Late 1700s: John Merritt, usually spelled Merrit, was born about 1744/46 in Bridgeport area. His father was said by descendants to have been John or George Merrit. He came from Northern Ireland, perhaps with other Merritt's (perhaps three brothers). Maybe they were forced out of an English Plantation. He came and married, and had children. He was said to have frozen to death on the beach, in the winter, while gathering clams or oysters. This happened at Stratford beach. Nothing more is known of him or his wife, however there were a number of Merritt children who had court ordered guardianships in 1756-1761 in Stratford.
January 1862: While the steamer City of New York, was off Stratford Point, cries of distress were heard, and a vessel was discovered capsized near the steamer, with a number of persons clinging to the craft. The steamer endeavored to reach them, but the attempt was in vain, and all were lost. The name of the vessel was Edw. M. Clark, E. M. Clark, captain, and Amos M. Clark, mate.
October 11, 1862: DROWNING AT STRATFORD POINT: While Benjamin Ufford of Stratford and Frank Dayton of New York were out in a small sail boat off Stratford Point on Monday evening, the 6th, the boat upset. They both succeeded in clinging to the bottom of the boat until they had drifted within a short distance of the shore, where they remained for some time, when they each took an oar and left the boat for shore, both being good swimmers. Mr. Ufford was washes ashore in an insensible state and was pulled out of the surf by members of the family of Mr. Buddington, keeper of the light. Young Dayton was less fortunate having as is supposed, had his head dashed against the rocks. He was a corpse when taken from the water.
November 28, 1885 - One of the Hoyt Brothers oyster steamers while dredging off Stratford Point light Saturday found a human skull. The lower jaw is missing, but the back teeth of the upper jaw are all intact and sound. The skull had been in the water for some time judging by appearances.
May 7, 1890: STRATFORD MAN BLOWN OUT TO SEA, HE WAS PROBABLY DROWNED: Thomas Roberts has been missing from his home here since last Thursday and there is every reason to believe that he has found a grave beneath the sea. Thursday afternoon he was fishing at the south of the harbor in a small skiff. When the thunder storm and squall blew up he was blown out to sea and though experienced in handling boats it is feared the force of the storm was so great that a small boat could not live through it. The lighthouse keeper at Stratford Point saw Roberts in the skiff about two miles south of the lighthouse during the squall, but owing to the high sea that was running at the time could render him no aid. The storm was then forcing him out into the Sound though he managed to keep the little boat upright until it became dark and the lighthouse keeper could see nothing more of him. His wife has given him up for dead though there is a chance that he might have been picked up by a passing vessel. Roberts spent the greater part of his life on the water, serving in the navy over thirty years and since his retirement on half pay a number of years ago, has been master of a schooner. He was sixty-four years of age and has a wife.
December 5, 1891: DROWNED OFF STRATFORD LIGHT: Two unknown men were drowned off the Stratford Light yesterday afternoon; at least such is the statement of M. Mahoney and C. White who were eyewitnesses of the affair. A heavy sea was rolling at the time at 3:30. Mahoney and White were out ducking as is their weekly custom. They were in a rowboat and had a hard time in managing it. As they rounded the breakwater they saw a sailboat off in the distance pitching about. Mahoney and White were too busy keeping their boat from upsetting to pay much attention to the sailboat. They finally managed to get their skiff head on. As they turned towards the Stratford Light they saw the sailboat capsize and two men an instant later were struggling in the water. It was only for an instant too, Mahoney says and then all was over. No one seemed to know who they were and no one made an effort to rescue them owing to the high seas and breakers.
