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Summer 2004

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January to September, 1904 and 1954

Glancing Backward

News items from the Naples Record 100 years and 50 years ago


Beth Flory

January 1904

The month was a tough one: it was 18 degrees below zero on the 4th, breaking local records. Fourteen inches of ice coated local ponds and T. H. Parsons had already harvested 150 tons. Just when the townshoveled out from under one heavy snowfall, another followed. Roads were blocked and mailmen struggled but sometimes failed to make their rounds. An exception was Jesse Kenfield who didn't miss a single trip and on one occasion walked twelve miles in the line of duty. A sudden thaw flooded the flats, created oceans of slush, then froze. The Ingleside correspondent called it "an old fashioned winter of 50 years ago."

Illness was widespread. Toward the end of the month alarm over a number of cases of smallpox in the Cohoctons and Atlanta resulted in the closing of Naples schools and churches for two weeks; public gatherings were prohibited. Colds, pneumonia and chicken pox were everywhere.

Before the ban on gatherings went into effect the village welcomed the performances of a theatrical touring company. Imagine the stamina of actors who could stage these plays on five consecutive nights: In the Heart of the Mountains, East Lynn, Peck's Bad Boy, A Dash for Freedom and Rip Van Winkle. (The latter was one of the great roles of the renowned actor Joseph Jefferson but I doubt if he came to Naples.) The RECORD Editor praised the good behavior of the troupe, on and off the stage. The moral stature of actors was still regarded with suspicion by the general public.

A musical group, the Edith Norton Concert Company, also attracted a good turnout. Among the ten numbers on the program one stood out: "The whistling solos of Miss Lester were indeed marvelous and received hearty applause."

Curious notes: An entry states that "People desiring work can find plenty of it in the Potter swamp at fair wages. Pay every two weeks and good board can be had at fifty cents a day...." "Leo Presler was working in the swamp for a short time." What was he doing? Logging?

January 1954

The news centered around accidents, illness and deaths. Frank Mueller and his wife escaped injury but wrecked their car hitting a deer. A similar encounter resulted in a skid and an overturned car but Shelby Smith was only slightly hurt. Glenn Keith went skiing and sprained his ankle, while Leon Francis broke his hip when he fell downstairs at the Naples Hotel. Faith Domm and Edwin Fisher were ill at home and Mrs. Gottleib Glauser was in a Rochester hospital.

Obituaries described the many community contributions of two well known Neopolitans. Active in a number of local organizations, Mrs. Vinnie Rectenwald had been a teacher and Village Historian. Lawrence Seamans was a World War veteran whose service in France earned him citations for gallantry in action from both the U.S. and French governments.

Widmer's 25-Year Club met and honored its oldest member, 88-year-old Gottleib Glauser. Still in excellent health, "he recently defied adverse weather to maintain his record of always pruning grapes on his birthday." The twelve members chose Adolph Hartman as their President, Carl Dinzler as Secretary and Willard Presler, Treasurer.

The editorial in the NCS section of the RECORD described an unusual problem facing students as they tried to start up a Youth Center. They asked the public for help: "It is possible that we may obtain three bowling alleys...but because of their length it seems impossible to secure a building long enough.... Do you have space to house alleys which we may use?"

February 1904

1904 and 2004—both leap years, both noted for unusually cold and snowy winters But 100 years ago, villagers suffered more hardship than we do with our central heating and warm cars. Small pox in neighboring Cohocton made folks very nervous. Public gatherings were canceled and happily no cases came to Naples although below zero temperatures, pneumonia, "la grippe" and accidents provided enough trouble. The correspondent from Ingleside quoted an old saying which warned farmers to make sure that their food supplies for both family and animals would last until spring: "Tomorrow will be Candlemas Day, Half your meat and half your hay."

The cold was relentless. Frost penetrated down four feet into the earth, freezing water lines between mains and residences. Gas pipes and wells turned to ice. The RECORD begged horse owners to blanket their animals. Mailmen made their rounds up and over 12 foot drifts. Many, however, had good times outdoors. Sleighing was never better although the new skating rink on Thrall Street was proving more popular than sledding down from Rose Ridge on Bob Nick. Skaters enjoyed a costumed winter carnival.

