FROM PAGES PAST: 1921: Shall Liberty St. in Penn Yan be paved for progress?

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

March 2, 1871

Seneca Lake — But one boat, the “Langdon,” is making trips on our lake at present. She leaves Watkins in the morning, and Geneva at 2.20 p.m. The “Magee” was successfully hauled out at the foot of Castle St. on the 16th inst. and the work of rebuilding her lower works has been commenced under the mechanical supervision of Geo. Codington, the superior ship-builder who made such a fine job in converting the old “Field” into the “Onondaga” The latter is now being upholstered, which constitutes the finishing touches upon her, and she will be put on for regular trips as a morning boat in a few days.

Education for Pretty Girls — Pretty girls, unless they have wise mothers, are more educated by the opposite sex than their own. Put them where you will, there is always some man busying themselves in their instruction; and the burden of masculine teaching is generally about the same, and might be stereotyped as follows: “You don't need to be or do anything. Your business in life is to look pretty and amuse us. You don’t need to study; you know all by nature that a woman needs to know. The only sense you need is lovely nonsense. You are, by virtue of being a pretty woman, superior to anything we can teach you; and we wouldn’t for the world, have you anything but what you are.”

Photographic — Having concluded to change my place of residence I would hereby notify all persons indebted to call and settle without delay, as I expect to remain but a few weeks longer. All wishing me to make their pictures before leaving will do well not to defer the same, but call at once. To the people of Penn Yan and vicinity, I would hereby tender my sincere thanks for their liberal patronage during the last twelve years I have had the pleasure of photographing their smiling faces. J. C. MILLS

It will be seen by the card of Dr. John C. Mills that he is about to leave Penn Yan to take up his residence at Springfield, Massachusetts. We regret to lose the Doctor, for he is not only a genial, right-minded citizen, but an Artist of superior ability. His photographs are not surpassed by the best work in the large cities. We have had great reason to be proud of such an Artist in our midst as Dr. Mills, and we fear that it will be a long time before we shall have another among us that will compare with him. We trust that he will be prosperous in his new home.

In 1871: The photography studio of Dr. John C. Mills, who left Penn Yan that year to reside in Springfield, Massachusetts.

100 Years Ago

March 2, 1921

Shall Liberty Street Be Paved? - There was once a time when the village of Penn Yan seemed to take little or no pride in its growth or city improvements. Our streets were rough, unclean, poorly maintained and we were the laughing stock of the traveling public. Our schools were inadequate and our school buildings were not at all modern. Our county jail, located in our village, was the object of censure from the State Prison Department. Finally, our citizens became awake to the fact that we should improve our village conditions, and for a time we went FORWARD in the improvements which tended to place Penn Yan “on the map” as one of the most “up-to-date” small towns of the state. Today the tourist admires and talks about our village in words complimentary. PAUSE A MOMENT. Is there anyone in our village who can say that they regret the money they have paid which brought about these improvements? Is there anyone who will say that they would have the money they paid for those improvements returned to them and go back to the conditions of those old days? Not a person in town, we are sure. Then came on the days of the World War and for the time all personal or social civic benefits were laid aside for the greater defense of our nation, and for the care and relief of those who were actually fighting our battles. Happily, those cruel days have ended, and now we must take up the threads of our own lives where they were laid down. The Chamber of Commerce of Penn Yan is organized for the improvement of the business, social, and civic interests of Penn Yan. There is no other organization in our village which bears just the same relation to it. At the regular monthly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce in January, 1921, a resolution was passed after some discussion that the organization should recommend to the village trustees, and should support the paving of a portion of Liberty street, and a committee was appointed to have charge of the subject. A petition has been prepared and signed by a large number of our citizens. This petition is now in the hands of the Board of Trustees, and the question will be submitted to a vote of the taxpayers at our next village election. - Signed, the Committee of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Penn Yan Chamber of Commerce erected over twenty large road signs (8x12 feet) promoting our area. RED JACKET TRAIL TO LAKE KEUKA. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL Of ALL THE FINGER LAKES - THE HOME OF THE SENECAS, THE MOST INFLUENTIAL TRIBE OF THE IROQUOIS CONFEDERACY. RED JACKET & CORN PLANTER WERE PROMINENT CHIEFTAINS OF THIS CLAN. Besides these large signs there will be twenty or more smaller signs and numerous arrow signs indicating the direction to be taken by the tourists.

