Alcoa History Notes: The R. T. Danforth Notes

Alcoa History Notes: The R. T. Danforth Notes

When the very first aluminum was being poured by the Pittsburgh Reduction Company in 1903, it was Robert T. Danforth at the helm of the St. Lawrence Power Company’s newly constructed hydro-electric dam on the banks of the Grasse River. A graduate of Clarkson University with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, he apprenticed under the Westinghouse Company until he was called back to his hometown of Massena to help operate the new dam. He was the son of Samuel and Jennie White Danforth. His maternal Grandfather was Henry White, founder and proprietor of the civil war era White’s Hotel in Downtown Massena.

Mr. Danforth had a long and esteemed career with the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which would rename itself to the Aluminum Company of America (ACOA) in 1907. An avid historian he kept detailed notes which begin with the construction of the St. Lawrence Power Company’s Canal & Dam in 1896 and ends shortly before his retirement in 1953. He holds the title as the 2nd person in Alcoa History to join the 50 Year Club.

These historical notes are dubbed the R. T. Danforth Notes and up until recently were available under Google Books. Thankfully several historical institutes grabbed a copy before they became unavailable digitally. In celebration of their 120th year of operation, we wanted to share them as they provide a great insight to the history of the Massena Power Canal and Alcoa in Massena, New York.

At the end we have also included the very historically detailed obituary of Robert Danforth published in the Massena Observer on March 8, 1965.


  • The Legislature of the State of New York grants charter to The St. Lawrence Power Company for the construction of Massena Power Canal from St. Lawrence to Grasse River for power and navigation purposes. May 9
  • Local Promoter: Henry H. Warren
  • First Trustees: H. H. Warren, Massena – Michael H. Flaherty, Local Banker – Charles A. Kellogg, Ogdensburg Lawyer and Native of Massena – Charles R. Higgins, New York Industrialist and Albion Mann, Electrical Engineer of New York.
  • Financed by: Steward and Company of Wall Street
  • Engineering: John Bogart, Consulting – James Patton, Electrical Design.
  • Trustees replaced May 1, 1897
  • Charter Amended by State action April 26, 1898


  • Canal Surveyors arrive with John Bogart as Chief and William H. Cushman as Resident Engineer. Project Engineers: Kincaid,, Waller and Manville of London, and John Bogart of New York Apr. 3
  • Canal Contractors arrive. Lehigh Construction Company of Hazelton, Pa. As Principal and Sub-Contractors Manville & Crellin, Powerhouse; Corbett first six feet excavation along canal and Barry Bros. Intake Apr. 16
  • Local Trustees of The St. Lawrence Power Company Replaced by New York men May 1
  • Public Library opens Jul. 10
  • The St. Lawrence Construction Company (Holding Corporation opens up local office in the Warren (Penny Block) Jul. 16
  • Construction Camp (White City) consisting of dormitories, commissary, recreation, red light, etc. started on Andrews Ridge Jul. 17
  • Several carloads horses, carts, scrapers and construction equipment arrive July 24
  • Several Steam Shovels arrive Jul. 30
  • Dinky locomotive drawn through Village streets crossing Racket and Grasse River Bridges Aug. 9
  • Ground broken for Massena Canal at 4:00 p. m.
  • Albion Mann came up from New York to turn over the first shovel by hand and was followed by H. H. Warren operating a steam shovel.
  • Under Masonic ceremonies. Mr. H. Flaherty, Master of Ceremonies. A crowd of 3000 attended from all nearby places. Aug. 11
  • Village grants permission to Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad to construct a switch line connecting the present depot with the lands of The St. Lawrence Power Company and the right to a hearing of same at the Supreme Court Sitting at Plattsburgh on November 15, 1897 Sep. 3
  • The St. Lawrence Power Company issues first mortgage on its properties of which there was outstanding on May 13, 1902 $2,800,000 plus interest.
    Lord Kelvin, Technical Advisor, and Lady Kelvin and party visit site of Power Project. Oct. 3
  • Temporary Railroad constructed from Powerhouse to Intake Site for the hauling of supplies.
  • Original Canal Farms Purchased: Elizabeth Dodge, Israel Dodge, Hiram Dodge, Ben Sutton, Fred J. Hyde, William Alden, Charles F. Ober, Justin B. Andrews, Alexander H. Andrews, William Leao, Clark & Flaherty, Abel Haskell, Judson L. Hyde, William Paddock and John C. Andrews.


  • Lehigh Construction Company makes assignment and all construction ceases. Jan. 17
  • Party of English Stockholders visit Powr Canal to look over their investment. Apr. 9
  • The St. Lawrence Power Company’s charter amended by state action Apr. 28
  • T. A. Gillespie Company of Pittsburgh enters into a contract to complete power canal and powerhouse Jun. 7
  • Grasse & Racket River Railroad Bridges started and right of way being purchased. Roadbed completed during season Jul. 12
  • 10 Steam Shovels in operation on canal excavation Aug. 10
  • Cableway and Pile Trestle Bridge across Grasse River completed
  • Bedrock excavated at Powerhouse site, carried across Grasse River by cableway to crusher and mixing platform, where with sand pumped from lower Grasse River and Portland cement, made into concrete and returned to Powerhouse foundations over the trestle bridge. A small quantity of Rosedale or natural cement was used in the foundation footings Aug. 10


  • The Massena Electric Street Railway Company incorporated to operate from R. W. & O. Depot to Canal Intake via Main and North Main Streets and on Maple Street from Main to Louisville Line; on Center Street from Main to Dennison Road. Directors all from New York except Robert Swan of Massena.
  • Capital Stock $100,000 Feb. 7
  • Town grants franchise for same
  • Right of Ways secured through Village Street from abutting property owners. About 100 feet of tract laid on Center Street near Willow to hold franchise. These rights of ways became a nuisance in property transfers and wre all nullified by court action April 3, 1932 Apr. 13
  • The Massena Electric Light & Power Co. incorporated to supply light, heat and power to cities, villages and town within the State, especially in St. Lawrence and adjoining counties.
  • Directors: T. A. Gillespie, Pittsburgh – Robert A Johnson, New York – Robert Swan, Massena – Edward M Staters, Port Richmond – Henry W. Merwin,
  • Brooklyn. Capital Stock $10,000 Feb. 7
  • Village grants franchise for same Feb. 17
  • Town grants franchise for same Mar. 7
  • Village grants franchise to The St. Lawrence Water Co. To lay mains in streets and across Grasse and Racket Rver Bridges for the purpose of supplying water to said village. Jul. 10
  • First Directors: T. A. Gillespie, Robert Swan, Robert A. Johnson, Howard Hasbrooke, Edward Strothers, Augustus Carrigen and Thomas Ten Eyke Jul. 10
  • Entire system conveyed to Village of Massena – December 31, 1928 Jul. 10
  • Water let in canal as far as Alden Flat. Hydraulic Dredges in operation Aug. 13
  • Steam Electric Light Plant erected on bank of Grasse River a little West of Powerhouse to supply electricity for construction and village lighting Aug. 13
    St. Lawrence Power Company placed on assessment roll at $59,235.


  • The Massena Terminal Railroad Company secures Master Deed of all their properties and starts operations
    Purchased 2 locomotives from Manhatten Elevated May 9
  • The St. Lawrence Power Company issues second mortgage against their properties of which there was outstanding May 13, 1902 $1,500,000 plus interest Jun. 20
  • Complete technical description of Massena Power Canal, Hydraulic and Electrical Equipment printed in “Scientific American” Nov. 17
  • Village Telephone system installed
  • Massena Oil Boom – During a heavy blizzard, Massena’s only oil boom started within the walls of the St. Lawrence Inn. Steve O’Donnell, an oil well driller from Bradford, Pa., was engaged by John Spencer, a superintendent, to drill a well across the Grasse River from the Powerhouse – mostly for test purposes. He had gone down about 1800 feet and was bringing the samples to Mr. Spencer each day. Mr. Spencer not being able to leave the hotel on account of the storm, the crowd was holding a get together meeting in the barroom when someone asked about the samples. Some of the men had previously doctored the samples with crude oil and great excitement prevailed when the bottles were opened up and for several days there was a real boom – until the truth came out. This hole finally reached a depth of 2200 feet and was abandoned due to the breaking of a drill at the bottom of the hole. This well is still in existence (well capped) and is located on the south shore of the Grasse River on the first point below the railroad bridge.
  • Nothing valuable came out of this venture.
  • Assessment: St. Lawrence Power Co. $59,625


  • James Cowles & Thomas Gogan drowned in canal Jun. 2
  • First kiln of 200000 brick burned in new Porter & hannon brickyard located on Southern Development on East side Bayley Road Aug. 23
  • High Bridge near Intake, a single span steel bridge – 408 feet long – opened for traffic. Piers reinforced in 1907 to permit canal widening. Oct. 13
  • Pontoon Bridge across canal at Station 96 completed – Replaced by steel girder bridge on piles in 1905
  • Grasse River Flowages Purchased: Holland Smith, Burpee, Rickard, Clemmons, Dutton, Gus Smith, Payne & Fregoe.
    Assessment: Power Company $60,125


