In Years Past

In 1914, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Cotter of Fairmount Avenue, Jamestown, returned from Boston where they attended the 30th annual convention of the Society of American Florists, held in that city from Aug. 18-21. This wonderful exhibit included a notable trade display in the Mechanics building which had a floor area of 10 acres. Mr. Cotter, who was superintendent of the Lakeview Rose Gardens, lived for a number of years in Boston and was one of the most conspicuous figures in greenhouse horticulture in New England. He was also a member of the Society for the Preservation of the Historic Boston Common.

Mrs. Gaetano Pentagro, the young woman held for murder in the first degree, charged with shooting Thomas Contiguglia Saturday afternoon, was taken to Mayville jail on this morning. In view of the age of the girl, the only attendant on the trip to Mayville was Mrs. Marsh, police matron. The trip was without incident. Pentagro continued in her childlike confidence that she had done no wrong and would be set at liberty. Marsh had completely won her confidence by kindness during her brief incarceration in the Jamestown jail and the prisoner accompanied her to the traction car very willingly when told that it was necessary.

In 1939, a trustworthy and authoritative source insisted compromise was developing in the German-Polish crisis and that “the danger of a world war is definitely averted.” The source said a turning point was at 2 a.m. when an order to begin operations was rescinded in Berlin. The British cabinet was called into emergency session overnight to consider Hitler’s reported peace offer. The nation continued, however to “dig in.” Poland agreed to President Roosevelt’s suggestion to refrain from any hostile act provided Germany also agreed. Authoritative Italians said Adolf Hitler, following two telephone contacts with Benito Mussolini, was making a last attempt to avert war by diplomacy.

Bertil Smith, 27, of Hedges Avenue, Jamestown, and his wife, Jeanette Smith, 26, narrowly escaped serious injuries at about 2 o’clock in the morning when he fell asleep at the wheel of their car and the machine crashed into a telephone pole near the Reliable Garage on Washington Street. The pole was nearly snapped from its base by the force of the collision. A fire alarm box located on the pole was hanging loosely by its wires after the crash. The Smiths were taken to WCA Hospital where their condition was said to be good. Smith told police that the crash came without warning a second or two after he had dozed away at the wheel.

In 1964, Jamestown’s jinx-ridden municipal bathing beach at Burtis Bay had been closed down for lack of funds and poor attendance. Richard Harnan Jr., a manager of the beach, said the shutdown was ordered Monday afternoon after being in operation for 23 days. It was opened this year on Aug. 2 under an emergency appropriation of $1,800 by City Council and a membership sales campaign by the Jamestown Jaycees. However, cool and rainy weather during August kept bathers away. Last year, the beach was closed on July 13, about two weeks after its grand opening because of pollution. Creation of the beach was a community project of the Jaycees, who worked several years in developing it.

Fire damaged the Allen Jones home, Moon-Strunk roads, after a bolt of lightning apparently struck the TV lead-in wires into a large first floor room shortly after 5 p.m. the previous afternoon. The damage was not estimated. Jerry Okerlund, a veteran fire fighter, escaped injury when the truck he was driving skidded on the wet road and landed on its side while en route to the main fire hall at Fluvanna, after the fire.

In 1989, Susan Wolfe of Sherman was the only artist invited for six consecutive years to display her paintings of horses at the New Jersey Meadowlands. “It makes me feel more confident that my work is interesting enough and clients have been happy with it,” she said. “They seem to appreciate the fact that my work appeals to all different people, from the racing fans and owners to the drivers.” During Hambletonian Week earlier in the month at the Meadowlands, Wolfe was commissioned to do a large oil painting of world champion Matts Scooter, the fastest Standardbred of all time.

The McCrea Point Boat Landing was a constantly expanding recreation area at Eighth Street and Jones and Gifford Avenue in Jamestown. The latest expansion program was made possible by a $75,000 grant from the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, Inc., according to Russell E. Diethrick Jr., director of Jamestown’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Historically, the area had been known as the boat landing. The city now owned that property. It also acquired McCrea Point and the land adjacent to it. The park boasted waterfront access and picnic facilities, including a pavilion. The following spring, playground equipment would be installed at the park.