DUNKIRK Between 1900 and 1910
1. Dunkirk’s population was 11,618. DE, OC
2. Kirwin’s Directory canvass showed a population of 13,007.
3. The town of Dunkirk had a population of 454.
4. During a portion of January, sleighs made regular trips to Fredonia to carry passengers because of the severe weather and deep snow. The weight of the snow caused a part of the roof of the Washington Ave. wharf to fall in on January 4. Later in the month, the electric railway between Dunkirk and Fredonia suffered a great loss when its powerhouse and cars were burned. Old horse-cars were used for a few weeks until a temporary powerhouse and second-hand cars could be obtained.
5. The South Shore Seed Company was established.
6. The Dunkirk Evening News, which was started in October of 1899, was suspended and the Dunkirk Printing Company bought the business.
7. The Chautauqua Farmer, begun in 1865, was combined (1899?) with The Grape Belt, which had started in 1895. DE
8. A breakwall lighthouse was put up by the United States government at the east end of the land breakwall.
9. Schools No. 2 and No. 5 were enlarged, each having a two-story addition and new stairways. OC
10. The Chautauqua Agricultural Corporation was formed. The original agricultural society, formed in 1837, had been dissolved some time previously. At one time, fairs were held at the site of Pioneer Cemetery in Fredonia. Known dates were 1843, 1859, and 1881. However, fairs were resumed under the new organization at this time. The site was under a rental agreement. OC
11. The contract between the city and the traction company was signed, and cars were to start running to Point Gratiot on June 1. The work was delayed because of difficulty in obtaining poles and copper wire, and the first cars ran on July 1. Officials of the line made a trip to inspect the work, and later in the day, seven cars were in service, carrying crowds to the Point and back.
12. An old landmark was disposed of when an old well was filled in at 111 Washington Ave. This was a very early well dug when a hotel stood at that location during the time that Dunkirk was a great immigrant depot.
13. Dr. Joseph Rieger moved his small office building from Central Ave. next to the Ehlers Furniture Co. to a lot at 9 W. 4th St.
14. The Ehlers Furniture Co. built an addition to its store at Fourth and Central. This building had originally been put up by J. A. Lenz, a furniture dealer and manufacturer. At the opening of the new addition, the store had 1,800 visitors.
15. Dr. M. M. Fenner of Fredonia became the sole owner of the Dunkirk Driving Park which he purchased at public auction. The park had been established some time around 1885 by D. & M. Toomey.
16. The first yearly report of the Hospital Auxiliary showed that the members had turned over $1,570 which had been collected for the institution.
17. L. J. Lang started a furniture and undertaking business at 335 Lion St.
18. P. Garvey opened a ladies’ tailoring establishment.
19. The Graf Furniture Co. bought the main brick building of the old Dunkirk Engineering Works at Lion, Ruggles, and Fourth Sts.
20. A merger was effected by the Lang Furniture and the Graf Furniture Cos. and the Graf & Lang store opened in September.
21. Dunkirk factories were producing articles for markets in nearly every section of the globe according to a news article. Brooks engines had gone to Japan, Mulholland wagons to Australia, Romer axes to South Africa, United States radiators to Switzerland, Lake Shore seeds to England, and Hartford axles to Melbourne.
22. The Lake City Cycle Club was formed (later Dunkirk Cycle Club?).
23. A system of electric call bells was installed in the high school building.
24. Lion St. was paved. Griswold St. was paved.
25. The Dunkirk Shirt Co. had a reorganization.
26. The wooden building of the U. S. Radiator works was torn down preparatory to erecting new brick and steel building.
27. Goose Creek was arched over and covered for a distance of 700 ft. It had once been called Sulphur Creek. It entered the lake at the northeast corner of Deer and Front Sts. It had supplied water for many early city fires.
28. The first optometrist to locate in Chautauqua County was Dr. Edward Clarke, who opened an office in Dunkirk.
29. The Dunkirk Home Telephone Co. was incorporated. Two carloads of telephone poles were received preparatory to setting up the service.
30. A severe storm in September caused the water of the lake to rise and wash away 400 ft of the tracks of the Point Gratiot trolley line.
31. The old wooden bridge over the railroad tracks on Bass St. was improved by being reinforced with steel.
32. The Citizen’s Gas & Fuel Co. was incorporated.
33. The Dunkirk Golf Club was organized in the spring and a site at Point Gratiot was used. Later, the club leased 35 acres of land surrounding the Gerrans Pond for a golf links.
34. Dunkirk merchants agreed to close their stores in the evening during the summer, except Monday and Saturdays.
35. A long distance telephone line was put up between Dunkirk and Jamestown.
36. Incandescent lights were installed on the trolley poles between Brigham Rd. and Hickoryhurst, illuminating Oak St. and the drive around the park.
37. A storm in November did considerable damage to the land breakwall.
38. The Dunkirk & Fredonia Trolley Co. completed the laying of heavy iron rails for its tracks.
39. Zahm’s Hotel at 800 Central Ave. was enlarged.
40. The Armstrong & Fleischman Wholesale Co. opened at 114 Eagle St, the building previously occupied by the E. C. Perry Supply Co. The new business handled pipe, tile, wire, etc.
41. Local No. 108, American Federation of Musicians, was chartered March 10 with 20 members. It was known as Musicians Protective Association of Dunkirk & Vicinity. Its territory included 20 miles east and west, and 12 miles south of Dunkirk.
42. A new pump was installed at the Water Works plant in June.
43. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church moved to 316 Eagle St.
