Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #43

One of my High School teachers used to tell about odd laws that were made in the past. In William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he has a few pages of old laws in Rochester. This ordinance that was passed in 1868 by the the City of Rochester tries to regulate cabs. In most of the directions, it tells to park the cabs on the right side of the road except on Irving Place next to the Monroe County Courthouse.

“Hackney coaches, cabs, or carriages waiting for employment shall at all times stand, Sundays excepted. on the side of W. Main Street from Irving Place to Fitzhugh St. with the horses head towards the east, and on the west side of Irving Place from W. Main St. to the south gate of the Court House lawn; and on the east side of Fitzhugh St. from W. Main St. to said south gate, with the horses heads toward the north, and Front St. from Mumford St. to the N. Y. C. Railroad Depot, with the horses head toward the south, and on the east side of Exchange opposite the Genesee Valley Depot, and on the south side of Main Street from the west bank of the Genesee River to the east bank there of with the horses heads towards the east, under a penalty of Five Dollars for each offense, to be sued for and recovered from the owner or driver there of, severally and receptively.”

Photo Update

I recently was on a vacation trip. I went a few hundred miles out of my way to visit the grave of my gr-gr-grandmother Mary (Webster) Buell who died in Michigan. She died in 1850 at aged 27 and  only had two children; Theodore and Eleanor (who died at aged 9 months).

I had visited that cemetery in 2001 and took the top picture. It was taken with a digital camera but it was only 2 mega-pixels so it was not the best quality.

This time I took a much better digital camera that takes 20 mega-pixel pictures. That picture is the second picture and to compare I pasted the old picture on to it on the left. This new picture is so large you could make out every detail.

Both times I visited this cemetery I had to cut branches off a bush that was blocking her tombstones. You would think that there would be a tombstone for young Eleanor but there isn’t one for her. Buried next to Mary is her brother, Alonson Webster and his wife.

After Mary died, her husband, John Buell, married a widow. Then John joined the Cavalry for the Civil War and he was killed at Gettyburg, PA. That left my great-grandfather, Theodore, with no mother or father. He was sent back to NY State to live with relatives.

Ontario Beach Park – #18

Last post told of all the new attractions in 1905. There was a lot going on that year. There were 2,000 lights added to the boardwalk for nighttime. The postcard view is from 1905 and I see a problem. The boardwalk is right up to the edge of the lake. Storms off Lake Ontario must have battered it. Plus during winter it would have ice building up on top of it.

Before the Park opened it was announced that the fight between the NY Central Railroad and trolley line was over. You can buy a ticket and take either to or from the beach.

It was decided that beginning with the 1905 season that no beer would be sold in the Auditorium to make it family friendly. It would still be easy to get a beer at Hotel Ontario, the Cottage Hotel and a smaller hotel in the Park. Plus there were many small hotels near the corner of Lake and Beach Avenues to get a beer at. Then beginning June 26th was the first dance party in the Auditorium. Dancing would be a regular feature on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 8:30 to 11:00.

Opening of the Park was Sunday May 29th and they had a troupe of Japanese at the Park for a month.

The first band of the season was the Fifty-Fourth Regiment Band. Beginning June 8th was Nellie B. Chandler’s famous Ladies’ Orchestra of Boston with 20 pieces. They were girls between 14 and 17 years of age and they also sang and whistled. Starting July 13th the German Marine Band played for two weeks. A tragedy occurred when Coner Kinderman, 3 year old fell off the balcony of the Hotel Ontario to the floor below. He was the son of Prof. Louis Kinderman, leader and director of the German Marine Band, The boy ended up at Homeopathic Hospital with a fractured skull.

Other bands playing at the Park in 1905 were: Garramone’s Band of Rochester, The Royal Hungarian Band (late July), Seneff’s Ladies’ Military Band, Royal Hungarian Boys’ Band, Conway’s Famous Ithaca Band and Hebing’s Band finished the season.

One of the acts outside was Johnson, the high wire performer. He rode a bicycle across a high wire. He also carried out a table and chair and sat and ate a meal on the wire. He hung by his toes from the wire and finally went up a ladder balanced on the wire. In mid August was Winscherman’s acrobatic bears and monkeys. He had four Tibetan bears, five monkeys and 3 people. The bears walked on globes and a tight wire and juggled.

Attendance to the Park was large all season. There were 10,000 people on Sunday, May 29th, 17,000 people though the gate on Sunday, July 16th and an excursion from Watertown and Potsdam brought 2,000 people in late July. When the Park closed for the season on Sept. 10th paid admission for the season was over 400,000.

Then in November 1905, Albert E. Harris as trustee for bond holders started a foreclosure on a mortgage of $100,000 against Ontario Beach Improvement Company (the company that owned the Park). This legal action went to NY State Supreme where it was decided that the Park would be sold. It was sold March 5, 1906 on the Monroe County Court House steps for $61,000 to Charles H. Palmer. This included the lease of Park land owned by the NY Central Railroad. Thus the Ontario Beach Improvement Company that started in 1883 goes out of existence and an new era begins for the Park.

Ontario Beach Park – #17

1905 was a big year for Ontario Beach Park. They added many attractions. The largest new ride was the Circle Swing that replaced the pony track which had been moved outside the Park fence. The Swing was 85 feet high and had six cars that held people as it turned around. Those cars would end up flying 20 feet above the ground. It had between 300 & 400 flags on the top and was lite at night with 600 lights. The previous summer the Circle Swing was at Luna Park, Coney Island.

Next to the Circle Swing is a new miniature railroad with two trains of 4 cars, engine and tender. It ran around the Circle Swing and then to a grove of trees and over to the main entrance.

Another attraction is Galatea. It is an optical illusion of a statue that comes to life. It was based on a Greek myth in which Pygmalion of Cyprus created an ivory statue which he fell in love with. The goddess Aphrodite brought it to life.

Close to the casino was erected the House of Too Much Trouble. I think that this was the fun house that later was called The Foolish House. Then also added was  Helter-Skelter. It is barely visible in the other picture. It was a 50 foot tower that people climbed up inside. Then there was a spiral waxed slide on the outside that they slid down. That slide was only 2 feet wide. When I zoomed up on the picture, I could see that painted on the side it says 5¢.

Barely mentioned were two other small attractions: Cup Swings and Devil’s Den for which there isn’t any other information. Also an Indian village with tents was added with Indians from a Canadian reservation.

One thing that isn’t mentioned is the coming of the Dentzel carousel. There had been small carousels at the Park before so it was not reported as a new attraction. I did notice that references to it were now calling it the “giant carousel” so it must have been in place in 1905.

Still at the Park in 1905 were the Russian Toboggan (which had been rebuilt), ferris wheel, the Scenic Railway, another roller coaster, shooting gallery and the penny arcade.

More on what happened in the Park in 1905 in next post.