August 14, 1898 - TOMMY RYAN A HERO: Tommy Ryan, the champion welterweight pugilist, heroically rescued a drowning man off Stratford Point this noon at the peril of losing his own life. But for the pugilist's fearless plunge into the swiftly running stream there would have been a double drowning. As it was, Conrad Ruel, a locksmith of Seventh avenue and Twentieth street, New York, who had come to Stratford on a pleasure trip, was drowned. His friend, Donald Watson of Brooklyn is weak from his struggle for life. When the fatality occurred, there was a merry party of bathers in the water. The spot is on the shore of the Housatonic river a short distance from the mouth. The tide runs swiftly in the center of the stream, although the bathing beach is unexcelled. Ruel and Watson were guests of George Bagley, a young man who lives near Ruel in New York. Bagley's family has been stopping at the Shore view house on the shore during the summer and yesterday the young man went to New York. He persuaded Ruel, who was rather reluctant, to accompany him to his summer home. Shortly before noon the young men and a number of cottagers went in bathing. Ruel and Watson obtained a rowboat and drifted down stream, diving from it. They waited to notice the strong eddies when suddenly the boat overturned with them. The cry of "Help! Help!" startled their companions and looking toward the boat they saw both swimmers disappear under the stern of an oyster sloop. Ruel, who was sinking, grasped Watson, dragging him under the water. Pugilist Ryan's cottage was near the spot. Ryan rushed down to the shore and plunged in. The current almost overcame him, but his powerful arms carried him quickly to the sloop. He saw an arm protruding from beneath the bow of the boat and quickly pulled Watson from underneath it. Then he had a short struggle to keep his burden above water. He clung to a spile until George Belot, another cottager, came to the rescue, and they soon had the unconscious man in a boat. No trace of Ruel could be found. The tide had swept his body away from the spot. Parties with boathooks searched the water for several hours without success. At 3:30 o'clock the body was found about an eighth of a mile from the place it disappeared. Ruel's body was brought to Ford's morgue in Bridgeport. He was about 22 years of age and unmarried. His father died a few months ago, and he continued the business established by the older man, supporting his widowed mother. Watson received consciousness about half an hour after the rescue. He said that he heard Ruel cry for help and tried to save him, but was pulled beneath the keel of the oyster boat. He remembers running his hands along the keel as the tide swept him downstream, and then becoming entangled in some ropes. After that he lost consciousness. He will recover. Watson cannot say enough in praise of Ryan.
June 25, 1904: Keeper Judson of Stratford Lighthouse is on the lookout for the body of an old man who registered on the Norwich line steamer Rhode Island last Tuesday night as J. OConnor. Off Stratford Shoals, OConnor who appeared to be about seventy years old committed suicide by jumping overboard. The steamer was bound from New York to New London. All that is known of his is that he told one of the saloon that he had been in a hospital in New York and had been discharged. A saloon watchman saw him go over the side. A boat was lowered but no trace of the suicide could be found.
September 21, 1908 - FOUR PERSONS PERISH AFTER BOAT CAPSIZES: Four persons out of a party of seven in a launch were drowned on the Long Island Sound off Stratford Point. The three survivors were rescued after having been in the water nearly two hours. The dead are: Frederick L. Roswell, Mrs. Roswell (his wife), Edward, (a son aged nine) and May (a daughter aged seven). The other members of the party were Miss Gertrude Adams, William Gerbith and Mrs. C. Wesley Parkes. The party left Bridgeport yesterday afternoon for a sail up the Housatonic River, starting on the homeward trip during the early evening. When below Barnes dock, Stratford, they ran into a fog and a heavy sea. Roswell went to the bow of the launch, with the engine going at full speed, for the purpose of putting up a canvas screen to keep the spray out of the boat. Before he was aware of it the launch was upon the breakwater off Stratford Point, pounding to pieces on the rocks. Roswell put his wife and two children and Mrs. Parkes into the launch tender, while Miss Adams and Gerbith were instructed to cling to the stern of the little boat. He then took his place in the boat, and started to row as he thought for shore, but evidently lost his bearings and rowed out into the sound. A heavy wave struck the little boat and capsized it. The little Roswell boy sank at once, but the others managed to get a hold on the boat. Then another heavy roller struck them and washed away the little girl and Mrs. Roswell. Soon Mr. Roswell's strength gave out and he gradually slipped from the boat and went under. The others, clinging with what little strength was left them and fast becoming worn out and weakened, by the constant buffeting of the waves, kept up their cries for help. As they drifted near shore their cries were heard by Edward Sheehan at Barnes dock, who organized a rescue party and brought the shipwrecked party ashore.
