In my role as Harrietstown Town Magistrate I performed a wedding in Lake Placid on Saturday afternoon. The back yard of the home where the wedding took place was beautifully decorated with about 50 guests seated for the ceremony.
Well, right there in the front row were two old (I mean former) police officers, Mike St. Louis and Mike Boon. A few years ago Sgt. St. Louis, with his police cruiser, blocked the escape of a guy, later convicted of murder, and got pretty banged up in the crash. Many years before that he, and my son, Keefe, were co-captains of the Lake Placid Midget Hockey team.
Sgt. Boon, also a few years ago, was one of the most professional and courteous officers on the Saranac Lake police force. He turned down an appointment as Chief when I became SL Village Manager in 1997, retired, and has lived (well) and happily ever sinceof course, he brought up how much he enjoyed my columns containing the ancient SL police blotters (SLPB).
Saranac Lake, September 1944
So, here goes this old (I mean former) reporter backing into a story, as they say, about the SLPB.
9-13-44 - 11:30 p.m.: Complaint taken by Chief, that dog at 51 Woodruff Street was chasing Mrs. Fortune's chickens. Told lady at 51 Woodruff to keep her dog tied. She complained that Mrs. Fortune's chickens were always in her yard so I told Mrs. Fortune to keep her chickens at home. - Moody
9-14-44 - 11:15 p.m.: Answered light on Berkeley Corner [lights were atop locked police call boxes on various locations downtown that when lighted, signaled a call] and was informed by the [telephone] operator that they did not have to keep record of calls. I asked for supervisor, she replied, "this is the supervisor". She said her name was Mrs. Walker. She said Mrs. Brundage [the boss of all the telephone company operators, just ask Lucille Lewis] had informed her Monday night not to keep any records. I explained the present agreement and she said she would keep a record of police calls in the future. - Wallace
9-16-44 - 12:30 p.m.: Call from Frank Knapp. Vicious cat on his porch. Cat shot by Wallace and Knapp -?Jones
9-18-44 - 9:45 p.m.: Complaint from Fred Goodrich that a bunch of 20 high school boys in 2 cars and some walking were bothering around his house where his kid was having a birthday party. Jones and I split up, each going one way and found about 12 boys. Garwood, Baker, etc. All claimed they had just come there. I told them to get off the street and if I saw them ganged up again I would lock up the whole bunch.
Jones and Wallace
9-19-44 - 1:45 p.m.: Call for police 'right away' to St. Regis Hotel. Investigation showed a soldier had hit one May Johnson, a waitress in the Elks Club. He knocked her down and another soldier stopped him from hitting her again. . May did not want to press charges. Let the soldier go in custody of his buddy who was sober, but when he got on the street again, he was still standing in front of the town hall talking loudly and when told to move on he sat down in front of Currier's and refused to move. Locked him up. -?Ryan and Wallace
Soldiers from LP Club
The soldiers stationed at the Lake Placid Club added another dimension to the police calls in Saranac Lake in 1944:
The Enterprise - Sept. 7, 1944
"The arrangements have been completed for the Army's taking over the famous Lake Placid Club, it was announced by Col. Frederick B. Dodge, Jr., commanding officer of the new Army station, and Samuel H. Packer, president of the Lake Placid company and general manager of the Club.
"Tomorrow part of the facilities of the Lake Placid Club will become available to a limited number of soldiers. Full occupancy by the Army will be affected Oct. 1, at which time the facilities of this resort will be completely at the service of thousands of battle-weary, foot slogging G.I.'s just returned from overseas.
"With a capacity for catering to 1,200 members and their guests at one time, the Club will accommodate an equal number of veterans home on rotation from the widespread battlefronts of the world."