The Way We Were – March 2016

100 years-thumbnailCulled by Judy Garrison

 From March 1916 issues of

The Andes Recorder 100 Years Ago

 Week In and About ANDES


Events of a Week as Chronicled by the Man on the Street


With commentary by Jim Andrews


The so called traveling occulists are the biggest humbugs that ever struck any community. [Ed.: Sounds like the Recorder editor didn’t believe in corrective lenses. Makes one wonder what these “occulists” were promoting. Or perhaps he meant to say “occultists”.] [Jim Andrews: The traveling occulists could have been would-be optometrists who carried basic reading glass lenses and preyed on people who couldn’t get to a professional—who were probably pretty few and far between around here in 1916. I’m sure there wasn’t one in Andes. The resulting lenses might not have corrected vision as well as would those from a professional and probably cost considerably more than they should have. They were probably like the Rite-Aid reading glasses.]


…Alfred Smithy, of Treadwell, was united in marriage with Alice Helen, the daughter of Rev. Herbert D. Chace, a former Andes Pastor…..The tablecloth was one worthy of mention, having served at eight weddings in the family of the bride’s great grandmother, and used only for weddings since that time. The gifts were numerous and costly, the groom’s gift to the bride being a piano. [Ed.: The groom’s wedding gift of the piano reminds me of the proposal plea to Bathsheba by a much older suitor in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd: he promises her a piano if she accepts his hand (she already has one).]


A bill introduced in the legislature providesfor taxing dogs from $2 to $4 each. The idea of the bill is to protect sheep and encourage that industry in the state. [Ed. to Jim: I’m not following the line of reasoning Do you think they expect few dogs, and therefore fewer killed sheep if people have to pay a dog tax?] [JA:I’m wondering if the dog tax was similar to our current tag system so that the dogs would have to get registered and tagged and therefore would make it easier to identify which dogs were killing sheep?]




The latest thing in an alarm clock is a contrivance that emits a honk, making the sleeper think he is in front of an automobile. And he gets out of bed with a single jump.


The farmhouse of Herman L. More who resides up the Tremperskill near Pleasant Valley, was destroyed by fire Sabbath afternoon, together with most of the contents [Ed.: A full narrative of events followed.] [JA: The fact that this was the second house on that site to burn to the ground indicates that there was perhaps some inattentiveness in the family! That the first house fire was the first insurance payment made by the Andes Town insurance company and that “About 25 bushels of potatoes were baked” again shows what mattered to people of that era (or mattered to the Recorder editor).  The building was insured for $200 with $200 on the contents—shows that people didn’t put much store in insurance. The Herman More property was located near the site of More’s Falls that are now under the very end of the reservoir just as the Tremperskill stream enters the reservoir.  They have been visible all this past fall. The Robert Parish house was located on the flat above the falls—it wasn’t flooded by the reservoir, but like many properties taken by eminent domain, was destroyed because it was considered too close to the reservoir and would be a contaminant.]


T. Leroy Muir, an Andes boy, who is a junior at Hamilton college, has been chosen commissioner in charge of the Pioneers of America, an organization for boys recently founded by Hamilton college students.


Curtis Muir, the Andes jeweler, died at his home on Delaware avenue about noon on Wednesday, March 8, after a very brief illness from pneumonia complicated with a bad heart…. He was a son of James Muir and Marretta Shaver and was born in Andes 50 years ago. He married Estella Sprague but they had lived apart for several years…. “He was a genius and there were few things he could not do. He was the “handy man” of the town. [JA: Curtis Muir was a familiar figure in Andes at the turn of the century. He was the jeweler who had his business in the upper end of the post office building where the vintage clothing store now is. At one time he lived on the Muir farm (the current Geiger farm). I have several local clocks that were repaired by Curt Muir in the 1890s and 1900s. His signature and date are on the back side of the clock faces. The ASHC has a picture of Mr. Muir working in his shop. It was also interesting that he had 10 children and that he was only 50. That could be the reason he and his wife lived apart—too many children and she not wanting any more!!]


Wednesday evening Miss Mabel Gladstone had an experience that she does not care to have repeated. A yawn caused a dislocation of her jaw and Dr. Gladstone and Dr. Frisbee found it necessary to administer chloroform before the jaw could be gotten back in place.


Those who have been wishing for an old-fashioned winter with plenty of snow are having their wishes fully granted this season. Snow has been continually on the ground since December 11, with sleighing nearly all of the time. A late spring is also predicted.


There is a big ice jam at Rock Eddy and the river has been forced from its channel and is running over the flats. At Pulaski Conklin’s the water is doing great damage to his flats and the highway is under water, so that the public has to go over the private road leading to Mr. Conklin’s house. [JA: My mother has recently been talking about the ice problems caused by the East branch and how there used to be jams up around Arena that would break up and send huge pieces of ice floating by her house on River Street in Shavertown. As a child, that terrified her.]~