In Years Past

In 1914, the summer guests and others at Bemus Point, who were witnessing the annual water sports the past Saturday afternoon, had a thrill that was not down on the program. In a time trial of the hydroplane Alberta B, the boat was wrecked and the two occupants given a bath in the lake. The accident occurred about 4 p.m. John O. Johnson and his assistant, William Citterly, had made one trip around the course and were on the second lap. Near Tom’s Point they met the steamer Pittsburgh. Spectators from the Bemus Point shore saw the boat leap high in the air over the Pittsburgh’s swells and the next second the boat disappeared from sight.

A good deal of excitement was caused Saturday evening on the moonlight excursion run under the auspices of the Swedish Brotherhood lodge. The large crowd, which attended the excursion, was just returning from the dance pavilion at Midway Park to board the boat for the return trip down the lake. Just before the boat had pulled away from the dock, a big, husky young man, whose name could not be learned, jumped from the second deck into the lake. The young man was apparently crazed from the effects of liquor. Several life preservers were thrown to the man but he made no effort to seize any of those. With a good deal of difficulty, he was pulled into the boat by four or five men.

In 1939, a discovery by two city rubbish collectors in Dunkirk undoubtedly averted a serious motor accident which might have resulted in large damage suits against the city. The city wagon was making its regular rounds and when it reached a point midway between Sixth and Seventh streets on Central Avenue, one of the men called a halt and got off to investigate a hole he saw in the pavement. Closer examination revealed a hole, about three inches across, which was quite deep. A bunch of dead flowers was stuck in the hole and street department officials were notified. As a square-foot piece of asphalt was chipped away and one or two bricks were lifted, a gaping hole which measured five feet deep and six feet across lay beneath the street surface. It would require seven wagon loads of earth to fill the hole.

Althea Horrocks and George Gordon of Findley Lake were adjudged the best roller skating waltzers in the finals of the Midway Park-Findley Lake competition held at the Midway Park roller rink the past evening. Second prize went to Betty Stewart and William Jewel of Findley Lake and third prize to Lois Johnson and Malcolm Parks of Midway. Several hundred people saw the finals.

In 1964, purchase of the Hotel Jamestown had run into a major snag over a union contract, threatening cancellation of the sale. Officials said that unless an agreement was reached the Ceejay Developers of the Wellman Building would “withdraw from the purchase of the hotel within the next few days.” Ceejay Developers announced the purchase of the Hotel Jamestown the past July 29. In a letter that went out to the hotel’s 100 employees, Ceejay Developers noted that the purchase was “subject to being able to sign a labor agreement.” An effort to purchase the hotel and return it to local ownership was spurred when it was feared the Detroit group which owned the hotel would carry out a plan to shut it down in view of losses, which, it said, amounted to $75,000 in 1963.

Most Rev. Celestine J. Damiano, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden, N.J., a native of Dunkirk and former pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Church in Falconer, 1942-47, gave the prayer that opened the Democratic National Convention the previous night. Ordained a priest on Christmas Day, 1935, he was elevated to monsignor in 1949 and consecrated titular Bishop of Nicopolis and named apostolic delegate to South Africa in 1953.

In 1989, the owners of Crystal Beach amusement park, a popular spot for Buffalo-area residents on Lake Erie, said the park would close after Labor Day because of a disastrous season and little hope for a turnaround. But an Amherst, N.Y. developer, who said he had a deal to buy two-thirds of Crystal Beach Park Ltd., noted it might well be a court that decided the fate of the 101-year-old amusement park. Davis Tiburzi, president of DRT Development Co., said he had filed a lawsuit in Ontario Supreme Court in Welland after the current owners, including Crystal Beach President Joseph Biondolillo, backed out of the agreement.

The future of the popular Chautauqua Overland Ski Marathon was to be considered when planning committee members would meet on Sept. 6 at Westfield. Acting coordinator Robert Besch said the session was planned to talk about various options that might be available and to make decisions on them. The 55-kilometer (34-mile) cross-country ski race had developed into one of the major ski competitions in the east, with hundreds of entries. Registrants often came from more than a dozen states and Canada. Weather conditions, however, the past two years, had forced cancellation of the event.