What did Elmirans do in the hot summer of 1922?

Canning fruit was always important — strawberries and cherries. Jars and rings were available at the Barker Rose & Clinton store at 109 Lake St.

Much like today, Eldridge Park held outdoor concerts every Sunday. On June 25, the Eclipse Factory Band played at 3 pm

Jennie Curtiss offered summer dancing lessons at her home at 205 Columbia St. She frequently went to New York City to learn the newest dances for her students.

The local Girl Scouts offered a free swimming course at the Federation Building on East Church Street. One hundred forty-seven signed up.

The excursion rate to Watkins Glen was $1 round trip, Sundays only on the Elmira Water Light & Railroad. A trolley left Elmira every hour on the half-hour.

For the religious-minded, camp meetings under the auspices of the Free Methodist Church were held at Eldridge Park during the last week of June.

Like today, Eldridge Park had a “Big July 4 Celebration” with a “great spectacular display of fireworks.”

You could buy fireworks “all night July 3” at Edward Hoffman’s, 101 E. Church St. Not to be outdone, the Baker Brothers offered the same hours at 117 Lake St. All fireworks in Elmira were sold out by noon.

Young men had big bonfires, and burned wagons, boxes and barrels. The largest bonfire was on the corner of Park Place and West Third Street.

“For the first time in its history, Elmira passed through a real safe and sane Fourth of July with only one accident,” requiring a few minutes of medical attention.

In late July, complaint reports were made in Elmira Heights against boys swimming in Newtown Creek — not because they were swimming, but because they wore no suits. Added to this report was that girls were in the “habit of going to the banks of the swimming hole to watch the boys in the water.”

Sun-Maid raisins ran big ads stating that the “best lunch on a hot day is two packages of Sun-Maid raisins and a glass of milk” — available for 5 cents everywhere in little red packages.

Summer school started on July 6 for 175 students. Many were Elmira Free Academy students who wanted a jump start on algebra, Latin, French, English and geometry.

On Aug. 4, 1922, Elmira’s first traffic tower was placed at Main and Water streets — connected to electricity with two lights facing in each direction that were manipulated by the traffic officer who was seated at the top.

A story-telling festival was held Aug. 10 at Brand Park. Children were asked to be dressed in storybook characters’ outfits.

The Doyle-Marx music store offered the portable Victrola No. 50 record player, which you could take on camping trips, as it “transforms the most remote and isolated camp instantly into a great opera house, a lively music hall, or an animated ballroom.”

The Steele Memorial Library figures showed a steadily increasing demand for scientific information. That summer, the library moved from Lake Street to Church Street because the Carnegie Foundation donated a new building on East Church Street (today’s Chamber of Commerce). The new facility could accommodate more books and patrons. The fiction section was doing OK, but because of the new “radio craze,” Elmirans were fascinated by building wireless radios. Downtown appliance stores selling radios were doing a booming business.

The end of summer always came when the school bell first ranked in September. That year, 6,500 students got up early on Sept. 5 and answered the call to books all over Elmira. Three hundred fifty were first-year students at Elmira Free Academy. The total in all EFA classes was expected to be 1,575 — 100 more than the previous year.