FROM PAGES PAST: 1946: Memorial Chapel to move from Sampson Base to Keuka College

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

The Chronicle-Express

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

The Yates County History Center’s volunteers have gleaned these entries for your enjoyment from their digitized newspapers. You can access them at the free site For more information about the YCHC, visit

150 Years Ago

Feb. 9, 1871

The British Channel Tunnel: We learn that borings have been begun on the two coasts, and surveys of the bed of the channel have been in progress for some time. On the English shore, boring was begun at St. Margaret’s Bay, near the South Foreland, in 1866, and has been carried through the chalk and into the green sand to a depth of 540 feet below high water. In France, a similar shaft, at a point three miles westward of Calais, has been carried down 540 feet. The result of all that has been done, goes to show that the tunnel can be safely carried through what is termed the lower gray chalk; that irruptions from the sea or land springs can be sufficiently guarded against; and that proper ventilation can be fully assured. These are the main difficulties that have been apprehended, and their removal renders the scheme entirely feasible.

Gross Plagiarism: The Rochester Democrat should be called to a severe account for stealing editorials bodily from the Penn Yan Express. Its offence (sic) is aggravating from the fact that they are printed in the Democrat before they appear in the Shyster Organ here. This is as bad as stealing victuals from the very dish of a hungry mendicant. Surely our wooden editor ought to have a chance to print his own labored productions before they are gobbled up by an omnivorous sheet like the Rochester Democrat. He has had it hard enough to get editorials like pulling teeth out of the various members of the clique; and now when he draws his own pond dry to get up a good, decent, original article, it is downright cruelty to steal it away before he gets it into type!

Billiards: Upwards of three hundred people assembled at the billiard rooms on Jacob street on the night of the 2nd inst., to witness the exhibition between the well known amateurs, Homer Gilford of Geneva and Fred. C. Gillett of this place. There were two games played of 300 points each, caroms. The first was won by Gilford, after a close contest, beating his opponent only 30 points. The second was won by Gillett by 102, making his majority on both games 72 points. The balls were made of paper, a new invention, but hardly a proper substitute for ivory. The return game will be played at the Benham House rooms the latter part of this month or fore part of next, and will be 1,000 points up, caroms, push and crotch barred, with ivory balls, each shot counting three. A billiard tournament is projected, for the counties of Yates, Ontario and Schuyler, to be held in this village soon. Due notice will be given of the time and the prizes which will be offered.

100 Years Ago

Feb. 9, 1921

The Michaels-Stern Factory: Last week the first consignment of completed trousers made at the Penn Yan factory was sent to Rochester and reported to be far better than expected from new workers. About seventy workers are now employed, and as soon as these become proficient and are put on piece work, as many more machines will be installed and the working force doubled. This means several thousand pairs of trousers will be turned out each week. Working conditions at this factory are about as ideal as one could desire. Already nearly $15,000 worth of machinery has been installed in this plant, and the weekly pay roll will soon reach into hundreds of dollars.

Thousands of Bushels of Potatoes May Be Wasted: Thousands of bushels of potatoes throughout Steuben County are expected to go to waste as a result of the unexpected drop in the price, which has been confronting the farmer for the past few weeks and which shows no sign of improvement. Potatoes can be bought as cheap as 40 cents a bushel in Hornell and vicinity. Last year potatoes commanded an unprecedented price and the consequence was the farmers sold practically all they had. It was almost impossible to buy seed last spring and many of the farmers anticipated a shortage, owing to this scarcity of seed. Acting on this belief most all the farmers planted all they could get seed for. Never before was there such a crop as that of last season. It seemed as though every potato that was planted produced scores and there was no drought or blight to hinder growth. The result was that every farmer harvested a huge crop of potatoes. At that time the market ruled about $1 a bushel, but few would sell, holding their stocks in hope of higher prices. Instead of going higher the price went down and left the farmers with thousands of bushels on hand. The warm weather this winter has permitted them to haul to the market regularly and consequently the usual periods of shortage during the winter have been absent and this has also affected the market to a great extent.

