WWIIMonument

LORDSHIP AT WAR

This page is dedicated to the Lordship men who gave their all to protect our way of life. Their names are listed on the monument on Lordship Green.

LORDSHIP HONOR ROLL

JosephCastello

Lt. Joseph Castello

WilliamHall

Lt. William Hall

RobertJacob

Staff Sgt. Robert Jacob

JohnRedman

Mm. John Redman

FrankSharon

Pvt. Frank Sharon

RichardTiburzi

Pvt. Richard Tiburzi

Sharron

Private Frank Sharron

SgtJacob

Sgt. Jacob

VeteransDay

Veterans Day

LORDSHIP IN THE REVOLUTION

Memoir of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge: One of the latest naval exploits of the war was the capture of a British privateer in Long Island Sound by a detachment of forty men from the army. Colonel Tallmadge, in a report to General Washington, dated February 21, 1783, says: "Yesterday the Enemy's Vessel was discovered near Stratford Point, when at 2 O'clock P.M. the troops were embarked in a fast sailing Vessel prepared for that purpose, which was commanded by Capt. Hubbel, and at 4 P.M. they came up with her, when she gave a discharge of her Cannon followed by her Swivels and musketry (our troops being concealed) till both vessels met, when the troops rose, gave the Enemy one discharge of Musketry and boarded them with fixed bayonets. The Captain of the Privateer was killed and only three or four of his men were wounded, two of them supposed mortally wounded. Tho' Captain Hubbel's Vessel was much damaged in her hull, spars & rigging, yet not a man on board was killed or wounded. Captain Brewster, who commanded the troops, as well as the other officers and soldiers on board, deserve commendation for the spirit and zeal with which this service has been performed. The Privateer is called the Three Brothers, was commanded by Captain Johnstone, mounting eleven Carriage Guns, four Swivels and twenty-five Stand of small Arms, and navigated by twenty-one men."

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A SECOND ACCOUNT: Having noticed one of the enemy's armed vessels frequently passing across the Sound, and taking her station at anchor under Stratford Point, and learning that her special business was to bring over goods, and take back produce in return, as well as to annoy our commerce from East to West through the Sound, I began to entertain hopes that we might capture or destroy her. To this end, I rode over to Bridgeport to find some suitable vessel for the purpose. Capt. Hubbel had the very thing I wanted, and moreover wished to have the Sound freed from such a nuisance, as he wished to prosecute his accustomed voyages to Boston, etc. We finally came to the following agreement, viz.: Capt. Hubbel engaged so to manage and navigate his vessel so that he would absolutely come in contact with the enemy's sloop-of-war; which being done, I engaged to take her or pay him for his vessel, which must of course fall into the enemy's hands. I accordingly ordered 45 men from my detachment, under the immediate orders of Lieutenants Rhea and Stanley, of the Legion, together with Capt. Brewster's boat's crew of continental troops, to be held ready for service. On the 20th February, 1783, the same vessel was discovered under Stratford Point. The troops were immediately embarked -- the whole to be commanded by Capt. Brewster -- with particular orders not to appear on the deck until they should be needed. Capt. Amos Hubbel, who commanded our vessel, left his anchorage at about 2 O'clock, and at 4 pm the vessels were within speaking distance. The enemy immediately commenced a full discharge of their cannon and swivels, which crippled Capt. Hubbel's vessel in her hull, mast, and rigging very considerably. He, however, stood at the helm himself. And although a shot had passed through his mast, yet he brought his bow directly across the side of the British ship. When within a few yards of each other, the order was given for the troops to appear on the deck, when the command to fire immediately followed, and in a moment the two vessels came in contact, when the whole detachment boarded the enemy's ship with fixed bayonets, and she was captured in a moment. Nearly every man on board was either killed or wounded, while not a man of our detachment was hurt. In a few hours both vessels were snugly moored at Black Rock harbor, and all was again quiet. I reported this affair to the Commander-in-Chief, who returned his thanks in his letter dated February 26th, 1783, and gave an order of condemnation of the prize, the avails of which were duly distributed to the troops. After this event we captured several boats, some belonging to the British and some to our side, for we served all that we found carrying on this illicit trade pretty much alike.

BenjaminTallmadge

Mr. Nathan B. McEwen gave the following, told to him by his father: In the war of the Revolution my grandfather and great uncle Daniel McEwen owned land in the Great Neck, near Stratford Point and fearing they might be taken prisoners, when British vessels were in the Sound or boats coming from Long Island for that purpose, they placed my father, then a small boy on Round Hill the highest land on the Neck to watch for any vessel that might land and give the alarm. Many a tedious hour he said he spent there for that purpose. At one time there came two vessels and cruised off and on most of the day. The town was alarmed and the militia was called out and a small gun which in derision was called the Clister pipe was taken down the neck to oppose the landing of the British. While there a squall came up sudden and struck the brig Kingfisher, which immediately sank. Then a great shout went up from those on shore. Her masts being out of water the crew took refuge in the rigging. It was not known whether any were lost except two men they had taken prisoners at Branford and their bodies drifted ashore near where they were taken prisoners.

1775: Immediately after the battle at Lexington, coaster captain John Brooks Sr. was chased in from the sea by the Asia, first British warship to arrive. When Asia anchored off Stratford Point, the townsmen sent out a party under a flag of truce to find out their intentions. Their intentions soon were known. They commissioned a young truce-party member named Chapman a lieutenant and signed up several others. They also topped off their stores with whatever food would sell them and trade was brisk.

