The Crooked Lake Review

Fall 2007

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October, November and December 1907 and 1957

Glancing Backward

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


Beth Flory

October 1907

Willard Leach and John Getsinger startled neighbors when they killed six black snakes in the road at the foot of Rhine Street. The “dead reptiles “ varied in length from three and a half feet to four feet eight inches and were put on display on the sidewalk in front of T. H. Parson’s market.

Four new members were welcomed into the Presbyterian Chorus: Mr and Mrs James Granby, Mrs John C. Bolles and Fred Huber. The young men of the Church organized themselves into a Bible Class with Mr. Granby as President. Meanwhile the women of the King’s Herald in the M. E. Church elected officers with Miss Fanny Watkins as President. The Methodists promised plenty of fun at their Hallowe’en Mystery Supper: “If you want to see sights you never saw before and hear things you never heard before, come. Admission, a shilling and no change back.”

In the middle of the night the Monier Homestead was found to be on fire. The back wing burned and the main part of the house suffered extensive smoke and water damage. Editor Tellier regretted that the retired hook and ladder truck had not been brought out and used.

October 1957

The Rochester Art Club was in Naples for its annual day of painting and drawing. The public came around to admire the results, prizes were given and a church supper for the artists was served by the Presbyterian women.

William Lobdell, 16, injured his eyes when he lost his balance, dropped a bucket and was splashed by liquid concrete. He and his father were working in Potter at the Packing Company plant. Prominent Rochester businessman Donald G. Clark had a fatal heart attack in his boat off Pine Bank on the west side of the lake. Dr. Clarence Thomas in a nearby boat tried to help but it was already too late.

Mr and Mrs Frank Reber of Dugway Road were lucky enough to see Sputnik cross the sky very early in the morning. The round Russian space satellite passed through the handle of the Big Dipper, moved south east over Canandaigua Lake and vanished in less than a minute.

November 1957

The Record editor proclaimed that firemen were the busiest men in Naples. Within a few days they were called to look for a lost hunter (he turned up unharmed), and deal with forest, building, chimney and oil stove fires. Very dry conditions made their work more difficult.

The Finger Lakes Association was opposing efforts by large outside communities to draw water from the smaller lakes. Rapid growth of urban centers was a worry and it was suggested that the increased need for water might better be served by Lake Ontario.

Sons were born to the Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Drake, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Haven and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mehlenbacher while daughters were welomed by the Otto Rector family and the Fayette Domm family.

At month's end, the Record reported "ice and snow ended a pleasant stretch of weather."

November 1907

With winter in the wings, vacationing farmers hurried home to Naples to dig the potato crop and lay in firewood and supplies. R.F.Meyer bought a fine flock of lambs from Ed Andrews and F.O. Ingraham.

Archie Dawson and wife, who had been visiting relatives here, were eager to get back to their home in Michigan, claiming they were "unaccustomed to the high hills and stony ground."

Huge kitchen woodstoves were a great source of heat. John Bolles advertised 13 styles of ranges including "Pearl Summit ornately styled." Only experience taught a cook to find the right temperature for baking. Housewives took great pride in keeping their stoves spotless.

One woman was said to be so vain about hers that she secretly only used a humbler one, which remained out of sight, while her friends admired the housekeeping skills that could keep her big stove looking like new.

During a rainstorm, lightning struck a mailbox on the corner of Lyons and Main and demolished it. William Martin of West Hollow recorded 65 thunderstorms since the previous March.

The Naples Pathmaster was notified by petition that Vine Street had been seriously neglected and needed repair immediately.

December 1907

As the holidays approached, The Record Editor urged his readers to shop locally. The Bolles Hardware had for sale those durable companions to childhood winters, Flexible Flyers.

What could have been a bad fire in H.E. Graham’s department store was luckily averted. A customer had stepped on a match. The lighted head set fire to a pile of cotton batting which was quickly carried into the street and doused with water.

No such luck for dentist Z. F. Knapp who put a vulcanizer in his stove to warm. Used for hardening metal and rubber. the device overheated and exploded destroying stove, windows, floor, furniture and two sets of teeth.

E. D. Cornish was pleased to hear of the many prizes his Buff Leghorns won at the American Leghorn Club’s prestigious annual show in Madison Square Garden.

The village was anticipating a variety show by the “The Majestic Comedians“ on Christmas night. Their booking agent reassured Neapolitans (who probably shared the widespread suspicion that the performers had dubious morals) were “first class people in every way.” The show had been received enthusiastically in Auburn and included magicians, jugglers, comedians. a singer (MIss Lottie Lee) and Marvelous Morris the Mystic.

December 1957

After a fairly mild autumn, the month began with days of 7 degrees. Not as tough to take as Orchard Park’s 36 inches of snow that fell in two days.

Famed newspaper chain owner Frank Gannett died on December 3. Born in 1876, he was a native of South Bristol.

The Rev. Darius Ratcliff retired as pastor of the First Baptist Church, having served for 27 years. Elaborate ceremonies paid tribute to his long and tireless devotion to parish and people.

In spite of the weather, Tamara Shedd’s myrtle plants were beginning to bloom. Three Evening Grosbeaks, blown east by Arctic winds, were observed with great interest.

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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