100 Years Ago
In 1912, three persons were probably fatally injured and 15 others more or less seriously hurt in a collision of a West Shore passenger train and a freight train at Wende Station, 20 miles east of Buffalo on this morning. Eight of the injured were brought to the Emergency hospital in Buffalo and 10 were taken to Batavia. The freight train had been derailed on a curve a short time before and the passenger train crashed into the standing freight at full speed. The passenger coaches were derailed and 18 freight cars were hurled into the ditch. Helen Gould and a party of ladies in Gould's private car were in the wreck. They were asleep at the time and were badly shaken up, though no one in her party was injured.
The Chautauqua County board of supervisors adjourned after a brief session for the purpose of visiting the county home and farm at Dewittville this day. Most of the members of the board and a number of visitors, were in the party. They made the trip from Mayville to Point Chautauqua by special boat and from the point to the county farm in carriages and wagons provided by Superintendent Dodge. The day was perfect for the inspection of the farm and the members of the board thoroughly enjoyed their respite from official business for a few hours.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, Mrs. Ethel Holmes Munsey of Buffalo gave a dramatic book review of "The American Doctor's Odyssey" on Thursday evening in the auditorium of the Samuel G. Love school under the auspices of the Parent-Teacher Association. She was greeted by an audience of about 300. Mrs. Leslie E. Powers introduced the speaker. Before the lecture, music was furnished by Miss Vivian Lawson, violinist and Miss Esther Elf, pianist. Following the affair, Mrs. Martin Carlson, 17 Lakeview Ave., opened her home for an informal buffet honoring Mrs. Munsey. Thirty guests were present. The tea table was artistically appointed with lighted yellow tapers in silver, with an autumn bouquet.
The Jamestown Evening Journal, which had for many years furnished baseball fans of the city and vicinity with the latest news of the annual baseball championship World Series classic, was again providing this service by issuing its baseball extra edition containing a complete report of each game, in addition to the box scores, immediately following the close of each contest. Associated Press service on the World Series between the New York Giants, champions of the National League and the New York Yankees, winners of the American League title, was comprehensive, covering details of the game.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr. rode the spacecraft Sigma 7 into orbit around the earth and at the completion of one global circuit reported himself in excellent condition. The two-ton capsule, traveling 17,560 miles an hour, swept high above Cape Canaveral at 8:48 a.m. at the completion of the first orbit. The flight plan called for six orbits lasting 9 hours, 11 minutes - which was nearly double the time spent in space by any previous American astronaut. A Chautauqua County man was in charge of a Marine rescue team ready to pluck Schirra from the ocean should his multiple orbital flight bring him to a landing in the Pacific. He was Capt. Kermit W. Andrus, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Andrus of Vukote.
Dr. Frederick J. Pfisterer, 74, of Dunkirk, a World War I medical veteran and a doctor here for 50 years, was killed in a car-freight train accident at 3 p.m. the previous afternoon at the Middle Road grade crossing of the New York Central Railroad. His 9-year-old black cocker spaniel survived the crash. Dr. Pfisterer, a bachelor, died of a skull fracture and internal injuries, Coroner Anson E. Steward said. While in semi-retirement for the past few years, the doctor was en route to call on a patient when the accident occurred.
25 Years Ago
In 1987, a former State College at Fredonia student would take her place at the top of the operatic profession the night of Oct. 5. Barbara Kilduff would debut at the grandest opera house in the country, Metropolitan Opera of New York City. She would sing the role of Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos." Miss Kilduff was a native of Long Island who studied at State College at Fredonia from 1978-81. Her voice instructor there, Dr. David R. Evans, remembers her as an outstanding talent. The odds of a singer debuting at the Met were comparable to being elected to the U.S. Senate or playing in the Super Bowl.
A fruity smell hung in the air in Chautauqua County's grape belt, harvesting machines crawled along country roads, and signs every few miles invited passers-by to pick their own. The grape harvest was in full swing and in fact came so early this year that harvesters said the end was in sight. The harvest was in fact over at Woodbury Vineyards in Dunkirk, finished in a record two weeks and three days, according to president Gary Woodbury. He said the fast start to spring and the hot summer led to a high sugar content in the grapes early on.