Frozen Canandaigua Lake saw lots of various activity. When Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ormsby went ice boating out from Seneca Point, the wind capsized the boat and she received a bad cut over her eye. Her husband escaped injury.

Several lakeside residents crossed the lake on foot to visit friends while teams pulling loads of lumber went back and forth on the ice as did at least one horse and buggy. Frank and George Standish drove to Canandaigua and back the same day.

Lakers began to worry about their docks when all the ice went out in the spring. About a week into the month there was a sudden thaw followed by flooding. Town Supervisor Ira Cribb's six year old son fell into a swollen creek and was rescued just in time by his father.

Leon Tremblay drove his father's team of horses to town, leaving them blanketed and hitched in front of Frank Griswold's. Suddenly they took off and tore down Main St. dodging wagons and sleighs and turning down Mechanic Street where they were stopped by a maple in front of George Hemenway's house. The Editor com-mented that had it not been for the tree, "They would have landed inside Mr. Hemenway's sitting room." Horses and wagon emerged intact, having provided some brief excitement along Main St.

John Dunton was praised for his kindness in leaving part of his corn crop in the field for the pheasants who came to feed twice a day. Indoor entertainment for Charles Traum and his friends centered around his newly acquired Victor gramophone.

At the end of the month the news came that Rochester's business district was burning. The fire started in the Sibley, Lindsay & Curr store and as other buildings became involved fire engines came to assist from as far away as Buffalo.

February 1954

Weather this month was not particularly severe, a welcome change. Sap buckets were beginning to appear: the harvest was underway. The lake's open water hosted thousands of ducks including Red Heads, Canvasbacks, Mergansers and Scaups.

Arland and Alice Burley and Mac and Janis Harrington welcomed sons; daughters were born to Freelen and Mary Fender, Robert and Lucile Stevens, Mr. and Mrs. Horace Shepard, Jr. and Kenneth and Louise Wiley.

Army Reservist Sgt. William Misel headed for Fort Dix for training. Paul F. Dunton joined the army and Kenneth Hoag was assigned to the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat team at Fort Benning. A3/c William Domm was one of the drummers in the movie "The Glenn Miller Story" which was filmed at Lowry Air Force Base where Domm was stationed.

Robert Vierhile returned home from Teheran where he had been in the Foreign Service for two years.

Bad luck pursued Widmer employee Francis Fisher who had his third collision with a deer as he drove to work from his home in Honeoye.

March 1904

While the populace waited for a late spring, there was still entertainment to be found on frozen Canandaigua Lake. By now, however, huge cakes had piled up against the shores. A ridge extending nearly across the lake from Whiskey Point prevented some "ice yachts" from getting past. However, six of them were sailed by Canandaigua men including A. Sterling and Frank Perego who enjoyed an outing at the south end along with dinner at the Woodville Hotel. Uncle Ed Wetmore rode over to Oak Ridge in a wagon, already prepared to settle in for the spring and summer. Rain in the middle of the month turned the Naples flats into a lake.

High water washed out the railroad bed in places near Middlesex and disrupted schedules. A tremendous bolt of lightning struck the ground near Henry Ricketson's wire fence, threw mud and dirt to the top of a fifty foot tree and turned a large chestnut post into match sticks.

Charles Springstead's Shropshire ewes produced 25 healthy lambs including a set of triplets. Farmers were too busy to get away but

townspeople were tempted by a planned excursion in April to Washington, DC via the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Fare for the round trip from Geneva was $9.90. A Rochester minister prepared to take travelers on his15th guided tour of Europe: 52 days for $300. Home entertain-ments included a well received concert by the Cohocton Glee Club and a "fritter social" by the Baptist Ladies where fifteen cents paid for "two fritters, a dish of pure maple syrup, coffee and pickles." When collector John Trickey and his wife drove to Frost Town to deliver a tax bill to a father and son, Charles Hotchkiss knocked him down. The frightened horse damaged the buggy when he tried to run away and the son was sent to jail. The huge fire in Rochester's business district, electrical in origin, destroyed three out of the five department stores and caused a loss of three million dollars.

