FROM PAGES PAST: 1971: Penn Yan Ambulance Corps ready to roll Jan. 1

Yates County History Center
1971: The first home of the Penn Yan Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps with its first two ambulance units: a second-hand Oldsmobile and Pontiac.

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

December 28, 1871

A SPIDER’S ENGINEERING -- In 1830, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, a gentleman boasted to a friend that he could introduce to him an engineer of more wonderful skill than Robert Stevenson, who had just made himself famous by perfecting the railroad locomotive. In fulfillment of the boast, he brought out a glass tumbler containing a little scarlet-colored spider, whose beauty, with its bright yellow nest on a sprig of laurustinus, had induced a young lady to pluck it from a bush where it was growing. When brought into the house it was placed on the mantel-piece, and secured by placing a glass over it. In a very short time this wonderful little engineer contrived to accomplish the herculean task of raising the sprig of laurustinus, a weight several hundred times greater than itself, to the upper part of the glass, and attached it there so firmly that after forty years it is still suspended where it was hung by the spider. In the Bible we read: “The spider layeth hold with her hands, and in palaces of kings” but in this glass prison there was nothing to lay hold of — no pegs, no nails, nor beam, on which to fasten its threads. But in a short time the little insect had accomplished its task.


  • Jan. 22d, Ther. 4° below at 9, P. M. Clear.
  • Jan. 23d, Ther. 6° below at 4 A.M.; 8° below at 6 A.M. and 10° below at 7 and 8 A.M.; 14 ° below at some places in Benton; 11 ° below at Rochester; 12 ° below at Penn Yan, Syracuse and Oswego; 16° below at Fort Edward; 1° below at Sun Set.
  • Jan, 25th, Ther. 6 ° below at 7 P.M. and 4 ° below at 9 P.M.
  • Feb. 5th, Ther. 10 ° below at 6 A.M. At Zero at 3 P.M. and 6 ° below at 9 P.M.
  • Feb. 6th, Ther. 3 ° below at 4 A.M., 1 ° below at 5 A.M and 2 ° above at 6 A.M.
  • Dec. 20th, Ther. at Zero, at 9 P.M.
  • Dec. 21st, Ther. 12 ° below at 1 A.M.; 10 ° below at 6 to 8 A.M.; 14 ° below at some places in Benton, and 15 ° below in Penn Yan.


RAILROAD MEETING - A meeting of the citizens of the town of Starkey was held at Dundee Hall, on Friday evening last, to take into consideration the propriety of bonding the town for the sum of $40,000, to assist in building the Sodus Bay & Corning Railroad, on condition of its passing through Crystal Springs and Dundee. After hearing the opinions of gentlemen from Tyrone, Barrington and Starkey, a Committee was appointed to canvass the town and solicit names to the petition for bonding, and do any other business needed for the furtherance of the project in view. The following gentlemen were named as such committee: Daniel Supplee, Jesse G. Andrews, A. C. Harpending, Stout Smith, Uriah Hair, C. S. Baker.

100 Years Ago

December 28, 1921

SUPREME COURT, EQUITY TERM, ALIENS ADMITTED TO CITIZENSHIP -- Before Judge Adolph J. Rhodenbeck at an Equity Term of Supreme Court held Monday, the following petitioners were admitted to citizenship:

  • John Ernest Sugelhardt, German, address 467 Center Ave., Rochester.
  • Carl Frederick Schuler, German, residence Middlesex.
  • Albert Edward Joyce, England, residence Canandaigua, R. D. No. 1.
  • Grovanni Pollotha, Italy, residence, Penn Yan.
  • Jens Ole Larsen, Denmark, residence Penn Yan.
  • Jens C. Larsen, Denmark, residence Penn Yan.
  • Chris M. Larsen, Denmark, residence Penn Yan.
  • Chris P. Andrews, Denmark, residence Himrod.

CALENDARS FOR PATRONS -- The Chronicle’s annual of calendars to subscribers and others begins at 9 a. m. Saturday, Dec. 30. Call and get one. Children should bring a written order from their parents to secure a calendar.

An illustration of Santa Claus from 1921.

TAX RATES -- The State Tax rate is much less this year than last, but in some of the towns the tax rates are higher than they were last year. Below we give the rates on $1,000 of assessed valuation this year for town and county taxes and those of last year.