Meeting for “Recognition of Irish Republic”: There will be a meeting of the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic at Wendia Hall Monday evening, February 14th, at 8 o’clock. The purpose of this meeting will be to form a permanent branch of this organization in Penn Yan. Officers for the coming year will be elected, and Michael T. Ryan, district organizer, of Rochester, will preside at the meeting. As the name implies, this association is distinctly an American association and embraces in its membership people of every nationality and creed who are in sympathy with the Irish nation in its struggle for independence. During the war Ireland contributed a larger proportionate share of fighting men to the allied cause than any other nation, and the people were led on by their belief that in fighting for the principle of self-determination for small nations they would eventually secure their own freedom. All citizens who sympathize with the oppressed people of Ireland in their devotion to the cause of liberty are asked to join this movement. It is planned to have lecturers appear in Penn Yan in the near future, among them Miss Mary McSwiney, sister of the martyred Lord Mayor of Cork, and U. S. Senator David I. Walsh. Any persons wishing to affiliate themselves with this cause may receive membership blanks from Joseph P. Craugh, temporary chairman, at the Arcade Building.

75 Years Ago

Feb. 7, 1946

Keuka College May Get Sampson Memorial Chapel: Keuka College at Keuka Park, will get the Royce Memorial chapel at Sampson Naval Separation center, Sampson, when the center is declared surplus, under a bill introduced into the House by Representative W. Sterling Cole (R., N.Y.), of Bath. The bill was referred to the House Naval Affairs committee of which Mr. Cole is the ranking minority member. The building, built to accommodate 100 sailors when Sampson was used as a training center, will be taken down and moved to the college campus, Mr. Cole said. Sampson, Mr. Cole said he believes, will be declared surplus within a year.

The Royce Memorial Chapel at Sampson Navy Base, on the opposite side of Seneca Lake, may find a new home at Keuka College.

Board Formally Authorizes Use of Museum: The Penn Yan board of trustees in regular meeting the first of this week formally turned over by resolution to the Yates County Genealogical and Historical Society the use of the two north parlors on the first floor and the two corresponding rooms on the second floor, together with the main halls upstairs and downstairs in the Oliver house for use as a museum. The village will pay the expense of water, light, and heat and will provide additional room when the historical museum requires it. Under the will of the late Carrie E. Oliver, the centrally located red brick dwelling on the corner of Chapel and Main streets was left to Penn Yan for this and similar uses. The local historical society at its recent meeting made plans for transferring its collection from the basement of the public library to the new quarters, where many other relics and items of value now may be added for preservation and the enjoyment and study of the public.

A letter written in a German prison camp more than a year ago was received last week by Mr. and Mrs. Conrad C. Muehe. The message was written Jan. 20, 1945, by their son, Pfc. Robert E. Muehe then a prisoner of the Nazis but now discharged from the army and at the home of his parents awaiting the opening of the second semester of Franklin and Marshall college at Lancaster, Pa., which institution he attended before he entered the service. In his letter “Bob” stated that “I am in good health and I get enough food to live on.” Just now he says that was a little exaggerated as he spent several weeks in army hospitals after being released, being treated for malnutrition. He walked away from the German guards after V-E day and made his way to the American lines. He was discharged from the army in November of last year after serving more than two years. He was a member of the 104th Timberwolf division of the First army.

50 Years Ago

Feb. 11, 1971

S-N-O-W! : Yates County, along with the rest of the Finger Lakes region, was belted with another snowstorm early this week with recordings of as much as twelve inches reported in various parts of the county. Although school was in session, children were sent home early Tuesday, as winds came up making visibility near zero. Schools in Penn Yan, Dundee, Rushville and Gorham dismissed early because of the adverse weather. The Yates County Sheriff’s Department reported roads in slippery condition and visibility limited. About four inches of snow fell Sunday and early Monday, and late Monday night snow resumed, pelting the area with up to 6-8 inches of the white stuff.

1970 NY Deer Take Below 10 Yr. Average: New York’s deer hunters harvested 64,581 deer during the 1970 season, fewer than in recent years but near average when compared to long-term records, according to Al Hall, Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. Hall said, “The 1970 take was below the previous 10-year average (1960-69) of 69,175 but was higher than the 20-year average (1950-69) of 60,191. The 1970 take has been exceeded only eight times since 1928 when accurate deer take records were first begun. The statewide adult buck take of 36,402 was the lowest since 1964.” Yates County recorded 583 adult male and 136 fawn male deer killed. The female kill totaled 324 adults and 128 fawns for a total deer take in the county of 1,171 deer. The deer management objectives of the Department of Environmental Conservation are not intended to produce record deer harvests indefinitely. Much of the reduction in take this year results from intentionally reduced party permit quotas from those of the previous two years as deer populations were reaching desired levels, as determined by Department biologists.