(1) A system of daily fire drills was inaugurated in the public schools in January by Professor E. E. Scribner.
(2) Good Samaritan Rebekah Lodge #251 was founded on February 22.
(3) The Liberal Club was organized in March.
(4) An incendiary fire damaged School 10 in March and the building was closed for two weeks for repairs.
(5) On April 20, a snowfall of 20 inches did considerable damage in the city and vicinity.
(6) The Willowbrook Golf Club opened its clubhouse on the shore of Gerrans Pond in June. The property included 35 acres of land. The pond had been formed years before by the water of Crooked Brook, which was held back by a concrete dam. It served as a water reservoir for the New York & Erie Railroad, and the water was piped to the corner of Third and Lion Sts. The area was south of Newton St. and east of Central Ave
(7) A summer theater was opened at Central Park the first week of June.
(8) The Brooks Locomotive Works was taken over by the American Locomotive Co., which was incorporated June 10.
(9) Lightning struck the steeple of the Presbyterian Church during a June storm, making a hold in the belfry floor and in a rear window of the building.
(10) The Dunkirk Cruising Club, which was incorporated in May, built a dock at Point Gratiot, and began making trips there from the Central Ave. dock every half hour in the evening, starting the first of July. The fare was ten cents a round trip.
(11) The Point Gratiot Trolley line reported carrying 10,000 passengers on the Fourth of July.
(12) The Dunkirk Telephone Co. started service August 1, at which time there were 50 subscribers.
(13) “The Dunkirks” was the baseball team formed to replace “The Defenders” (other sources say the Defenders were playing much later than this. The Defenders were organized in (?) 1867).
(14) The Merchants Association installed lights on the Central Ave. dock in July. It was found that they were needed every evening, and made a great improvement.
(15) Engine # 4000, the 4000th locomotive turned out by the Brooks Works, was completed in September. It was called the “Horatio G. Brooks” and a souvenir picture was taken. It was a special four-wheeler for use in the local yards.
(16) Elk St. was paved from Front St. to ?
(17) A Dunkirk resident received recognition in The Railway Age for his invention of a radial truck for use under locomotives.
(18) An X-Ray machine was purchased by Dr. N. E. Beardsley, whose office was at 501 Deer St., which was once the location of Dr. W. J. Cronyn.
(19) The name Lafayette was chosen for the new street extending west from Central Ave., south of Green St., and opened through property owned by R. W. Wright. This was in commemoration of General Lafayette, who traveled through the city in 1825.
(20) The Dunkirk & Point Gratiot Trolley Co. did away with the loop at the Point Gratiot depot, and the cars began running along Light St. to Oak and as far as the pavilion.
(21) It was necessary for the Point Gratiot Traction Co. to use horse cars for a time, before the electric power could be installed.
(22) Among benefits offered by the Brooks Works in settlement of a strike, was the establishment of the Saturday half-holiday.
(23) The city decreed that no more wooden buildings should be built north of Fourth St. on Central Ave. without a special permit.
(24) The old No. 7 School on Roberts Rd. was discontinued and the school board arranged for transportation of the pupils of that area to School No. 3. OC
(25) An addition to the Brooks Works was built, containing 35,000 sq. ft. of floor space, to be used for a tank shop and a plate storage shop. The company bought some land east of Roberts Rd. for the Erie Railroad Co.
(26) The old intake pipe of the Water Works was replaced with a 36” pipe extending 1300 ft. out into the lake from the lighthouse, after running along the shore west from the plant. The cost was $82,500. By the end of the year, water was received into homes from this pipe. OC
(27) The fairgrounds, previously known as the Dunkirk Driving Park and later as Central Park, was purchased from M. M. Fenner by the Chautauqua County Agricultural Corp. for $12,000. Operation was turned over to M. M. Fenner. The lake at the west end, covering several acres, was known as Fern Lake, with Little Bear Creek entering it. Another creek, the south branch of Crooked Brook, ran through the property north of the racetrack. The first exhibit building, Floral Hall, and other buildings were put up, total improvements amounting to $20,000 (for new Floral Hall, see 1931).
(28) Washington Park was improved by the laying of new macadam walks.
(29) The Cummings Power Plant, known as the Dunkirk Power & Heating Co., began furnishing heat to the buildings in the business district. A subsidiary company, the Dunkirk Electrical Mfg. Co., was established to supply electric power to the business district. Machinery was transferred from the laundry to a newly-built power house in W. Second St. A franchise for 30 thirty years was granted by the Common Council.
(30) The Stearns Building was constructed at 338 Central Ave. It was a three-story building on a plot of ground 30’ x 120’, the former site of Jacka’s Blacksmith Shop. The new Cummings steam heat was supplied by the Dunkirk Power & Heating Co. In October, the United States Post Office moved into this building from its former location in the Nelson Opera House (1901?).
(31) The city adopted an ordinance setting the speed limit for automobiles and bicycles in the city at 8 miles per hour. The official speed for turning corners was 5 miles per hour.
(32) Amusements in the summer included the $3000 merry-go-round which was set up at Point Gratiot, another at Central Park, and a program of vaudeville at Central Park where there was standing room for thousands of people.
(33) Streetcars were on a half-hour schedule, running from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(34) The Candle, a Dunkirk High School publication, was unable to continue because of financial difficulties.
(35) The two Hilton brick yards were unable to supply the demand for bricks, as many brick buildings were being constructed.
(36) The Lake Shore National Bank completely remodeled its building.
(37) The Lake Shore Railroad took over the operation the D. A. V. & P Railroad for the New York Central, owner of the line. The personnel and equipment remained the same under Lake Shore management, and three trains a day were run each way.
