In Years Past

In 1914, fire shortly after two in the afternoon destroyed the seven room frame dwelling house on Forest Avenue Extension owned and occupied by Alfred Anderson. It broke out in large volume and the house burned very rapidly. The auto chemical made a hurried trip to the scene of the blaze but was too late even after their fast run to do much good. The house was located nearly two blocks south of the Jamestown city line on the Busti Road. It was built about two years previously. The loss was a very heavy one to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, although it was understood to be partially covered by insurance. The house and contents was valued at about $3,000.

Those who were at the Erie passenger station in Jamestown on Monday when the trains from New York arrived were treated to what old railroad men said was the greatest sight in the way of ice-encrusted trains they had ever seen. Train 3 was the first to wheel in from the frozen east and it was a spectacle. The train, to use the expression of an old Erie man, looked as though it had been dipped into a river about a dozen times and kept out just long enough for a good freeze each time until it was covered with ice. Every car of the train was encrusted with ice to a thickness of several inches.

In 1939, Howard Carter, who with Lord Carnarvon, was the first man in 32 centuries to cast eyes on the burial chamber of Boy King Tutankhamen, was dead. The past night, 16 years after the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh was opened in disregard of an ancient curse, “Death shall come on swift wings to him that toucheth the tomb of a Pharaoh,” the Egyptologist died. He had been ill for some time and it was understood that heart disease caused his death. He was 66 years old. Carter scoffed at the curse which was recalled when Lord Carnarvon, who financed the Tutankhamen expedition, died six weeks after the crypt was opened. A mosquito bite caused his death.

Charles Oscar Swanson, 73, of Falconer Street, died at Jamestown General Hospital the past night, the first victim of a fatal automobile accident in the Jamestown area this year. Death came to Mr. Swanson about an hour and a half after he had been struck on the Lakewood Road, near Beechwood, by a car driven by Tracy M. Herrick of Frewsburg. Coroner Samuel T. Bowers, who assisted Chief of Police Max Ehmke of Lakewood in probing the tragedy, said no verdict would be issued until his investigation was complete. Mr. Herrick was not held. Mr. Swanson had been visiting his son, who lived in the area and was believed to be crossing the road to wait for a bus that would have returned him to his Jamestown home, when the accident occurred.

In 1964, a 13-month battle to recover from burns was lost by Mrs. Marguerite L. (Peg) Hitchcock, 24, when she died March 2, in the WCA Hospital. She was severely burned while attempting to save her four young children during a house fire in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 1963. The fire leveled their two-story frame home in Ellington in 22 below zero temperature. Three youngsters perished in the fire. The victims were: James Hitchcock, 2; his brother, Albert Hitchcock, 3 and their sister Cindy Lou Hitchcock, 4. The other child, Michael Drew Hitchcock, who was then 8 months old, suffered a slight burn on the bottom of his left foot. While Mrs. Hitchcock was at the hospital another daughter, Janette Rochelle Hitchcock, was born June 27, 1963.

A complaint that an inadequate amount of dirt was being used to cover garbage and refuse at the City Dump under the new sanitary landfill system inaugurated the past year, was registered with City Council’s Highway Committee by Richard Vance, Jamestown sanitarium. In a message to the committee, Mr. Vance reported that an area approximately three-quarters of an acre in size where garbage had been deposited at the dump in Fluvanna Avenue was not properly covered. Mr. Vance suggested that the condition should be corrected “before warm weather sets in.”

In 1989, state police anticipated the homicide investigation involving the death of a Canadian man who was hit by an airplane propeller would not go quickly. They were probing the details which led to the death of Jorge Luis Paredes, 41, of Toronto. His body was found Monday evening along a runway at the Olean Municipal Airport. The airport was in a remote area of Cattaraugus County north of the city of Olean off Route 16. While the facility was manned during the day, no one was on duty after 5 p.m. but small planes often flew in and out unassisted. An autopsy performed at the Erie County Medical Center showed he died of a skull fracture which could have been caused by striking an airplane propeller.

Firefighters battled a roaring blaze at the home of Gayle Mescall on Randolph Road, North Harmony, at about 11 a.m. the previous day. Chautauqua County Fire Investigators said that an overheated furnace blower motor caused the blaze that gutted the building. Mrs. Mescall, who rented the house, said her 17-year-old son was the only person there at the time of the fire and he was unhurt. However, Panama Fire Department firefighter Dawn Sheller was treated for smoke inhalation at WCA and released. About 50 firefighters from Chautauqua County, Lakewood and Ashville battled the blaze for about three hours.