Twenty years ago — 1997

A front page story features Luther Gates, a drummer boy and soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mr. Gates died in Pomfret in 1826 and is buried in Fredonia’s Pioneer Cemetery on East Main Street. When the American Revolution began, he enlisted at the age of 14 and served a total of seven years. Because he was too young to fight as a soldier, he enlisted as a drummer boy for three years. He then re-enlisted with the 4th Connecticut Regiment at age 17 and served with the unit until the end of the war.

Thirty years ago — 1987

The new Sears Catalog Store in Fredonia is expected to open for business soon. The current store at the D & F Plaza in Dunkirk will be relocated to the new location at 35 Water St. The store size, in the move, will be increased from 2,600 square feet at the plaza location to 3,500 square feet at the Water Street location. The new building will also have a full parking facility for 18 cars in the rear. The second floor of the building will be two 1,000-square-foot apartments, which are expected to open in the spring.

Forty years ago — 1977

Richard L. Peebles Jr., 17, of Whitaker Road, Forestville has been selected as Student of the Week. A senior at Forestville Central School, he is the son of Mrs. Betty Peebles. Editor-in-chief of the school yearbook, Richard attended a six-week course in architecture at Cornell University.

Fifty years ago — 1967

A busy place these days that is becoming even busier is the Dunkirk Airport off Middle Road in the town of Sheridan. Estimated annual revenues total $500,000 and there are some 80,000 airplane landings and takeoffs. It costs some $480,000 a year to operate the airport and there are 30 planes based there, an increase of 10 over a year ago, according to John J. Nalbone, airport manager. Mr. Nalbone said there are an additional 26 plane owners who would like to base their planes locally, but there is a shortage of space. He estimated that 10 to 15 persons in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area use commercial aircraft daily and would become potential customers if airline feeder service was made available locally.