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Spring-Summer 2007

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April, May, June, July, August, September 1907 and 1957

Glancing Backward

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


Beth Flory

April 1907

April came with a variety of weathers from intense heat to a wind storm and five inches of snow. Druggist/grocer/Village Clerk Edgar Haynes offered a packet of 60 doses of a new medicine for 25 cents. It was said to cure a range of ailments from spots before the eyes to liver trouble. The new Pure Food and Drug Law now compelled manufacturers to list the contents of their products. In an ad for baking powder, consumers were warned to avoid foods containing alum.

Some of the most important and prosperous businessmen in town who advertised in the Record included Edward Coleman (painting and paperhanging), S. W. Howse (Naples Cigars), C. W. LeValley ("harness and horse furnishings"), John Bolles and Son (hardware and more!), J. C. Morgan (druggist) and W. A. Smith whose impressive "Tonsorial Parlour" lent a touch of elegance to getting a haircut.

Men who owned horses were being recruited to participate in the "Custer Reunion," a reinactment to be held in August in Canandaigua. Custer was long regarded as an American hero whose noble death came at the hands of painted savages. The other side of the story would not be told for many years.

April 1957

For many years the much anticipated April trout stocking and census was under the direction of Dr. Udell B. Stone of the State Conservation Department. He was well known in the area and well liked. In April 1957 the event was well attended as usual and "Stony" and his assistants noticed a young man whose confinement in a wheel chair kept him from observing much of anything. He was Douglas Potter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Potter.

The work done, the crowd dispersed and the biologists packed up but instead of leaving fetched Doug, took him to a particularly good spot on the creek and gave him a complete demonstration of stocking, netting, measuring, weighing and releasing trout. Old timers still remember Stony with affection. He lives in retirement with his wife in Rochester.

Lt. Willis Matson, NCS and Annapolis graduate, after special training, returned to Naples to visit his family and that of his wife, the former Jane Peacock. After two years of special training, Bill was to be an officer on the SEA WOLF, the second atomic-powered submaine. Its fuel unit, about the size of a softball, could drive the sub 80,000 miles without refueling.

Corp. John D. MacDonald retired from the NY State Police force after twenty years' service. He was declared a "a good officer, always a gentleman and a credit to the Troop."

Near Ionia, a Rochester man shot a 20 pound animal which he could not identify. A game Protector pronounced it a badger—the first ever heard of in this state.

May 1907

(Microfilm film for this month is missing reels of the Naples News and the Naples Record in the library.)

May 1957

May was a complicated and rather dangerous month. There was a heavy frost and snow on the roofs but later a major rain storm flooded the flats and caused the lake to rise ten inches. Temperature was in the 20's. There were accidents: colliding cars injured Howard Sargent and, in another accident, Nancy Huntone and her brother Alfred were hurt when the car in which they were riding struck the back of a truck, Mrs. Hattie Huntone escaped injury in a chain reaction rear-ender involving three cars. William Chapman, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Chapman, was bitten by a skunk while young Warren Coons was attacked and badly bruised by a bull. A forest fire burned over five very dry acres of West Gulick. Boy Scouts from the camp went to work with shovels and put it out. Later firemen were called out to a dump fire.

Memorial Day was as carefully prepared as always with an early service followed by a parade and program. The people of Naples began organizing a similar observance in 1868 after they heard that women of Columbus, Mississippi, were placing flowers on the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers. A year later Memorial Day was officially proclaimed as a national event. In 1957 James Swingle began the ceremonies with a Call to the Colors and the Hon. Robert M. Quigley gave the address.

Cottagers were becoming uneasy and irritated by the well-advertised plan of English boat racer Donald Campbell to try to break his speed record of about 225 miles per hour on Canandaigua Lake during the coming summer. Many felt the shores and waters were too well populated to make such a plan reasonable or safe.

June 1907

Bert Hinckley fished near Woodville and brought home 11 pickerel and 8 whitefish.

George Granby was preparing to open a new bank in the Granby Building which would feature a large fire- and burglar-proof safe. His son James, experienced in banking, would be his partner. Photographer Mr. Dick was doing well; customers were eager to have their pictures taken by a professional.

Joseph Kirkmire of Rhine Street was badly hurt when his team went out of control and he was thrown from his wagon.

The Record Editor deplored the run-down state of Fairview Cememtery and he urged the public to see that it was cleaned up. He often included advice to his readers as well as humorous notes such as this from a subscriber who told him that "the best way to administer medicine to a cat was to spread it on the sides. The cat was sure to lick it off. He has tried this and knows it to be true."

June 1957

Hilda Widmer Woodruff, formerly of Naples, was awarded Dearborn, Michigan's, annual Community Health Award for leadership in that field and for her participation in community affairs. Naples native Gladys Dunton was feted by the north Hornell PTA in recognition of her twenty-five years on the school faculty.

After two years of preparation, Naples' new reservoir in Eelpot was taking shape. Spring-fed, it would have a 7,600,000 gallon capacity. Mayor Ira Chapman predicted that the total cost would come withing the limits of the appropriation of $173,900.

Invitations to the annual alumni banquet was sent to 50-year graduates including Laurence Tellier (the only High School graduate in 1907) and four who had completed the Naples Teacher Training class:: Alice Fribolin Humphrey, Bessie Elwell Moshier, Margaret Barrett Allen and Maude Edson Semans.

Dwight Acomb was Valedictorian and William Standish Salutatorian of the NCS Class of 1957. Speakers at Commencement included Carl Widmer, Kathleen Conrad and Eugene Hoh.

Born this month were a daughter to Roscoe, Jr. and Anne Eichberger Peacock and a son to Charles and Charleen Widmer Martin, of Casper, Wyoming.