March 1954

The big news this month heralded the formation of the Nundawaga Society for History and Folklore and the plans for an elaborate pageant late in the summer. Arthur C. Parker, local resident, archeologist and authority on the Iroquois Indians, proposed a series of dramas beginning with the coming of the Seneca Nation and carrying through to the arrival of the white men. Site of the plays would be at the foot of Clark's Gully, legendary Seneca birthplace. The meeting drew one hundred enthusiastic men and women from the general area and the ambitious project was successfully launched. In response to ongoing public demand, a Public Works commission was considering authorizing a postoffice building for Naples at a cost of $211,000. Fifteen years before, Naples had been on a list to have a new post office which would have cost only $50,000, but nothing came of it. Many new Neopolitans arrived this month: sons to Nicholas and Ruth Ustick, Thomas and Eleanor Wheat, James and Betty Wirth and Daniel and Patricia McLaughlin. Daughters were born to Mr and Mrs Fred Fox, Gary and Avis King, and Rodney and Ruth Wheaton.

Service men enjoyed receiving the NAPLES RECORD. Donald Gelder wrote from Fort Bliss, Texas in gratitude for "the friendly news from the hills of home."

April 1904

The severe winter didn't seem to want to give up. Midmonth there were still snow storms, drifts and impassible country roads. Still, the trout season opened, the lake ice was going and the Onnalinda was gearing up for the new season with Captain Stempel at the helm. The boat was scheduled to leave Canandaigua at 4 pm Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays and from Woodville at 7 a.m. Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Passengers who had hoped to board for the first trip changed their plans after an overnight storm brought 12 inches of snow.

Uncle Ed Wetmore, for decades the likeable and humorous correspondent from Jacobs Landing, observed that "We have tried to enjoy six snowstorms today. It was hard work, but we had the snowstorms just the same."

Interesting to note that the boats did more than take passengers and cargo up and down the lake. The Orianna was fitted with a pile driver and was working on docks at Stemples' on the west side and Oak Ridge on the east.

O. S. Reddout prided himself on having "the oldest fishing boat on Canandaigua Lake." It was built by Park Cox forty years ago for "Bing" Dunton and C. O. Babcock and the owner says "it has forty years more."

Hop yards were once a common sight in this area. This year many of the vines had been winter-killed while raspberries and wheat seemed to have survived well. "The celebrated Naples cigars, manufactured by S. H. Howse were on sale at the Park House." Friends on Main Street greeted Chauncey Shepard who made a rare trip to town. Shepard spent most of his time trapping at the head of the swamp.

April 1954

With the opening of the trout fishing season the creek banks were crowded with hopeful anglers. Those who tried their luck in the lake found that their lines "gathered ice to the size of pencils."

Retired Director Arthur C. Parker was honored at the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences in observance of his 73rd birthday and the 50th anniversary of his professional career. Also, the Six Nations of the Iroquois honored Parker with a special postal cachet issued by the Post Office in Victor. The newly organized Nundawaga Society, with 200 charter members, elected Robert Moody of Rushville as President with Charles Briglin, Vice President; Mabel Blodgett, Secretary and Edgar Haynes, Treasurer.

Famed scientist Dr. Vincent Schaefer, known for his cloud-seeding experiments, conducted tests on West Italy Hill and concluded that "while the presence of H Bomb dust was minimal, Texas dust does spatter our windows."

Sixty seniors from area schools and their chaperones spent five days touring Washington, D. C. While in the Newark New Jersey railroad station, the boys were "set upon" by a local gang. Black eyes and bloody noses resulted but no serious injuries.

At the end of the month the thermometer soared up briefly to 88 degrees before heavy rains set in.

May 1904

A skim of ice covered the lake on May 2nd but by the middle of the month farmers were very pleased with the unusually abundant blooms on their fruit trees. Good news for those trying to reach markets with their produce was the State's approval of road improvement from the Brown Stand north to and beyond Bristol Center. The Jacobs Landing correspondent claimed he had a surefire way to kill pestiferous woodchucks by inserting the poison Paris Green into slits cut into apples and stuffing the fruit into the animals' entrance holes which he then blocked with stones.

