PAGES PAST 1971: Barden & Robeson basket factory closes

Yates County History Center

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

Sept. 21, 1871

A pole erected by the Republicans at Kinney's Corners a few years ago, was pushed down by the boys a short time since, and one of the boys had his head severely hurt in the operation. Dr. A.B. Chissom sewed up his broken scalp and he is said to be getting along all right.

The Yates County Fair is to be held October 10, 11, and 12. The officers are making every possible effort to be in complete readiness, and have the grandest Fair ever held in the county. The new grounds are beautiful and well graded. The track is excellent, and by means of a large tent, ample accommodations will be provided for products requiring shelter from the weather. There will also be good provision made for stock. Let all the farmers of the county do their best this time and bring the best products they have to the fair. We know what they can do when they resolve upon it. Let the inauguration of the new grounds be celebrated by a fair that will distance all comparison with any that have preceded it.

1871: P.T. Barnum's "Greatest Show on Earth" came to Penn Yan.

The Great Barnum Show — The legitimate, absolute, leading, positive sensation of the amusement world, with its 550 men and horses, 500 animals, birds, beasts and reptiles, One hundred thousand and curiosities from the uttermost parts of the earth — a grand combination of Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome, to which is added free of charge, Don Costello's Mammoth Circus, with fifty of the best artists and performers in the world, will open out its three colossal tents, covering an area almost equal to the inheritance of a Belgian Prince on the old fair ground in Penn Yan Tuesday, Oct. 3 for one day only, giving to exhibitions, afternoon and evening, the price of admission being only fifty cents, the same as is charged by ordinary shows.

100 Years Ago

Sept. 21, 1921

A comparison of the motor vehicle registration in this state for the first half of this year, with the entire twelve months' period a year ago, shows Yates County as having 2,666 automobiles on July 1 this year, as against 2,462 in the 1920 registration. Secretary of State John J. Lyons, in a report covering the registration for the first half of this year, accords the state a total of 721,488 cars, or 38,569 more than were registered during all of last year.

The Keuka Lake grapes are unusually sweet and delicious this year owing no doubt to the continued warm weather that has thoroughly ripened them.

A special election will be held in the village of Penn Yan Tuesday, October 4 to consider increasing the capacity of the municipal electric lighting plant. The Municipal Board, in an official communication to the public, tells why they consider this is necessary. Penn Yan, if it is ever to grow, needs more electricity than now obtainable. The Michaels-Stern Co. will soon double its plant, and similar industries must be able to secure electricity.

75 Years Ago

Sept. 19, 1946

The first wife from Yates County to receive permission from the government to join her husband with the occupation forces in Germany is young Mrs. Mae Finnemore Hamm of Chestnut Street. Sgt. Kenneth Hamm asked to be allowed to have his wife with him on May 17 and now arrangements are complete, sailing orders have come through and she left Penn Yan Tuesday evening for Brooklyn. After reporting at Fort Hamilton Wednesday she will sail Sunday, Sept. 22. "Just think, all I have to pay is $1.50 a day to travel first class on the boat, and that is for everything." Making the trip on the same boat will be six other wives and four children, two from New York City and the rest from other states.

The village trustees have sold to the Shay Oil Company a strip of land facing Elm Street for a distance of 100 feet extending 175 feet back into the marsh property for the sum of $1,500. This amount is being set aside for the purchase of land to accommodate a municipal incinerator which the village plans to construct.

There are 50 husky young men at Penn Yan Academy who are determined that black and blue spots, brush burns, and lame muscles shall not deter them from contributing their share toward building the best football team the school ever had. Coach Ed Pond looked over the half-hundred brawny lads as they "bicycled" with their backs on the turf of the Liberty Street Athletic field and commented that it "looks like a heavy line with a medium weight backfield." He has decided that Charles Beach and King Brennan will play in the back field and that Dan Morehouse will fill the right guard spot. Aside from that "all eight positions are wide open."

50 Years Ago

Sept. 23, 1971

1971: The Barden and Robeson basket factory on North Avenue will cease operations next week. The bassinette plant, located across the Penn Central tracks and on the opposite side of North Avenue from the factory site will remain in operation.

The Barden and Robeson basket factory on North Avenue will cease operations next week, it was announced Tuesday by G. Bryce Barden, head of the firm. In making the announcement, Barden said that a declining market, the increasing difficulty in securing raw materials and the fact that it is getting harder to find replacement labor for those who are retiring are factors that contributed to the decision to close. Another factor, although not as great, involved an ecology problem concerning the discharge of waste material. The Barden and Robeson Corporation was formed in 1910, following acquisition of the property on North Avenue in 1909 by the Barden interests. The bassinette plant, located across the Penn Central tracks and on the opposite side of North Avenue from the factory site will remain in operation.

Duplicating their 1970 win over the Red Raiders in the season's opener, the 1971 Mustang machine won 16-8 over Pal-Mac Saturday afternoon in a game played at the Liberty Street field. Mustang fans were treated to some devastating blitzing on the part of Steve Horrigan, the 6-3 220 lbs. senior linebacker who literally intimidated the offensive line of Pal-Mac during the entire game. On the offensive side of the ledger it was some fancy dan running by the "Galloping Gremlin" Leon Jensen, a powerful hard driving back who runs like he means business and tackles the same way.

The 1971 version of the Dundee Scotsmen gridiron squad included Mike Allen, Ed Thomas, Mike Naylor, Tim Crans, John Ballard, Bob Peele, Bob Woodard, Jeff Crawford, Rick Harlan, Vernon Corribeau, Tim Coons, Ray Spencer, Claude Andrews, Stan Kuczma, Robert Wood, Al Meyers, Ralph Bishop, Brian Peelle, Dale Stocking, Ray Grover, Bill Lobdell, Randy Cotton, Herb Tuttle, Harold Smith, Chuck Bayer, John VanHeusen, John Fuller, Walt Symes, Russ Boardman, Criag Ballard, and John Inscho.