In Years Past

In 1914, at Meadville, an order received from headquarters in New York City closed down the Erie Railroad shops for the entire week; and the fact that they were closed also on Saturday made practically 10 days of no employment for the entire force of men at the shops. The order, it was said, was received shortly after work had begun for the week, and the men were allowed to work the balance of the day. Many, speaking of the order, were greatly disappointed because of the present high cost of living which made every day’s work count.

The following day would be “early rising day” with a very considerable percentage of Jamestown’s budding population. There was a reason. That was the day the circus, the Miller Brothers & Arlington’s 101 Ranch Wild West Show, would come to town. Before the town was fairly awake, the long trains used to transport the paraphernalia of the big show would have rolled into Falconer, been shunted into the railroad yards, the scores of wagons and floats and the hundreds of horses unloaded and hustled into the Jamestown show grounds, early coffee served to the army of workers, the first tents erected and arrangements made for the picturesquely historical and uniquely unusual free street parade which would precede the performance of the big show.

In 1939, a hearing in the compensation case of Walter Sweeney, 17, of Frewsburg, was adjourned by Referee Charles K. Blatchley at Jamestown City Hall when Blatchley decided that the Frewsburg Furniture Company should state its position with reference to the allegation that Sweeney was being unlawfully employed when he recently lost his right eye in an accident at that plant. Blatchley had already awarded compensation to Sweeney for 100 percent loss of use of the eye. During the hearing, it developed that the accident occurred while the lad was working at night, contrary to the state labor law. If it was substantiated that the lad was unlawfully employed at the time of the accident, he would be entitled to double compensation, according to Blatchley.

John George’s 75th birthday celebration ended literally with a bang Wednesday night at Silver Creek when shotgun shells stored in the attic exploded shortly before midnight. The loud reports brought almost the whole village to the scene. The resultant fire caused damage of several hundred dollars to the George home on Robinson Street, as firemen hacked holes in the roof to get at the stubborn blaze. The George family had retired after a day and evening of celebrating. Mr. and Mrs. George slept beneath the attic room where the shells exploded. With the help of neighbors they sought to extinguish the fire with a garden hose but the fire department was needed to bring the fire under control.

In 1964, the Gustavus Adolphus Children’s Home, one of the agencies assisted by the Jamestown Community Chest, was undertaking a major analysis of the time and cost of its services. Under the direction of the U.S. Children’s Bureau and the Child Welfare League of America, the study was developed at the University of California. Results would be fed into an electronic computer at Berkeley, Calif., with the results expected next spring.

Most army worms in Chautauqua County had run their 20-day feeding cycle, reported Glenn Cline, county agricultural agent. Some worms, hatched last, were still active, he said, but on the whole, they had run their cycle. Cline said his office had not received a new report from county farmers in over a week. “It’s too early to ascertain the extent of the damage caused by the worms but it’s safe in stating that most damage occurred in oat crops,” he said. At their peak, several weeks ago, the worms were reported to be in between 2,000 and 3,000 acres of oats. Damage to other crops was slight.

In 1989, residents of Love Canal in Niagara Falls, N.Y, where the torch of environmental concern was ignited a decade ago, had passed the flame to another Niagara Falls neighborhood. “Love Canal was the first, and Forest Glen won’t be the last manmade environmental disaster,” said Toni Rychel, a former Love Canal resident. Rychel was among about 50 people at a candlelight vigil outside a boarded-up church in the largely abandoned Love Canal neighborhood. Toxic chemicals had recently been found in Forest Glen, a nearby trailer park.

Josephine Cameron’s oldest son, Donald and his wife, Cathy, of Phoenix, enjoyed creating latch-hook rugs. “It’s the one hobby we do together,” said Donald Cameron, who visited his mother’s home on the Gerry-Levant Road in Falconer the past week. Donald brought his mother a picture of their three-story red brick family home in an early-winter setting, made into a latch-hook rug that measured 7 feet-by-5 feet. A widow for almost 20 years, Mrs. Cameron had to sell the house five years ago because she couldn’t keep it up, said her son. She said one time she had 300 people for dinner at the house. “Every room was full,” said another son, Joe Cameron. “I felt like the king of Italy. I served so much spaghetti.” The house stood across the road from Mrs. Cameron’s present home.