Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #19

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the waterfalls in Rochester and also about building the dam near Mount Morris to control flooding of Rochester. He gets one thing wrong, the dam is within Letchworth Park. In 1972 during flooding from a hurricane the water behind the dam came close to overflowing. Still the dam prevented the dangerous flooding that had destroyed downtown Rochester many times before

The total fall in the Genesee River in passing through the City of Rochester is 356 feet including several rapids. there are four water power privileges now utilized; the south of about 17 feet; the upper falls of about 90 feet; the middle falls of about 27 feet; and the lower falls of about 90 feet. Plans are now being made for a concrete dam to be built by the RG&E Corp. at an approximate cost of ten million smackers, across the gorge of the Genesee River at a point along the “high banks” about one mile south of Mount Morris. The proposed dam will be 180 feet high, over 1000 feet long at the top, with a base 600 feet long extending 40 feet into the solid rock. Then building of this dam will create a vast artificial lake over 16 miles long, extending nearly to Letchworth Park. The great flood of 1865 did much damage. Thomas Thackery Swinborne of the Genesee predicted still another flood when he wrote: ” down the vale I’ll thunder with my billows like a gale, and flood thy marts and dash thy bridges down.”

Old News – Gas

Natural gas lines were just coming to Fairport a hundred years ago.


Wednesday, March 21, 1917

Information Given at Chamber of Commerce Meeting Held On Monday Evening

Now aren’t you sorry you were not at the Chamber of Commerce meeting in the town hall Monday night?

Some of your neighbors were there, and some other of your neighbors met members of the Chamber on the street next morning and said: “Why didn’t you tell me about the meeting; I hear it was a mighty interesting session and that much important was given out about gas and its use?”

Both Fairport papers have carried announcements of this meeting the last three weeks, and last week the Herald used an illustration to emphasize the importance of it. And yet only a handful gathered, around 50 in number.

Frederick Fisher of the Rochester Railway & Light company gave an illustrated lecture on gas, its manufacture and use. The pictures thrown on the screen were remarkable for their perfection. The stages in the development of gas manufacture, from the gas that would give only 3 candle power to that of the present days of scores of candle power were delineated on the screen, together with views of coke ovens, scrubbers, condensers, retorts, pipe laying, etc. were given, with detailed description.

Perhaps the greater interest attached to the round table following the lecture, in which a large number of questions were asked of Mr. Fisher and of Mr. Montignani, the new manager of the Despatch Heat, Light & Power Co. From the questions and answers it developed that the company will commence trench digging as soon as the frost will permit, which  may be in two weeks, they probably will have several gangs at work in all parts of the village at the same time, as they are anxious to get the gas to here at the earliest possible time.

One of the canvassers ventured the prediction that gas would be placed in 80 percent of the residences of the village. Any householder wanted gas may have the service pipe laid from the street to the meter in the cellar without charge, providing he has a gas stove. It is not obligatory that the stove be purchased of the company. All stoves purchased of the company will be connected free of charge, but if the company is asked to connect stoves bought of other dealers, a charge of 11 cents per foot will be made, that is, from meter to the stove.

The meters belong to the company. The use of gas in furnaces is not recommended, and as a general proposition electricity is to be preferred to gas for lighting.

Top Hit Songs of 1967 – #4

The Supremes were back on the top of the record charts in 1967. “Love is Here and Now You’re Gone” was another hit song written by the Motown team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland, Jr. This song features a harpsichord and strings and has Diana Ross doing emotional dialog. It is the group’s ninth number-one single.

The song was on the top of the Cash Box record chart for the week of Feb. 25 – March 4. It was  the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart for the week of March 5 – 11.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article – #18

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about all the diseases that not only ravaged Rochester but every town of every size in the world in the 1800s.

Every house had its cesspool which seemed to collect and retain, rather than remove, the refuge matter committed to it. the wells yielded water heavy with lime and were subject to various pollutions, while the imperfect sewerage would not now be endured. Some sewers had no outlets. The Erie Canal, too, was a source of disease. the waters were stagnant during the hot months of summer. there was no movement of the water and it was fruitful of malaria in its different manifestations. Smallpox and cholera coming at intervals in frightful force were the result of this utter disregard, or ignorance, of the laws of sanitation. At times so many died that they were buried in trenches without markers. In Mount Hope we find the “Wickins Killick” monument. He, his wife, his mother-in-law, father-in-law and his 5 children all died in the space of 10 days in Sept. 1854 of cholera.  .