Barrington: $12,89 (1920); $11.22 (1921)

Benton: $12.20; $12.09 

Italy: $12.64; $12.69

Jerusalem: $13.91; $11.19

Middlesex: $15.10; $15.70

Milo: $14.79; $14.31

Potter: $18.15; $16.60

Starkey: $14.26; $13.59

Torrey: $14.59; $15.58

75 Years Ago

December 26, 1946

POTTED CHRISTMAS TREES MAKE PENN YAN GAY -- Once again, Christmas trees are working their magic in front of the business places in Penn Yan. This year for the second time, business streets have been lined with the unique red potted uniform small Christmas trees. Last year December came and Christmas week had crept up without any decorations to express the community’s Christmas season’s greetings. Leo Hoban thought it time something should be done, so he worked out the idea of the small uniform Christmas tree and the business men made it possible. Everyone rejoices in the transformation made by the potted trees and the other decorations. A Penn Yan taxi driver was so proud of the decorations that he drove one of his customers up and down the business section out of his way so he could show him the Christmas trees. The driver said, “I knew you wouldn’t want to miss seeing this sight. Tell the I truth now, isn’t it worth going a mile out of your way to see them?” The taxi driver added that the Christmas trees might well become an annual event — a tribute to those who participated in the wars.

NEW SUGAR STAMP TO BE AVAILABLE JAN. 1 -- Spare stamp No. 53 will be good for five pounds of sugar beginning Jan 1 and an additional ration may become available within four months. “It is anticipated,” the OPA said, “that the second consumer stamp tor 1947 will be validated before spare stamp 53 expires, April 30.” OPA pointed to Agriculture department estimates that the new sugar crop may be sufficiently large to allow an additional five pounds of sugar a person in 1947. This would make a total of 20 pounds on regular ration stamps.

CHILD COLLIDES WITH CAR, SUFFERING HEAD INJURIES -- Jack Oughterson, 5, was taken to the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon for treatment of bruises, face lacerations and a cut forehead received when he ran into the side of a passing car while playing with a dog. The accident occurred on the west side of Main Street in Dundee just south of the business section. Harry Garfield Mickelsen, Jr., 24, of 115 Williams Street, Geneva, was driving south about 3 o’clock Friday afternoon and saw two children playing uncomfortably close to the traffic lanes. He blew his horn and had slowed almost to a stop when the little boy ran into his right fender. Joanne Giles, 10, of 67 Main Street, was not hurt. Trooper A. R. Ryder, of the Penn Yan station, investigated.

50 Years Ago

December 30, 1971

PY AMBULANCE CORPS READY TO ROLL JAN. 1 -- The Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance Corps will officially go into operation at 12:01 a.m. January 1, 1972. with two ambulances and an initial crew of 41 attendant-drivers, all fully Red Cross trained in basic and advanced first aid practices. When the volunteer ambulance service takes over, anyone requesting ambulance service should telephone 536-4466. This is the Fire Control Center for the county, and they will handle all Penn Yan ambulance calls. Just telephone that number, tell whoever answers that an ambulance is needed, giving the location and as much pertinent data as possible. The area covered by the Penn Yan ambulance service includes the towns of Benton, Milo, Torrey, Jerusalem; that portion of Barrington with the 536 telephone prefix; and the portion of the town of Potter within the Penn Yan Fire Department zone. The Potter area was just added to the ambulance service area this week. and membership applications will be mailed to residents there immediately.

RURAL HOME RAVAGED BY FIRE -- The one-room home of a migrant couple on the Rushville-Ferguson Comers Road was destroyed by fire Thursday evening. Rushville firemen were delayed getting to the scene because a neighbor reportedly refused to let the home owner in to telephone an alarm, investigators said. It later was reported the neighbor telephoned firemen but they already had been called by a second neighbor. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Williams, of Stanley, was wrecked by the blaze and all of their belongings lost. Williams and his wife reportedly returned home to discover smoke coming from the small dwelling. Refused entrance by the neighbor, Williams went to a second home, that of Richard Fiels, who summoned Rushville and Gorham firemen, No estimate of loss was given. The building was owned by Evet Gazzetta of Pulteney.