In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the four-day spring opening sale given by the members of the Jamestown Retail Dry Goods Association would end Saturday night, this day being the third successful day of the event. A very notable increase in the number of people on the streets, in the number of people in the stores and of sales reported had resulted from this concerted trade effort and the members of the association were strong in their statements of approval of the plan and its operation. It was safe to conclude from the reports made by the members of the association that no previous effort of the kind had ever brought as many bona fine buyers into the city at any one event as had the three days of trade excursions.

The cotton and woolen schedules of the Wilson-Underwood bill spelled the end of the hobble skirt, in the opinion of Mrs. Christian Hemmick, society leader. Hemmick believed that the real reason for the scanty hobble, with its consequent frank display of the feminine figure was the high cost of dress materials. “The manufacturers of dress goods control the styles,” she said. “If cloth cheapens, they will favor designs that will utilize more cloth so that their profits will continue.” Hemmick declared working women should adopt trousers as being much better fitted for rapid motion. They would be very practical for climbing street cars and walking, she asserted.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Jamestown and county snowplows were called out Saturday night and Sunday morning to clear roads and sidewalks of snow following a severe storm that left them covered with several inches of snow and ice, making both driving and walking hazardous. While roads were not drifted sufficiently to block traffic, they were cleared of snow to make it easier to get through and prevent the situation from becoming worse. Highway officials could not recall when it had previously been necessary to send out plows so late in the season.

Samuel Thorstenberg of East Fifth Street, Jamestown, outstanding figure in Jamestown music circles for nearly 30 years, died suddenly the previous night or this morning in his studio in the Jamestown Conservatory of Music, Nordic Temple. He was found lying on a couch by Wilbert Anderson, a driver for the Railway Express Agency, who sought to deliver a package to him and entered the studio after getting no response when he knocked at the partially open door. Thorstenberg was 67 years of age.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, the U.S. Navy gave up on the nuclear-powered submarine Thresher and the 129 men who rode her down into a mile and a half of water 220 miles off Boston the previous day. Adm. George W. Anderson, chief of naval operations, made the announcement more than 25 hours after contact was lost during a deep diving test of the recently overhauled vessel. “Very reluctantly I have come to the conclusion that the Thresher has indeed been lost,” Anderson said. President Kennedy, in a statement expressing his deep distress over the disaster, wrote an epitaph for the ship’s complement of officers, enlisted men and civilians. He compared them with “their forefathers who led the advance on the frontiers of our civilization. The future of our country will always be sure when there are men such as these to give their lives to preserve it,” Kennedy said.

A Jamestown man, Richard Bartsch, who formerly served on the ill-fated submarine Thresher, was now a crew member of the USS Sea Robin somewhere in the Mediterranean. Bartsch served on the Thresher from the time it was commissioned until his transfer the past summer. He was the husband of Carol Bartsch, 15 Hall Ave. No one from this area was listed among the crew of the ill-fated submarine.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, “He’s the savior of America,” Louis J. Thomas, District 4 director of the United Steelworkers of America, said as he introduced Gov. Michael Dukakis, the front-running Democratic presidential candidate from Massachusetts, during a campaign stop in Dunkirk. A murmur of laughter ran through the standing room only crowd of about 600 people Saturday afternoon in the union hall. But it was quickly drowned out in a roar of applause as Dukakis stepped to the microphone. “I don’t know that I’m the savior,” he said. “No one person is going to make a difference. We’re going to make a difference by working together.” The applause was deafening.

Construction of the Jamestown area’s latest Burger King restaurant was well under way at Green and Fairmount avenues in West Ellicott where the grand opening was set for late May. The building was the largest in the chain’s size range with seating for 96 patrons. Provision was made for 78 parking spaces, with the restaurant to employ about 75 people.