The Sampson Theater in Penn Yan was offering BLACKMAIL starring Viola Dana (A thrilling romance of silk stockinged crookdom in which crime is side-tracked when love has the right of way) and THE HOPE with an all star cast including Ruth Stonehouse, Jack Mulhall, and Frank Elliott (A great dramatic thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first flash to the finish. One of the sensational scenes is an earthquake in Italy.)

75 Years Ago

February 28, 1946

Paul Dailey of Penn Yan, who received his discharge from the Marine Corps on Feb. 11, after three and a half years of service, is the last of four Penn Yan brothers, sons of Mrs. Lillian Dailey of Dundee, to be honorably discharged from army or marine service. One and a half years of Paul’s service were on Okinawa, in China, Guam, and Guadalcanal where he was wounded. His brother, Edward, with a total service of 44 months. 24 of which were in India, received his discharge from the Army Air corps in December, Emmett, who served 31 months of his four-year service in Australia, and the South Pacific with the army motor transport, was discharged Nov. 11, 1945. First of the group to be separated from army life after three and a half years was Carlton, with an armored tank division, who has been at home about a year and a half.

Thank You Penn Yan and Community for the wonderful reception you gave our opening Saturday. Not just for an opening, but always our policy will be to sell nationally advertised and high quality merchandise. COME IN ANY TIME, YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME. JOE POWERS NEWS AND CIGAR STORE… 4 MAIN STREET next to Knapp Hotel. Home of the Big Humidor Where the Fresh Tobaccos Come From. Phone 690 …. QUALITY, COURTESY ALWAYS.

The Elmwood Theater in Penn Yan advertised a double feature. THIS LOVE OF OURS starring Merle Oberon and Claude Rains…. Man and Wife By Day, Strangers At Night. The co-feature, appropriately enough, was titled DIVORCE, starring Kay Francis and Bruce Cabot.

Seizing on the wartime reputation of the Jeep, Einar Sorensen of East Lake Road, Penn Yan was hosting the first showing of Willy’s Jeep for consumers. It was advertised as a 4-function vehicle: USED AS A RUNABOUT it can skim the highway at speeds up to 60 and can go off road where other vehicles can’t… USED AS A TRACTOR it operates almost any farm equipment — plows, discs, harrows, seeders, power-mowers, cultivators, harvesters, etc. … USED AS A TRUCK it can carry an 800 lb. load and tow a trailer of up to 5,500 lbs. at highway speeds … USED AS A MOBILE POWER UNIT with a power takeoff unit it will operate buzz saws, corn shellers, generators, compressors, and other farm and industrial equipment.

50 Years Ago

March 4, 1971

Candidates for Penn Yan village office in the upcoming elections apparently feel that a successful and hasty conclusion the Urban Renewal program, a continuation of the studies toward eliminating duplication of services, and a further study of a village manager type of government are important issues which the village governing body should consider. Mayor John Tusch was running for reelection against Charles Sneckenburg and Robert Hoban. Bruce LeClaire, Thelma Flynn, Romulus French, John Banach, Fred Allen, Howard Blauvelt, Fred Thomas, and Milton Munson were all vying for seats on the village Board of Trustees.

The Interstate Commerce Commission has granted final approval to Penn Yan Express Inc. to merge with Eastern Carrier Corp. of Dunmore PA. The new terminal facility at Scranton complements existing terminals in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Penn Yan, Elmira, Binghamton, and Carlstadt N.J. Penn Yan Express looks forward to 1971 as a year of real challenge.

The Mustangs of Penn Yan managed to bounce back from a thorough thumping by Mynderse to play some excellent ball and defeat an improved Victor team 61-58. Behind at the end of the first period 19-13 and 31-29 at the half, the Mustangs outscored the Devils 15-7 in the third period to grab the lead 44-38. Johnny Housel, after being blanked in his previous game, came back to take game scoring honors with a 20 point effort. Mike Cook with 14, Jack Nielsen with 12 and Moose Collins with 11 points all added their double figure efforts to the winning cause.

The Elmwood theater in Penn Yan was featuring Walt Disney’s THE WILD COUNTRY starring Steve Forrest, Ron Howard, and Vera Miles. “Newcomers in an untamed land, they stood together to claim a dream!”