(38) The city established a fire alarm system, dividing the community into districts and providing a whistle to signal the location of a fire.
(39) The county fair was set for September 17-20.
(40) The Fitzer & Link Clothing Store was opened in the Monroe Block, 302 Central Ave. on September 1 (July 27?).
(41) President McKinley’s train was met by a large crowd as it stopped on its way to the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo in September.
(42) The Board of Directors of Brooks Memorial Hospital received an endowment fund of $100,000 from the heirs of the Brooks estate and M. L. Hinman, for the maintenance and support of the institution. A nurse’s training school was started in July with four (three?) students.
(43) The Brooks Works was given a gold medal for its exhibit of engines at the Pan-American Exposition.
(44) Dunkirk Day at the Pan-American Exposition was a great success. Most local industries closed and over 2,000 persons left from Union Station on the morning of October ?
(45) During the Pan-American Exposition the total attendance from Dunkirk was 45,000. The Lake Shore Railroad sold 30,500 tickets; the Pennsylvania 6,000; the Nickel Plate 1,500; and the Steamer Pennsylvania 6,700.
(46) The offices of the D. A. V. & P., which had been located since 1871 in the Merchants Bank Building, were transferred to the western end of the Erie Station.
(47) The Pennsylvania Railroad made plans for putting in a double track on its line from Buffalo to Pittsburgh.
(48) The Dunkirk Home Telephone system put into operation in November, with 75 telephones connected. There was to be no charge for service until 150 subscribers were obtained, at which time the rate was established as $30 a year for business places and $16 a year for residence telephones. The offices were located in the Graf-Lang Building.
(49) The Rueckert Feed Store was established by William Rueckert, who purchased the three-story building at 19 Ruggles St., where logging locomotives had been manufactured previously.
(50) Mrs. Carrie Nation visited the city, giving a talk on temperance in Central Park.
(51) A laboratory for the testing of milk was established in the office of the Board of Health.
(52) The old Keppler House at 51 E. Third St., which had been in existence since before 1867, was rebuilt and became known as the Park Avenue Hotel, with V. Reading as proprietor.
(53) Jacob A. Riis, noted author, was a guest of the Romer family.
(54) The M. P. Toomey flour and feed business at 434-436 Lion St. was sold to T. J. Hurley.
(55) The Western Union Telegraph office was moved from 106 (?) Central Ave. to the Stearns Building at 338 Central Ave.
(56) The Weidner Building was erected at the southeast corner of Central Ave. and Second Sts., replacing the frame structure previously used for the L. G. Weidner Monument business.
(57) The Charles Ehlers Furniture Co. changed its name to Ehlers & Philippbar.
(58) The dry goods store of G. J. Gunther was moved from the Arver Building to the Weidner Black at 200 Central Ave.
(59) Passenger traffic receipts at the Lake Shore Railroad at Dunkirk amounted to about $8,000 a month.
(60) The academic and commercial departments of the high school were consolidated.
(61) William E. Jacka bought a lot north of the Lyceum Building for his new blacksmith shop.
(62) High school students chose maroon and white as the school colors.
(63) One of the large frame buildings at the Pan-American Exposition, known as the Bostock Building, was dismantled and brought to Dunkirk for erection at Point Gratiot for use as a theater. It was destroyed by fire June 28, 1910.
(64) Number No. 9 School was closed, its pupils being transferred to School No. 4.
(65) The Lake City Cycle Works, J. Conn, proprietor, purchased of R. Mulholland, the building at 414 Central Ave., and moved its business from the Isham Block on Second St.
(1) During January, the Brooks Works made eight engines each week, 2900 men being employed at the plant. The total number of locomotives constructed in 1901 had been 317.
(2) St. Hedwig’s Roman Catholic Church was organized in May and a small frame building put in Doughty St. St. Hyacinth’s R. C. was the mother parish for the new church. OM
(3) Getlen’s Women’s Apparel Shop was started at 228 Central Ave.
(4) James A. Holstein established an insurance business.
(5) The shoe store of J. Q. Baker was purchased by A. J. Scully and R. J. Kenney.
(6) Sylvan Chapter #258, Order of the Eastern Star, was organized in May.
(7) A new ordinance ruled that all hucksters doing business on the street market must pay a $50 license fee.
(8) The Polish Falcon Gymnastic Society, Branch #25, Polish Falcons, was organized July 27, with a membership of fifteen for gymnastic, dramatic, musical, and cultural activities.
(9) The Home Telephone Co. established communication between Dunkirk and Fredonia.
(10) There were 56 teachers in the Dunkirk school system.
(11) The Dunkirk Club was incorporated in May. Organized for fellowship and activities, it occupied the third floor of the Stearns Building, 338 Central Ave.
(12) The Dunkirk Ice & Fuel Co. was incorporated with a capital of $150,000. The company purchased the ice business which had existed at the southeast corner of Front and Dove Streets since 1870 with several changes of ownership, starting with C. W. Gunther. Ice had been harvested and sold at this location in an ice storage building. This was now replaced by structure 86’ x 133’ and 50’ high with a capacity of 12,000 tons of ice. A conveyor ran above Front St. and extended 500 feet to the lake. The building could be filled in a week. It cost $15,000. The business address was 106 Dove St.
(13) The Bell Telephone Co. opened an exchange in Fredonia. It had 400 subscribers in the two communities.
(14) A new roundhouse for the Erie Railroad was built just east of the Brooks Works.
(15) A fire of disastrous proportions damaged the Erie Hotel Building on February 5. Extensive remodeling was then done.
