The police blotters

Back by popular demandit has been a while since we scanned the old Saranac Lake police department daily entries from the 1930s and ’40s in a book simply called the blotter. Little bits of the amusing and the mundane on the streets of our fair village decades ago.


May 16 – Phone call from Forest Hill Avenue section that there some cows running at large. Investigated by Officer Putnam but the cows were gone and he was unable to fine the owners of same.

-?Officer Putnam

May 19 – Complaint from Mabel Hartley, 163 Lake Flower Avenue that her brothers, William and Leon were carting old blocking and trucks and leaving them on her property. She has asked them not to leave any more stuff there but they have ignored her. Investigated by the Chief who notified William and Leon to find some other place for their junk.

– Chief

May 25 -?Complaint by phone that someone was throwing rubbish into the river behind the Summer Tent Show. Investigated at once and found a boy throwing programs into the river. I warned him not to throw any more or he would have to come into Children’s Court. Also saw a dirty condition existing along the river bank and under the stage platform piled with old bedding and odds and ends.

– Officer Jones


May 8 -?Call from Mrs. Ralph Claxton of 5 South Street that someone was prowling around her house. Went out there and found Mrs. Joseph Natowitz nearby who said that she and two witnesses had just seen Joe Natowitz run out of the back door of Mrs. Claxtons and that she now had her evidence for a divorce.

-?Wallace & Jones

May 15 – Call from Mrs. McCabe, 35 Franklin Avenue that she has an Indian girl working for her and she has lost her mind. Says the girl’s brother is here to take her home and is unable to do anything with her. Investigated by Chief and Higgins who helped the girl into the car with her brother and his wife and sent her on her way.

– Chief

May 18 – Call to Chinese Restaurant. Trouble between Eddie Shova and Edgar Duprey. We asked Shova to go out which he did. Saw him come back later and got into an argument with the proprietors of the restaurant. Arrested him for disorderly conduct and locked him up.

– Ryan & Jones

May 23 -?Call that kids were in vacant house at 18 James Street. Investigated by Higgins and Wallace who found Margaret Curry, 9 yrs., of 26 James street; Mary Gowett, 8 yrs., Scott Gowett, 4 yrs., Frank Gowett, 7 yrs., and Andy Gowett, 2 yrs., all of 17 Charles street. These children say that this winter they saw Mary Ann McKillip 10 yrs., of 29 Charles Street; Clayton Boula, 6 yrs., and Walter Boula, 8 yrs., of 12 James street and Vincent and Bernard Meagher of McClelland street break windows in this house.

-?Higgins & Wallace


Special service for the village board

[I am sticking this little item in here from the police blotter in November, 1944 the time is 1:40 a.m. when the police apparently furnished a taxi service for village board members who had meetings lasting until early in the morning.]

“Call for police at Mark’s Grill. Village Board members taken to their respective homes by Officer Jones.”


[The police were kept pretty busy when the WWII combat veterans were doing R & R at the Lake Placid Club and the Military Police (MP) went on patrol with the local police].

May 15, 10:15 p.m. – Call from the Melody Bar [located on Woodruff Street] answered by Ryan & Jewtraw and an M.P. Brought 2 intoxicated G. I.’s to police office and sent them back to Lake Placid.


May 15, 10:45 p.m. -?Another call from the Melody Bar, brought down another G. I. Ryan, Jewtraw and M.P.

May 15, 11:50 p.m. -?M.P. put a G.I. in cell 1 until car came over after him at 2 a.m.


May 30, 6:30 p.m. – Miss Joyce Sawyer, Paul Smith’s, N.Y. came into the Police Office and said that her sister-in-law, whose husband is in the military service had left three small children alone at 98 Lake street while she works at the Lake Placid Club. She does not get home until 12 midnight. Miss Sawyer was afraid to leave these children alone as there was an oil heater going on the floor so she took them to her mother at Paul Smith’s.

– Wallace