In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, an explosion of dynamite, far reaching and disastrous in its results, occurred in the harbor of Baltimore when 300 tons of the explosive, being loaded on board the British steamer Alum Chine, blew up. The known dead numbered seven men. Of these, four belonged to the Alum Chine and three were on board the United States naval collier Jason. Twenty-nine other men on the collier and the greater part of the crew of the Alum Chine were injured. The explosion was remarkable for the great distance the shock of the blast was felt. The shock was felt at the Philadelphia navy yard and at Reading Pa., nearly 100 miles from Baltimore.

Miss Hazel Hurlbut entertained 12 young ladies at her home on Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown Thursday evening in honor of the birthday of Miss Thetis Cobb. The party was a St. Patrick’s celebration and the decorations were in keeping. The evening was spent in telling Irish stories and in St. Patrick’s Day games. Late in the evening a two-course luncheon was served by the hostess for which the decorations were also in green and white, the place cards being shamrocks and the favors small Irish flags. Cobb received many beautiful gifts.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, an impressive ceremony marked the rededication of the pipe organ at the First Baptist Church in Jamestown at the morning service Sunday, the gift of Fred J. Galloway in memory of his sister, Grace Galloway. The church was filled to its capacity for the service, conducted by the pastor, Rev Roland O. Hudson, who offered the dedicatory prayer. The instrument had been entirely rebuilt, the church having been without an organ since November. The organ was heard for the first time with Howard Zettervall at the console.

Ashville’s only triplets, Mildred, Mary and Mable Lanning, whose parents were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lanning of Ashville, would observe their eighth birthday anniversary the following day. The sisters were born on March 8, 1930, at Ashville. In the best of health, the girls had attended the Ashville Union Free School regularly during the past year, according to Mrs. Clarence Johnson, teacher at the school. Their older sister, Elizabeth, a member of the fourth grade, who recently returned from a visit with her aunt to Ohio, traveled to school in company with her triplet sisters who were members of the advanced first grade class.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, renewed snowfall and high winds began buffeting the area at midmorning in the wake of a storm which a veteran area fire chief described as “the worst I’ve ever experienced.” While only three area schools were closed, bus drivers experienced difficulty in making their runs in the afternoon and many schools planned to close early this day to avoid having their bus runs continue into the late afternoon or early evening hours. Motorists were stranded in hood-high snowdrifts throughout the area during the night and law enforcement officials reported scores of property damage automobile accidents during the storm.

Jamestown Mayor William D. Whitehead declared himself “firmly opposed” to any return to partisan politics in Jamestown. A public referendum had been set for April 30. One of his major objections to partisan elections, contained in a statement to The Post-Journal, centered on recent petitions for public referendums. He charged that “flagrant violations of the people’s rights” had occurred in connection with referendum petitions on fluoridation of water and partisan elections.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, area residents and tourists driving around Chautauqua Lake during the coming summer might feel that they had been transported back in time as they looked across its placid waters. Scheduled to be sailing there was a replica of a 16th-century merchantman, approximately identical in size to the “Nina” and the “Pinta” that were support ships in Christopher Columbus’ little fleet during his voyage of discovery. The vessel was the “Sea Lion,” built to the specifications and with the similar tools that would have been used had it been constructed in the age it represented. The craft failed to unfurl its sails in 1987 due to financial problems but things looked brighter this time around thanks to the generosity of some area foundations. The craft was scheduled to sail the waters of Chautauqua Lake this summer, carrying passengers.

Work to demolish the burned-out remains of the sprawling, former Watson Manufacturing buildings on Harrison Street in Jamestown would begin during this week and should be completed by May 19. Mayor Steven B. Carlson announced the start of the demolition work on the facilities, which were recently acquired by the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency. The agency had agreed to pay $162,400 to VLF Enterprises Ltd. of Niagara Falls for demolition work, leaving about 1acres at the Watson site.