100 Years Ago December 1918
The Haddams – The Homecoming Begins
Selected from the pages of The Evening Press and lightly annotated by Sally Haase
Moodus, Dec. 1, 1918: Continental Hall, Wednesday, evening 8:30 p.m.; Official U.S. government war pictures: “America’s Answers,” a pictorial history of America’s achievement during the first year in the world’s war. Every man, woman and child should see this stirring picture.
Higganum, Dec. 4, 1918: After December 14th, Amos Bidwell will deliver the Press in Higganum. All who are in arrears for papers are requested to settle with Theodore Andeen.
The boys about town are getting many furred animals these days. Rabbits and skunks seem to predominate.
Haddam, Dec. 5, 1918: The Victory Girls will give a supper at the church parlors on Saturday.
Mrs. Cornelius Faantoff received a telegram on Tuesday informing her that William Woodruff, better known here as William Behn, had been killed in action on October 16th.
Washington, Dec.6, 1918: Plants in Connecticut will lose $55,000,000 through termination of war contracts. Secretary Baker said today that an estimated twelve billion dollars of war appropriations may be returned to the treasury. The contracts include: powder, artillery, textiles, air plane parts and rubber goods.
Higganum, Dec. 7, 1918: In the course of a few days a painter will complete the Haddam honor roll by adding the remaining names of the boys in the service. If any names are omitted they will confer a favor upon the committee if they will notify Daniel Brainerd or the Haddam war bureau.
The local chapter of the Red Cross has received a very large allotment of work on refugee garments for the destitute people in the devastated war regions.
John Knowles, of Ponsett, made a trip on runner to Higganum yesterday. This was the first sleigh to make its appearance this winter.
Killingworth, Dec. 17, 1918: Camillo Malcarne, 25 year old son of Mrs. Silveno Malcarne, died Saturday at Base Hospital, New Jersey. He had been sick for several weeks with pneumonia. His death will cause the first gold star to be put on the service flag in Killingworth.
Higganum, Dec. 20, 1918: Sergeant William Burr , 102nd, A.E.F., was honorably discharged on Wednesday, and is the first one of our boys, who has seen active service overseas , to arrive back home to Haddam. Sergeant Burr was gassed while stringing wires, about 12 feet from a front line trench. Upon his recovery he went back to his company and was badly wounded in the left knee at the battle of Seichprey, on May 16. Seargeant Burr, after treatment at Base Hospital, was invalided home, arriving in this country on September 12th.
Lafayette Gladwin and Harry Millard, two more of our boys who have been in the service over there, received their honorable discharge and reached home Thursday.
Higganum, Dec. 20, 1918: Fancy turkeys, ducks, geese, roasting chicken and fowl are at the lowest prices in the city. Public Market, Middletown.
East Haddam, Dec. 21, 1918: Friday was the banner day for the scholars of the village school, and many of the older ones enjoyed the closing for the Christmas vacation. Each department plucked the fruit from a tree as they are grown in Santa’s orchard. Carols by the pupils were enjoyed by the guests. Refreshments came last, and were ample for all present.
Haddam, Dec.26, 1918: Major Joseph G. Kitchell, of Haddam, has been requested by the chief of staff, to remain in the army service for an indefinite period, and has just been assigned the important post of specializing upon the demobilization work at ports of embarkation and military camps to analyze conditions and devise methods where demobilization processes are conducted. [First Selectman Major Kitchell was summoned to Washington in November 1917.]
East Haddam, Dec. 27, 1918: Harry Frontel, formerly clerk for W.C. Reynolds, has opened a grocery business in the brick store and in the future will offer all up-to-date line of standard quality goods at the lowest prices. – Adv.
Robert Alexander arrived home from camp Upton, N.Y. last week, having been honorably discharged from the service.
Mrs. W.M. Gillette has been spending several days in New London, including Christmas, with her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. N.G. Stark.
Haddam, Dec. 27, 1918: There were the usual gatherings about town on Wednesday. Perhaps the largest was at G.A. Dickinson’s, where the whole family, numbering twenty, enjoyed the day together.
East Haddam, Dec. 28, 1918: Clarence Spencer has been home from the hospital the past week. He contacted pneumonia in camp and has been an inmate of the hospital for nine months.
Higganum, Dec. 28, 1918: The Christmas entertainment of the Congregational church will be held Sunday evening at 6 o’clock. The program has been prepared with great care, and the church decorations are beautiful. All are invited to be present and then see the children receive their Christmas presents.
Killingworth, Dec. 30, 1918: Mr. and Mrs. Albert Perkins entertained 15 to their Christmas dinner. They have recently heard from their son Tracy in France. He was recovering from the “flu” and pneumonia.
100 years ago, much has changed and, then again, nothing has changed.