March 16, 1908 - THREE DROWN DURING GALE: The first thunderstorm of the season came with deadly intent to three people of this city yesterday who were fishing in an open boat off Point-no-Point. Accompanying the storm came a squall of wind that raised a very rough sea. The current runs very swiftly off this point making a regular whirlpool. Had the men been content to come ashore, no doubt they would have all been saved but in the rough water an attempt to start for home proved very disastrous and getting into the trough of the waves they no doubt were swamped. The unfortunate victims were Peter Lacroix, fifty years old, a widower, residing on Sea View Avenue, Bridgeport, his sixteen-year-old son Wilfred, and Hugh Ellison, also of Bridgeport. After these men left home yesterday morning nothing further is known of their movements until late yesterday afternoon when Mrs. Alexander Baird of Lordship Farm was looking out of her front windows noticed the boat off shore. It was headed for the open shore and the lad appeared to be bailing out the boat. She watched them through glasses until they passed from her sight. They were apparently in no distress. Soon afterward the squall came up and in a little while she caught sight of them a little way from the shore. Mrs. Baird stated that it was her opinion that if they had permitted the boat to take its course it would have been blown ashore. While Mrs. Baird was watching the men, Mr. Baird was away from the house. She told him of what she had seen when he came in and on hearing the story, he started for the beach accompanied by his hired men, Louis Mills and William Anderson. They found the bodies of the LaCroix boy and Ellison close to shore in the water and the elder LaCroix was somewhat further up the beach toward Stratford. The boat was found some distance away right side up. The men were very warmly and heavily clothed which would lessen their chances to save their own lives. Deputy Sheriff Stagg of Stratford and Medical Examiner Cogswell were immediately summoned by telephone and they quickly responded. Permission was given for the removal of the bodies and Undertaker Frank Curtis brought the bodies to Bridgeport taking LaCroix and his son to the morgue of John Ford from which they were at this morning removed to the undertaking parlors of George Clark and Co. A card certifying that his dues had been paid up in the local Aerie of Eagles established Ellisons identity and his family who were prostrated by the shock ordered that he be taken to the undertaking parlors of Cullinan & Mullins. For a time there was some uncertainty as to the identity of the elder LaCroix but he was identified by the fact of his having two fingers missing on his right hand. All of the men were excellent swimmers but there is no doubt that their heavy clothing added to the roughness of the water made them yield to exhaustion. Both of the men have families, Ellison having a wife and six children, the youngest being but six weeks old. Lieutenant Charles Holden of Chemical Engine No. 1 was the brother-in-law of Peter LaCroix and attended to the transferring of the bodies. The funerals of the LaCroix father and son will be held from their late residence on Wednesday morning and from St. Josephs Church later.
December 8, 1915: SECOND BODY FOUND OFF LONG BEACH: The body of a well dressed woman, as yet unidentified, was found in Long Island Sound off Long Beach this afternoon. There was no clue as to how the woman came to her death other than the drowning. The body of Robert Louhead, which was received in Bridgeport today, was found in the same vicinity as the womans on Saturday. The body found today was removed to Bridgeport where the authorities are investigating.
September 15, 1922 - BODY OF SOUTHPORT MAN IS WASHED ON STRATFORD BEACH - The body of Artad Ludvinsky, aged 23, of Bridgeport, was discovered afloat a few feet off shore at Lordship beach by ten year old Edward Butler of Stratford Road, at 7:30 o'clock tonight. Ludvinsky was drowned off Southport early Sunday afternoon in an attempt to clamber into a motor boat with his father and brother from a rowboat which they were towing in night before an approaching storm. Police were notified together with Medical Examiner Robert Phelan who identified the body as the Ludvinsky boy by his clothes, a description of which had been forwarded to the police here, proved identical with that of the body found. But for his clothes consisting of a blue shirt, brown trousers and rubber shoes identification would have been impossible as the body was battered beyond recognition by the breakers.
September 14, 1923 - WOMAN DIES AFTER AUTO STRIKES HER AT LORDSHIP BEACH: Driver of Car, John Clancy, a Local Youth, Makes Getaway-Witnesses Say Motor Was Traveling at High Speed When Crash Occurred: An automobile driven by an 18-year old Bridgeport High School boy smashed with fatal force into a woman of Seaside Avenue Lordship shortly before 10 pm last night. The badly injured victim, Miss Annie Smith 33 years old of 500 Prospect Drive Lordship, died before arrival at Bridgeport hospital. John Clancy, 18 years old, of Bridgeport driver of the car was arrested by Stratford' police early this morning. He was held without bail on a technical charge of manslaughter. It was not until early today that authorities learned any details of the accident and their information was meager. Clancy is said to have maintained that Miss Smith, on her way from the Lordship dance pavilion was walking in the center of the road. He said, although some witnesses disagreed with him that his car lights were lighted yet he did not see her until the car was very close to her. Miss Smith was dragged a distance of about 15 feet, it was judged. Her eyeglasses and a set of false teeth were found at the place where she was struck and 15 feet away there was a pool of blood where apparently her mutilated was jolted free of the car. Witnesses alleged that Clancy left the scene of the crash. The dying woman was rushed to the hospital in the Stratford police ambulance, but passed away before medical attention could be given her. Clancy did not get to Stratford headquarters to make a report of the accident and was not taken into custody until nearly three hours later.
