Through the years:
1910 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.

A preview of what was to come
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 did not take any lives, but left Solvay residents on edge for years to come and foreshadowed the company's biggest disaster which would occur in 1918.

1916 Another explosion, 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.
1918 The big bang
The July 3 explosion and fire at the Semet-Solvay plant in Split Rock took the lives of at least 50 men, several of them workmen killed by the blast, but most of them workers and company police and security people who died while attempting to put out the fire, or at least prevent it from spreading to a building where a large quantity of TNT was stored.
1919 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.
1920 He burst in, fired three shots, then disappeared
Jealousy and an uncontrollable temper led to the murder of a Solvay mother..
1929 An 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.

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, 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.

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.

Explosion averted
A fire at the mono-chloro plant was menacing enough that the Solvay Fire Department summoned help from their Syracuse counterparts, who arrived with fire-fighting weapons the village volunteers didn't have.
At risk was an explosion of 10,000 gallons of benzine.


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.

Tragedy in Lakeland; Democrats take control of village
What started as a driving lesson ended tragically when a train smashed into the car at a Lakeland crososing, killing a woman and her teenages daughter. Also, Charles Hall was elected mayor of Solvay, as the Democrats returned to power, and some young Solvay bowlers made news.

1932 Solvay High School 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.
Solvay and Syracuse continue truck war
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, and 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.

Before Cape Canaveral, there was 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 Fire in the basement, school goes on
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 Two children die in Darrow Avenue fire
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 Changes at schools and St. Cecilia's Church
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.

Poisonous gas killed 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


Solvay firemen save a boy while fighting for their own survival
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 Solvay High cafeteria.
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:
The Woyciesjes brothers George Rivette
Frank Baldrini The Sherry family
John Nozynski 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!
A dike breaks on the Solvay Process waste beds, sludge flows over State Fair Boulevard, ruining Thanksgiving for hundreds of people. Solvay High basketball team shines.

Solvay High wins Little Falls 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.


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.
Pass & Seymour
Solvay Process wasn't the only company in town. Also important was Pass & Seymour, which played an important role in World War 2.
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.
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, I knew it was the Town Hall, but it was better known to me as the place my father dragged me when to get our haircuts.
Forever Prospect
My old elementary school is the last school building standing in Solvay, though serving a different purpose. To me it will always be Prospect School.
Intermediate School
Long gone is the building that was the village's first high school, later a middle school where kids from East Solvay and West Solvay converged.
Upland Farms
The Hazard Estate on Orchard Road must have been really 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. And it was very close to where we played softball.
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.
Solvay dogs back in my day were free to run wild. Two of my canine relatives took full advantage, roaming far and wide, making lots of friends.
Solvay Public Library
Every village has its heart. You'll find Solvay's at 615 Woods Road.
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.
Photo at the top was taken many years ago on Orchard Road, facing the smoky
— and since-departed Solvay Process Company (aka Allied Chemical)  —
on Milton Avenue, with the fabled limestone pile on the right.
For more on Solvay way back when, check ou
the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society