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Speculator, NY ,
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The way things were by Anne Weaver

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - Updated: 8:43 AM

ABOUT THE WEEK OF OCT. 24, 1963, the big game hunting season was scheduled to open Friday, Oct. 25, but as of press time nothing short of a miracle would open the woods to hunters. Even a day’s rain wouldn’t be sufficient to wet down the tinder dry forests unless it came in the form of a cloudburst.

It was expected that the season would be prolonged in December to make up for the time lost at season’s opening, if and when the woods were made available to hunters.

Arson was strongly suspected in a series of forest fires that had been discovered and brought under control in the Central Adirondack area during the past week. Three fire companies from Inlet, Old Forge and Eagle Bay fought three separate fires Sunday afternoon along the South Shore Road near the entrance of the Adirondack League Club.

One of the areas burned out an eighth of an acre before it was halted. Others were small patches of fire some distance from the main one. Officials said the fires were spaced some distance apart and appeared to be the work of an arsonist.

At INLET, “We’re literally sitting on a keg of dynamite.” That’s the way most residents of the Central Adirondacks looked upon the dry conditions, which had turned it into a real disaster area.

In a matter of hours fire could wipe out thousands of acres of parched timberland, taking with it camps and summer homes by the hundreds. Residents, conservation officers and all others interested in the welfare of the woods had been perched precariously on the edge of the dynamite keg since the usual fall rains failed to arrive to dampen the fallen leaves and dried branches.

Hopes for rain Monday looked bright early in the day, but after only a few sprinkles the clouds drifted away and a bright sun came out to add more danger to the forest fire hazard. Forest rangers had been keeping a 24-hour vigil and there had been a near constant air patrol of the Central Adirondacks to report the outbreak of fires.

Monday evening Old Forge Fire Department volunteers, in cooperation with forestry officials, set up 24-hour patrols of all roads and main access routes through the local area. Shifts worked around the clock patrolling Rt. 28, the South Shore Road, Bisby Road, Airport Road and other public and private roads.

The patrols continued Tuesday and Wednesday and fire department officials said they would be kept up until it rained and the fire hazard lessened. An average flow of traffic brought hundreds of people into the Adirondacks last Saturday and Sunday, most people being ignorant of the warning to keep out of wooded areas.

Forest rangers said the ban on people entering the woods was violated because of the lack of sufficient manpower to enforce it. The McCauley Mountain Aerial Chair Lift was closed down because of the fire hazard.

Reports indicated there would be roadblocks leading into the Adirondacks the previous weekend but they didn’t materialize, due to the shortage of personnel. All fire company personnel in the area, as well as high school boys, had been alerted to stand by for an emergency fire call.

Miss Jacklyn Burth, daughter of Earl Burth, Inlet, and the late Mrs. Burth, became the bride of Paul Francis Kolwaite, Whitesboro, Oct. 5 in St. Anthony’s Church, Inlet. The Very Rev. Francis Edic officiated. Robert Gaudin was soloist and Mrs. Charles Gebhardt was organist. Mrs. Nicholas Bacille, Fayetteville, was matron of honor. Mrs. James Ryan, the bride’s cousin, of Syracuse, Miss Margaret Hodel of Fayette-ville, Miss Shirley Grande of Thendara and Miss Maxine Kenney of Cambridge, Mass. were bridesmaids.

Richard Chilton of New Hartford was best man for his brother-in-law. Ushers were James Kolwaite and Arthur Ritzel of New Hartford and Neil Abiabilo and Alan Barbieri of New Milford, N.J., all cousins of the groom.

A reception was held at Albedor Lodge. The newlyweds took a trip through Canada and the New England states. They are living in New Milford, N.J. The groom was graduated by Utica College and was attending Fairleigh Dickinson School of Dentistry.

Assemblyman Joseph R. Younglove announced the Department of Public Works had received a bid of $449,000 for construction of 1.41 miles of Route 28 between Inlet and Eagle Bay from the McConville Co. of Ogdensburg. The department’s estimate was $502,000.

This was the fourth time the department had asked for bids on this construction. No bids were received on 4.08 miles of road on Route 30 between Wells and Speculator with a department estimate of $1,404,000.

This project would be checked and re-advertised at the earliest opportunity, according to Mr. Younglove.

At LONG LAKE, Stuart W. Hosley, Long Lake, had been promoted to airman second class in the U.S. Air Force. Airman Hosley was a radar repairman assigned to the 702nd Radar Squadron. The airman is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Morrison J. Hosley, Long Lake, and a graduate of Long Lake Central School. He attended St. Lawrence University.

At WELLS, Cub Scouts of Pack 56 met recently at the home of Mrs. Henry Bradt. Donald Rasmussen, science teacher at the Wells school, gave a demonstration and explained the various science projects the boys work on their monthly themes.

Cub Scouts recently took a 4-mile hike and held a cookout. David Briggs, Mrs. Henry Bradt and Mrs. Frank Parker cooperated on this project. Scoutmaster David Slack recently took Troop 56 on a tour of interesting and historic places in the area.

John Stuart, Keith Taylor and Timothy Parker attended a Camporee at Speculator. Mrs. R. Buyce, Wells, and Mrs. F. Lobdell, Hope, were appointed chairmen of the Boy Scout Fund Drive to be held soon.

Mrs. Ray Buyce was appointed chairman of the Girl Scouts Fund Drive under the new Mohawk Pathway Council, held recently in Wells. Brownie, Junior and Cadette troops recently went to Northville to attend an intercouncil rally. Mothers of the girls furnished transportation: Mrs. R. Buyce, Mrs. F. Fuller, Mrs. E. Zoller, Mrs. C. Schuyler and Mrs. E. Stuart.

     

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