Old News – Theaters

There were a lot of theaters in Rochester in 1917. Some have live acts and others are playing movies.

It is said that at least 90% of silent films have been lost forever. In part it was because no one thought that they would have any interest in them after films added sound. Another part of the lose is because early movies were on nitrate film stock that sometimes would melt into a blob and other times would start themselves on fire.

I have a family connection to Mitzi Hajos that would be appearing at the Lyceum theater. My great uncle, Frank Buell, was the the road show manager in two productions starring Ms. Hajos running between 1921 and 1925. Those productions would do many one night stands in small towns and extended runs in larger cities. Also in the cast was my great uncle’s wife, Estella Birney.


Wednesday, March 14, 1917

In Rochester’s Theatres

Anna Held, the popular social comedy star appears in “Follow Me” at the Lyceum, Friday and Saturday of this week, with a matinee on the latter day. The supporting company includes the newly discovered comedian, Henry Lewis, and a big chorus of beautifully gowned girls. March 19 – 21 inclusive Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree the noted English actor will be seen in “Henry VIII,” and the remainder of that week Mitzi Hajos will appear in a return engagement of “Pom Pom.”

Madame Doree’s company of grand opera singers will have the headline position at the Temple Theater this week. Billy Montgomery and George Perry are also upon the bill as well as the usual number of specialty acts which have made the amusement place so popular.

The last three days of the week the headliner at the Avon theater will be “The Musical Blacksmiths,” said to be a real Rochester production. There are six other good acts on the bill, with afternoon and evening performances every day.

Frank Hunter and Eddie Swartz,two well known comedians appear this week in “The Globe Trotters” at the Corinthian.

At the Family theater the attraction for the last half of the week will be a musical comedy act called, “Atop the Andes.” Charles Diamond, a dancing harpist and F. Albano, a chromatic accordionist, also appear on the bill together with the usual photoplay productions.

The Movies

Beginning March 18th the Colonial will present the marvelous screen drama, “Idle Wives.” This is a wonderful play which everyone should be sure to see as it shows the extreme situations in the lives of the very rich and the very poor. The play will be seen every day for one week at this popular amusement place, which is so conveniently located that all shoppers from out of town can readily drop in and rest long enough to get the benefit of this remarkable performance. Patrons are accorded the privilege of a perfect checking system and all conveniences are at their disposal without extra charge.

At the Gordon the last half of the week will be shown “The Black Wolf.” also “The White Witch,” the eleventh episode in the “Secret Kingdom.” March 18-21 Jean sawyer in “Love’s Law.”

The screen production at the Regent the latter part of the week is “Out of the Wreck.” Next week Pauline Frederick will be seen in “Sapho.”

“Burning the Candle” will be the offering at the Piccadilly this week with Mrs. Vernon in another of the “Patricia” plays. march 18-21, Clara Kimball Young in “The Price She Paid.”

Top Hit Songs of 1967 – #3

The next song to go all the way to the top of the record charts in1967 was “Ruby Tuesday,” about a free-spirited girl. It credited as being written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards but Mick has said that he didn’t really write any part of it. This was actually the B-side of the single, with “Let’s Spend the Night Together” on the A-side but that song didn’t go as high up the charts because some radio stations didn’t play it because of the suggestive lyrics.

“Ruby Tuesday” was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart for the week of Feb. 25 – March 4, 1967, On the Cash Box chart it was at number one for the week of Feb 19 – 25 and then again March 5 -11.

WDYTYA – Julie Bowen

Emmy Award winning actress, Julie Bowen is investigating her family tonight on Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA). Julie has been playing Claire Dunphy on the comedy Modern Family since 2009.

Julie visits Chicago to research her maternal great-grandfather Charles Daniel Frey, who started his own advertising agency in 1910 after working for the Chicago Examiner and Chicago Post. She learns that Frey became Director of the American Protective League during WWI. That was an organization of private citizens that worked with Federal law enforcement agencies during the World War I era to identify suspected German sympathizers.

WDYTYA airs on the TLC channel at 10 p.m. DST (eastern & western times). Also right before this is another new episode of Long Lost family where a woman is looking for two younger brothers who vanished after being taken by social services 20 years ago.