Captain Ebenezer Coe: "In 1781 the enemy landed on the Great Neck in Stratford, killed a valuable horse, and carried off 27 sheep from me." The State of Connecticut voted to pay his expenses while disabled, and granted him #60 for the loss of his eye. Captain Ebenezer Coe of Fairfield Company of the 4th Connecticut militia was placed on the invalided pension roll of the U. S., Nov. 25, 1788. (U. S. Pension Rolls.) His injuries sustained at Ridgefield precluded further field service, but he was commissioned lieutenant of the Home Guards, Feb. 9, 1779. On Apr. 25, 1777, 12 o'clock at night marched to Fairfield, 26th to Danbury, 27th to Ridgefield, being Lord's Day; attacked the enemy, and received a musket ball through my head, cut off part of my right ear, and carried out my right eye. I fell as dead for a time, but recovered my thoughts after being inhumanly stabbed with a bayonet in my side and right hand, while unfeelingly by me as dead; which perhaps was the means, by turning the stream of blood another way, of saving my life." Tradition explains further, that while Captain Coe lay on the field wounded a British soldier was about to pierce him with a bayonet when a superior officer severely reprimanded him, took up Captain Coe, carried him to a school house near by, examined his commission which was in his pocket, expressed his sorrow at being unable to give him further aid and withdrew. The Captain recovered and lived many years afterwards. Captain Coe closed an honored life August 1, 1820 aged eighty-five years, and was buried in the Congregational Church Burial Ground at Stratford.

British Frigate

Thomas Deliverance Painter, born 31 May 1701, was drowned near Stratford Point, Conn., 1 Sept. 1781. The aged deacon met a tragic end near the close of the Revolutionary War. On the night of 1 Sept. 1781 three British vessels landed one hundred and fifty men at West Haven, Conn., who, having secured the eleven sentinels, collected cattle and other plunder. They returned to their vessels without discovery, taking with them their booty, two of the sentinels, and Deliverance Painter and his brother-in-law, Captain John Catlin. The boat carrying the four patriots capsized near Stratford Point, and Painter and the two sentinels were drowned, Catlin alone escaping. The Painter home, now known as the James Reynolds house, had been ransacked, and the son, Lamberton Painter, evaded capture only by hiding under tobacco leaves in the garret.

July 2, 1779: Sir, As New Haven is the only port in which the rebels have any vessels (except New London) it is, in my opinion, better to begin there. The landing seems good on the east side or tongue, nor can you be insulted on your retreat. You must, when landed, by a rapid march get possession of the rebel work, two miles to the northward, on a bluff commanding the harbor, and then your ships, &c., may enter it. The troops may afterward, if they cannot ford the creek, be landed on the other side or being landed on New Haven beach proceed at proper time of tide to New Haven. The country is populous and there are many friends but 'tis not advisable to stay any time in the force you will be. I should suppose your business must be done in 24 or 48 hours, at each place you will think an object, and being done, the sooner you embark the better. The cattle may be embarked from the New Haven beach. Your next object seems to be Fairfield. Once in possession of the Black Rock battery, at the head of the harbor, all becomes easy, and you can always retire by Fair Weather Island, which has deep water on the south side, but not above six feet within. You may likewise land at STRATFORD POINT drive the cattle of that district and embark them from thence at your leisure from Charles Island. You may do the same with those you find at or near Milford. By these desultory expeditions you will, particularly at this season, annoy the rebels much, deter their militia from assembling and having cruisers off New London, you will know what there is in that harbor and keep it there; but, in my opinion, it must not be attempted without there are vessels to make it an object, and to do it you must be reinforced. I expect from this move will either pass the North river with his whole army or strong detachments, and I wish you to be always within 24 or 48 hours of joining me. With every wish for your success, believe me, sir, yours, &c., (Signed) SIR HENRY CLINTON.

January 10, 1777: TERROR GRIPS STRATFORD: Ye better not captain dare permit them prisoners of war to enter yuh dor! cautioned an irate citizen of Stratford cautioned Captain John Brooks at his home on Newfield Point on the early morning of January 10, 1777. Captain Brooks warmed his hands over the fireplace. In my house I entertain whom I see fit, the Captain replied. With a grunt the citizen made a slight bow to his host and stormed out the door. Now alone, Captain Brooks shook his head. Some folks he thought push themselves right in on a persons private life and home. A few days before there had been an exchange of prisoners of war, who had landed on STRATFORD POINT by the British under a flag of truce and as a gesture displaying the spirit of human kindness, Captain Brooks extended an invitation to his home. Many citizens such as the one who had just departed in anger tried to tell him what and what not to do. His invitation stood. Almost a month to the day Captain Brooks had opened his home to the prisoners of war, the terror struck. It began with Charlie Peck returning home with a chill followed by a high fever, a headache, pains everywhere, vomiting and convulsions. Not until the third day did the full meaning of the illness become clear, but with the rash on Charlie Pecks hands and face, there was no mistake it was smallpox. Charlie Pecks got smallpox, the cry jetted over Stratford sending waves of fear flooding every heart. Women made their children stay indoors. Men circled far around the condemned Peck home. But the disease like an avenging monster began to stalk the town. The epidemic had begun. One by one the townspeople fell victim. Vaccination was unknown. By February 19, 1777 the epidemic was so serious that a special meeting was held where the Stratford Masonic Hall now stands. More than 600 men, women and children were smallpox cases. People were afraid to pass each other in the street and children kept within doors long began to cry. Nightmare for Stratford. At the special meeting headed by Captain Brooks a riot almost broke out when a citizen yelled from the crowd: Ye thar are the cause of this curse upon us! At once the cry was taken up. Captain Brooks raised his hands over his head. He yelled silence! Better you save your words for prayer to the Lords then waste them on me. Under the strong gaze of Captain Brooks the crowd fell silent. Captain Brooks mapped out a campaign against the most fearful enemy he had ever fought. He ordered all clothing and bedding burned, every man, woman and child to wash their hands almost hourly. He told them to pray to your God that this evil will be lifted that has fallen upon us. Stratford became a praying town. Now their prayers were not mere prayers that oozed from the deepest section of the human heart. And God heard. Slowly like a midst before the dawn, the epidemic faded away. And on March 1, 1977 as a symbol all would be well, the sun a ball of golden fire crawled up over the rim of the horizon. Stratford had survived the smallpox but it was a long period before the scars of that terror healed.

