•50 Years Ago - October, 1959•

The new steel bridge is now having its final coat of paint over the red lead exterior.

Bears more plentiful now

The Adirondack bear population is increasing rapidly but the New York State Conservation Department is not worried. Despite a recent bear attack on Richard Bomyea, 25, a fire observer near Saranac Lake -when a bear mauled his shoulder and than fled - bears rarely attack humans. Bomyea was the first casualty in the state since records have been kept.

Bears have been showing up recently in relatively large numbers at garbage dumps in Indian Lake, Lewis and Elizabethtown. In August 1958, Mrs. Albert Evans saw a 300-pound bear climb out of the Schroon River in Warrensburg near Lem Hayes' old shoe shop and disappear down Frank Robinson's driveway. Charlie Reed also spotted a mother bear with her cubs in his berry patch.

Lights out, juke box silent at Wayside

The old Wayside hotel and bar on River Street closed its doors at midnight, Sept. 30, 1959. The red neon beer signs which flickered invitingly from the windows are gone, the last glass is emptied and the juke box is silent. All that can be heard is the sound of the Schroon River rushing over the rocks on the way to the Hudson.

Frank Johnson died in April of 1959. He and his wife, Anna owned the business for the past 14 years. Anna is now living in a pleasant second floor apartment in the Ashe block with her two grandchildren, Dickey, 17 and Diane, 15. Their brother, Danny, 25 has graduated from college and works as a salesman for International Paper Co.

Anna says that the Wayside Hotel has always been a working man's place and the patrons have always treated her properly and with respect.

On the night of Sept. 30, 1959 about 100 of the old patrons gathered at the bar to give "Mom" a farewell party. Dick Lanfear was bartender and son-in-law Keith Spottswood was on hand to help close.

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