September 15, 1923 - CORONER RELEASES STUDENT HELD FOR KILLING WOMAN: Following a preliminary investigation by Coroner John Phelan today into the circumstances of the death of Miss Anne Smith of 509 Prospect Drive fatally injured last night by an automobile driven by 18 year old john Clancy Bridgeport High School student, the coroner gave permission for Clancys release in bonds of $1,500. The youths family arranged for posting the bond and he was released from his cell in the Stratford jail about three pm this afternoon. He had been locked up since early this morning when he came to the police station to report the accident. His is technically charged with manslaughter. Coroner Phelan announced that he will open his inquest on Miss Smiths death at 9:30 tomorrow morning in the coroners court room at the County Court House in Bridgeport. Just as we reached the middle of the road, two large headlights suddenly flashed on us, said the sister of the dead woman in describing the accident. In the second which elapsed between the time the lights were turned on and the moment my sister was struck, I got out of the way but I do not remember very clearly what happened after that. Young Clancy, describing; the accident, told today how he and three companions, George Slater, Daniel Splain and Michael Mockler, East End youths had been driving around in his mother's car. After twice visiting the dance hall at Lordship, they decided to start back toward Bridgeport when they saw that the crowd at the dance was small. Mockler was left at the dance hall, the three other youths got into the car in front of the dance-hall. I started the car and headed toward the trolley line. I opened the muffler cutout but closed it before we had gone 50 yards I decided to put my bright head lights on and just as I did so a form loomed up in the road ahead of me. I applied my brakes, which are working perfectly, but did not stop my car until we had gone quite a distance from where I struck the person. After stopping the car, we all got out and ran back. I saw an object lying at the side of the road and a woman in the middle of the road apparently in a dazed condition. "Another car drove up and the driver opened the rear door and said Put her in here and I'll take her to the hospital. I helped put the moaning woman into the car. Then we went to Bridgeport police headquarters and they told us to go back and report the accident to the Stratford police.
January 1, 1925 - TWO CHILDREN DROWNED, ICE BREAKS UNDER SLED IN LORDSHIP MEADOWS: Sisters Were Sliding on Creek Surface: Companions Run Mile for Help. Boat Needed to Get Bodies. Stratford Police and Volunteers Use Fire Apparatus to Get to Scene of Tragedy: Sophie and Mary Fetchko, 10 and 8 years old respectively, daughters of Stephen and Anna Fetchko, of Honeyspot Road, were drowned about 2 o'clock this afternoon when a sled on which they were sliding broke through the ice in a creek in Lordship Meadows. The sisters together with other companions were sledding along the ice in the creek. At a turn in the stream, the little ones struck a weak spot in the ice and broke through. They were carried about 15 feet under the surface to the bottom. The spot where they went down is about 24 feet from the bank of the creek. Companions who saw the children break through the ice ran a mile across the dike to Lordship Road where passersby were told of the tragedy and aid summoned. Sergeant Ben Smith, of the Stratford Police department, upon being informed in turn notified the Fire department and he and Fireman Ralph O'Brien took a piece of apparatus and the Stratford ambulance to a point on the road as near as possible to the spot where the drowning occurred. The searchers realized a boat was necessary and searched with poles until a pole came in contact with one of the bodies. The first body recovered was that of Sophie. It was brought to the surface at 3:50 pm. The men continued the work until 4.10 pm when the body of Mary was found. The bodies were carried to Lordship from where Dr. Robert Phelan, medical examiner was notified. At the request of the parents he gave permission for the removal of the bodies to the undertaking parlors of George Dillon, Stratford Avenue. The children had been home at noon and were given permission by their parents to go only a little ways from home. The spot where they were drowned is nearly two miles from the Fetchko residence.
