In Years Past

In 1914, the past evening a taxicab driven by Louis Frick of Buffalo and containing three passengers, a man and two women, struck an eastbound Genessee street car in the city of Buffalo while going at high speed. One woman was killed almost instantly. The chauffeur and the passengers were thrown out of the automobile by the force of the collision and were at the hospital in an unconscious condition. Surgeons said that Frick would probably die. The police learned that one of the passengers was C. L. Hart, a cattleman of Reading, Pa. One of the women was Catherine McCracken. She would die. It was said that the taxicab was racing with another taxicab and was going at the rate of 30 miles per hour.

There was a large attendance at the regular meeting of the Brotherhood in the First M. E. Church parlors in Jamestown. During the regular business session, a resolution was passed commending the action of Josephus Daniels, secretary of the Navy, in prohibiting the use of intoxicating beverages in the Navy. E. J. Swift delivered an entertaining talk on Moonshiners and Distillers in the South. Mr. Swift told of his experiences in North and South Carolina as a revenue officer. The speaker said that the moonshiner was a man who made whiskey without the knowledge of the government.

In 1939, fire completely gutted the historic Alexander T. Prendergast mansion on the Kiantone Road, when it broke out Thursday evening, apparently as the result of defective wiring. George Gesaman, owner, and Allen Sheldon, who also resided there, were seated in the living room when the radio was silenced and all the lights went out. The men thought at first that the power had failed and proceeded to light a lantern. A noise upstairs attracted their attention and when they reached the third floor they found the flames had a big start. The fire lasted about two hours but continued to smolder considerably even late on this morning. The house was one of the landmarks of Kiantone, being built in the 1840s by Alexander T. Prendergast, son of James Prendergast, founder of Jamestown.

Additional hangar space would have to be provided at the Jamestown municipal airport before the White Aviation Company, which had signed a contract leasing the property from the city for four years, could undertake the plane manufacturing and assembling operations it had contracted to carry on there. If the old frame hangar on the plot adjoining the new airport could not be moved to a site near the new hangar, a new building would have to be constructed at a cost variously estimated at from $10,000 to $16,000.

In 1964, a small army of workmen – many of them weary from weeks of stepped-up operations – raced to get the New York World’s Fair ready for the following morning’s opening. Last-minute construction and other work went on through the night under floodlights. Among those in the vanguard of 70 million persons expected to visit the exposition during its two six-month runs would be President Johnson. Officials of the multi-million dollar exposition said the fair would be better than 90 percent completed for the 9 a.m. opening.

Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy had been asked to officiate at the annual July 4 flare lighting on Chautauqua Lake to be held this year as a memorial to the late President Kennedy, it was announced at the annual Chautauqua Lake Region, Inc. meeting in the Hotel Jamestown. Jamestown Supervisor Fred J. Cusimano, flares committee chairman, said he realized that Mrs. Kennedy’s schedule might prohibit her from coming here, but that the flare lighting would be a fitting memorial to President Kennedy.

In 1989, “we still have the land – but that’s about it,” said Mark Garrett after his father’s business, Jamestown Metal Polishing, 361 Fluvanna Ave., was swallowed by flames at 4 p.m. the previous afternoon. The business sustained about $200,000 in damage, said William Baglia, Jamestown fire chief. The owner, George Garrett, was on vacation, said his son. Investigators were picking through blackened rubble and metal siding early in the morning to determine the cause of the blaze that sent plumes of black smoke billowing over the avenue for nearly two hours.

Lucille Ball was able to climb out of bed just two days after undergoing seven hours of emergency heart surgery, and had her condition upgraded from critical to serious, hospital officials said. “She’s really doing well,” spokesman Ron Wise of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said. She sat up in a chair for a short time. With Miss Ball in the hospital, Jamestown had become the focus of national attention. “We’ve heard from media all over the United States and Canada,” Nelson Garifi, community relations director at Jamestown Community College, told The Post-Journal. “They have been asking about local reaction and plans for a future visit.”