Monday, September 29, 2008

Glancing Backward - August 1908 and 1958

by Beth Flory

August 1908

Of great local interest were the preparations for the State Fair in
mid-September in Syracuse. New large and lavish permanent structures
were among $2,000,000 worth of improvements. “Stars of the Turf” from
“every stable of prominence” were expected on the trotting course.
Alfred G. Vanderbilt was slated to come with his four-in-hand coach.
The hope was to outshine the fairgrounds in other states.

The grape harvest was a good one and berries were selling for 18
cents a pound. From M.H. Tenney’s four rows came 380 quarts of

A “clairvoyant doctor” was coming to town for two days. If you did
not have a satisfactory physician, you were urged to come early for an
instant diagnosis, free advice and cure. His medical credentials: he
was “the 7th son of a 7th son and born with a double caul.”

The town Poormaster was authorized to take a woman and her son to
the county farm in Bath where the son was rejected and “brought back to
remain a county charge until further notice.”

August 1958

Mildew and black rot were attacking an otherwise good quality grape
harvest. Fifteen tons of watermelons were dumped in Dansville when a
truck swerved and upset coming down Wayland Hill.

Just south of the rock cut on Route 21 a speeding car plunged 60
feet down the steep and wooded bank, instantly killing the three
Rochester-area occupants. The crash was heard by cottagers from
Walton, Grangers and Coye Points who hurried to the scene to offer
assistance. Music could be heard from far below the road; the car’s
radio had survived undamaged.

What would be the last of the Nundawaga Society pageants was partly
rained out for the first time in five years of performances and
rescheduled for the following weekend. While rehearsing by lantern
light one night (and battling mosquitos), the actors looked up to
witness the silent flight of Sputnik. A new era had begun.

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