In Years Past

In 1913, the mid-winter picnic given at Bemus Point Friday afternoon and evening for the benefit of the Bemus Point Library was one of the most successful events ever planned and given in the village. The affair was held in the two halls, I.O.O.F. hall and the Mrs. Hobbs hall next door to the post office. Both were filled to capacity by the crowds which turned out to see every part of the big amusement program. Many were here from Jamestown and other places along the lake to enjoy the novelty of a picnic in the winter time and none were disappointed.

A. Harrison Reynolds of East Fourth Street in Jamestown recently sent a hurry call to the plumbers to thaw out some frozen water pipes. Over the telephone he was informed that the matter would be immediately attended to. Of course, on cold mornings, when water pipes were frozen, the plumbers were all busy and Mr. Reynolds was not particularly surprised that no plumber appeared in the first hour or two. When, however, the forenoon had sped away and no plumber was in evidence he once more engaged in a telephone conversation with headquarters. Investigation disclosed a somewhat surprising state of affairs. Mistaking the address for West Fourth Street, the plumber found a house owned by a man named Reynolds in which the waterpipe had frozen and burst with disastrous results. He had been busy all forenoon repairing the mess. Mr. Reynolds of East Fourth Street got the water pipes in his house thawed out later in the day.

In 1938, the giant powerhouse of the Ontario hydro-electric commission at the foot of Niagara Falls resembled an ice house as conveyors carried out blocks of ice carried into it by the January jam. A. S. Robertson, district superintendent of the commission, estimated that half the 10,000 tons of ice packed around the generators in the plant had been removed. He said the work of cleaning up might be completed in the following week. The ice jam which filled the power plant was the same which caused the collapse of Niagara’s famed “honeymoon bridge.”

Walter Jones of Buffalo was sent to Mayville jail for 10 days when he pleaded guilty to a charge of impersonating a bus inspector before Judge Allen E. Bargar in Jamestown city court this morning. Jones gave no more reason for his weird action in stopping two local buses “for inspection” when brought before Judge Bargar than he did when questioned by police. He first repeated his original story that he had pretended to be a bus inspector to impress a Jamestown girl with the fact that he was a “big shot.” He had asked the girl to marry him, he said. This story failed to impress the police whose investigation revealed Jones had a wife and two children in Buffalo. Jones then said he “likes trucks, but loves buses.” He told the judge, “I’ve driven a bus and I like to see how they work.”

In 1963, sore feet and frigid weather seemed to be deciding factors in daunting the spirits of would-be 50-mile hikers in spite of that “young-at-heart” feeling. Four school teachers and a Boy Scout returned to Fredonia Saturday night after completing only 21 miles of a 50-mile hike. The following advice was given to future hikers – do not wear too many socks; wear light weight shoes; and last but not least, hiking is for the summertime. However, there were two 14-year-old Boy Scouts who did make the long walk from Erie, Pa., to Fredonia. They were Paul Stebbins and Joseph Tabasco, both of Fredonia.

Frewsburg’s new Post Office at 21 E. Main St., was formally dedicated Saturday afternoon at a program held in Frewsburg Central School auditorium. Guests included New York State Senator Jeremiah J. Moriarty, who spoke briefly and Postal Service Officer B. J. Kerwin, Buffalo, who told of advancements made in postal service. A flag which had been flown over the Capitol was presented by Willard W. Cass, Jr., secretary of the Chautauqua County Republican committee and member of the Carroll Town Board. The flag was presented on behalf of Rep. Charles Goodell.

In 1988, the ice castle that was part of the Ice Castle Extravaganza in Mayville might be the official residence of the ice king and queen in the area, but the 7-foot snow castle built by little Keith Anthony McNeal of Broadhead Avenue, Jamestown, and his father, Charles, also seemed to be a dwelling worthy of royalty. Keith invited his mother, Joni, into the spacious residence which had numerous windows through which the inhabitants could observe weather conditions and watch for possible enemies.

An effort to seek funding for restoration of the fish-rearing ponds at Prendergast Point Fish Hatchery of the state Department of Environmental Conservation had been initiated by a committee of the Chautauqua County Legislature. The group considered a proposal by committee Chairman Robert H. Kolodziej, R-Fredonia, to petition the state government for the money needed for the project. The motion said the once-flourishing muskellunge hatchery for which Chautauqua Lake long had a national reputation had experienced “a serious decade-long decline.”