Back in the Day: A Fortnight in History
Local history, from way back when.
1932 – A 16-year-old Ashtabula boy was reported missing and after several hours was found wandering through Perry Square. After Neal Martin was apprehended by the Erie police, the boy said he had decided to run away from home.
When asked why he chose to flee to Erie, Martin said that he missed Huck Finn's raft south.
1971 – Construction begins for the Commodore Downs racetrack in Fairview Township, built by the Erie Lakelands Racing Association. The racetrack is scheduled to open the following Memorial Day. The structure plans to have 22 stables and a 3/4-mile oval track, at an estimated cost of $6 million.
1988 – A court case is held in Fairview Township between the city and Dennis Schaefer for keeping a tiger as a pet. The city officials believe the tiger is a danger to the community, but Schaefer said the city has no right to tell him he cannot keep a tiger as a pet.
Schaefer also said that there is no evidence that his tiger is dangerous. Siegfried and Roy agreed.
1965 – Police responded to a call from Zehe's Bakery, 121 E. 21st St., after the proprietor reported thieves had broken into the bakery during the night. The bandits climbed the roof of the building, cut a skylight screen and dropped inside, making off with a $8 in stolen pastries.
The $8 value of the stolen goods was the bandits' biggest haul, a group calling themselves the 'Keebler Elves.'
1945 – With the Second World War over, the Aluminum Forgings, Inc. plant on E. 12th Street is shut down. The remaining foremen of the once 800-member workforce were finally terminated. The plant has drawn interest from the automobile industry, and might soon land an automobile factory when bidding begins.
The Aluminum Forgings plant was known for constructing airplane parts, and although the factory once employed 800 workers, the new automobile factory is set to employ 1,000.
1956 – After Annabelle Santry stepped off a bus at Sixth and Raspberry streets, she found herself buried up to her hips when the ground caved under her. Investigators of the unstable ground determined the area was washed out up to 10 feet below, and thus Santry was lucky to escape only with a minor leg injury.
A possible cause of the cave is claimed to be the recent sewer lines installed. Or the Mole People.
1993 – Erie county's first Park and Ride lot opens at the Route 6 interchange of I-79, just west of Edinboro. The park and ride system aims to ease traffic congestion in the city.
The current route will take the bus riders from Edinboro University's campus, through McKean and then finally back to Millcreek Mall.
Info Gathered From: The Erie Dispatch-Herald, Erie Daily Times, and the Erie Times-News microfilm records, accessed at the Raymond M. Blasco, M.D. Memorial Library.