July 1, 2013

Lookback: July 1 to 7


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25 YEARS — 1988

▶ The U.S. Air Force plans to move its entire fleet of FB-111 bombers from bases in Plattsburgh and Portsmouth, N.H., to Britain and arm the 51 planes with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles as part of a push to bolster the defense of Western Europe. The future of the SAC bases where the FB -111s now roost was unclear.

▶ The City of Plattsburgh is receiving serious consideration as the terminus of a Canadian natural gas pipeline and the site of a gas powered electricity generation plant. City and state officials confirm that an out-of-state electricity generation firm has visited Plattsburgh and is interested in building a plant here.

▶ State police investigators testified that Mark Edward Smith was on a 10–hour beer drinking binge before he supposedly stabbed Alison Baker to death during the wintry night of Feb. 12 in Hague. According to Warren County District Attorney H. John Hendley, there is speculation that State Police investigators may have mishandled evidence from the murder scene because of rumors that Baker had AIDS, although no proof that she suffered from the disease has been released.

▶ The state Supreme Court judge issued no decision on the Saranac/Dannemora school merger, setting bureaucratic wheels in motion for consolidation of the two districts. A court decision is eventually expected, but district superintendents are proceeding with the understanding that the merger became official July 1.

▶ A prominent Montréal developer has expressed an interest in possibly developing an enclosed shopping center on the 100-acre Fort Montgomery Estates property in Rouses Point’s north end. Victor Podd, who is president and chief executive officer of Fort Montgomery Estates Inc., confirmed recently that an “experienced, major shopping center developer from Montréal” is interested in the Fort Montgomery Estates site.

50 YEARS — 1963

▶ A landslide on Route 73 in Keene Valley has blocked a four-mile stretch of roadway, trapping some 40 cars. State engineers estimate the road will be closed for at least three days while debris is removed.

▶ The Essex County Board of Supervisors has put an $800,000 ceiling on the cost of building and equipping a new county infirmary. The resolution furthermore set the county share of the costs at a maximum of $400,000, with the rest coming from an Accelerated Public Works grant.

▶ The Adirondack mining community of Tahawus will pack up its homes, churches and general store beginning July 15 and move to a new location at Newcomb, 10 miles southwest. Construction crews are working to complete installation of water and sewer lines on the 700 acre site at Newcomb.

▶ A fire at St. Edmunds Catholic Church in Ellenburg depot may cost between $100,000 and $125,000, according to estimates by firemen and church officials. Flames that started in the north end of the basement demolished the north wall and part of the roof of the structure.

75 YEARS — 1938

▶ The Clinton County Highway Department has formally opened the Union Falls Bridge over the Saranac River. This bridge, having a span of 120 feet, is the longest single span electric welded bridge in the United States.

▶ With the arrival of a special train from New York City with 1,148 happy but tired passengers, the enrollment of 1,600 students in this year’s Citizens Training Camp at Plattsburgh Barracks was completed. The youths, who will spend the next 30 days in the famous Pinegrove along Lake Champlain as the guests of Uncle Sam, were greeted by Col. Thomas L. Crystal, commanding officer of the 26th Infantry.

▶ The fire warden on Whiteface Mountain within a few weeks will turn over his Adirondack domain for a new shelter house. Built of native stone taken from the lower slopes of the peak, the new shelter has been completed at the top of the elevator shaft at the end of the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway. 

100 YEARS — 1913

▶ A Michigan newspaper claims the distinction of having the only woman managing editor of a daily newspaper in the United States, and the lady who holds this distinction is Miss Catherine M. Stiles, daughter of John Stiles, and a former resident of this city.

▶ Seldom has the city of Plattsburgh witnessed a more remarkable and enthusiastic demonstration of welcome than that given to the Rev. Father Pelletier, formerly of St. Peter’s church, upon his return to this city in participation of the anniversary celebration of the founding of that parish. The 60th anniversary of the founding will take place this weekend.

▶ An impressive ceremony has been held at the Catholic Church in Coopersville, with the blessing of the new rectory there by the Rev. Bishop Gabrielle. The members of the old church are to be congratulated upon this handsome and valuable addition to their church property.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan