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Big brawl in Bloomingdale

June 16, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

I am just fascinated by local history so these stories from the scrapbook of E. L. Gray now in the archives of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library, to me, are priceless.

Bloomingdale was a thriving rural village in the last century. There was a high school, two department stores, a barbershop, drug and hardware stores and apparently a jail. It was an incorporated village with a Mayor and a Board of Trustees;

I'm not sure if had been incorporated in 1910 when the following story took place but somebody had passed an ordinance - The Adirondack Enterprise, Thursday, May 5, 1910:

Article Photos

"According to stories coming from the village of Bloomingdale, the police are having trouble enforcing an ordinance passed last week prohibiting loafing on the streets. Last Sunday, in clearing out a crowd of young men and boys who had gathered before the store and residence of Mrs. Emma Hickock, Policeman Moses LaBrake was compelled to use force.

"After the day's campaign against the young fellows was ended, Dr. F. M. Noble of Bloomingdale and Dr. J. C. Russell of Saranac Lake were called in to dress the injured. In the period from 3 o'clock in the afternoon until 9 in the evening three arrests were made, but the prisoners were later allowed their liberty. As a result of his interference with the officer, David Cohen spent Monday in bed, according to a statement by his son, Max. [The Cohen family went on to become a leading family in the business life of Bloomingdale and Saranac Lake.]

"Cohen's son, Snair, aged 13, was one of a crowd sitting on Mrs. Hickock's porch. When the officer told the boys to move on young Cohen complied, but his brother says he 'sassed' LaBrake. The officer gave chase, Max Cohen interfered, and after a tussle was landed in jail. Then David Cohen went to the assistance of his two sons, and LaBrake called on Alonzo Smith for help. Between then they subdued Cohen, and handcuffed him, but later allowed him to go on bail. Max Cohen said his father was badly bruised in the fight with the officers and that he himself received several bruises. Justice James Carney furnished bail for the Cohen's. [Wow, the Judge bailed out the defendants.]

"Later in the evening Officer LaBrake tried to clear out another crowd of young men from the same place and was resisted by James Carney, Jr., [the Judge's son?] who put up such a fight that it was an hour and a half before he was put in the lockup. During the struggle the officer secured assistance from several townsmen.

"The last part of the fight was witnessed by a number of churchgoers, homeward bound, who took a lively interest in the proceedings."


Plenty of water in Bloomingdale

The village of Bloomingdale had hired the Artesian Well and Supply Company of Providence, R.I., to locate a supply of water that would be sufficient for the needs of the village and apparently that was the correct decision.

The Adirondack Enterprise, 1910 probably early summer because one brief part of the heading on the story declared, 'Special Election on Aug. 26':

"Pump Operates at Capacity of 100 Gallons Per Minute But Does Not Reduce Appreciable Supply of Water Pipes Driven 300 Feet Into Ground.

"The village of Bloomingdale is now making a most important improvement which will establish it as one of the most desirable places of residence or sojourn in Northern New York. An artesian well has been located near the center of the village and the water from it will be used to supply the people of the entire community. For some time the pressing need of a water works system has been apparent to the leading men of the community and various schemes have been considered but all were finally discarded in favor of the artesian well proposition which was held to be the least expensive and better."



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