May 20, 2013

Lookback: May 19 to 25


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25 YEARS — 1988

▶ Congress and the Pentagon began work on the politically touchy subject of closing unnecessary U.S. military bases, with no agreement on which bases to leave on or off the closure list. Congressman David O. B. Martin gave a strong sense of the role current political reality may play in the future of Plattsburgh Air Force Base: “I could not support this base, or any base, as an avenue of economic opportunity. Too often people think the purpose of having the military in and about them is to have economic opportunity.”

▶ The Peru Teachers Association and the Peru School District have agreed in principle on a new, three-year teacher contract scheduled to take effect in 1988. The agreement will raise the starting salary for Peru teachers from the current $16,410 to $23,850 over the life of the contract.

▶ Loggers and dairyman will be granted some relief by the Department of Transportation, when the weight limit on the Crown Point bridge is raised from 20 to 36 tons, with the stipulated limit of 8 tons per axle. The DOT had restricted the aging structure last year when the state took over operations of the former toll bridge.

▶ Construction on the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid is in full swing, and the owner predicts that the facility, when complete, will be better than ever. Much of the inn was destroyed by a fire in January that consumed 12 rooms, a restaurant and office space.

▶ The city’s municipal beach officially opens Saturday amid charges of mismanagement and unsatisfactory conditions. As city officials prepare to open the beach for the the long Memorial Day weekend, a city aldermen called existing beach facilities and services “deplorable.”

50 YEARS — 1963

▶ Clinton County is going to take the state’s suggestion and explore the idea of a new county home infirmary. The need for additional infirmary facilities was strongly illustrated in a presentation to the County Board of Supervisors recently, but the state has inquired if the county is willing to follow through on payment for a new facility.

▶ The future of the hamlet of AuSable Forks is bright with possibilities. But those possibilities — ski trails in the winter, regional promotional planning, the growth of commuting — all hinge on the future of the principal industry: J. & J. Rogers Paper Company.

▶ Our Lady of Victory parishioners next month will begin a program of tithing to raise about $175,000 to pay for a new gymnasium. As of June 1, the parishioners will have completed paying for the $150,000 Notre Dame Elementary School, over a three-year period. 

75 YEARS — 1938

▶ Plattsburgh’s first airmail stop was made according to schedule when Harold Pugh, manager of Burlington airport, taxied his cabin monoplane up the field to take on one sack of outgoing letters and deliver two into the hands of postmaster Arthur Sharon. The stop was in observance of national airmail week, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the US Airmail service.

▶ Members of the State Correction Commission received plans for reconstruction and renovation of the 60-year-old Clinton County Jail at Plattsburgh. Correction Commissioner Edward P. Mulroney, who described the jail building as “dilapidated,” said after the meeting that the commission would decide whether to accept the plan or order the jail closed before the next commission meeting June 29.

▶ The ravages of hunger and complete exhaustion after hours of aimless wandering in mountain swamps and a blinding snowstorm that mingled with drenching rains nearly cost the life of local resident. The victim, Gus E. Larson, is in serious condition at Physicians Hospital. Larson is praising his fishing companion, Raymond C. Lyon, with saving his life.

▶ Police are investigating a reported holdup at Rector’s Restaurant on Margaret Street in the city. Robert Conley, counterman, told police that a stranger who earlier had attempted to cash a check and was refused, stuck him up with revolver and stole $20 from the cash register.

100 YEARS — 1913

▶ John B. Riley of Plattsburgh was named by Gov. Sulter as State Superintendent of Prisons, succeeding Col. Joseph F. Scott. The first official act of Superintendent Riley was to sack William A. McCabe of Poughkeepsie as confidential prison agent, salary $3,000 a year.

▶ Largely through the efforts of the Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce, a preliminary survey by the U.S. Government of Plattsburgh harbor and vicinity including the mouth of the Saranac River is now highly probable, the survey being the first step in the proposed deepening and widening of our lake approaches. There is considerable “red tape” however, and different steps to be taken before the actual survey can be started.

▶ An Upper Jay dispatch states that in one of the most picturesque portions of the Adirondacks it is planned to form a lake that may rival the beauty and popularity of Placid. A few miles northwest from upper Jay brings one to a section where New York capital is considering the erection of a dam that would back, over an ideal stretch of country, a body of water some three miles long, and that along its shores will spring up hotels and cottages to make a resort that will vie with the Adirondack’s great resorts.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan