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A different culture in 1930

August 21, 2010
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

A speaker at the Mark Twain Day, sponsored by the Historic Saranac Lake, explained how different the language was when the great man wrote "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

In Saranac Lake, back in August 1930 - 80 years ago - one has to understand how the culture and language was different in Saranac Lake. Names are changed when necessary.

Again, the police log from that time has entries that would make us shake our heads in disbelief today. Asked to track down a man's wife, the police gave up on this one.

Article Photos

Shown above is a postcard from the 1940s or 1950s. There was still some park area all the way from Main Street down the lake side of River Street to the beach. Note all the boathouses across from St. Bernard’s School; the low, brown building is the bathing beachhouse, and many buildings on the lake side of River Street are visible. (The credit line on the colored photo reads: “An exclusive of Northern Adirondack Views, Saranac Lake, N.Y., color by “Bob” Kampf Jr.)
(Image provided)

"Call for an officer came from Mr. Smith on Payeville Road. Officer Jones and Davis investigated. Smith wanted them to go to 155 Pine St. and bring his wife home or lock her up. They went to 155 but the house was dark and they decided to let him go get his own wife. - J. A. Baker


Officer looking for advice

"Complaint from John Doe, Vermontville, that his daughter, Norma, age 14 years, and Jones Smith, half Negro, were running around. John Doe had warned Smith to stay away from his girl but he continued to, just the same. The above was reported to Officer Putnam who notified me. Wanted to know if he could be locked up. I advised him if he caught them together to lock Smith up, which he did. - Chief


Rifle stolen

"Fred Reynolds reports that Fred Pootneuf (Indian) has stole his 38-55 Winchester Rifle and a box of cartridges. Pootneuf comes from Canada but may be around here or Lake Placid selling baskets. - G. A. Utting


Before streaking was popular

"Complaint of three young girls and a boy at 105 River St. going out in street and taking their pants down and exposing themselves. Investigated by Officer Putnam who notified parents to take care of children." - G. A. Utting


Summer theater noise

"Telephone call from Reception Hospital complaining that someone was shooting in back of the hospital down toward the river. Officer Coughlin started to investigate, but when he got up in front of Grey and Bellows Garage (NAPA store), he heard shots over in the Chantanqua Tent and decided they were using blank cartridges in a play. - Officer J. A. Baker


Bad for business

"Telephone call from the Chop Suey Restaurant that there was a woman drunk in their place and she was blocking the door and causing a disturbance. Officer Putnam investigated and locked up Jane Doe. - J. A. Baker

Killing his chickens

"Complaint from Tom Peacock, Lake Street, that two dogs were killing his chickens and how he shot one of them. Owner of same, John Phillips, 141 Lake St., got a doctor for same. This same dog was complained of by Miss Trudeau damaging her fur piece she had airing on clothes line.


What else is new?

Parking problems

"Complaint from Robert Dickie operator of the City Restaurant (later the Minute Lunch). One of the officers was bothering his guests about parking over 30 minutes. Investigated same. - Chief


Big Money in 1930

"Complaint from E. Billings, Old Military Road, that a Corona Typewriter valued at $60, color black, serial number 08548 was taken out of Mrs. Gerald Jacksons' Rocklefge home.

- Chief


A call to the hospital

"Answered red light (there were red lights on some downtown lamp posts with telephones in locked metal boxes. When a call for the police was received at the pump house where there was a man 24/7, he would trigger the light). There was a call to the General Hospital. I got Officer Coughlin and went up there. They wanted a man to sit with a man who tried to commit suicide. We got a man and Officer Coughlin took him up there. The patient died at 1 o'clock. The shooting took place down in Vermontville. - Officer Davis


Missing suitcase

"Harry Wood, 36 Dorsey St., reported that after playing in an orchestra in Gabriels, he left his black grip at Nick Acriville's at 36 Baker St. at 1:30 am. When Nick got up this morning, the grip was gone. Contains snare drum and accessories. Valued at $100." - Chief



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