In Years Past

  • In 1913, Lawrence W. Whitford, who was employed at the plant of the Dahlstrom Door Company and who resided at Stow, on the previous afternoon received a telephone message that his home was on fire. He made a quick trip up town, engaged an automobile and 20 minutes later was at Stow. He was too late, however, to accomplish anything towards saving the building. In fact, he could have done little if he had been there, for no water was available and the building burned quickly. All of the contents were destroyed. It was the second fire at Mr. Whitford’s home in the past six months. The first fire destroyed his dwelling house, which stood close to the trolley line a short distance from the station at Stow. Mr. Whitford had his barn fitted up with living apartments and moved in there. It was this barn that was destroyed in the second fire.

Raymond Archibald, catcher, and Phil Carling, second baseman, of the Jamestown Baseball Club, left for Dallas, Texas, to play in the minor league aggregation representing that city. Their departure came as a great surprise to local baseball fans and at the same time as a great disappointment as they were two of the best players on the local team and their work did much to promote interest in the games here. A league scout had been here for several days and it did not take him long to size them both up as players fit to play with the Dallas club.

In 1938, travel agencies experienced the heaviest weekend business in years as hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers embarked on holiday jaunts to celebrate the 4th of July. Officials of railway, bus and airlines said they expected their facilities to be taxed to the utmost to carry the traffic which would reach its peak this night. The New York Central Railroad, which planned to operate 165 extra trains over the weekend, declared that traffic over the lines would probably establish a record.

When the state championship Jamestown High School Band appeared on the Chautauqua amphitheater stage for its Independence Day concert it would, for the first time in its history, have a guest baton twirler in Miss Josephine Mary Couture of Burlington, Vermont. She was the niece of Joseph Couture of Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown. The tall, brown-eyed, curly haired maid from the Green Mountain state, in addition to being adept at twirling a baton, typified the American girl. She was a leading member of the Burlington High School basketball team the past season and was active in various other activities.

In 1963, declaring a state of emergency, Mayor William D. Whitehead, by executive order effective at noon, imposed a water ban as Jamestown water supplies continued to dwindle under the impact of sizzling heat and lack of rain. Under the order, affecting all consumers in Jamestown, Celoron, Falconer and the Town of Ellicott, a population area of approximately 70,000, use of water was banned for sprinkling or watering of lawns, washing of automobiles, continuous flowing drinking fountains, ornamental fountains and the washing of sidewalks and driveways.

Coroner Frederick L. Hitchcock of Jamestown ruled a Buffalo fisherman died of natural causes due to a heart ailment. The victim, Donald McClelland, 63, was found unconscious in his outboard motor boat by Louis C. Illig of Bemus Point. The Buffalo man had just caught and boated a 38-inch muskellunge. Mr. Illig, who was also fishing in his motorboat, said, “I pulled my boat along side of Mr. McClelland’s boat and he showed me the muskellunge. He was very elated with the catch.” Later, Illig spotted McClelland’s boat in the same spot. “I yelled to him and when I got no response, I went nearer and saw him lying in the bottom of the boat. I thought he was taking a nap…Then I saw that he still had the muskellunge tag in his hand. I towed the boat to shore.”

In 1988, Jamestown Fire Department’s future looked promising – and for a firefighter, that meant modern equipment. According to Fire Chief William L. Baglia, “We have now gone to 4-inch diameter reloadable hoses.” He said in the past the department had to use 2 1/2 inch diameter hoses. “The old hoses had to be hung and dried and couldn’t be used again for at least three days.” With the new hoses, there was no wait time. “With the old hoses, we had to have a backup section for every section used. That consumed a lot of space,” Baglia said.

The Penn Traffic Co. had announced a merger agreement to acquire P&C Foods of Syracuse. P&C Foods was described as a leading regional supermarket chain and wholesale food distributor in central upstate New York and a major factor in the New England markets it served. The company owned and operated 91 retail supermarkets, franchised 66 stores and provided wholesaling services to about 214 independent supermarkets.