(16) The Hartford Axle Works in W. Third St. was reopened after a suspension of activities and a complete reorganization.
(17) The Dunkirk Steam Laundry was incorporated, with a capital stock of $60,000.
(18) New lights were installed in Washington Park.
(19) The Gratiot Hotel was closed May 1. Later in the year, a Buffalo man leased it for 5 years and it was reopened. At that time the greater share of the property was owned by C. E. Hequembourg, and the remainder by the heirs of the Brooks estate. The corner display room was occupied by the Valentine & Gibson Jewelry & Optical Co. The hotel address was 343 Central Ave. The address of the corner store was 353 Central Ave.
(20) The Star Clothing Co., El Fink, proprietor, closed its business.
(21) The Lake Shore National Bank, 229 Central Ave., completed its rebuilding program and was opened to the public.
(22) The Presbyterian Church was the recipient of a gift of a set of chimes costing g $7500, from R. J. Gross. The total weight of the 10 bells was 13,500 lbs. A Christmas service, with a chimer from the manufacturing firm, inaugurated their use.
(23) Aronson’s Jewelry store was started in October.
(24) A school census showed that there were in the city 3,264 children between the ages of 4 and 18.
(25) East Third St. from Central to Lion was paved with asphalt.
(26) The S. H. Knox Co. leased the south portion of the Monroe block and started a 5 & 10 cent store at
304 Central Ave. This company had 29 such stores throughout the country.
(27) Brooks Memorial Hospital installed a water-powered elevator, which was paid for by an anonymous donor, in the amount of $2,527 (Miss Sarah Wright).
(28) The Standard Oil Co. built an office and oil house at 776 Washington Ave., the former O’Neil property at the Nickel Plate Railroad.
(29) The Kirwin Directory gave the city’s population as 16,100 (city & town?).
(30) P. Carlyon opened a plumbing shop at the corner of Washington Ave. and East Second St.
(31) The Alcott, Ross & Scully Lumber Mill closed on February 1, but was reopened when J. Scully and J. T. Madigan bought the interests of the other proprietors of the firm.
(32) Rural free delivery of mail was started by the U. S. government on September 15. Chautauqua County was covered by 100 routes averaging 25 miles each.
(33) The Dunkirk & Point Gratiot Trolley Co. was granted a franchise to operate its lines in the Town of Dunkirk. The company started work on running its tracks eastward to Roberts Rd., with the idea of continuing on a private right-of-way to Sheridan.
(34) The American Locomotive Co. put up four new buildings, totaling 100,000 ft. of floor space. Included were an annex to the machine shop, a hammer shop, and a cylinder department.
(35) The Saturday half-holidays at the Brooks Plant started in May and continued until September.
(36) J. Conn, proprietor of the Lake City Cycle Works, obtained a patent for a metallic cushion crutch.
(37) The Economy Shoe Store, 216 Central Ave., owned by D. W. Abell and N. C. Heuser, was reorganized as Mr. Abell retired and Mr. Heuser continued the business.
(38) St. Hyacinth’s Church purchased 15 acres of land on East Lake Rd. for $1375, to be used as a cemetery.
(39) Michael Mackowiak established a funeral home.
(40) A regulation stated that no horse, bicycle, automobile, or other vehicle could travel more than 5 miles per hour on the drive around Point Gratiot.
(41) The Merchants Association, which had owned the Central Ave. dock since 1889, did not wish to give it up, but stated that it would be kept open for the public.
(42) Prince Henry of Prussia went through Dunkirk and greeted a crowd at the railroad station.
(43) The Postal Telegraph Co. was moved to the corner store in the Gratiot Hotel, 353 Central Ave.
(44) Gypsy Hill, south of Courtney St. between King St. and Roberts Rd., and once the area where baseball games were played, was divided into building lots and some houses were constructed.
(1) The Brooks Plant completed 52 engines during February (January?), the largest number ever turned out in one month. There were 2,800 men employed.
(2) The ice harvest was excellent, and a force of 800 men worked in the harbor. The Dunkirk Ice & Fuel Co. building had 8,500 tons, while Sheer’s ice house had 1,000 tons.
(3) The Church of Christ (Disciples) was organized during the summer, with 13 charter members, and held meetings in the Women’s Union Building, 404 Central Ave. DE, OC
(4) About 200 Swedish people, of whom 26 were communicants, formed the Zion Swedish Church on April 24. There were visiting and supply pastors for several years, and the sermons were in Swedish. DE, OC
(5) The first automobile repair shop in the city was started by C. E. Pugh (1904?) at 16 West Second St. He had previously repaired bicycles, and had moved to the Hurlburt House, 420 Central Ave., in 1899.
(6) The Library Board decided to have the library closed on Sundays.
(7) A large brick chimney, 150 feet high and 15 feet in diameter at its base, was taken down at the Brooks Plant. It had been erected in 1851 when the New York & Erie Railroad built its repair shops.
(8) El Fink opened a clothing store in the Lyceum Building, 330 Central Ave. A new front was constructed for the store’s use.
(9) Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, organized by English-speaking Lutherans, was incorporated on
April 15, and held services in the Odd Fellows Hall in Lion St. Plans for the organization had been initiated early in 1902. The organizer and first pastor was the Rev. G. G. Ruff.
(10) Telephone service from the Dunkirk Exchange of the Bell Telephone Co., which occupied four rooms on the second floor of Stearns Building, was extended to Sheridan Center.
(11) Lion St. was paved from Front to Second St.