LORDSHIP IN THE WAR OF 1812

SCATTER, MEN, SCATTER: In this conflict of 1812, with Great Britain, vessels of war frequently came up the Sound and lay off Stratford to obtain supplies from the Housatonic River and their presence was alarming to the people of Stratford, they fearing the soldiers would land, plunder or burn the town or carry off men as prisoners of war. To prevent such calamities a guard of soldiers was stationed at the mouth of the river to keep watch and give alarm, should there be any occasion. One afternoon such a war vessel came and lay off the harbor late in the afternoon and just at night Sergeant James Coe, with several soldiers under his command was sent as a guard to watch the movements of the enemy. It being near dark when they took their post of observation and hence they thought they saw several men in groups slightly moving as if in consultation ready to move forward. Charles Burritt who had worked about there in the day time and had guarded there in the night, knew that what seemed to be groups of soldiers were only bunches of thistles which grew there and were moved by the wind, said softly to Sergeant Coe, Shall I shoot? I have two in range; I can kill them both. No, no! said the Sergeant, don't fire , but Scatter boys Scatter Or we shall all be killed! And scatter they did in double quick still carrying on the joke. Soon the story was taken up by the younger men and the sergeant being a man easily teased, did not soon hear the last of Scatter, men! scatter! Which was the proper command to be given had there been real danger.

The episode has been referred to as the "Battle at Neck Creek" and took place at the basin at Short Beach.

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War of 1812

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War of 1812

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War of 1812

LORDSHIP IN WORLD WAR I

APRIL 11, 1918 - PATRIOTIC TALK AT LORDSHIP MANOR: There will be a patriotic meeting this afternoon at 3:30 o'clock, in the Lordship school at Lordship Manor and all interested women are cordially invited to attend. Mrs. Ruth Kilpatrick who will represent the Minute Women of Bridgeport will give an interesting talk. Mrs. C. C. Kennedy, chairman of the Stratford branch of the Connecticut division of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, will also be present and address the women.

JUNE 20, 1918 - Policemen and Firemen to Have Lordship Camp: Tents Erected for 100 Men - 25 Acres Ready for War Gardens. The Police and Fire department members of Bridgeport are to have a permanent summer camp at Lordship. Already they have erected tents there and 100 members, about equally divided between the two departments, have pledged themselves to go there daily for diversion and for patriotic garden effort. Through the action of the traffic squad, the police already have arranged the tenting facilities for the home gardening members who have undertaken to till 20 acres of land taken from the famous Minot farm property. Beautifully fertile soil, it is being turned today for the first time in about 20 years. A great Avery tractor is digging behind gangplows turning four rows at a time. It will be harrowed and put into the best of condition and then the rivalry between the two departments is expected to become intense. Potatoes will be the main crop divided into group gardens worked by the police and fire department members with horses, with rakes and with hoes under the expert guidance of garden supervisors from the Storrs Agricultural College furnished by the Bridgeport Home Gardens committee of the war bureau. Fertilizer and the best seed that can be obtained will be purchased for the project and many side issues in the way of one-man patches to grow the delicacies of the table will arise between individual members of the departments who consider themselves already experts in the gardening line. It Is a safe bet to wager that no garden patches about Bridgeport will receive such zealous care as will those at Lordship which is the home of truck farms. Situated far out on the point the men will have an ideal spot for swimming, boating and bathing before and after there days work is completed. John Ott secretary of the Home Gardens bureau declares that the utmost enthusiasm exists even though the hot weather season has already set in.

OCTOBER 24, 1918 - LORDSHIP AWAY OVER: Lordship with 95 percent of her 300 population Liberty loan subscribers and every home displaying the honor emblem stands out as a monument in patriotism in Fairfield County. There were 286 subscribers out of the 300 population, aggregating $20,050 and of this amount $8,369 was paid in cash. The committee in charge of the Lordship campaign consisted of Joseph DuCotey, chairman, J.W. Montayne, C.A. Phelan, A.L. Anderson, N.M. Schwab, H.J. Mudgett and Merle Cowles.

JANUARY 8, 1919 - LORDSHIP MANOR WILL HAVE TANK BEAR ITS NAME: Wins Distinction by Subscribing 91 Per Cent, in Fourth Loan. Names of communities in the New York Federal Reserve district, which by their records in the Fourth Liberty Loan campaign won the right to christen ten ships and ten tanks, were allowed to compete for the honor of naming ships, while only non-banking towns could enter the tank christening contest. The privilege of naming tanks was awarded on the basis of the percentage of population subscribing Hinckley, N. Y. and Lordship Manor, Connecticut, with 94 and 91 percent, respectively won the awards at large.

JULY 24, 1924 - MOVIES OF POLICE AND FIREMEN IN GARDENS: Pictures of the police and firemen at work preparing and tending their gardens at Lordship park will be shown for the first time at the Poli Theatre beginning Thursday evening. Those pictures that were taken by L. H. Corbit will show the men hoeing the potatoes, corn and beans on their 25 acre garden and those that have been privileged to see the picture say that it is one of the best that the photographer has ever taken. The picture will in addition to being one in which most of the people are interested because they are acquainted with the police and firemen and know the section, be educational as it will show the latest up-to-date methods of farming. A forty horse power four gang tractor will be shown turning four furrows at a speed at least twice as fast as one pair of horses could turn one furrow. Following the tractor, harrow and plow will be seen the horse drawn planter dropping fertilizer and seed at the same time. Police Superintendent John H. Redgate and Fire Chief Daniel E. Johnson will be seen in these pictures in full uniform lending inspiration to some 50 men who are handling hoes. A number of prominent citizens, state and county officials will be seen in this picture including, J. J. DuCotey, manager of the Lordship Realty company, through whose public spiritedness the Bridgeport Home Gardens committee were able to secure this land for cultivation.

LORDSHIP IN WORLD WAR II

AUGUST 14, 1937 - SECRETLY BUILT U. S. AIRSHIP IS GIVEN FIRST TEST: The navy's new aerial dreadnaught the Sikorsky XPBS-1 built here for two years with great secrecy was given its first test flights and performed "perfectly" according to Sikorsky officials and Eddie Allen, test pilot. The craft carrying navy department observers made four flights on Long Island Sound, off Stratford light, and was reliably reported by observation planes carrying photographers to have attained a speed of 200 miles an hour, or more. Two flights were made in the morning and two in the afternoon with flight periods varying from 22 to 45 minutes. No attempt was made for altitude tests and most of the time the ship flew at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet. The craft, larger than the familiar Clipper ship, has a wing spread of 125 feet and a length of approximately 78 feet. Its weight is in excess of 54,000 pounds.

