Friday, May 19, 2017

The Great War: May 14, 1917

The purpose of this series is to create a sense of what life was like in Hudson during World War I by sharing each day an item that appeared in the local newspaper a hundred years ago. With today's offering, not only are we five days behind in what was meant to be a day-by-day series, but we're departing from the original premise. These items, which appeared on the front page of the Hudson Evening Register for May 14, 1917, have nothing to do with the war, but given various events that happened recently in and around Hudson, it was impossible to resist sharing them.

The power house, blacksmith shop and a dwelling at the Atlas Building Material company's plant in Greenport, just north of Hudson, burned Sunday evening, incurring a loss of a least $10,000. Operations at the plant will be suspended about a week as the result.
There are several theories as to the cause of the fire. One of the plausible ones is that an employee left the door on one of the ovens open, and the heat from it caused oil to ignite. There is also some talk of the fire being of incendiary origin.
It was shortly before 8 o'clock when flames were discovered shooting from the power house. They spread to the transforming station and thence to the blacksmith shop. The tongues of fire shot high in the air, and illuminated the skies for miles around. Scores of Hudsonians went to the scene.
While the power house and blacksmith shop were blazing, a two-story building, located a quarter of a mile away, was discovered on fire. A foreigner was seen to jump from a window at the time. He was accosted, and men saw that he was suffering from an injury to his arm.
This man works at the brickyards, but had no business in the building. He could give no valid reason for his being there, and was arrested.
Alderman Luther Van Etten, superintendent of the plant at once telegraphed to ex-Senator John B. Rose, near Newburgh, who is the principal owner of the company, and every effort will be made to get underway as quickly as possible.
A few columns over on the front page of the Evening Register for the same day, this item appeared:


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