Police blotter stories

No matter how many Saranac Lake history lessons I relate here, popularity demands that we go back to the old police blotters. The blotter, a simple ledger, with date and time of day, contains the mundane happenings of those long ago days. Missing cats, noisy kids, stolen gasoline and drunks causing trouble, make up many of the disturbances in the book.

It has been a while since I retrieved stories from the blotter but apparently those stories are never far from the minds of my readers. A guy stopped me last Tuesday and out of a clear, blue sky asks? “Why don’t you leave the names in when you do the police log stories?” My reply was that there are still too many relatives living here of people mentioned in the blotter.


Aug. 10, 12:20 p.m – Call from 31 Riverside Drive. A dog came there about 3 days ago and it was in front of the house sick. Duprey and Charland went and got the dog. Dog tag for 1935 was 109049. Killed said dog. – Charland

[Sounds tough but disposing of that dog today would cost over $100 if you bury it yourself.]

Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Call came in from Academy Street. Children making a lot of noise back of the Hotel Saranac. Ryan investigated and sent kids home. – Brown

Aug. 13, 7:15 p.m. Complaint from Academy Street. Children making a lot of noise back of the Hotel Saranac. Investigated and sent kinds away. – Brown

[Different night, same kids, same time, same location? Probably Ronnie Keough and his gang.]

Aug. 16, 2:15 a.m.?- Roger Bell, 713 Bedford Street, Stanford, Conn., reported that his car, registered in the name of his wife, Marion Bell, same address had been stolen from in front of the Hotel Saranac sometime between 12 midnight and 2 a.m. It was a 1936 Packard coupe convertible. Registration S-U-416 Conn. Notified troopers. See stolen property book. – Duprey

Aug. 20, 7:20 p.m. Call from California Fruit Market, 27 Broadway, a drunk in the store making a disturbance. Investigated, he had gone when I got there. – Brown


Aug. 8, 8:45 p.m. – Complaint from Father Kitts about kids and young people using the Catholic School grounds for a playground and also a “lovers nest” after 9:30 p.m. until midnight. Advised Father Kitts we would check there after 9:30 p.m.?- Higgins

Aug. 13, 7:15 a.m. – Gave accommodations in lock-up to Troopers Mansion and Hanby who had in custody one Joseph John Regan charged with vagrancy – 9:15 a.m. – this man escaped from Dannemora Prison.

The above man proved to be Joseph Kenney, escaped from Dannemora Prison 8-7-44. Returned to Dannemora by Mansion & Hanby. – Wallace

Aug.13, 6:30 p.m. – John Wood, 26 Algonquin Avenue reports that someone stole $10.00 out of his wallet while he was swimming at Prescott Park beach [the beach on Lake Flower]. No suspects. – Wallace

Aug. 14, 2 a.m. – Request from Scotty Lynch to put a box of bread on the 5:40 a.m. train for Stonywold San.

5:40 a.m. Did so. – Higgins

[Scotty Lynch was the grandfather of Scotty Lynch Adams whose late husband, Mike, was the Supervisor of the Town of Santa Clara. Scotty Adams’ mother was Nancy Lynch. Nancy’s brother Tom, was one of my best friends in high school. Mr. Lynch owned and operated the Carnation Bakery located, in the ’40s and ’50s, behind the Left Bank Cafe on Broadway. I’m talking about a full scale operation with delivery trucks full of fresh baked goods going to stores in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. The bread wrappers were shiny white and marked with big red Carnations. If more deliveries were needed later in the day Tom and I would do them. And do you think maybe Officer Pete Higgins, got a box of donuts for his trouble?]

Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m. – Call from Mrs. Benham, Pine Street, complaining about 2 men back of her house drinking. Had been there since 6:00 o’clock. Investigated by Duprey and Higgins saw 2 men staring to run thru the woods took after them and after a short chase captured Clarence Colby who put up some resistance after getting him under control noticed a cut on his forehead. [Gee, I wonder how he got that cut?] Patched him up and locked him up. The other fellow got away. – Higgins & Duprey