Lookback: Week of Aug. 26 to Sept. 2

PRESS-REPUBLICAN ARCHIVESCadet Airman Tyler Vann, 15, of Plattsburgh, works with map and compass as part of a Civil Air Patrol search and rescue training exercise held recently at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. About 50 cadets and senior members from the Adirondack Mountain Group, Vermont and downstate attended. Classes were also held in locating emergency transmitters, ground search and rescue techniques, ground to air signaling and ground to air radio communication. (1994)

25 YEARS AGO — 1994

• Congressman John McHugh said the North Country probably stands little chance of benefiting from the recently passed federal crime bill. He said he voted against the bill because it called for extensive funding for social programs that are untested or duplicated. “I don’t see many communities here being able to successfully compete (for funding for more police officers,)” he said.

• A large Canadian company, Bombardier Corp., is considering setting up a sizable outlet on Plattsburgh Air Force Base. “Yes, it’s true,” said William McBride, chairman of the Plattsburgh Intermunicipal Development Council. Bombardier spokesman Michael Lord said the Montreal-based manufacturer is looking to expand its transportation division, which makes passenger rail cars, among other things.

• The Republican candidate challenging Daniel Patrick Moynihan for the U.S. Senate does not believe the North Country should end its fight to save Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Bernadette Castro, a businesswoman from Long Island, says she will personally go to the Pentagon, if elected, to determine exactly why the base was chosen to be closed and what might be done to reopen it for future military use. If the base can’t be saved, Castro said the site could also serve as some sort of resort. “I know that sounds lofty, but this is such a beautiful area.”

50 YEARS AGO — 1969

• Plattsburgh Air Force Base will undergo no change in personnel strength as a result of elimination of its command unit — 8th Air Force Headquarters at Westover AFB Mass. An Air Force spokesman last night said the only change to be experienced at Plattsburgh will be a change in its chain of command. Units at Plattsburgh will probably come under control of the 2nd Air Force Barksdale AFB La.

• Mrs. Alfreda W. Slominski, the first woman to be an endorsed candidate for mayor by a major party in a major city of the United States, is vacationing with her family in Westport. Mrs. Slominski is at present a councilman-at-large in the City of Buffalo and is the first woman to be elected to that office. “We have toured Vermont, seen Fort Ticonderoga and some of the other attractions. This is beautiful country. I hope we can find a cottage and come back next summer,” she said.

• The Library of Congress, the New York Library at Lincoln Center, and the New York State Library all want a book found in Plattsburgh. It’s a small tunebook published in the 1700s entitled “The Republican Harmony.” What makes this book so valuable? The tunebook, found in the vault of the Kent-Delord House, is the only copy known to be in existence. Frances DeLord, whose family occupied the Kent-DeLord House from 1810 to 1913, was the owner of the book. Inside its covers bound by boards, her signature in a child’s scrawl announced the 60-page book belonged to her.

75 YEARS AGO — 1944

• Mount Assumption Institute acquired a piece of valuable property this week through the purchase of the former Hugh Brennan residence at 79 Court Street, corner of North Catherine St. Shortly after the opening of M.A.I. nearly a quarter century ago, it was realized that facilities were not ample to meet increasing demands. The Brennan property, located immediately at the northeast corner of the M.A.I. property, makes the block of land complete. 

• The June Report of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, State Department of Taxation and Finance, shows that during that month only, two motor vehicle accidents involving injury were reported in the City of Plattsburgh. Injuries were suffered by five persons.

• The woods in Essex County are to be scoured for pine cones for seed during the next month. A New York firm is advertising for nine varieties and is paying from 60 cents a bush for 2,300 bushels of white pine cones to $1.50 a bushel for 100 bushels of Australian pine. The firm's representative says that the cone crop in Essex County is abundant this year and collectors should have no trouble in getting the quantities needed. 

100 YEARS AGO — 1919

• The most sensational breakaway of convicts yet recorded in this section of the country occurred at Albany when a quartet of desperate criminals broke for liberty from a carload of convicts being transferred from Sing Sing Prison to Clinton Prison at Dannemora. As the train pulled into the Albany freight yards, four of the men who occupied adjoining cars made a simultaneous break for liberty. They had in some manner obtained duplicate keys for their handcuffs.

• All is ready for the homecoming of Essex County’s sons and daughters to be held at Port Henry on Labor Day. The village is a blaze of color and enthusiasm reigns supreme. The blue and khaki will march in triumph before their home in a demonstration never before witnessed in Essex County. Without exception, it will be the day of all days for the lad or girl who so proudly upheld the traditions of America.

• Mona Lisa, a 5-year-old mare owned by David Sterns of Plattsburgh, won the 2:18 pacing stake for a purse of $1,000 at the Middlebury, Vt. fair. The race went to five heats and she won the fifth round by a mere sneeze. Her sire and her dam were formerly owned by G.F. Hutchinson at the time he conducted the Champlain Valley Breeding Stables on Oak Street, the finest establishment of its kind that ever existed in Northern New York.

— Compiled by Night Editor Ben Rowe 

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