  • Power Agreement – Pittsburgh Reduction Co. & The St. Lawrence Power Co. Reduction leases hydraulic power, Units 1 & 2, and installs 2 sets of 2 Bullock, 3000 H. P., 500 Volt D. C. Generators for power supply May 15
  • Pittsburgh Reduction breaks ground for initial plant
  • Wm. I. Bishop, Construction Superintendent; Jay Castleman, Assistant Jul. 12
  • Foreclosure proceedings instituted against Power Company Jul. 15
  • Foreclosure Sale of Power Company properties at Powerhouse for $500,000. Purchasers a group headed by T. A. Gillespie Nov. 6
  • Village by Special Election votes sewer installation Nov. 6
  • Bridge over Turbine Chambers at Powerhouse opened for public traffic
  • Closed when Combination Bridge was erected in 1907
  • Pile Trestle Bridge erected across canal midway between Combination Bridge and Powerhouse – Railroad and Foot passengers. For benefit of Pittsburgh Reduction Company. Removed on completion of Combination Bridge in 1907.
  • Powerhouse completed and city lighting taken over, and other power deliveries. E. B. Bumstead, General Manager.
  • Grasse River Flowages purchases – Gilman and Chase.
  • Assessments: Power Co. $66,590 M.T.R.R. $6,000
  • Electrical Equipment – 3 – 5000 HP, 2000 Volt, 25 Cycle, Westinghouse A. C. Generators; 3 – 400 HP, 125 Volt, Westinghouse D. C. Exciters; (Controlled by automatic switchboard on raised gallery at East end of Powerhouse). 2 Pair 3000 HP, 550 Volt, Bullock D. C. Generators (Pittsburgh Reduction Co.) – Controlled by switchboard located near generators; 2 Units vacant
  • Dimensions of Completed Canal – Length 16,200 feet. Width at waterline 192 feet. Width at bottom 140 feet. Average depth 18 feet.
  • Hydraulic Equipment – 6 – 54″ Victor Turbines arranged in pairs, 6000 HP to a unit. 3 – Exciter Units with 27″ Turbines Manufactured by Stillwell-Bierce & Smith Vaile Co. Gessiler Governors on Turbines (electric).


  • The St. Lawrence Construction Co. Becomes “St. Lawrence County Electric and Water Company”. Jan. 1
  • The St. Lawrence Power Company becomes “The St. Lawrence River Power Company”. Jan. 13
  • Forebay Dam Leak – Leak was discovered by employees noticing muddy water coming out of spillway and, but for the prompt attention of Power Company Management, a serious catastrophe would have resulted. All available men and teams were drafted – hay, stones, bruch, mattresses, barrels, bags of sand and scrap marble rushed from Gouverneur by special train were dumped into the break and, after a day-and-night fight for three days, the leak was finally plugged. One life lost – Edgar Small Apr. 3
  • Town votes to erect new Town Hall – Williams & Johnson, Architects May 27
  • Pine Grove Realty Company incorporated
  • James Barclay, President; E. B. Bumstead, Secretary & Treasurer Aug. 18
  • First Aluminum reduced in new Plant – about 2 tons
  • Ore imported from England. William I. Bishop, Superintendent; Allen MacDougall, Assistant; Henry M. Hall, Superintendent Upper Level Aug. 25
  • Pine Grove Realty Company purchases original building tract
  • Laid out building lots and developed the following streets: Sycamore, Cedar, Poplar, Willow, Forest Place, Maiden Lane, Triangle Lane (abandoned); Cornell, Bishop, Somerset and Woodlawn.
  • Additions to tract in 1907, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1935. Sep. 6
  • George Moffett, William Wilkinson and an unknown Italian were drowned at Canal Intake while fighting ice Dec. 16
  • The St. Lawrence Transmission Company incorporated
  • D. C. Transmission Line erected on wooden bents from east end of Powerhouse, Bldg. 30, to south end of Potroom, Bldg. 12, and each side consisting of 180 3/8″ dia. aluminum rods rolled at New Kensington. As new potrooms wre added, the capacity of this line was increased by Massena rolled rods and the route changed, the last addition being made in 1914 where the route was from the east end of the Powerhouse, Bldg. 29, to the south end of Potroom, Bldg. 14, carried on steel bents and each side consisting of 1892 rods. 360 added 1927
  • Pittsburgh Reduction Company erects or purchases 25 dwellings in Pine Grove.
  • Hoshadome Club (Forest Club) starts operating (Named from 4 engineers living there – Horton, Sharp, Downer & MacDougall) Mrs. Hotchkiss, Matron
  • Indestructible Fibre Company starts plant erection
  • Village Sewer System being installed.


  • Record Temperature (-52°) at Powerhouse by Thermo Couple Jan. 19
  • Massena Mineral Filler Co. (later Butternut Bakery) starts operations Mar. 1
  • 10,000 H.P. Water Rheostat installed in the tailrace to act as a brake in case of accident to the turbines and the unsatisfactory head gates refusing to function
  • Watertown Free Excursion (first of several) for Pine Grove Lot Sale Jul. 23
  • Original Deed for A.C.O.A. Mill Site – Corrective Deed 1905
  • Mill Site Additions 1914, 1916, 1929, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944 Aug. 18
  • Indestructible Fibre Company receives deed for their Mill Site
  • Puchased under foreclosure sale by Power Company 1918 and deeded to A.C.O.A. 1948 Aug. 22
  • Grasse River Flowage Land purchased from Donaghue, Kinney & McEwan
  • Raymondville-Norfolk Transmission Right of Ways purchased.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $175,000 Power Co. $170,490 M.T.R.R. $6,000 P.G.R.Co. $16,890


  • F. A. Stoughton succeeds William I. Bishop as Superintendent. Mr. Bishop was a construction man and did not like operating Feb. 1
  • Tried heating Powerhouse Racks with electricity from D.C. Exciters to keep them free of frazil – with no results.
  • Later tried the same thing with steam with same results Feb. 10
  • 22 cases of dynamite explode on bank of canal near Powerhouse
    No one hurt and no damage except broken windows Feb. 15
  • Raymondville-Norfolk Transmission Line in operation May 12
  • Steel Girder Bridge on piles (replacing Pontoon Bridge) opens for traffic. Fails Aug. 13, 1907 Dec. 4
  • Bad Break in Waterwheel – Unit No. 1 Dec. 5
  • Gilman Flowage lands on Grasse River purchased
  • John R. Freeman and corps of Engineers investigate canal for power improvement. Issues complete and lengthy report of his findings.
  • Herbert Hoover, as consulting engineer, visits Power Development and recommends it be used locally instead of export
  • Buildings erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 14 and extensions to Nos. 1 & 8
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 4- F. A. Stoughton No. 10 – Club
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $200,000 Power Co. $199,310 M.T.R.R. $6,000 P.G.R.Co. $20,290


  • Personnel of The St. Lawrence River Power Company General Manager – E. Bradford Bumstead; Electrical Superintendent – Irving A. Taylor; Assistant Electrical Superintendent – R. T. Danforth; Hydraulic Superintendent – Geo. W. Martin; Office Manager and Stenographer – R. D. Pierce; Office Boy – Will Stearns; Surveyor – C. W. Judson; Powerhouse Foreman – James Strand; Ice Fighting Foreman – George Aikman; Diver – Charles Blair; Collector of Uptown Utilities – Frank A. Hough. Jan. 1
  • Party of English Stockholders visit Power Canal to look over their investments. Jan. 31
  • As a result of Freeman’s 1905 power investigations The Pittsburgh Reduction Company purchases The St. Lawrence River Power Co. And its subsidiaries – 98 per cent of its common stock Apr. 16
  • Extension to Indestructible Fibre Co. Mill site purchased Jul. 3
  • A. V. Davis and F. A. Stoughton before Town Board over Canal Bridges
    No satisfactory result obtained until 1910 Oct. 26
  • Regular Drafting Department established on second floor of Office Bl. 6 Nov. 4
  • Very early run of frazil ice Dec. 11
  • Daly & Hannon of Ogdensburg dredging at Dodge’s Shoal – Freeman recommendations.
  • Cassion Gate, sufficient to span an entire Unit purchased on Freeman’s recommendation for use during the reinforcing of turbine chambers and the installing of the new modern head gates.
  • A chain of Automatic Recording Water Gauges were placed along the St. Lawrence river from Massena Point to Waddington for the study of River Conditions. Located at Massena Point, Robinson’s Bay, Hopson’s Point, Intake, Richard’s Bay, Louisville Landing, Bradford’s, Cole’s Creek, and Waddington. Bi-weekly attention was given these gauges until the Spring of 1908 when the Winter readings were abandoned.
  • James W. Rickey with corps of engineers arrive and take possession of old Power Company office for an investigation of the Long Sault Power Project.
  • New Buildings Erected: No. 13 and Extensions to Nos. 1, 5, 8, 10, & 14.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $280,000 Power Co. $209,610 M.T.R.R. $6,000 P.G.R. Co. $54,010
  • Howard & Russell Grasse River Flowages purchased


