FROM PAGES PAST: 1972 - Hurricane Agnes flood receding

Yates History Center

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,


August 1, 1872

A lakeside look at the Keuka Yacht Club. One hundred fifty years ago, the Keuka Yacht Club organized a regatta at Grove Spring that received rave reviews from those who attended and participated.

Regatta Results - The regatta at Grove Spring on Wednesday was witnessed by a large number of people. The Keuka Yacht Club had perfected the arrangements, so that nothing was wanting to make the affair a success. Hyatt’s Cornet Band accompanied those who went from Penn Yan on the steamer Yates in the morning, and after all had partaken of a good dinner at the Grove Spring House, the sailing fleet was started, but there being but little wind, the boats were “very backward about going forward,” the “Comet,” owned by Ed. C. Wilkinson, of Penn Yan, coming in ahead and taking the first prize. In the rowing race, wo understand, Mr. Gibson, of Pulteney, took the first prize and Charles Wagener the second. —Penn Yan Democrat

Women’s Work - The daily routine of inevitable work which falls upon the wife who would keep home comfortable and pleasant, is so tedious and wearying to most women, that it is a cruelty and folly to demand any more from them. “Man’s work is from sun to sun, but woman’s work is never done,” is one of those true old sayings which demonstrates itself to every observer. Where human beings live, dirt accumulates with amazing rapidity; dirt — that enemy of comfort, breeder of unmentionable insects, generator of pestilence and death — needs to be constantly expunged with broom and duster, with soap and sand and hot water, with scrubbings and scourings and washings, until the woman is disgusted with the petty cares and toils, the weary steps and frequent distractions of house-keeping, and need not be blamed if she longs for more agreeable, less monotonous, and better paid employment.

But what shall she do? Is there any trade or employment under the sun that is not monotonous? Does not every man, who works, from the preacher to the street sweeper, needs do the same things every day, day after day, until facility and ease in doing them is acquired; and when he has reached this point does he not need to continue doing the same things every day, day after day. that he may earn a living by his work? This constant and unvarying repetition is very wearying to woman because of her extreme nervous susceptibility; her nature demands variety and frequent change. The records of insane asylums show that too much monotony of work or thought is a frequent cause of insanity in woman. There is certainly no profession which gives such variety of occupation, and is so capable of being made by a woman of taste and cultivation an agreeable and pleasant employment, as the profession of house-keeping. The poorest woman may benefit society by faithfully doing her duty here — and the richest — ah ! there is scarcely a limit to her possibilities! —Science of Health


August 2, 1922

A view of the Empire State Wine Co. premises. One hundred years ago, the tourist camp committee established a Tourists' Camp just above the Empire State Wine Co. property on Lake Street.

Tourist Camp Greatly Improved - The tourist camp committee, Welles Griffeth chairman, together with the children’s welfare committee, Clarence Andrew chairman, have established a Tourists’ Camp – just above the Empire State Wine Co.’s property on Lake street – bathing grounds for the people of Penn Yan. They have erected a dock with a diving board; have driven posts in the water and fastened 100 feet of rope for the little tots to take hold of so they may play in the water with safety. They have erected a bath house for men and another for ladies, where clothing may be exchanged for bathing suits. They have placed tables, with seats attached, for the use of picnic parties, and the general public is invited to use the tourist camp grounds and bathing beach. A male attendant is on the grounds to see that there is no rough play or language and that the grounds are kept properly cleaned. Also to safeguard the children from getting into too deep water.

Hospital Was Full - The superintendent at the Yates County temporary Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital said last Thursday: “We hope to be able to give you a bed in a day or two, but today we have nineteen patients, nine nurses (regular and special), four other employees, two nurses on vacation, and four newborn babies, and four or five applications for beds.” Surely a new hospital is needed.

Now They Are Rolling Their Own - Alas, alack, what is our modern age coming to when the young women of a respectable town like Penn Yan start “rolling their own” right on Main Street? That run on watermelons last week Thursday afternoon attracted the crowds, even away from Bordwell’s new store-front. Everybody in town seemed to have a 12 or 13 cent appetite for watermelon. We heard that one man came out of either Eckert’s or The Market Basket with five big specimens of the juicy fruit, “one under each arm” but it is doubtful if any such centipedes still exist. An onlooker says that he saw a group of young women with three melons each. They carried one under each arm and were rolling their third ones home on the sidewalk with their feet. Well, in spite of all this scandal we must admit that we bought half a dozen, too. But it’s high time that the public was warned against this great watermelon evil? The lodging and sprouting of watermelon seeds in ears have resulted in several deaths and have made many life-long cripples.

75 years ago

August 7, 1947

Penn Yan Band May Reorganize Aided by Local Groups:Recent Concert and Parades Indicate Need for Revival - “It bothers me,"’ declared Ralph Seager, manager of the recently organized Penn Yan band, “when I see Penn Yan musicians leaving town to play with prize winning organizations in other communities." Mr. Seager was stating the case of the local musicians before a group of representatives from the leading civic, fraternal organizations of the county seat called together by Mayor Mervin Rapalee Tuesday evening to consider backing for a permanent musical organization. “Penn Yan had a band way back before 1890," Mr. Seager said, giving a history of band music in the county as background for the present situation. “It was a band that put Penn Yan on the map musically for there was no town in upper New York state that had such an outstanding group of musicians ... We are now trying to recreate that tradition," the manager went on, “trying to recapture the spirit of those days.

