Old News – New School

This article is about the new high school being built in Fairport in 1968. At that time the number of students in the district was 5,800. Today that number is about 5,900. There was grown over the years but most school populations have been decreasing as families are getting smaller in the US.

The Edward’s store in downtown Rochester closed in 1972. There were suburban stores that were sold off and lasted into the early to mid 1980s.

Fairport, NY

Wednesday, July 17, 1968

Break Ground For New School

One more significant event in the developing Fairport Central School District took place on Wednesday, July 10, 1968, with the official ground-breaking ceremony for the new high school on Ayrault Road.

Approved by district voters last November, this 1500 pupil school has been in the planning for many months with consideration given for details and ideas suggested by the present faculty who recommended new teaching aids and techniques as well as the inclusion of the traditional.

The school itself will have a library, cafeteria, two art rooms, two music rooms, swimming pool and gymnasium facilities, two large-group instruction rooms, and an auditorium seating 1000. Two separate wings, called Houses will contain 16 classrooms each for 750 pupils who will share the use of the specific facilities. The houses will be used for basic academic subjects will keep the atmosphere of a small school, yet have the advantage of the use of special facilities which would be expensive to duplicate in separate buildings.

The 50 acre tract of land will allow adequate development of athletic fields. Provision also has been made for future expansion of the building itself to accommodate enrollment as it increases with growth of the district. The conservation estimated enrollment of the district for this fall is 5800, approximately 600 more than one year ago. This trend is expected to continue with development of new housing throughout the town of Perinton.

The LeCesse Corporation was low bidder for General Contractors. Thomas McKay has been named Clerk of the Works.

Ontario Beach Park – #15

On Sunday, May 17th, 1903 the Monroe County Sheriff prevented a baseball game at the beach between Rochester Bronchos and a team from Jersey City. It was illegal to play any sports on Sunday. You know what happened the rest of the season? The baseball games went on as scheduled.

I mentioned in the last post that there was a Casino still at the Park. In this ad it mentions that there were free vaudeville shows every evening. Charles A. Leimgruber, the proprietor, also ran a hotel on E, Main Street, Rochester with his brother, Edward.

For the 1903 season it was decided that they would have many bands play concerts in front of the Hotel Ontario. Some of the bands that played at the beach in  1903:

  • Matt’s Concert Band of Buffalo
  • Lampham’s Cadet Band of Rochester
  • Powell’s Sixty-Fifth Regiment Band of Buffalo
  • Ithaca Concert Band
  • Gaylord’s Band from Syracuse

A round trip from downtown Rochester to Ontario Beach Park including admission to the Park is 20 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. On July 4th, which was a Saturday, 35,143 people took the train to the Park.

A want ad in the Democrat & Chronicle of July 11th said that girls were wanted for the Moorish Palace. “No experience needed.” Not sure what the girls were supposed to do; maybe dance, maybe act as waitresses.

There were few notices of acts that were at the Park.One one to the right was for a trapeze act. Another act in mid August are two high divers, Oscar Norin and Miss Sirl Norin. He wears a suit made of tissue that is set afire before he does his dive. She dives while tied in a sack.

Hit Songs of 1968 – #22

This is “Angel of the Morning” that was a hit by Merrilee Rush (birth name Merrilee Gunst) in 1968. The song was written by New York City born songwriter Chip Taylor (birth name James Voight) who is the brother of actor Jon Voight. The song is about a one-night stand.

Merrilee Rush had been playing with bands since the early 1960s. Her band was an opening act for Paul Revere and the Raiders and Mark Lindsay got her in the door to a recording studio where she recorded “Angel…” This was to be her only hit record in spite of the fact that she was nominated for the Grammy for female vocalist of the year in 1968. She still sings around the Seattle area but is now more often occupied with breading Old English Sheepdogs.

“Angel of the Morning” got up to #7 on the Record World singles chart where it remained for 3 weeks (June 30 – July 20, 1968). It did better on the  Billboard Hot 100 record charts where it was at #3 for the weeks of June 30 – July 13. The song was recorded by many other artists but was very successful for Juice Newton in 1981.

Ontario Beach Park – #14

For a week beginning Aug. 4, 1902 the Elk’s club of Rochester sponsored a carnival at Ontario Beach Park. The Bostock-Ferari circus and shows came in about 25 railroad cars with 350 people and 200 wild and domestic animals. Frank C. Bostock ran the wild animal tent. That had shows with lions, tigers, leopards, bears, pumas, wolves, hyenas and other animals. He had been at the Pan-American Exposition (World’s Fair) in Buffalo in 1901. Mr. Bostock would come back to Ontario Beach Park in later years.

Other attractions were the five Belford Brothers (acrobats from the London Hippodrome), The four Ayerls (three women and a male aerialists from the Follies Bergare, Paris), the two Chester sisters (marvelous trapeze artists), Prince Youturkey (a Japanese man who appears in a “slide for life”), the Great Leon and his singing donkeys, Tom and Jerry, and lastly Mrs. Murphy, the monkey aeronaut who ascends in a balloon and makes a sensational parachute leap from 2,000 feet.

An exhibit was the “Streets of Cairo” with Turkish dancing girls and Arab warriors and swordsmen. It also included camels and donkeys. Another exhibit had dancers from Ceylon. Then there was a “Japanese Fair” and some Venetian Gondolas. I never did figure what the attraction called “The Girl from Up There” was. Only thing mentioned was that it was  some sort of electrical show.

They also had the Aztec twins, Dora and Attie, who stood only 3 feet and weighed 37 pounds. Newspapers accounts say that their heads were no bigger than a good sized doll and they are intelligent but only spoke a few words of English

Mr. Esau is some kind of ape from the Congo who had a gold tooth. The Democrat & Chronicle of Aug. 5th said he was dressed in evening attire. Was 3½ years old. Pretended to play piano and use a typewriter. Eats with a knife and fork and pours his own tea. At the end of the act he sat on a chair at the edge of the stage and shook hands with anyone who wanted to.

Some of the outdoor attractions were free with admission to the Park but most attractions in tents, including the circus, had additional charges.

Late in 1902 there was a mention that there would be vaudeville shows until Oct. 1 at “The Casino Family Theater.” I thought that all gambling games had been pushed out of the park, but there were still some. In fact, a couple of men were arrested for breaking a nickel slot machine. They were sent to see Judge Laverty and were each fined $5 plus had to pay $25 for repairs to the machine.