From the plans for the “garden city” in Seneca Heights to brothers brought together half a world away from home, from crowning Miss New York to a great send-off for the Great Wellsville Balloon Rally, here’s a look back on the week that was 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago on this edition of Turning Back the Clock.
July 13 — Thomas Ryan, alleged master-burglar, who is being held by Bradford police after having been wounded through the neck by Chief Howe, has been connected up with the two robberies of the McAuliffe store in Allegany. His shoes proved his undoing, as his boots when he was shot were proven to have been stolen in one of the burglaries — his wife also had many pieces of clothing among the “swag” stolen. The first robbery, May 7, made off with about $500 of goods. The second burglary netted over $1,000 — combined, about $20,000 today.
July 14 — The finished plan for the layout of Seneca Heights, Olean’s new “Garden City” is on display at F.H. Oakleaf Co. and have attracted wide attention. A floral square ornaments the entrance to the Garden City just opposite the end of the South Union street bridge. Leading from York Street are two circular courts, with streets named after presidents and several states. All the streets are laid out in graceful curves, all leading in the direction to which traffic would naturally tend and giving the “Garden City” on the whole a most picturesque appearance.
July 14 — Scoring three runs in the first and six in the fifth inning, the Olean Oilers slammed out a 9-5 victory over the Hornell Pirates here Friday night. Deciding to make the farewell appearance of “Gil” Mills — who is heading off for military service — a victorious one, the Oilers went right out in front and were never headed. In that fifth inning, all six runs were scored after two hands were out. The Oilers spent most of the season in the basement of the eight-team PONY League — at that point, 20 ½ games behind first-place Lockport.
July 18 — As the war winds down, two Olean brothers in different services — Army Cpl. Donald Lewis and Motor Machinist Mate Allen Lewis — ended up in the same boat. Donald, attached to a B-29 Superfortress command, was landing on Tinian, one of the islands in the Mariana group. By a trick of fate, Allen, who serves on the crew of a landing ship — which took Donald and his compatriots to the island. The brothers shared many confidences, having not seen each other in more than a year.
July 13 — As Olean gears up for the 1970 Miss New York pageant, throngs appeared to cheer on the 22 contestants. An estimated 25,000 people watched the parade Sunday following a night of social activities for the contestants, including dinners, speeches and other receptions. Marching bands and drum and bugle corps from as far as Elmira and North Tonawanda wowed the crowds during the parade, of which the grand marshal was Linda Trybus, the reigning Miss New York. Events would continue for a week until the competition came to its finals the following weekend.
July 18 — For the fifth straight year, the Miss New York State Pageant, and for the fifth straight year, a Miss Westchester was crowned. Ketherine Jean Karlsrud kept the record intact before a warm, excited crowd of about 1,100 persons in Olean High School and millions more on a statewide six-station television network. She at least had a local tie — her father noted that he had twice been to Olean as an opera singer. The local queen, Shelly Ssith, Miss Cattaraugus County, earned the third runner-up award.
July 13 — Rabies has been creeping north from the Pennsylvania border, Allegany County health officials reported. Two animals — a skunk and a raccoon in the town of Willing and Independence — have tested positive, while 10 residents have been treated for rabies exposure. Cattaraugus County health officials noted that the raccoon population is currently low, but it is expected to rise. To date, the state has reported 616 confirmed cases of animals with the disease, with 525 of those raccoons.
July 15 — For the first time in three years, balloons took flight on the opening launch of the Great Wellsville Balloon Rally. High winds led to delays, but about an hour and a half into the launch window the first balloons took off. The event, the 20th anniversary, drew over 30,000 people to Island Park as temperatures approached 100 degrees during the day. Over a dozen people were treated for heat-related emergencies, while others also stopped by to see the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps tent.