99 years ago in 1917:
l Many folks go to Idora park to cool off their weary bones after a day in the steel mills while the younger blood enjoys the dances, yet few of them probably know that as recent as 1895, this tract, then a part of the undeveloped southside, was sold by W.J. Thompson to a lady of Coitsville Township for $1,800.
The southside in the five years that followed ’95 grew with such leaps and bounds that the need of the Idora land was felt again and Mr. Thompson bought it back.
“But not until I had worn out a couple old horses and a buggy, did I succeed in purchasing the park,” he said, “and I paid $12,000 for the land that I had sold five years before for $1,800.”
Asked what he thought the park was worth, he admitted that considerable land had been added to it and placed an estimate of $50,000 upon it. This is another specific example of how Youngstown’s southside has performed the unusual stunt in growing.
l Work will start this week on the foundation for the Butler art gallery on Wick avenue. Work of razing the old Caleb Wick mansion on the site has been completed, and the contracting firm, the John E. Parker Co., is ready to proceed with the construction. The first shipment of Georgia marble is expected. With reasonable progress, the structure should be completed by next spring. A large force of men will be kept constantly at work by the contractors. The gallery is being erected by Joseph G. Butler Jr. to house his extensive collection of art.
50 years ago in 1966:
l Several Niles residents were among a number in the area who witnessed what they described as “flying saucers” in the eastern heavens.
One Niles woman said she viewed the spectacle for nearly an hour before the objects disappeared about daybreak. Mrs. Martin Brutz of Niles reported sighting at least seven and possibly eight of the objects, some of them brilliantly lighted. She called it a “magnificent and amazing spectacle.”
“I had never seen a UFO, although I have watched many times,” she reported to the Tribune and Niles police.
She reported two of the objects were bright and silvery and quite large. The third in a formation of three was considerably smaller and had flashing lights of blue, red and orange, she said.
She awakened her husband, who also reported seeing a number of objects, some of them with blinking lights.
Neighbors of Mrs. Brutz, including Mrs. Joseph Matteo, also reported seeing the spectacle.
l A rise in jobs was seen in Aetna’s facilities as the Taylor Winfield Corp. approved plans for a $1.8 million expansion that enabled the corporation to increase employment at the plant of 691 employees.
The expansion of the company world-known for the manufacture of electric resistance welding machines and other equipment agreed to purchase all the Aetna property and plant facilities on Freeman NW, directly east of the operation.
T.S. Long, president, said the Aetna building was to be used primarily for welding, fabricating and sheet-metal operations, incorporating also the pattern shop, plastics department and receiving and shipping.
25 years ago in 1991:
l Niles city union workers blamed employee shortages on the refusal of the mayor to hire two workers.
Fill the union jobs so that trees can be trimmed away from power lines and some of the other problems will go away, said Tom McCloskey, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 506.
Mayor Joseph Parise contended that hiring private firms to trim trees saved the city money in the long run. And during the big storms, private contractors (can) bring in more help and get the power back on faster, the mayor said.
“We are all at the mercy of the elements. We get the power back on as quickly as we can,” Parise said.
Using outside contractors “provides a tremendous cost savings to the city,” Parise said.
Parise proposed filling three linemen’s positions if the union agreed to allow the city to hire private contractors to trim the trees.
The union said no deal.
McCloskey wrote a letter to City Council, asking what would happen if private contractors got hurt.
“I would like the city to get out of the tree-trimming business. They are high-liability, high-risk jobs,” Parise said.
l In matters of a different green, local golf fans welcomed the Ladies Professional Golf Association to the area.
Young Warren attorney Richard F. Schwartz was spotted “moonlighting on the golf course … shagging balls and hauling around a big leather bag of friend and Pro Deedee Lasker.” He was on vacation from his stress-filled job as caddie for the ladies of the LPGA during their tournament at Squaw Creek Country Club.
“I’m not sure whether he’s charging me the same hourly rate as his clients or not,” said Lasker, chuckling while finishing up a Pro-Am round at the Youngstown Country Club.
“I’m sure glad we’re walking those rounds at Squaw Creek. He’s not the best driver, you know,” said Lasker, throwing her hands in front of her face as Schwartz zigzagged a golf cart through a crowd on the practice green.
10 years ago in 2006:
l A popular eatery was causing some local residents to have ruffled feathers over the company’s desire to build an access driveway on their property across from Home Depot on state Route 46.
Attorney Mark Finamore, representing Chick-fil-A, argued the property was already zoned commercial. The company did receive a zone change for an extra strip of land for more parking to bring the lot into compliance with township zoning regulations. Finamore said the zone change is what caught the residents’ attention and they later were notified the company wanted access off Hidden Hills Drive. There were eight people who owned access to the road, but Finamore said he did not know if there were more houses.
“The easement is important so we don’t have to use Route 46 for entry and exit, but the issue will not kill the project. We have had some positive discussions with the residents, and I think we have addressed all their concerns. … We can assure the residents their neighborhood won’t be adversely affected by this,” Finamore said.
Plans to take the easement through eminent domain and turn it into a public right of way was one solution Finamore suggested.
l New author John Jarrette took time between edits of his first novel to pass the pen to his alter ego, the Poet Sintax, to ink his first volume of poetry.
“Soulspeak: Volume 1” was born literally overnight, providing Jarrette the opportunity to share his words with the world.
“Poetry is like getting to know someone personally, to discover his or her many facets. … Each soul has his own speak,” he said.
Ron Pollock released a second book, “Sharon Speedway: The First 50 years.” The 256-page book gave a 50-year race-by-race summary highlighted by more than 300 photos of cars and drivers that made Sharon Speedway famous.
Boardman resident Richard Scarsella’s book, “Memories and Melancholy: Reflections of the Mahoning Valley and Youngstown, Ohio,” highlighted less-known historically significant places and people of the area, such as the beginning of Hollywood’s Warner Brothers, the local ties to the Arby’s corporation and different foods brought to the area through its rich ethnic traditions.
“I tried to put myself in the place of the reader, asking, ‘What I would want to read about if I was reading a book about memories?’ I want the book to appeal to all ages,” Scarsella said.
Compiled from Tribune Chronicle archives by Emily Earnhart