Glenn Leader 1939

“Forsaking goldfish and Victrola, Syracuse University undergraduates have crowned their hamburger gulping champion instead. The king of ‘wimpies’ is Glenn Leader of Skaneateles, who downed the five required hamburgs in one minute and 27 seconds during a contest sponsored by the Yankee Inn, near-campus restaurant.

“In the preliminary tryouts in which finalist were selected, Leader chewed through five well-catsuped hamburgs in two minutes and two and one-half seconds to lead all other contestants and the two other qualifiers for the main event, and in the finals beat even his own record.”

— “Wimpy Goes Collegiate,” Cortland Democrat, May 26, 1939

Photo of Glenn Leader from the 1939 Onondagan

Wimpy BW

Note: J. Wellington Wimpy, generally referred to as Wimpy, was a hamburger-loving character in the comic strip Popeye, created by E. C. Segar in 1934.


Mystery Solved

Mystery Boathouse

My thanks to Bruce Kenan, who writes, “The boathouse was on the property of Daniel Robbins, and my guess is that is Robbins seen throwing sticks into the lake for his dog.
The boathouse suffered a fire many decades ago (in the 1940’s?) and was partially rebuilt into a single story building until more fully restored… The dog’s name? I have no idea.”

When a boy, Daniel C. Robbins walked more than 50 miles to New York City to answer a help-wanted ad. Impressed by his grit, the pharmaceutical company hired him as an assistant clerk. The boy rose in the company, which eventually became known as McKesson-Robbins. Two more formal portraits of Daniel Robbins, without a derby or dog, are shown below.



On Exhibition, 1906


“On Saturday afternoon last, Rev. C.B. Thorne brought to the Free Press office a mammoth pie plant leaf, grown in his garden on State st., which measured three feet across and a like distance in length, being one of the largest leaves we have ever seen. The stalk was thirty-one inches in length and 1 ½ inches in diameter. The leaf was perfect in every way and the stalk was a superb specimen of pie plant. The stalk and leaf was placed on exhibition at the store of the Bench Hardware Company.”

— “A Mammoth Leaf,” Skaneateles Free Press, June 26, 1906

CB Thorne

Note: “Pie plant” is a nickname for rhubarb, given because rhubarb was often an ingredient in pies. The Rev. Chauncey Bell Thorne (1833-1909), who cultivated the giant leaf, was a minister in the Society of Friends but had spent much of his childhood and adult life farming, and brought a wealth of experience to his village garden.

The Acme of Perfection, 1934


“Nathan Schweitzer, the largest poultry dealer in the United States, whose business is located in New York City, made a special trip to Krebs, about which he had heard so much, to take dinner, last week. The following was published in the Hotel World Review, the national weekly newspaper of the hotel business:

“Nathan Schweitzer’s discriminating judgment and appreciation of epicurean treats was completely and pleasantly regaled while visiting ‘The Krebs,’ at Skaneateles, N.Y., last week. According to Mr. Schweitzer, the art of dining has reached the acme of perfection at this hospitable establishment on a beautiful lake twenty miles from Syracuse.  F.R. Krebs and his charming wife have successfully operated this popular eating place for thirty-five years, gaining an enviable reputation for delicious home-cooked meals featuring fresh garden vegetables. A bountiful and well balanced table d’hote dinner is served with immaculate and unusual service. Each course is served by a different waitress specially instructed in the service and preparation of each dish. ‘The Krebs’ is open from May to November, serving as many as 1,500 meals daily.”

— “An Appreciation of Krebs” in The Skaneateles Press, June 28, 1934

Fervid Rays, 1858

“The dwelling houses in Skaneateles are neat and tasteful buildings, very cleanly in appearance and the yards in front of them are filled with choice shrubbery and elegant flowers, which with the gravel and other walks running through them give the beholder the highest idea of comfort and convenience to be found within these habitations. There are also side walks of brick, stone and wood on each side of the principal streets, all in excellent repair, while the said streets are planted with a large and healthy growth of shade trees, the foliage of which is so thick and wide spreading as to completely shelter pedestrians from the fervid rays of the noontide sun.

“The business portion of the town is all situated on the lake shore (an unfortunate arrangement, by the way) and considerable activity and enterprise is manifested there, though we must confess that we have seen rather more of this sort of movement in Broadway, New York city. To sum up, as the lawyers say, this is a beautiful, quiet and orderly little village, and if a man has the requisite amount of dollars to support himself in style, he cannot pitch upon a more desirable location for a residence. We say this honestly and sincerely.

“Rather a laughable incident befell us while gauping about the streets. We were wandering along the one that runs close to the lake shore in a south-westerly direction, and just as we got opposite a fine Gothic house, with elegant surroundings, a lady came to the door with a broom in her hand. We stood like a great green horn as we are, gazing at the house with considerable intensity, when the aforesaid lady exclaimed with much animation to some one within, ‘Jane, Jane! Come here quick! There! Did you ever see such a well dressed Indian before?’

“Tis unnecessary to add that we ‘scattered’ like chaff in a whirlwind.”

 — From “Visit to Skaneateles,” Skaneateles Democrat, August 5, 1858; reprinted from the Onondaga Gazette, no author named.

A Queen Among Us

Queen Mona

In January of 1944, Mona Ruwaldt was destined to graduate from high school as the valedictorian of her class and go on to college, but first there was a coronation. The young people of Hammond, Indiana, had collected 50,000 pounds of paper in a drive for the war effort. Mona and her classmate Doug Radicky were chosen to reign as the royal couple, the Salvage Paper King and Queen. Their photo appeared in newspapers across the nation.

Mona went on to graduate from Northwestern University with honors, followed by med school, a career as Mona Ruwaldt, M.D., and a life as wife and mother. Today, unaffected by her titled origins, she lives quietly on Lake View Circle, showing the grace of true royalty.

Mona CU

Photo: ACME Newspictures, Chicago Bureau, Tribune Tower, Chicago