In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the Fairview School in Corry at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue was threatened with destruction by fire on this morning and only the timely discovery of the blaze prevented the old frame building from being burned to the ground. The fire started from an unknown cause in the basement of the building near the heating plant. It had gained great headway by the time the alarm was turned in. The firemen experienced considerable difficulty in fighting the flames on account of the dense smoke. It was expected that the building would be repaired within the next few days.

Although sweeter singing had been heard in the First Methodist Episcopal Church at Jamestown on many occasions, none had ever been greeted with more downright enthusiasm than that occasioned at the annual meeting of the Methodist Brotherhood when a chorus of 50 veterans of the Civil War sang “Marching Through Georgia” and “John Brown’s Body.” There was not much real music to it, to tell the truth, but there was something about the scene and the singing which aroused the greatest enthusiasm and the applause burst forth again and again.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, the Jamestown pilgrimage to Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., in June for the celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the first Swedish settlement in America would be made by chartered Erie train making the trip from Jamestown to Philadelphia without change. It was estimated by heads of local groups making the celebration plans that there would be fully 400 persons aboard when the train pulled out of the local station. Included in the Jamestown party would be the Jamestown concert band of 30 pieces, and a male chorus of 60 voices selected from the local Swedish male choruses.

Traffic Officer Vernon D. Chipman of the Jamestown Police Department operated the 15-watt station transmitter during a demonstration of the new RCA two-way police radio system in Jamestown Thursday. Det. Lt. F. Bernard Clark and Mayor Harry C. Erickson watched as Chief Edwin M. Nyholm conversed from a police car with the operator at police headquarters. Officials pronounced the tests eminently satisfactory. RCA engineers told them equipment for the station and five police cars would cost about $5,000.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, two Lakewood youths, age 13 and 14, were apprehended at 1:40 a.m. on Route 20, Town of Ripley, and charged with driving a stolen car. The pair was alleged to have taken a car from the lot of Ticknor’s Garage, Lakewood, at about 7:30 p.m. the previous evening after entering the garage to get dealer’s plates. The youths were turned over to their parents to await family court action. Troopers E.L. Milks and C.C. Lee of the Westfield station, apprehended the pair.

Cattaraugus Creek swelled and overflowed the previous morning. During the day the creek continued to pour water into lowlands on the Chautauqua County side of the waterway and by 11 p.m. Routes 5 and 20 were closed to all passenger cars. Tractor-trailers were able to crawl through the 3-foot high water. There was no panic among long-time residents evacuated from their homes. In the morning there were 50 persons left in the Sunset Bay Fire Hall. Two men identified only as Jones and Burghardt, were isolated for some time on a picnic table. Passing firemen in a boat attempted to rescue them but the two warned them off because of “floating debris and swirling waters.” They were reportedly rescued later in the night.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, all that was left of Frank and Madeline Lucas’ home on Hamlet Road, Villenova, was charred ruins. It was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin the previous afternoon. The fire was reported by their son, Richard, at 12:44 p.m. He was in the basement when he heard a loud noise upstairs in the kitchen area. He said he left the basement through an outside door and found flames shooting out of the kitchen windows. Darlene Anderson, a daughter, said the family had no insurance on the home. “They lost everything. After all these years, they have nothing,” she said. Anderson said that her brother burned his arm saving one of the family’s dogs. The heat of the fire was so intense it melted a telephone cable leaving homes in the area without service for several hours.

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., was slated for two appearances Saturday in Jamestown. He was scheduled to conduct a public town meeting in the Crystal Ballroom Senior Citizens Center in the Hotel Jamestown. The meeting would be open to the public and anyone wishing to ask the senator questions or offer comments regarding any issue relating to the federal government was welcome to attend, according to Jamestown Mayor Steven B. Carlson, who would moderate. Moynihan was also scheduled as the keynote speaker at the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee annual dinner at the Jamestown Holiday Inn.