The Crooked Lake Review

Fall 2005

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September, October, November 1905 and 1955

Glancing Backward

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


Beth Flory

September 1905

Dr. Barringer rode his motorcycle down Main Street and frightened the horses of Charles Lyon and his son who were thrown from their Democrat wagon as it careened behind the runaways. The accident took place at the foot of Clark Street and the injured were taken across to the Griswold house for treatment. Both men recovered. The horses freed themselves from the wagon and one ran into a post,cutting itself.

The doctor had his own accident one dark night when his motorcycle ran into a steam roller that had been carelessly left, unlighted, in the middle of the road. He was unhurt but the cycle was badly damaged.

When A. S. Ferguson's runaway accident resulted in a splintered shoulder bone, friends and neighbors rallied to help at a benefit ice cream social in front of the Baptist Church.

In other accidents, Robert Hudson fell and broke both wrists while Miss Katherine Vermilye, a teacher at the high school, was confined to her house after her fall. Mail carrier Warren Pierce was taken sick while on his route and soon was in the hospital having an appendectomy. S. L. Tozer was burying a stone when it rolled onto his leg breaking it, then rolled onto the other leg, pinning him down. Dr. Wilbur set the leg and Pierce was recovering. Clark Barker's stage team ran away enroute to Woodville. Thrown out, Barker remained unconscious for some hours but was rescued and his horses caught.

There were four cases of cholera infantum in Middlesex, with one fatality. The correspondent warned that "parents should see to it that little tots are kept from eating too much premature fruit."

While Mr. and Mrs. William Gillett were in Toronto for the big fair, "some miscreant" pulled a large fern out of its pot on their porch and made off with it, leaving the pot behind.

As always, the big event in September was the Naples Fair. This year it featured a group of Indians including the Cherokee baseball team. These visitors also reenacted the tying of a white settler to a stake followed by his timely rescue.

W. M. Pierce bought 150 pairs of roller skates and opened a rink three nights a week in Memorial Hall. Music would be provided; skate rentals were 15 cents.

September 1955

The repeat performances of Dr. Parker's "Nundawao and the Coming of the Senecas" were a great success. Hundreds crowded the Sycamore Grove near Clark's Gully. The event reflected what may be the largest turnout of volunteers to stage an event in the history of the area. From site preparation to costuming and cast, dozens of eager participants from Rushville, Middlesex Naples and environs were joined by summer cottagers and Rochesterians. No one who ever asked to be in the show was turned away. and the actors, whether in leading roles or providing background color as villagers, ranged in age from 5 to 85.

As the Kelly circus wagons passed through Naples en route to Hornell, someone noticed that the door to the lion's cage was open. The Sheriff stopped the truck on Main Street and closed up the cage. The lion, reclining peacefully, had made no attempt to escape.

"The Wigwam" former summer home of artist Thomas Fogarty and now owned by Curtis Phillips, was damaged by a fire that killed 45 valuable chinchillas. The firemen experienced difficulties with smoke and planned to obtain a greater range of masks suitable for different situations.

The Record had recently heard of Reuben Martin's experience the previous spring while he fished in a creek during high water. He caught a large trout and dropped it behind him, away from the bank's edge. The flopping fish propelled itself down a woodchuck's hole which led back into the creek and was seen making a watery escape from its captor.

October 1905

Fishing was wonderful everywhere in October. S. R. Sutton, James Tozer and P.J. Stoddard went up to Sodus Bay and caught 35 Pike. Their friends enjoyed many fish dinners.

Shoppers were paying 6 cents for a quart of milk, 18 cents for butter and 25 cents for a dozen eggs. A bushel of potatoes cost 45 cents.

The Record noted that the potato harvest, now nearly finished, relied on the work of children "whose backs will be on the mend from now on until another harvest. Little Glen Graves picked up and crated 878 bushels this fall." School had been closed for some time.

One morning a lake steamer loaded 1,021 baskets of grapes from the Oak Ridge dock. They were destined for Boston, Baltimore and Washington.

An otherwise reliable vineyard horse took off down a steep hillside flattening 21 rows of grapes before being caught.

George Brown threshed 605 bushels of oats for Nellis Westbook in three hours.

North Cohocton had some excitement when the post office was burglarized. The vault and safe were blown open; $220.00 in cash and $707.79 in stamps were stolen.

Aunt Annie Johnson, 83, woke up in the night to see a man standing in her room. She climbed out of bed ready to grapple with the intruder which proved to be a dress hanging from a hook on the ceiling.