The Honor Roll - Those who served

SgtKetcham

Pilot Ketcham

DonaldsonBros

Donaldson Brothers

LTLindstrom

Lt. Lindstrom

LtLindstrom

Lt. Erickson

LordshipSoldiers

Lordship Soldiers

BMNolting

BM Nolting

Bros

Lordship Brothers

Curtiss

Pfc. Roger Curtiss

Fitzpatrick

Sgt. Fitzpatrick

Kenyon

John Kenyon

LaSalleBros

LaSalle Brothers

LtPeterson

Lt. Norval Peterson

WeidmanBros

Weidman Brothers

SgtKetcham

Sgt. James Ketcham

OtisSalzer

Otis Salzer

RHorkheimer

RHorkheimer

SgtMassimino

Sgt. Massimino

February 22, 1942: GOVERNMENT TAKING OVER IN LORDSHIP: An enormous federal project that will make the entire Stratford area an integral part of New Englands defense line has been approved in Washington, The Bridgeport Herald learns. Competitive bids for the contracts which will create an entire community on the marshlands around the Municipal Airport and the Vought-Sikorsky plant now are being received and must be in by February 27. The work which will cost millions of dollars will make the Lordship area a vital defense zone and will include homes, offices, stores, recreation areas and accessory buildings for about 1,600 men. The most amazing part of the news is the announcement that the government expects the entire work to be done within a month, making the completion date about April 1. The specifications being kept secret except from the bidders, place a 30 day limit on the work. Only a few local contractors are bidding on the job because of the scope of the project. The Village is being built only for the emergency and the buildings will be of a demountable type which can easily be ripped down when peace comes to these Long Island Sound shores. Most of the work is expected to rise out of the lands east of the Sikorsky plant, around the marine base and running around the Lordship Road almost to the Sound. The contracts are not only for the buildings, but for sewers, light and power plants, heating units, streets and maintenance. It a contractor is found to handle the job by February 24, Stratford will become a boom town. Although some of the labor will be recruited in this vicinity, most of it will have to be imported causing more housing headaches for Stratford and Bridgeport. The Stratford site was chosen because of its proximity to Bridgeports defense industries, the Sikorsky plant and the airport. The residents in the Lordship area will be cut off from the non-defense areas of Stratford proper. It is expected that special police will incorporate the private properties near the Sound in a system engulfing the entire Lordship area.

OCTOBER 21, 1942 - LORDSHIP HOMES ROCK: Believing that a terrific explosion had occurred, Lordship residents made hurried calls to The Post at 9:50 am today seeking information as to why windows and doors in their homes were shaking. Stratford police stated that they had no report of any explosion in the vicinity, but offered the opinion that the vibrations were the result of Army ammunition tests which are conducted at testing grounds on Long Island.

LORDSHIP WARDEN CRITICIZES USE OF SCHOOL AS SHELTER: Rebellion within the ranks of Stratfords air raid precaution organization has broken out in Lordship, the Tenth District, it was learned last night. Leader of the revolt is Lowell Mason, Tenth District air raid warden who in a lengthy letter to the Lordship Parent Teacher Association outlines his disagreements with those directing the towns air raid policies. Mason has since been notified that the PTA executive committee, headed by Mrs. Charles Callaghan, has approved his stand. A summary of the Lordship complaints assert that several decisions recently are proving detrimental to the good organizational start made in the Tenth District and are tending to throw the district into a disorganized finish. Chief among the Lordship complaints is a plan which would have the children in the school during an air raid. Lordship School should not be used as a haven for our children during an attack district leaders say. People should keep out of larger buildings as they are natural military targets they declared. The schoolhouse is the largest target in Lordship. PTA leaders have contacted Architect Frederick Beckwith to ascertain the schools safety or lack of it during an air raid. They found that the only safe place would be the main auditorium in the center of the school and this would be safe only if a bomb landed outside the school. They were told the only steel reinforcement in the school is in the foundation they the outer walls are of stone and concrete construction 20 inches thick and only six inches thick around the windows and that the roof is entirely of wood construction. Almost the whole future generation of Lordship would be wiped out if a good sized bomb landed even near the school Mason asserts. Masons suggestion is that tests be conducted to see how long it will take for the children to get from school to their homes or other places of shelter. He believes that given three or four minutes they could get to their homes or the homes of friends. Mason and his assisting air wardens also take exception to town organizations policy of making the schoolhouse the headquarters for various vital air raid units. He feels that the Community Church basement would be a much better and safer place for the medical unit than the school. Everything is there that they can get at the school and it is a small building which looks like an ordinary dwelling and is no the easily visible and vulnerable target that the school is. He also believes that our headquarters, that of the wardens, the fire, police and engineering auxiliaries should all be at the firehouse. We have a lot of equipment to be stored such as trailers, fire extinguishers, pails, rope and hose. We should be located with the regular Lordship Fire Department. The Tenth district complaints are based on the theory that Lordship is a small, isolated community and methods which might prove satisfactory to other sections of town do not necessarily apply to Lordship.