(12) A former resident of Dunkirk, Dr. William J. Cronyn, suggested that Dunkirk be renamed Brooksborough in honor of Horatio G. Brooks.
(13) The American Air Tool Co. was incorporated with a capital of $300,000. It acquired the plant of the Hartford Axle Works at 60 West Third St, which had gone through dissolution proceedings earlier in the year, and began making axles.
(14) The building put up by St. Hedwig’s congregation was dedicated on January 11.
(15) The Van Scoter & West Drug Co. was succeeded by the West Drug Co. (J. C. Van Scoter & E. J. West), 309 Central Ave.
(16) A franchise was granted on January 8 to the Buffalo, Dunkirk, & Western Traction Co. Subsequently, a Westfield man who had been promoting a trolley line sued the B. D. & W. Trolley Co. for alleged breach of contract. The Main Road Trolley line was opened from Fredonia to Lamberton. The Dunkirk & Point Gratiot Traction Co. consolidated with the Lake Shore Co., and both were then merged with the Buffalo, Dunkirk, & Western, which planned to operate cars between Westfield, Dunkirk, and Buffalo.
(17) A Board of Trade was established November 4 (a previous Board of Trade had started in 1895. Later, it became the Chamber of Commerce).
(18) The Twenty-Five Year Club of the Brooks Plant of the American Locomotive Co. was organized in May, with 150 members (date? see 1923, item 27).
(19) The establishment of the Dunkirk Home Telephone Co. took place, giving Dunkirk two competing systems (date?, see 1900, item 29, and 1901, item 48).
(20) The New York & Pennsylvania Telephone & Telegraph Co. moved from the Monroe Block to the Stearns Building. Its switchboard was equipped for 500 wires.
(21) Columbus Hall was remodeled, and classrooms arranged on three floors. St. Mary’s was accepted as a high school by the State Department of Education, and its course was extended to a four-year academic and two-year commercial status. It was renamed St. Mary’s Academy.
(22) A curfew law was passed. Children under 17 were to be off the streets by eight o’clock in the winter and nine o’clock in the summer, unless accompanied by an adult.
(23) Dunkirk Branch #608 of the Polish National Alliance was organized.
(24) The hardware business of Clark Bloss, 217 Central Ave., was incorporated.
(25) Henry Schafer started a garage in Lion St., repairing bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles.
(26) The Lake City Stone Co. was incorporated, to manufacture hollow stone blocks and cement designs.
(27) John McClenathan started a printing business in a building near Central Ave. and Green St.
(28) The Merchants National Bank escaped damage from a fire which broke out on the third floor of the building at 301-305 Lion St. The third floor was occupied by 20 men who rented rooms there.
(29) John A. Stapf, a jeweler for 36 years, was succeeded by his son, and the company was then known as John A. Stapf & Son.
(30) Elbert Hubbard, writer and craftsman of the Roycroft Shop of East Aurora, visited Dunkirk.
(31) T. J. and C. Desmond purchased the Buckeye Fish Co., which had been established in 1902 on the Central Ave. dock, and founded the Desmond Fish Co.
(32) St. Hyacinth’s Church purchased property on the opposite side of the street from the church and the priest moved into the brick home there. The previous rectory was remodeled as a convent for the nuns (Church,
76 Lake Rd.; new rectory, 75 Lake Rd.).
(33) The Adams Express Co. located in the corner store of the Gratiot Hotel where the Valentine Jewelry Store had been, 353 Central Ave. This was the third express company to have an office in Dunkirk. It secured a contract with the Pennsylvania Railroad.
(34) Thomas P. Heffernan joined in partnership with A. E. Nugent, forming the Nugent & Heffernan Law Office, at 225 Central Ave.
(1) The Dunkirk Ice & Fuel Co., during a cold spell in January, harvested 1,000 tons of ice a day from the harbor.
(2) The Gratiot Hotel, 343 Central Ave., was known at this time as the St. Charles Hotel, in honor of the owner, Charles E. Hequembourg.
(3) The Safe Store was founded in May by Adolph Weinberg and occupied space in the Perkins Building at 209 Central Ave.
(4) The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, Dunkirk Lodge #922, was instituted on June, 17, with 28 charter members, and met in the third floor rooms of Sullivan’s Hall, 211-213 Central Ave.
(5) The Dunkirk Free Library was incorporated June 30. The Y. M. A. turned over all books and library equipment of the Brooks Memorial Free Library. This consisted of 6500 books of which 1000 were children’s books. According to a bill passed by the State Legislature, the new library was to receive $3000 annually from the city. Sites suggested for the building included in Hurlburt House property, 418 Central Ave., and the lot at
536 Central Ave., belonging to Mrs. Isham-Alling. The majority of city residents favored the latter, which was then purchased for $4000. Funds were raised by obtaining substantial contributions from individuals. In addition, a subscription campaign, called the Dollar Fund, was sponsored by the Dunkirk Evening Observer. All together, $6000 was raised. The building, the cornerstone of which was laid on November 5, was provided by a grant of $25,000 from the Andrew Carnegie Fund. The central portion of the building measured 75’ x 64’.
Some books were placed in Harper’s Drug Store for the convenience of persons in that part of the city.
(6) The old building of St. John’s German Evangelical Church at 71 East Fourth St. was sold in the spring, and the cornerstone of the new building laid on July 24.
(7) The South Shore Natural Gas & Fuel Co. received a franchise from the city. A pipeline was laid from Silver Creek to Dunkirk, and extended through the city. An office was opened at 307 Central Ave. One hundred applications were received the first day.
