In Years Past

In 1913, the city hall firemen of Jamestown had about reached the conclusion that a strip of the Martin Road just outside the city limits was hoodooed. They had reason to think so for twice in 24 hours they had been called out there. The first call was when a dwelling house the other side of the city line was burned and the adjoining property was saved by the 2,000 odd feet of hose that was laid from the nearest hydrant. About 11:30 the evening of the same day the firemen got another call to extinguish a blaze that threatened to destroy a taxicab. This taxicab had taken a party to the country and was returning. Near the spot where the earlier fire occurred, he collided with a hay rack. The hayrack knocked out the gasoline line, allowing the fluid to escape. A second vehicle, brought to tow the taxicab, backfired on starting and set fire to the front of the taxi.

The employees of the Bemus Point fish hatchery had set a net in the lake a short distance from the hatchery buildings for the purpose of catching a few fish for exhibition. The first day the net was pulled, a muskellunge which some of the employees opined would weight 40 pounds, was landed and safely transferred to one of the big hatchery tanks. Since that time, several more muskellunge, large and small, had been added to the collection and also several carp, a few bass and a boatload or so of blight. The nets were pulled twice on Sunday with a large and interested audience from Bemus Point and other points on the lake, surrounding the nets in motor boats, row boats and canoes.

In 1938, while flying his airplane over Chautauqua Lake about 7 o’clock in the morning, James McGuinn of Bemus Point, who was accompanied by Hugo Rosendahl, also of Bemus Point, sighted the body of Asberry Benford of Buffalo, who, with his wife, Essie and Emma Storey, also of Buffalo, was drowned in the lake during the Tuesday afternoon storm. The body was lying face downward in shallow water between Colburn’s and Belleview. George Rice of Colburn’s took the body to shore and Coroner Samuel T. Bowers took charge of the case. The finding of Benford’s body ended the intensive search which had been carried on since the triple drowning of Tuesday.

“The European countries which are so frantically preparing for war today don’t want that war. Not even Mussolini wants war. All he wants is the fear of war in the hearts of his people,” said Dr. John T. Flynn, speaking in the amphitheater at Chautauqua. “War has always been a racket,” Dr. Flynn submitted. “With the Romans the war profits came from loot and tribute. War has changed now and instead of making money in the actual fighting of wars, nations make money preparing for war.” The amphitheater audience burst into thunderous applause when Dr. Flynn told them: “The surest way to destroy democracy is to go to war.”

In 1963, a 33-year-old West Valley woman was killed at 1:30 p.m. Saturday by a truck when its brakes failed on the old Route 219, north of Riceville. Sheriff Morgan L. Sigel identified the victim as Mrs. Sirhiarar Mustafa. Her husband, Ali Mustafa, 40, and the truck driver, Evaldeen Ramadham, 24, all of West Valley, escaped injuries. The truck, carrying furniture, was south bound. As the brakes failed, the driver attempted to bring it to a stop by maneuvering it into a ditch. Mrs. Mustafa, who was riding in the cab with the driver, was thrown from the truck. Her husband was riding in the rear of the vehicle.

The most successful Chautauqua County Fair in history closed its gates Saturday night with a total attendance of 88,631 for the week-long event. A total of 15,000 trooped through acres of agricultural exhibits and saw the final fairgrounds acts Saturday at Dunkirk. The fair which gave away some $20,000 in prize money for everything from homemade preserves to champion cattle attracted 6,000 more persons than the 1962 event.

In 1988, directors of Chautauqua Lake Association had agreed unanimously not to carry out an emergency herbicide spray program on Chautauqua Lake this year even though they had received a state permit allowing it. The announcement was made by CLA President Douglas M. Anderson who said the decision was made primarily in light of the strict restrictions and limitations imposed by the permit. He said it also was felt that the extent of the weed growth this late in the season also would limit the effectiveness of such a program.

The early morning power failure that covered most of Falconer was partly responsible for a hazardous ammonia gas leak at the S.M. Flickinger Co. building on Allen Street Extention. Ellicott Police Chief Rodney Vanstrom said the leak was caused when workers tried to repair a valve problem that was caused by the power outage. Vanstrom said the valve “popped” during repair and a leak followed. He said the leak was brought under control by late morning and the Falconer Fire Department was finishing with flushing and mop-up operations.