People’s Column

Dunkirk was not Chadwick Bay


I would like to note an important clarification of fact in regard to a recent article in the Lifestyles section (April 29) headlined, “Family helped build city foundation.” The article notes the name of the city of Dunkirk at one time being “Chadwick Bay.”

The city was never designated by that name in any official way. In its earliest stages of existence, around 1809, Solomon Chadwick owned a parcel of land along the shores of Lake Erie for some years near what is now Dove Street, and the area might have been referred to popularly as “Chadwick’s bay.”

By 1816 he had sold that land to Daniel Garnsey and area residents might have referred to the area as “Garnsey’s bay.” There was no formal village or city established at the time, but simply a collection of houses as the village struggled to increase in size and stability.

In a copy of the earliest local paper called the “Chautauque (not Chautauqua) Gazette,” a ship was noted as having entered the harbor in these terms: “Garnsey’s Bay, May 17, 1818. Cleared: Sloop ‘Independence for Sandusky, passengers, lumber, and potatoes. etc.”

Again, there was no village entitled “Garnsey’s Bay. The pair merely used that designation to allow local residents an understanding of where the ship had left. In 1819, the village received the name Dunkirk and it remained its only official name. The article about the Dotterweich family referred to the village having been called Chadwick’s Bay in 1851, when the first members of the Dotterweich family arrived, and that is simply not the case. The info to which I refer is found in “Out of the Wilderness” by Leslie Chard, past city historian, and in the earliest historical book on Chautauqua County, specifically that by Obed Edson, and entitled “History of Chautauqua County.”

As city historian I feel it important to note the facts, and the fact is that Dunkirk as an incorporated village and city has held one and only one name, a name I would hope its residents find pride in, and that is thew name Dunkirk.


city historian,


Still looking

for those jobs


I’ve been listening to the county executive for some weeks now, and of course his uniquely loyal supporters on these pages, and I need some clarification, if you please.

Number one, what do these “good paying jobs” actually pay? I know quotes from his supporters use the figure of $10 to $12 an hour. Those are poverty wages, not “good wages.” At number two, where are these jobs? What businesses? Where are the vacancies listed? What training is needed that these businesses can’t find?

It would appear that this information is well known and for a long time, and I’m thinking maybe someone in charge should be supplying more details. You know, people like the county executive.

Does anyone in the area provide this training? If not, why bother mentioning them?

Oh, and as a number three, would anyone like to provide details on benefits these jobs might have above and beyond salary? What I hear is anecdotal stories without one single shred of detail to back them up. I’m betting I won’t get the answers I want. I might add, 500 jobs total for the entire county isn’t going to help stem the ongoing exodus of county citizens elsewhere.