(8) A lunch room was established on May 5 at the Brooks Locomotive Works by W. M. Cease. It was set up in a dining room 80 feet long. No article on the bill of fare was more than 3 cents. Mr. Cease, a brother of N. W. Cease, had started in business in 1897 in Barton Hts., Virginia, and later went into plants in Schenectady, Montreal, and Dunkirk (N. W. Cease was the father of W. W. Cease, whose later business enterprises are listed under Cease Lunch System, etc.).
(10) The Arcade, a market building extending from Lion to Ruggles Streets at 416-418 Lion St., on the Graf & Lang property, began business. The amount of tax proposed on the building by the Common Council was objected to by the farmers who had been selling produce on the street market, and felt that $1500 was too high.
(11) Odd Fellow Temple was started. The society had the Curran Building removed from the property at
314-316 Central Ave., so that construction could begin. The cornerstone was laid October 15 (open house for the building was held one year later, October 15, 1905).
(12) A cottage for the nurses was built on the hospital grounds.
(13) Population of the city at this time was listed as 15,972.
(14) St. Hedwig’s congregation began construction of a brick and stone/church/school building at the corner of Roberts Rd. and Doughty St. This was to replace its original small building, and the cost was $20,000. Cornerstone was laid July 4.
(15) Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church purchased a lot at 50 East Fourth St. The existing house was used as a parish house for the congregation.
(16) The Erie Railroad remodeled its depot and waiting rooms at a cost of $6000.
(17) Knights of Columbus, Dunkirk Council #929, was organized December 5, with 50 members.
(18) The Dunkirk Seed Co. put up a factory and warehouse on Prospect Ave.
(19) A Science department was started at the high school.
(20) The Dunkirk Gun Club was organized.
(21) The Buffalo, Dunkirk & Western Trolley Co. extended its line to Brocton, and ran open cars during the warm weather.
(22) The Dunkirk Masonic Association was incorporated, representing all of the Masonic bodies in the city.
(23) The Lake City Stone Co., makers of litholite blocks, enlarged its plant on Eagle St.
(24) The dance floor at the Point Gratiot pavilion was completed. It was the largest in this part of the state.
(25) The White Eagle Band was organized (1901?).
(26) The American Locomotive Co. sent five Dunkirk-made locomotives to the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri.
(27) Dunkirk’s first State Firemen’s Convention was held in August.
(28) The city electric lighting system was extended to Roberts Rd. and East Doughty St.
(29) Electric lights were installed in the Women’s Union Building, 406 Central Ave.
(30) The U. S. Radiator Co. put up a 100’ x 115’ addition to its foundry on Railroad Ave.
(31) On November 26, as Hose Co. No. 1 was returning from a fire, its horse-drawn hose and chemical wagon was struck by a train at Central Ave. and Third St., and a volunteer fireman, Frank L. Miller lost his life, the first fatality in the history of the city’s fire department.
(1) A frame building for Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church was put up at the corner of East Fourth and Fox St. and dedicated in October.
(2) St. John’s Evangelical Church was dedicated February 15. The building cost over $20,000.
(3) The Dunkirk Macaroni & Supply Co. was started and the business incorporated. The Saunders Mill at
21-23 East Front St. was purchased for the new company.
(4) A branch of the Valone Dry Cleaning Co. was started. Articles to be cleaned were taken to and returned from Jamestown by means of the D. A. V. & P. Railroad.
(5) The new stone and brick/church and school building of St. Hedwig’s parish at Doughty St. and Roberts Rd. was destroyed by fire on December 27. This was the church’s second building and had just been completed and dedicated on May 30.
(6) The Felician Sisters were engaged as teachers in St. Hedwig’s parish school. They resided in the frame building which had been the original church.
(7) A report of the State Census Bureau gave the city’s population as 15,521.
(8) A charter was granted on October 3 for Sterling Rebekah Lodge #355.
(9) The Merchants National Bank building at 312 Lion St. was completed at a cost of $35,000 and the bank vacated its quarters in the Philippbar Building at 301-305 Lion St.
(10) Dunkirk Lodge #922, B. P. O. E. received its charter July 13. Club rooms were in the Weidner Building, 200 Central Ave. an d meetings were held in Sullivan’s Hall, 211-213 Central Ave.
(11) School No. 1 was remodeled at a cost of $12,000. A new furnace was installed, and two wings added to the building so that it had nine rooms instead of six. The first kindergarten in the public school system was started.
(12) The front wall of the partially constructed Odd Fellows Temple was taken down so that a new and better design for the front entrance could be put up. The building was completed at a cost of $10,000.
(13) By action of the city council, the name of Elk St. was changed to Park Ave.
(14) The former McKay Livery stables in Lion St. were purchased by J. G. Wolpert.
(15) The new streets were laid out in a thirty-acre tract in the Forth Ward. This was formerly the Skidmore farm. The streets included Pulaski, Kosciuszko, Sobieski, Market, Bookstave, McDonough, Stanislaus, and
St. Hedwig’s Ave. The area was called Polonia Park. Building lots for $50 to $75 were sold by the Dunkirk Real Estate Co.
(16) Deer St. from Seventh St. to the Nickel Plate Railroad was opened and graded. Paving of this street started at East Fourth St. and continued south.
(17) Eagle St. was paved for Third to Fifth Sts. It was done by the Barber Asphalt Co., a plant located on the Hamilton lot between Eagle and Swan Sts.
(18) The Brooks Plant constructed a new iron foundry on the east side of Roberts R. Several houses were taken down to provide the necessary site. The cost was $30,000. In December, the company’s 6,000th locomotive was shipped out. The total number of engines completed during the year was 565.
