PAST PAGES – 1922: Daughter and mother survive Widow Hill crash

The Chronicle-Express — Consolidation, Jan. 1, 1926, of the Yates County Chronicle (1824) and the Penn Yan Express (1866); the Rushville Chronicle (1905) and the Gorham New Age (1902)

Volunteers at the Yates County History Center have gleaned these entries for your enjoyment from their digitized journals. You can access it on the free website For more information about the YCHC,

150 years ago

August 22, 1872

Lake Keuka Steam Navigation Co. SUMMER ARRANGEMENT – From Monday, July 8, 1871, the steamers “Steuben” and “Yates” will run as follows: The steamer Yates leaves Penn Yan (at the foot of the lake) at 9:00 a.m., when trains on NC Railway arrive from north and south; arriving at Hammondsport connecting with leg to Bath and ER Steamer Steuben leaves Hammondsport at 9am, arriving Bath leg via ERR and connects with 12:37 train southbound and train 5:37 p.m. South on NCRR Steamer Steuben leaves Penn Yan at 2:15 p.m., connecting with Bath leg and ERR Steamer Yates leaves H’port at 5 p.m., arriving Bath leg , and connects to northbound trains on the NC Railway. The parties depart on Steuben at 2:15, have 16 minutes in H’port and return to Yates, doing the whole afternoon boat trip.

Ratings – I, Daniel McCarty, of the Town of Victor, Ontario County, by reason of an insult offered to me by Oliver C. Knapp, of Penn Yan, do hereby offer to settle the matter between us by a duel which will take place as follows: he can dictate, according to the Duel Code. DANIEL McCARTY

Ratings – Seneca Lake has risen about two feet above last spring’s low. One of the reasons would be the eelgrass in the outlet, which prevents the usual flow of the lake. Manufacturers in Waterloo and Seneca Falls complain of lack of water but canal authorities won’t allow eelgrass to be cut.

To remark – Mrs. Julia S. Olmstead’s school will start again on Monday 19th at her house in Pine Street, opposite the Old Fair Ground.

100 years ago

August 23, 1922

Farm Office Picnic – Dresden was indeed gay at the Farm Bureau picnic last Wednesday. Flags and placards were visible on either side, and a large sign, “Welcome”, across the main street indicated the spirit of the people. It would be difficult to estimate the number of people present, but an attempt was made by the state police, it is said, to count the number of automobiles. The report is that there were 2,500 cars parked in the village, including the Fords. To estimate just three to a car would indicate almost 7,500, some say even 10,000. Dresden is so spread out that it would be almost impossible to count people. Speeches by the Hon. Albany District Congressman Peter G. Ten Eyck and official Congressman Samuel Gray were interesting. The Penn Yan Band gave many selections in their usual excellent manner, and everyone seemed happy, even the politicians. Even though it was hot, very hot in fact, there was no need to worry from the liquid refreshment dispensers. There were booths galore and they were all apparently doing a thriving business. There were so many sports going on that it would be hard to list them all. People in general say the day was a great success.

Accident on Widow’s Hill – The brakes on the seven-passenger Haynes touring car owned by Glenn L. Wheeler failed to work on Tuesday afternoon last week around 5.30am and allowed the heavy car to back up ‘Widow Hill’ through the railing from the bridge. a few feet below the gristmill and into the Sucker Brook. At the time of the accident, Miss Louise Wheeler was walking up the hill to their home with her mother. Although the car flipped onto its side, shattering the roof, fenders and windshield, the occupants escaped unscathed but were understandably very scared. Those who saw the crash called their escape without serious injury miraculous.

75 years ago

August 28, 1947

Field day and concert to mark the end of the playground – The Penn Yan Recreation Commission will host another field day on Friday, August 29 at Red Jacket Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with inter-court competition for teams from each of the three playgrounds – Chestnut Street, Liberty Street and Red Jacket. Park. The children must bring their lunch but the milk will be provided on the ground by the recreation committee. Bobbie Hoban of Red Jacket Park Playground will be on hand to defend his Ladies Championship title which he won on the final day on the court held on Wednesday, July 30. At that time Liberty Street Playground won Red Jacket Park Playground with competition in softball, volleyball, basketball, badminton, swimming and checkers. There will be a competitive craft display in the pavilion, which will be judged during the day, but will still be on display at night for those attending the band’s concert to view. The Penn Yan band, who played at Red Jacket Park earlier in the summer to officially open all three playgrounds, will perform another concert on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. for the official closing, which will take place on Saturday morning, August 30. playground monitors and swimming instructor will be completed at that time.

