In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, Ray F. Pickard, justice of the peace of Jamestown, was elected by the district attorney department to issue the warrants in the cases against the former employees of the Jamestown Street Railway Company and Chautauqua Traction Company, who were accused of damaging the property of these corporations. Justice Pickard spent all the afternoon signing the various papers necessary for these proceedings. He spent the entire evening, or more properly speaking, the better part of the night, at the police court receiving bail for various persons under arrest. Bail was fixed at $1,000 in spite of the protest of Attorney Frank Mott who thought $500 bail ought to be enough.

News had been received in Jamestown of the death of Thomas Tansley of Levant in the Soldiers’ Home at Dayton, Ohio, Thursday. He was aged 70 years and was a veteran of the Civil War, having enlisted at Batavia in Co. K, 12th New York infantry, Sept. 6, 1862. He resided at Levant and conducted a blacksmith shop there for many years. His wife died several years ago and his only son was killed by a trolley car near Dunkirk three years previously. He was survived by a daughter, Mrs. Edwin Fox of Levant. He was a member of the Falconer tent of the Maccabees and of James M. Brown Post, Grand Army of the Republic.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Jamestown police were at work probing the disappearance of $950 in cash from the office safe of Lang’s Bakery, Inc. at 2226 Washington St., sometime over the weekend. It was believed that whoever stole the money also took eight cases of beer from the warehouse of the Hollywood Beverage Company, located in the same building. Police were handicapped in their investigation by the fact that the alleged burglaries were not reported until many hours after they were discovered. Ruth Greim, bookkeeper at the bakery, claimed she discovered that the money was missing when she arrived at the place at 8 a.m. the previous day. The safe was closed and locked but when it was opened, the money was not there.

With applications still pouring in, according to word received by Arthur R. Goranson, 3,000 students would attend the state music finals under the auspices of the New York State School Music Association in Jamestown the following weekend. These students would form at least 40 bands and orchestras. More applications were expected as a result of sectional contests held last weekend. The estimated attendance of 3,000 was exclusive of all directors and visitors who would be here during the huge affair. The gathering was expected to be the largest in this city in several years.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, for the first time in its history, Jamestown was building a public boat launching ramp at the southern end of Jamestown’s municipal dock at the boatlanding. This would permit the free launching and free drydocking of small craft in the outboard motor class which were transported via trailer. The project was developed by Chautauqua Lake Region, Inc. and the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce to meet demands for a launching facility in Jamestown.

Cigarette ashes on an upholstered seat were blamed for a fire at 11:45 p.m. the previous evening which damaged a car and a garage in Portville. John Weakland was listed as the owner of the car and the building, valued at a total of $4,500. The fire destroyed 75 percent of the car and 20 percent of the building, Sheriff Morgan L. Sigel reported.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, Chautauqua Lake area businesses were expected to experience an increase in activities over the spring and early summer as a result of the “Crappiethon U.S.A.” fishing tournament that began Saturday, April 30, and would continue through June 28. Area bait sales locations appeared to be the major beneficiaries from the opening weekend, according to a random sampling of fishing-associated operations. Arthur Carlson of Carlson’s Boat Livery in Celoron said of the activities there Saturday, “We had the best day I guess we’ve had in five years.”

Lincoln should remain the neighborhood elementary school for the west side of Jamestown. If the school board’s decision on district reorganization fell where it was headed, Lincoln would be one of six kindergarten through fourth grade elementary schools in the city. Persell Elementary, meanwhile, would be converted to a middle school for fifth through eighth-graders. The option was discussed at the Jamestown School Board meeting the previous evening. About 20 residents attended.