Frank Manahan was driving his Obus team back from the train station when he collided with Ella Hotchkiss's buggy severely injuring one of his horses. Fred Washburn, returning from the Hemlock Fair, was thrown from his buggy and badly hurt. While Frank Hoey was raising a large telephone pole on Prattsburgh Street, a stay broke and the pole fell, crushing the workman who was expected to survive in spite of many broken bones.

Local milliner Mrs Pierce purchased 300 hats in New York City which she had every reason to expect would be sold. Jessie Clement sent in her hat orders to New York twice a week.

The Record Editor wrote of the death of Mrs. Josephine Pierson Granger, 79, wife of Gideon Granger, son of Francis Granger, US Postmaster General under President Harrison. Her two daughters, Antoinette and Isaphine, survived.

The Editor complained that instead of getting their own subscriptions to the newspaper many readers borrowed copies to avoid paying $1.00 for a year of the weekly paper.

October 1955

A pleasant annual tradition was the visit of the Rochester Art Club to Naples. Members went out sketching and painting all day and gathered for a church supper followed by a public exhibition of their day's work which was always well attended by admiring villagers.

Crowded conditions in the elementary school required classes for 250 children to be located in the new bus garage until completion of the $1,500,000 addition to the school.

This month daughters were born to Mr and Mrs Velton Slover and to Alvin "Larry" and Dorothy Fox. Claude and Elizabeth Burley, Paul and Rhoda Miller and Mrs and Mrs Gordon Doudt announced the births of sons.

"Copious rain" flooded the Parrish flats, turned gully streams into torrents and raised the lake level two feet. The storm did even more damage to the south and east of this area.

Undersheriff Leonard Richmond and Deputy Sheriffs Barry and Cox discovered the cause of two barn fires in the Bristol area when a 12 year old boy admitted his guilt .

Looking toward Election Day, voters would choose between Oscar Warren amd Philip Baader as Supervisor. William Jerome and Robert Rennoldson were running for Town Councilman.

November 1905

This was a month when there were numerous elaborate parties and meetings and a great number of accidents. Surprise parties were popular. Guests sometimes invaded the honored friend's house after he or she was called out on some pretext. Upon return, great was the noise and excitement. The description of Rose Tobey's birthday party was more flowery than usual and was probably written by a correspondent: "all partook of sumptuous viands" and Mrs. Tobey received several "dainty remembrances." The Methodists' chicken pie social featured music by Mrs. Tobey and a recitation by Anna Blake. Members of W. F. M. Society were invited to come to a Japanese tea dressed in costume. Party activities often included flinch, whist and euchre.

The concert in Memorial Hall, under the auspices of "the young ladies" of the Presbyterian Church, featured a "professional reader" who gave selections from modern and classic authors and a number of "musical readings or cantillations plus a pantomime of Swanee River."

The local post of the GAR sponsored a play, "Reuben Hayseed" and a farce acted by such well known citizens as Dana Tyler, J. H. Huntington, Miles Polmanteer and Clyde Herrington.

Skating upstairs in the Memorial Town Hall was now popular and special sessions were planned for instruction to "Women Only."

November brought disaster to George Wheaton who fell 15 feet from a breaking ladder and was not expected to live. A small child, Hiler Underwood, was fatally injured in a similar accident.

Mrs. W. D. Blodgett was more fortunate and received only minor injuries when, rising from bed to answer the telephone, she fell the length of the cellar stairs.

The Editor, who sometimes gave his opinion in the middle of a news item, also had a dry sense of humor which emerges in this description of two tramps who tried to break into Frank Polmanteer's house in Hunt's Hollow. Now they were "boarding with mine host Flynn for thirty days each at the instance of Justice C. L. Lewis."

Up in West Hollow, John Coons, while milking, saw a weasel and "taking quick aim, threw the milking stool at him, killing the varmint."

November 1955

One night burglars broke into the Naples Central School Building, the W. E. Otto and Company office and the Naples Produce Company office. From the last only $100 was stolen. The take from the Otto office was about $1.00 in petty cash while the safe at the school resisted efforts to open it.

A flash fire at a home on Hunts Hollow Road took the life of Clyde Lafler, 9 months old. The parents saved their other child.

A rabid fox was killed in Penn Yan when a housewife dispatched the animal with a hammer while her husband gripped the animal's throat. The fox had bitten the man and the family dog..

Nida Coleman sent the President a get well card and received a gracious reply from Mamie Eisenhower.

Pfc. Paul Dunton returned to Camp Hood, Texas after a furlough at home and A/2c Dalton B. Campbell, Jr. expected to be sent to Germany for a tour of duty.  

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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