(19) The proprietors of the St. Charles Hotel changed the name to the original and it was again the Hotel Gratiot.
(20) The name of Smith St. was changed to Maple Ave
(21) C. F. Shinners purchased the news stand in the Stearns Building, 338 Central Ave.
(22) The American Lux Light Co. began operations in a portion of the American Air Tool Co. building, West Third St. This company was a branch of the Swedish concern, with headquarters in Stockholm, of which a former Dunkirker was president.
(23) The Dunkirk & Fredonia Street Railway Co. installed new overhead trolley wires on its line.
(24) Sons of Liberty, a branch of the Polish National Alliance, was formed.
(25) J. Nelson & Co. added to its stores the space formerly used by the Post Office at 106-108 Central Ave.
(26) The Safe Store added space by renting the adjoining store at 211 Central Ave.
(27) The Independent Congregation held an anniversary celebration in November for its 25th year. Having purchased the lot at 600-602 Central Ave., they were able to burn the mortgage on this site, and the first contribution to a building fund was received.
(28) The Dunkirk Home Telephone Co. moved its central office from the Graf & Lang Building to the Merchants Bank Building. The new switch board was connected with 450 telephones.
(29) A summer camp, called Camp Work, was started by H. C. Hequembourg at his estate, Harrysbourg. Two dormitories were constructed, one for 20 girls, one for 20 boys. Ages of the children ranged from 6 to 18. The camp ran fro July 1 to Labor Day. Manual training and other crafts were taught, and recreation included tennis, baseball, boating, and swimming.
(1) Murray Hose Co. No. 4 was formed February 20, after a discussion meeting on February 6. The city provided a hand-drawn wagon, quartered in a barn on Nevins St. The company was named after Councilman Martin Murray.
(2) The Dunkirk Free Library moved into its new building at 536 Central Ave. on February 17. The main portion of the building measured 64’x 75’, and the semi-circular extension at the rear provided for convenient shelving of books. The height at the top of the dome was 42 feet. Space was available for 15,000 volumes, although the library had only 6,000 at that time. The circulation report for the year was 48,000. The city appropriation of $3,000 was almost completely used for the institution’s expenses for the year. On the opening days, 500 people visited the building on Saturday and 1,000 on Sunday.
(3) Dunkirk Aerie of the Fraternal Order of Eagles was organized April 15, with 70 charter members.
(4) Dunkirk’s first theater was the Bijou in Main St., opened by J. L. Drohen.
(5) The Hilton Brick Yard produced 22,000 bricks a day.
(6) The Board of Education started a move toward providing free textbooks by authorizing $1,000 for this purpose.
(7) The Graf & Lang partnership was dissolved. Mr. Lang continued a furniture and undertaking in Lion St.
G. H. Graf established a furniture store in the north half of the Odd Fellows Building in Central Ave.
(8) A new church building for St. Hedwig’s Church was erected, replacing the one destroyed by fire in 1905. The foundation and part of the former walls were used. The new building cost $17,000. Included were facilities for a school.
(9) A year-end report showed that the Brooks Plant made 600 engines during the year. The final order of dissolution ending the existence of the Brooks Locomotive Works as an independent concern was granted. It was now called the Brooks Plant of the American Locomotive Co. It was said that the value of the plant was increased $5,000,000 by its sale to the American Locomotive Co. which took place in 1901.
(10) Kirwin’s Directory gave the population as 16,823.
(11) Hurlburt House, a historic edifice dating back to 1825, was down by men employed by Reuben and David Wright who had purchased it. Plans were completed for the erection a twelve-family apartment house on the site, 418-422 Central Ave., to cost $75,000.
(12) The American Lux Light Co. acquired the property of the American Tool Co. on West Third St., where it had been making lamps. One of its lamps had been used at the entrance to the Hotel Gratiot.
(13) A 50-foot weather signal tower was erected at the foot of Eagle St. and began displaying storm signals on July 1.
(14) The Fitzer & Link store moved from the Monroe Block to the Odd Fellows Building, where a larger first floor space was available.
(15) Point Gratiot Lodge #181, I. O. O. F., started using English rather than German in its ritual.
(16) The Dunkirk & Fredonia Street Railway moved its track from the west side of Central Ave. to the center of the street, and a second track was added so that the line was double-tracked through the city. New owners took over the company and made proposals for extension covering every ward of the city. One significant accomplishment was the granting of permission by the Village of Fredonia for connecting the D. & F. line with the Brocton tracks in Fredonia. Later in the year all the trolley lines between Buffalo and Erie were consolidated into the Buffalo & Lake Erie Traction Co., with a capital stock of $6,750,000.
(17) A school census showed 3,676 children in the city between the ages of 5 and 18. In Sept., 140 students were enrolled at the high school.
(18) The city council granted a franchise to a new enterprise, the Dunkirk Street Railway Co., which was incorporated with a capital of $750,000. A belt line was started with rails laid in East Front St. The company purchased four cars, 31 feet in length.
(19) The Light & Harper Drug Store became known as the Harper Drug Store.
(20) (See 1904, item 12)
(21) The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad put in four tracks at both approaches to the city, connecting them with switches to the main tracks through the city.
(22) The Knights of Columbus moved into quarters in the old Merchants Bank Block at 301-305 Main St.
(23) J. W. Ryan took over the tailoring business of F. D. Matteson at 305 Central Ave.
(24) Railroad Ave. from Lion to Courtney St, and Fifth from Lion to Dove St. were paved.