May 1, 1928: BRIDGEPORT MAN COMMITS SUICIDE IN CAR: George Leibhold, 52, well known carpenter and real estate developer of Gorham Street (now Washington Parkway), Lordship Manor was found shot dead in the rear seat of his car in the garage in the rear of his home at 1:20 this afternoon. Declared to have lost a large amount of money in southern real estate deals and to have worried over the condition of his health, Liebhold had apparently made careful plans to commit suicide and he concealed his intention from his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Leibhold returned to the Lordship home only a few days ago after spending the winter in Florida.
August 5, 1928: BOY DROWNS AT LORDSHIP INSPITE OF RESCUE EFFORT: Fifteen year old Edward Patchen of Bridgeport was the victim of the second drowning fatality of the week when he succumbed while trying to swim to the float at Lordship located about a mile from the pavilion at four Saturday afternoon. The Patchen boy who was well known in scholastic circles in Bridgeport was a weak swimmer and apparently lost confidence while attempting to swim to the float which is only about 50 yards from shore. The beach drops very abruptly at this point and the youth although only a short distance from shallow water was far over his depth. He was seen swimming until he had completed half of his contemplated journey and then persons watching from the beach saw him throw up his hands and disappear. Bathers immediately rushed to his assistance but he did not rise immediately and was under the water for fully five minutes before being brought to the surface by an unidentified man. The rescuer brought the youth to shore where willing hands worked over him for nearly an hour to no avail. The youth was given a heart stimulant by Dr. L.C. Heidger of Stratford who was visiting friends at the beach, but was too far gone to be saved. He was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital but pronounced dead upon arrival.
June 6, 1929: STRATFORD POINT DROWING VICTIM RECOVERED: Mrs. Adeline Mirfin of Bridgeport today identified a body washed up on the shore at Riverhead, Long Island as that of her husband, Frank Mirfin, who drowned at the mouth of the Housatonic River on Sunday afternoon, May 5. A rowboat in which Mirfin was returning to the Stratford lighthouse from the breakwater on the opposite shore overturned during a sudden squall. Mirfin, who was the father of two small children, was in a boat which was being rowed across the river by 14 year old Wallace Petzolt, son of William Petzolt, Stratford lighthouse keeper. Young Petzolt clung to the side of the overturned boat until rescued. When the rowboat overturned both Mirfin and the boy succeeded in coming to the surface and clinging to the side of the overturned boat. Mirfin became alarmed when he saw that the overturned boat was being carried by the current out into the Sound. He called to the boy to let go of the boat and swim for the breakwater. The boy refused to do so and pleaded with Mirfin not to make the attempt. Mirfin insisted, however and had gone but a short distance when he sank from sight.
November 23, 1931 - BODY IS RECOVERED FROM HOUSATONIC: The body of Frederick Albrecht, 35 of California Street, Stratford, who was drowned in the Housatonic River on November 4, was discovered Saturday by David Hughes of West Broad Street, Stratford. Hughes says he saw the body floating near the southern end of Short Beach between the last cottage and the Point. Medical Examiner H. DeLuca was summoned. Albrecht was drowned when his rowboat upset as he was attempting to raise anchor. His companion, Ira Shepard, 75 was rescued from drowning by two fishermen. Albrecht and Shepard clung to the rowboat five minutes then the former lost his grip.
August 6, 1933: BODY FOUND OFF LONG BEACH: The decomposed body of a young man clad in a bathing suit was found floating near Long Beach in the waters of Long Island Sound at Stratford this afternoon. There were no identifying marks and the decomposition made positive identification appear impossible. Stratford police immediately made efforts to communicate with the parents in New York City of William Kramer, 20 who drowned May 25 off Silver Sands in Milford.
