or stay out of Lordship. Although none of the motorcyclists had been drinking they took unnecessary risks such a going through traffic signals and ignoring signs, Ernst continued. The motorcycling joy riders usually appeared on Washington Parkway during the early evening hours but occasionally would tangle with homebound traffic from the nearby Avco Lycoming plant about midnight. I suppose they now go someplace else to have fun because the Parkway is peaceful once again. For awhile it was touch and go and I am happy the police cracked down. We have only one patrol car in Lordship but the Parkway is now as well patrolled as any street in town, observed Ernst. Teenage motorcycle clubs first made their appearance in Lordship last April and following several disturbances a formal complaint was sent by the Lordship Fathers Club to Town Manager Harry Flood.

July 27, 1957: VANDAL OPENED GATES ON LORDSHIP DIKE: Town Manager Harry Flood says that vandals opened the tide gates on the dike at Oak Bluff Avenue in the Lordship area Wednesday night causing some flooding and damage to land in the rear area of the Long Beach cottages. Mr. Flood has asked residents to call police when any children are seen playing around the dike or flood gate.

August 12, 1964 - BREAK ATTEMPTED IN LORDSHIP STORE: Stratford police today are in investigating an attempted break in the Lordship Community pharmacy, 350 Stratford Road, Stratford. Police said they received a call at 2:20 a.m. that someone had thrown a large trash container through the front window of the pharmacy. Witnesses told police that there were two young men on the scene who were apparently frightened away by approaching police cars.

August 13, 1964 - 2 SEIZED ADMIT HOLDUPS IN STRATFORD AND WESTPORT: Holdups in Westport and Stratford were admitted by a Bridgeport pair after they were trapped by a roadblock on Great Meadows road in Stratford, minutes after a Lordship store owner had been robbed last night, police reported. Charged with robbery with violence and held in bonds of $10,000 each are Edward M and LeRoy S both of Bridgeport. Lieut. Joseph Carten, of the Stratford Police Youth bureau, who questioned the pair until an early hour this morning, said they admitted entering the Lordship General store at Jefferson Street and Stratford Road at 10:20 o'clock last night and taking $93 in cash and a $5 check from two cash registers while holding the clerk, Fred Marino, at revolver point. Mr. Marino told police one of the bandits flashed a .38 caliber revolver and demanded the money from the cash drawer, saying "I need it for dope." The suspects later told police their "dope" was just to give Mr. Marino the impression they were "desperate." Mr. Marino is a deputy sheriff assigned to the criminal case courtroom at the Fairfield County courthouse. Mr. Marino's call to Stratford Police, seconds after the bandits sped away in a car, sent Policemen Clyde Haggerty and Fred Cawthra to Great Meadows road at Access road where their roadblock stopped the holdup suspects minutes after the robbery. A .38 caliber revolver and a toy plastic pistol were found on the seat of the auto by Patrolman Albert Evanko and John Hricz who were detailed to the scene. The money and check were also recovered. Lieut. Carten reported. Lieut. Carten said the captured pair offered no resistance when confronted by police in the roadblock. He credited Radio Dispatcher Irving Hansen in Stratford Police headquarters with the speedy alerting of police cars, which resulted in an immediate roadblock.

July 25, 1968 RAID AT LONG BEACH: Five young persons have been arrested on narcotics charges in a raid Tuesday night on a cottage on Long Beach. Police said the cottage had been under surveillance since before Memorial Day and that large groups of young persons had been observed congregating at the location on weekends. Captain Joseph Carten, head of the detective bureau said a considerable amount of marijuana was seized along with some pills and hookah pipes. The interior of the cottage police said was equipped with psychedelic furnishings, including lights and prismatic lensed glasses. Those arrested on charges of violating the state narcotics act were William S. who resided at the cottage. Richard P. of Trumbull and Thomas Q., Robert A. and Thomas G all of Bridgeport.

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