In Years Past

  • In 1914, Ashville was to have a “Safe, Sane” Fourth of July celebration. The committees, composed of representatives of the various societies of the town had been assembled into the general committee and under the leadership of John L. Campbell as general chairman. The plans were nearly completed. The celebration of the past year was such a success that the people desired that with more time for preparation, it be repeated this season. Mark Dennison, chairman of the parade committee, had arranged for a spectacular event at 10 o’clock of the morning of the Fourth. Headed by the Ashville Cornet band the line of march would include the members and apparatus of the recently organized Ashville Fire Department.,
  • A.N. Broadhead, head of the local transportation companies about Chautauqua Lake, had persuaded the Erie Railroad management to resume the week day and Sunday excursions through the same territory and at the same rates as years previously. This would be good news to resort keepers on the lake and hotel proprietors in Jamestown, for it meant thousands of visitors each week during the warm weather. It would also be good news to the residents of many New York and Pennsylvania towns, who would again be afforded an opportunity to visit Chautauqua Lake at reasonable rates.
  • In 1939, two score glider pilots, vanguard of an entry field of 200 motorless birdmen, were ready to take off from Harris Hill in Elmira in the first tests of the tenth national soaring contest. A cloudless sky and warm air currents made conditions ideal for the start of the two-week meet in which $5,000 in cash prizes and numerous trophies would be at stake. Uncle Sam’s interest in the doings of the soaring pilots evidenced by the presence of several army observers, heightened the importance of this year’s competition.
  • John Ek, Philadelphia, formerly of Jamestown, who was a member of the United States team participating in the 1912 Olympic games in Sweden, was spending the weekend with Almeth Skoglend at 6 Wildwood Avenue in the city. The local athlete, who placed third in the cross country run, came to this city in 1900 to become associated with the Art Metal Construction Company, which he represented in Philadelphia. Following his return from the Olympic games, Mr. Ek was honored at a reception held at the Samuel’s Opera House. Mayor Samuel A. Carlson presented a trophy to Mr. Ek on behalf of the Swedish population.
  • In 1964, a five-day heat wave came to an abrupt end the past night when 30 mph winds and torrential rains whipped through the area. Several Jamestown business places sustained water damage, and Jamesway Discount Store, Route 17J, Lakewood, reported water leaked into he store at several points. There was no damage to merchandise, Jamesway reported. The season’s highest temperature of 89 degrees was recorded the previous afternoon a few hours before the storm hit, flooding streets and popping manhole covers into the air throughout the city. The heaviest water damage occurred at Erickson’s Liquor Store, 202 Cherry St. Slight water damage was reported at the Watch Shop and Irene’s Hat Shop, also on Cherry St.
  • With one important hurdle apparently cleared, opening of Jamestown’s municipal beach at Burtis Bay hinged on whether funds required for operation of the facility could be made available. The only possibility foreseen that would call for closing the beach due to excessive pollution would be in the event of mechanical failures in connection with the operation of Lakewood’s sewage disposal plant. It was felt that such malfunctions of the sewage plant could be quickly detected and corrected, so that any closing due to this cause would be only temporary and of short duration.
  • In 1989, Amory Houghton’s luggage might still be on the conveyer belt at Buffalo International Airport. The congressman abandoned it during the break-neck scramble to get to Chautauqua Institution to deliver the keynote address to Southwestern Central School’s 1989 graduates at Norton Hall Friday evening. The last leg of the dash to Chautauqua – by a sheriff’s car, lights flashing and sirens blaring – was completed shortly after 8 p.m. “We’ve had a lot of odd travel stories but this one really caps it,” said Molly Darling, Houghton’s communications director.

Bi-planes, war planes and corporate, home built and experimental aircraft would be flying high – and low – over Chautauqua County airport this day and the following day. The performances, presented by Classic Airshows, were designed for the whole family. Visitors could view exhibits in the Piper Aviation Museum on wheels, see the performance aircraft closeup, thrill to the aerobatics as planes dipped and swerved and rolled and twisted all over the sky and they could watch a man walk on the wings of his plane while it was flying. Because of recent tragedies at some European air shows, Audrey Speal, wife of air show daredevil Clancy Speal, said that American air shows were much safer.