April 10, 1942 - JUNIORS FOR AIR RAID CORPS: Youngsters Activities Causes Plan to Organize Boys and Girls: Believing that with proper training the young folks will make as good or better air raid wardens that adults, air raid wardens of the Tenth District (Lordship) are making preparation to organize a junior air raid warden corps to aid the older wardens in their duties. The idea was brought up by the activities of a number of the younger element and it has been decided to organize all of the boys and girls into what might be called a Junior Air Raid Warden corps. The first action taken in this respect was started in the Tenth District under the jurisdiction of Lowell Mason, who is one of the energetic wardens of the town. At a meeting held Monday afternoon at Lordship School a number of signatures were obtained and it begins to look as though the idea will take all over town. Boys and girls between the ages of nine and fifteen years are eligible to join the new organization. Instruction will be given just the same as that offered to adults and the young folk will have similar duties provided they are able to do them. They will be given some sort of insignia, probably arm bands, which will distinguish them from those who are not affiliated with the work. The instructors who will teach the youngsters their duties are air raid warden leaders and Boy Scout officials who are familiar with what is needed to make a good air raid warden and endeavor to show the boys and girls what they have to do. Mr. Mason believes that he will soon have an organization of young people that will make the adults hustle to keep up with them. Another meeting will be held in the near future when more new members will probably be added to the list now on hand.

NOVEMBER 13, 1942 - 300 BEACH COTTAGES STUDIED AS WAR HOUSING SOLUTION: Stratfords nearly 300 beach cottages may be converted to year round dwellings to house war workers. Lawton Cobb of the Stratford Land and Title Company contract broker for The Home Owners Loan Corporation in Stratford revealed yesterday. The recent curtailment of the use of labor and building material for the construction of family dwelling units may be overcome by a new plan the federal government is outlining Mr. Cobb said. The general plan is for property owners to offer their properties, not now being used for residential purposes, but which are suitable for conversion to this use, to the government. Through an agency selected to handle this operation the properties will be selected and the Home Owners Loan then will negotiate net leases with the owner. A net lease is where the government assumes all obligations including interest and principal payments and pays a net amount quarterly to the owner. The properties so selected then will be remodeled to make them available for residential purposes and will be rented to war workers, Mr. Cobb states. The type of property suitable for conversion most common in Stratford, Mr. Cobb states is beach cottages now suitable for summer use only. Other types of property that will be considered are large family properties suitable conversion to two and three family homes; warehouses; store properties and semi-public buildings.

The Army invades Lordship

MAY 20, 1943 - SIEZURE OF STRATFORD LAND FOR HOUSING CALLED BONER: Workers dormitories now under construction on fertile Stratford soil which yielded bountiful crops before acquisition by Federal Authorities through condemnation proceedings will stand as a monument to the highest boner the Government ever committed in Connecticut in relation to food production, in the opinion of Albert Wilkinson, Professor of vegetable gardening at the University of Connecticut. When the Government says we need more food and then takes the best land in the state for housing, when it could have gotten any amount of less useful land a quarter of a mile away that shows a lack of cooperation between Government departments at Washington, Professor Wilkinson declared. More than 60 dormitories intended to house hundreds of Chance Vought and Sikorsky workers are being built on Main Street, Stratford on 83 acres of land which prior to seizure, were owned by Patrick Callahan, William and John McGrath, Timothy Ryan and Cornelius Ahern. For years the land had supplied nearby families with fresh vegetables from June to November. The rich loam of the Callahan plot for example, yielded 400 bushels of potatoes to the acre. According to Harold Poole, Bridgeport agent for the Federal Public Housing Authority, the land was condemned only after all factors had been considered, with food needs measured against sound housing engineering. But he said frankly, the seizure has been a volcano under him ever since Stratford residents learned what was afoot. We knew when we picked it that it was a truck farm, Mr. Poole said. But it was the only site we could find that required a minimum amount of vital war materials where we could build economically under the limitations of the War Production Board and the Lanham Act. Moreover in the face of a gasoline and rubber shortage, it was important to free these workers from having to drive and from needing public transportation. The advantages of central operation and unlimited room for expansion would have been lost if other land had been chosen, Mr. Poole maintained. We weighed all these factors against the merits of the truck farms and we just couldnt be convinced that cabbage would win a war. It doesnt take vital materials of war to develop a truck farm. It takes manual labor and effort. To build a home it takes vital materials necessary for the fighting front copper, brass and iron and the material we saved have a direct bearing on the welfare of our men at the fighting front. What we use here, they can't have there. Besides, you can't bomb the Germans with cabbages or asparagus or what have you. This view conflicts with that of Paul Putnam, Professor of Farm Management at Storrs, who said: I'm not so sure but what our success in Italy may depend more on food than on bullets. They're hungry there now. If we can use food as a weapon in our arsenal of victory it will be an achievement saving many American lives. Dean E.G. Woodward also of Storrs, is disturbed by the spirit of futility and downright discouragement existing among Connecticut farmers. The spirit of rugged individualism if you want to call it that which has been a dominant characteristic among Connecticut farmers no longer seems to be at work,he said. There was a time when the individual could control his condition, at least to a certain extent. But we have come to a place where the farmer as an individual is no longer able to cope with the problems he faces of getting machinery, of getting labor and of handling Washington's red tape.

