HISTORY IS COOL: 75 years ago

Oct. 26, 1945

Bobsled run to reopen

Supervisor Willis Wells was called to Albany Friday by Governor Dewey for the signing of the Certificate of Intent, authorizing the appropriation of $12,000.00 for the opening of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic bob sled run here.

The movement to open the run started on September 14 with a meeting of the Adirondack Bob Sled Club, and its affiliated clubs, called by Supervisor Wells to discuss the need to reestablish the sport of bobsledding which has lain dormant during the war years due to the run being closed. The clubs unanimously endorsed the supervisor’s plan to petition the governor for the opening of the Bob Run for the 1945-46 winter season.

Roger Erikssen home, was in Jap prison 43 months

Seaman Roger Erikssen, a prisoner in Japan for three years and seven months, stopped over here last weekend enroute to visit his mother, Mrs. Joseph O’Rourke of Hew Hampshire, formerly of this village.

Roger, now 26, made the trip from Seattle, Wash., to Placid by bus, stating that he couldn’t “wait” for train reservations from the west coast where thousands of other service men were also waiting. The seaman was one of the survivors of the USS Pope, sunk by her own men when surrounded by Japanese who had sunk two sister ships nearby. All took to life boats where they stayed for 58 hours. On the first day a Jap navy plane circled over them low enough for the pilot to wave, and they believed he might send help. On the second day at sundown the same plane or another swooped low and waved. It wasn’t until the third day that a Japanese ship took them fromt he Java sea, and many of the crew were badly sunblistered. …

Roger was in two prison camps before being sent to the Japanese mainland. There most of the men were assigned as helpers to Jap shipbuilders with three days off a month. He spent the last eight months before his rescue in a hospital after his weight had dropped from 190 to 126 pounds, He has managed since to build it up to 180. He didn’t talk much about his treatment in prison camp.

Enlisting, Erikssen, a graduate of Lake Placid Central School, went in the navy before Pearl Harbor. It was soon after that the Pope was sunk in the Battle of the Java Sea. While in Lake Placid he visited Miss Katherine O’Rourke and told her that at no time during his imprisonment did he give up hope of getting home safely. He plans to remain in the navy.

Lt. Morhouse gets recommendation from county GOP

Lt. L. Judson Morhouse, Ticonderoga attorney, has received the recommendation of the Essex County Republican committee for the Assembly post to succeed Sheldon F. Wickes, retired. The Republican nomination in Essex County is tantamount to election.

(Editor’s note: Morhouse would later become the state Republican committee chairman and engineered the 1958 campaign that led to the first election of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Morhouse later served on the State Thruway Authority and was convicted of taking bribes to help the Playboy Club of New York City get a liquor license. He later owned a plumbing supply business in Ticonderoga, where he died in 1982 on his 68th birthday, according to his obituary in the New York Times.)

To explore the Lake Placid News archives from 1914 to 2008, visit the NYS Historic Newspapers website at https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn86033359/.