  • Pittsburgh Reduction Company becomes “Aluminum Company of America” Jan. 2
  • Canal Flowage on Benson (Lawrence) Farm purchased Feb. 1
  • Village grants building permit FOR Kreusler Houses
    These multiple houses consisting of 105 apartments erected during the year. McClure & Spar, Architects – H. L. Kreusler, Contractor
    Contract price $2,150 per apartment. Initial rental $6.00 month Apr. 29
  • General Sewer Permit granted by Village to Pine Grove Realty Co. Apr. 22
  • State Charter granted to The Long Sault Development Company
  • Trustees: M. H. Flaherty, H. H. Warren, Frank S. Smith, Walter F. Wilson, John C. Crapser (All local men)
  • For general power development from canal intake to Barnhart’s on the St. Lawrence – James W. Rickey in charge
  • Frank G. Ross of Pittsburgh started a survey of all properties from the foot of Barnhart’s Island to Waddington on both sides of the river. Properties were purchased by L.S.Dev.Co from the foot of Barnhart’s to Canal Intake in the amount of 3,750 acres while the necessary Canadian lands were acquired by The St. Lawrence Power Company, Ltd., a subsidiary. After bitter opposition on the part of the Aluminum co., this charter was rescinded May 8, 1913 May 23
  • Steel Gierder Bridge on pile piers opened Dec. 4, 1905. Collapsed due to pier being rammed by a loaded stone scow. Replaced by present Lift Span Structure. Aug. 13
  • James Richards, Fishing Guide, drowns in Little Sault Rapids after his boat was upset by a timber runway erected by L.S.Dev.Co. For testing purposes. Lawsuit resulted. Sep. 21
  • Depression strikes – Plant almost down Dec. 2
  • Ladder Dredge “Alfred E. Hunt” and 24″ Hydraulic Dredge “Zancle” (afterwards “Gillespie”) whose hulls were built in Duluth by the Bucyrus Co., brought to Canal Shipyard at Massena to be completed and electrically equipped. I. A. Calderwood arrives in Massena to take charge of extensive Dredging Operations about to start. Dipper Dredge “Industry” purchased and starts operation in canal.
  • Combination Bridge across canal at Station 12 erected, replacing public roadway over turbine chambers and pile trestle railroad bridge at Station 6.
  • Steel Bridge replacing collapsed bridge erected at Station 96. Pier of High Bridge near Intake reinforced for canal widening. Both bridges of Lift Span type. McClintic-Marshall on the steel and Foundation Co. Of New York on the piers.
  • Pine Grove Realty Company layout completely altered by the re-purchase of lots previously deeded, acquiring additional lands and taking over the 25 Aluminum Company owned dwellings and going into the Real Estate business.


  • Aluminum Plant almost down – 50 of 1700 employees retained Jan. 1
  • F. A. Stoughton gets leave of absence and goes to Holy Land
  • Office personnel: A. C. MacDougall, Acting Superintendent; H. M. Hall, Upper Level; G. W. Barker, Chief Clerk; J. B. Bayley, paymaster; R. T. Danforth, Engineering; Will Stearns, Office Boy; Maud Reed, Stenographer; Mary Canton, Telephones.
  • All Dredging Operations cease and Superintendent departs for position on Barge Canal Mar. 3
  • Carney Farm purchased by Power Company Mar. 28
  • First State Road (County Road in this section started Apr. 19
  • Potroom No. 12 resumes operations after long shutdown May 22
  • Dredge “Industry” sold to Canadian Government for $125,000 Sep. 14
  • Long Sault Development Co. Working with full compliment on Power Development
  • Starting to replace old Victor Turbines with Dayton-Globe & I.P. Morris Wheels
  • Powerhouse, dam and turbine chambers reinforced with concrete
  • 3 sets of Westinghouse Generators (2 to a unit) 3000 H.P., 550 volts, D.C., being installed on the 2 spare units and one unit occupied by A. C. Generator-said generator being moved to west end of Powerhouse and converted into a Motor Generator Set.
  • Tug “Monitor” purchased for Dredging Operations
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $300,000 Power Co. $228,490 M.T.R.R. $8,000 P.G.R. Co. $150,180


  • With the acquisition of Long Sault Development Company lands, Power Company entered extensively into the farming business, operating 35 to 40 farms on shares with C. P. Williams as manager. This venture endured until 1921 when The Frontier Corporation took over. Jan. 1
  • $40,000 voted at Special Election for the erection of a Suspension Bridge across Grasse River at Massena Center Apr. 11
  • Pine Grove Grade School opens (Land donated by P.G.R. Co.) Apr. 13
  • I. A. Calderwood back on job to supervise Dredging Operations May 4
  • G. K. Herzog arrives as Potroom Superintendent (Departs 5-12-10) May 6
  • Tree planting along Pine Grove Streets starts May 6
  • Trial Run of newly constructed “Dredge Zancle” (Gillespie) Aug. 5
  • Canal Dredging starts and continues through 1914. Ladder Dredge “A. E. Hunt”; 24″ Hydraulic Dredge “Zancle or Gillespie”; 20″ Hydraulic Dredge “C. M. Hall”; Dipper Dredge “R. B. Mellon”; Orange Peel Dredge “A. K. Laurie”; Rockbreaker “Tonawanda”. Tugs “Monitor”; “Gem”; “Hebard”; “DeGrasse”; “Amos Lay”.
  • Macadam Roads constructed on Park Avenue and Willow Street
  • 5000 H.P. Motor-Generator Set moved from west end of Powerhouse to Galvanising Building a few hundred feet west.
  • Company operated the resort hotel “Fairview” on Barnhart’s Island with Will Hurley as Manager. Popular spot with daily steamboat connections with Massena and Cornwall. Many week-end parties by both company men and citizens.
  • Operated “Mayflower” Cheese Factory on Barnhart’s with a Canadian Cheesemaker. Most of product was sold in boston at a premium and the balance made up in 5-pound cakes for the benefit of the personnel of the Aluminum Company
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $300,000 Power Co. $240,580 M.T.R.R. $8,000 P.G.R.Co. $124,900


  • Canal Bridge Approaches deeded to Town while Town releases abandoned highways. Full agreement reached regarding Roads and Bridges as per Court Decision. May 10
  • MacDougall, Assistant Superintendent, replaced by A. M. Nutt Jun. 8
  • T. A. Gillespie Company starts the construction of Forebay Dam and new Powerhouse. Jun. 10
  • Accident at Forebay Dam by concrete failure killing two. Aug. 10
  • Power Co., A.C.O.A. & M.T.R.R. bond themselves to Town for Bridge maintenance Oct. 10
  • Exciter Unit in Powerhouse converted to Standard Unit
  • Canal dredging in full swing
  • Racquette River Foundry Company erected on South side of Grasse River for general Foundry work and Paper Mill supplies.
    (Succeeded by Dunlop Bros. Silk Mill; U. S. Barracks for Guard Troops; U. S. Engineer’s Office for Seaway Development and by Warner Bros. Corset Manufacturers).
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 4 – F. A. Stoughton, No. 10 A. M. Nutt
  • Club House suspends.
  • Assessments A.C.O.A. Mill Site $300,000 Power Co. $315,580 M.T.R.R. $11,000 P.G.R.Co. $124,900


  • Power Co. & Town reach final agreement on Roads & Bridges Jan. 10
  • State Board of Health orders filters be installed for Village Water Apr. 3
  • Powerhouse completely down due to frazil Feb. 15
  • $30,000 voted by Town for concrete bridge at Massena Springs May 10
  • Plans approved by L. S. Development Co. Engineers
  • W. H. Cushman, former Engineer in charge of Canal Construction, as Superintendent
    Robert Byers, Plant Electrician, electrocuted Jul. 12
  • First concrete sidewalk laid in Pine Grove, replacing cinder walk on Forest Place
  • Massena Center Suspension bridge erected
    Holton D. Robinson, native and noted Bridge Designer, in charge
  • Canal dredging in full swing
  • Extensions added to Building No. 8 (Carbon Storage).
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $350,000 Power Co. $315,350 M.T.R.R. $11,000 P.G.R.Co. $124,750


  • Backwater at elevation 173.50 at Powerhouse Jan. 15
  • Dredge “Hunt” partly destroyed by fire at Canal Dock-Immediately rebuilt. Mar. 14
  • David W. Chester arrives as Construction Superintendent Norman G. Ray as Assistant Sep. 12
  • Cedars Power Contract signed – Expires Year 2000 Oct. 22
  • Old roads, replaced by new approach roads to High bridge, releases by Town Oct. 12
  • Long Sault Development Company closes Massena Office Opened 1906 – All records moved to Pittsburgh Nov. 11
  • H.C.F. Poste, Powerhouse Superintendent, transferred first to Saint Timothy and then to Cornwall to take charge of Canadian Properties Nov. 23
    New Powerhouse (Bldg. 29) started (Completed 1913).
  • Extension added to Building No. 10
  • Canal dredging in full swing
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $350,000 Power Co. $415580 M.T.R.R. $20,000 P.G.R. Co. $124,550


  • Powerhouse down – Bad run of frazil Jan. 13
  • Company makes strong protest against repeal of L.S.Development Co. Charter Feb. 11
  • Reconditioned Dredge “Hunt” starts operations in Canal. Apr. 11
  • Long Sault Development Company Charter repealed by State action May 8
  • Grand Celebration at Fairview Hotel on Barnhart’s for A. V. Davis & Party Jul. 1
  • Erection of Cedars Reduction Plant started by T. A. Gillespie Co. Jul. 21
  • Federal Permit secured to dredge Grasse River. Oct. 15
  • Park Avenue, East, alteration by agreement with Town Oct. 24
  • Dredge Gillespie moved to Grasse River for next season’s work. Nov. 18
  • Workman’s Quarters erected on Liberty & Willow by P.G.R. Co.
  • Canal Dredging practically completed.
  • New Buildings erected: No. 29-Powerhouse, No. 50-Carbons, No. 60-Main Office. Extensions Buildings 1,8, 13, 14, 30 & 31
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $360,000 Power Co. $415,550 M.T.R.R. $20,240 P.G.R. Co. $124,780


