In Years Past

  • In 1913, his mind affected by the intense heat of the previous day, Mack Shearer, 30, was found sitting on the big gilt balloon on the top of the 45-foot flagpole in front of the Friendship engine house. He was praying at the top of his voice. Persons aroused from their sleep hurried from their homes scantily clad. In spite of their coaxing, Shearer would not descent. Asked where he was from, he answered: “From hell.” “Where are you going?” “To heaven.” It was learned that the man had wandered about the town of Friendship all of the past night. When he was finally persuaded to descended he was put in the care of a physician.
  • Charles J. Jenner of the Jamestown board of estimate and review had had an examination made of the condition of the sewer system of the city and although the work was not by any means completed, it had already been ascertained that there were several places which needed attention. One of the worst was on Harrison Street. Test of the main sewer on that street indicated that it was clogged to some extent. The sewer was 18 inches in diameter and a 16-inch test would not work in the pipe.
  • In 1938, Pug III, the expensive $12,000 cruiser owned by John H. Wright, president of the Jamestown Telephone Company and the National Chautauqua County Bank, was completely destroyed by flames which followed an explosion off the boat dock at Chautauqua Friday afternoon. Wright and two companions escaped from the near-disaster with minor injuries. Flames and smoke leapt from the boat after it had been towed to a safe distance from the gasoline pumps on the dock. The charred hull was later towed down the lake to a point off the Chautauqua dump where it burned to the water line and finally broke in two before sinking out of sight. The boat was the “jinx” yacht formerly owned by the late James Morris of Toledo who died at Jamestown General Hospital a few weeks ago from a neck fracture suffered when he dove from the craft into shallow water at Bemus Point. Mr. Wright purchased the boat a week before the explosion.
  • Mrs. Bertha Bermingham of Buffalo and Miss Octelie Giese of Ithaca, had arrived in Jamestown to assume charge of the resident training school for girls to be established in the former Charles H. Gifford home, West Fifth and Cherry streets. Miss Giese would be instructor of the school and Mrs. Bermingham, house mother. At present they were planning for the operation of the school and interviewing prospective students. The school would have a three-fold purpose: To give unemployed girls an opportunity to earn money, to give them a school and to prepare them to earn their own living in private domestic employment. The girls would be given a comprehensive course in home economics as well as some other subjects.
  • In 1963, a $1,135,000 school expansion program was turned down the previous day by voters in the Randolph Central School District. If an informal voter survey taken by The Post-Journal was reasonably accurate, then a large factor determining the defeat of the issue was the inclusion of a swimming pool in the expansion plans. The school district voters turned down the issue 563 to 372. At stake in the bond issue was a building expansion program which would have provided additional classrooms, swimming pool and garage facilities to the 31-year-old structure, which serviced approximately 1,400 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • A young Dunkirk couple and their five children were left homeless early the past evening when fire raged through their four-year-old ranch-style home and destroyed nearly all of their belongings, including a late model automobile. West Dunkirk Fire Chief Arthur Fox reported that it took firemen from four departments over an hour to quench the blaze that practically destroyed the Robert Sysol home on West Lake Road. Chief Fox said that the fire was believed to have started in the vicinity of an incinerator installed in a garage attached to the brick veneer dwelling. Mr. Sysol was a partner in the Adams Home Furnishings & Appliances firm of Dunkirk and was at work when the fire broke out. Mrs. Sysol and the couple’s five children were at home alone when the fire broke out. All escaped safely.