100 Years Ago - February 1913
Gordon Smith of Riverside, while at work alone in the woods near that place on Jan. 30, 1913, broke his left leg and dragging the useless member, crawled half a mile over the rough and semi-frozen ground before he found help to assist him to his home. When rescued, he was nearly exhausted and had assistance been delayed a few hours he might have succumbed to the intense pain of his injury and weakness caused by his terrible struggle to get out of the woods.
Smith had been cutting wood when the accident occurred. He had just felled a tree and was trimming the limbs off from the underside when the tree turned over and dropped down striking his leg in its descent and breaking it above the knee. The desperate man called for help but there was no one to hear him in such a lonely spot. He braved the excruciating pain and started to crawl to the nearest road. After going about half a mile he attracted the attention of a passing teamster and was taken to his home.
A local physician advised that his condition was so serious that he be taken to the Albany Hospital and this was done the next day.
Looking death square in the face
Dennis Logans, the hustling proprietor of Warrensburgh’s smallest grocery store — located on upper Hudson St. — was nearly put out of business by a peculiar accident of which he was the victim. On Feb. 3, 1913 he had been downtown in the Lewisville (River St.) neighborhood on a bicycle and was crossing the Osborne Bridge on his return when his wheel struck a little hummock of ice on the bridge and he took a header, pitching head foremost under the railing on the lower side of the bridge.
Fortunately his foot caught in the ironwork and held him for a minute until he could draw himself back to safety. His hat went into the swollen river and was quickly swept down-stream in the swift current and disappeared under the ice. The same fate would surely have befallen him had he made a clean passage under the railing. He is grateful to have escaped a watery grave.
Fire rages in Burnhamville
The barn on Bert Harvey’s place on the Thurman Road just below the paper mill, was burned Feb. 5, 1913 together with all of its contents.
A fine four-year-old colt owned by Charles Hall of Thurman, stabled in the barn by his son, who is employed at the paper mill and a cow owned by Mrs. Harvey, were burned as it was impossible to get them out after the fire was discovered. The house also caught fire but the flames were put out by a crew of men from the paper mill before much damage could take place.
‘Zero’ hits thin ice
Edwin J. Worden, proprietor of the Arlington Hotel in Lake George, miraculously escaped serious injury Feb. 4, 1913, while sailing on his iceboat, “Zero,” which he had been racing against his boat, “Jack” which was handled by August Wilson. He was taking full advantage of the high wind and pursuing as direct a course to the goal as possible. He sailed so close to where the lake was not frozen, the forward runners of the boat broke through the thin ice.
As the boat was traveling at nearly a mile a minute, Mr. Worden was thrown with great force against the steering wheel and one of his thighs were badly lacerated, a four-inch incision being inflicted.
The boat was uninjured and with the assistance of some spectators standing near, Mr. Worden fastened rope to the forward part of the craft and hauled it onto thicker ice. Although suffering considerable pain, Mr. Worden resumed the sailing.
Besides the two Worden boats, the Fort William Henry Hotel had, despite the thin ice, two other fast boats on the lake that day in readiness for the Feb.18, 1913 races. (Note: Edwin J. Worden was supervisor of Lake George from 1910 to 1917. He was a remarkable man who well earned a secure place in Lake George history.)
Change in the weather
The morning of Feb. 10, 1913, the mercury dropped to 14 degrees below zero to become the coldest morning of the season. This cold snap which struck old Mother Earth so suddenly after a prolonged season of comparatively warm weather, caused the old dame to shiver and produce an earthquake in this locality at about 11 o’clock in the morning. The disturbance lasted only a few seconds, but was quite severe. In Third Street at “The Big Turn,” a crack about an inch wide and several hundred feet long opened in the ground there.
Three days later, Feb. 13, 1913, there were three more shocks, two of which made houses rock and frightened many people who awakened from a sound sleep and said it sounded like the dull rumble of a distant cannon, followed by a terrifying tremor of the earth. The first two shocks made things jingle but the third was light.
No snow yet
We are well into February, 1913 and there is no snow this winter worth mentioning as of yet. Woodsmen and guides say that the deer have never wintered so well in the Adirondacks as they have wintered this year because there has been so little snow.
The animals have not yet “yarded” which is as unusual as the season has been. The deer have been able to travel around the woods at will and they have all that they care to eat. Deer come together in yards when the snow gets deep.
People around Chestertown are finally filling their icehouses, drawing their ice on wagons which is quite a novelty. Lumbermen are also suffering greatly because of the absence of snow.
Remembering a great man
February - “Though other months of fairer days were well in line, on February Fate bestowed Saint Valentine. As though that gift was not enough when it was done, she gave us the bobtailed month George Washington.” Wilson
According to the Julian calendar, George Washington was born Feb. 11, 1731. According to the Gregorian calendar, he was born Feb. 22, 1731. Historians later decided upon the date of Feb. 22, 1732. Washington went down in history for having said, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa; you know I can’t tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet,” when questioned about a prostrate cherry tree. (Parson M.L. Weems - circa 1800)
Contact Jean Hadden at email@example.com or 623-2210.