Saranac Lake police blotter, October 1929
[From time to time there will be an old Enterprise photo featured with this column that has no relationship to the column subject…as in today’s column. I now have two old scrapbooks, which I will tell more about later, loaded with pictures, that are just aching to be exposed again.]
Dogs running loose in the village, many unlicensed, was a problem 88 years ago in Saranac Lake and it was a problem some 50 years ago when I was the proud Mayor of my hometown.
About 1963 we hired one of Saranac Lake’s first full-time dog-catchers, no other than Hampden (Ham) Fitcher … who did a great job with stingy resources. The village installed, behind the sewage treatment plant on the Bloomingdale Road, a heated and vented trailer, as in tractor-trailer, that we acquired free-of-charge from Madden’s Storage and Moving Company.
Thank God, that today, we have the Tri-Lakes Humane Society doing an incredible job taking care of dog control and the tender care of all animals in their shelter on the LaPan Highway.
The village in the 1960s had municipal garbage collection; village owned trucks and workers who collected twice a week, going right into your garage or back porch picking up the trash and returning the cans to the proper spot, not throwing them casually on the side of the street.
There happened to be a conference on rural services way back then, in Washington D.C., hosted by Sen. Bobby Kennedy which I attended as Mayor. On one evening of the conference was a sit-down dinner for about 600 members of the “Americans for Democratic Action” which I attended at the invitation of Jim Loeb. Jim was then publisher of The Enterprise and well-known in Washington … he had written the Civil Rights platform plank for the 1948 Democratic convention held in Philadelphia.
The guest speaker at the dinner was Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, who at one time had been Mayor of Minneapolis. We were seated right in front of the podium and at the conclusion Mr. Loeb immediately brought me up to introduce me to the VP … he was the way he was always pictured as the ‘Happy Warrior’ … he put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Mr. Mayor, get out of that job just as quick as you can, there are better things to do in politics. Now I’ll tell you the two biggest problems you have to deal with; someone’s garbage wasn’t picked up or the dogs are running loose. I know because it was the same in Minneapolis when I was Mayor.” He was right, and what a great topic of discussion to have with the Vice-President of the United States.
Blotter entries all for Oct. 1
Complaint from 93 Riverside Drive, dog barking at 89 Riverside Drive. I talked with the owner of the dog and she promised to get rid of the dog. – Officer Putnam
Fred Bailey made complaint of several dogs running at large on Riverside Drive without muzzles. – Officer Moody
In the above complaint Mr. Bailey gave several names but only one address, 93 Riverside Drive and they do not own a dog at that address. — Officer Putnam
Received a written complaint from Mildred Simon of 44 Franklin Avenue. Several dogs near her home without a license or muzzle. I visited the following people and they promised to take care of their dogs. F. P. Smith, 34 Franklin Avenue; Hugh J. McCabe, 35 Franklin; Jane O’Brien, 40 Franklin; A. B. Robinson, 45 Franklin and Camilla M. Hayes, 68 Franklin. I also talked to the Village Manager [1929 was the first year the village had a manager] in regard to this matter and he is having a warning published in the Adirondack Enterprise and if that does not help he is going to appoint a dog-catcher. — Officer Putnam
Complaint that Papineau of 50 Neil Street has an ugly police dog running at large without a muzzle and it chases the news boys. I called Papineau by phone [was there another way?]and warned him to care of the dog. — Officer Jones
Only two other cases reported on Oct. 1
William C. Shackett reported the theft of the rear axle of his Cadillac car parked on Dorsey Street next to his service station. [That must have taken the thief awhile.] — Officer Ryan
Complaint of James Moody that a taxi license No. 024-254 parked on Lake Flower Avenue at night on the wrong side of the road and nearly made him have an accident. Investigated and found the taxi was driven by Christian Sporck. After Moody found out who it was he did not want to make any trouble. — Officer Putnam
Oct. 2 — Complaint from Fred Callahan that his Ford Coupe had been stolen from in front of McVeety’s lunch car.As Callahan was partly under the influence of liquor I believe he left his car somewhere else. – Officer Ryan
“The car was found parked in front of the Orient.” [This was the next entry in the blotter. The ‘Orient’ was another local restaurant.]
Oct. 9 – Complaint from Ernest Walton that the Italian who works for Mullen’s and lives on Dorsey Street is holding his furniture until he pays his rent. I went with him and made the Italian give up the furniture. — Officer Jones
Oct. 12 — Henry Dubray, employed at the Incinerator Plant reported someone stealing his pig, about 90 pounds. He gave his friend Swinyer the once over. He told Eddie Wells that he was at the above place about 11 p.m. and some fellow stole one bale of hay and he had to pay for the hay received. — Chief