September 10, 2012

Lookback: Sept. 10 - 16


---- — 25 YEARS  —  1987

▶ Everyone knows that the city Water Pollution Control Plant smells. But what makes the exhaust so fragrant? To answer that pungent question – a query that has plagued the city since the 1970s when the plant was built at the mouth if the Saranac River – city aldermen informally agreed last week to fund a $40,500 odor evaluation.

▶ City leaders rejected a Georgia-Pacific request Thursday to rent a city parking lot for management workers in case of a paper mill strike. “I really don’t think the city wants to get in the middle of this. There is plenty of private property they could rent,” Ward Alderman Robert Hall said of G-P’s plan to park managers at the Crete Memorial Civic Center and bus them to the North Margaret Street plant.

▶ Last Friday was a typical day for spinach farmer Charles Botto: he needed 125 workers, but only 100 had shown up. Even in Franklin County, where high unemployment has been a constant problem for decades, vegetable farmers are now having a difficult time finding workers to harvest their fields.

▶ Robert Shimko would like to overhaul City Hall. But his scheme for a better City of Plattsburgh – replacing the three ward, six-alderman system with a common council of nine aldermen elected at large – faces bureaucratic inertia and established opposition.

▶ David and Penny Carr won’t be buying a new automobile or major appliance any time soon. James and Jean McKee have started to squirrel away some extra cash. The Carrs and McKees are beginning to take steps to minimize the bad economic effects a possible strike at International Paper Co.’s Ticonderoga plant will have on their families next year.

50 YEARS — 1962

▶ Clinton Prison will provide facilities for inmate plastic surgery, a new concept in area prison medical circles, beginning next month. In announcing the new plastic surgery center, Dr. Jameson said the first operations will be performed on 26 Clinton Prison inmates who have already requested plastic surgery. However, once the program is initiated, inmates from correctional institutes throughout the state may be allowed to come to Dannemora prison for needed surgery or treatment.

▶ Mohawk airlines observed the first anniversary of the company’s regular service to Plattsburgh. Flight 30, which made the inaugural flight on Sept. 11, 1961, took off from the Plattsburgh Municipal Airport exactly one year after its maiden flight.

▶ The Diocesan Development Fund announced the Special Gift phase for the proposed new $1,200,000 Wadhams Hall Seminary here has reached the $528,128 mark. The proposed seminary will include facilities for four years of college.

▶ The next couple of years should see facilities at the Plattsburgh Marina nearly doubled if present planning becomes an actuality. David Champagne, president of the Dock and Coal Company, which operates the marina, says that currently the harbor “can take 160 boats at a time during the summer, with winter storage for about 120.”

▶ A proposal for a second elementary school at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, tabled two years ago, is again before the Federal Government. The present elementary school on the base was built for 900 students. Enrollment as of Thursday was 1,153 students.

75 YEARS — 1937

▶ Lake Champlain’s legendary sea serpent, topic of debate among area residents for a century or more, now has as a rival attraction: three islands that “rise and set with the sun.” The “disappearing” islands, that challenge the most far-fletched fantasies of Jules Verne, are located – or rather are seen – off the extreme southern tip of Grand Isle, lying between the New York and Vermont shores off Cumberland Head.

▶ Franklin County Jail is a welcome haven for Juan del Valle Cristiano Modie de Montova, 22, young Spanish refugee who was put out of that strife torn country because he would not fight with the Loyalists who had executed his father and killed his sister after a brutal assault before his eyes. Juan, who has lemon-colored hair from a Swedish mother, was arrested by immigration officers for illegal entry shortly after the exile ship touched in Montreal. Standing before Judge Bryant in federal court with a group of aliens, he pleaded guilty to border-jumping.

▶ Fire caused by grease spilling over on the kitchen stove and igniting, destroyed the mess hall and kitchen at Camp Valcour, six miles south of Plattsburgh. The building, about 40 feet square, a frame structure, was easy prey of the flames and for a time it was feared that the fire would spread to other buildings nearby.

▶ Edward Collins, 21, a construction worker has been taken to the Glens Falls hospital suffering from a fractured and badly mangled right arm, four fractured ribs and internal injuries as the result of an accident when he became caught in the gears of a stone crusher where he was working north of Whitehall. John Brinson, a fellow employee, saw Collins swinging from the gears and shut off the power.

▶ The rush of Labor Day travel into the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway on the peak day of the work weekend, compared with the number making the ascent the same day last year. In 1936, the one-day figure was 2,233 while this year 3,728 men, women and children were checked through the toll gate.

100 YEARS — 1912

▶ The formal opening of St. John’s church after the practical completion of the improvements which have been in progress during the past few months took place with the celebration of a Solemn High Mass, with the Rev. J.H. Driscoll as celebrant. The improvements which have just been completed and will forever remain as a tribute to the energy of the pastor, who during the comparatively few years he has been with the people of St. John’s has accomplished wonders for the church.

▶ Interviewed by a Press reporter as to his legislative program in the event of his return to the legislature this fall, Assemblyman C.J. Vert outlined some of the things he intended to work for as follows: “I shall promptly re-introduce my two bills for completing the road from Elisinor (Cadyville) to the Franklin County line by way of Saranac and Redford to Union Falls, and the road from Mooers Forks to the Franklin County line by way of Ellenburgh. These roads were sorely needed and our people of the Saranac Valley and to the north are entitled to them.”

▶ The Pride of Plattsburgh is home from maneuvers. With the regimental band playing “There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight,” the steamer Chateaugay carrying nearly the entire 5th Infantry docked at Plattsburgh and in an incredibly short time the Pride of Plattsburgh had disembarked and was drawn up in companies, ready for the command to take up the last stage of their long hike to their comfortable quarters at Plattsburgh Barracks. Wives, sweethearts and friends were at the wharf to greet the return of the regiment and a cheer went up from the men on the steamer as the vessel drew near her wharf.

— Compiled by Shawn Ryan