(25) Sheds belonging to the city and located on the lot at 319 Central Ave., which was purchased by G. H Graf, were torn down. They had been built in 1889 to provide shelter for horses of traders coming to the street market.
(26) A wrought-iron fishing tug, named Dunkirk, was built and launched in Dunkirk.
(27) A bolt of lighting struck the cupola of the Nelson Opera House, 106-118 Central Ave. Two plate glass windows of the Weidner Building were broken at the corner, 200 Central Ave. There was no warning of an electrical storm, and the one bolt was all that occurred.
(28) The Briggs Dairy was established, with the plant located at 40 Middle Rd.
(29) Frank May’s flour and feed mill on Lion St. was closed. Mr. May retired from business.
(30) The water main in Central Ave. was extended from Green St. to the city line, a distance of 3,100 ft., at a cost of $4,000.
(31) The Dunkirk Soap Co. was organized to sell to the public a brand of soap made by the Dunkirk Laundry and used by that company for the previous 10 or 11 years. It was made of pure tallow and coconut oil, and was colorless and odorless. It was called “The Dunkirk Soap”.
(1) The Atlas Steel Co. was organized, and the first buildings constructed.
(2) Adams Memorial Unitarian Church erected a building at 600-602 Central Ave. and dedicated it. The congregation had been meeting in the Women’s Union Building.
(3) The New York Store, dealing in men’s and boys’ clothing, was opened at 326 Lion St. in October, by Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Ballotin.
(4) The McMachan Paint Store was started. It was located first at the rear of the McMachan home at 54 West Fourth St, but moved into the building at 39 East Fourth St.
(5) Booth’s Dairy was established.
(6) The building at 8 West Fourth St., originally put up by the Free Methodists and then owned by St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, was purchased and rededicated for use by the Church of Christ on October 23. The deed had been acquired July 30. The building was renovated and a baptistry was added. The congregation had been meeting in Odd Fellows Temple at 222 Central Ave., where the first service was held May 5. Previous services were at the Women’s Union Building.
(7) A fire hall was erected on a lot purchased by the city at 209 Nevins St. for Murray Hose Co. No. 4. Pioneer Hook & Ladder Co., which had been obtaining a horse from a livery stable whenever there was a fire, was provided with horse of its own in May.
(8) A monument in honor of soldiers was put up in front of the city hall by Williams O. Stevens Post, Sons of Veterans, which had been acquiring funds for the purpose. The monument was 18 ft. tall, being topped with the figure of a soldier.
(9) St. Hedwig’s new church and school building was dedicated on June 9.
(10) Dunkirk’s real estate and franchises were assessed at $5,596,166.
(11) West Fifth St. between Dove and Bass Sts. was paved; also a portion of East Front St. and a portion of Lake St.
(12) The Merchants National Bank bought the lot adjoining it on the south and built an addition.
(13) For the first time, letters were awarded to athletes at the Dunkirk High School, a large maroon D being the emblem.
(14) The Brooks Plant built 625 locomotives during 1907.
(15) The Wright Apts. were completed, and the suites were rented at prices ranging from $20 to $40 a month.
(16) The Dunkirk Street Railway Co. made good progress on its construction of what came to be known as the belt line trolley system. The work was done by the Myers Construction Co. Various difficulties were encountered, among them the problem of diverting Crooked Brook at West Fifth & Bass Sts. The brook was relocated south of the intersection. The city gave permission for double tracks in Lion St. from Maple Ave. to the cut-off north of the Nickel Plate Railroad where an underpass was built. A trolley was sent over the completed portion of the on ?
(17) The Presbyterian Church was the recipient of a gift by R. J. Gross, who presented the Salyer property, adjoining the church on the south, on Eagle St.
(18) The Dunkirk Evening Observer, with a subscription list of over 2,000, started the practice of giving receipts when collections were made each Saturday. On July 20, the Observer received its first United Press story, having become a charter client of that news organization. World news reports had previously been received from Publishers Press Service.
(19) Sessions of the school day at Dunkirk High School were set for 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 to 3:30 p.m.
(20) The Meister Construction Co. was incorporated.
(21) White Eagle Band members obtained their first uniforms
(22) Orzel Polski (Polish Eagle), a weekly newspaper, was published. It was devoted to the interest of Polish citizens of Dunkirk. It contained 12 pages. M. A. Marmurowicz was the editor.
(23) Dunkirk Lodge of Elks leased the third floor of the Graf Building (date ?).
(24) The Dunkirk Macaroni Co. put a large addition to its building at 21-23 East Front St.
(25) The Board of Water Commissioners notified customers that meters were to be installed by Jan.1, 1908. This was a change-over from the flat rate charge system.
(26) A baccalaureate sermon was delivered at the Dunkirk High School by the Rev. B. S. Wright of Fredonia.
(27) The Morley Silk Co. moved from temporary quarters in the Monchow Building in Central Ave. to its new plant in Ruggles St. in December.
(28) The Nelson Opera House, 106-118 Central Ave., was wired for electricity by the O’Donnell Co.
(29) Vincent Karl started a tailoring business.
(30) The O’Donnell Lumber Co. was incorporated and bought the coal and wood business of C. Stumm,
130 Central Ave.
(31) Harry Weiler’s book and stationery business at 103 East Third St. was sold to C. F. Shinners.
(32) The Driving Park House and grove, including 17 acres of land and several buildings were purchased by R. W. Wright.
(33) The city charter was amended to provide for increasing the police force from 8 to 12 men.
(34) The Dunkirk Ice & Fuel Co. anticipated a harvest of 11,000 tons of ice from the lake.