The Crooked Lake Review

Summer 2005

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June, July and August 1905 and 1955

Glancing Backward

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


Beth Flory

June 1905

Commenting on the recent Memorial Day service, the Editor noted with disapproval that the boys in the procession wore their baseball suits, "which was entirely out of place on an occasion of this kind."

The next week the Naples Stars lost a morning game to Atlanta and one in the afternoon at Prattsburgh High School.

Cottagers along the lake, returning for the season, were entertaining, boating and fishing. One day when the fog was so thick that the boats couldn't navigate. Uncle Ed Wetmore's wife, Aunt Cretie, went down to the dock, gave some mighty blasts on the old conch shell and guided one boat in to Jacob's Landing to pick up a passenger. Another boat was "lost in mid ocean" and retreated to Canandaigua before crossing. The Record commented wryly that "sometimes mariners are furnished with a compass."

Carp, scorned by many then and now, sold briskly for ten cents apiece. It was said by some that when skinned, salted and laid in brine for two days, carp were very edible. Heavy rains flooded the flats and carp in large numbers were caught on the meadows. O. S. Reddout, veteran fisherman, brought home a four pound trout. Captain Coye presented his trout to the Record Editor and his wife. The black bass season opened mid-month.

Popular money raisers for local churches were ice cream socials. The Naples Orchestra was often on hand to furnish music. The social sponsored by the Maccabees was enlivened when F. H. Cook poured salt and ice into, rather than around, the container of ice cream. A "Love Feast " was held at the Gulick M.E. Church. Rev. Roop of Naples preached the sermon. Solos were rendered by Mrs Roop. Annual family get-togethers were underway; ninety-one people "took dinner" at the Presler-Boggs reunion.

Teachers returning home for the summer included Caroline Housel, Orin Avery, Seymour Sutton, Fred Lyon and Harold Blake. There were five new cases of mumps in South Bristol.

June 1955

Pvt. Herbert Standish of Fort Devens was in Naples for a weekend to see his parents. Samuel Schenk was home on leave before heading for a tour of duty in Japan where Pvt. LaVerne Meyer was already stationed. From Korea, Richard King wrote of attending a concert where Debbie Reynolds sang for 5,000 soldiers. T/Sgt. Roger Robinson was transferred to an Air Force base in Newfoundland.

Ralph Donley was killed on the Middlesex Road when his tractor-mower overturned. A World War II veteran, he had served in Europe. Five year old Brandon Hansford drowned in front of his parents' home on Seneca Point .

A new enterprise opened up on Cohocton Street: "The Redwood Drive-In Restaurant," built by proprietors Mr. and Mrs. Allyson Hodges.

July 1905

Our best known celebrities were back on the local summer scene. Emory Pottle, a native of Naples, returned to visit his parents. A successful author, he would also be remembered as movie leading man Gilbert Emory. Artist Thomas Fogarty came from New York with his family to their summerhome, The Wigwam, on Phillips Road in South Bristol. They also owned Walton Point. Tom Fogarty was as famous in his day as Norman Rockwell was later; in fact, Rockwell was a student of Fogarty at the Art Students League in New York. Naples landmarks could be recognized in Fogarty's illustrations in the books of best selling author David Grayson.

Naples streets seemed empty as many residents were hard at work haying, harvesting and picking a bumper crop of berries.

Vandals destroyed the prized gardens and shrubbery around the home of Elwin Briggs and his wife in Garlinghouse. Plants were pulled up or cut down with a butcher knife. Briggs said he knew the identity of the culprit and planned to "commence legal action."

The problem of the horse versus the motor vehicle finally inspired some regulation. Now when a machine frightened a horse and caused an accident, the motorist is required to give his name and address and the number of his car under penalty of a fine of $100. He is also obliged to stop if the driver of the horse so signaled him or be subject to another fine.

Isaac Adams Seamans, Naples' oldest lawyer, died at 70, having practiced law in town for 50 years. Albert Fox of Rushville unearthed a silver Spanish coin dated 1774 on his father's farm. Layfatette Harter of Cohocton and his wife were struck by lightning and not expected to live, are now slowly recovering.

