In Years Past

In 1913, in almost the closing days of the fishing season, Dr. C. Frank Ormes of Jamestown came to the front with one of the most interesting fish stories of the entire summer. Ormes was out off Lakewood late Tuesday afternoon, with a small steel bass pole and hooked a muskellunge which was 44 inches in length and weighed 22 pounds. This monster fish was not landed without some effort. The doctor clung to the pole until his arms were tired, keeping the line taut and playing with the fish. He was just off shore at Lakewood when he hooked his prize and when he finally reeled the exhausted fish into the boat, he was close to Greenhurst. The boat had drifted nearly across the lake.

The Samuels Theater was filled to its utmost capacity Tuesday evening by an enthusiastic audience, assembled to witness the performance of the Stockholm Gymnastic Society. The performance was fully up to expectations and the various numbers were roundly applauded. The gymnasts in this company were the winners of the Olympic games. The company, which appeared chiefly in the large cities, was brought to Jamestown by the local Singing Society Lyran and under its auspices the entertainment was made quite an important social event.

In 1938, pending an investigation of prices at which sites for the proposed new federal building at Jamestown had been offered, the treasury department’s procurement division was awaiting a detailed report on land values in Jamestown before selecting the site for the building. According to Postmaster E.R. Ganey, the treasury department was anxious to acquaint itself, before purchasing a site for the proposed new building, with the reasons for a widespread variance in the relation between assessed valuation and the price asked for the various sites which had been offered. Ganey pointed out that in some instances the offers asked many thousands of dollars more than the assessed value. The treasury department was seeking an appraisal of the proposed sites here by disinterested persons.

The Southwestern Tier Association for the Blind was making its annual appeal for consideration of the Christmas bazaar of handwork made by the nimble fingers of the blind of this community, being held again in the old telephone building at 113 E. Third St. in Jamestown. The sale would open this day and continue through the following Saturday under the personal supervision of Mrs. Harald V. Bloomqvist, the executive secretary. The sale each year helped the blind to contribute to their own support.

In 1963, police stood guard outside the home of a minister who said in a televised interview that some public school pupils in Dallas cheered at word that President Kennedy had been shot. The Rev. William Holmes, pastor of the Northaven Methodist Church, made the statement on the Walter Cronkite program. Sgt. W.A. Johnson said threats against the minister caused police to station two patrolmen at the Holmes residence. A public school teacher, Joanna Morgan, also said some of her junior high school pupils applauded the news that Kennedy had been shot. “This was not a majority of opinion by any means – it’s just that this was some students’ first reaction,” Morgan said. Pupils who cheered were too young to know hate first hand and were mirroring their parents’ views, the minister said.

One of the 18 tombstones damaged in the Old Ellington Cemetery, Ellington-Sinclairville Road, was believed to be that of a war veteran. This was disclosed as Trooper Peter F. Darling continued his intensive investigation to determine who was responsible for the damages, first noted the previous morning. The small cemetery was within walking distance of the hamlet’s square and park and investigation indicated that the headstones dated back to the early 1800s. Ellington was one of the oldest communities in the area, much older than the larger nearby communities. Investigation revealed that the damage was done shortly after dark Monday night when most of the nearby residents were attending memorial church services in honor of the late President Kennedy.