June 17, 2013

Lookback: June 17 to 23


---- —

25 YEARS — 1988

▶ An increasing number of aliens are seeking refuge in Plattsburgh in what Crisis Center director Brian Smith describes as a seasonal phenomenon combined with reaction to pending Canadian immigration reform and an increase in enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. The refugee crisis last spring was touched off by a change in Canadian border policy.

▶ State archaeologists have unearthed three 18th century campsites used by the builders of the British fort at Crown Point, but those camps will soon be covered by an L-shaped administrative maintenance build. Archaeologists of the Bureau of Historic Sites recently began test excavations of the Crown Point Historic Site after the campsites were first discovered there three years ago.

▶ Severe drought this month could lead to a dusty grave for some area farms. With barely a trace of rain this month, hay and corn crops are fishing for water, and the danger of low yield coupled with rising prices and continuing low milk prices could sound the death knell for some local farmers.

▶ An unauthorized senior skip day has turned into a nightmare for the Saranac High School Class of 1988, with the real possibility of 19 students being banned from graduation ceremonies. Principal James Votraw learned of a party where many of the seniors were said to be, and was met at the site by State Police. “I found a number of my seniors with a keg, many ran into the woods but we were able to identify 19 who had definitely taken the day as a skip,” he said.

▶ Clinton County legislators unexpectedly bowed to pressure from Albany and voted to bring the county landfill system into compliance with state environmental regulations, a move that could cost local taxpayers $20 million. The Legislature’s action was surprisingly unanimous enthusiastic, a far cry from the staunch opposition legislators exhibited 17 months ago when the state demanded that an alternative solid waste disposal solutions be developed here within five years.

50 YEARS — 1963

▶ Lyon Mountain will become a multimillion dollar ski resort area this fall. Approximately 1,550 acres of land and an additional 10,000 feet of lakefront property on Chazy Lake were purchased from Republic Steel by Leo Gibson and Frank Richards, co-owners of the Trade Winds Motel with the intent being to make the area a year-round tourist retreat.

▶ The drowning of a 15-year-old Morrisonville youth has stirred the Village of Schuyler Falls to provide an area for recreation — namely a swimming area — for youngsters on the Saranac River.  The swimming area will be roughly 200 feet by 30 feet.

▶ General Dynamics Astronautics is returning to Plattsburgh with an expected crew of 500 technicians to “update” the Atlas Missile complex. The project will cover about 18 months, with top employment reached about March 1, with crews “modernizing” the 12 Atlas Missiles now underground in the Plattsburgh area and Vermont.

▶ The New York State Department of Corrections has refused to purchase the old “Beehive” property for use as a parking lot for Clinton Prison employees according to the president of Clinton Prison Local 1272. The “Beehive,” located directly across Cook Street from the prison is an apartment building, largely unoccupied in recent years.

75 YEARS — 1938

▶ Ellis Wright, 33, of Schuyler Falls, died in the Physician’s Hospital as the result of burns suffered in an explosion in his garage. The explosion occurred when fumes from a leaking gas tank came in contact with a lantern Wright was carrying when he entered the garage late at night to check on a newly purchased automobile.

▶ The city of Plattsburgh’s efforts to win permission of the courts to erect a municipal power plant struck a snag when Supreme Court justice Ellsworth C. Lawrence denied a motion that the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation’s complaint against the city be dismissed. The court case stems from an argument that bonds for the city’s sewage disposal plant are actually liens against the city.

100 YEARS — 1913

▶ Wearing their field uniforms, and each man with his blanket roll over his shoulder, the first Battalion of the Fifth Infantry marched from the parade ground at Plattsburgh Barracks to the special train which was in waiting in the rear of their quarters, and in a few minutes the train was underway caring the regulars to the old battlefield at Gettysburg. The first duty to which the battalion is to be assigned will be with the Civil War veterans in connection with the dedication of the new Battlefield Monument.

▶ Solomon Kelly from Plattsburgh, one of the best-known lumber contractors of Northern New York, has just entered into a contract with Santa Clara Lumber Company to cut and deliver for them on Cold River from 25,000 to 30,000 standing yards of lumber, or the equivalent of 125,000 to 150,000 logs. This lumber is to be cut at Axton, near Tupper Lake, and it will require at least nine months to complete the contract.

— Compiled by Contributing Writer Shawn Ryan Press Republican