  • Philip H. Falter succeeds F. A. Stoughton as Plant Superintendent. Mr. Stoughton to Potsdam as Superintendent all Utilities – Massena Offices of Light & Water Companies removed to Potsdam. Jan. 1
  • New Office Building No. 60 opened.
  • Old Office (Building No. 6) converted into Hospital & M. T. R. R. Office. Jan. 1
  • Pump Station moved from Building 31A to Building No. 29 Jan. 18
  • Bad Ice Jam in St. Lawrence – Long Sault Rapids like a millpond Feb. 16
  • House No. 13 of P.G.R. Co. destroyed by fire (first loss) Feb. 21
  • First Pine Grove House Deeded Mar. 30
  • Tug “Amos Lay” launched (Supposedly named after first Supervisor of Massena; Error – Mr. Lay was never Supervisor) Apr. 11
  • Grasse River Dredging starts (Ends 1918). Dredges “Hunt”, “Gillespie”, “Hall”, “Mellon” and leased dredges “Empire” & “Lincoln”. Rock Breaker “Tonawanda”. Tugs “Monitor”, “Amos Lay” and “DeGrasse”. Apr. 14
  • Haskell Tract No. 1 purchased by P.G.R. Co. for housing purposes (Included seeral workmen’s shacks). Jul. 2
  • Federal Permit for St. Lawrence River Crossing for Cedars Line Jul. 27
  • Cedars Plant Site purchased from Power Company Aug. 10
  • V. C. Doerschuk replaces P. H. Falter as Superintendent. New Setup-V. C. Doerschuk, Lower
  • Level; H. M. Hall, Upper Level; A. M. Nutt, Outside Properties. Nov. 1
  • Town License for Cedars Line (Amended 1937) Nov. 6
  • C. M. Hall dies in Florida Dec. 11
  • Grasse River Ship Yard constructed on Howard Farm.
  • Grasse River Farms purchased by Power Company for dredge Disposal – Clark & Flaherty, Howard, Alden, Chase and Kinney.
  • Cedars Right of Ways purchased on both sides of International Line.
  • Electric Carbon Company and The United States Aluminum Company created.
  • Carbon Company dissolved in 1922. Massena T.U.S.A. Co. abandoned in 1932.
  • New Buildings Erected: No. 20-Rodding, 21-Ore Tanks, 22, 24, 26, 28-Cedars Potrooms, 23- Rotaries, 25-Transformers, 27-Oil House, 37-Lightning Arresters, 43-Employment, 52-Carbon,
    53-Cleaning, 55-Crushing, 56-Storage, 57-Calciners, 58-Grinding, 59-Mixers, 66-Stores, 67- Machine Shop, 68-Blacksmith Shop, 69-Tool Shed, Miscellaneous Passages. Extensions to Buildings 1 & 50. 1,000,000 gallon Mill Supply Tank-replacing old 50,000 Mill Supply near Bldg. 66, erected
  • East of Bldg. 131.
  • Forest Place Tenants – No. 4 – P. H. Falter, No. 10 A. M. Nutt
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $630,000 Power Co. $670,680 M.T.R.R $20,210 P.G.R. Co. $127,600


  • First Cedars Power Imported. Jan. 8
  • Town votes bone dry Feb. 9
  • Grasse River dredging starts season Apr. 14
  • Sewer Permit from Village to P.G.R. Co. May 19
  • First serious labor trouble – Potroom Strike Jul. 31
  • Malone, Ogdensburg and Watertown National Guard in charge until Aug. 9
  • Miscellaneous Dredging Rights purchased and Agreements made
  • P.G.R. Co. purchases additional land for Housing Development
  • V. A. Warren erects 15 Dwellings on Contract for P.G.R. Co.
  • Pine Grove Realty Company starts selling campaign by deeding 10 houses
  • New Buildings Erected: Nos. 16 & 18-Canal Potrooms, 19 Ore Tanks, 32-Cedars Potroom, 45-Restaurant, 70-Pipe Shop, 72-Pipe Fitters, 81-Reclamation, Misc. Passages. Extensions to Nos. 3, 20, 23, 25.
  • 200,000 Cubic Foot Capacity Gas Tank for Gas Fired Carbon Furnaces erected on site of No. 1 Blooming Mill. Blew up in 1918 and undamaged bottom sections used as a Tar Tank until 1925 and was removed in 1928 for Blooming Mill erection.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 4 – A. M. Nutt, No. 10 – Club House (Reopened under Mrs. Williams)
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $910,000 Power Co. $595,680 M.T.R.R. $20,240 P.G.R. Co. $132,000


  • Fibre Plant Property purchased by Power Company at Foreclosure Sale Mar. 31
  • Conveyed to A.C.O.A. in 1948
  • Citizen’s Club organized (Abandoned Feb. 10, 1933) Apr. 1
  • Grasse River Dredging in full operation. Additional dredging rights purchased
  • Construction of Athletic Field started.
  • P.G.R. Co. purchases additional lands for housing development
  • 79 Dwellings erected by Warren & P.G.R. Co. In Pine Grove.
  • P.G.R. Co. Sets up its own Construction Department with headquarters in Fibre Plant.
  • 1 Pine Grove House Deeded
  • New Buildings Erected: Nos. 7-Lumber Shed, 33-Clockhouse, 34, 36, 38-Potrooms, 35- Potlining, 49-Gas Producers, 54-Carbon Storage and misc. passages. Extensions to Bldgs. Nos. 15, 20, 21, 5?.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,035,000 Power Co. $594,100 M.T.R.R. $20,462 P.G.R. Co. $167,550


  • Village voted to erect concrete bridge across Grasse at Village. Feb. 13
  • Completed 1918. Temporary bridge a few rods East used during construction.
  • A. M. Nutt leaves for Brazil (Back Oct. 9) R. T. D. takes over Mar. 18
  • Tug “Monitor” sinks in Canal (Ice Jam) Mar. 28
  • Dredge “Mellon” at work in Canal. Apr. 8
  • Removing Spoil bank on Willow Street for housing development Apr. 23
  • Pine Grove Garbage Collection starts – Incinerator in rear of Fibre Plant May 18
  • A.C.O.A. Relief Association organized Jul. 5
  • Permit from War Department for construction of Weir Sep. 10
  • All Long Sault Development Company Real Estate conveyed to Power Co. Oct. 1
  • Pine Grove Realty Company takes possession of Fibre Plant Office Oct. 21
  • Long Sault Development liquidated Nov. 1
  • Night School opens on second floor of Fibre Plant Office Dec. 4
  • Tennis Courts erected in Block No. 6 – Site of #2 Forest Place Garage
  • Playground & Wading Pool added as annex to Athletic Field
  • Crusher Plant set up on Athletic Field for road construction
  • Grasse River Dredging in full operation
  • Company “G” National Guard organized – N. G. Ray, Commander – Armory in Fibre Plant
  • 53 new Dwellings erected in Pne Grove – 1 Deeded
  • New Buildings Erected: No. 71-Chemical Lab., #73 – Oil House, No. 74 – Garage, Additions to … Nos. 17, 53, 54, 57 & 58
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,125,000 Power Co. $591,880 M.T.R.R. $20,528 P.G.R. Co. $253,700


  • Aluminum Bulletin starts publication (Suspends 12-31-20). Mar. 1
  • Construction of Wing Dam at Intake started May 5
  • Milk Store at corner of Park & Liberty opened for employees Jun. 1
  • Milk from Company Farms and pasturizing plant in Fibre Buildings.
    Goes out of business Dec. 1, 1921
  • A. V. Davis addresses workers at Alco Field. Aug. 27
  • Labor Day Circus at Athletic Field. Sep. 2
  • Joint Commission gives permit for Weir Sep. 14
  • Weir Construction starts Oct. 10
  • Company opens up 124 Liberty Avenue for Hospital for Flu Epidemic Oct. 12
  • Pine Grove Hall (Union Headquarters) opens as a Recreation Center for employees Nov. 1
  • Premature Peace Celebration. Nov. 7
  • H. M. Hall leaves Company and is replaced by Arthur E. Vail Nov. 16
  • Company vegetable gardens operated on Alden Farm for benefit of employees. Produce hawked among employees in Fall.
  • Colored Church started in Fibre Plant with E. K. Harris as Pastor.
  • 56 Dwellings erected in Pine Grove – 2 Deeded.
  • DeGrasse & Poplar Hotels erected by P.G.R. Co.
  • Lincoln Hotel and cabins erected on bank of Grasse River below Powerhouse for negroes. Colored Recreation Hall opened in Fibre Plant.
  • Grasse River Dredging completed.
  • New Buildings: Misc. Passages and Extensions to Bldgs. Nos. 10, 20, 55, 66.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 4 – A. M. Nutt, No. 10 – Club, No. 20 – V. C. Doerschuk
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,161,000 Power Co. $729,900 M.T.R.R. $22,580 P.G.R. Co. $328,200


  • Mutual Interest Department organized. Mar. 1
  • Reclamation Department organized. May 1
  • Home Coming Celebration. Aug. 31
  • Max E. Noyes starts Southern Development Survey (Departs Apr. 18, 1920). Sep. 5
  • Harry Korte killed by falling crane. Dec. 1
  • Flowage & Dredging Rights purchased by Power Co.
  • Tyo Farm purchased by P.G.R. Co. For Housing Development
  • 37 Dwellings Erected in Pine Grove – 21 Deeded
  • 1,000 Trees planted along P.G.R. Co.’s Streets
  • Extensions made to Bldgs. Nos. 1, 20, 27, & 54
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,413,000 Power Co. $755,750 M.T.R.R. $26,976 P.G.R. Co. $469,100