The ginseng industry was thriving in South Bristol. George Monks had over 1000 plants and Albert Andreas had several thousand well established beds worth, he claimed, over $2500. The plants were prized by the Chinese as fertility charms. Roots were said to have human shapes; they were, and perhaps still are, dug in the Appalachian mountains and sent to Hong Kong. A blight would later extinguish local hopes for wealth from the sale of ginseng.

The Red Mill was in full operation. Proprietor B. L Clark had made repairs and improvements including a large addition. George W. Strobridge was turning out very fine stone ground flour and corn meal at his mill on Vine Street.

William Arnold, suffering from a severe asthma attack, was given an excess of morphine by injection and feared lost, but "heroic efforts saved his life." Ingleside had a long sick list with ailments that included erysipelas. John Barringer, the two-year-old son of the doctor, fell out of a second floor window and landed on his back in the yard, jarred but unhurt.

J. T. Brown, "the popular hotel man of Naples, presented a horse and buggy to John Stayes of Gorham on condition that he would take good care of the horse during his life and give him a fitting burial." Stayes readily agreed to the conditions. Men were busy setting grape posts and tying vines on Whaleback's steep hillside behind Oak Ridge and Eastnor. Park Stoddard and daughter Alice arrived on the steamer, anticipating another long summer at Whippoorwill Cottage.

May 1954

Paul F. Rizzo of Canandaigua made local history this month when he caught a lake trout weighing 21 pounds, eight ounces as he fished from the shores of Seneca Point. The fish was 38 inches long with a 23 inch girth. However, years before an old timer had described the exploit of a Mr. Barnhart who was commuting by rowboat to his job on Cook's point, fishing along the way. He brought in a lake trout that weighed over 25 pounds but because the season was closed, the feat and the fish had to be kept quiet.

The Ingleside Grange held a friedcake contest and Mrs. Harriet Chapman was judged the winner with Mrs. Alida Cleveland and Mrs. Thelma Graves coming in second and third. Archaeologists from the Rochester Museum visited Clark's Gully and Sunnyside and discovered evidence of several occupations, the oldest going back nearly 2,000 years.

The big magnolia tree in front of the school was in full bloom and plans were going ahead for the 86th Memorial Day observance. Naples had begun its ceremonies a year before the national ones. The parade was to be followed by a service in the school directed by Edward J. Ulmer, chaplain of the Jacob Schaeffer Post of the American Legion.

The Korean War was over but 73 local men and women were still serving in this country and overseas and they were not forgotten.

June 1904

Fifty pupils of Naples High School were rewarded for "non-absence and non-tardiness" during the previous year. They were taken by steamer to Vine Valley for games that included croquet and baseball—and a picnic. The 6th and 7th graders were similarly feted at the nearby Granby Grove down by Naples Creek across from the fairgrounds. Children of the Italy-Naples Church entertained their elders with a maypole dance at their term-end festivities.

Because of small pox in the area, Adelbert Drake and his wife were prevented by the Health Officer from holding their ice cream social in a public hall so they entertained at home. (The popularity of socials, often money raisers for churches, endured through the 1940's and beyond.)

June means graduation and the Class of '04 was a small one: Seymour Sutton, President; Jennie A. Smith, Vice-President; Helen G. Lewis, Secretary/Treasurer and Celestia Hatch. Rev. Roop delivered the Baccalaureate sermon at the Methodist Church.

It was a stormy month. I. W. Wilcox's farm home in Gulick burned after being struck by lightning. Another strike knocked C. H. Early and two horses to the ground but all recovered. Farmers were trying to find workers to tie grapes and pick beans and strawberries-these sold for 12 cents a quart. Adelbert Hill caught one hundred rats in his barn.

The People's Phone Company was founded with H.W. Blake, President; George B. Hemenway, Secretary and George R. Granby, Treasurer. Cinderella Watkins attended the dedication of the Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Hospital.

Fishing and baseball were the most popular pastimes. Alex Granger caught 5 trout in one day. The RECORD Editor predicted an exciting game when the Naples team traveled to North Cohocton "to cross bats with the White Eagles of Atlanta."

