This week in North Fork history: Two dogs electrocuted at town shelter

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | A repairman works on the furnace at the animal shelter in April 1987, on the day two dogs were electrocuted there.

The following stories were excerpted from Suffolk Times issues published between five and 100 years ago this week:

25 years ago

Two dogs electrocuted at town shelter

The troubled Southold dog pound, already the focus of dissension over delays in the construction of new facilities, was hit by another blow April 6, 1987, when two dogs were accidentally electrocuted in their runs, reporter Janet Garrell wrote in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times. A third dog was injured but survived, she wrote.

A short circuit in an electrical wire leading to the kennel building was blamed for causing the lethal current to flow through the entire metal fencing system inside the structure.

A shelter employee was nearly electrocuted herself when she made the discovery and attempted to move one of the dogs, she wrote.

Shelter employees said the other dogs at the shelter lay motionless the following morning, likely because they were shocked every time they moved throughout the night, she reported.

The ingredients for the disaster included the weekend’s torrential downpour, a possible nick in an underground electrical cable, an underground fuel pipe, an oil furnace, coils of copper tubing and the all-metal kennel structure.

Postscript: Flash forward 20 years and …

5 years ago

In the doghouse: Bids for shelter $600K over budget

Contractors and materials are taking too much of a bite out of the proposal to build a new animal shelter, wrote former Suffolk Times editor Eileen Duffy in the April 12, 2007 issue.

Designs on the shelter, which was supposed to cost the town $2.1 million have, after going out to bid, came in at $2.78 million.

Postscript: When it was all said and done the new shelter cost about $3 million.

100 years ago

Mail delivery business sold to man with car

Elbert W. Taber, who has conducted a mail and express business between Greenport and Orient since 1875, has sold out to Charles L. Young, who drove the “buzz” wagon last summer, we reported in the April 6, 1912 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Mr. Young has a five-passenger touring car, which in all probability will be put in the mail and passenger service later on, we wrote.

Mr. and Mrs. Taber will sell their property in Orient and go to live with their daughter in East Hampton.

Letter to the Editor from Editor Ritch of the Port Jefferson Times

The following letter, written by the editor of the nearby Port Jefferson Times, was published in the April 6, 1912 issue of The Suffolk Times.

“The editor of this paper is a firm believer and a persistent advocate of Woman Suffrage. the editor has more confidence in the intelligence and the patriotism of the average woman than he has in the great multitude of illiterate and purchasable men, who are permitted to vote only because they are males. That is their only qualification. Some can neither read nor write, do not own any property and are entirely lacking in manly traits of character, but they can vote if they are the masculine persuasion and are of age. The may be inmates of an insane asylum, or an almshouse, and then, if they cannot rightly vote themselves, the right and power to cast their votes is delegated to and exercised by another.”

Postscript: This type of letter wouldn’t make the cut today.

80 years ago

Vaudeville actor buys home in Greenport for father

Fred Reeves, a Greenport boy who under the stage name Freddie Lightner has become a headliner in Vaudeville has purchased the Central Avenue home of Mrs. Joseph Townsend, we reported in the April 1, 1932 issue of the Suffolk Times.

The home, which is modern in every respect and has advantageous views, will be remodeled and interior renovations will be scheduled in the future, we wrote.

Mr. Reeves’ father, Officer Chauncey Reeves, will inhabit the home and his son will live there on weekends when touring the east and on summer vacations.

Postscript: Freddie went on to play legendary Yankees manager Miller Huggins in the 1948 film “The Babe Ruth Story.”

30 years ago

Lobsterman drowns near creek

A 28-year-old Greenport man drowned April 5, 1982 after falling overboard in the bay near the mouth of Stirling Creek as he was cleaning his boat, we reported in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

Police said Thomas Kruszeski and a friend had gone into the bay to empty Mr. Kruszeski’s lobster pots. Mr. Kruszeski later went out on his own to clean the boat, we reported.

His friend later found the boat going in circles before striking the dock.

The body was located hours later, we reported.

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