In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, vaudeville and motion pictures would hold forth at The Lyric Theater in Jamestown during the entire summer, commencing May 12. A fine list of pictures were booked for the first two days of the coming week, a few of the subjects being “The Darktown Belle,” a hilarious comedy; “The Past Forgiven,” a sympathetic drama and “Human Kindness,” a comedy interspersed with pathos. Besides the motion pictures there would be two acts of high class vaudeville; Madeline Sack, the well known violin soloist, who returned to The Lyric fresh from triumphs in the larger cities and the Dayton Trio.

Brush fires of immense proportions had been fought successfully by men in the employ of the South Penn Oil Co., in Forest and Warren counties during the past two weeks but there was still considerable danger of destruction to valuable property. Two weeks ago one of these fires started in Forest County where the South Penn had many wells and other holdings. This fire was fought to a standstill after it had covered an area of at least 2,000 acres. The only loss by the South Penn was near Balltown where a standard derrick, boiler and engine and the boiler house were destroyed.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, mud spattered and shivering men who had combed dense woods in the area of Bradford, Pa. for three days seeking little Marjory West expressed doubt that the child, if found, could be alive. Blue-eyed and titan-haired, the 4-year-old Marjory – object of one of the most intensive searches ever staged in this densely forested northern Pennsylvania district, had but recently recovered from pneumonia. She wandered away from a family picnic Sunday to gather flowers in the woods. Bloodhounds brought in by New York state police who joined the hundreds of men and boys in the hunt, picked up the trail but lost it.

If anyone was out of doors about 9 a.m. and saw what they felt were spots in front of their eyes, and mentally resolved to abandon at least one little pet indulgence, they could be reassured and bust the said resolution wide open. The reason? They weren’t spots. They were snowflakes. True, they weren’t many and those that filtered timidly through the air were of an ethereal, ephemeral nature. Nevertheless they were snowflakes as anyone with sharp senses could testify on this slap-happy old May 11.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, detonation of what proved to be a “live” aerial bomb found lying in 8 feet of water under the Erie Railroad Road over the Chadakoin River in Jamestown was successfully accomplished shortly after 6 p.m. Friday. The blast rattled windows and caused vibrations in homes within a half-mile radius of the Sixth Street Bridge but there were no reports of damage to property. The explosion was handled by two members of the Tri-State Underwater Recovery Team. The bomb, believed to have been a discarded war souvenir, was first discovered under the water by Wayne Newark, an Erie-Lackawanna Railroad trainman, Jan. 23. The missile, over 2 feet in length and approximately 8 inches in diameter, was lying in the water about 20 feet from the bank. The blast sent up a tower of water and silt which engulfed the railroad bridge but caused no damage.

The detonation of the unexploded bomb found in the Chadakoin River was accomplished by Frank Falejczyk of Summit Ave., Lakewood and Miss Jean Nelson, of Sturges St., Jamestown. Their assistance was enlisted by Detective Lauritz Nelson of the Jamestown Police Department. A detonating cap was affixed to the shell by Mr. Falejczyk and with the help of Miss Nelson, wire was strung to a detonator set up beside a junk truck in Heldeman Brothers Salvage Co.’s yard. The blast was set off by Miss Nelson on an “all clear” signal. Miss Nelson, a sophomore at Jamestown Community College, was the only woman in New York State holding a license for underwater demolition work. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Nelson.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, 5-year-old Scott Szczodrowski of Lakewood held the crappie he caught Sunday that was worth $1,000 in the Chautauqua Lake Crappiethon. The fish, named, “Ernie Eagle,” was sponsored by Eagle Claw hooks and was caught with a homemade jug which had been sent to national Crappiethon Headquarters to check if that type of hook was used. If it was, Scott would pick up an additional $1,000.

The crisis at Jamestown General Hospital could probably have been avoided had the city gone ahead with a merger of health care services suggested 18 years previously, according to Mayor Steven B. Carlson. Jamestown General was running in the red and hadn’t shown a profit since 1976 and earlier in the week the mayor suggested it merge with WCA. A product of the Citizen’s Hospital Committee, the 1970 study of health care services in Jamestown recommended that the community would best be served by “a single hospital complex brought about by expansion of existing facilities at WCA,” Carlson said. “Had we gone ahead with the recommendations in that report we could have had lower health care costs for the community and avoided the particular crisis we find ourselves in today,” Carlson told The Post-Journal.