LeRoy Pennysaver & News

LE ROY PENNYSAVER & NEWS - AUGUST 21, 2022 by Lynne Belluscio “It is often said, my generation grew up without being so pampered. We made good citizens. Why all this fuss and expense over organized play? Very good and wise words these would be if conditions facing our young folks today were the same as they were a generation ago....A multiplication of interests, an enormous expansion of entertainment...have brought complications into the lives of our boys and girls. He who trusts them solely to the undirected regime of the simple days before the movie, the modern dance, the new liquor problem, and the motor car will doubtless come to the conclusion some morning that the whole world is going to the dogs – which isn’t the case at all. Any disasters will only mean that there are a lot of indifferent adults that have to be painfully taught that the world changes. “ These were the words written 100 years ago in a little book ”Where and How Le Roy Plays,” published in 1922. It was a report of the LeRoy Recreation Commission. There were a lot of plans being made back then. The Commission hired Daniel Carroll of Sharon, Pennsylvania to be the Director of recreational activities. He had previously served as an instructor in the Department of Health Education of the Edinboro State Normal School of Pennsylvania, in charge of swimming classes. Swimming classes in LeRoy were held at the pools at Red Bridge and each year there had been a water carnival. But the Recreation Committee hoped to build a swimming pool. Ernest Woodward had bought land next to the creek along Mill Street. Harold Olmstead had drawn up plans for the pool. And the Commission hoped to build a wading pool for the younger children. None of that came about and it would be many years before a pool was built on Munson Street, and hopefully the new water park will be finished this year, but there have been numerous delays. In 1922, there were many other activities. Baseball games were planned at the high school athletic field for the boys of the various churches or between boys of “the various streets.” Volleyball, soccer, football, track and other games had been offered. Tennis was played on four tennis courts near the club house on Summit Street, under the direction of Paul Boylan. The tennis courts and the club house had been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Woodward. Boys’ camp had been conducted at Conesus Lake and Lake Ontario. Plans were made to hold camp at Silver Lake at the Boy Scout Camp. Skating for two winters had been held on the Creek. Younger children skated on the flooded tennis courts. The Commission also offered basketball, pool, table games and a reading room in Muller Hall. (Not sure where Muller Hall was located.) “Good shower baths were installed - - “ The Woodward family offered the use of the old Kellogg home on the corner of Main Street and Church Street where scout meetings could be held. The booklet mentioned that a cake-baking contest had been held and Fred C. Center had organized the Decoration Day activities. There were several singing and musical programs, Community Sings, and Christmas Carols. The Rev John Leffler was the President of the Commission and Mrs. Wm. Robbins was the Secretary. Donald Woodward served as Grounds and Equipment and Mr. LaBounty was the head of the Personnel committee. Dr. Graney was in charge of Health and Safety. Mayor H.B. Ward organized the Commission “His unfailing sympathy and considerate advice have been the greatest single factor in whatever success has been attained.” The Commission listed some of the needs for the future: “ A new and safe swimming pool. A regulation playground with wading pool for smaller children. At least two bowling greens for men in the new park. A basket-ball floor available for boys and girls outside of school hours. A permanent clubhouse for boys and girls, for scouting and other organizations. And some day, a fine modern indoor swimming pool for everybody.” A Hundred Years Ago