December 15, 1933 - DUCK HUNTERS LOST IN SOUND: Two Believed Drowned, One Rescued off Housatonic River Mouth: Two duck hunters were reported drowned today as their rowboat overturned in Long Island Sound, Stratford, at the mouth of the Housatonic River. A single survivor, Minot Barter 34, of Danbury, was rescued from the overturned craft, after it had floated up the Housatonic on the tide. He was taken to the Bridgeport Hospital. Barter said his two companions, Dr. John Mayerick and Joseph Sabo, both of Danbury, were lost as their 14-foot boat was swamped by high waves in the sound about dawn. The three men coming from Danbury to take advantage of the last day of the duck hunting season hired a boat and started about 4 a.m. today for the lower river meadows. Barter said they encountered difficulties early as their oarlocks froze. Then the boat capsized in the heavy seas. Barter did not see his companions again. Clinging to the overturned rowboat and crying for help, Barter attracted the attention of two Stratford men Henry Fordham and Donald Johnson, who rowed into mid-stream and rescued him. He was rushed to the hospital in an automobile. Doctors said he was in serious condition, suffering from exposure.
1941 Bus crash
September 16, 1934: SKEET SHOOTER DROPS DEAD AT LORDSHIP: Arthur Swinyer, 76 of Vermont, fell dead at the Remington Gun Club range at Stratford Point shortly before 11 today. Dr. Luther Heidger, Stratford medical examiner said death was due to heart failure and shock. Swinyer who was a member of the Burlington Gun Club, was a nationally known skeet shooter and this was his second visit to the Remington Range. He was accompanied by his wife on the visit here. He collapsed in full view of more than 100 skeet shooters participating in a match.
May 24, 1935: STRATFORD SALESMAN FOUND DEAD IN AUTO: Sidney Dunning, 49 of Stratford, coal salesman, was found dead in his automobile on an isolated road in the Lordship section of Stratford tonight. Dr. Luther Heidger, medical examiner gave a verdict of suicide and said death was due to monoxide gas. He said the man had been dead five hours. The body was discovered by Detective Sergeant Fred Albright of the Stratford Police. Police said Dunning had worried over financial difficulties.
May 19, 1937: MURDER SUICIDE IN LORDSHIP: By mutual agreement of her grandparents, Arlene Bell 22 month old daughter of Gilmore Bell, 26, who took his own life after slaying his wife at their Lordship home early Monday morning while police said his mind was temporarily deranged as a result of overwork, will be adopted by her maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McJilton of Schenectady, NY.
March 28, 1941: LORDSHIP CRACK-UP MAKES STRATFORD SAFETY CONSCIOUS: Wreck Of Speeding Sedan Placed On View Near Town Hall As Example Of What Can Happen: Stratford has indeed been Safety Conscious since one person was killed and six seriously injured following the collision of a passenger car and a Lordship bus near Our Lady of Peace Chapel in Lordship at 9:40 p.m. March 20. The horror aroused by reading about the tragic result of the passenger car 60 mile per hour speed for no reason except to see how fast it would go was intensified when the wrecked car was set up near the Town Hall by the Stratford police so that everybody who passed that spot would see and perhaps take warning. Those in the passenger car were so seriously injured that it was not possible to learn from any of them who was at the wheel when the crash occurred until three days after the accident. The police announced on Monday that Fabio Carnaroli, 22 years of age from Bridgeport was the driver of the car as well as the owner. It will probably be some time before he is able to leave Bridgeport Hospital, but when he is able he will be arraigned in the Stratford town court under serious charges. Viola Imperator an 18 year old from Bridgeport, who sat in the front seat was instantly killed when Carnaroli drove his car into the Lordship bus. When police arrived on the scene they found the unfortunate girls head caught between the steering wheel and the dashboard and her skull had been crushed. She was buried Monday. Others in the car were Lillian Bayerle 16, Frances Thomas 16 and Carmen Bruno 22 all of Bridgeport. Murray Van Amburgh, driver of the Lordship bus and Calvin Blieu of Stratford, a passenger in the bus were also injured. One of the fortunate things about the incident was that there was only one passenger in the bus when the crack-up came. The driver of the bus told the police that the car practically flew at the bus with such suddenness that the flash of Carnarolis headlights and the impact of the car against the bus seemed to come at the same moment. As the police reconstructed the accident, the car was tearing down Stratford Road in a southerly direction at a speed of between 60 and 70 miles as hour. There is a curve near Prospect Drive. The curve is banked and can be made easily by any car traveling at a legal speed. But Carnaroli was going so fast that the car failed to keep the curve and flew off to the left just as the Lordship bus came along traveling in the opposite direction. It was one of the toughest wrecks the Stratford police ever had to deal with because the bodies of the people in the car were pinned down by the wreckage of the car and crowbars had to be used to free them and get them on their way to the Bridgeport Hospital. This proved to be another reminder that one police ambulance is not enough to meet emergency situations. At the very time the police ambulance was needed for the victims of this crash at Lordship it was busy on another call and private cars has to be commandeered.
