The Crooked Lake Review

Summer 2006

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July, August, September 1906 and 1956

Glancing Backward

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


Beth Flory

July 1906

The controversy about keeping the hitching posts along Main St. continued. Many people wanted them removed because of the increased number of automobiles. The posts were taken away, only to be replaced by new ones, with more added.

This was the season for reunions. Civil War veterans from the 126th Regiment met in Geneva. Folks came to the Merrill family gathering in Naples from as far as Avoca and Canandaigua. Entertainment followed a bountiful dinner. Charles Master and his phonograph enlivened the Wrights' reunion.

Events on the national scene were talked about locally, especially the upcoming trial of Harry Thaw who was awaiting trial for the murder of well-known architect Stanford White. Out west, a lone gunman held up five stage coaches in Yosemite Park, one after the other, only to be caught shortly thereafter. A gang of wiretappers cut in on the Windsor Ontario racetrack wire and changed the results of one of the races. Confederates all over the country won large amounts of money when the horse they bet on was falsely declared the winner.

Readers suffering from neuralgia were urged to find relief by "applying grated horseradish to their temples when face or head were affected, or to the wrist for arm and shoulder discomfort."

John Werder wrote an appealing ad which must have been successful: "For Sale, A good work horse: sound, kind and true."

July 1956

James Arnold, formerly of Naples, had a bullet removed from his back that had been there since October, 1944. A World War II sniper's bullet had also shattered his rifle while a second broke his leg and a third lodged in his right side. Arnold had been advised to leave the bullet in his back unless it caused trouble, which it did 12 years later.

Mark Adams was declared the champion 4H broiler raiser of Ontario County against the strong competition of 46 other County youths.

In a competition held in Cheshire, the drill team of the Maxfield Hose Company, accompanied by the NCS band, won first prizes for "best appearing" and also for having the largest turnout of members.

Kathleen Kirkmire married Theodore Williams of Rochester. The bride was a graduate of Naples Central School and of Brockport State College for Teachers where she was currently an instructor.

Farmers were warned to watch out for "the notorious Williamson gang" and their scam which promised waterproofing treatments for barn roofs which washed away in the first rain.

August 1906

Life along the lake in August was full of activity on land as well as in and on the water. Park Stoddard took his friends W.D. Crittenden and Ed Marshall of Granger Point up West River to the bridge in his launch where they landed and walked to Naples. A woman who worked as a housekeeper near the south end of the road on the east side hiked up over Whaleback to her home in Middlesex every night and retraced her steps in the morning.

Ed Wetmore led a couple of the annual fishing tours of the lake. His friends, each with his own rowboat, fished their way down one side and up the other, sleeping on the shore under their overturned boats and enjoying the hospitality of friendly cottagers along the way who generously augmented the travelers' diet of fish. Many were the stretches of empty beaches where they could camp undisturbed.

D. H. Maxfield entertained three dignitaries from Internal Revenue at dinner , followed by a vineyard tour and a lake boat ride. One of the visitors prophesied that "Le Grande Duchesse Champagne (French lesson needed here) will do for Naples what fine beer has done for Milwaukee—make her famous the world over."

The Board of Regents decreed a complete change in policy wherein High school students were required to take Regents Examinations the last two years but "whether pupils failing of the State test shall be advanced is left to the judgment of the teachers."

Popular storekeeper-druggist-town official Edgar Haynes advertised his search for "the person in Naples with the worst case of constipation" who would be willing to try "Dr. Howard's" new elixer. Great confidence in the concoction was expressed and a full refund was promised if a "permanent and complete" cure did not result. Now lost and forgotten in the annals of patent medecine are "Dr. Howard" and his discovery which he also claimed would also relieve malaria and liver disease.

August 1956

Cottagers from both sides of the Lake gathered to voice their complaints about water pollution, lake levels and the lack of enforcement of water safety rules. Mrs. Ralph Schrader of the East Side Cottagers Association presided. Resolutions were written to be presented to the appropriate Town Supervisors.

Anne Parker, widow of Dr. Arthur Parker, described her world travels at a Naples Rotary meeting. Leaving New York the previous November on a freighter bound for Tahiti , she stopped in Australia and New Zealand, then continued to South Africa and finally to London in March. before heading home to Naples.

NCS took the honors for the "best high school band" when it led the Maxfield Hose Company's drill team in the firemen's parade in Shortsville.

Fire destroyed Oscar Warren's barn, although 25 cows and 2 calves were saved.

Nundawaga Society members were rehearsing HIAWATHA, a play written by Robert Moody, Rushville historian, to be presented late in the month on the earthen stage in the sycamore grove near West River.


September 1906

The Canandaigua newspaper, the Repository-Messenger, was sold to Henry Reuter of Geneva who revealed that "the political complexion of the paper will continue to be Democratic." (Now, 100 years later, the Daily Messenger is for sale.)

Edward Hamlin of Brooklyn was a guest of his aunt, Mrs. E. Wells. He came regarding the planned "electric road" which was to pass through Naples and the Bristol Valley to Canandaigua. Naples would finally have a "rail outlet" to the south and north. Work was to begin in the spring.

During an evening rainstorm, the steamer Ogarita ran up nineteen feet onto the shore at Whiskey Point while trying to land next to the dock. The boat "ploughed a furrow" up the beach but was not damaged. Several hours later the Onnalinda arrived from Canandaigua to haul the Ogarita back into safe water. Meanwhile the crew and passangers descended by ladder from the bow and were welcomed and given lunch in the middle of the night by friendly lake neighbors Mrs. T. G. Smith and Mrs. Charles Canwright.

The Great Naples Fair, the event that made the end of summer bearable to children, was bigger and better than ever. Special events included balloon ascensions by Prof. Hutchinson who dropped from the heights with red, white and blue parachutes. His attempt to make "the highest ascent in this part of the country" was foiled by rain. Professor Dunbar was on hand with his trained horses and mule. Relatives of local residents came to visit and to attend the ball games and horse races.

The Record Editor felt that the show of stock was not up to par but that the poultry exhibit was "the largest and finest EVER SEEN in this part of the State."

Hyperbole also marked the ad for the Tobey Clothing Store which offered "THE CHEAPEST CLOTHES ON EARTH."

September 1956

Performances of the new Indian drama, HIAWATHA by Robert Moody of Rushville, were favored with sunny weather and large audiences. The play dramatized the real Hiawatha's role in forming the Iroquois confederacy out of five warring nations. The 4th annual "Lake of Fire" took place on both Canandaigua and Keuka Lakes on the Saturday night before Labor Day. A signal fire on Bare Hill was answered by one on Squaw Island; then cottagers were to light their flares.

The Finger Lakes grape tour, held in Naples, was attended by 175 grape growers. Of special interest was a flatland vineyard of Widmer's that had yielded an average of six to seven tons per acre for six years, making it one of the highest-producing Concord vineyards in the country. The three-acre tract was a test plot of the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

Four young student nurses from Keuka College suffered injuries when their car hit a tree on the Sunnyside Hill Road. Clawson's wrecker and the Allen and Emory ambulances were summoned. Dr. C. P. Long and two Canandaigua physicians also responded.

Bids opened for the enlargement of Naples Central School which would include new agriculture-industrial arts shops, a new cafeteria and additional classrooms. The construction cost was estimated to be $325,883 plus additional costs for electrical and plumbing work.

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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