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1892
A taste of the Old West
When brothers Frank and Albert Mackinder held up the Solvay Process paymaster on his way to the Split Rock quarry, they became Central New York's version of Jesse and Frank James. [NEW]
 
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 [NEW]
1941 — 45
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:
The Woyciesjes brothers George Rivette
Frank Baldrini The Sherry family
John Nozynski S. S. Leopoldville
1908
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. But the man's heart could take only so much. [NEW]
 
1910
Shoot-Out Near St. Cecilia's
In 1910 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.
 
1915
Preview of disaster
Chemical companies and explosive accidents go together. The Solvay Process Company, later a division of Allied Chemical and Dye, had its share of explosions. This one took no lives, but left Solvay residents nervous for years, and foreshadowed the company's biggest disaster which would occur three years later.
 
1916

Round two, this one deadly
Five men were killed and five seriously injuredwhen a tank containing acid exploded in the benzol recovery plant of the Semet-Solvay Company at Split Rock.

Let's flip for it
The 1916 election for village president (as the mayor was titled in those days) ended in a tie.

 
1918

The big bang
The July 3 explosion in Split Rock was one of the worst tragedies in Central New York history.

Solvay means work
An anonymouse writer for the Syracuse Herald had interesting things to say about a much misunderstood village.

 
1919
This murder had everything — but a solution
When a railroad conductor was murdered in Belle Isle, police had plenty of suspects, but no solution.
 
1920
He burst in, fired three shots, then disappeared
Jealousy and a raging temper led to the murder of a Solvay mother..
 
1929
Echo of Split Rock
An explosion at a Solvay Process facility at the northeast edge of the village was the company's worst since the horrific 1918 explosion at the Semet-Solvay plant in Split Rock.
 
1930

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.

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.

Romance turned tragic
Solvay native Fernando "Freddie" Tagliaferri and his Detroit sweetheart, Elizabeth Martin, had a tumultuous relationship which came to a tragic end.

Explosion averted
A fire at the mono-chloro plant headed for
10,000 gallons of benzine.

1931

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.

First Lady of Solvay
Dora Sedgwick Hazard died on July 30. She was a remarkable woman, and Solvay was better off for having her choose to live there.

 
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 in the Solva
 
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.
 
1942
War hits home
Three Solvay men are killed in service; enlistments include a German shepherd named Flash; Solvay High's basketball team rules.
 
1943


What a mess!

A dike breaks on the Solvay Process waste beds, sludge flows over State Fair Boulevard.

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.
Miscellaneous

Buckets of limestone
In the beginning, an essential ingredient was delivered to the Solvay Process through the air.

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.

Old Town Hall
Yes, it onc was the Town Hall, but I knew it as the place my father dragged me to get haircuts.

Forever Prospect
My old elementary school is the last school building standing in Solvay, though serving a different purpose.

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.

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.

Russet Lane
To me, Russet Lane truly was the center of an interesting universe; the fun and games never seemed to end.

Ci-Yi's shack
It actually was a tool shed, but to us it was the home of the bogeyman.

Also
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.
Solvay Public Library
Every village has its heart. You'll find Solvay's at 615 Woods Road.
Sleepless in Solvay
It was hard enough to fall sleep on Christmas Eve, but the amplified carols from a neighbor's house made it impossible.
Unleashed
Solvay dogs back in my day were free to run wild. Two of my canine relatives took full advantage.
 
Sports
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.
Basketball memories
Until the early 1960s all junior high and high school basketball courts were not created equal.
Gus, the scoring machine
Solvay's 1951-52 basketball team was one of its best, and perhaps its highest scoring, thanks to Gus Castellini.
 
Solvay scenes
The cannon
After the limestone pile, the cannon from World War I may have been Solvay's best-known landmark.
Milton Avenue
One thing's for sure, when you were on Solvay's main street you were never far from a saloon.
Girls teams
A small sampling of athletes who often went unsung, though several were among the school's best.
Solvay Tigers
When men from the original Solvay Tigers teams grew too old to play, they promoted activities for area residents of all ages, especially the youth.
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.
Street Scenes
Bobby Kane and Billy Major Jr. play race car drivers and policemen. Bobby Smolinski and Jack Major inaugurate Russet Lane International Airport.
Solvay Process workers
An all-too brief look (so far) at those who made the Solvay Process and its Semet-Solvay facility function.
Bird's eye view
A look at the Solvay Process Company from several angles, including a photo of some very unusual landscapers.
Police and firemen
The label says it all. We hope to add to this small collection.
For more on Solvay way back when, check ou
the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society
 
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