One Hundred Years Ago – August, 1914
Famous boat out of commission
Farewell to Ankle-Deep! How those words pull at the heart strings of the sporting populace of Lake George and vicinity, for the people of northern New York have learned to admire the big speed boat, which has won for Warren County a high place in the sport of motordom throughout the world. Count Casimer S. Mankowski’s Ankle-Deep is no more. The mahogany craft which won such high honors on the water will never be put in commission again to race for trophies against the speed demons of the world.
In the races at Buffalo during the first part of the month of August, 1914, the Ankle-Deep was so badly burned by reason of the rupture of the gasoline feed pipe that she is practically a total loss to Count Mankowski, as no insurance can be carried on boats of her character. Countess Mankowski has received word that the Ankle-Deep was practically destroyed and the count and his mechanician were safe. The famous thirty-two foot long boat will never again sail over the clear waters of “Old Horicon,” as Lake George was once known.
From the time that the Dixie boats began to win world wide recognition up until 1912 there had been no marked advance in the development of reliable racing boats. There had been freaks and boats capable of short fast spurts but the Ankle-Deep, with her one 300 horse power motor, capable of traveling over 50 miles an hour, was the first great long distance racer in several years to break all records and set an entirely new standard for the speed craft of the future.
The count is a mighty good sport, having been bitten deep by the racing bug and it is a fairly safe wager that another season will see him in the game again with another world beater.
Whether there will ever be another craft to succeed the famous racing boat is, however, very much a matter of doubt. No matter how fast boats may go in the years to come, Lake George and Warren County will always remember with pride the name of the beautiful queen that carried her flag to victory on the Saint Lawrence and will ever delight the honor of the lovable unassuming man who could laugh at defeat with a whole heart.
(Note- Count Casimer Mankowski lived for several summers in Bolton Landing with his wife, Lena, at Tallwoods, which was in later years named the Countessa Restaurant before it closed. Before coming to Lake George, he raced motorcycles in events around the northeast. He then raced several fast boats on Lake George and elsewhere. They were Ankle-Deep, Ankle-Deep Too, Hummer, The Scat and The Gem.
On May 17, 2002, Bateaux Below discovered a 25 foot long shipwreck on the bottom of Lake George, with nine decades of algae over its white painted hull that was believed to be The Gem, one of Mankowski’s vessels.
There are many differing stories about what ever became of him but the internet states that he died of typhoid fever on April 23, 1917 while spending the winter in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was only 38 years old, a good age for a hero of his magnitude to die. “Live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse.”)
Harry Houdini opens magic show
This year, in 1914, magician Harry Houdini, 40, has attempted to launch a straight magic show in England called the Grand Magical Revue, but the public expected him to be the famous escape artist and being disappointed, the show soon folded. It was last year, in 1913, that he built his Chinese water torture cell, in which he was tied upside down before his escape and he performed this act with a circus in Germany.
This year in England, Houdini was the founder of the new Magician’s Club. He later returned to America on the liner Imperator and baffled ex-president Theodore Roosevelt with a spirit slate test. In New York he presented “Walking through a brick wall,” for a brief run.
With the outbreak of World War I, he has thrown himself into the war effort selling war bonds and teaching soldiers how to free themselves from German restraints. (Note – Harry Houdini, whose real name was Erik Weisz, was born in 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. He began as a trapeze performer and appeared in vaudeville for his entire career. He gained a reputation as an illusionist and escape artist.
His mother, Cecilia Steiner Weisz died July 16, 1913 of a stroke and Houdini was devastated by her loss. He spent a considerable amount of time for the rest of his life attending séances, trying to contact her in the spirit world and crusading against phony spiritualists. He died in 1926 on Halloween of a ruptured appendix. His last words were, “I’m tired of fighting.” After his death, his wife, Wilhelmina Rahner, waited to receive a message from him as he had promised her that he would. She never told anyone if he had kept his word.)
Hungry thieves raid village
A band of hungry burglars is operating in Warrensburgh. Several houses have been entered at night and considerable loot has been secured by the thieves, consisting mostly of small articles of comparatively little value and trifling amounts of money. The lauder seems to be the center of attack in most cases and the invaders have feasted on the premises and also taken eatables away with them, particularly canned preserves, etc.
