1907 Lake Placid police shooting, part 2
Following is a brief recap of that story carried here last week:
A front page story in the Enterprise dated July 4, 1907 told about George Delcour of Bloomingdale, about age 36, getting drunk, mistreating his horse and generally causing trouble, mostly in Lake Placid. He shot and killed a policeman named Fred Cutler when Cutler and another Lake Placid police officer, John Arnold, attempted to arrest him in a barber shop. He also wounded Officer Arnold.
Delcour, after another exchange of shots with Arnold, made his way to his open buggy, drawn by a bay horse, and headed out of town toward Sa
“President” Harding of Saranac Lake and “President” Shea of Lake Placid were holding the office under the title later changed to “Mayor”.
Here is where the Enterprise story picks up
“In the meantime Mr. Lindstrom with young Ed Lamy [who was then only age 16] had stopped Delcour but had not detained him. When President Harding and his party met Lindstrom and asked him if anyone had passed, Lindstrom admitted that one man had driven past, but, said Lindstrom, ‘it wasn’t the man we’re after.’
“How do you know it wasn’t, asked President Harding.
‘Why,’ said Lindstrom confidentially, ‘I asked him and he said he wasn’t.’
Takes to the woods
“Mr. Harding and the party in the auto hurried ahead. By this time it was dusk and rapidly growing dark. After passing through Saranac lake and traveling about five miles along the road to Bloomingdale the auto party discerned a rig ahead of them. It was quite dark by this time and they could not tell what sort of a rig it was. They shot ahead of the horse and then turned to head off whoever it might prove to be.
“It proved to be Delcour. He saw that he was headed off and abandoning his horse and buggy he dashed into the woods and was safe from pursuit. The place where he entered the woods was near John Rork’s, about a mile and a quarter this side of Bloomingdale.
“Along about 1 o’clock in the morning, Delcour, who had become partly sobered, realized that escape was impossible. He came within hailing distance of Messrs, Barnard, Shea and Allen and announced that he was willing to surrender.
“If you won’t shoot, I will throw away my ammunition,” he said.
“This was agreed to and Delcour tossed away what cartridges he had and when the revolver was turned over to the Sheriff, the shells had been emptied from it.
“Delcour was taken to Lake Placid where he was locked up. He will be held to await the action of the grand jury.”
More about Ed Lamy
In last week’s story it related that 16-year-old Ed Lamy, even then an amateur speed skating sensation, with Peter Lindstrom, “armed to the teeth” went on the hunt for George Delcourso we keep finding out more things about Ed Lamy.
Here is what historian John Duquette wrote about him in the Enterprise: “He was the best all-around athlete that Saranac Lake ever produced. He excelled in basketball, baseball, guideboat races, swimming, and bowling and was a champion trap shooter.”
He was signed to play professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians but shortly after he joined their farm team he broke his collarbone and never went back.
I guess it was a coincidence that the story about Lamy joining the chase for Delcour and a story about his skating feats entered up on the same archives page in the Adirondack Room of the Saranac lake Free Library.
Lamy was age nineteen in 1910 when this story appeared in The New York World, one of five dailies published in New York City at that time. Harry Nason, a former editor of the Enterprise had previously been editor of the World. Here is an excerpt:
“With the same long sweeping strides that made him Morris Wood’s most formidable opponent last year, he skated to victory in the quarter-mile, half-mile, one mile and five-mile races.
“Fifty-one of the best skaters in the United States and Canada competed against him in the various events, and in no contest was the up-state boy forced to his best effort.”
Other stories had told that Lamy was quite a showman and when he was far ahead in some races he would skate the last lap backwards.
I am very pleased that I knew him and was friends with three of his kids, Jim, Eugenia and Ruth; I didn’t know his son John Lamy.