Strictly Solvay
Shoot-Out Near St. Cecilia's
In 1910 Black Hand extortionists targeted a young Italian immigrant in Solvay, and the result was a gunfight that nearly wounded a priest hearing confession at St. Cecilia's Church.
He burst in, fired three shots, then disappeared
Jealousy and an uncontrollable temper led to the murder of a Solvay mother in 1920.
This murder had everything — but a solution
When a railroad conductor was murdered in Belle Isle, police had plenty of suspects and a case with more twists and turns than a daytime soap opera.
Murder on Montrose
Solvay's most compelling story of 1930 was the murder of James Bixby, who woeked as an attendant at a gasoline station at the intersection of West Genesee Street and Montrose Avenue. The incident was the tragic conclusion of a three-part drama that started several months earlier:
Did Al Capone Send Them?
Four would-be gangsters driving from Chicago to New York City made a stupid mistake that led to a wild chase from Fairmount Four Corners to the woods of Wolf Hollow, where they were captured.
Oh, sure, blame 'The Solvay Gang'
In some ways Prohibition seemed to be a prvate joke between law enforcement officials and the people who were arrested, but no one was laughing when a mob war broke out in 1931.
Exasperating landlords
The McCarthy brothers of Solvay waged long and frustrating legal battles with the village and the city of Syracuse over condemned properties.
A Menace named Dennis
Patrick, one of the aforementioned McCarthy brothers, had big dreams for his children, including son Dennis, who, after a tough start, made his American dream came true.
First Lady of Solvay
Dora Sedgwick Hazard was a remarkable woman, and Solvay was better off for having her choose to live there.
Romance went from bad to worse
Solvay native Fernando "Freddie" Tagliaferri and his Detroit, Michigan, sweetheart, Elizabeth Martin, had a tumultuous relationship which came to an end that was both tragic and ironic.
Airplane down
During World War 2 the Army had an air base near Solvay, using the State Fairgrounds and the Syracuse airport, then located in Amboy. On July 4, 1944, an Army plane crashed between the village and the airport.
Tragic blunder
One of the little-known World War 2 disasters was the sinking of a troop ship in the English Channel. Among the 800 victims was Pvt. Vincent Paci from Solvay.

Explosive times
From 1915 to 1930 there were several explosions connected with the Solvay Process Company. Among them: one of Central New York's most tragic disasters.

1915: It felt like an earthquake. 1929: Gas attack!
1916: Deadly preview. 1930: Disaster averted.
1918: Split Rock is ground zero.  
Martha's her name, bowling's her game
In 1929 a 9-year-old Solvay girl amazed grown-ups with her ability to knock down pins.
More Solvay stories
All in the family
Tony Kane's last voyage
He could have been a character in "Boardwalk Empire"; Tony Kane was headed for an early death.
Christmas tragedy
In December, 1929, seven teenagers crammed into a car to buy holiday decorations in Skaneateles for their school. Minutes later tragedy struck.
God Struck Out
In 1913, Mickey Major and 17 others were arrested. Their crime? Playing baseball on Sunday.
Central New York
High School Prank Leads to Death
An annual Auburn High School night of fun and games came to a tragic end in 1915 when the mayor's son crashed his father's car into a tree and killed a friend.
It could have been much worse
It's a miracle only one Marcellus student was killed at the Kirkville train crossing.
Tragedy at Putnam's Crossing
Two lives were lost as the result of a spectacular, but perhaps inevitable train-car collision in Jordan, NY, in 1917.
Welcome to Central New York
1933 and other pet projects
A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Year
Best remembered as Franklin D. Roosevelt's first year as President, and Adolf Hitler's rise to power, 1933 was jam-packed with news.
Those Fanastic Flying Lindberghs
Charles A. Lindbergh and his wife, the former Anne Morrow, a year removed from the tragic kidnapping and murder of their first child, set out on a five-month airplane jounrey trip that took them to four continents and 31 countries..
U. S. Declares War on Criminals
Kidnappers and bank robbers were running amok, prompting the Federal government to step in where state and local law enforcement agencies often failed. Meanwhile, John Dillinger, Wilbur Underhill, Clyde Barrow and other public enemies terrorized the Midwest.
Empress of the Galapagos
Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bousquet was one of her names, but after she reached the Galapagos Islands she called herself Empress. Her brief reign did not end well.
Plus many more ...
Once Upon a Time . . .
Stories about jewel thieves almost always sound like fairy tales — a lot of fantasy and a shortage of reality. So it is with the legends of "Boston Billy" and his associate, Arthur Barry.
America's "Penny Princess"
Ohio-born Nonnie May Stewart grew up to become a Greek princess, though her life did not have a happy, fairy tale ending.
Divorce Was Never Nastier
In 1919 millionaire hotel owner W. E. D. Stokes began a long and unsuccessful effort to divorce his wife, the former Helen Ellwood. To say things got nasty is a gross understatement.
Case of the Shooting Show Girls
Soon after Stokes married his second wife, he made the almost fatal mistake of visiting the apartment of a former girl friend.
The Most Notorious Stokes of Them All
That title doesn't belong to W. E. D., but to his cousin, Edward, the man who killed Jim Fisk.