In Years Past

In 1914, the officials of the Jamestown Quoit Club had received word on this morning that their invitation to the Buffalo Quoit Club for a game in Jamestown on May 30 had been accepted and a Buffalo team would be here to clean up the much-boasted Jamestown quoit team. The game would be on the Driving Park grounds, probably at 2:30. All the members of the Jamestown club were asked to show up Saturday afternoon for practice. They would need it for this event.

Train No. 3 of the P&E Railroad was completely derailed the previous afternoon at the station one mile east of Corry, Pa. Not a passenger or member of the crew was injured although some of the women suffered considerably from shock and jarring. The train was running about 45 mph and at a point nearly 2,000 feet east of the grade crossing, Engineer Fletcher felt the tender begin to roll and pitch and jammed on the air as soon as possible. Instantly the entire train began rolling about in a terrible manner and clouds of dust filled the two passenger coaches. Automobiles of the local garages and machines belonging to Corry citizens were rushed to the scene and brought the passengers to Corry.

In 1939, neither Marian Anderson, celebrated contralto, nor Grace Moore, Metropolitan Opera soprano, would appear in Jamestown this week in a Jamestown Civic Music Association concert, it was announced. Anderson’s concert, postponed from the original date the latter part of April because of an infected tooth, was postponed again when she was taken ill in Chicago. She was to have appeared this night in her postponed concert. In an effort to supply a substitute for Anderson, the local association secured Moore for a concert on Thursday. Moore, following her appearance at the New York World’s Fair, was taken ill and ordered by her physician not to appear in concert here.

Bryan V. Anderson, 38 and Woodrow Spitz, 25, both of Jamestown, were instantly killed shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday when a small monoplane owned and piloted by Anderson dove into a marshy pasture on the Gilbert Nelson farm on the Falconer-Kimball Stand Road, about a half-mile north of the Ross Mills Bridge. The crash, witnessed by many persons driving along the road and well as many intimate friends of Anderson and Spitz at the municipal airport on North Main Street Extension, followed an unusual maneuver according to those familiar with aviation. Anderson had a student’s pilots license. Frederick C. Larson, a seasoned flier and commercial pilot, as well as a friend of the two men who crashed, saw the ship dive and heard the left wing snap before the fatal plunge. Hundreds of persons drove to the scene of the accident as soon as news of the tragedy spread.

In 1964, U.S. Sen. Frank Carlson of Kansas told an audience of 350 the previous night at the Hotel Jamestown Ballroom that he believed the civil rights bill would be passed in June. The senator spoke at the seventh annual citation dinner of the Jamestown Area Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews at which Arthur R. Goranson was the honoree for his fruitful services through music. Reginald A. Lenna was toastmaster. Carlson said the civil rights question was basically a moral one. “There should be no second class citizens in our nation,” he said.

An 18-year-old television performer and program announcer from Thailand would be a community ambassador to Jamestown in the coming summer according to an announcement by the Young Adult Civil Council which sponsored the ambassador program. Siribhun Palakavong Na Ayoudhya of Bangkok, Thailand, would arrive in Jamestown on July 21 after a short stay in New York and Washington, D.C. A versatile artist, Palakavong was a musician, a Thai classical dancer and a singer of both Thai and Western songs.

In 1989, his arms sweeping across the hall in Fredonia where abut 60 Grange members had just concluded a boisterous regional meeting, Charles David Fryer remarked wistfully, “That’s the way it used to be when I joined.” That was in the early 1950s, a time when the local Grange hall was the focal point of many rural communities in America and the Grange was a prime force in the movement to modernize life outside the cities. Now, the typical bimonthly meeting at the country’s first Grange chapter in the village of Fredonia drew anywhere from 10 to 20 members. “Our losses go along with other fraternal organizations,” said the Grange’s national president, Robert Barrow. “People are just not getting involved.”

Saturday, May 20, was a day Jamestown Community College had awaited with special attention. It was on that day that JCC was to honor the area’s first daughter and America’s first lady of comedy. “As you know we had planned to have Lucille Ball here to award her an honorary doctoral degree today,” JCC President Paul Benke told the commencement audience. “She and we have been denied that joyful occasion,” Benke said. “We had felt her presence here and now we miss her.”