These moments in history are selected and edited by Reagan Evans, Massimo Capozza, and Anthony DiRubbo, who are enrolled in Mrs. Hardy’s tenth grade Honors English class. Thank you to the Skaneateles Library and the Historical Society for providing the Press Archives.
10 Years Ago
Ten years ago, Skaneateles School Janitor, Dan Welch, continued his school tradition of carving elaborate designs on giant pumpkins. He started this back in 1995 when he first became a part of the Skaneateles School District staff. His first carving was for a student open house that took place at Waterman Elementary School. In 2006 he carved his first pumpkin that was made just for the homecoming dance. The carving took Mr. Welch 8 hours to complete. Since then, he has carved many pumpkins for the public to relish. Mr. Welch’s artistic talents go far beyond pumpkin carving, such as painting elaborate murals and drawing chicken sketches for the students and staff to enjoy. We will be anxiously waiting to see what other plans Mr. Welch has in store from another drawing or mural to the next homecoming pumpkin.
25 Years Ago
An article published twenty-eight years ago in the Skaneateles Press detailed the need for funds for renovations to the Spafford Side Hill School. The Spafford Side Hill School is a one-room schoolhouse built in 1813 that taught first through fourth grade students for over a century. An article published in 2011 on Syracuse.com explained that in 1977, the school caught fire and was majorly damaged. Exactly 28 years ago, they were accepting donations that would be used to turn the school into a museum. That year the renovations were complete and the schoolhouse was back to its original form. Today, fourth grade students of State Street School, as well as students from Homer and Marcellus, visit the school and spend a day learning like children in the 1800s.
50 Years Ago
Fifty years ago, a wanted ad was posted in The Skaneateles Press. The advertiser was requesting a ride from Syracuse Central Tech to Marcellus, New York Mondays through Fridays at approximately 3 p.m. Today, the use of a newspaper advertisement would seem very unconventional compared to using a more modern method of securing transportation such as Uber or Lyft. These new services allow customers to find a ride from anywhere to anywhere with the press of a button on their cell phone. These services have just been legalized in Upstate New York as of June 29th. The ride mentioned in the 1967 article would cost around $17 through these services today.
75 Years Ago
On Jordan street, nestled between Moro’s Kitchen and Johnny Angels, is the Skaneateles United Methodist Church. 75 years ago, the church had its 110th anniversary, which was complemented by a banquet and redecoration. Rooms received a fresh coat of paint and new chandeliers. The church itself received a service flag, bearing 16 stars for each of the church members involved in service. 2017 will mark the 185th anniversary of the Methodist church, which is still providing services today. Due to its almost 200 years of existence, it adds to the historical value of Skaneateles.
100 Years Ago
A century ago, a man by the name of “Professor Alexander” arrived in Skaneateles, proclaiming himself to be a world-renowned medium; a type of psychic that can see into the past, present, and future. A small ad was placed in the paper under the title of “Clairvoyant Power” to inform the residents of his services, times, dates, and his location at 33 State Street. Based on an article by Kihm Winship, we learned that his stay in this town was short lived, as his ads disappeared from the Press. The very same ad, although sometimes presented with different names, would begin to appear in neighboring newspapers. In these various places, he conned many out of their surely hard-earned dollars. It is estimated that “Professor Alexander” secured himself several thousand dollars before disappearing without a trace. The story behind this seemingly innocent advertisement held more than anyone could’ve known.