Buckets of limestone
An essential ingredient was delivered to the Solvay Process,, bucket by bucket, through the air from Split Rock to a pile at North Orchard Road and Milton Avenue.
A taste of the Old West
When brothers Frank and Albert Mackinder held up the Solvay Process paymaster in 1892, they became Central New York's version of Jesse and Frank James.
Explosive Era
Chemical explosions connected with the Solvay Process Company were all-too frequent from 1915 to 1930, with the best-known being the 1916 disaster at its Split Rock plant.
First Lady of Solvay
Dora Sedgwick Hazard, as wife of Frederick R. Hazard, president of the Solvay Process Company and president (or mayor) of the village, was Solvay's first lady, in every sense of the word. It would be difficult to overstate her importance to Solvay and surrounding communities. While her husband shared credit for much of the work that shaped the village, Mrs. Hazard was more instrumental in creating projects that went beyond the workings of the factory and into the homes and lives of the people who lived in Solvay.
Casey was everywhere!
Solvay Police Chief Michael Casey was so diligent and hands-on that he seemed to be on the scene no matter when and where a crime was committed. It's no wonder his heart gave out in 1908. Chief Casey is on the left in the photo; also pictured is his twin brother, James.
Year by year
1906: This was no bedroom farce
Newspapers presented a humorous account of things when Dominic Chiovitto discovered his wife cheating, but the incident set off a long, often heart-breaking melodrama

Shoot-Out Near St. Cecilia's
Black Hand extortionists targeted an Italian immigrant, and the result was a gunfight that nearly wounded a priest hearing confession at St. Cecilia's Church.


Let's flip for it
The election between Charles S. Glenn and Dr. William P. Kanar for village president (as the mayor was titled in those days) ended in a tie, which was broken by the flip of a coin.


Solvay means work
An anonymous writer for the Syracuse Herald had interesting things to say when he described life as it was at that time in a much misunderstood village.


This murder had everything — but a solution
When a railroad conductor was murdered in Belle Isle, police had plenty of suspects, but no solution.


He burst in, fired three shots, then disappeared
Jealousy and a raging temper led to the murder of a Solvay mother..


Murder on Montrose
Solvay's most compelling story of 1930 was the murder of James Bixby, an attendant at a gasoline station at the intersection of West Genesee Street and Montrose Avenue.

Wicked witchcraft
A Solvay woman is charged with being a witch, a Solvay man thwarts a Syracur robbery, prohibition enforcers attract unfriendly crowds during Solvay raids, and more.


Did 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.

Blame 'The Solvay Gang'
In some ways Prohibition seemed a prvate joke between law enforcement and people who were arrested, but no one was laughing when a mob war broke out in 1931.

Meanwhile . . .
What started as a driving lesson ended tragically at a Lakeland train crossing. Also, Charles Hall elected mayor of Solvay, as Democrats returned to power; young Solvay bowlers made news.

1932: Solvay teams back on top
Solvay High's basketball, baseball and football teams rule; the village firemen play host to a convention; a "pirate gang" is captured; student pilot dies in crash.
1933: Truck war continues
Milton Avenue remained off limits for freight trucks; two Solvay residents died when their car crashed through ice on Oneida Lake, Prohibition ends, Solvay High's baseball team is dethroned, a well-known Solvay man was involved in one of the year's weirdest stories.
1934: Tragic mix-up
Victim in a fatal accident on West Genesee Street is misidentified; couple learns their "dead" daughter is actually alive. In sports, Solvay High School's hockey and baseball teams win league championships.
1935: Blast-off in Westvale
In an incredbly unlikely accident, a basement water heater is blasted up through the roof, continuing another 250 feet before it falls to the ground.
1936: School goes on, despite fire
A smouldering fire in the high school's coal supply kept firemen busy in the basement, but school went on as usual on on the two floors above. Meanwhile, other village firemen had their hands fulll with a similar fire at the Prospect Hose Company.
1937: Fatal fire on Darrow Avenue
Margaret (Mugsy) Spillane, 12, and her brother, William (Billy) Spillane Jr., 10, who burned to death in the fire that destroyed their home at 219 Darrow Avenue on January 14. In October, eight Solvay firemen were overcome by chlorine gas while attempting to put out a fire in a disabled trailor truck.
1938: Change at schools
Solvay school superintendent Prof. Claude A. Duvall resigns; the Rev. Thomas J. Driscoll says his last mass at pastor of St. Cecilia's Church; the hockey and track teams are best in the county, and the girls' archery team wins an big tournament.
1939: Poisonous gas kills Solvay Process worker
Hydrogen sulphine gas was the cause of death in the case of Rocco Frumano (Femano), a Solvay father of nine, the only fatality among five Solvay Process employees overcome by gas fumes in a work incident September 26.
1940: Solvay firemen save a boy
Three Solvay firemen risked their lives to save a boy trapped in treacherous waste at the Solvay Process plant. In other news, three Solvay grads played in a New Year's Day bowl game, and Eleanor Roosevelt had lunch at Solvay High School.
1941: The storm breaks
Everything that happened before December 7 was made trivial by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A mock preview of the event was presented at the Syracuse airport in Amboy a few months before.
Solvay goes to war
A roll call of men and women from Solvay and Geddes who were in the service during World War 2, several of whom made the ultimate sacrifice:

