The Crooked Lake Review

Fall 2006-Winter 2007

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October, November, December 1906 and 1956

Glancing Backward

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


Beth Flory

October 1906

This was the month for picking and packing apples, digging potatoes and harvesting the grape crop. Steamboats delivered tons of produce to the railroad at the foot of the lake. One boat would continue to run until the lake froze to test the "alleged demand" for late fall service. Snow briefly complicated matters on the 10th killing dahlias and tomatoes, and was termed "squaw winter" when Indian Summer returned.

The Bristol Springs band held a dance at the Maccabee Hall, the band furnishing music for the "two step" while Saxton's orchestra played for square dancing. Tickets, including "horse care," cost 50 cents.

Long time lake correspondent Ed Wetmore wrote, "If Alice Stoddard had been here she would have been treated to as fine a campfire and hot coffee lunch as she ever enjoyed. The launch ride in the dark was very pleasant, as the lake was smooth. This was expected to be our last camp fire for the season and was greatly enjoyed by the Eastnorites, the Whippoorwills and the Oak Ridgers." (Fifteen-year-old year old Alice, a homesick student at Starkey Seminary, was wishing she were looking down on Canandaigua Lake instead of Seneca's dark waters.)

October 1956

As the month began, great numbers of migrating bluebirds flocked in trees up Powell Hill, the Griesa and Gannett Hill road areas and along the tops of Sunnyside and Whaleback.

Two area forest fires involved the the Maxfield Hose Company. One near Hemlock Lake destroyed over thirty acres. Ranger George Fraley fell down an embankment injuring his ankle and "was hauled up the gully side with ropes" and taken to a hospital. A fire on Worden Hill in South Bristol kept as many as 50 Naples firemen busy for two days. Rain arrived in time to prevent the imposition of a ban on hunting.

Well-known Town of South Bristol native Frank E. Gannett was honored for his 80th birthday at the annual Bristol Springs Church Old Home Day. Mrs Dorleah Simmons, Town Historian, was in charge of arrangements. The flagpole dedication was attended by Mrs Gannett acting for her ill husband.

Popular driver Dutch Hoag won the 100-mile sportsman's car international championship in Langhorn, Pa. His record time was a few seconds over 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Drillers struck a heavy flow of natural gas between Boswell Corners and Honeoye at a depth of about 3,200 feet. Hopes were for a sustaining well and not a "pocket." Anthropologist Dr. William Ritchie announced a "very important" archaeological discovery along the East Honeoye Lake Road where relics dating back to 3000 BC were uncovered in about twenty burial pits.

November 1906

Hallowe'en mischief makers had enjoyed "changing the locations of a lot of movable property," according to the Record Editor. Tipping over outhouses was for many years the "prank" of choice.

Naples residents, like newspaper readers all over, were fascinated by the murder trial of Chester Gillette who would be pronounced guilty of killing his pregnant girl friend on Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks. A reporter present at the trial wrote up in detail the proceedings which dominated page one for several weeks. Theodore Dreiser later set the melodramatic story into novel form and Hollywood brought the tale to the screen twice.

The death of Yale graduate and lawyer John Albert Granger was of general concern. After attending a short service at his home on Granger point, friends boarded the chartered steamboat Orianna which bore the casket to Canandaigua for the funeral at the Granger Homestead on Main Street.

November brought one of the worst snowstorms in recent memory. Fourteen inches buried West Hollow. Mail Carrier W. L. Pierce "made his route on runners," his horse pulling a cutter through mud from Naples to the end of Rhine St. (now called Co. Rd. 12). Bad weather seldom caused planned events to be cancelled. Fulsome praise characterized the review of a well-attended musicale at the Lewis home on Mechanic St. where "the pretty, tasty belongings were dainty and beautiful and chrysanthemums smiled a cheerful welcome from their crystal bowls."

The Naples Grape Growers Association reported that 86 train cars of grapes had been shipped to Boston during the fall.. After expenses were paid, a dividend was declared and John Braun, the "largest shipper" of the season, received $ 23.96.

November 1956

October's surprising Indian Summer had turned an expected mediocre grape harvest into one of fine quality more than twenty days later than in the preceding year. The Hallowe'en costume parade was enjoyed by adults as well as children. Afterward seventy-five dozen donuts and forty gallons of cider were consumed by the youngsters. Among those winning prizes for their outfits were Blanche Warner, Prettiest; Keith Barton, Most Original; George Ward, Most Terrifying.

An impressive turnout of 80 percent of eligible voters in both Naples and South Bristol preceded the re-election of the Presidential team of Eisenhower and Nixon. Congress would be dominated by Democrats.

A November snowfall measured 12 inches in Naples but up to 40 inches fell in other parts of western New York. Dog owners were warned to keep their pets close by during hunting season when many dogs are "stolen, run to death and abandoned when the season ends."

Naples celebrated the 100th birthday of Mary A. Hamlin, aunt of Mrs. Oscar Warren. Miss Hamlin graduated in 1875 from Naples Academy. Financed with private funds raised in 1858-59, the Academy started in 1861 and was succeeded by the Naples Union Free School in 1877.  

 December 1906

The Garlinghouse correspondent reported that "Thanksgiving was not as generally observed here on account of necessary work. The hay pressers and thrashers were making hard work for the farmers." The first of December brought a hard wind storm which did not daunt the party givers in the village; the Holiday Ball, planned by the young men of Naples, would be the highlight of the season.

Home to visit their families were Aliene Caulkins, George Ehle, Coryl Herrington, Grace Watkins, Joseph and Lawrence Gehrig and Mary, Jennie and Bessie Maxfield.

Greatly anticipated was the return of the Lyman H. Howe Moving Picture Company's new program to be held in Memorial Hall. Considered "the peer of all moving-picture exhibitions," Howe's pictures were hailed as "having more charm, dash and originality than any other similar entertainment."

Burns from a fire in her Mechanic Street home took the life of Sophia Kimber in spite of neighbors' attempts to help her. Truman Andrews of South Bristol traveled to New York City to sell furs and ginseng root and was found dead in his hotel room. An open gas burner was thought to be responsible. Prof. Owen E. Sutton, a well known musician and the younger brother of Seymour Sutton, died in Buffalo and was brought to Naples for his funeral.

December 1956

The deer harvest was a heavy one and many Neopolitans were successful. The Record listed over twenty including Alberta, Ray and Edmund Orr, Charles Fox, Dorothy Fox and Paul Wheat. Eighty-year-old Fred Mackey of Jacobs Landing on the east side of Canandaigua Lake stopped in Naples on his way home from Pennsylvania to display a large buck on top of his car. Asked how he lifted it up there, Mackey replied that he "had seen an oil tanker coming, driven by a big, young Irishman, and hailed him. He picked up the deer, gave it one easy swing and it was up there."

A deer followed by a dog raced across Main Street in front of William Kaysor's car; neither was struck thanks to quick braking. Widmer's held its 9th annual employees' dinner, the occasion for distributions under the profit-sharing plan. Honored again was Gottleib Glauser who had worked 49 years for the firm. He and other members of the 25 year club were given gifts of $25.

A heavy snow that quickly melted encouraged residents whose water supplies were low. A new reservoir was planned for Eelpot. Vandals stripped the colored lights from the community Christmas tree and destroyed other decorations. Cars parked behind stores were ransacked and damaged.

On a more cheerful note, Mrs. Arthur Eldred of Rhine Street reported the re-appearance of two bluebirds, probably the pair that had nested near her home the previous summer.

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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