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Bad start for the New Year — Jan. 1925

December 4, 2010
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

I have in my hand, thanks to former Saranac Lake resident, Treva (Bruce) Miller, a copy of The Enterprise dated Jan. 2, 1925.

About noon on New Year's Day, a fire started in the top floor of the Berkeley Hotel and the volunteer fireman contained the fire to that floor but the businesses on the floors below were ruined by water damage. Here is the lead story and the headlines:

"Threatening Blaze at Midday Yesterday Halted in Upper Floors as Losses of $60,000 are Suffered by Owner and Store Tenants; Flames Believed to Have Started in Shingle Roof from Chimney Sparks."

Article Photos

"Fought to a standstill by courageous volunteer firemen who battled in zero weather, the flames with their threat to the very heart of the business district were successfully darkened in the most spectacular exhibition of fire fighting the village ever saw.

"Guests and employees left the building without panic, and although the firemen risked their lives time and again on ice-sheeted roofs and in smoke-filled rooms only one minor injury was suffered by the fire fighters. Charles Duquette had the point of a fire axe buried in his hand. (Somehow, that does not seem like a minor injury.)

"The fire was contained to the top story and attic but the lower floors and their contents were ruined by the tons of water poured onto the flames."


Many businesses suffered losses

"Walter Sagendorf, owner of the building and proprietor; C. E. Welsh, proprietor of the Berkeley restaurant; Jacqmors, Inc.; the Gertrude Hugo millinery; L. E. Cheeseman; Schram's Barber shop; Bouck's bakery and delicatessen; the Yarn Shop and the offices of Clinton J. Ayres, Inc., agency all suffered heavy losses. Losses were also suffered by the Children's Shop and the Spaulding Sport Shop located in the new brick section of the building facing Main Street."

Saranac Lake Fire Chief E. W. Harrison in thanking the firemen from Lake Placid said: "Responding in a record run of 15 minutes over the 10 mile road from Lake Placid the motor fire truck of that village was in Saranac Lake in time to give much needed help."


Dinner for the poor

"Although delayed somewhat by the Berkeley hotel fire, the annual Odd Fellows New Year's dinner for the poor children was held yesterday afternoon in the town hall.

"More than 75 youngsters between the ages of 5 and 12 years were the guests of the local lodge at a sumptuous turkey dinner prepared and served by the Rebekah's under the direction of Mrs. James White.

"The children before the meal sang lustily to the orchestra playing, 'It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo' but they ate so much that they were forced to remain silent when the strains of their favorite tune were struck up after the eating had ended."


New Year's babies

"Arrival of the New Year was closely followed by a trio of future Saranac Lake citizens. An eight pound boy, born at the General Hospital to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Leahy of 6 Woodruff Street; a daughter, Miss Ernestine Anne Frate, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Frate of 144 Main Street and a daughter, missing the New Year by a few hours, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Myron Richardson of Lake Colby."

1924 review of Saranac?Lake

A special page one story featured a review of the year just ended with this lead paragraph followed by a few of the listings.

"As the old year blended into the new at midnight Wednesday another year of progress was marked for the village of Saranac Lake."

"Stevenson relics moved from the Baker Cottage following notice to the Stevenson Society to vacate memorial room."

"Nathan M. Shelley and sister-in-law, Mrs. Maude Shelley, killed in coasting accident when Lewisohn camp toboggan slide collapses."

"Winter meeting of the Archdeaconry of Ogdensburg held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Saranac Lake, attended by scores of clergymen and lay delegates from towns in district."

"Northern New York interscholastic speed skating meet at the Pontiac Rink won by Lake Placid; Saranac Lake, second; Malone third, and Tupper Lake, fourth."

"First Saranac Lake Real Estate Board organized at meeting of thirteen local realtors, following a dinner at the Riverside Inn."

"Saranac Lake curling Club wins Gordon Cup at Schenectady in the first of the season's national curing matches, pushing through to victory over a field of eight teams."

"Six day meet of horse racing on ice begins at the Ampersand course on Lower Saranac Lake."

"Saranac Lake Women's Club entertains national and state officers of the League of Women Voters at a luncheon at the Riverside Inn, attended by scores of local women and visitors from vicinity towns."


A couple of 1925 prices

Meagher Coal and Ice Company Hardwood, $4.50 a cord; The Fair Store had Ladies' C. B. Corsets, 98c; Dr. Denton's Sleeping Suits, 98c and Large Turkish Towels, 2 for $1.00.



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