It has now been over ten months since I have set foot inside a library, me and most of the rest of the world. Along with getting a pint at my favorite bar, a cappuccino at my favorite cafè, this is the thing I look forward to the most once enough of us have been vaccinated.
Unlike the majority of my posts, which are of places I have never visited, I did make it to Ausable Chasm a few years ago. My wife and I went in December and had the place to ourselves. There were some icy spots here and there, but everything was open and it was a very pleasant hike. We did not see anything by boat or by moonlight, but both are options during the regular season.
When I picked this one out of the stack, I didn’t realize it was also sent by Bob Millspaugh, the Delaware-traveling bowler we met a few days ago. Sent August 1, 1950, it doesn’t say much other than that he was having a good time and en route to Montreal. But it was sent to someone at the DuPont Corporation on DuPont Avenue in Newburgh, NY. So now the annual trip to the corporate bowling tournament in Wilmington proves to have been a much bigger deal than it might have first appeared.
Today’s post is a small reminder of a time when we took greater pride in public infrastructure. Fredonia’s high school was a big enough deal that you’d send colorized photos of it through the mail. The schools I attended in the 1970s and 80s never appeared on postcards, to the best of my recollection.
I spent a lot of time here over the years as this was the start/finish area for a lot of the large cross-country meets in New York’s Capital District, and my son ran for six years. All that time I wondered why the buildings, while well-maintained, were left vacant and functionless, there for decoration only. Do public baths cost too much to operate? I don’t see why, given that they operated all through the Depression, as evidenced by this postcard.
I have always been puzzled by the number of Native American names that survived. It doesn’t seem like something the American colonists would have desired or even cared about much. The Brits had renamed everything in Ireland, for example. This lake’s name, with its nice triple repeat of the letters au, comes from the now-extinct Erie language. Because the language was eradicated before it could be documented, the meaning is unknown, but two longstanding folk traditions are ‘bag tied in the middle’ and ‘place where fish are taken out'” (source)
Nothing against Madison, Indiana, but the original recipient of this card is more intriguing: Mister Jimmy Lynch in care of the Consolidated Slipper Company, Malone, New York. A cursory search for the Consolidated Slipper Company reveals only a handful of obituaries for folks who worked there and a few old patents and newspaper ads. The Internet is not good at everything. I imagine a brutal slipper price war, perhaps tied to the Panic of 1907, that led to a Mr. Potter-like character buying everyone else out.
The list of “notable” people from Dunkirk, New York according to Wikipedia is a somewhat sad commentary on what it means to be notable. Being a minor league baseball player counts for a lot; a doctor or scientist, not at all. For music fans in the audience I suppose I’ll mention that this is the hometown of Grasshopper from Mercury Rev and half of the original Megadeath lineup.
Spier Falls was eradicated by a hydroelectric dam built between 1900 and 1903. That plus the fact that the reverse of the postcard lists the rates to Cuba and other U.S. possessions dates this to 1898 or 1899.
The dam was said to be the world’s fourth largest at the time of its completion. A recent article in the Adirondack Almanack describes how 29 died during its construction, including 19 in a single ferry accident during spring flooding. Nearly all of those who died were immigrant Italian laborers.
Spier Falls fu distrutto di una diga idroelectrica che fu construito dal 1900 al 1903. Questo, e il fatto che il dritto della cartolina elenca i costi a Cuba e altri territori degli stati uniti significa che il dato è 1898 oppure 1899.
La diga fu la quarta più grande nel mondo al tempo. Un articolo recente nel giornale Adirondack Almanack descrive la maniera in cui 29 lavoratori morirono durante la sua costruzione, inclusi 19 in un incidente su un traghetto durante le alluvioni primaverili. Quasi tutti i decessi erano immigrati dall’Italia.