  • Pine Grove Hall (Labor Temple) put in operation as Recreational Center. Jan. 1
  • New Chemical Laboratory opens. Jan. 4
  • Carter Gulley Bridge Voted 456 – 156. Jan. 10
    After much bickering between officials – erected 1923.
  • 4-day Potroom Strike. Mar. 12
  • Town grants permit for Outfall Sewer from Southern Development to Grasse River. Apr. 22
  • All outside construction ceases on orders of A. V. Davis. Aug. 20
  • Hit Pine Grove Realty Company the hardest.
  • Fence completed around Athletic Field. Oct. 4
  • “Aluminum Bulletin” started in 1918 suspends publication. Dec. 1
  • 23 Dwellings erected in Pine Grove – 18 Deeded.
  • Hatfield House purchased by P.G.R.Co. For Potroom Labor.
  • Allen House purchased by P.G.R.Co. For Engineer’s Club House – Remodeled and furnished but never operated.
  • Building Program of 100 houses (the first of 1000) started in Southern Development. Construction Camp erected with Workmen’s Quarters, Commissary, Laundry, Etc. Sewer, Water and Streets constructed.
  • Poplar, DeGrasse, Hatfield and Lincoln Hotels operated by A.C.O.A. for Potroom Labor.
  • Barnhart Island Farms and School abandoned.
  • Building No. 78 (Brick Storage) and Misc. Passages Erected. Extensions made to Buildings 20, 54, 56 and 58.
  • Carter Gulley Bridge approach deeded to Town by St.L.R.P. Co.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,439,000 Power Co. $760,550 M.T.R.R. $77,910 P.G.R. Co. $515,950


  • Steamer “Rapids King” grounded in Long Sault Rapids. Jul. 16
  • The St.L.R.P.Co. Conveys all L.S. Dev. Co. Lands to Frontier Corp. Oct. 10
  • Remaining Operation Farms – Dodge, Andrews, Chase & Kinney
  • Retail Milk Store at Liberty & Park, opened in 1918, suspends. Dec. 1
  • No building in Pine Grove due to recession – Southern Development unfinished houses boarded up and everything shut down.
  • P.G.R. Co. Labor cutting wood on Power Company lands for sale to employees – Winter job to keep labor busy.
  • Extension added to Buildings No. 3 and No. 44.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A Mill Site $1,479,000 Power Co. $762,350 M.T.R.R. $77,375 P.G.R.Co. $563,050


  • State of New York starts annual charge of $10,000 for Weir Rental Rights. Jan. 1
  • Weir Permit extended by State of New York. Dec. 1
  • The Electric Carbon Company organized in 1914 dissolved.
  • Misc. Passages Erected A.C.O.A. – Extension to Building No. 3.
  • 8 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,479,000 Power Co. $652,000 M.T.R.R. $74,060 P.G.R. Co. $554,150


  • P.G.R. Co. Appears before Town Board and requests action on Carter Gulley Bridge. Jan. 26
  • Contract Let for Carter Gulley Bridge – A.C.O.A. contributing $15,000.
  • Steel Work to Phoenix Bridge Co. And Piers to Sullivan Construction Co. Mar. 12
  • C. S. Thayer leaves for Niagara Works. Feb. 23
  • 13 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • A.C.O.A. builds Extensions to Building No. 3.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,447,200 Power Co. $631,950 M.T.R.R. $74,060 P.G.R. Co. $570,175


  • 30 Forest Place Erected and 23 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Extension to Building No. 18 & Misc. Passages Erected by A.C.O.A.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4 – Vail, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Higgins
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,472,400 Power Co. $721,950 M.T.R.R. $71,085 P.G.R. Co. $574,850


  • Office force starts punching time clocks. May 14
  • James Deer starts Indian Suit over Mile Square – Thrown out of Court on a technicality. Jun. 8
  • Talcott farm purchased in Louisville for Golf Club. Dec. 2
  • Company had pumps on leased lot near river and when local people began agitating for the farm St.L.R.P.Co. purchased it for benefit of the town and to protect their own interests.
  • 21 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Extensions Erected by A.C.O.A. to Buildings Nos. 1, 8, 16, 32, 33, 53, and 55.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,502,400 Power Co. $812,250 M.T.R.R. $64,970 P.G.R. Co. $631,325


  • Massena Country Club leases Talcott farm for Golf Course. May 1
  • 40 Forest Place Erected – 32 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • P.G.R. Co. Accounting Dept. & Executive Offices moved from Main Office to second floor of Utilities Building in Village (Until 1937)
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4 – Vail, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Higgins, No. 40 – Keefer.
  • New Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A – No. 79 (Merchant Mill). No. 83 – Physical Laboratory and Misc. Passages. Extensions added to Bldgs. Nos. 1, 5, 7, 16, 18, 25, 28, 29, 34, 35, 57, 59.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $1,527,400 Power Co. $872,250 M.T.R.R. $73,062 P.G.R. Co. $634,000


  • Corporate Limits of Village extended from 1199 to 2523 Acres. Mar. 15
  • Streets, Sewers & Parks in extended Corporate Limits conveyed by P.G.R. Co. To Village of Massena. Dec. 6
  • 27 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • 350 – 3/8 Al Rods added to D.C. Line Bldg. 29 – Bldg. 14.
  • A.C.O.A. Erected Building No. 97 and Misc. Passages and added extensions to Buildings Nos. 20 & 74.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4 – Vail, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Wheeeler, No. 40 – Keefer
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,145,900 Power Co. $1,148,550 M.T.R.R. $77,088 P.G.R. Co. $788,915


  • Power Company grants Sewer Easements to Village. Jan. 16
  • Arthur Vail, Upper Level Superintendent, departs-Replaced by R. T. Whitzel. Feb. 8
  • Village Trustees vote to purchase holdings of The St. Lawrence Water Co. – Possession Dec. 31, 1928 Jun. 23
  • Brooklyn Nations 9 – Alcoa 8 (11 Innings Baseball). Aug. 10
  • Misc. Passages & Extension to Bldg. No. 10 erected by A.C.O.A.
  • 35 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4 – Whitzel, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Wheeler, No. 40 Keefer.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,144,700 Power Co. $1,146,540 M.T.R.R. $80,394 P.G.R. Co. $743,910


  • Water Pumping Contract A.C.O.A. & Village (Accepted by Board Feb. 1) Jan. 1
  • Mill Site Extension for Blooming Mill acquired from Power Co. Apr. 19
  • First Ingot Rolled in New Blooming Mill. Aug. 18
  • Weir Site on Long Sault & Ice Fighting Rights on Delaney Island Acquired from Frontier Corporation. Aug. 30
  • 15 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Pine Grove Realty Company goes out of the Construction Business.
  • Shops and Storeroom Dismantled and Supplies Sold.
  • Collection Office moved to East Side of Canal at Plant Entrance (J. Dullea)
  • Engineering and Sales to Main Office (R. T. Danforth)
  • Bookkkeeping and Administration remains in Utilities Building in Village (A. M. Nutt)
  • Frontier Corporation absorbed by Niagara Hudson Corporation.
  • New Buildings Erected: No. 119 – Oil Storage Pit, No. 121 – Remelting, Nos. 123, 124, 125 – Blooming Mill, No. 131 – 26″ Mill & Misc. Passages.
  • Extensions to Bldg. 3, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 72, 79.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4, Whitzel, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Fassel, No. 40 – Keefer.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,451,500 Power Co. $3,148,950 (State Value) M.T.R.R. $80,394 P.G.R. Co. $734,350


  • Cedars Line purchased from St. Lawrence County Utilities. Jan. 1
  • Canadian portion to A.C.O.A. and American portion to Power Co.
  • A.C.O.A. Club House on Forest Place closed and furnishings sold to employees – Rented to Percy Brown. Apr. 15
  • Governor Franklin D. & Mrs. Roosevelt guests of A.C.O.A. ending with dinner at Massena Country Club. Aug. 31
  • Wading Pool near Athletic Pool filled up by order Board of Health. Sep. 2
  • Massena 25-Year Club organized. Oct. 6
  • Misc. Transmission Lines granted St. Lawrence County Utilities.
  • M.T.R.R. Books transferred to East St. Louis Office.
  • 21 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 47 (Track Scale Office) and miscellaneous passages.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4 – Whitzel, No. 10 – Brown, No. 30 – Fassel, No. 40 – Keefer.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,185,100 M.T.R.R. $81,544 P.G.R. Co. $758,400


  • Storm Sewer Easement on Tamarack Granted to Village. Jan. 12
  • Village votes to oppose underpass at Massena Springs. Feb. 2
  • M.T.R.R., Canadian National & N.Y.Central involved.
  • Old Transformer House, West of Powerhouse, granted to St. Lawrence County Utilities, together with Right-of-Ways. May 23
  • Transmission Easement Bldg. 25 to Substation Lot Granted St. Lawrence County Utilities. Jun. 1
  • Bayley Road Alteration. Jun. 30
  • All salaries reduced 10%. Oct. 1
  • 11 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Doerschuk, No. 4 – Whitzel, No. 10 – Miller, No. 30 – Fassel, No. 40 – Keefer.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,164,800 M.T.R.R. $82,530 P.G.R. Co. $740,900


