The SLPD blotter from 1937-1938

This “Penny Postcard” — that was the cost of the stamp — of the Hotel Saranac was mailed in Saranac Lake on Dec. 7, 1938, at 5 p.m. The message in part reads, “This new hotel stands where the high school used to be.”

It is amazing how entries in the Saranac Lake Police Department blotter fit with this photo of the Hotel Saranac — keeping in mind this item written at 10:55 p.m., Dec. 31, 1937, New Year’s Eve by Officer Matt Jones:

“Found two doors to Hotel Saranac Barber shop unlocked. Reported to Mr. Smith (Manager) who said he would take care of it.”

Now get this: 9:20 p.m., New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 1938 … Again Officer Jones on the job, made this entry in the blotter:

“Call from Hotel Saranac. A gang of boys making a disturbance in Arcade. Investigated and found Daniel Gero and Frank Fitzgerald of 4 Pontiac Street chasing another boy through the Arcade. Sent them away with a warning. Gero lives at 124 River Street.”

The Saranac Lake officers were off to an exciting start of the new year:

This “Penny Postcard” — that was the cost of the stamp — was mailed in Saranac Lake on Dec. 7, 1938, at 5 p.m. The message in part reads, “This new hotel stands where the high school used to be.”

“1:55 a.m. Jan. 1 — While prowling in the police car noticed a figure, crawling around in the middle of Church Street Extension hill near Main Street. Richard Hillman of Lake Colby was trying to help a woman to her feet. Investigated and found woman to be Mrs. Freda Hasselburg of 90 River Street. Had been drinking a little and slipped as she was going up the hill. Mrs. Hasselburg just came from the Bowling Alley. Said her wrist hurt a little but wasn’t bad. Brought her home and went to the skating rink, where her husband Frank worked, notified him of what happened. – Tyler & Brown

“4:30 a.m. Jan. 1 — While patrolling on Broadway at about 4:30 a.m. I noticed the counter boys at the Minute Lunch putting Floyd Messier out of the place. Stopped and watched them a minute and Messier started back in fighting. Went over and got a hold of him and started to speak to one of the boys to stand back and Messier struck me in the mouth cutting my lip and breaking a tooth. Took him out of there and locked him up for disorderly conduct. Started begging when I got a hold of him. This man was not handled rough at any time; only some in the course of his arrest. – Tyler

“11:45 a.m. Jan. 4 — Received call from 16 Baker St. Wanted an officer right away. A man lying on the roof, thinks there is something the matter with him. Investigated and found James Davison lying on the roof of 15 Baker St. Climbed up on the roof and examined him, could feel no pulse and with the help of the following men, Hurley Hickock, Bud Duprey and Happy Rattell, carried him downstairs to a bedroom. Notified the coroner and also Dr. Price, their family physician. They pronounced him dead and found that he had died of heart failure, with which he had been troubled with for some time. Davison had gone out on the roof to shovel snow and Hickock across the street had seen him fall and called the police office. Davison is 52 years of age and has been married for 17 years. Came up here as a tuberculosis patient. Body was taken to Jim Fortune’s. — Ryan

“4:45 a.m. Jan. 6 — Interviewed Fay Bryan — claims that he shot himself in the hand with a .22 rifle while he was shooting at something in a tree at the Ampersand grounds — says his foot slipped and he fell. –Duprey

“8:45 p.m. Jan. 9 — Call for police at 28 James St. — Mrs. E. Collick said her husband was beating her up. Investigated by Garwood and Higgins. Everything quiet when we arrived. Advised her to see the judge. Police car had gone to Malone. We made the call in Jewtraw’s taxi. — Higgins

“5:20 a.m. Jan. 12 –Ambrose G. Wilder, an employee of Al Chapple came into the station limping and his face covered with blood. He said he had been sleeping and Al Chapple came into his room — woke him up and beat him up. Didn’t want to get a warrant for Al Chapple. Gave him lodging for the rest of the night. –Higgins

“7 p.m. Jan. 15 — Call from a lady on Park Avenue. Said there was a man begging food — looked like a kidnapper. Investigated by Higgins and Garwood. Saw a man walking in the street on Park Avenue. Questioned him and found he was Fred Tarris, age 38. Last employed at Riley’s Lake House, Saratoga. Left there Oct. 15 and hasn’t had steady employment since. Said he was going up to see Dr. Packard about some work. Locked him up and booked him for vagrancy. — Higgins

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