In Years Past

In 1913, a certificate of incorporation had been filed with the secretary of state, by the Jamestown Upholstery Company, incorporated, for the right to engage in the manufacture of upholstered furniture. The authorized capital was $150,000 and the incorporators were Louis N. Olmsted, Fred A. Nelson, Frank L. Kling and John H. Prather. The incorporators of this company had exhibited sound business judgment by the purchase of a railroad-flanked factory site well within the industrial zone of Jamestown. The factory would be located on Crescent Street with frontage of 500 feet on Erie Railroad tracks.

The Chautauqua Lake Railroad was still crippled. Little could be done towards repairing the tracks which were being swept by an angry sea due to excessive high winds. As soon as the wind subsided, the tracks would be replaced as rapidly as possible. Jamestown Fire Chief Wilson was asked to pump out the basement of the new Flickinger factory. He was told that the basement was water tight but a leak had admitted the water. The leak had been found and plugged and the management was anxious to have the basement dried as soon as possible.

In 1938, March both entered and departed from the Jamestown scene like a lamb, thus disproving the old saw, but it lived up to its reputation for vagary by providing some of the most vernal weather the area had enjoyed in many years. Statistical evidence of the unusually mild demeanor of the month practically filled the monthly weather report compiled at the Government Weather Station at City Hall. Outstanding fact was the 81 degrees maximum temperature recorded on March 22. Readings of 78 and 75 degrees were recorded on March 23 and March 30 respectively.

New York State Motor Vehicle Commissioner Charles A. Harnett viewed an increase in night time traffic accidents as “alarming.” Although he reported that the current decline in traffic deaths had continued through its third month, Harnett added that more than 53 percent of the non-fatal and 66 percent of the fatal accidents occurred at night. “When the reduction in traffic during this period is considered, these figures became more alarming and indicated that night driving was becoming increasingly hazardous,” he said.

In 1963, sub zero temperatures and at least a foot of snow, accompanied by gale force winds, were predicted for Chautauqua County for the following day. But wait. Hold on to your spring bonnet. It was only a nitwit weatherman having his little April Fools Day joke, which wasn’t funny to area residents still thawing out from a record cold winter. Actually typical April weather – showers and a balmy 60 degrees – were on tap for this day after a nice spring weekend of sunshine.

The 46 remaining employees of Fibre Forming Corp. of Olean, who had not had a regular payday in six weeks, were idle in the aftermath of the company president’s arrest on charges of fraud. Robert W. Easley, president of Local 22 of the American Federation of Grain Millers said the workers would not be asked to return to their jobs. Later in the day, company president Charles E. Nolan, said the plant would not reopen after the weekend shutdown. Nolan, 36, who was free on $10,000 bail, said the charges against him were “unwarranted and unjustified.” The plant’s workers voted to skip regular paychecks temporarily in an effort to help the company improve its financial position.

In 1988, the government of the country’s second largest state had its checking account closed this day. New York had failed for the fourth consecutive year to adopt a state budget in time for the start of the new fiscal year. That meant the state which was working on a budget of more than $44 billion had no legal authority to spend one penny. The 1988-89 fiscal year began at 12:01 a.m. But about seven hours earlier, the leader of the Republican-controlled state Senate sent his members home for the religious holiday weekend. “There’s no earthly way we can finish so…we’ll be back on Monday,” said state Senate Majority Leader Warren Anderson.

They were still skiing at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville where the curtain would ring down at 4:30 p.m. the following day on a 117-day season. It ranked as the longest in the area during the winter of 1987-88 and probably could continue except for a shortage of skiers, according to Marketing Manager Jane Eshbaugh. She said of the situation, “Actually, we have quite a bit of snow left but not many skiers.”