Historical trivia

Wait until you read more about the above photo. I have seen a few pictures of the old Town Hall burning but never a picture of any individual who was in the fire.

Coincidentally, the place burned in late July, 1926 after President Calvin Coolidge had arrived to spend the summer at White Pine Camp in Paul Smith’s.

It’s too bad the above picture is so dark and that it has no date to determine how long after the fire the picture was taken. Here are excerpts about the fire from the Enterprise in 1926:

“Disastrous Fire Wipes Out Harrietstown Building, Police Headquarters and Newspaper Plant; JOSEPH SHAW [my emphasis] Dying from Burns; Two Others Seriously Injured; Loss of $75,000.

“Joseph Shaw, one of three men dragged in an unconscious condition from the cell room of the lockup, was seriously burned about the head, face, arms and chest, and it is believed that he also inhaled flames.” [Can you imagine anything as horrible as being burned in a locked cell?]

“The other man in the hospital arrived with the Gentry Brothers Circus on Monday [the Enterprise story was published on a Wednesday] and has not been identified.

“George Hazzard, colored, was the third occupant of the jail, and was seriously burned about the back.

“Valuable records of the Town of Harrietstown were entirely destroyed, as was the only complete file in existence of The Enterprise, covering a period of 32 years.”

Notes about the Lake Placid Club

I was employed at the Club from 1980 to 1985 working for John Swaim, Key Bank and State Supreme Court Judge Harold Soden.

The oldest wing of the Club, built in the early 1900’s, had tiny rooms and very narrow hallways and some of these rooms appeared to be unused and untouched for many years. I doubt any were occupied even with the housing crunch during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games when the place was headquarters for the International Olympic Committee, as it was for the 1932 Games.

There was a large, nicely printed card in various size fonts, that were placed in all those old rooms which I found in one of the dressers.

What reminded me of this was a story in March, 1930 in the Evening World, one of the seven daily newspapers then published in New York City, about a man smoking in bed that caused a fire that killed the smoker, a boarder in the house, and six members of the family that owned the house.

Here are some of the warnings on the Club card:

“In spite of precautions FIRE may happen in this building at any time. If you smell smoke, notify the operator at once. Close your transom tight.

“Keep calm and be master of your wits. Feel the door before opening it. If hot, leave it shut tight. If not hot, open slightly with your foot against it. If hallway is safe from fire and hot gases, use the planned fire escape or exit.

“If hallway is not safe from fire, or volumes of smoke, plug up all door openings and transom with dampened towels, pillow slips; against hot air and gasses.

“Open your window a little and stay near it. Don’t jump out. Await rescue calmly.”

The bottom of the card reads:

The club offers a deal

During the Winter of 1966 the Lake Placid Club offered a one-week stay over a period of eight weeks; any period from January to March…and what a deal!

The cost for the week was $115 for Club members and $135 for Club guests.

The plan included: “Rooms with private bath, double or single occupancy. All meals from evening meal Sunday thru breakfast the following Saturday; use of Mt. Whitney ski lifts for 5 days; five group ski lessons and storage of skis. Skis, poles and boots will be rented at one-half the usual charge. The social program includes a welcoming party for those on the Winter Sports Week Plan.”