  • Massena Electric Street Railway Franchise Granted in 1899 & 1900 through Massena Streets rescinded by court action. Apr. 3
  • The United States Aluminum Company ceases activities in Massena.
  • 9 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,163,300 M.T.R.R. $78,646 P.G.R. Co. $724,925


  • 18th Amendment (Prohibition) Repealed Special Election 984-324. May 22
  • 6 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,163,650 M.T.R.R. $72,865 P.G.R. Co. $712,300


  • Massena becomes a First Class Town – Governed by Supervisor and Four Councilmen. Jan. 1
  • Aluminum Workers Union No. 19256 organized. Feb. 19
  • Roosevelt International Bridge opened for Vehicle Traffic. Jun. 10
  • Earl of Bessborough cuts ribbon with aluminum shears.
  • A.C.O.A. Strike (Ended Sep. 8) Aug. 11
  • Massena Library Association conveys all of its holdings to Town. Dec. 10
  • 3 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • A.C.O.A. Erected Extension to Building No. 58.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,163,650 M.T.R.R. $74,650 P.G.R. Co. $630,650


  • R. T. Whitzel replaces V. C. Doerschuk as Superintendent. Mar. 11
  • Sewer Easement through Haskell Tract No. 2 granted Village. Dec. 6
  • Pine Grove Realty Co. liquidated. Dec. 31
  • Lands to A.C.O.A. & Power Co.
  • A.C.O.A. Realty Department created to take care of Housing.
  • 5 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Extension added to Building No. 58
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Whitzel, No. 4 – DeKlyn, No. 10 – Miller, No. 30 – Fassel, No. 40 – Peden.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,159,470 M.T.R.R. $77,126 P.G.R. Co. $758,400


  • Layo Lot on Grasse River & Richard’s Dock Lot in Louisville acquired by Power Co.
  • Transmission Line Easements granted St. Lawrence County Utilities.
  • 11 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • New Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 82 (Scalehouse) and miscellaneous passages. Additions to Nos. 8, 21, 22, 23, 36, 38, 79, 83, 121.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,560,900 Power Co. $3,166,270 M.T.R.R. $77,126 Realty $639,350


  • Realty Department, consisting of Uptown Accounting Office, Collection Office at Plant Entrance and Engineering and Sales Quarters in Main Office Building, combined and moved to old Fibre Plant Office Building. Apr. 16
  • Town grants permit to Power Co. for extra Cedars Transmission Line. Jul. 8
  • 27 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • New Buildings Erected – No. 40, 41 Potrooms, 42 – Clockhouse, 48 – Rectifier & Misc. Passages. Extensions to Nos. 20, 25, 29, 36, 60, 68, 79.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,627,200 Power Co. $3,166,270 M.T.R.R. $80,252 Realty $630,650


  • Sewer Easement along Warren Avenue granted Village. Aug. 8
  • New A.C.O.A. – Village Pumpoing Agreement (Power Co. After 1946) Nov. 7
  • Water Line Easement to Village – Bldg. 31 to Liberty Avenue. Nov. 30
  • 25 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Grasse River Lot & F. Richards Lot in Louisville Purchased.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,796,300 Power Co. $3,167,920 M.T.R.R. $86,289 Realty $597,100


  • Miller Dock Lot in Louisville leased for 20 years by Power Co. from Frontier Corp. Jul. 1
  • Union Picketing for closed shop. Aug. 14
  • County Milk Strike. Aug. 14
  • Dial Telephones in service at Plant. Nov. 21
  • 24 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • New Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 120 (Remelting) and Misc. passages. Extensions to Nos. 79, 121, 122, 124.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,796,300 Power Co. $3,167,920 M.T.R.R. $59,679 Realty $556,350


  • Picket Line at A.C.O.A. Works. Jun. 13
  • Olaf Harris of Powerhouse, a suicide from High Bridge. Aug. 14
  • Airport Dedication. Aug. 19
  • 17 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Additional Mill Site Purchased from Power Company.
  • New Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 140 (Morgan Mill) and misc. passages. Additions to Nos. 1, 67, 68, 79, 83, 121, 123, 124, 131.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $2,920,300 Power Co. $3,167,920 M.T.R.R. $59,837 Realty $526,150


  • Identification buttons for employees started. Mar. 25
  • Sharlow House on Massena Center road purchased by Power Co. May 8
  • A. M. Nutt dies in Florida. May 9
  • Homecroft Realty Corporation incorporated. May 17
  • Milk Strike – 4 Company farms affected. Jul. 1
  • Ground broken for Plancor (St. Lawrence) Plant. Oct. 4
  • U. S. Leases Temporary Housing Site in Southern Development from A.C.O.A. Nov. 8
  • During World War II, extra precautions taken to guard the Aluminum Plant by a thorough check of employees; placing of extra guards and organizing an Air Warden Patrol while the Government used Federal Troops to patrol the Taylorville Transmission Line and the American Section of the Cedars Line. These troops were quartered in barrack in old Silk Mill in village, Hawkins Point and Barnharts Island.
  • 23 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Mill Site Extension purchased from Power Co.
  • New Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A.: No. 51 – Brick Storage, No. 75 – Garage and misc. passages. Additions to Nos. 3, 5, 48, 79 & 124.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $3,220,300 Power Co. $3,167,890 M.T.R.R. $59,886 Realty $490,100


  • 10 Forest Place, formerly a Company Club House and closed as such in 1930 and used as a single rental unit, again furnished and rented to a group of technical men (11 capacity) Mar. 1
  • Taylorville Transmission Line Easement granted U. S. By Power Company across William Alden property. May 8
  • First reduction of aluminum from Plancor (St. Lawrence) Plant. May 28
  • Saboteurs with Massena Map captured from German Submarine on Long Island. Jun. 13
  • Power Company-M.T.R.R. Right-of-Way Lease amended. Jul. 8
  • Permanent Housing Tract on Southern Development conveyed to U. S. By Power Co. Part of Indian Mile Square Reservation (very important) by Condemnation. Nov. 16
  • Very destructive Icestorm. Dec. 30
  • Storm Sewer Easements granted U. S. by Power Co. For Housing Project.
  • New Railroad Bridge erected across Power Canal by M. T. R. R.
  • 34 Pine Grove Houses deeded.
  • Extension to Mill Site purchased from Power Co.
  • New Buildings erected: Nos. 119, 132, 139, 141 – Oil Pump Houses; 216 – Boilers; 217 – Oil House; 218 Gate House; 219 – Washroom; 220 – Scrap Recovery; 221-Remelting; 222 – Scalping; 223 – Blooming; 224 – Blooming; 225 – Machine Shop; 226 – Washroom; 227 – Pump Station; 228 – Waiting Room; 232 & 234 – Scalping; 236 – Shipping; 61 – White Office & Misc. Passages. Extensions to Bldgs. Nos. 3, 16, 22, 26, 32, 33, 36, 43, 45, 59, 75, 79, 119 & 140.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Whitzel, No. 4 – DeKlyn, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Fassel, No. 40 – Peden.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $3,673,000 Power Co. $3,149,920 M.T.R.R. $75,084 Realty $425,150


  • U.S. takes Sewer Easement from Power Co. Across Southern Development by condemnation. Feb. 8
  • Severe snowstorm – several hundred workers marooned in town – food scarce. Mar. 8
  • Necessary permits and lands granted State, County & Town for Dennison Road Construction. Mar. 22
  • Army & Navy Day at Massena Works. Jun. 1
  • Massena Alcoan starts publication. Jul. 12
  • U.S. takes Road Easement Stearns Street Extension by Condemnation. Sep. 1
  • Plancor No. 226 renamed “St. Lawrence Plant”. Oct. 2
  • 47 buses in service carrying workers from surrounding territory into Massena.
  • Dennison Road Construction for access to St. Lawrence Plant.
  • 47 Pine Grove Houses deeded.
  • New Buildings erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 142 (Scalehouse), No. 230 (Valve House), additions to Nos. 55, 68, 74, 131, 140, 215, 224.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Whitzel, No. 4 – DeKlyn, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – VonStocker, No. 40 – Peden.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,158,900 Power Co. $3,143,820 M.T.R.R. $81,352 Realty $358,500


  • Massena Memorial Hospital opens. Jan. 3
  • Power shut off Taylorville-Massena Transmission Line. Jan. 31
  • Keep alive with 2000 volts.
  • St. Lawrence Plant leased to A.C.O.A. Feb. 1
  • Plant Cafeteria opens. Feb. 28
  • 25′ Road Easement from Mill Site to Pontoon Bridge granted A.C.O.A. by Power Co. Jul.6
  • Barn on Chase Farm destroyed by lightning -(Farm abandoned Nov. 1) Aug. 16
  • Severe Earthquake causing extensive property damage. Sep. 5
  • Public Service Commission grants permits to M.T.R.R. for new Railroad Bridges.
  • First evidence of Cow Damage – Donaghue Lands Purchased.
  • 23 Pine Grove Houses deeded.
  • New Buildings erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 64 (Cafeteria), No. 77 (Pattern Storage), No. 78 (Electrical R&M), and miscellaneous passages. Additions to Nos. 20 & 223.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – Whitzel, No. 4 – DeKlyn, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Brooks, No. 40 – Peden.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,288,400 Power Co. $3,143,820 M.T.R.R. $101,260 Realty $300,650