June 1954

A strange, round, silver-colored object in the sky intrigued and mystified local residents. Carrying a red light, it traveled over Naples and vanished. No flying saucer, it proved to be a U. S. Weather Bureau balloon.

Officers of the NCS senior class of 29 members were: Laura Lincoln, President; Cloyse Drake, Vice-President; Nancy Richmond, Secretary; and Marilee Rector, Treasurer. Sally Braun was valedictorian and Nancy Koby Reddout, salutatorian. The graduation program included a baccalaureate sermon by the Rev. Birger Halvorson on the topic "Shaking Hands with Life." All three surviving members of the class of 1904 were honored at the Alumni Banquet: Seymour Sutton, Helen Lewis Box, and Jennie Smith Tobey. Celestia Hatch was deceased. Among NCS graduates receiving Master's degrees from various colleges in the State were Robert Dean, Theodore Harwood, Martha Parker and Kathleen Kirkmire.

In an unusual gesture of respect for and confidence in the work of Arthur C. Parker, the State Education Department awarded a Permanent Charter to the newly organized Nundawaga Society for History and Folklore. Preparations were underway for an impressive pageant depicting the coming of the Senecas to be presented in early September. A party of chiefs from the Tonawanda band of Senecas dedicated the pageant site in the Sycamore grove at the foot of Clark's Gully, the legendary birthplace of their nation.

July 1904

The RECORD's Editor remarked on the rowdiness on the 4th of July: "Indelibly impressed on the minds of many are the varied experiences connected with the celebration—swelled heads, black eyes, broken noses, empty pocketbooks, etc."

Midsummer brought the usual array of accidents and storms along with entertainments and lake excursions. One downpour caused serious damage to the lake road and its bridges and played havoc with the railroad bed on the Rushville road. W. F. Lincoln's barn in Bristol Springs and that of Addison Hawley in Ingleside survived lightning strikes. Stephen Blanchard broke his arm when he tumbled from a tree.

Merchant Max Rich sustained the same injury when he fell from his "wheel," i.e. bicycle.

The Editor groused about cyclists and roller skaters who heedlessly careened down Main St. sidewalks; he also resented automobile drivers who "think they own the earth and do not care how many accidents they cause."

Farmers had trouble finding field workers and were forced to pay them up to $2 a day. Lucky was Henry Olmstead, the employer of a girl from Bristol who picked 301 pounds of berries in one day.

Modernization continued to propel Naples into the twentieth century. Cement sidewalks, becoming popular, were installed in front of the Main St. homes of John Bolles and T. H. Parsons. The Post Office acquired a 4,000 pound safe. The Seneca Gorham Telephone Company was proving profitable.

Demonstrations were held nightly of the Economy Gas Machine, manufactured in Rochester, which converted gasoline into gas for lighting and heating. Travelers and workers who had to move about the area complained of bad driving conditions. Approval of a new road to Potter, long needed, appeared to be a certainty. Crushed stone, shipped from Pennsylvania and brought to Naples by wagon, was being applied to the lake road. Mail carriers struggled with mud and ruts. Now instead of receiving $1720 per annum, the men were paid according to the number of miles they traversed. Six worked out of the Naples office: Charles Johnson, William Kennedy, Jesse Kenfield, William Cleveland, Warren Pierce and Charles Flint. Baseball games, especially those involving Naples and rival Prattsburgh, inspired violent reactions when spectators were displeased. "Throwing stones, the use of hard language, etc." and complaints about the umpire were commonplace.


July 1954

Membership in the Nundawaga Society was growing rapidly and a casting call went out for actors to come to tryouts. Professor Gordon Dustan of Keuka College was to direct the play "Nundawao: The Coming of the Senecas," written by Dr. Arthur Parker. It described the beginnings of the Seneca Nation and its struggle with infiltrators called the Massawomeks, or People of the Great Snake. An outdoor stage was being prepared in the Sycamore Grove near the mouth of Clark's Gully, legendary birthplace of the Senecas.

