In Years Past

In 1914, much interest, in view of the disturbed conditions of travel in Europe due to the impending war, attached to the Jamestown people who were abroad. It was extremely fortunate that a large number of the Jamestown travelers were visiting points in northern Europe, thus far removed from the scene of the conflict. Many of even the Scandinavian peninsula visitors, however, sailed on steamers whose port of sailing was in England. The state of war preparations in that country was beginning to make sailing from there extremely dubious.

An attempt was made to blow up with dynamite, the home of S.G. McClure, owner and publisher of the Youngstown, Ohio, Telegram, at midnight. The damage to the house was not great and no one was injured. There was no clue. The Telegram had been active in furthering the anti-saloon cause and in demanding a reorganization in the Youngstown Police Department.

In 1939, Jamestown had its first glimpse of American might in the air at 3:35 the previous afternoon when the 17th Pursuit squadron of the United States Army Air Corps – comprising 18 pursuit or combat planes – roared over the city in fighting formation. The appearance was part of the nationwide celebration of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Army Air Corps. The ships which flew over Jamestown came from Selfridge field, just north of Detroit and prior to their appearance, had flown over Wheeling, W.Va., Washington, Pittsburgh, Franklin and Oil City and a number of smaller communities.

The final day at the Jamestown Health Camp in Allegany State Park was completed the previous day when members of the Jamestown Rotary Club arrived at camp to transport the children back to Jamestown. A successful season was completed under the direction of H. Jack Love of Duke University, Durham, N.C., who acted as camp director. Gains in weight and general health of the children were noted by Miss Lucille Anderson, camp nurse.

In 1964, Jamestown’s municipal beach at Burtis Bay opened the previous afternoon at 2 o’clock and with the reluctant cooperation from the weatherman, a good crowd was reported on hand. A light rain fell during the morning but by mid-afternoon the sun began to shine. Free entry to the beach might have had some bearing on the crowd. Beginning this day, there would be a 25 cents per person admission charge or $1 for a ticket for the balance of the season. The decision to reopen the beach, which had been closed since July 13, 1963, because of a high pollution, came when City Council allocated $1,800.

Two men were burned when a Pleasant Township oil well erupted over top of the rigging and caught fire on Saturday afternoon. William Wilcox, 25, was in critical condition in the Warren Hospital. Herbert Wentz, 56, was in good condition in the same hospital with superficial burns. According to police, the two men were working on a well that was fractured and began erupting gas. Wilcox was reportedly using a torch to cut pipe about 75 feet from the well, when a spark ignited the gas and the well exploded. The well rigging was owned by Clair Wilcox, father of the seriously burned worker.

In 1989, singing by a Finnish-American group from Fairport Harbor, Ohio, an illustrated lecture on Finnish architecture and a concert of Scandinavian music would be heard in the 23rd annual Scandinavian Day on Saturday at Chautauqua Institution. Sponsored by the American-Scandinavian Heritage Foundation of Jamestown, the program would be in Smith-Wilkes Hall and was open to the public. Following the singing of Finnish folk songs by the nine-member group, “The Stubborn Finns,” the illustrated lecture on “Toward a More Humane Architecture” would be given by Martin Price of Arlington, Texas, internationally recognized authority on Finnish architecture.

First-time home buyers either had it great locally or they had a terrible problem in the market, depending on who was asked. Local realtors, responding to Post-Journal questions, disagreed on whether first-time buyers were helped or hurt by lending institutions. A first-time buyer could buy a home for under $30,000 with little or no down payment because of programs offered them by state lending institutions, said Roger Bender of Bender Real Estate. Peter Kote, of ERA-Kote Realty seemed to see the opposite fate for first-time home buyers. “I think it’s very bad. I’ve said all along I’ve always been against the banks charging points the way they do,” Kote said.