From 1912, we ran across this article impugning the sanity of our original hometown and have just been waiting for it to be seasonal and/or timely again. So here we are.
The article from the Schenectady Gazette is headed, “Scotia Plans Insane Fourth.”
Schenectady is to have a safe and sane Fourth – in Scotia, to all appearances, it will be as insane as the former is sane; just how dangerous the celebrations in Scotia may be can be better told on the morning of July 5. Several hundreds of dollars’ worth of fireworks are already on sale in several places in the village, and one man even said he had as much as $500 worth. Several brightly colored signs bearing the words “Fire Works” may be seen in the village.
Some think the coming Fourth will be the noisiest and liveliest the village has ever experienced. They are led to think this because some merchants are advertising that they will pay the car fare of those customers who come from Schenectady. If all the Schenectadians who like to hear the report and see the luminous effects of the various kinds of fireworks go to Scotia to buy and display them, there is little doubt that Scotia will be a lively little place July 4.
It is doubtless displeasing to the village officials to hear the frequent report of a fire cracker or see the Roman candle shoot toward the heavens so long before the great day; for the village ordinance regarding the discharge of fireworks prohibits the use of them except on July 4.
Well, we were curious, so we dug into the paper of July 5 to see whether the village had burned down. Not really, though the Gazette certainly tried to make it seem so:
As was expected the Fourth of July in Scotia was a lively one and there was much noise. Some may have enjoyed it, but many said last night they were very glad the day was almost over. Almost before midnight Wednesday [July 3] the noise began and few people in Scotia got any sleep until late yesterday morning. Every trolley car that entered the village after midnight could be heard throughout the village since the celebrators took every precaution that no car entered or left unless the tracks were well-strewn with explosives, sometimes nearly the whole length of the avenue. Later in the morning after the bigger boys had gone to bed to get some sleep, the smaller ones took up the business and the motormen and conductors on the line are far from good natured toward the boys of Scotia.
The only serious result of the celebration across the river was a fire about 10 o’clock yesterday morning when the house occupied by Fred Stephens of Harwell caught fire from the roof. An alarm was sent in but the flames were put out with a garden hose before the fire chemical arrived. It is thought the cause of the fire was due to children throwing fire crackers on the roof. Practically no damage was done to the house.
Great was the contrast between the village and Schenectady all day for one in the city would not hear a single report from powder in any form while in Scotia the cracks of the fireworks was almost incessant. During the early morning hours and later the noise lessened and the more desirable sort of celebration was taken up. At the fire station a very pretty display was given of over $50 worth of various kinds of colored fire works.