MAY 22, 1943 - COUNCIL ASKS ARMY TO DELAY LAND SIEZURE: Stratford Officials Seek Aid of State's Members of Congress, 3 Families Remain. Government Request Asks to Vacate by Midnight. Although technically obligated to vacate their homes by midnight tonight as the result of government instituted condemnation proceedings and ouster requests described by Stratford officials as high-handed, three Lordship families remained in residence today awaiting reports on town council efforts to obtain an extension of the time limit. Meeting in special session last night the council voted to enlist the support of Connecticut's congressional delegation in an appeal to the War Department on behalf of the owners of property which is to be taken over by the Army. Council Chairman Carleton Schwable said this morning that he was placing a call for Senator Francis Maloney and would ask the senator to arrange to have the state's senators and representatives meet council members in a conference in Washington Monday morning. If the necessary arrangements can be made, Mr. Schwable said he will leave for Washington tomorrow afternoon with the Acting Town Manager Daniel McLeod and Councilman Peter Ring Jr. The Stratford officials it is understood are prepared to proceed in the assumption that the War Department and the Army actually did not expect the three families to pack up and leave their homes at the expiration of a five-day time limit, but that some bureau head was responsible for the plight in which the residents find themselves. Telegrams received Tuesday requesting that you plan to vacate your property no later than May 2, constituted the first notice given to Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Brown, 780 Stratford Road; Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Harrison, 134 Cherry Street and Mr. and Mrs. Vladimir Offenberg, 95 Cherry Street that possession of their land and homes had been granted to the U.S. Army under the War Powers Act. Subsequently the families were served with copies of an official order for immediate possession. Nowhere in legal papers filed in connection with the condemnation proceedings is there any mention of a time limit such as that specified in the telegrams, which bore the name of Arthur Willes Jr., project manager, Taunton, Mass. The telegrams also noted that acquisition would be handled by U.S. Engineering Department. One town official pointed out yesterday that while it might be considered possible from a technical or legal viewpoint to move on five day's notice, such action would be impossible in most cases under normal conditions, let alone war-time conditions. Councilman Schwable who had joined Mr. McLeod in labeling the request that premises be vacated as high-handed opened last night's special meeting, called as the result of appeals by the families involved. His personal opinion, Mr. Schwable said was that the time allowed was unreasonable and it did not appear to him that any great emergency was involved. Naturally he continued, the families affected were anxious to do all in their power to aid the war effort, but surveying of property in the Lordship area had been going on for more than a year during which town officials endeavored without success to obtain information as to probable developments. No town has given more to the government than Stratford, the council chairman concluded, asserting that the town had not asked for war housing projects and that federal authorities now are quibbling about taxes on the properties. Town officials feel according to their statements that while there can be no criticism of the government's purpose in acquiring the land, the five-day ouster factor is open to attack. Taking all factors into consideration, Mr. McLeod said yesterday he believed the families could have been given at least 90 days notice. The method used was certainly high-handed, he said. The people involved certainly deserved more consideration. Mr. and Mrs. Brown, one of the three couples affected are in their seventies and their son John Brown, construction engineer at the Bridgeport Brass Company appeared at last night's meeting. His parents he said had been visited Tuesday night by a U.S. Marshall who asked if they had made arrangements to vacate. Another caller he said was a government appraiser who went through the dwelling, listed possessions and said that his list and evaluations would be checked by three other appraisers. A hearing on damages to be awarded will be conducted June 14. Mr. Brown said that in making his appeal he was aware that the government move was inevitable, but that he hoped something could be done so that other Stratford residents who may be affected in the future will receive more than five days notice to vacate their homes. Timothy Ryan, owner of other property sought by the government, asked the council to include in its appeal a request that he be allowed an extension of time so that he may harvest crops which already planted, will be ready by the middle of July.

780 Stratford Road

780 Stratford Road

96 Cherry Street

96 Cherry Street

134 Cherry Street

134 Cherry Street

If the terms of a request involved in a government acquisition were followed these three Lordship homes would have to be vacated by tonight, but their owners are awaiting the result of Stratford Town Council efforts to obtain time extensions. The homes are those of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Brown, 780 Stratford Road; Mr. and Mrs. Vladimir Offenberg, 95 Cherry Street and Mr. and Mrs. W. Harrison, 134 Cherry Street.

780 Stratford Road

780 Stratford Road

96 Cherry Street

96 Cherry Street

134 Cherry Street

134 Cherry Street

Three Lordship homes formerly located on land taken over by the government through condemnation proceedings are just about ready to settle down on new foundations as the Army fulfills its promised to handle the triple moving job with a minimum of distress or disturbance to the families involved. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Brown, formerly located at 780 Stratford Road has been crossing back lots to a new site in Margherita Lawn. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Vladimir Offenberg, formerly located at 95 Cherry Street will occupy a new site on Victoria Lawn and the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. Harrison, formerly located at 134 Cherry Street is being relocated at 173 Maple Street.

JULY 4, 1943 - LORDSHIP FAMILIES ARE UNHAPPY IN NEW SITES FOR THEIR HOMES: Still deeply resentful and irreconciled to the United States Government taking their property at 134 Cherry Street with only five days notice, for an extension of the municipal airport, but determined to make the best of a bad bargain, Mrs. W.F. Harrison once of 134 Cherry Street, was last week trying to set up her new home at 179 Maple Street in Lordship. An infirm stepladder precipitous and wobbly leads to the entrance. The contractors who in these war times can only work a few hours a day and sometimes intermittently for days at a time have not yet gotten around to building the entrance and steps. The cellar has been dug and the house placed firmly on its foundations, but all about is disorder in contrast to the well kept lawns of their former home, which took four of their years to occupancy and several more of previous owners to make charming. The Harrisons are the only family of the three Cherry Street residents dispossessed by the government who are actually living in their homes. It took two weeks by easy stages to move the house from Cherry Street to Maple Street. However much the Harrisons might have desired another remoter site, they were obligated Mrs. Harrison said to find a place not to far removed from the old site, because the cost of moving would be prohibitive. Mrs. Harrison did not say what the cost was, but it is generally estimated at about $1,000. The government doesn't pay for the moving, said Mrs. Harrison, who is weary of the whole thing. What is the use of talking about it, she said. The deed is done. We can't do anything about it and we must make the best of it. We don't like it, but we may in time like it as much as we did our old house. There are so many things that have to be adjusted. For example our fine trees, we couldn't uproot them and transplant them. It is different now to get men to do the work and here we have to wait. It was hard to get a lot. We had to move out of the house and stay at a friend's home for two weeks while moving was in progress and naturally we have to recompense our friends for our stay there. But the government does not consider that, not does it consider that we had to scurry about and find a lot. And the government makes no provision for that, gives us no money for that purpose. So that I wonder what we would do if we didn't have the cash for the lot. We'd be in a pretty predicament, but what concern is it of the government? Their attitude is take it of leave it and we don't get payment for our house for six months and probably longer. The Harrisons left all their furniture in their home except the dishes and it was moved with the house. Mrs. Harrison said the despite the unusual experience for the house, nothing had been upset. This spot, she says is not as attractive as the Cherry Street sire. It is noisy. It cost us $825 to dig up this site. All these extras and incidentals the government takes no stock of. But I suppose we must be satisfied. There's no use in grousing about it, now that its done. Well have to make the best of it. The Vladimir Offenbergs whose house on Cherry Street was also moved are not yet in their new home. Their pretty little cottage, one of the most attractive of the three taken, has been moved to Victoria Lawn opposite the home of their nephew, Serge Bolileff. The Offenbergs after the government order, retreated to the Bolileffs where they have been living for six weeks. They had not quite as much difficulty in finding a new lot for Mr. Offenbergs sister, Miss Vera Offenberg of New York City, owned the plot opposite their home and Mr. Offenberg bought it for his transplanted house at 210 Victoria Lawn. The house is moved, but thats all. Men are still working, building cement walks around the house and readying up the grounds. Mr. Offenberg, a Chance Vought employee, one of the original band of White Russians who came to Stratford with Igor Sikorsky when he started his first plant there spoke for his wife who does not speak fluent English. Said he: It is indeed a hardship to be ousted from one's home, but what can we do? There was no redress. The government says out and out we must go. The water has not been turned on nor has the electricity been connected, but Mr. Offenberg expects to be ready to occupy the house within the next week. It is not so attractive in its present site he said. I had to cut off the side porch, because the new plot of land is only 50 by 175 feet, whereas the Cherry Street sire was 80 by 120 feet. But the government doesnt pay me for that. And then there are all those beautiful trees which took years to grow. I am sure they will not bear transplanting. I shall lose many, I fear. The government ordered us out, paid us for the house only or will pay us in six months or a year and then washed its hands of the whole thing. We are not satisfied, but what can we do? The Calvin Browns who consider themselves the most tragically treated are irreconcilable with their lot. Mrs. Brown, 74 years old, her husband is 76 are still looking for a home. When the government took their house they went to live with their son John of Stratford and Mrs. Brown has been looking for a house ever since. They of the three dispossessed did not buy their home back. They let it go preferring to find another. There were too many tragic implications to our old home said Mrs. Brown. Now after 54 years I am homeless. The Brown house has been moved to Park Boulevard but the cellar is still not dug. The Browns refused to say who bought their old home from the government and in the town clerk's office it was said there was no record and probably would not be since the owner of the land bought the house and removed it to his property. Mrs. Brown expressed herself as too much disgusted to know or care who bought their home. The government took it and we dont know or care what they do with it, she said. No member of the Brown family would disclose the new purchaser, taking the attitude that it was the governments not their affair.

