State & Union: Going Back in Time on Olean | New


From cracking down on smuggling to visiting the Olean merchants’ Santa Claus alley, from the high hopes for the Bonnies to the 25,000 people welcoming Santa, here’s a look back at the week of 100, 75 , 50 and 25 in this edition of Turning Back the Clock.

1921December 1 – Deputy Sheriff Frank Annis and Salamanca Police Chief Walter Fellows raided hotels in Salamanca three times last night in a bid to crack down on crime in the city. At the Wildwood Hotel believed to be run by a man named Myers, a quantity of contraband whiskey and liquor was seized. In Pennsylvania, a quart bottle was taken. At the town cafe, a quantity of suspected Jamaican ginger was seized from the Italian owner named Mariano. The seized items have been taken to Little Valley Jail and arrest warrants may be issued.

December 2 – Mayor WZ Georgian today approved the work of the Olean Anti-Tuberculosis Society and encouraged the purchase of Christmas seals – fancy stamp-like stickers to seal envelopes closed in the mail. The ATS is preparing an outdoor school, the mayor said, and sales will help establish the center. Outdoor schools, for children with lung disease, moved classes outside and allowed for better air circulation and social distancing between students while improving sanitation practices.

1946December 1st – Buy early at Olean! With Christmas just 19 days to shop, Olean Merchant’s Santa Alley is ready to help give gifts to loved ones. Noting that the new post-war merchandise is full of exciting surprises and that many of the valuable items that have been missing for so long due to the war are back in stock. Hot gifts this year include golf bags and outboard motors for dad, often a former vet; the “Breakfast” which toasts, fry, cook and prepare coffee in a single unit; dolls of every imaginable size and shape; and junior sized scooters and workbenches for boys.

December 3 – Dresser Industries’ stake in Van der Horst Corp. was purchased by H. Van der Horst. Until recently, Dresser owned half of the business. As Clark Brothers was also owned by Dresser, the two companies operated closely in Olean. Company officials said the two will continue to work together on projects for the future, with Van der Horst’s electroplating services continuing for decades.

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1971November 29 – Sports Illustrated ranks the 1971-1972 Saint-Bonaventure men’s basketball team 16th in the country in its top 20 list that just hit newsstands. Meanwhile, the Associated Press pre-season poll ranks them among the “also runners.” The previous season, the team had placed third in the NIT. Coach Larry Weise is pleased with the improvements shown by the young players on the squad, but said his side’s 17-point win over UB shows there is room for improvement. The Brown Indians would end up 16-8, but losses to ranked Pennsylvania (14) and South Carolina (5) would mean the team wouldn’t make the playoffs.

December 3 – More than 150 people filled the boardroom at Olean Municipal Building to challenge a 25% tax increase on the table in Cattaraugus County. County officials have said that an expense of $ 1 million to operate the new county nursing home in Olean next spring would cost about $ 2.50 per $ 1,000 of assessed property value. Meanwhile, an additional $ 2.60 per $ 1,000 will be needed to boost social services. Another 50 cents per $ 1,000 will go to support community colleges attended by county students. Residents, speaking openly about the rising costs, proposed a 600-signature petition to use $ 600,000 of excess money “found” last year.

1996November 29 – Black Friday saw hundreds of shoppers swarm local stores early in the morning. “When the doors opened, we had 100 people rushing into the store,” said Allegany Walmart store manager Mangit Sidhu. Similar numbers were reported at the city’s other major chain stores, Kmart and Hills. Bon-Ton reported that 728 coupons were distributed – one per buyer – in the first hour of business. Sears and JC Penney Co. also recorded strong sales.

November 30 – More than 25,000 people flooded downtown Olean for the annual Santa Lane Parade, “by all accounts the biggest we’ve ever had,” said Tricia Henzel of Greater Olean Inc. Hundreds of people also walked through Santa’s Winter Wonderland crafts. Show at the Olean Armory, a three-day event. Meanwhile, the “elves” who turned on the Christmas lights during the parade – Darren Senfield, Chris Joseph, Bill Melanson and Seamus Mooney turned on their walkie-talkies after one last use of the lights. Noting that an issue led to an extended countdown the previous year, the 1996 edition went off without a hitch. The men had the job for years, but planned to graduate from college and go their separate ways.


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