A view of the Yates County Fairgrounds at the old Lake Street Fairgrounds in Penn Yan.  In 1947, attendance at the fair was reported at 10,000 over three days.

Penn Yan Fair breaks even despite caterpillars – Judging by paid admissions, attendance at the Yates County Fair last week was about 10,000, about the same as a year ago. And the association expects to break even this year with some 9,000 tickets sold. While heavy rains all but washed out the show on Thursday, attendance the other three days was good and people seemed to enjoy the program, said Oliver J. Wilcox, secretary. “As far as I know, the 200 animals in the livestock department show was a record number. The sheep show was good. Fruits and vegetables were fewer in number of displays, but rated higher than usual. And everyone had fun racing. The only sour note in the minds of fair officials these days after the fair is the unprecedented number of adults who “bought tickets under the fence”. They estimate that about $2,000 in admissions, which would have earned the association $1,600 after Uncle Sam took his part, were lost to men and women who crawled under the fence, after cutting threads that had been carefully threaded the previous week. On Saturday night, at one location, the entrance fee paid by adults crawling after being caught was $240. Although state law allows for the arrest of anyone who tries to avoid paying the regular fees for such a fair, the local association has never taken such severe action. This year, the secretary said, there have been so many adults trying to chisel, that we may have to take drastic measures. Because the money lost by the closing robots would allow us to repair the buildings and make many necessary improvements to the fairgrounds. It would cost about $10,000 to erect a sizable fence, Wilcox estimates.

50 years ago

August 24, 1972

Women’s softball – A group of girls from Penn Yan traveled to Geneva on Sunday and came home victorious by the score of 17-7. For Penn Yan, Darlene Cronk was the winning pitcher and also went 3-for-4 at home plate. Mary Christensen, Sue Smith and Sue Dunevant all had 3 for 5, with Sue Dunevant getting a Home Run and Mary a double and a triple. Betty Dieter went 2 for 4 with a double, while Kathy Gunsales had 2 for 4. Geneva was limited to 6 hits, including 3 by Theresa Panetta.

PY Resident Heads Keuka College Dept. – Penn Yan resident Marcia B. Dugan has been named director of public relations at Keuka College, according to an announcement made today by President G. Wayne Glick. Commenting on the appointment, Chairman Glick said: “Ms. Dugan’s ability, enthusiasm and knowledge of Keuka are assets that make her a much appreciated addition to the University community. We are extremely pleased to have this prominent Penn Yan citizen join our administrative staff at Keuka College. Ms. Dugan, formerly of Havana, Cuba, is a graduate of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Although she is a chemistry researcher, Ms. Dugan is best known locally as a multi-grade Spanish teacher in the Penn Yan Central School District. Ms. Dugan’s teaching experience also includes two years as a mathematics teacher at Keuka College from 1958 to 1960. Her community interests include membership in the American Association of University Women at the local and state levels. She is a member of the New York State Board of Directors of the AAUW. A member of the Yates County Republican Committee, Ms. Dugan has been active in Republican affairs in the 7th Judicial District. She is Vice Chair of the Education Advisory Committee on Senior Facilities Planning and a member of the Regent’s Advisory Council on Regionalism for the Genesee Valley region. In 1965, she was selected as one of America’s Outstanding Young Women in a publication edited by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Mr and Mrs Dugan have three children, Michael, who is enrolled at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, Elizabeth, 16, an Academy junior, and Margaret, 10, a student at Penn Yan Elementary School. Mr. Dugan is a lawyer.

County Dairy Princess will live at the fair – Aliceann Gibbs, Yates County Dairy Princess, will compete for the State Dairy Princess title at the State Fair in Syracuse next week. Miss Gibbs is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Kenneth Gibbs, Dundee Road, Penn Yan RD. The 48 girls competing for the title will meet the judges, who will use the same criteria used in the county contest, with each girl giving a two-minute promotional speech on dairy products. A banquet will be held Monday evening for participants, parents and other guests. The case will also pay homage to the state’s former dairy princesses. The winner will be crowned Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at the Variety Showcase.

Calvin W. Soper