This week marks the 70th anniversary of Hamden's last trolley run. Three lines ran into Hamden from New Haven: State Street to Merritt Street (Schuetzen Park), Whitney Avenue to Waterbury, and Dixwell Avenue to Benham Street. Beginning in the early 20th century, the town of Hamden sought to have the Dixwell trolley line extended all the way to Centerville, but the proposal was repeatedly rejected by the Connecticut Company, which operated the trolleys. Residents of Highwood had to go to New Haven center and transfer to the Whitney line in order to get to Centerville and points north.
Connecticut Company had intended to end trolley service in the New Haven area much earlier, as it had in the Hartford area. But World War II intervened and gasoline conservation extended the lives of New Haven area trolleys until three years after the end of hostilities. All trolley service ended September 26, 1948.
On March 19, 1941, the Dixwell Avenue trolley and Hamden Fire Department's hook and ladder truck collided at Mather Street. The trolley car was not seriously damaged and, fortunately, neither was the driver of the fire truck. However, the 1926 Maxim ladder truck was a total loss.
FromThe Hamden Chronicle, Thursday, September 23, 1948