In Years Past

In 1914, that work was progressing on making the maps and locating the owners of the various pieces of property to be affected by the proposed improvement of the Chadakoin for flood abatement purposes was good news to the residents of Jamestown now in daily fear of a big thaw and more floods. The assistant state engineer had been spending several days on the work and it was reported to be progressing rapidly. The next stop after securing the maps, marking the property lines and locating the owners, would be to secure the releases from possible damage. These were necessary preliminaries to beginning the work and the good done would far over-balance the harm. Little if any property should have any damage.

T. Henry Black had just had installed at his photographic studio in Jamestown, a new light for taking pictures at night. This light was a recent discovery in electricity and was the last word to artificial lighting which was a pronounced success. The light was being patented by Weeks and Kennedy of Jamestown and promised to be a forthcoming substitute for daylight. Black was fortunate in securing this light at present in his studio as he would be enabled to make pictures at any time day or night and would be fully equipped at all times to accommodate his patrons.

In 1939, a country woman doctor, two state troopers and a score of volunteers came to the end of a snow-blocked trail which they fought for 15 hours to bring medical aid to two children critically ill in a marooned farmhouse. Dr. Anna Perkins of Westerlo, N.Y., who did the last mile and a half of the 20-mile trip on snowshoes, reported the children, Marion, Shufelt, three and her sister, Ethel, six, had “excellent chance of recovery” from influenza. They had been without medical aid for several days. The farmhouse was located near Triangle Lake in the Helderberg mountains southeast of Albany. Drifts from 12 to 15 feet high slowed progress of the party.

Sirens broke the comparative stillness of the Jamestown business district around 11 p.m. Monday evening when trucks from the city hall fire station responded to a call from Gretchen’s Kitchen. Reaching the Washington and Second street location of the dining place, a half dozen firemen marched into the place with the usual burden of fire fighting paraphernalia. Patrons gulped. “Is there a fire here?” a smoke eater asked. “Not to my knowledge,” the stunned gentleman behind the counter responded. “It must be the Third Street place.” The firemen about-faced and resumed their positions on the trucks and, with sirens wailing again, roared off for the opposite end of the business district. Sure enough, arrival at the Third Street place provided the familiar pungent odor of smoke. The floor beneath a stove in the kitchen had caught fire and was smoldering. Damage was slight aside from the hole in the floor and the charred beams.

In 1964, Theodore P. Bauer, 20, of Lister Ave., Falconer, father of a six-week old daughter, was fatally injured shortly before 7 p.m. the previous day when his car struck a utility pole at Allen and Barrows streets. It was Chautauqua County?s sixth auto fatality of the year and the first in Jamestown since Nov. 13, 1963. Preliminary police investigation indicated that Bauer, employed by National Worsted Mills, Falconer, was returning to work after eating lunch in Jamestown. The impact was so forcible that the entire left side of the car was sheared and the left front door crashed against the pole and became embedded in it as though it had been hammered around the pole. Bauer had taken delivery of the car, a 1956 Pontiac, earlier in the day.

An arsenal of 34 antique weapons found in the Westfield Academy athletic fieldhouse had mystified police and those acquainted with the value of the assortment, which included swords, sabres, daggers and two British Crown flintlock pistols, all in perfect condition. Other pieces of the collection were a World War II German dagger, with the red and white Nazi emblem in the handle; a United States Army bayonet made in 1906 as well as a small pearl handled vest pocket dagger. The weapons were found by the academy’s custodian, Clarence Carraher, when he went to the fieldhouse at noon to check on the small building’s roof. He found the weapons, neatly laid out on a stretcher on top of a large stack of football tackling dummies and other athletic equipment.

In 1989, raising the minimum wage was not a popular idea with leaders of local chambers of commerce who said they would support a training wage. Charles Turcotte, acting director of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce and president of the Manufacturers’ Association of the Jamestown area, said it was his opinion that government should not raise the minimum wage. Neither organization he represented had taken a position on the issue. “It’s probably better if we let the marketplace take care of paying those wages that can be afforded within the present minimum wage,” he said.

Rita Rosedahl’s hands shook and her eyes teared when she was called to the podium as Jamestown’s 33rd Woman of the Year at the Marvin House. “Let’s all look deeply into our own hands tonight and see the blisters that mean something to this community,” master of ceremonies Russell E. Diethrick Jr., told the audience that included 16 former Women of the Year. “I just can’t believe this. I’m not worthy of this,” she said, as her husband, Evans, son David and daughter and son-in-law Carol and Daniel rushed to greet her. “I don’t know how he could keep the secret,” she said of her husband, who said he almost “spilled the beans” one day the past week.