MAY 30, 1943 - U.S. COMPLETES CONDEMNATION OF LORDSHIP MEADOWS PROPERTY: The government has completed condemnation proceedings on 99.9 acres of Lordship meadow land to fulfill the quota of 108 acres specified earlier this month for military purposes. Condemnation papers were issued by Thomas Birmingham, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Connecticut district. The land partly under cultivation is the property of Timothy Ryan and Matthew McGrath, Lordship farmers and the Stratford Land and Improvement Company. Ryan, Ahern and United Aircraft hold title to 33.3 acres, McGrath 28.6 acres in the Main Street Access Road vicinity while the remainder of the land, 39.1 acres in the South Lordship Meadows is the property of the Stratford Land and Improvement Co. The town engineer had not plotted the exact position of the latter parcel when contacted. Birminghams papers stated that the U.S. Attorney General found it necessary and advantageous to acquire by condemnation the land for the expansion of a military area. Birmingham also acted on the request of the secretary of war according to the papers.

JUNE 9, 1943 - EASTERN SKEET EVENT BECOMES WAR CASUALTY: Great Eastern Skeet Championship, which for 14 years has held the spotlight in big time skeet shooting, will be suspended for the duration, according to the Remington Gun Club, sponsors of the annual target classic. Oldest and largest skeet competition in the world, these colorful events have attracted shotgun fans from all over the country to the famous Lordship, Conn., shooting grounds. Due to wartime conditions, all trap and skeet shooting activities at Lordship have been indefinitely postponed, according to the club's announcement.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1944 - AIR FORCE FIGHTER STATION ENGLAND: "Capt. Joseph 11. Curtis, fighter pilot of Stratford, Conn. formerly of Valparaiso, Indiana - celebrated his promotion from first lieutenant to captain by participating on a dive bombing mission over France in support of allied ground operations. A veteran combat pilot, Capt. Curtis has destroyed four German planes in the air and damaged several others. In strafing attacks, he has knocked out 15 locomotives, five tanks, eight supply trucks, and a number of oil cars. Decorated on several occasions for meritorious achievement, Capt. Curtis holds the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross and a cluster to the D. F. C. Captain Curtis' wife, Mrs. Thanya Curtis, resides at 80 Lordship Beach, Stratford, Conn.

Jun 30, 1945: PRISONERS LIBERATED: Charles J. Lindstrom, 2nd Lieutenant, son of Charles J. Lindstrom, 369 Washington Parkway, Stratford.

LORDSHIP ARMY BASE - looking for additional information

ArmyBase1943

Army Base 1943

August 28, 1942 - LORDSHIP PARK GROUPS ASKS TAX RELIEF OF $500: Because the land is being used for military purposes, the Lordship Park Association has made a request for tax exemption on about 94 acres of Lordship property to Carleton Schwable, chairman of the Town Council. The property is located on land north and south of Prospect Drive and the southern section is being used by the Federal government for an ammunition base and the northern end for barracks. The use of the tracts is being paid for by the government at one dollar a year for the duration of the war and the Lordship Association feels that it should be relieved of paying taxes thereon. The taxes amount to about $500 a year and the organization says they should not be obliged to pay this, because the property cannot be used for residential purposes. Chairman Schwable expressed the opinion that the town has no jurisdiction in the matter under the state law, but will present it to the Town Council at its meeting on September 14 when it will probably be turned over to the towns attorney for an opinion.

