Looking Back - Aug. 11 2013

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

In the year 1908, summer was still in full swing come August. Here is a look back through the pages of The Albany Herald for that time.

• The Albany City Council stressed its seriousness concerning condemned, tumble-down shacks within the city. Removal of such eyesores started on Washington and Broad streets with more to come.

• Due to a long delay in securing a land title for the positioning of Albany’s new governmental building, the city landed at the No. 79 spot on the list of new structures in the state.

• Burglars in Baconton hit the bank, post office and four stores in one night. Not much was taken as it appeared the thieves wanted only money and no merchandise. The bank vault was undisturbed but a small safe in one store was blown and $20 taken. There was only some change in the cash drawers of the other stores.

• J.S. Davis, vice president of the Citizens First National Bank returned from a visit of several weeks to New York. Davis returned optimistic that the Flint River waterpower and electric plant would come to success. Davis did not, however, have a time schedule for the massive project as of yet.

• Albany played host to the state mayor’s convention with no less than 100 mayors in attendance as well as many wives and family members. It was a grand time for the city to show off its many assets.

• As a way of informing its readers, the newspaper warned against the use of cocaine, “the most insidious of known narcotics., a drug that wrecks its victims more swiftly and surely than opium.”

• A new compressor for the municipal waterworks system arrived in Albany by train. The device was expected to allow for a flow of 1,000 gallons of water per minute once installed. The city was still awaiting the arrival of the 175-horsepower electric motor to operate the compressor. With the new turbine fire-pressure pump, already installed, the city’s department would be “high class.”

• It was brought to the attention of readers that unattended, unhitched horses, were damaging the banana trees planted near the Chatautauqua lawn. The horses, eager for a bit of sweet Bermuda grass, were stomping the banana trees. Owners of the critters were expected to hitch the animals responsibly to avoid further damage.

• Georgia’s lawmakers passed a bill requiring telegraph companies to put the date and time of receipt on every message.

• Arcadia, a thriving part of the city, was pleased to have the extension of water mains for ample domestic water use as well as fire protection. It was expected that Arcadia would soon have sanitary sewerage also.

• A train arrived at a rapid speed into Cuthbert only to see too late that a child was sleeping in the middle of the tracks. After the train was able to stop, the crew members ran back to find that the child had apparently slept through the whole thing and was not injured.

• An experiment proved successful on the paving of portions of Washington Street. A small amount of red clay was mixed with limestone as a test to see if the two would adhere to one another. Not only did the material work well, but the mixture cut down on the bright glare that the limestone alone caused.

• Georgia’s Gov. Smith vetoed the bill allowing policemen and firemen to ride free on street cars. The governor approved a bill requiring all locomotives operating in the state to have electric headlights.

• Although ignored by many, Albany’s speed limit for automobiles in the residential sections of the city was 12 miles per hour.

• Foley’s Orino Laxative was available at Albany Drug Company and promoted as a way to avoid appendicitis.

• A new state law went into effect allowing that all hotels were required to have clean sheets on the beds between customers, even if slept on only once.

• Dr. W.L. Davis ran an ad to sell all his horses. Davis stated that his reason was no fault of the animals but that he had ordered a new automobile. Calls upon country patients would be handled much quicker with four wheels.

• It was claimed that gambling was going on with poker games being played at the local fire station. One father of a minor boy was so mad he arrived at the station, buggy whip in hand. His son was called out and given a good whippin’.

• Only in its second year, the Second District Agricultural School board of trustees decided that for the upcoming term, five boys and three girls would be accepted from each county. Tift County secured the location for the school by way of submitting the highest bid. The county spent $60,000 in cash along with 315 acres of donated land valued at $37,500.

• Sam Gunnison of Albany received a patent for his simple contrivance for lifting shoeboxes from store shelves.

• Pool room operators, especially those selling near-beer, were reminded that minors were not allowed in such establishments. One story was told of two boys playing about 40 games of pool all while drinking near-beer. The pair was so drunk neither could hold his cue stick and had to be carried home.

• Lovers of the automobile took several trips, timing themselves to show the effectiveness of this mode of travel. One such venture was made by two local men traveling from Macon to Albany. The trip took only 7 1/2 hours actual running time.