February 20, 1942: ARMY AVIATOR KILLED WHEN PLANE CRASHES IN LORDSHIP: Witness Heard Engine Sputter Before Ship Plunger Into Marsh: An atmosphere of gloom is still hovering over the town of Stratford as the result of the death of Second Lieutenant Harry Mathews, of Gates, North Carolina, a member of a U.S. Army Pursuit squadron which is stationed at the Municipal airport in Lordship. Lieutenant Mathews met his death when a P-39 pursuit plane which he was operating plunged into the Lordship marshes shortly before 11 am Sunday morning. The accident occurred a few hundred yards south of Lordship Meadows Road. Although the cause of the accident has not been officially determined, witnesses declare that the plane overshot the airport in making a landing and crashed into the meadows. This announcement was made by Lt. A. R. Ames, commanding officer of the squadron to which Matthews belonged. He said that the ship spun out of a turn when the engine began sputtering at an altitude of about 100 feet and crashed to earth. The first to reach the scene were the volunteer firemen of the Lordship firehouse and it was they who found the body of the lieutenant under the wrecked plane. He was dead when extricated by soldiers from the field a few minutes later. All entrances to the airport were blocked by police from Stratford and Bridgeport and only those who had official business and soldiers were allowed to be near the scene. Police Chief William Nichols of the Stratford police and Captain John Barton of the Bridgeport police department were at the scene soon after the crash was reported. Five minutes after the report of the crash reached police headquarters here the ambulance arrived, but the victim was already dead and nothing could be done for him. Lieutenant Mathews had only been married a short time to Mary Mac-Matthews. The wedding took place on December 18, 1941. They resided on West Broad Street during the past month. His parents also survive. Lieutenant Mathews was a graduate of Wake Forest College. He was a school teacher before entering the air corps last April. His basic flight training was received at Randolph Field, Texas and he graduated from the pursuit training school at Victoria, Texas, December 12, 1941. The spot where the plane struck is about half a mile to the southwest end of the airports southwest-northeast runway on which the plane was about to land. Mrs. Charles Hubbard of 491 Washington Parkway, Lordship says she saw the accident from her window. She said she saw the plane in a left turn when only about 100 feet high, when suddenly it dived out of control and plunged into the marsh on its left wing and nose. She said she heard the engine sputtering previous to the crash.
December 10, 1947 - Services for Paul Honcharik, 20, of Stratford, who was killed instantly shortly after 11 o'clock Monday night when an auto in which he was a passenger overturned after striking a utility pole in Stratford Road, Lordship, will take place Thursday at 9 o'clock in St Nicholas Russian Orthodox church. Burial will be in Lakeview cemetery. According to police, George Lonzon, 20, of Bridgeport, Seaman second class, United States Navy was driving the car owned by Edith Todd of Danbury, north on Stratford Road when it struck the pole opposite the Lordship Community Church, snapping it in two. Mr. Lonzon was thrown free by the impact, police said. Mr. Honcharik was pronounced dead by Dr. Chester Haberlin, medical examiner, and Mr. Lonzon was taken to Bridgeport Hospital where he was treated for bruises of the right knee and both hands. He was released following treatment. Police said Lonzon was arrested on a charge of operating a motor vehicle so as to cause loss of life and held in bonds of $1,500.
January 10, 1963: Last weeks tragedy in which a young wife and mother died after being struck by a car while walking along the dark edge of Stratford Road has brought to mind the age old question: Should we have sidewalks in Lordship? A comment was once made that the Hartland-Airway-Maureen-Ash-Curtis section was not too pleasant an area in which to live because of the close proximity to the Town Dump; however it must be remembered that this is the only section of our community to have sidewalks on both sides of the street. The subject of sidewalks has often been discussed by mothers who fearfully send their children to school each day hoping they will arrive safely without being hit by a car. Some children in the past walked from as far as Hartland Street, others now walk from as far as Maureen Street along Stratford Road, down Prospect Drive and on over Crown Street to Lordship School, three quarters of the way without sidewalks. Another treacherous road without sidewalks is Short Beach Road part of which children use to go to Great Neck School and especially dangerous to walk during the height of summer beach hours. Surely Stratford Road if not every street in Lordship and the whole of Stratford should have sidewalks for the safety of pedestrians no matter what their age.
