Local History Photos November 26, 2021

Hi everyone, here are the Local History Photos of the Week!

Local History photos are published on Fridays; and the next local history photo posting will be up on Friday, December 3, 2021.

Helpful Photo Viewing Tips are found at the end of the posting for anyone who would like a few tips on how best to view the photos*

Local History Photo 1: Oak Street in Painted Post (1921)

Our first photo for this week actually includes a description; which is a bit hard to read – so here is what it says, typed out

“No. 3183 — March 28, 1921 (R. O. H.) Oak Street looking easterly from Delaware Avenue, Painted Post, N. Y.”

What a cool photo showing what a portion of Painted Post looked like 100 years ago!

Local History Photo 2: Imperial Avenue in Painted Post, N.Y. (1921)

Our second photo for this week also features a description, and hear is the typed text which is cut off, but which does tell us the photo was taken on Imperial Avenue – in Painted Post.

“No. 3187 — March 26, 2021 (R. O. H.) Imperial Avenue”

Local History Photo 3: Cohocton River Looking Easterly From Steuben Street, Painted Post, N. Y. (1921)

And our third photo for this week too, is one of the few in our archive that has a description on the photo itself. The description for the third photo says:

“No. 3240 — March 26, 1921 (R. O. H.) North bank Cohocton River looking upstream from Steuben Street, Painted Post, N.Y.”

The initials on all three photos are the same, and may perhaps be the initials of the photographer who seems to have been quite busy on March 26, 1921!

Old Newspaper Article of the Week:

Kidnapped Chauffeur Drive Through Corning Not Daring To Give Warning To Police

from The Evening Leader, Corning N. Y. | November 24, 1920

Here is the text of the exciting article featuring the kidnapped chauffeur; the article does end abruptly but still relays a thrilling adventure!



Robert Coughlin of Rochester Tells Amazing Story of His Experience As Prisoner of Two Men And Girl—Driven to Penny Yann And Finally Arrested At Gettysburg. Pa.


     Charging that he was kidnapped and taken from Rochester to Gettysburg, Pa., against his will, passing through the streets of Corning a captive in an automobile and afraid that he would be killed if he uttered an outcry and complained to the police of this city, is the amazing story of banditry related to Robert Coughlin, 30 years of age, a chauffeur of Rochester, to the police of that city.

     Mr. Coughlin has been employed as a chauffeur by the American Taxicab Company of Rochester. When he wand a sedan car disappeared a week ago, his employers notified the Rochester police department, who found that he had called at the Osburne House, picked up Earl Gerritt, a waiter, and disappeared.

     The Rochester police department sent telegrams to various cities throughout the state with the result that Messrs. Coughlin and Gerritt were arrested in Gettysburg and returned to Rochester. Mr. Coughlin was given his liberty, it being evident that the young man, although he had undergone a thrilling experience, had not been a party to any criminal act.

     Sitting in Sergeant McDonald’s office at the Detective Bureau in Rochester Monday night, young Coughlin said that we he reached the Osburn House he met Gerritt and Duffy, who were the one “Peggy” Harris. The men asked him if he had gasoline enough to take them to Geneva, and he replied he had. The start was made for Geneva, and enroute Gerritt said there were to meet two girls in that city.

     On the arrival of the party in Geneva, Coughlin said the girls were not to be found. The Harris girl then said that they were probably attending a house party that was being held in the outskirts of Penn Yan. So Gerritt said they would drive on to Penn Yan. Coughlin said the trip to Penn Yan was made in good time, they reached that place about midnight. They drove through the principle streets of the village and then about a mile and a half outside. He could not describe the locality.

Money Is Stolen

The car had reached a spot outside of Penn Yan. Coughlin said Gerritt ordered him to stop. Garrett sat in the front seat with him. Coughlin said while Duffy and the Harris woman got out and then told Coughlin to get out too.

     “Come on, get out,” Gerritt is alleged to have said to Coughlin. “We mean business now.”

