In Years Past

In 1914, the home of George E. King of 520 Forest Ave., Jamestown, was badly damaged by fire at about 1:30 in the afternoon. The building was a two-story frame structure with a wing attached and the main portion was almost completely gutted. A member of King’s family estimated the loss to be about $700, partially covered by insurance. The fire started in the front room on the ground floor from a chunk stove. King’s wife had taken the carpets up and had been cleaning the room. She started the fire to dry it out and the blaze started in some manner from the stove.

Much indignation had been aroused in the neighborhood of East Second Street near Bowen and Thayer streets in Jamestown over the poisoning of a number of dumb animals. This morning four dogs died as the result of being poisoned and earlier in the week, two other dogs were poisoned. One of the dogs that died on this morning was the beautiful black and white coach dog owned by William Karr of Falconer Street. The owner valued him at $50 and felt very badly over his loss. Cats had been poisoned every day in the neighborhood and also on this morning eight or 10 chickens were found dead. The police had been notified.

In 1939, announcement was made the previous day of the outright purchase of Midway Park from the Jamestown, Westfield & Northwestern Railroad and the Chautauqua Lake Navigation Company by Thomas Carr, Rochester, who was residing at Maple Springs. Carr formerly operated Celoron Park with Clyde L. Carnahan and the past year operated concessions at that park. The new owner had demolished the old roller coaster at Midway and already had a force of workers at the park making repairs and renovations. A new floor would be placed in the roller rink and repairs would be made to the bath house.

The application of the Jenkins Dairy Company for a building permit to erect a milk plant and creamery on the Hunt Road just west of the Jamestown city line was denied by the board of appeals of the town of Ellicott at a meeting at noon this day at Gretchen’s Kitchen. J.C. Jenkins, proprietor of the dairy company, proposed to build the plant between the Hall Towel mill plant and the city line on the south side of the Hunt Road, the property being owned by the Towel mill. Jamestown property in the city’s residential area would be as seriously affected by a building at the city line as would the residential area outside the city.

In 1964, Jamestown detectives continued to investigate two overnight burglaries that netted the culprits about $15 in change. Detective Richard Thoren said the burglaries occurred within six blocks of each other but that no evidence was available to determine if the acts were perpetrated by the same person or persons. About $5 in change was taken from the cash register at Lindstrom and Meyers Flower Shop, 10 E. Fourth St. Detectives reported that the flower shop was not looted and aside from the cash register being forced open, nothing was disturbed. Thieves also entered the Five Point Coffee Shop on N. Main St., making off with $10 in change. Besides the cash, two boxes of crackers and an undetermined number of cigars were also taken, police said.

William J. VanName, 21, of Eden, was taken to Tri-County Memorial Hospital with brush burns of the hip and elbow after he fell from the driver’s seat of an automobile about 3 a.m. on Route 62, two miles south of Gowanda. A passenger in the car told Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Day he could not explain how the driver fell from the car. The passenger stopped the vehicle and dragged VanName off the highway. He was to be X-rayed at the hospital for other possible injuries.

In 1989, police had closed the books on a missing person case and were reopening it as a homicide investigation. Police were able to positively identify remains found over the weekend as those of Karen A. Damon, who disappeared from her Oak Street home nine years previously. “Preliminary examination determines the death to be a homicide,” Cattaraugus County Sheriff Jerry A. Burrell said. The skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave on a wet and muddy hillside along the Narrows Road in the town of Napoli. Police were sifting through bushels of soil at the crime scene in search of clues to the woman’s death. Miss Damon had been enrolled in the school of nursing at St. Francis Hospital in Olean. She had planned to be married July 5, 1980, and the day before she disappeared she telephoned the local American Legion to reserve a room for her wedding reception.

Jamestown City Council members said they were “concerned, frustrated and outraged” by the “surprise” imposition of tipping fees at the county landfill and they intended to let Chautauqua County legislators know how they felt. In the past week, county legislators approved tipping fees – fees paid for each truckload of debris dumped into the landfill – in what Jamestown Mayor Steven B. Carlson termed “a surprise move.” Legislators acted through what they called an emergency resolution. This permitted them to pass the resolution without prior public notice, according to Carlson.