August 23, 1946: LORDSHIP BARRACKS IS GETTING TO BE NOTHING BUT A MEMORY: Army Quarters Disappear From The Bluffs: War Assets Corporation In Charge Of Former Guckert Property Which Navy Had: Of no further use to the United States Army (nor the Army of the United States), the wartime barracks on Lordship Bluffs is being dismantled carefully for use in buildings elsewhere. Similarly the former Harry Guckert property in Main Street, taken soon after Pearl Harbor by the Navy, is in the hands of the War Assets Corporation for sale to the highest and best bidder. The former Army barracks is being taken apart in sections so that the material may be used to advantage where desired. Several dozen buildings have gone to New Haven; others are being taken to New York City. The former Guckert property, which the Navy controlled for several years, consists of 6.9 acres which lies in Main Street beside St. Josephs Cemetery, with a 12 foot strip in Cherry Street. The Town of Stratford is interested in having possession of this land so that abutting property owners will have protection which they desire.

APRIL 16, 1967 - Red Cross Chapter Will Mark Half Century Anniversary: During World War II, a Camp and Hospital Corps composed of members from 12 different organizations in town cooperated in equipping the local Army base barracks in Lordship and also supplied supplementary equipment for many nearby camps and hospitals.

LORDSHIP IN THE COLD WAR

MAY 11, 1955 - Lordship Bluffs Site Chosen For Anti-Aircraft Gun Setup: The Army has tentatively chosen a site on the Lordship bluffs, adjacent to the Stratford Light-house as the location for an inner-ring anti-aircraft gun defense to supplement the present Nike positions being installed in the area. Major General Frederick C. Reincke, adjutant general of the state, will discuss the proposed site selection with town officials at a meeting May 23. Based on the plan for similar sites in the Hartford area, it is expected that approximately six acres of land will be required for the project. There will be five buildings on the site in addition to the gun positions. Each structure will be 960 square feet, built of concrete block but landscaped and painted to blend into the natural surroundings. The National Guard, batteries assigned will not be on 24-hour duty, it was explained but there will be approximately 15 men on duty at all times and the units will conduct their weekly drills at the site. Assignment of the units will be a tactical matter, state military officials said, with decision as to which units of either the 283rd or the 211th AAA groups will man the guns left to the tactical commanders in the area. The proposed site will be in close proximity to the Remington Arms Gun club if present plans are followed, but definite pin-pointing of the location will not be made until after the meeting with Stratford officials. Writing yesterday to Town Manager Harry B. Flood, Gen. Reincke said it is the plan of his department to establish the inner-ring defense with units of the Connecticut National Guard on prepared site positions with a mission of furnishing close fire protection for the greater Bridgeport area.

MAY 12, 1955 - LORDSHIP OPPOSES AA GUNS ON BLUFFS: Residents Protest Proposal For Anti-Aircraft Batteries - Residents of the Lordship Bluffs area of Stratford will file a protest with Gen. Frederick C. Reincke, state adjutant general, against the establishment of an inner ring of anti-aircraft defenses adjacent to the Stratford lighthouse. Property owners said last night they will submit a formal protest with Stratford Council Chairman D James Morey and send copies to General Reincke and other state officials. Many new homes have been elected in the Bluffs area during the past two years. General Reincke is meeting with Town Manager Harry B. Flood, Council chairman Morey, George Bradstreet, Tenth district Planning board member and Thomas Drape, secretary engineer of the Planning board on May 25 at 4 p.m. in the executive suite of the Hotel Barnum to discuss the proposed antiaircraft project. Although no definite time has been set, it was reported that the property owners of the Lordship area and the Lordship Improvement Association will conduct a special meeting within the next 10 days to prepare the protest. Opponents of the project which was announced Tuesday by General Reincke in a letter to Mr. Flood said that the establishment of the anti-aircraft batteries with accessory buildings would definitely depreciate their property. They also expressed a fear of the noise from firing of the guns during the drill periods. "We located in the Lordship district because it was and is strictly residential" said a spokesman for the opposition and our tax bills reflect the fact that the town Officials feel in a like manner about our district. "We want to keep the area residential and any move to install an Army camp or a National Guard installation is going to make Prospect Drive a main throughway for heavy traffic which will be a hazard for our children. There are no sidewalks in the Lordship district because we want the country atmosphere and we would like to keep it that way." Although no definite plan for the Lordship site has been announced by the Adjutant General's office a similar installation in Hartford requires approximately six acres of land. There would be five buildings on the land in addition to the gun positions. Each of the buildings would be 960 square feet and of concrete block. National Guard officials said that the gun battalions assigned would not be on 24-hour duty but that approximately 15 men would be at the site at all times. A high wire fence would surround the installation.

June 23, 1955: A.A. GUN SITE CHANGE LIKELY IN LORDSHIP: The members of the Lordship Improvement Association scored a big victory on Wednesday afternoon when the Adjutant Generals office in Hartford said that the proposed anti-aircraft gun site would not be built in the area between York Street and Cove Place. The Lordship group on May 31 wrote a letter to the Town Council protesting the York Street gun site. A dozen Lordship residents and six representatives of the State Adjutant Generals office met on Tuesday afternoon in the Town Hall to discuss the A.A. gun position issued. Colonel Wesley Rogerson of the Adjutant Generals office said that his office wanted to cooperate as much as they could with the residents and was interested in hearing of other gun site location suggestions. Army officials pointed out that they would move to land that would be unopposed by residents but that any new site must fit into the tactical defense plan for the area. A spokesman for the Lordship residents pointed out that the highest points were located in the York Street and Cove Place area. Later in the day, residents and Colonel Rogerson made a tour of several other possible aircraft gun sites in Lordship. Two undisclosed sites are under study by the officials, reports Town Manager Harry Flood who has taken an active part in the discussions. The Town Manager is expecting a letter concerning the Adjutant General Fred Reinckes plans concerning the issue in the near future. The Lordship Improvement Association sent a letter to the Town Council in May protesting the A.A. gun location and later appeared before the Council explaining their organizations objections. It was brought out that when the state officials made the original survey two years ago; there were no dwellings on the York Street area. Now however, there are several dwellings in the $22,000 and $25,000 class either completed or under construction. It was also reported that one of the proposed gun locations was to be located in the front yard of one of the dwellings. Two weeks ago, Flood wrote a letter to Reincke, inviting him to visit Stratford to discuss other locations for aircraft gun sites in Lordship.

LORDSHIP IN THE PERSIAN GULF

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