Some time between midnight and daylight, Sunday morning, Aug. 30, 1914, three houses were entered. They were the homes of Senator James A. Emerson, Dr. James E. Goodman and Louis E. Reoux. No one heard the thieves or caught a glimpse of them.
At the Goodman residence an entrance was gained through the dining room window. Disregarding a large amount of silverware and cut glass on the side board, they ransacked the refrigerator in the rear of the house and made away with considerable food, milk and cream. In leaving they took a coat belonging to Mrs. Goodman. Tracks under the window showed that a woman was with the gang.
Senator Emerson’s house was entered through a window in the reception hall and the front door was then braced open o facilitate a quick getaway. A silver card case valued at $6 was taken and $3.15 was taken from a jacket.
Constables were placed on night patrol by the town board but in spite of their vigilance the residence of Jane Davis, on lower Main Street was raided and 45 cans of preserves were taken from the cellar and also a quantity of fire wood from the yard.
The refrigerator of the Wayside Hotel in Lewisville was also cleaned out. Orlin Magee caught a masked black man in his house but was unable to capture him. This is the first glimpse caught of any of the invaders and it is supposed that the gang is composed of followers of the fair that is going on at the present time. (Note – Dr. Goodman’s house is today Eileen Frasier’s Seasons Bed and Breakfast, next door south of Faithanne Buck’s Emerson House. Louis Reoux’s house is today’s the Senior Citizens, 1873 Miles Thomas House.)
In other news, burglars are operating in Fort Edward with a boldness that is astounding. The residents are demanding protection from the authorities, but the looting has gone on with apparent contempt for the police.
On a Fort Ann farm recently, during a thunder storm, lightening struck a field of potatoes, ripped open several hills and baked some of the tubers to a crisp. On top of one of the opened hills was found an English coin dated 1780.
At an early hour, Monday morning, Aug. 17, 1914, an electrical storm passed over Hague and Ticonderoga which is reported to be the most severe that this section has had in a decade. Lightening struck in several places and the damage is estimated at several thousand dollars.
The Cleveland cottage, at Hague, was struck and Mr. Cleveland, on the front piazza, was severely shocked. The residence of Wallace Jeffers at Ticonderoga was struck and the chimney was demolished. Four cows, owned by a farmer named McCaughlin, five miles from Ticonderoga, were killed as they stood under a tree in the pasture. Three barns along the Hague - Ticonderoga Road were burned and numerous trees and fences were destroyed.
World War I
The European war is affecting America in many ways. Although we are fortunate to not becoming embroiled in the general conflict, we cannot escape some of its evil effects. Even now the prices of the necessities of life are rapidly advancing and the minor luxuries have already gone beyond he reach of persons of moderate means.
The beloved head of the Catholic Church, Pope Pius X, died Aug. 2, 1914. The gentle spirit of the aged pontiff was appalled by the inhuman slaughter in Europe in the great war he so desperately sought to avert. He died of a broken heart.
The Richards Free Library, in Warrensburgh, was 13 years old on Aug. 13, 1914. No celebration marked the anniversary.
Mrs. Harvey Crandall died, Sept 2, 1914, at her home in Lake George. Besides her husband she is survived by one son, William E. Crandall.
Allie Pasco has sold his grocery store in North Thurman to Sanford Kenyon. William Lackey has purchased a Buick automobile from Charles Baker of Bakers Mills.
The Empire Theatre, in Glens Falls, on Saturday night, Aug. 29, 1914, will present Charles Dillingham’s million dollar comedy, “The Lady of the Slipper,” with a cast of 75 people, including a beauty chorus of 40. Tickets are 25 cents a person.
Mrs. Charlotte Mosso of West Chazy, has come to Bakers Mills to keep house for her grandson, the Rev. William Lamoy and care for his little three-year old daughter, whose mother recently died.
Leslie Morehouse, son of Amasa Morehouse, of Athol, has been working on the road beyond Fox Lair Camp for the town of Thurman.
C.S Wood and H.V Kenyon are building two concrete barns at North Creek. Richard Roblee is doing the work.
As to whose cow gave the largest quantity of milk, the recent competition between William Tennyson and Powell Smith, both of Chestertown proved the latter was the winner.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210