100 Years Ago
In 1912, a fire at 6 a.m. destroyed the building known as the Sugar Grove Hotel and the Hotel Livery barn adjoining. The burned property had a frontage on Main Street in that village. It was caused by the explosion of an acetylene gas plant in a rear room of the hotel. The wife of the proprietor, R.H. Buckley and her infant daughter had narrow escapes and four boarders lost all their personal belongings but escaped in safety from the burning building. Buckley was badly burned about the face and hands as he was at the acetylene plant when it exploded. The livestock was all saved from the livery stable as were the buggies, wagons, harnesses, etc. The acetylene plant was used to light the hotel and barn and was located at the rear of the building.
William H. Forster, president of the Haye Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pa., and his wife, Susan Forster and their chauffeur, were riddled with shot when a hunter, Lloyd D. Pastorious, fired both barrels of a shotgun at their automobile. All three were hurried to Hamot Hospital where Mrs. Forster was in a serious condition. The automobile had ran over a hunting dog which ran ahead of the machine from the side of the roadway. The hunter, believing his dog had been killed, fired into the auto. Mrs. Forster had just turned to look back through the window when the shot was fired and her face and shoulders were filled with shot. Mrs. Forster had been generally recognized as the leader of the first social set of Erie and one of the most beautiful women of the city.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, Rep. Daniel A. Reed of Dunkirk would urge that Irving and Barcelona harbors be developed as harbors of refuge when the war department on Dec. 8 would hold hearings at Cleveland on all possible harbors of refuge on the Great Lakes. Although he would not be able to attend the hearings, he planned to present those cases to the army engineers in briefs. Reed had pointed out that, while he was not advocating excessive expenditure of government funds, the federal government had spent only $56,000 at Barcelona during the past 100 years. The value of the fish catch in the 10 years up to 1931, Reed reported, was $1,382,000.
The season's first small display of ice scenery glistened about Niagara Falls as temperatures fell below freezing. Spray froze to trees and shrubbery at Prospect Point, Luna Point, the Horseshoe Falls and Terrapin Trail. Niagara's ice scenery usually began forming about this date each year and increased until late winter when the falls often became ice locked.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, the State Thruway Authority was going to try a system of "convoys" to keep the superhighway open during severe snow storms. Under the system, vehicles approaching a storm area would be shunted into a Thruway service area and, when a number had assembled, would be led through the storm by a snowplow, a State Police patrol car and a tow truck. An authority car would follow to protect stragglers. Authority Chairman R. Burdell Bixby said the system would be put into effect whenever weather conditions warranted.
Possibility of extending the useful life of Jamestown's City Hall by alteration and remodeling was studied by Prof. Harley J. McKee, of Syracuse University, during an inspection of the building the previous afternoon. Prof. McKee, a member of the faculty of the University's College of Architecture, was conducted by Mayor William D. Whitehead on a two and a half hour cellar-to-garret tour of the building. Mayor Whitehead said that except for several comments regarding conditions in need of repair, Prof., McKee was noncommittal about his findings and impressions. He indicated he would prepare a report of the inspection, together with his recommendations, over the weekend.
25 Years Ago
In 1987, driving conditions in the area took a turn for the worse the previous evening as falling snow and temperatures glazed road surfaces. And for the first time this season, road crews were out full tilt to combat the hazards of winter. "We're doing what we can," John Silk III, dispatcher for the Chautauqua County Highway Department told The Post-Journal. Silk said wet roads turned slippery when wind coupled with falling temperatures hit the area shortly after the sun went down.
While the quality of education was seen as the biggest plus to merging the Panama, Chautauqua and Sherman school districts, it might be a bigger plus some places than others. Panama Superintendent Charles Pegan admitted he thought the merger would be very beneficial to his district's education program. One factor was expanded numbers of classes, while another was more specialized teachers. But an often unspoken factor was Chautauqua School District. While Chautauqua sent nearly three-quarters of its graduates to higher education, Panama and Sherman last year sent one third. Pegan said he believed there may be a greater number of parents who had attended college in the Chautauqua district.