AUGUST 4, 1966: THREE BOYS DROWN IN STATE MISHAPS: Three boys drowned Wednesday in Connecticut. Two 14 year olds, Michael DeRose and Guy Curry, both of Stratford drowned while swimming off Long Beach. Lifeguards reported that they saw DeRose and Curry in trouble and that both went under.
June 3, 1967: BODY FOUND ON LONG BEACH: A fisherman Friday found the decomposed body of 55 year old Donald Sawyer missing since his 35 foot cabin cruiser was found grounded on Penfield Reef in Long Island Sound on May 7. The body had washed ashore on Long Beach in Lordship. The Seymour native was tentatively identified by a wallet in his pocket. The Coast Guard has said there was evidence of an explosion aboard the craft.
November 9, 1967 - FOG SHROUDS CALLS AS MAN DROWNS: A Stratford fisherman whose cries of help were heard by a Milford Point resident Friday was found drowned in the marshes there Saturday. Max Clipit, employed as a lace weaver at the American Fabric Company had gone fishing at 5 am Friday at Short Beach. When he failed to return to home to take his wife to work at 9 am, she became worried. She called his company and found out he had not shown up for work. When her husband failed to return in the evening she called the Stratford Police. Officer Joseph Lowrey reported that he and Councilman Walter Auger had located the fishermans car locked and empty at the public end of Short Beach near the front row of cottages. Lowrey said they had checked the entire beach but found no evidence of the missing man. At the same time the Coast Guard and Harbor Master Fletcher Lewis were notified of the missing fisherman. Sergeant George Milure checked with friends of Clipit who said his favorite fishing haunt was near Number 7 light buoy at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Milford Police reported that Harold Phoenix of Milford Point Road had heard someone calling for help in the direction of buoy No. 7 early Friday morning. Phoenix said he answered the cries for about 10 minutes until they stopped. He could not see in the heavy fog and finally the rising tide forced him to retreat to the shore. He notified the Milford Police and the Coast Guard. Saturday morning, a police boat searched the Milford Point area again while the Harbor Master covered the harbor. Still nothing was found. Early that evening officers George Elliot reported to headquarters the body of Clipit identified by papers in his wallet was found in the marshes on Milford Point. The body had washed in and remained on the high tide level mark in that area. Stratford Police said they thought Clipit probably was trapped on the sand bar off Short Beach by the incoming tide.
APRIL 27, 1968: BOOT HELPS IDENTIFY PLANE CRASH VICTIM: Bones washed ashore on a beach have been identified by means of a boot as those of Patricia Hemenway of Derby, one of four persons reported missing since December 16 in the crash of a plane in Long Island Sound. A black boot, still on the leg bone was that of the 21 year old woman, her mother and other relatives agreed. The bones were found Wednesday on Lordship Beach. The plane vanished on a flight from Amityville, NY to Bridgeport Airport. Those reported in addition to Miss Hemenway, were Mrs. Sandra Mead 24 of Derby; James Tyree of Massapequa, NY and Ted Satcher of Valley Stream, NY a student pilot.
October 14, 1969: POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN LORDSHIP: A motorcycle patrolman who rode in New Havens Columbus Day Parade and then took a side trip to visit his parents died Monday of fractures when he fell from his vehicle. Police reports said Patrolman Arthur Salthouse, 27, died shortly afternoon in Bridgeport Hospital when his motorcycle went out of control in Stratford. Police reports said Salthouse fell from his vehicle on Short Beach Road after the motorcycle swerved out of control traveling 500 feet. Police are checking reports that the cycle had both siren and red light in operation and the officer may have been in pursuit of a car.
June 27, 1978: DROWING AT SHORT BEACH: Michael Rich, 16 of Bridgeport, disappeared about 2:30 pm Sunday while swimming with a friend in the Short Beach area of the Housatonic River in Stratford police said. A six hour search by Coast Guard, Milford, Bridgeport and Stratford personnel failed to locate him. His body was spotted Monday morning off Lordship Point in Stratford by a radio stations airborne traffic reporter.