January, February, March 1905 and 1955
News items from the Naples Record 100 years and 50 years ago
The last of the many holiday entertainments was a concert in Memorial Hall sponsored by the ladies of the Baptist Church. The Neopolitan Orchestra played and soloists and trios made up of local singers performed. Admission was 25 cents, with reservations costing a nickel.
The Millard Missionary Society held a "Colonial Tea Party" in the Presbyterian church parlors. The menu included chicken pie, cole slaw, cheese, mashed potatoes, doughnuts, tarts and pie. The cost: 25 cents. Waiters were dressed in "ye olden style." About fifty couples gathered at John Trembley's for a Hat Social during which the men were given hats to decorate for their lady friends. Hilarity resulted when "some trimmers didn't know the back from the front."
The men's Neopolitan Club, having gone into debt, sold "furniture and fixings" but five men raised money and planned to reorganize and resume meetings. Invitations went out to former Naples residents who lived within one hundred miles of New York City for the second annual dinner of the Neopolitan New Yorkers. Dozens of men and women responded. The tradition would last for a number of years. This rather formal event featured many speakers—all male—with the work of preparation in the hands of (surprise!) the women. Nostalgia, lofty sentiments and sentimental expressions of affection for the old home town dominated the program. Writer/actor Emory Pottle (known as Gilbert Emory in the movies) wrote a song lauding "Naples 'Neath the Maples" which became a great favorite.
The hotel, "The Naples," closed and was for sale. Owner J.
T. Brown was moving on to the Webster House in Canandaigua. Everything
from a horse to tools and furnishings was auctioned off. Formidable
horticultural prowess was displayed by Mrs. J. D. Avery whose snake
cactus was ten feet long and covered with blossoms. Mrs. J. H. Presler
also enjoyed local fame with her 11 foot long snake cactus and a Christmas
Cactus that measured three feet across. January was stormy and windy
and sleighing was good. By the end of the month the temperature had
gone well below zero. Trains ran behind schedule but the seven RFD mail
carriers didn't miss a single trip. Not the case in Prattsburgh and
Bristol Springs, noted the Editor with some
Suddenly, on the first day of the new year came the death of Arthur C. Parker. Archaeologist, ethnologist, museum director, he was a leading authority on the Iroquois Indians. His drama, The Coming of the Senecas, presented on Labor Day weekend, had been a great success. His books ranged from myths and legends and stories for children through scientific studies of artifacts and agriculture. Following his retirement as Director of the Rochester Museum, he and his wife had lived in their summer home on Parrish Hill where he could look across the valley to Clark's Gully, traditional birthplace of the Seneca nation. Dr. Parker had been honored, greatly respected and loved.
Servicemen who had come home for the holidays now returned to duty. Pvt. Donald Gelder left for Norfolk, Virginia, and Cpl. Frederick Denome was soon to leave for Fort Dix. Robert Mansfield and William Malotte, reservists, were due to report for active duty. While in Naples, Pvt. Fayette Domm married Laura Richmond after which the couple went to Camp Campbell, Kentucky.
The Tabernacle Ministry of Naples observed Anniversary Day following eighteen successful years during which people of color shared worship with white adults and children.
When Uncle Ed Wetmore went over to check on his cottage on the east side, he discovered that it had been broken into. The culprit had stolen a coat and pair of boots, leaving his own behind. He was easy to trace because in the pocket of his old jacket was an envelope bearing his name and address.
By now the lake was solidly and safely frozen and it was both a playground and a convenient highway. Iceboating and sleigh riding were popular. John Trickey moved Mrs. VanNess's household goods across to her new home in Cottage City. Previously homebound families like the John Foxes hitched up their sleighs and went calling on friends across the lake.
Ice harvesting was in high gear. The Genundawah 's storehouse had been skidded to land south of Robeson's store in Vine Valley and Charles Robeson was storing ice for the steamboats to pick up the following summer.
Whooping cough and measles plagued the children, closing schools and worrying parents. Irving Barber and Manley Fraser opened a newsroom and lunch counter on the corner of Main and Mill Streets which was "receiving liberal patronage."
In response to a serious shortage the previous fall, a Grape Basket Association was formed to establish a local plant that would produce baskets for the Naples Valley.
A "ragtime social" was planned in Bristol Springs. "Each lady was to bring a ball of carpet rags with her name in the core, to be sold to the highest bidder among the gentlemen, who will take the lady to supper." In this period women hooked and braided rugs as a matter of course. Cloth was first cut into thin strips which were sewed together and wound into balls.You can bet that a girl would be sure that her favorite beau knew which ball contained a small piece of paper with her name on it. Perhaps these lively parties were the origin of "ragtime music."
With this month, the Naples Record began its 86th year, having first appeared on February 1, 1870, on four small pages. Simeon Lyon Deyo launched his newspaper in a sawmill. Howard Tellier, the current Editor, provided scenes of Naples from that era along with pictures of leading citizens. Included were historian Seymour Sutton and three others who had recorded the events of the early days of Naples: Jane Mills, Hon. Emory B. Pottle and D. Dana Luther. Old drawings and photographs depicted the Steamboat Hotel in Woodville; the town's showplace, the home of James Monier; and the Baptist and Presbyterian Churches. The wooden Presbyterian Church was destroyed by fire in 1874 and replaced by the present brick building. Other notables featured were the Granby brothers, William Marks, Hiram Maxfield, Cyrillo Lincoln, William Tobey, and Edwin Hamlin. Recognized as old timers now in their nineties were Seymour Edson and Barton Swarts.
The Record noted the promotion of Fred Fox to Assistant Vice President of Security Trust. Fox had been a bank manager for many years. and was active in the Presbyterian Church, the Masons and on the School Board.
A correspondent vacationing in Florida sent news of the local stock car driver Dutch Hoag who had become successful on the West Palm Beach Speedway and the southern circuit. "Known as an always courteous driver, " he was popular—and often a winner—wherever he went.