Top, left to right: Cecille Kaufman, Harry Nusbaum and Lillian Samuels. Bottom. left to right: Ethel Gunther, Harold Simon and Margaret Gunther (7/25/17)
Top: Misses Irene, Esther and Ruth Hudson, sisters. Bottom: Niss Gladys Doherty and Miss Bertha Halloway.
I have been reading many newspaper articles for this series from both NY State Historic Newspapers and Fulton History. Some of the articles have pictures but the digital newspapers often have awful pictures. One picture in the newspaper an an earlier date had a picture of the midway at the Park but it was so bad that only the roof lines could be made out. The first two of these newspaper pictures were from warm days at the beach in July 1917.
Then there is a picture of singer Margaret Heveron who first sang at Sunday concerts beginning in 1916.
The last picture is of Fumiyo Kozai with her doll. Her parents ran the Japanese Bazaar at the Park for many years but 1917 was their last year for running that attraction. Her picture is dated either 1916 or 1917.
If you want to see all the installments so far, here are links to all the parts:
War is raging in Europe but so far the US has been able to keep out. The Democrat & Chronicle of March 14, 1917 has one of the little fillers that says “Thus far the chain-power ship Windsor, which plies between Ontario Beach and Summerville, in the Twenty-Third ward, has not been armed for self-defense against submarines.” That was probably just a joke. Everything got more serious when the US entered the War on April 6th.
At the season opening of the Park on May 28th manager Elmer Vaughn had with him little Helen Lanigan, who a newspaper article says is the only child born within the Park. Helen was born in 1914 to James and Mary (Gallagher) Lanigan of Denise Road.
New for this season is a new outdoor stage that would permit a 1,000 additional seats. A big electric flag was installed on the top of the band stand. The former Canals of Venice has been renamed Old Grist Mill. A new ride is “The Whip” which is on the site of the former Virginia Reel on the western end of the Park. That ride was designed by William F. Mangels Company of Coney Island and had been patented in 1914. By July The Whip in the Park was becoming a major attraction. The video (bottom) shows pictures of the original in Coney Island and a present day ride.
The porch of Hotel Ontario would be opened up for dancing. It wraps around 3 sides of the Hotel and totals about 7,000 square feet. Monk’s band changed their program to feature the waltz, the one-step, and the two-step. On June 5th it was announcement that Mr. and Mrs. William C. Muntz are leasing the Hotel. They also said that they would no longer sell liquor in the Hotel. Soda water and soft-drink fountains were installed. They would also remodel the rooms on the second and third floor for families to stay.
Sunday concerts (afternoon and evening) would again take place this year. On June 3rd they had the return of a favorite from last year, Margaret Heveron (see picture in next post), a coloratura soprano. Also on the bill that day were Lew Baker, minstrel singer, called the “man of many encores” and newcomer James Gee on the coronet. Charles D. Vickers, tenor soloist, sang “My Own United States” and the electric flag above the band stand was turned at the end of the song which made the audience give a bug ovation. The Park management took notice and was soon having more patriotic songs during the Sunday concerts.
Outdoor motion pictures will be again shown as in 1916. A description in the June 17th Democrat & Chronicle says that outdoor movies are projected from the rear. The projector is in a tunnel about forty feet behind the screen. It is starting to be called the “Beachograph.” They also noted that the movie that night was the drama, “The Dawning,” which was originally released in 1912.
There were many picnics and outings throughout the summer including 5,000 people from Salem Evangelical Church at a picnic on July 18th. There were the special days including Children’s days on June 28th, July 27th, and Aug. 23rd. Orphan Day was Aug. 7th with approximately 1,000 orphans from 8 asylums. This was after the Orphan Day had been canceled in 1916 because of possible spread of disease.
In mid July were a bunch of 90 degree days. The Park was busy with bathers and it was mentioned that the toboggan slide into the lake was also busy. On July 27th four boys rowed out a short distance on the lake. Jesse Slack, of 23 Grove Place decided to dive from the boat. He found himself unable to swim to shore. Harlie Bort, a Batavia policeman, swam out and brought the boy to the shore where he was revived. Then in the end of July an unidentified man was unable to get a bathing suit at the Park so went out in the lake wearing just his automobile duster. There was laughter from other people on the beach as he swam around.
Circus style vaudeville acts were still on the outdoor stage Mondays through Saturdays. One of the first acts of season was Torelli’s animal show (see picture) with ponies, mules, dogs and monkeys.
Beginning July 2nd was Oscar V. Babcock doing his Looping the Death Trap Loo, Flying the Flume, and Leaping the Gap. His last day was July 14th.
W. W. Power had brought his elephants to the Park in 1913. They would return on Aug. 4th 1917 but because they could not perform their act on Sunday the elephants only went for a bath in Lake Ontario. The elephants (Lena, Jennie, Julia and Roxie) did do their act the rest of the week and even stayed for a second week.
In mid August the Park had high divers
The Hellkvists. They first made somersaults while diving from a tower 50 feet high. At the end of the show Mr. & Mrs. Hellkvist climbed to the top of their tower, had the water set on fire and also put on a paper suits which were set on fire. They dove together into the burning tank. The audience gave them much applause. Nils Hellkvist was born in Stockholm, Sweden and met his wife at the Stockholm Swimming School. He participated in the 1906 Olympics in Athens. Mr. Hellkvist said he would swim from the lighthouse to the Park on the 19th. He did it in 15 minutes and then proceeded to do a mock rescue of a swimmer in distress..
On August 28th the Park held Red Cross Day. All evening gate receipts were given to the Charlotte Red Cross. It is said that the proceeds were quite large.
After the Park closed for the season on Labor day the Hotel Ontario announced that they would stay open for the whole month of September.
There were so many good pictures from 1917 that there will be another post tomorrow with just pictures.
I uploaded 7 new theater programs. Five of those were classical music, one a popular musical play and the other was a minstrel show. Minstrel shows were a popular form of entertainment in the past but are now considered to be in bad taste.