The month was not a peaceful one. Local men joined those from other communities to help out after a devastating storm missed Naples but caused two million dollars worth of damage in Penn Yan. In a mere ten minutes, winds up to 100 miles an hour affected up to four-fifths of the houses but missed the business center of the village. Highways were blocked, power lost, and trees destroyed. The Maxfield Hose Company stood by with a generator furnishing light for workmen.

The storm hit during a Little League baseball game. Two players from Penn Yan were critically injured when struck by a falling dugout roof.

The first accident on the newly opened state thruway occurred on July 19 when a tanker truck of gasoline overturned and burned. A one-car accident in Rushville took the lives of teenagers Rexford Campbell and Henry Johnstone.

While William Widmer and his wife were briefly away, their home on Main St. was vandalized from top to bottom and burglarized. The Ontario County sheriff's office was investigating.

Farmers were warned that Army Worms had invaded Ontario, Yates and Schuyler Counties. Masses of the very destructive worms attacked oats and corn, and moving on, left fields stripped.

Returning to Naples for the Alumni banquet was Margaret Parrish, teacher in the early 1900's.

Summer travelers included Bob and Lee Woodard and children, Carolyn and Marjorie Kidd, Mrs. Kendrick Shedd and Caroline Housel. Less fortunate were those hospitalized: Mrs. Robert Dinehart, Mrs. Charles Schenk, Sr., Carl Misel, Sr. and Ralph Donley.

August l904

At the height of summer, local people were busy traveling on trains, having company, and attending family reunions. Many lakeside houses were rented and you could have S. L. Smith's seven-room cottage near Woodville, complete with boat, for a dollar a day. Ball games, picnics and ice cream socials were especially popular. At one party at Granby's Grove across from the Fairgrounds, children raced while balancing peanuts on the blades of case knives.

Summer could also mean long days of hard work in the sun. B. F. Hill picked 800 quarts of berries from less than one and a half acres of ground. Julia Shine, aged 10, picked 1216 pounds while Mrs. James Murphy, in addition to taking care of two boarders and her family of five, picked 1565 pounds in G. T. Standish's fields.

When a telephone line was placed in her farmhouse, ninety-year-old Mrs Caulkins immediately called up Mrs. George Kimber for "an animated conversation." Dr. and Mrs L. P. Conley drove over in their automobile and took Mrs. Caulkins for a ride. She liked it, but this sea captain's daughter said she "enjoyed a hard storm when on shipboard in mid ocean much more."

John Folts of Eellpot Road was the victim (for the second time) of chicken thieves, losing 117 from his flock.

A windy hailstorm turned Main St. into mud and hurt the bean crop. Mrs. Hepsy Green's barn was damaged by lightning and the Miner millinery shop suffered fire damage.

Three well-known fishermen- John Dunton, Ed Wetmore and Park Stoddard-enjoyed their annual fishing trip around the lake. The first stop was Genundawa where they stopped to cook trout which they had just caught. Then on to Cottage City and more fish for a dinner which included pike and whitefish. The men slept under their boats on the beach and proceeded to Deep Run for breakfast. They crossed the lake, ate supper on the shore by the Spangle cottage and camped for the night on Mentieth's Point. At Ash Grove they shared their catch with friends. Dinner was at Miller's after which the trio went their separate ways at Walton, Ed and Park rowing back home to Oak Ridge and Whippoorwill on the east side.

August 1954

Excitement continued to mount as preparations went forward for the first Nundawaga Society pageant. Area enthusiasm resulted in a high degree of volunteer participation. Author and Parrish Hill resident Arthur C. Parker was widely known and well respected. Women gathered to make costumes which were decorated with authentic symbols. The outdoor stage was leveled and a small longhouse built in front of a stockade at the pageant site near the foot of Clark's Gully. Night rehearsals were held by lantern light while mosquitos and poison ivy menaced the vulnerable actors. A single performance was planned for September 4.

The 12 members of Widmer's 25- year club were guests of William Widmer on a day trip to Niagara Falls and points in Canada.

John Clark, and Clair Fox led local boy scouts on a 4,200 mile, 25-day bus trip that would take 50 area boys to 14 states. The Naples contingent: Gerald Strong, Robert Pridmore, Carl Widmer and James Reed, Jr. From Bristol Springs came Russell Docteur, Rhodes Evarts, Stanton Randall and William Standish.

