Ontario Beach Park – #31

On Jan. 1, 1916 the Village of Charlotte was no more. It had become part of the City of Rochester even though we still refer to the area as Charlotte. That annexation included the Park. The park didn’t completely know how it would effect them. They did have to stop selling tickets on teddy bears and dolls as it was deemed a lottery. The shooting gallery had to be closed on Sundays. The Hotel Ontario and other hotels in Charlotte could continue selling liquor on Sunday as they are within the definition of the Raines Law. That was a complicated law that said that people registered at a hotel could be served liquor on Sunday if they also were served food.

The only change of rides was that the name of the Old Mill was changed back to the Canals of Venice. It would change back to the Old Mill again in 1917. It was a water ride that was inside a building.

The Park knew that they couldn’t have the circus styled acts on Sunday but were not sure what they would have for entertainment on Sundays. For the first Sunday on May 28 they had extended band concerts in the afternoon and evening. The next Sunday they had an extended concert in the afternoon but a shorter concert in the evening followed by an open air movie. The movie was so popular that they soon added movies on Saturday evenings. On June 18th one of the movies was a “Lonesome Luke” comedy starring Harold Lloyd before he initiated his character with the round glasses. They started to add more musical performers to the Sunday concerts. On July 25th soprano Margaret Heveron sang “Love, Here Comes My Heart,” “Little Gray House in the West,” and “There’s A Long, Long Trail.” Ruth E. Meech, violinist. played “Lucia,” “Mother Machree, and “Reveries” by H. Vieuxtemps. Also Florence Monk sang “Mother’s Rosary,” “They Didn’t Believe Me,” and “Hello, How Are You?.” The last two songs were arranged by her father Joseph Monk who was the brother of the director of the band. Margaret Heveron would return for many Sunday concerts over the summer.

The circus style vaudeville acts continued being on the open air stage for Monday through Saturday. Oscar V. Babcock, who had been at the Park in some years previous, returned on July 4th doing his Death Trap Loop and Flying the Fume on his bicycle (see the blog post on Oscar). He was at the Park until July 22nd.

A large crowd of the Woodmen of the World (fraternal organization) helped to make the crowd at the Park on July 9th the largest Sunday crowd of the year. On July 12th 3,000 picnickers from Concordia Lutheran Church were at the Park. They brought with them 200 pounds of ham, 300 loaves of bread, and 100 quarts of milk. They played games and sports. Then on July 19th 4,000 people from Salem Evangelical Church attended a picnic at the Park. They had games for children and baseball for the adult men. They also paraded around the Park grounds.

The ad, above, tells about a contest that was given by Fleischmann’s Yeast for children. The top 7 kids that collect the most coupons from products made with the yeast would win a pony. There were fifty prizes in all. One of the consolation prizes was an Indian motorcycle. The list of all 50 winners and their prizes was in the July 13th issue of the Democrat & Chronicle. These are the top 10 winners:

  1. Oliver Schoenfeld, 22 Arlington St., won a pony, harness and cart.
  2. Joseph Francis Ryan, 76 Bartlett St., won a pony, harness and cart.
  3. George McCarthy, 57 Steward St, won a pony, harness and cart.
  4. Mary Liberman, 135 Baden St., won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  5. Leon Ehrmantraut, 32 Pennsylvania Ave., won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  6. Rich Newirth, 50 Hazelwood Terr., won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  7. Marion Townsend, 33 Pearl St, won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  8. Edward Dewart, 41 Alliance Ave., won an Indian motorcycle.
  9. Nathan Panzer, 130 Joseph Ave., won an Indian motorcycle.
  10. Coletta Bossert, 1015 Norton St., won a Victrola and records.

Miss May Neff

Every year there had been an Orphan’s Day at the Park. This year it was indefinitely postponed because of an epidemic of infantile paralysis (polio). The Rochester Automobile Club that hosted the day already had quantities of candy, popcorn, chewing gum, and peanuts. So they delivered the goodies to each institution instead of having the orphans come to the Park.

The August 21st issue of the Democrat & Chronicle had the picture of of Miss May Neff doing what they called “hydroplaning,” or what we now call water skiing. She was the daughter of Frank A. and Rose Neff of Rochester. She had won a swimming contest at Trout Lake in Seneca Park. She was also known as a diver. The caption for the picture says she is the first woman known to be skiing on Lake Ontario. She was being pulled by a motor boat owned by W. Stevens Hall of the Rochester Yacht Club. May died on Oct. 31st, at aged 22, after an illness of a week.