Twenty years ago — 1998

Nate Sackett, a 1996 graduate of Silver Creek Central School, is the star of Darien Lake Theme Park’s magic show “Illusionara.” He has done the same show more than 250 times this summer and revels in the spotlight as the stuns the unsuspecting crowd. As an aspiring Broadway actor, Nate is currently preparing himself to play crowds and dazzle spectators. He began performing last summer at Darien Lake — singing, dancing and doing a small magic show and all the while preparing himself for this summer’s gig as the park’s first master illusionist.

Thirty years ago — 1988

City of Dunkirk workers are in the process of cutting down about 30 trees at Point Gratiot to make way for a new road around the park that will replace an existing road that was closed several years ago due to erosion problems. A public works department spokesman said every effort was made to spare as many trees as possible. While some healthy trees must be removed, many others are dead or dying, he said, noting that four curves were made in the road plans to spare other trees. The new road will be 12 feet wide with a five-foot shoulder on each side.

Forty years ago — 1978

The appointment of two city firemen by Fire Chief Edward Jasinski was a controversial issue at a recent Dunkirk Common Council meeting. Walter Dybeck of 108 Pine St. and Daniel Anson of 151 Warsaw St. were appointed to the post, effective Sept. 5. These appointments, if ratified by the council, would bring the number of paid firemen in the city to 32. Council took no action on the appointments, but Mayor Gilbert Snyder commented that he was opposed to the move, unless the council creates two new positions. He said he has no argument with the firemen, but that the budget has been set for 30 men. The chief, he said, is authorized to appoint men only to those posts already existing.

Fifty years ago — 1968

Bids on a proposed illuminated softball field for Wright Park were once again rejected by the Dunkirk Common Council. Two bids received on the project were well over the estimated cost being considered by the city. The bids were $93,860 and $79,584. Edward Schulenberg, architect for the project, was asked to review plans for the project and estimates for the field. The project costs are high due to the expected landfill operations and lighting of the field.