Main Street in Dundee when it was still a dirt road. Seventy five years ago, the village of Dundee celebrated its centennial with a full week of events that included various services and displays related to Dundee's history.

Dundee Marks 100th Village Anniversary - Week Of Events Contrasting Customs of Horse And Buggy Days with Air Age: Centennial Week Opens with Special Services Features Displays of Antiques and War Relics Field - Highlight of the Dundee Centennial week, which opens next Sunday, Aug. 10, and marks the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the village, will be the big field day and parade Friday. The idea was originally conceived by the Chamber of Commerce and when executive secretary Lester Eyrich discovered the possibilities of such a celebration he appointed Willis Swing as general chairman with numerous subcommittee heads to build up a whole week’s program. Dundee has grown, during the past century, from a tiny crossroads with grocery store, church, one-room schoolhouse and blacksmith shop marking the single four corners, to a village of some 1,500 population with four churches, numerous garages, its own newspaper, and one of the largest and most beautiful central schools in the state.

Lutheran Church Marks Anniversary - Former Pastors Speak At Special Services - St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the organization of its congregation next weekend, Aug. 14, 15, and 17. The pastor and congregation are planning a three-day jubilee with special church services and visits from former pastors in celebration of the event. The first meeting to observe the anniversary will be in charge of the Ladies’ Aid and will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14. At a church service Thursday evening. Pastor Adolph Kloth of Fremont, Nev., who immediately preceded the present pastor, Rev. Viggo Petersen at Penn Yan, will be the speaker. His topic will be “The Holy Spirit at Work in the Church.” At another special church service Friday evening the Dr. C. B. Larsen, another former pastor, now a professor of New Testament theology at Trinity seminary, Blair, Neb., will speak on “Youth Building, the Present Church.” The Ref. Kloth will also take part, using as his topic, “Youth Building the Future Church.” Sunday morning Pastor Kloth will speak at both the Sunday school and morning worship services. At a Danish service at 3 p.m. Dr. Larsen will give the address. At 7 p.m. Sunday there will be the jubilee banquet. On this occasion both of the former pastors will speak again. The Rev. Petersen points out that these services are open to the public and all “who wish to share the Gospel with us will be most welcome.”

50 years ago

August 3, 1972

A New Type of Business Opens - A new business has opened in Penn Yan – the first of its kind – the sale of beer and soft drinks at discount prices by case lots. Jack Mullaney of 186 West Lake Road, a native of Elmira, has opened the Glider City Cash and Carry, “the Beverage Baron” at the intersection of East Main and Lake streets. The Penn Yan store will be the fourth of its type to be opened by Mr. Mullaney. He has Cash and Carry stores in Elmira, Horseheads, and Watkins Glen. The store will be open year-round, Sundays and Mondays from noon to 6 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Besides case lots of beer (30 brands) and beverages (27 brands) the store will also carry six-packs, canned goods, grocery items, fresh milk, and picnic supplies. “One of our main attractions, especially for women,” Mr. Mullaney said, “is that the moment a car drives in, we are out ready to take an order and will place this in the car. No need for the driver or any passenger to get out of the vehicle, nor haul a case or cases from the store to the car. We do all the lifting.” The Mullaneys have five children: James, 13, Susan, 10, Joseph, 7, Matthew, 6, and Becky, 4 months.

High water on the Keuka Lake outlet runs past Birkett Mills in Penn Yan. Fifty years ago, The Chronicle-Express carried coverage of the flood of 1972 caused by Hurricane Agnes.

Flood Loan Closed In Unique Way - Tom O’Rourke, chief of the Unsecured Department Business Loan of Closing the Small Administration’s Disaster Headquarters for Upstate New York, closed a $3,000 loan today under rather unusual circumstances. A 77-year-old flood victim came to the SBA Disaster Office in the Remington Rand Building, on South Main Street in Elmira to “close his loan’’ and pick up his SBA disaster check. Because the application was made out jointly by himself and his wife, both had to be present to sign the closing papers. However, the wife was not present. Mr. O’Rourke asked the gentleman if he could pick up his wife and bring her back to the SBA Office so she could sign the necessary forms. The elderly flood victim replied that it would be a bit difficult, because he lived three miles away, and the vehicle he drove was a bicycle. O’Rourke loaded the bicycle into the back of his station wagon, and the two drove to the loan applicant’s home, where the papers were signed and the check disbursed to the happy couple. Because this is a Presidentially declared disaster, they received a forgiveness of $2,500 which means they only have to pay back $500.

Resume Boating, Maybe! - When the level of the lake goes down to 716.00 all motor boating will be resumed on the lake, with the 10 mile per hour speed limit lifted, Sherriff George Spike told The Chronicle-Express Tuesday. At a special meeting Thursday, with cottagers, marina owners, and permanent residents, Sheriff Spike stated that it was agreed when the lake reached the 716.00 level, the present restrictions would be lifted. The level was at 716.26 and is slowly lowering – provided there is no more rain!