GNHLHA Launches Oral History Project for Former Winchester Workers

13 Apr 2010 4:31 PM | Posted by GNHLHA

From Newsletter Volume 6, Number 1

By Dorothy Johnson, GNHLHA Executive Board Member

I can’t count the number of people I have met who lived in the Newhallville area or worked at the former Winchester plant. My father was living in Birmingham, Alabama when plant managers headed to the South in hopes of recruiting potential workers to locate to New Haven, CT. Great numbers of people headed north for a better future for themselves and their families. Some of the workers who migrated to the North stayed at the former YMCA which was then located on Howe Street in walking distance to the plant.

Winchester has such a rich history. I can remember when my family lived on Bassett Street and I would walk down to the plant, which at that time had factories on both sides of Winchester Avenue. This historic facility was a city inside a larger city. At 12 noon you could hear the whistle blowing all over New Haven. Those were the good days.

Many positive changes did occur throughout the decades. The Greater New Haven Labor History Association is launching an oral history project for former Winchester workers to share their experiences while employed there. Victory Lodge 609 members stood up and fought back against the company numerous times. It certainly was an active journey the workers experienced. Now is the time you can share your untold story with others. The Winchester Plant may be gone, but the history is alive!

Interviews will kick off in the middle of March 2010. The committee has already contacted some former workers who are eager to tell the story. Please join us in this history event.

For more information about this project, please contact Dorothy Johnson or Lula White, (203) 281-0665, Mary Johnson (203) 387-7858, or email info@laborhistory.org.

Greater New Haven Labor History Association  •  267 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06513 •  info@laborhistory.org •

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