A | B | C | D-E | F | G | H-I | J-K | L | M | N-O | P-Q | R | S | T-V | W-Z

(Please contact me if you can add names to this roster.)

War stories:

Woyciesjes brothers John Nozynski The Sherry family
Frank Baldrini George Rivette S. S. Leopoldville
1942: War hits home
Three Solvay men are killed in service; enlistments include a German shepherd named Flash; Solvay High's basketball team rules.

What a mess!
On Thanksgiving Day, a dike broke on the Solvay Process waste beds, and sludge flowed over State Fair Boulevard, causing unestimated property damage and forcing more than 50 persons to evacuate seven homes and one hotel. In a way, it was like Solvay's version of "The Blob."

Solvay wins tournament
New York's most pretigious high school basketball tournament in thos days was played in Little Falls at the end of the season. Solvay was the smallest school ever invited — and the undefeated Bearcats won the title. In other news, Charles R. Tindall was sworn in as Onondaga County Sheriff on January 1, but died five months later; John Degan was re-elected mayor of Solvay, and stories of local servicemen were both inspiring and horrific.

1944: Village turns 50
Solvay celebrated an important milestone; some war souvenirs sent by servicemen to their families required the attention of a bomb squad, and local servicemen returned home, if only for a brief visit.
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.
1945: At long last ... peace
World War 2 ends and servicemen slowly begin returning to their families and friends. And there's a short-lived strike at the Solvay Process Company.
The Earl of Solvay
The man who coached all of Solvay High School's teams for many years received his due when the football stadium was named in his honor.
Replacing a legend
When Alton Talmadge took over from Earl Hadley as Solvay's basketball coach, he had big shoes to fill — and fill them he did.
Gus, the scoring machine
Solvay's 1951-52 basketball team was one of its best, and perhaps its highest scoring, thanks to Gus Castellini.
Bowling's her game
In 1929 a 9-year-old Solvay girl amazed grown-ups with her ability to knock down pins.
A look at familiar Solvay landmarks, past and present.
Pass & Seymour
Solvay Process wasn't the only company in town. Also important was Pass & Seymour.
St. Cecilia's Church
In a predominately Catholic village, it's no wonder life for many Solvay residents revolved around the beautiful church on Woods Road.
Upland Farms
Hazard Estate on Orchard Road must have been something. The main house disappeared many years ago, but the grounds still feature the largest home in the village.
Intermediate School
Long gone is the village's first high school, later a middle school where kids from East Solvay and West Solvay made peace.
Santa stops at Craig's
The movie house (also known as the Community Theater) was the most popular place in town. Even Santa Claus showed up.
Old Town Hall
Yes, it onc was the Town Hall, but I knew it as the place my father dragged me to get haircuts.
Solvay Public Library
Every village has its heart. You'll find Solvay's at 615 Woods Road.
Exasperasting landlords
The McCarthy brothers waged frustrating legal battles with Solvay and the city of Syracuse for years over condemned properties.
Next stop: Solvay
Annette Artini, who grew up in the village in the 1940s and '50s, now lives in Florida, but she has recreated the Solvay of her youth on a model train layout inside her house.
Police and firemen
The label says it all. We hope to add to this small collection.
For more on Solvay way back when,
check out the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society