In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, representatives of the Journal Printing Co., would commence this week the canvass of the city for information for a new edition of the Jamestown City Directory, which would be completed and published as early as possible this year. To facilitate the work, the people were requested to be prepared to receive them and give the necessary information, which would include the name of every person over 16 years of age and under that age if independently employed, his or her occupation, business address, home address, distinguishing between the head of the family, members of the family described as residents or boarders, the fact of whether or not the house was owned and the number of people in the house, including younger members of the family, boarders and employed help.

Twelve stalls, comprising one section of the boat houses owned by Filbert T. Bouck, near Celoron, were burned to the water’s edge at 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning and 14 gasoline launches ranging in value from $500 to $5,000 were totally destroyed. It was one of the most disastrous boathouse fires that had visited Chautauqua Lake. The loss would probably total $10,000. It was quite possible that a fine launch owned by E.L. Underwood was also burned. This launch was cut loose and presumably floated down the outlet but a search had not disclosed the whereabouts of the boat. The Celoron fire department did good work in preventing the spread of the flames. The only theory for the starting of a fire at that time in the morning was that some fisherman had gone into the boathouse and carelessly dropped a cigar stub among the inflammable material or possibly tipped over a lantern.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Mrs. Catherine Finson Ferrara, 26, wife of Attorney John A. Ferrara, died at WCA Hospital at 4:35 a.m., the second victim of the explosion and fire which rocked the Ferrara home at Curtis Stop, directly across the lake from Celoron Park, the previous afternoon. Mrs. Cora Ferrara, 46, the young attorney’s mother and widow of the late Michael Ferrara, well-known real estate dealer, died at the same hospital at 11 p.m. the previous evening. Both women were badly burned. The 5-month-old son of the younger Mrs. Ferrara was unharmed by the blast and the subsequent fire. It appeared that the infant’s mother sustained her fatal burns in rushing to the assistance of her mother-in-law. The baby had been out on the sun porch of the house with his mother and was taken from the porch by neighbors.

Fire, which burned through dry grass spread to the village of Brocton’s watershed property and did untold damage. The creeping blaze was discovered by Burty Medd. Realizing the imminent danger to the village property, he sent for help to Brocton and a gang of men was hastily gathered together and driven by automobile to the scene of the fire, about two miles south. The flames had advanced into the watershed property, which was one of the reforesting projects sponsored by the village for the past 10 years. The flames quickly spread into the trees and burned the foliage and trunks. Finally, after several hours, the flames were under control but not before eight thousand trees had been burned. The origin of the fire was unknown.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, Falconer-based state police had a busy Wednesday. Troopers were involved in a “speed blitz” at various locations on Route 17. According to Sgt. Daniel MacLaughlin, “We have speed checks about four times a year. Today we had 16 troopers and two sergeants on patrol looking for speeders and any other traffic violations.” The Falconer base was headquarters for Zone III. Troopers patrolled the zone which included all of Chautauqua County and extended to the middle of Cattaraugus County.

It took some wheeling and dealing by Cattaraugus County legislators but they finally reached an agreement to ask the state to extend the extra 1 percent sales tax. The resolution became a watered down version of the original as legislators finally agreed to request a two-year instead of three-year extension for the tax. “Politics is the art of compromise,” said Minority Leader Joseph K. Eade, D-Olean, after reaching an agreement with Republicans over the extension.