In Years Past

  • In 1913, the Jamestown Common Council spent Friday evening considering the tax budget for the coming year. The result of the first conference was a tentative budget, subject, of course, to revision, which would mean an increase of the tax rate of about $2 per thousand valuation over that of the previous year. The estimate of expenses for the entire city at the time of the adjournment of the meeting was $313,646.28. This estimate was intended to pay all the running expenses of the city. The main items which caused the increase were: Overdraft general fund – $10,585.52 and Overdraft street and sidewalk fund – $10,932.00.
  • A man whose name was given as George J. DeVereaux, had been arrested in Lakewood on a charge of falsely representing himself as an heir to an estate and had been held by Justice R.F. Pickard to await the action of the grand jury. This was a serious charge, one to which the penal law devoted considerable space. The section in question read: “A person who – with intent fraudulently to obtain any property, falsely represents himself or another to be a person entitled to an interest or share in the estate of a deceased person – is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for not more than ten years.”
  • In 1938, Mrs. Michael L. Ferrara and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. John A. Ferrara, were both burned shortly after 3 p.m. in the afternoon when the Ferrara summer home at Curtis Stop on the lake, opposite Celoron, was badly damaged by fire as the result of a terrific explosion. It was believed the explosion was caused by an oil water heater in the basement of the house. The flames spread quickly and both women were badly burned before they could make their escape although the 3-month-old child of Mrs. John A. Ferrara was rescued without injury. Mrs. Michael L. Ferrara was the widow of a well-known real estate dealer of Jamestown. Mrs. John L. Ferrara was the wife of a young Jamestown attorney.
  • Metropolitan Opera basso John Gurney, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Gurney, former Jamestown residents, would give a public concert this evening in the Jamestown High School auditorium under the auspices of the First Congregational Church. He was a celebrated basso, who had already achieved a brilliant career in both the operatic and concert field. Mr. and Mrs. Gurney were the house guests of Mr. and Mrs. E. Snell Hall, and would be honored following the concert at a reception in the First Congregational Church. Gurney appeared in concert in St. Louis with Martinelli, tenor and Weede, baritone, both Metropolitan Opera stars.
  • In 1963, plans for a $500,000 recreation center near Kinzua Dam had been announced by Peter N. and Thomas J. George, father and son, of Bradford. The men said the 40-acre plot of land to be developed as a recreation center was in the community of Westline in southwestern McKean County and formerly was occupied by a charcoal factory. The center would include facilities for skiing, ice skating, horseback riding, camping and hiking to tie in with water sports on Kinzua Lake. The center’s lodge would include a dining room with capacity for 150, lounges and meeting rooms. Plans also called for a 20-unit motel overlooking an all-weather swimming pool.
  • More than 200 persons, largest registration to date, were in Jamestown for the 16th annual meeting of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs being held over the weekend. Jamestown Audubon Society members were on hand to register and greet the large number from out of the city. Drawing card for large attendance was Jamestown’s Dr. Roger Tory Peterson, internationally famous ornithologist, who would speak this night before a capacity crowd at dinner in the First Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
  • In 1988, Warren, as a borough, no longer existed. Voters there decided it would be better to rename it “City of Warren.” Voter approval was overwhelming. The unofficial ballot from Tuesday’s primary election results showed 1,920 voters said yes to the name-change referendum with only 409 voting no. “I hate to use a cliche but it’s an idea whose time has come. We were ready for this step. This (vote) is a tremendous mandate (for change)” said Warren Mayor Susan McConnell.
  • Members of Chautauqua County Legislature’s Human Services Committee had agreed on an amended version of long-proposed smoking regulations in public places but it was not known when it would go to the legislature for action. Indications were that it would not be on the table for this night’s legislative session.