•100 Years Ago - May 1913•
Trolley kills highway worker
Francesco Locasco, 40, an Italian employed by the Shaughnessy Construction Co. on the Lake George-Warrensburgh state road work, was struck and instantly killed by a southbound Hudson Valley trolley car on Friday morning, just south of the summit. The car, which left at 8 a.m.. was in charge of Charles Braydon, motorman and John F. Loughlin, conductor.
The man stepped out from the bushes with a pail in his hand and was evidently going to work for the day. He stepped on to the track and the whistle with prolonged shrieks failed to attract the man’s attention. The corner of the car struck his shoulder and a sign struck him in the head. He was hurled to one side and his dead body fell into the bushes.
The coroner found a large sum of money and other valuables in the clothing of the dead man. The body, considerably mangled, was identified by his brother-in-law who was also working on the road job. Locasco had been in America for about 12 years and leaves a large family behind.
Town all shook up
Throughout northern New York, at 7:30 p.m. April 29, 1913, there was felt the heaviest earthquake experienced in this area in upwards of 20 years. The duration was estimated at from 10 to 30 seconds. In Warrensburgh the shock was terrifying while it lasted and it was all over in about 20 seconds. The tremor was sufficient to cause houses to rock and dishes to rattle in the most alarming way. In Montreal the entire city was startled by the rocking of buildings.
This is the third quake felt here in less than three months. On Feb. 11, 1913, a crack about an inch wide was opened in the ground which extended several hundred feet on Third St. in Warrensburgh.
“There is no question,” said a geologist, “but we are entering upon a period of great seismographic disturbance.”
The infant child of Samuel Scripture, who lives in the neighborhood town known as Pottertown on The Glen Road was found dead in bed the morning of May 6, 1913. The baby slept with the parents and when the mother awoke in the morning she found it cold in death, probably smothered during the night.
Another child died the same day, when Clara Armstrong, 12, passed away at the home of her father, William Armstrong in Lewisville (River St.), after a short illness of pleuro-pneumonia. Besides her parents, she is survived by three sisters and one brother. Burial was in the Warrensburgh Cemetery.
Boy’s death a mystery
A poisoning of a mysterious nature caused the death of 4-year-old Harold Moynihan on the night of May 18, 1913, at the home of his father, C.P. Moynihan, 12 Walnut St., Glens Falls. The boy was taken ill after eating heartily of strawberry shortcake on Saturday evening. His condition was not considered serious until the next afternoon when he began to have sinking spells and despite the efforts of three physicians, he failed rapidly until the end. The doctors named poisoning as the cause of death but were unable to determine the nature.
Lady holds on to her money
Ella F. Thurman of Chestertown, 70 years old and has a fortune of $25,000, was found by a jury to be entirely competent to manage her business affairs without any assistance from her brother and sister, Henry and Florence Thurman of New York. A jury of 12 men reached the verdict at the conclusion of an all day hearing at Chestertown.
Miss Thurman’s relatives petitioned Warren County Judge George S. Raley to have her declared incompetent, alleging that she was the victim of hallucinations and was not properly caring for herself.
Area news briefs
Gardeners are now at work hereabouts tilling their soil and planting the seeds for the season’s harvest.
Leonard Harrington and Miss Myrtle Turner, both of Warrensburgh, were married by the Rev. C.S. Agen on the evening of May 19, 1913 at the home of the bride’s father, H.F. Turner of Hudson St..
In Knowelhurst, Abrum Van Dusen has an Indian Runner duck (fawn and white) that laid two perfect hard shelled eggs inside of twelve eggs. Oscar Mosher had his foot badly injured recently by dropping a log on it.
The Barbers’ Association of Glens Falls has decided to boost the price of shaving from 10 to 15 cents. The operation, however, will hereafter include a neck shave for which 5 cents additional has heretofore been charged.
Mrs. Charles F. Burhans has joined the local automobile club with a natty Ford runabout. Our competitor, the Post Star says that Mrs. Robert Lattimore of Mohican Street, Glens Falls, is the owner of a chicken hatched out that has four legs.
Coopers Cave revisited
Recently I mentioned Coopers Cave in a story about the 1913 fall of the Glens Falls bridge at spring flood time. A reader has asked for details.
Coopers Cave, located under the present day South Glens Falls Bridge, was named for author James Fenimore Cooper, born in 1789, who vacationed in the Adirondacks in 1825 and became enamored with the area’s French and Indian War history. His interest resulted in his writing the epic saga, “The Last of the Mohicans,” which local lore says he partly wrote in Warrensburgh when he was boarding here during his trip. The book is today considered one of the most important volumes in American literature.
The book is a convoluted fictional tale based on the actual fall of Fort William Henry on Aug. 8, 1757 when the French army, commanded by the Marquis de Montcalm, with a force of 5,500 men and 1,600 Indians, attacked the English fort which was destroyed while under the command of Col. Monro — and a wild killing frenzy ensued among Montcalm’s Native American followers whom Monro was unable to control.
The fictional aspect of the story relates how Col. Monro’s two daughters, Alice and Cora were traveling to the Lake George fort from Fort Edward and had the misfortune to be caught up in the terrible panic, confusion and massacre that followed. They were forced to flee for their lives down the Muhheakunnuk — the “River that flows two ways,” or the Hudson River — with a group which consisted of frontiersman Natty Bumppo, known as “Hawkeye,” Chingachgook and Uncas among others, such as the villainous Huron Indian guide, Magua. It is Chingachgook and his son, Uncas who are the only living members left of the once great Mohican Indian tribe.
The group, seeking safety, was led down the river gorge near the waterfall to the cave which is today located under the bridge and after much fighting and adventure there the group later heads back for Lake George where the girls are reunited with their father. In the story Cora Munro and Uncus are later murdered by the Hurons.
Back in the mid-1950s when I first came to Glens Falls, there was a long spiral staircase attached midway to the south side of the bridge which allowed courageous tourists to climb down to visit the celebrated cave. This was eventually done away with and in more recent years a platform with a picnic area has been constructed on the south Glens Falls side of the river with a clear view of the mouth of the cave.
James Fenimore Cooper was the 12th of 13 children of his mother, Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper. His father, William Cooper, a Quaker, founded a settlement in upstate New York near Lake Otsego in 1790 which he named Cooperstown. James Fenimore Cooper died there in 1851 and his name and legend lives on.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.