  • M.T.R.R. Relocation Project started by Harrison Construction Co. Mar. 19
  • A.C.O.A. Realty Department moved from Fibre Plant Office to Bldg. 200 – Necessary on account of Railroad relocation. May 29
  • Retirement Plan goes in effect. Jul. 1
  • Harrison Construction Co. Starts removal of Spoil Banks from west side of Canal from Combination Bridge, northerly, for railroad fill. Jul. 30
  • Drainage Ditch Easements granted to U. S. For sewer outfall into Grasse River at Massena Center. Aug. 31
  • Radio Station W.M.S.A. began broadcasting with special ceremonies. Oct. 10
  • Tripartite Agreement – A.C.O.A. The St.L.R.P.Co. & M.T.R.R. for Railroad Allocation. Dec. 3
  • Perpetual Easement given by the St. L.R.P. Co. To M.T.R.R. for Bridge across Canal. Dec. 3
  • New Right-of-Way – East Orvis St. to New Canal Bridge granted M.T.R.R. by The St. L. R. P. Co. Dec. 3
  • Twenty-one (21) Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Extensions erected by A.C.O.A. to Buildings Nos. 3, 16, 18, and 131.
  • Forest Place Tenants – No. 2 – Whitzel, No. 4 – DeKlyn, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Brooks, No. 40 – Schoeffel.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,288,400 Power Co. $3,146,410 M.T.R.R. $153,355 Realty $250,100


  • R. T. Whitzel becomes Manager Massena Operations. E. G. Schoeffel – Reduction
  • Manager. John H. DeKlyn-Fabricating Manager. Jan. 1
  • Office Workers Union No. 180 chartered. May 2
  • Blue Cross Hospital Plan for Employees in Operation (Suspended 1950). May20
  • Colonial Air Lines starts connecting Richards Field Massena with Montreal, Ottawa, New York & Washington. Jun. 4
  • First Aluminum Bridge Span in U. S. placed in new Grasse River Railroad Bridge. Sep. 7
  • Bargaining Agency Election between C.I.O., A.F.L. and No Union. Aug. 21
  • No one received a majority over the other two so a run-ff election was held the next week between C.I.O and A.F. of L. In which the latter was successful by a majority of 392 votes.
  • Aluminum Family Day. Sep. 27
  • Andrews Farm operated since 1898 abandoned. Nov. 1
  • A.C.O.A. leases Combination Bridge from M.T.R.R. (Cancelled 1950) Nov. 16
  • New M. T. R. R. put in operation. Nov. 16
  • Approaches to old Grasse River Railroad Bridge deeded to Town. Dec. 1
  • Twenty-seven (27) Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • New Buildings Erected by A.C.O.A. – No. 65 – Personnel. Extensions to Nos. 1, 124 & 131.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,228,400 Misc. Lands $4,800 M.T.R.R. $247,619 Power Co. $3,110,170 Realty $200,750


  • Town accepts old Grasse River Railroad Bridge from M.T.R.R. Feb. 14
  • A.C.O.A. tenders bid to Government for St. Lawrence Plant. Feb. 21
  • First issue “Management Memo”. Apr. 21
  • Dust Easement acquired by A.C.O.A. on Bayley Farm. May 28
  • New Personnel Building in Service – Old Hospital Building (No. 6) torn down. Oct. 1
  • Dr. M. J. Elder replaces Dr. C. E. Elkins as Plant Physician. Dec. 1
  • No. 2 Pump Station, Pumping Equipment in Bldg. 29 and certain Easements conveyed by A.C.O.A. to Power Co. Dec. 31
  • Water Pumping Contract A.C.O.A. – Village transferred to Power Co. Dec. 31
  • Seventeen Pine Grove Houses deeded.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,282,400 Misc. Lands $4,800 M.T.R.R. $270,919 Power Co. $3,131,170 Realty $200,730


  • Realty Department closes. Feb. 1
  • Collections to Cashier’s Office; Accounting to White Office Building and Engineering to Main Office.
  • Electrical Engineering Division of Research Laboratories started in Fibre Plant. Feb. 1
  • A.C.O.A. purchases Baker (J. B. Dodge) Farm on Massena Center Road. Mar. 8
  • Cubic Foot Rate of Water Pumped by Power to Village Mains Raised. Jun. 1
  • Charles M. Moritz dies. Jun. 27
  • The St.L.R.P.Co. Conveyed Fibre Plant to A.C.O.A. Jul. 8
  • New Diesel Electric Locomotive starts service on M.T.R.R. Aug. 20
  • Air Mail Parcel post established from Richards Field. Sep. 1
  • W.M.S.A. Radio Station starts F.M. Broadcasting. Sep. 23
  • Fire at Massena Country Club (The St.L.R.P.Co. Owned) Sep. 23
  • A.C.O.A. makes Purchase Agreement with Government for St. Lawrence Plant – Takes possession Nov. 11. Nov. 8
  • Fifteen (15) Pine Grove Houses deeded.
  • Miscellaneous Passages erected by A.C.O.A.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,319,400 Misc. Lands $34,000 M.T.R.R. $270,919 Power Co. $3,109,170 Realty $148,650


  • Plaque commemorating 77 Alcoa War Dead unveiled. Feb. 4
  • Floyd E. Horton Farm on Massena Center Road purchased by A.C.O.A. Feb. 19
  • Edmund Sequin (Fulton or Cuglar) Farm purchased by A.C.O.A. Feb. 22
  • Voluntary Insurance Plan in effect. Mar. 1
  • First Beneficiary March 2.
  • Free X-Ray Program for Massena & Vicinity started as a Public Service. May 8
  • County Medical Society guests of A.C.O.A. May 19
  • Obretenoff or Wheeler Property on Dennison Road traded by Power Company for lot on East Orvis St. Aug. 19
  • Three Shore Lots at Richards Bay in Louisville purchased by Power Company for Dead Men Anchorages. Dec. 15
  • Seventeen (17) Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Mill Site $5,319,400 Misc. Lands $47,700 St.L.R.P.Co.Canal, Etc. $3,107,170 Cedars $22,250 Louisville, $7,500 Realty $120,650 M.T.R.R. $276,999


  • Combination Bridge conveyed by M.T.R.R. to Power Company. Jan.3
  • M.T.R.R. Lease with A.C.O.A. Cancelled.
  • Bridge leased by Power Co. To A.C.O.A.
  • Central N. Y. Power Corp. Absorbed by Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Jan. 5
  • Damaging Windstorm. Jan. 14
  • Damaging Windstorm. May 6
  • 11-Year Government Lawsuit Settled. Jun. 2
  • St. Lawrence Aluminum Plant Purchased. Jun. 29
  • Revised Insurance Plan in Effect. Jul. 1
  • 500th Member Inducted in 25 Year Club. Jul. 3
  • First 50-Year Man Massena Works – Charles Blair. Aug. 25
  • George R. Gibbons Died. Sep. 3
  • Damaging Windstorm. Nov. 25
  • Center Span Revamped Combination Bridge Opened. Nov. 25
  • 7 Pine Grove Houses Deeded.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Massena Plant $5,319,400 A.C.O.A. St. Law. Plant $2,041,000 A.C.O.A. Realty Dept. $114,030 St. L.R.P.Co.Canal, Etc.
  • $3,108120 St.L.R.P.Co.Louisville Lands $7,500 M.T.R.R. Property $174,335 Misc. Lands $47,770 Cedars $22,250 Franchise $34,596


  • First potline in operation – St. Lawrence Plant. Jan. 15
  • Final disposition of 14-year Government Suit. Jan. 16
  • R. T. Whitzel, Manager Massena Operations, transferred to Pittsburgh – Succeeded by J. H. DeKlyn. Mar. 26
  • Second potline in operation – St. Lawrence Plant. Apr. 10
  • Frontier Corporation absorbed by Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. May 2
  • Arthur J. Stewart becomes Works Manager Fabricating Division. May 7
  • Reconstructed combination bridge opened to public. May 19
  • Aluminum listed on Stock Exchange. Jun. 11
  • Voluntary increase of $500,000 Massena properties assessment. Jul. 1
  • Tube system from Blooming Mill to Laboratory in operation. Jul. 16
  • Third potline in operation – St. Lawrence Plant Jul. 31
  • 6 Pine Grove houses deeded.
  • Forest Place Tenants: No. 2 – DeKlyn, No. 4 – Stewart, No. 10 – Club, No. 30 – Warner, No. 40 – Schoeffel.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Massena Plant $5,743,400 A.C.O.A. St. Lawrence Pl. $2,141,000 A.C.O.A Realty $99,050 St.L.R.P.Co.Canal, Etc. $3,108,120
  • St.L.R.P.Co.Louisville Land $7,500 M.T.R.R. Properties $174,335 Misc. Lands $27,570 Cedars $22,250 Franchise $75,544


  • Union Strike Vote taken – For 2,832; Against 12; Spoiled Ballots 1. Jan. 30
  • 3,000 ton Hydraulic Press in operation in Forge Shop. Feb. 3
  • 20,000 Saplings planted on Andrews and Lockwood Farms. Apr. 22
  • Sesquicentennial Celebration – Alcoa 50 Years – Town 150 Years.
  • Town Meeting of the Air originated in Massena.
  • Destructive Windstorm at 6:00 p.m.
  • $1,000,000 damage mostly covered by insurance.
  • All utilities down including nine (9) potlines frozen.
  • All services restored by July 30. Jun. 24
  • Greatly curtailed Alcoa Day as part of Sesquicentennial. Jun. 27
  • I. W. Wilson addressed Massena Chamber of Commerce. Sep. 27
  • Massena Memorial Hospital dedicated (Ground broken May 5, 1950). Oct. 4
  • 20-Acre Tract in Southern Development deeded for Grade School. Oct. 9
  • Special retroactive payday $350,000. Nov. 15
  • Premier showing of Sesquicentennial film. Dec. 15
  • 3 Pine Grove houses deeded.
  • Smoke Washers installed St. Lawrence potrooms and Potrooms 40 & 41 Massena Plant.
  • Assessments: A.C.O.A. Massena Plant $5,743,400 A.C.O.A. St. Law. Plant $2,141,000 A.C.O.A. Realty $89,450 St.L.R.P.Co. Canal, etc. $3,108,120
  • St.L.R.P.Co. Louisville Lands $9,800 M.T.R.R. Real Property $174,335 Misc. Lands $33,870 Cedars $22,250 Franchise $209,031

Source: National Aluminum Production Heritage Association

Robert T. Danforth, Massena’s Oldest Mason, Dies

Robert T. Danforth, 85, Massena’s oldest Mason and a descendant of early families in Massena, died at about 4 o’clock Friday morning Mar. 4, 1965, in Massena Memorial Hospital.