July 1907

Celebration of the 4th of July began at 12.01 a.m. and later at sunrise with the firing of the cannon. Naples streets were soon crowded. Ball games were well attended, an orator from Cohocton held forth and the Neopolitan Quartet performed. The egg race, potato- and 3-legged races were “fiercely contested.” The celebration ended with music by the Bath Soldiers Home Band and fireworks.

The Hiram Maxfield Bank was observing its 15th year of faithful service and a letter signed by Dennison Maxfield, William Housel and J. Gordon Lewis assured the public that the institution was here to stay. An adjacent column announced that the bank of George Granby was now open for business. The Record Editor praised its appearance and location. The competition had begun.

J. H. Loveland’s basket factory was saved from a fiery end by the convenience of the water supply and the rapid response of firemen. Grape baskets were of course in great demand.

A dangerous outbreak of whooping cough affected all ages from infants to the elderly. Summer accidents were frequent. David Bartholomew became entangled with his cultivator and was badly bruised.

“Considerable complaint” was being made of cows and horses running loose, especially at night, trampling cornfields and gardens. A hen belonging to William Cassort had taken to laying her eggs in an abandoned crow’s nest at the top of a tree.

July 1957

A summer of extremes: temperatures of 99 degrees and a violent Hurricane Audrey. A very young David Miller, startled by the crash of a falling tree, fell out of bed and severely injured his shoulder.

Power boats on both Conesus and Keuka Lakes exploded. Boaters were urged to allow their motors to cool down before refilling.

Rehearsals began for the 4th Nundawaga pageant DEKANAWIDA which continued the story of the founding of the League of the Iroquois. Rushville historian and Society President Robert Moody wrote the scripts and as usual volunteers were eager to help on stage and off.

The school budget of $373,610 was approved by a vote of 176 to 26.

Mrs Charles Harbison and Robert Woodard were elected to the Board. President Charles Standish was given a vote of thanks for ten years of service.

August 1907

We all know that some features of the Good Old Days were not good at all. Take for, example, the widespread male habit of chewing tobacco and spitting in public. The Record Editor indignantly described Edgar Haynes repeatedly having to wash the sidewalk in front of his busy store where men gathered on the concrete steps. And not only did “these loafers roost in the evenings and Sundays,“ they made uncomplimentary remarks about ladies and gentlemen as they walked by!
The Editor also deplored the careless upkeep of Rose Ridge cemetery which had looked fine for Memorial Day and was now unkempt.

The good news was that Messrs. Granby and Hemingway had struck a “regular gusher” of natural gas at 1154 feet on the Huber property on West Avenue. Hopes rose that Naples would soon have an abundant supply of gas to light the village.

Summer life on the lake was always very busy with church picnics, steamboat excursions, summer rentals and visits. When non-swimmer Anna Blake was drowning she was saved by her young friend Anna Sutton who would later be awarded the Carnegie medal and a thousand dollars. Sutton was known as the first person to swim across the lake. (She later became a vice-president of Sibley’s department store in Rochester.)

August 1957

Charles Standish, President of the Board of Education, and his committee attended a meeting regarding the possibility of establishing a two-year college in this area. A survey by the State would help determine if one were needed. Local interest had increased because of the large enrollments in the elementary grades.

Naples Central School was undergoing major remodeling with the cafeteria and shop turning into classrooms. The new gym, cafeteria and shops would not be ready until October. Meanwhile the two Scout houses would serve as temporary cafeterias.

Because of dry conditions, villagers were forbidden to use the local system to water lawns and gardens. A barn and its contents of hay and farm equipment on Ernest Hendricks’ farm in Ingleside were destroyed by fire.
Two young friends of Elaine Hawkins escaped serious injury when their car went out of control on Miller Hill on the way to visit the Hawkins at Ash Grove. Teenagers Joseph Schenk and William Clark suffered broken shoulders and lacerations when their car also took off and ended up in a ditch on the Clark St. hill. Other passengers Donald Schutz and James Rector were not injured.

Ronald Angelo, 17, swam across Canandaigua Lake from the Conrad cottage to the east shore accompanied by Eldon Woodard in a boat.

September 1907

September meant the grape harvest, agricultural fairs and the opening of school. The tons of grapes produced on the steep hillsides along the Lake were loaded on “freight boats” towed by steam boats to Canandaigua and the railroad. The boat schedule was changed without notice, to the irritation of shippers and passengers. The Editor’s comment: “Great management, is it not?”

He also observed that some hunters began their own duck season at least two weeks before the official one.

Blasting on the west side lake road between Grangers’ Point and Hawkins’ was finally over. The road had been widened up to 15 feet in some dangerous sections.

In addition to the Naples Fair, the Steuben County Fair was a special favorite because of the many equine events--races and shows-- and the balloon ascensions. This year a free vaudeville act was performed by a troupe from Japan.

The Naples Band appeared in new uniforms. ”The boys present a very natty appearance,” approved the Editor.

September 1957

The annual Nundawaga pageant had been acclaimed and enjoyed; then attention turned to the the grape harvest. Although only half as large as the previous year, it was pronounced to be of very good quality. Elviras were selling to dealers for $100 a ton, with $110 for Niagaras and $180 for Delawares.

The annual dry season had been especially severe and local residents were glad to welcome “water unlimited” with the added connection of three Eelpot springs although fire remained a worry. Members of the Maxfield Hose Company put out a blaze at the dump, then hurried to West Hollow where careless picnickers had failed to extinguish their bonfire.

Proctor Smith was off to Alfred University while Carl Widmer left for Cornell.

The Editor observed that more and more cottagers were not closing up on Labor Day but rather insulating their buildings and commuting to the lake into the fall and cold weather.

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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