In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, telephones were kept busy at the bankrupt Hill Piano Company store in Jamestown, selling pianos to buyers in distant towns and cities who in their eagerness to get some particular bargain advertised, would not risk the delay incurred in making a personal visit to the store. It simply illustrated what a tremendous sensation the wholesale unloading of high class pianos at giveaway prices had made. Its effect was felt from Buffalo to Pittsburgh. There seemed to be no end of anxious buyers and no end of princely bargains.

The Erie Herald gave details to the fire which wrecked their plant the previous afternoon and which was briefly mentioned by an Associated Press dispatch. The fire had gained considerable headway before it was discovered. In the composing room much damage was done by water. The five linotypes were wet from top to bottom and cases full of type were flooded. Water to the depth of 3 or 4 inches covered the composing room floor and every scrap of advertisement and news copy that was not well protected was ruined by the water. The water also drained through into the press room in the basement, where considerable more damage was done.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, so that it would not block the Niagara River channel, workmen sliced the Falls View bridge, crumbled by Niagara’s great ice jam, into small sections that would sink to the river bottom. Heavy rains made footing slippery on the slanting boards of the bridge floor and the work of the men who operated the acetylene torches used in cutting the bridge girders was exceedingly dangerous. Workmen pried loose the roadbed planks with crowbars to gain access to the steel frame before the blasting operations early this day.

Jamestown Mayor Harry C. Erickson had accepted an invitation to serve on the committee which was arranging a dinner to be held at the Hotel Commodore, New York City, on Feb. 24, honoring Robert H. Jackson, recently appointed by President Roosevelt to the post of United States solicitor general. The dinner was being held under general auspices of the New York Young Democratic Club, Inc. Joseph P. Kennedy, the new ambassador to Great Britain, would be honorary chairman of the affair.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, enough snow lay in the Chautauqua Lake watershed so that “the month of March could be one of breathtaking uncertainty for lake shore residents and property owners,” a survey of snow in the watershed indicated. The Chadakoin River Commission was expected to discuss the survey at a meeting the following day at Jamestown City Hall. The amount of moisture in the watershed was calculated by John R. Luensman of Mayville, following a six-hour tour of the watershed Saturday afternoon, taking snow samples at 27 points around the lake.

Lawrence Alva Rudd, 52, of Porter Avenue, Fredonia, unemployed, was killed at 6:30 p.m. the previous day when he was struck while walking to his home, by a car which was sliding on ice. He was the second 1963 highway victim in Chautauqua County. The accident occurred on Liberty Street, police said. The car’s driver, Paul Salhoff, 36, of Cassadaga, an automobile salesman for Dudley Motors Inc., was absolved of blame by Coroner Anson E. Steward. Sgt. William Morse reported both the pedestrian and the car were traveling south. Salhoff was quoted as saying that he saw Rudd walking with traffic and, in an attempt to avoid an accident, applied the brakes but the vehicle slid on the icy pavement and struck Rudd.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, a cocaine cache with a retail value in the millions of dollars was uncovered the previous afternoon in the Heart’s Content picnic area of the Allegheny National Forest, according to federal drug and forest officials. James Porten, resident agent-in-charge of the Pittsburgh office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said his office became aware of the cache through an investigation involving a DEA office in Alabama. He said the cache was located by a team made up of members of the DEA, the Forest Ranger Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Personnel from the Sheffield Ranger District were among those taking part. The cocaine was found near pines at the edge of the picnic area in the forest’s Heart’s Content region. The cache was two feet underground in an insulated ice chest.

Federal deficits for the next three years would soar above the $148 billion level of 1987, even with the spending cuts and tax hikes approved in the previous year’s budget summit, the Congressional Budget Office said. CBO officials told the Senate Budget Committee that they projected a $157 billion deficit for fiscal 1988, $176 billion for fiscal 1989 and $167 billion for fiscal 1990. Sen. Lawton Chiles, D-Fla., the budget panel’s chairman, acknowledged what all of Washington knew to be true: Spending cuts and tax increases, while always distasteful for legislators, became tortuous in an election year. “We know election-year politics makes it unlikely that we’ll do much that’s new this year,” Chiles said.