In Years Past

In 1914, work was progressing fairly well on the grade crossing elimination project in Jamestown. Mahoney and Swanson, the contractors who were doing the work, had completed 400 feet of the huge retaining wall which began at West Second Street and ran east. The sheathing for the next 200-foot section was in place and the engineers were surveying for the final lines before the forms could be put in. This section was built directly in the Chadakoin River. The sheathing was driven in near the shore of the river and the section inside the sheathing was excavated. They were nearly ready to place the forms. The contractors expected to receive permission from the Erie Railroad Company to start work east of Main Street in a few days.

The first accident of the season at Chautauqua occurred Wednesday afternoon when Jesse Green of Tampa, Fla., fell from the third story window of the Carey cottage, where he was employed, sustaining injuries which resulted in his death a few minutes later. Green had come from Winter Haven, Fla. some weeks ago with Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Beal, who had employed him there and brought him north with them to work at Chautauqua. His home was at Tampa, where he was said to have a wife and one child about a year old. He was about 35 years old. He was fixing screens in an upper window but it was not known how the accident happened.

In 1939, keeping constant vigil over the lower end of Chautauqua Lake and ready to service its entire boundaries, was the new life-saving ship acquired by the Lakewood Fire Department in an effort to check the serious death toll by drowning which had been on the increase in the past few years. The 19-foot craft, seaworthy in every respect, lay anchored to the docks of the Chautauqua Marine Works at Lakewood. It was equipped with every conceivable bit of apparatus, including an inhalator, life preservers capable of keeping afloat for about 48 hours, life rings, searchlights for night work, fire extinguishers, grappling hooks, necessary rope, blankets, etc. It was driven by a four-cylinder marine motor. Lakewood firemen cited that there were 13 water accidents the past year, including nine drownings, all in the lower end of the lake.

The Falconer Fire Department, competing with hundreds of other firemen in two parades the past week, came home with two prizes for appearance. The first was Friday evening at Salamanca when they were awarded a large gold trophy for first place and the second being at Frewsburg Saturday afternoon when they were awarded second prize of $10 in the parade in that village. Both parades were held in celebration of the Old Home Weeks of the respective towns. First place in Frewsburg was awarded to the Lakewood Fire Department.

In 1964, Esther Peterson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Peterson, Dutch Hollow Road, had been selected to represent the Ellery Center Fire Department and Auxiliary at the fire queen contest during Gala Days at Chautauqua County’s Firemen’s Fraternity grounds in Stockton. Peterson had completed her junior year at Bemus Point Central School. She was a member of the school band, chorus and ensemble, a member of the F.H.A., the A.F.S. committee and Tri-Hi-Y. She planned to train for teaching elementary grades following her graduation from high school.

The white-capped Swedish singers who had taken over Jamestown for a few days called this the ideal convention city. “It is not so large that we are swallowed up in the crowds,” said a spokesman for the group. “Here we can be together like one big happy family.” He referred to the convention of Eastern Division, American Union of Swedish Singers, which had brought 200 singers and their wives to Jamestown from New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The highlight of the three-day program was a concert at 8:30 the previous evening in the Chautauqua Amphitheater by the massed choir of 200 voices.