In Years Past

In 1914, Ernest Frahm, who was indicted with Mrs. Cynthia Buffum for the murder of her husband, Willis Buffum, was the previous day freed of that charge when the Judge consented to the dismissal of the indictment. Frahm had been out on bail several weeks. Ernest Frahm saw Mrs. Buffum for the last time when she came to his cell in the jail at Little Valley on the morning she was started on her trip to Auburn under sentence of death. The big farm hand was barely courteous. “Well, Ernie, I won’t forget you,” she said as she clasped hands with him through the gratings and started down the corridor with Sheriff Dempsey. There was no evidence of any kind against Frahm except Mrs. Buffum’s confession.

Sam Saxe, a Jamestown visitor at the Eagle’s state convention in session in Olean, was injured and narrowly escaped being involved in a fatality Monday afternoon while driving his big Hudson touring car from Olean to Rock City. Saxe attempted to shift gears while on a steep grade and stalled his engine. The passengers in the car got out and in trying to start the car, Saxe backed it up on a steep embankment, tipping it bottom side up. He was caught under the car but only one ankle was seriously injured although he sustained a number of other bruises. The car pinned him to the ground but was lifted off my main strength.

In 1939, Herman M. Thompson, 45, of Palmer Street, Jamestown, suffered possible fractures of both legs the previous afternoon when he was pinned under a heavy steel girder while at work on the third floor level of the new Central school at Panama. He was taken to Jamestown General Hospital. The extent of the victim’s injuries was still undetermined at edition time. His condition was not considered serious. The girder involved in the unusual accident was 60 feet long and would be used to support the roof of the auditorium of the new structure. It fell over both of Thompson’s legs, above the knees. Thompson was employed by Daniel Elander, Inc. of Jamestown.

Chautauqua Lake’s newest and incidentally, its largest amusement building, the roller skating rink at Celoron Park, to be known as “Skateland” would open on this evening. Housed in a completely new building, which encompassed the most modern appointments, Skateland was the largest roller skating rink west of the Hudson River in New York state and also one of the largest in the United States, according to authorities. More than 1,500 persons could skate on the rink at one time. The flooring was described by the management as the best available for roller skating. In fact, it was as good as could be installed in the most satisfactory ballroom for dancing.

In 1964, two reported tornadoes, strong northwest winds and temperatures ranging down to the freezing zone turned the calendar back on this mid-June day in New York State. The twisters, both comparatively minor, damaged at least eight buildings southwest of Newfield, between Ithaca and Elmira. The cold front moved in from Canada overnight, traveling from the northwest to the southeast and setting record or near-record lows for the date in some areas. Wind gusts generally ranged from 35 to 40 miles an hour.

A high voltage power line falling across the Allan Peterson home on Jackson Run Road near Chandlers Valley, sent 12,000 volts of electricity charging through the home’s wiring system and resulted in a freak fire which completely gutted the building. Firemen said every electrical outlet in the house was spouting smoke and fire and it was necessary for them to wait seven to 10 minutes for workmen from Pennsylvania Electric Co. to shut off power before water could be turned on the blaze. What caused the high voltage line to fall was not determined although a storm was brewing at the time.

In 1989, owners of the Putt-Putt golf course that stood in the Zayre Plaza said the state Department of Transportation was ignoring its own property policies in the Route 394 reconstruction project. Mr. and Mrs. Edward DeVine said DOT cost them at least another season of business and they might never recover. Permission to remain open until the construction actually started near their area, as other businesses were doing, was denied them, DeVine said. As part of the reconstruction of Route 394, the Putt-Putt golf course was removed but the DeVines said the state never notified them the course was to shut down until it was too late to find another location for the business. “The ‘take it or sue us’ attitude does not become a democratic society or inspire much confidence by its citizens. We were perhaps naive in that we fully expected the state would do the right thing,” he said.

The Chautauqua County Home would remain under county auspices if R. Theodore Smith was elected as county executive, the Democratic candidate announced. Smith made the announcement at a press conference at the Home’s entrance. “Ted Smith is and always has been a supporter of the County Home and Infirmary,” the JCC dean said. About the financial woes of the facility that jeopardized its operation, Smith said, “The County Home faces financial problems but that does not mean it should be closed or sold,” referring to proposals by County Executive John A. Glenzer.