As always, social life among cottagers on the east side was varied and constant. The Smiths of Whiskey Point invited the occupants of Eastnor (the Woodworths), Whippoorwill (the Stoddards) and Oak Ridge (the Wetmores) to a "progressive euchre" card party. Mrs Harry Wetmore won a nicely engraved spoon. She and her husband had paddled their canoe from Canandaigua to Oak Ridge to spend the summer.

July 1955

Mechanic Street continued a long tradition on the 4th of July when all 19 houses displayed the American flag.

The area was experiencing a dry spell and temperatures in the high nineties. The Record editor urged that a water system be connected to Canandaigua Lake. Current water sources, a reservoir, springs and Grimes Glen, were proving inadequate to meet the increasing demand.

Firemen responded to two fire alarms in ten minutes when a pea viner in Garlinghouse caught fire and a car was burned on the Middlesex Road. Grass fires were frequent.

Sleepers residing along Main Street were awakened by a car chase about 1 a.m. The pursued was traveling close to 100 miles an hour chased by a Trooper who was firing at him. When a bullet penetrated the car on Rhine Street it stopped and a Naples resident was taken into custody and later fined $160. for speeding and reckless driving.

Naples Rotary Club was awarded the district citation for international service for 1954 - 55. The citation recognized the contributions made to "encourage and foster the advancement of international understanding, good will and peace."...

Franklin P. Reddout, 24, of Naples joined the Rochester Royals basketball team. His was an outstanding record at Syracuse University and had been a member of an All East All Star collegiate team.

Lt. (j.g.) Willis A. Matson was assigned to the 2,000 ton nuclear submarine Seawolf.

August 1905

It was the height of summer and Naples residents, whether cottage owners, renters or day trippers, headed for the lake. The Editor doubted that there were enough people around on Sunday to make up even one church congregation. Ed Wetmore, Dr. Barringer, Scott Sutton and John Dunton set off around the lake on one of their annual fishing expeditions. The trout they caught along the way provided main courses for supper, and after nightly campfires the men retired under their overturned boats.

A group of young people from Whippoorwill and Whiskey Point walked up over Whaleback and back home by way of Middlesex and Vine Valley.

Messrs. Granby and Hemenway "shot" a gas well using 200 pounds of dynamite 1292 feet below the surface. The object was to create a reservoir and increase the flow of gas. A second explosion was set off 900 feet down. The men felt sure that their efforts would be successful.

Plans were shaping up for the annual Great Naples Fair. A new feature would be a ferris wheel. Anticipated was the appearance before the grandstand of Prof. Bristol of Philadelphia with his trained ponies and a mule.

August 1955

On August 3rd, the RECORD Editor commented on the 90 to 100 degree weather of the previous month and remembered the summer of 195l when Postmaster John Schuyler proved that, yes, you can fry an egg on a hot sidewalk. In 1955, potatoes suffered, pastures dried up and wells and streams went dry, although peaches flourished. A few showers were followed by a resumption of the heat wave which inspired one resident to think of going to Florida to cool off. Wind and rain knocked out power and produced waves five feet high on the lake.

Several small Neopolitans entered the world in August. Daughters were born to Dwight and Elizabeth Reed, Mr and Mrs Frank Dunton and Frank and Betty Widmer while Dr. and Mrs. Parker Long welcomed a son, Jeffrey.

A long needed new pumper costing $16,300 was added to the vehicles of the Maxfield Hose Company which now had three pumpers and a squad car.

Rehearsals were held several times a week in preparation for the Nundawaga Society's new production of NUNDAWAO AND THE COMING OF THE SENECAS to be held on Sept. 3 and 4. Visibility would be enhanced by a raised stage and improved seating. A new longhouse was constructed on the outdoor stage in the Sycamore grove near Clark's Gully. In an article, Dr. Parker again tried to set the record straight: Clark's Gully on South Hill was the legendary birthplace of the Seneca nation while Bare Hill was the site of a fortification. (Fifty years later there is still confusion.)

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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