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Police blotter, March 1945

March 24, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Here again, by popular demand, is life on the streets of Saranac Lake 67 years ago. I am sure that there would be little to compare with what the police have to deal with today.

3-5-45 - 7:15 p.m. - Call from Ambrose Smith of 157 Lake Flower Avenue. A car with license F 45-50 NY ran into his parked car and damaged a front fender making a hole through it and drove off without stopping. I learned from Troopers that F 45-50 was registered in name of Ernest Drowlette of Lake Colby. Smith will see Drowlette or possibility get a warrant for hit-and-run. - Jones


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Later -?Got another call from Smith. Said that he had talked to James Drowlette and was unable to get any satisfaction. I then called James Drowlette and he admitted that his son, Louis, had taken the plates off from the car belonging to Ernest Drowlette and put them on another car and drove off somewhere. [Switching license plates was not that unusual back in the day.] Ernest Drowlette gone to war. James, the father, says that he does not know where Louis went or where he is now.

8 p.m. - Call from John Moody. [John was later Deputy Chief of Police in Saranac Lake whose grandson, John, is now a New York State trooper.] Said that a car drove over the bank opposite his home on Upper Broadway. Investigated by Jones and Higgins. Found above car, a 1934 Chrysler 4-door sedan with license plate F 45-50. These plates belong on a 1932 Willys sedan belonging to Ernest Drowlette.

Talked to James and Louis Drowlette who admitted switching plates. They will be in the station at 10 a.m. tomorrow and meet with Mr. Smith. - Jones


3-6-45 - 10 p.m. - Call from John English at the Hotel St. Regis that there was a drunk in the hotel and he wanted him out. He was drinking rubbing alcohol and hair tonic going in to everyone's room. Arrested John Doe for disorderly conduct. - Duprey & Jewtraw


3-8-45 - 5:15 p.m. - Call for police at 6 Forest Hill Avenue. Investigated by Wallace who found that Mrs. John Doe complained of her husband slapping her face. When I arrived he was very orderly and I could not see any evidence of a slapping so I told Mrs. Doe to see the judge. Mr. Doe had left the house. - Wallace


3-8-45 - 9 p.m. - Complaint from Mrs. Dave VanNortwick that someone was looking in her windows. Checked by Wallace and Jewtraw and found Tink Wells had been see walking up the road near her house. Notified every house on East Pine Street, Rock Ledge Road and Moody Pond.


3-10-45 3:20 a.m. - Complaint from Mrs. Burkett, 11 Baker Street. People upstairs making noise. Investigated and told Mrs. Madge Bartlett to tell her friends to get to hell out of there and stop making noise or I would lock them all up. She promised to do so. - Ryan


3-14-45 8:50 p.m. - Fire Alarm 13 [Fire alarms were listed on cards that everyone kept handy. The number on the card corresponded to a certain section of town and the fire horn would sound that number 1 blast pause and 3 blasts = 13.]

Fire at Mrs. Carter's residence at the corner of Pine and Main Street. Mattress caught on fire. Brought outdoors and extinguished by Fire department. Mrs. Carter's mother, age 86 in the house alone, treated for shock by Dr. Brumfield. She apparently is alright now. Checked outdoors and in house for $20 she claimed she had hid under the mattress in a handkerchief unable to find it. - Higgins & Jewtraw

[A note entered in the margin said the $20 was later found in the house.]


3-18-45 - 12:05 a.m. - Call for police at Melody Bar investigated. Wilma Banker, Ray Brook claims that she and her girl friend, Catherine Stacy , 141 Main Street were sitting at a table there with Thomas McCartney and Eugene McCartney of Ray Brook San. Wilma and Catherine got up to go to the ladies room and Wilma left her wallet on the table. When they returned the wallet was gone contained a $10 bill. Searched both the fellows and the wallet and the $10 wasn't on them.

After I [Officer Higgins] left, Ted McCartney, proprietor of the Melody Bar [located on Woodruff Street] let the people out of the place and closed. He hid inside behind the Venetian blinds and watched these two fellows. They walked up to Broadway and Woodruff and came back and walked to the entrance to the hallway of Ted's apartment and picked up the wallet they hid there between some milk bottles. Ted stepped outside and said, "give me that wallet." They ran up the street and threw the wallet into an ally between Ted's and Premo's Barber Shop.

Picked up these fellows who denied everything in front of Ted and myself. They were both pretty drunk. Locked them up for P.I. - Higgins



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