Horace Hooker, 15, drowned while canoeing off Mentieth's Point. After a four-day search involving 25 boats, his body was found by Griffin White and Archie Eggleston of the Maxfield Hose Company.

In a special meeting of Naples Central School District No. 1, Principal Llewyn Thomas addressed the need for more classroom space. Farm produce from the school's lot on the north side of Academy Street brought in $1,400 in 1953.

Mrs. Salem Drake's house trailer on the Woodville Road was destroyed by fire as was the venerable house on Powell Hill Road known as the Honorable Shotwell Powell Homestead.

September 1904

The unexpected death of William Tobey shook the village. Only 39, he was a leading citizen and successful businessman, owner of a thriving clothing store. The long obituary extolled his generosity, sagacity and integrity. Hundreds of people from all over the area attended his funeral and Naples businesses closed for the afternoon.

The month took its toll with illnesses and accidents. On the sick list were Howard Tyler, Andrew Fries, John Farley and Matilda Johnson.

John R. Wheaton of Atlanta was crossing the Erie track on his bicycle and failed to hear the warning shouts from those who saw the oncoming train. He was hit by the engine and thrown aside, suffering serious injuries.

The horse and the noisy automobile made a risky mix on the roads. When William Couse's horse bolted, his agile family jumped from the carriage. William grabbed the horse's bit, hung on and was dragged but finally brought the frightened animal to a halt. B. Gordon, a well known junk dealer from Rochester who often made his rounds in the Naples area, remained unconscious after he was found in his wagon in Hunts' Hollow. Neighbors cared for him and brought him to Naples and Dr. Barringer. His rescuers wondered if he had been beaten and robbed.

The Great Naples Fair was more exciting than ever. Between three and four thousand people attended every day. Agricultural exhibits, the original focus of the fair, were still dominant. One outstanding display featured 70 varieties of potatoes. There were demonstrations of dozens of machines and products from stoves to pianos. One of the days featured games, races and entertainments for the children. Everyone went to the trotting races. This year's star attraction was William S. Borden's handsome black yearling, "Oakwood." His owner drove him for an exhibition half mile on each Fair day.

Baseball games inspired passion, rivalry and sometimes rowdiness. Bolles' Eagles prevailed over Haynes' Colts, with Dr. Barringer as umpire.

Summer was over. Rachel Stoddard was off to Wells College and Ward Lewis set out for Hamilton.

September 1954

Attendance at the Nundawaga Society's outdoor drama exceeded all expectations. An audience of over 2,700 overflowed the clearing near the foot of Clark's Gully and the adjacent beet-field parking lot. Nearly 3,000 other hopeful playgoers were turned away by deputies and created a memorable traffic jam on Route 245. The State Department of Commerce sent a cameraman. Author Arthur C. Parker was presented with a replica of a fine wampum belt by the St. Regis Mohawks and the event was pronounced a triumph, if a rather chaotic one. (A second performance should have been planned and would be for the subsequent four years of productions). Opened by a signal fire on Bare Hill, the second annual flare lighting ceremonies around the lake followed in the evening.

Naples was also in the news this month in articles in the Saturday Evening Post and the American Magazine.

People in Rushville were mystified by the disappearance of Claude Gage, 63, who had been missing since July 1. He turned up back home later in September, having been working in a town in the southern part of the state.

Four young people from Naples were hurt when the car in which they were riding struck a utility pole at the corner of Routes 245 and 2l. Injured but not hospitalized were Walter Schlegel, Sally Braun, Shirley Pridmore and Doris Schutz.

Reuben Martin, local foreman of electric service, had to search for the cause of a Naples power outage. He traced the electrical line through a swamp near Atlanta and discovered an electrocuted Great Blue Heron entangled in the wires. Martin brought the unfortunate bird to the Record office to be photographed and its six- foot wingspread admired.

Beth Flory's "Glancing Backward" column in the Naples Record is compiled from
old news items that appeared in the Record. Reprinted with permission of the Naples Record.
Index of articles by Beth Flory
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