In years past

  • In 1913, it was a curious accident which nearly cost Swain Johnson of Sheffield, a valuable mare at the dam at Deerlick, where he was engaged in cutting ice. Busily at work with his team, Johnson drove over a spot which was apparently sound. The ice would not support the team and the horses crashed through into the icy waters beneath. The gelding at once vigorously commenced swimming in the open spaces of water but the mare was only kept above the surface by the strenuous efforts of the ice workers. Mr. Johnson thought it wise to shoot her as she could not be rescued. Sounder sense prevailed, however, and after a delay of one hour in order to secure a pulling team, the horses were rescued. The team was quickly blanketed and taken to the barn. After being vigorously exercised, they were put in their stalls, fully recovered from their icy bath.
  • A bad train wreck occurred on the Lake Shore at Berry Street, Van Buren, the previous morning, twenty cars of an eastbound freight being piled up. A number of the cars were loaded with flour. The flour cars were demolished and their contents strewn along the tracks so that it looked as if there had been a heavy fall of snow. The entire four-track system of the Lake Shore was blockaded for several hours. Finally, after wrecking crews had dug away at the wreckage for two hours, two tracks were cleared. It was supposed that one of the cars developed a broken wheel and thus caused the wreck. No one was injured. The property loss would be very heavy.
  • In 1938, Buffalo’s Elmwood Music Hall, for nearly two score years the scene of political conventions and musical events, stood empty and doomed this day. At each entrance a huge, red-lettered sign warned: “Building Dangerous.” The 53-year-old pile was suddenly condemned by building inspectors the previous day, a few hours before a college basketball game was to have been played within its walls. Only two nights ago, thousands gathered there to hear Nelson Eddy sing. Engineers discovered the roof was weak and recommended instant condemnation to avert a possible catastrophe.
  • Getting out a newspaper was the interesting subject of the paper of the day presented by Miss Martha Alden at the Wednesday afternoon meeting of the Minerva Club in Sherman. Miss Alden spoke from personal experience having been employed in a newspaper office for several years. She opened her paper with how Webster defined a “newspaper” and took her listeners through the varied processes from which a feature story, an advertisement or an item of news passed before it was presented to the readers. In closing she emphasized “the value of the daily newspaper in the home of today.”
  • In 1963, it was bitter cold the previous night – in Siberia and Chautauqua County. In the latter, an unofficial low of 40 degrees below zero was reported in Kiantone, a short crow-fly from Jamestown. Forty below was also reported in Clymer. With spring only three weeks away, the mercury ranged down to what might be record lows in several sections of the county. The overnight low in Jamestown was a minus 14 early in the morning after taking a fast dip from three degrees above zero at midnight. Sinclairville reported one of its coldest nights of the winter, 32 degrees below zero. And at Frewsburg, it was 24 below. It was supposed to “warm up” during the day. Weathermen predicted area temperatures would reach a high of around 10 above zero.
  • The public drive-through and dedication ceremonies at Jamestown’s Main Street Parking Ramp, originally set for Sunday and Monday, had been postponed one week according to Russell C Bloomquist, dedication arrangements committee chairman. Mr. Bloomquist said snow and continued cold weather had slowed work on such details as applying concrete preservative and outlining parking stalls. Further postponement was possible if weather conditions did not permit completion of the work by March 10, he said.
  • In 1988, the frigid winds that howled across the Buffalo State campus had transformed a flowing fountain into an icy sculpture. But it wasn’t another example of winter’s ravages. It was art. In a city that was ultra-sensitive about its snowbound image, the Butler Ice Fountain was one of the few celebrations of winter. For about five months of the year, mists from the fountain formed icicles that constantly changed in size and appearance, shaped by the wind and temperatures. At night, the ice was bathed in the glow of spotlights. The fountain, 20-feet-tall at its highest point, had nine steel arms radiating from a reflecting pool. The fountain’s rows of icicles conjured images of a shimmering ice castle.
  • A young Titusville boy died from the effects of a car crash Wednesday that plunged him into the icy waters of Pine Valley Creek near Bear Lake in Freehold Township. Daniel Drake, 4, died at 1 a.m. after a struggle for life in the intensive care unit at St. Vincent’s Health Center, where he was taken by Lifestar helicopter. Susan White, manager of Communications at St. Vincent, said that although the boy responded to the icy plunge with a natural condition known as the mammalian dive reflex, being in the frigid water for an hour may have been too long. The accident also resulted in the death of the boy’s grandmother despite a dramatic rescue effort by volunteer firefighters and police. The boy and Mrs. Burt were passengers in the vehicle being driven by Kenneth Burt, 68, which slid on an icy spot on Pine Valley Road.