Tonawanda News

Opinion

March 16, 2013

TUCKER: History sheds light on naming

Tonawanda News — It’s always fun to hear from Paul Gerlach. This week, following up on recent discussions of teachers, he sends along the following definition of a “school snow day” that he heard on the radio:

“Snow Day:

“1. God’s way of showing teachers that He loves them.

“2. God’s way of showing parents that teachers are underpaid.”

“Principals as well as teachers (and all of the staff) looked forward to the surprise day off,” Paul added.

•••

Does it seem as though spring begins on Wednesday? After a couple days of warm weather, the daffodils have popped up and the trees have a reddish cast which my father used to say was the harbinger of spring. Although by last fall after the hot, dry summer, I feared for some new landscaping plants that were only a year old. In particular, a Japanese maple. But when I scratched a bit of bark off the limbs, the wood underneath was green, so maybe all isn’t lost. Have you noticed more birds flying about and rabbits visiting the neighbors again? Guess we’ll just have to wait for warmer temperatures.

•••

A caller said there’s been some discussion of changing the name of the former Spaulding Fibre site in Tonawanda from Spaulding Commerce Park to something more generic.

That sparked an interest in the Spaulding plant and on the Internet, a wonderful article was found on how the plant began and what the Spaulding Brothers and their plant meant to the city. Spaulding Fibre, a manufacturer of leatherboard, transformer board, vulcanized fibre, Bakelite  and fiber glass tube, operated in Tonawanda from 1911 to 1992 and became a major employer and contributor to Tonawanda’s economic life.

The origins of the company can be traced to a leatherboard mill in Townsend Harbor, Maine founded in 1873 by Jonas and his brother Waldo Spaulding who did business as The Spaulding Brothers Company.

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