Retrospective — Oct. 11

Twenty years ago — 1997

A feature story by Doug Fenton relates that the original rectory for Trinity Episcopal Church at 29 Day St. in Fredonia, built in 1853-54, is a straightforward Italian-style house with an interesting history and some famous former tenants. The family of Samuel Clemens — better known by his pen name, Mark Twain — lived in the home from 1870-71. The rectory was rented to Mark Twain’s mother, Jane Clemens; his widowed sister, Pamela Moffett; her two children, Samuel and Anne (who married local surveyor/engineer Charles Webster); and their longtime housekeeper Margaret. They lived there from April 1870 until late 1871, when they moved to 67 Temple St.

Thirty years ago — 1987

A delegation from a French manufacturing firm seeking a plant site in the United States spent about two hours in the greater Dunkirk area earlier this week, according to Chautauqua County Industrial Development Director David Dawson. Mr. Dawson said there was nothing unusual about the visit as “We have people in here all the time looking for sites.” He said the French industrialists did not indicate whether or not they had seen anything here to interest them. He added that it was a very preliminary contact and an immediate response was not expected.

Forty years ago — 1977

The 120th anniversary of the Wright Memorial Church, the first Christian church on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, was celebrated recently by the Seneca Indian Historical Society. Eight area churches were represented at the event. About 100 persons both Indian and non-Native American were in attendance. Twyla Nitsch, president of the society, gave a historical background of the Christian heritage on the reservation.

Fifty years ago — 1967

The Fredonia Village Board has made its first move toward seeking a replacement for Village Clerk and Attorney Samuel L. Drayo, who will step down Dec. 31. Mr. Drayo, who submitted his retirement notice Sept. 11 after more than 30 years in office, suggested that the board hire a combination village clerk/treasurer and appoint a committee to seek qualifications for the job. The post currently pays $7,200 a year.