Follow-up to big snowstorm

A couple of weeks ago I covered what was called the biggest snowstorm ever in Saranac Lake — 3 to 4 feet in some locations in the area and temperatures dropping under 50 below in hamlets along the Canadian border.

That story was carried from an early January 1925 copy of the Enterprise. I have now found a copy of the Jan. 30, 1925, Enterprise with stories about the aftermath of the storm.

Hard times in lumber camp

“On a recent day one of the men came out from a wood cutter’s camp in the West Brandon section [near Paul Smiths] to get supplies. A heavy snow storm set in and he was unable to return.

“After waiting two days, the men in the camp, who were on starvation rations, decided it better to freeze to death than starve to death and started out with their horses. They managed to make the first house, but the horses were exhausted and had to stop there.”

Horse races underway despite cold

“In spite of the cold weather the annual ice horse racing meet of the Saranac Lake Driving Club was started on the Ampersand Bay course Wednesday afternoon.

“Two local horses, Flaxey the Great, owned by William Boyea, and Diz Patch, owned by Phil Adler, won the events.

“In the 2.22 Pace — Purse $250:

“Boyea’s Diz Patch; Queen Helen owned by Drury; Grace Wilkes owned by McManus; Sunny Sue owned by Latour.

“In the 2.14 Trot and Pace — Purse $250:

“Adler’s Flaxey the Great; George Gano, Jr., owned by Mason; Will Bing owned by Latour and Mattie owned by Tipton.”

Game birds in need

“Heavy snow and low temperatures in the Northern section of Franklin County have forced pheasants to leave the woods and enter farm yards and barns to secure enough food to keep them alive.

“That some of the beautiful game birds are in desperate plight may be readily noted, because of the fact their fear is mastered by their great hunger. Farmers and others are gladly feeding the birds, but it is feared many will die unless the weather conditions moderate.”

Coming and Going

The Enterprise for many years carried a column entitled Coming and Going.

Following are some excerpts from 1925:

“Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Keet, of McComb Street are expecting to leave tomorrow morning for Schuyler Falls having been called there by the death of Mr. Keet’s brother, Elmer E. Keet, who died at his home there suddenly yesterday morning. Death was said to be due to heart trouble. Mr. and Mrs. Keet attempted to leave Saranac Lake this morning but were unable to do so on account of the delayed train service following the snow storm.”

“Fred Tatra, of Malone, is spending several days this week in Saranac Lake attending the horse races on the Ampersand Bay track. Also among those who are here in connection with the horse races are E. G. Mason and S. E. Humphrey and Harry Bachelor of Malone staying at the Riverside Inn; Willard Boyce, A. Keese, Charles Amlott all of Saranac Inn; Paul Stevens and Norman Murphy of Lake Placid; John Dillon and W. J. Dilling of New Haven, Conn., staying at the St. Regis Hotel; Frank E. Denet and H. H. Haile of Tupper Lake; A. B. Hickok of Bloomingdale; Isaac (Ike) Stearns of Gabriels and J. Davidson of Utica staying at the Grand Union Hotel [located about where Stewart’s is today].”

“Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kilroy have returned to their home here from Lambertville, N.J., where they have been spending the past few days, having gone there to attend the funeral of their brother-in-law Thomas O’Rourke.

Bulletin: Races may be postponed

“‘Never Say Die’ is the slogan of the Adirondack Driving Club, officials of which still plan to continue the races on the Ampersand track despite the huge task of unburying the track this morning as soon as the mountains of snow can be removed.

“Out of town trainers, owners and buyers with their horses are unable to leave the town anyhow today, so they are enjoying a quiet sojourn pending the decision on the postponement of the races.” [Contradicts later story on postponing the races.]

Well, it seems that things were going pretty well in Saranac Lake in 1925 …

The Enterprise cost $3 for a one-year subscription, published three days a week; the Riverside Inn ad claimed it was “the Largest, Finest and Best Equipped Hotel in Saranac Lake” with a Special Sunday Night Dinner for $1.50, and Henry P. Leis advertised an 88-note Player Piano with bench and scarf and a choice of 10 music rolls for $475.

There must have been residents here with lots of money if the bank ads were any indication, because the National Savings Bank of Albany advertised 4-and-a-half percent interest on deposits “from $1 to $5,000,” the City Savings Bank of Albany boasted assets of $26,784,709.29, and the Burlington Savings Bank ad carried a long quote by Benjamin Franklin on thrift, saying Ben overcame poverty and a meager education.


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