He had been hospitalized at various times during the winter.

In 1953, Mr. Danforth broke his hip in a fall on the ice on Main St., and since then had been confined to a chair or bed most of the time. He also retired at Massena Works, Alcoa, in 1953, the second man in history to complete 50 years of service at Alcoa.

The body was taken to the family home at 10 Danforth Place. Wallace Cornell, immediate past master of Massena Lodge 513 F. & AM. conducted memorial services at the home Sunday night at 7:30 o’clock. A large number of Masons attended the services.

The Rev. Michael Lynch, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, conducted funeral services at 10 o’clock Monday morning at the home. The body was placed in the vault to await burial in Pine Grove Cemetery.

Surviving are one sister, Mrs. Lena Danforth Walser, Chevy Chase, Md.; two nephews, Robert Danforth Walser, Manistee, Mich., and Daniel C. Walser Jr., Wood Acres, Md.

Robert Danforth was born in Massena July 18, 1880 a son of Samuel S. and Jennie White Danforth. His mother was a member of the family which built White’s Hotel in Civil War days and operated it for many years thereafter. White’s Hotel was located on the corner of Main, and Andrews St., and included the present Marine Midland Bank, and stores down to the C-M Building. The biggest portion of the 64-room structure burned Dec. 5, 1932.

Mr. Danforth was graduated from Massena High School in 1897 in a class of six, the others being Harriet D. Andrews, Nelson E. Wells, James Bradford, John Murphy and James O’Neill.

He then enrolled in Clarkson College of Technology at Potsdam, and was graduated in1901, the second class to be graduated from that institution. He received a degree of Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. There were only seven members in the graduating class. He spent the following 2 years as an apprentice with the Westinghouse Company, then returned to Massena and began his continuous service with Alcoa Oct. 1, 1903. The first metal was poured at Massena Works that year, and Mr. Danforth was engineer in charge of the powerhouse for the St. Lawrence Power Company, which later absorbed into Alcoa.

For a period, Mr. Danforth worked as a switchboard operator 12 hours a day, seven days week. In 1905, he entered the office of the power company as assistant to I. A . Taylor, the new electrical superintendent. When Mr. Taylor died in 1906, Mr. Danforth was appointed superintendent. When the power Company became a part of Alcoa in that year; Mr. Danforth was transferred to the New Kensington plant where he was engaged in design of the rearrangement of the electrical apparatus and control of the Massena, Niagara Falls, Shawinigan and St. Louis plants. When he completed this work, he returned to Massena and took charge of the drafting room.

On Jan. 1,1916, he was named assistant to the construction superintendent and on Nov. 15, 1928, he was named realty agent. He was promoted to department head in charge of real estate and properties June 7, 1945. He held this position, at the time he retired in 1953.
Historically minded, Mr. Danforth kept a great many records, and was a source of information for events which happened at Alcoa and the community. He compiled a history of Masonry in Massena, which he gave in a speech. This was published in pamphlet form and is still treasured by those people who received it.

He often was called by The Observer to verify information on historical matter. If he did not remember the incident and could answer readily, he would look it up in books or papers he had in his possession.

Mr. Danforth served 18 years as member of the Village of Massena Water Board and as chairman for a time. He was a member of the committee named by Dr. Rollin A. Newton, mayor, to draw tip village zoning ordinances.

Mr. Danforth and Miss Fanny Mulholland were married Nov. 23, 1915. She was a native of Louisville, graduated from Massena High School and Potsdam State Normal, and taught at Heuvelton, Rensselaer Falls and Massena before her marriage. Mrs. Danforth died July 18,1958.

Mr. Danforth became a member of Massena Lodge 513, F. & A.M., Mar. 22, 1904, and in 1964, he was presented his 60-year palm. He served as master in 1910; he served as high priest of Massena Chapter 300, R.A.M. in 1910, 1911 and 1914; he was commander of Massena Commandery 72, K.T. in 1917 and 1918. Only one other man now living, Herbert H. Hatch has served as head of the three Masonic bodies in Massena. Mr. Danforth was a member of Media Temple, Shrine, Massena Lodge 1702, Elks, Alcoa 25-Year Club, St. Lawrence Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite Masonry, Norwood. He was a member of the Massena Chamber of Commerce and the Massena Country Club. He was a communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

History of the Danforth family in Massena is best told in the obituary of Mrs. Philena Danforth, published June 14, 1900 in The Observer. She was the
grandmother of Robert T. Danforth.

It seems appropriate at this time to republish Mrs. Danforth’s obituary as it gives the history of the town. It follows:
Mrs. Philena Danforth died at her home Sunday afternoon June 10, 1900. She had been gradually declining during the past few months, due to a general breaking down of health caused by extreme old age. Her mind retained faculties to the very last and she was able to converse and say goodbye to children and friends up to a few hours before her death.

Mrs. Philena Kinney Danforth was born in Bethel, Vt., Dec. 16, 1805 and was the oldest woman in the town of Massena. She was the only surviving member of a family of twelve, among whom were Hart Kinney, father of E.W. Kinney, of this town; Joseph father of Carlos Kinney; Mrs. Rickard, grandmother of Alpheus and Myron Rickard; Mrs. Cubley, mother of the late William H. Cubley; Mrs. Anderson, mother of the late Col. Hiram Anderson; Mrs. Conkey, mother of Lucius W. Conkey, of Chicago; and Mrs. John Perkins, whose home was on what is now known as the Hopson Farm, on the St. Lawrence River.

The father of this family, Daniel Kinney, was born in Plainfield, Conn., and the mother, Polly Sprague, was a native of Malden, Mass. Mrs. Danforth came to Massena in 1927 with one of her sisters and was married to James Danforth Jan. 21, 1832, and had lived in her home here since 1834. Mr. Danforth was born in Danville, Vt., July 3, 1805, and was a millwright by trade. He came to Massena in 1831 to build a gristmill for the late Col. Orvis and this mill is still standing, being the old stone building on Mill Street, now used as a shingle mill. Later he engaged in the furniture business, which he continued up to the time of his death, Mar. 24, 1877.

Mr. Danforth laid out the street now known as Danforth Street in 1833, and built his house that year, he himself doing all the work excepting, a man whom he hired for one day. The land was then covered with native second growth timber and the old oak tree now standing on the lot near the house was there then.

The territory between the Danforth house and the old stone store now occupied by Stearns & Snaith was a rough common, and there was no carriage road between the village and springs. The buildings now standing which Mrs. Danforth was certain were erected previous to her coming here are the Harrowgate House at the Springs, the old stone store above mentioned the store now occupied by D. Patterson, the main part of the house now occupied by Dr. Taylor, which was then a schoolhouse in another part of the village, the old Andrews house, now a part of the Britton Reed hotel, and H. G. Clark’s residence, in the upper part of which Mr. and Mrs. Danforth began house keeping. The Burney house and Beach house were she thought, built the next year, in 1834.

She remembered being told soon after she came here that Col. Orvis had just given to the town a lot in the village for a cemetery; now the old cemetery near the Congregational church. Shortly afterward Miss Martha Emerson, sister of Mrs. Orvis died and was the first body laid in the new burying ground.

The excitement of the war of 1812 was quite fresh in her memory and she remembered hearing in her Vermont home the boom of the cannon during the Battle of Plattsburg September 1,1814. During Lafayette’s visit to this country in 1814 it was one day expected that he would pass along the country road by her home in his traveling carriage, so at the appointed time, she, with a party of her young friends gathered at the gate to get a glimpse of the distinguished Frenchman. He noticed them, and with a gracious smile he lifted his hat and made a low bow, and this incident, had always been a pleasant one in her

Of her family of six children, only the two youngest are living, S.S. Danforth, of Massena, and Mrs. William Bradford, of Louisville.
The funeral was held from the Adventist church Tuesday afternoon, Rev. H. W. Davis officiating, interment at Pine Grove cemetery. Mrs. Danforth was a member of the Adventist church and her seat was seldom vacant, although her age was near the century mark.

Massena Observer
Tuesday, March 8, 1965

Source: FindAGrave

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