In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, Mahoney & Swanson, the contractors who had the contract for making the Erie grade crossing elimination in Jamestown, had commenced the construction of a derrick for hoisting concrete. The derrick was placed on the top of an Erie flat car, the idea being to operate the concrete mixer on the car so it could be easily moved up and down the line. With this car the entire concreting could be done. The derrick was a formidable structure and on the comparatively light flatcar seemed top-heavy.

What was being termed the Indian Land Opening demonstration car had arrived in Jamestown from McAlester, Okla., and it was on the Erie sidetrack just east of the Main Street crossing, being open to the public at all times. Fine specimens of wheat, rye, corn, oats, peaches, alfalfa, broom corn, millo maize, wool, cotton and other products were nicely arranged for inspection. A fine feature of the exhibit was the large collection of photographs of buildings, business blocks, private residences, etc., in McAlester. The city of McAlester had a population of 18,000 and a suburban population of 30,000 and was only 12 years old.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, violence committed by a mob resulting in death of a person in custody of a peace officer or charged with or convicted of criminal offense, was defined as lynching under a bill signed by New York Gov. Herbert Lehman. Punishment would be imprisonment of from 20 years to natural life. The law, effective immediately, also made mob violence not resulting in death a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

With approximately 150 delegates and visitors in attendance, sessions of the 16th annual convention of the New York state Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages got under way at the Hotel Jamestown this day. President Dayton S. Wilkins of Jamestown presided. Registration of arrivals and a meeting of the executive committee consumed the morning hours with the women being entertained at a bridge luncheon at noon. The women would go on an industrial tour of the city Wednesday morning when the men were engaged in their final business session of the convention.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, high winds, which reached a peak recorded velocity of 60 miles an hour in the area the previous day, subsided overnight. Damage was not heavy, authorities said. Accompanying high water resulted in barricading of Jones and Gifford Avenue from Lister Avenue into Celoron. Water also flowed across low points of Monroe and Clinton streets but was not deep enough to require closing the streets to traffic. Only two of 11 flights at Jamestown Municipal Airport were canceled due to air turbulence and winds which reached a peak speed of about 58 miles an hour at the facility.

A July 1 target date for opening of the Jamestown municipal beach and recreation area at Burtis Bay was agreed to by Recreation Commission members. The beach had been the center of controversy recently over reports the water was contaminated for swimming. Roger Anderson, chairman of the Burtis Bay beach project for Jamestown Junior Chamber of Commerce, said Lakewood planned to extend its sewage plant outflow pipe 50 feet and that should help the beach situation considerably. Carpenters were continuing work on the bath house and plans for an outdoor shower were complete, he said.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore Jr. was to be in the Jamestown area the following day with a 3:15 p.m. visit to Chautauqua County Airport north of the city. Gore was expected to begin campaigning in New York City, including a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, and then to fly to Elmira for a noon campaign rally before coming to the local airport for his second appearance of the day in the 34th congressional district. He then would continue on to Syracuse. The Tennessee senator believed that campaigning in the 34th district was very important. While here Gore was scheduled to meet with party leaders and the news media.

Despite concern from Jamestown Councilman-At-Large Samuel C. Forscey about potholes plaguing city streets this spring, there seemed to be little recourse for drivers, except to wait for them to be patched. “We seem to be spinning our wheels,” Forscey, who was on the Public Works Committee, told fellow committee members. “I don’t know if they’re any worse this year, but they’re bad,” he said.