     Coughlin said Gerritt held a revolver at his side, and as he started to leave his seat the Harris woman leaned forward and held another gun to his head. She also uttered coarse threats as he left the machine. After he climbed out of the sedan Coughlin said Gerritt demanded to know how much money he had. Coughlin said he had about $4, and told so, Gerritt then searched his clothing and took the money he had.

     Gerritt and Duffy then began to talk about tying me to a tree, Coughlin said. “It was a most dismal spot where we had stopped, and I shuddered as I listened to the two men discussing what to do with me. I asked the men to give me a chance. I begged of them not to tie me to a tree as it was so far out of the way that I feared I would die before any one would find me.”

     “Finally Duffy suggested that I had better be taken along as I could probably be used to advantage. They decided to test me, and told me if I made any bad breaks it would go heard with me. I was ordered to get back into the car, but made to take out the back seat. Duffy got into the front seat and after turning the dome light so that the light shone on me he started to drive the car. Gerritt and the girl kept their guns on me.”

Pass Through Corning

     Coughlin is not acquainted with the territory of Ontario county and does not know the places the car passed through on its way south from Penn Yan. He remembers having been in Corning and being in Elmira. In passing through these places, he said, the dome light was turned off. On Tuesday morning about 9 o’clock the party drove into Wellsboro, Pa., where Seamon Harris, a brother to “Peggy” lives. His home, Coughlin says, is on a mountain just outside of the borough. The machine was driven to the Harris home, said Gerritt. Duffy and Harris discussed a plan to do a “job” in Wellsboro that night. As the supply of gasoline was low, Duffy and Gerritt went out to get some. They left Coughlin in the care of “Peggy,” who kept him covered with a revolver all the time the men were gone, about an hour and a half. After their return they sat about for some two hours. Gerritt and Duffy again went out and were gone all night. Coughlin said he became so weary that he went to sleep in the chair he stat in.

License Plates Stolen

It was about 4 o’clock Wednesday morning when the men returned and another start was made in the automobile. The car was driven to Williamsport, Pa., where in one of the streets in the suburbs they saw an automobile at the curb. The men removed the Pennsylvania license plates from the machine and transferred them to the sedan. The New York plates were placed under the floor mat in front.

     Mr. Coughlin said the lights of a restaurant were seen some distance away and Duffy drove to it. They and planned to get out and hold up the persons in charge. But there were too many persons in the place. The party then drove to York, Pa.

And here is the full page that contains the article; page seven of The Evening Leader, Corning, N. Y. on Wednesday, November 24, 1920.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Local History Online Library Resources:

Heritage Quest: Heritage Quest is the library’s online genealogy service, and it includes access to census records and other research sources; it can be accessed by going to the Online Resources page, on the library’s website, and scrolling down until you see the link for Heritage Quest:


Once you’ve clicked on the Heritage Quest link, you’ll be prompted to login with your card number and PIN. If you have questions about how to use Heritage Quest, please feel free to let me know – my email address is reimerl@stls.org

Enjoy the photos and be well everyone,

Linda Reimer, SSCL

*To Create A Larger View (make the photos appear bigger on your screen):

You can click on each photo for a larger view. And then click the back arrow on your web browser to go back to the previous screen.

Alternatively, you can press and hold down the CTRL key, on your keyboard, while tapping the + key on your keyboard to make the photos appear larger on your screen.

To Create A Smaller View (make the photos appear smaller on your screen – after you’ve made them appear larger):

 Press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard and tap the – sign to make the photos appear smaller again.

And If You Use A Mouse – CTRL & Scroll:

If you use a mouse you can do what is called “control and scroll”, to make photos appear larger and then smaller on your screen. To do this –>press and hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and push the scroll wheel on your mouse away from you for a larger view. To reverse the larger view hold down the same CTRL key on your keyboard and pull the scroll wheel on your mouse towards you.

Library Local History/Creation Station Resources:
At the library you can scan your photos and slides to create digital family albums and slideshows; and even use one of the Circut machines, and other Creation Station equipment, to help you create a special paper family history album.

Also of note, we have the local paper, at times called the Corning Leader, Corning Journal or Corning Daily Journal, on microfilm from 1840 to the present — so you can visit the library and research local history and your family tree if you wish!

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