This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of April 14

2023-04-14 TWIR Image-Street School Tree

April 12, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    Who will catch the first shad?
    The Haverstraw brickmakers are preparing their brickyards for summer work.
    Iona Island was recently purchased by Mr. Degraaf, of the Bowery National Bank, for $38,350.
    Our lady readers may be interested in learning that the large number of deaths from small-pox has materially increased the supply of false hair.

April 14, 1933 90 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal-News

ZUKOR ESTATE TO BE PUBLIC GOLF COURSE — OPERATION ON FEE BASIS IS MURPHY PLAN — Closed By Reason of Depression, Attempt Will Be Made to Meet Upkeep Cost
       Adolph Zukor, film magnate, is not to open his pretentious private playground and country home at New City this Summer. The depression has hit Mr. Zukor like everyone else.
       Mr. Zukor’s absence from his thousand-acre estate, however, will offer opportunity to the golfer. For his 18-hole course, shrouded with shrubbery and scenery the like which is seldom seen in this section, will be opened to the public on a fee basis.
       The announcement was made yesterday by Walter Murphy, 20 years superintendent of the Zukor properties at New City, who will have charge of the venture. Mr. Murphy is now getting the grounds in shape for the Spring opening. He says he will not permit play until some time in May. The fee to be exacted from golfers will be sufficient, Mr. Murphy hopes, to meet expenses of upkeep of the grounds during the Summer. He says it is not to be a money making venture. He is faced with the problem of keeping the estate in trim until Mr. Zukor decides what he will do with it—sell it or occupy it again.
       Along with big, spacious lawns, shrubbery, greenhouses, swimming pool, etc., adjacent to his mansion, Mr. Zukor conducts on the outlying stretches of his estate somewhat of a farm. On the hillside is a herd of sheep. And on the acres of green pastures looking up at the rugged mountain beyond is a herd of 60 of the finest dairy cows.
       The problem of keeping everything intact was recently put up to Mr. Murphy. At first gardeners, farmers, caretakers, handy men, mechanics and the like lost their add jobs on the estate with the precision that the depression struck the motion picture industry this year. But now Mr. Murphy has taken a dozen of them back at reduced salaries and the estate is producing to care for them.
       “I couldn’t stand the thought of it,” said the genial superintendent yesterday. “Some of these men had lived on the place so long, it would be terrible to throw them out now.
       “We’re all hit by this depression. Every man. I wanted to retire a few years ago. I got tired and I thought I would like to travel for a time. Cross to the other side on a liner. I did move over to New City, where I could have my home separate and apart from my work.
       “But these times came on us. I couldn’t leave Mr. Zukor when he came to me and explained circumstances. I couldn’t quit him after going through all the years of plenty with him.
“Why, I’ve seen every stone put in that wall, every piece of tile laid in that pool, everything that has gone into this magnificent place in the last 20 years, I have been here, to see it all through. I just couldn’t leave now.”
       Mr. Murphy explained that he will not remove the steel covering from the electric fountain that sheds its thousands of multi-colored lights into the shrubbery about it. Near the fountain is the spacious tile swimming pool, precious pieces of which were imported from across the sea. The pool gave happiness to hundreds of Mr. Zukor’s guests in the movie industry summers ago. Always on week-ends the film magnate entertained stars and props of the cinema.
       “See how wonderful is this English boxwood,” said the superintendent. “It was imported from England. The shrubbery looks as green as in June. We had it all covered for the Winter.”
       Nearby is the plant conservatory, or greenhouse for the estate. There, the man in charge, Mr. Petrie, was showing choice plans to chance callers. He is selling most of the mature plants and large palms and rubber trees at reduced prices. But he has a variety baby plants and seeds planted intending to carry on during the season without closing the greenhouse.
       Looking over against the rugged mountain high up like an eagle’s nest is the pretentious stone mansion of young Sam Katz. Completed at a cost of $1,250,000 a few months ago it, too, is minus its master save on infrequent visits. Katz, once a phenomenal power at Paramount with Mr. Zukor, is now on the Coast. His brother Harry Katz comes up from New York week-ends to confer with the lone gardener. Katz’s parents may come here from Chicago in May to live in the mansion and in that event the servants and ground keepers, a-dozen or more in number, will be called back to the estate.

April 13, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       CBS-TV, which already has Archie Bunker, Bridget and Bernie and the Late Late Late Show, will add Clarkstown Supervisor William E. Vines to its cavalcade of stars. The Journal-News learned Thursday.
Vines will make a cameo appearance in an upcoming segment of the Six O’Clock News, which will examine persistent rumors that CBS plans to show X-rated movies on the Late Show. A CBS spokesman has called the rumors, which have produced 350,000 letters of protest in the past 13 months, “totally unfounded in fact.”
       Vines came to the network’s attention when he championed a resolution condemning the alleged flesh-film showings in the county legislature and at a meeting of the Clarkstown Town Board.
       Predicting that the network would soon be “funneling filth into the living rooms of Clarkstown,” the outraged supervisor urged citizens to write letters of protest to the CBS brass. Vines was put onto the rumor by local clergymen.
       When Vines learned through a Journal-News article that the X-rate menace was only a rumor, he called CBS and offered to apologize. This week, a network camera crew filmed 90 minutes’ worth of the Vines apology, along with his random comments on the media, the state of the nation, and the social and political implications of “celluloid smut.”
       Much of Vines’ critique, for reasons of time, may wind up on the cutting-room floor, but a sneak-preview indicates that the supervisor conducted a tour de force.
       “Although I am apologizing for the way it (his ill-founded resolution) came to pass,” Vines told an interviewer, “I don’t think it was a bad thing.” Vines explained that as a result of the rumor CBS received a “free survey,” in the form of protest mail, which indicated that “the good people of this nation will not stand for this sort of thing.”
       The protest mail, although misdirected, should make CBS or any other network “think twice” before foisting X-rated flesh upon the American viewer, Vines said.
       In response to a question, Vines said he did not fear X-rated films in themselves, since “there’ll always be people like myself who’ll fight this kind of thing.”
       But the recent flowering of the sex film industry, Vines opined, was indicative of the “demoralization of our country.”
       The CBS spot marks the second television appearance for Vines this year. In his first appearance, during a police demonstration in January, Vines shared the spotlight with Clarkstown Police Sgt. Philip Graziano.
       The Vines segment, according to CBS, will be aired “within the next few days.”

PHOTO: Timbrrrrrr!!!
       Woodman, please (sniff) fell that tree. There have been many community attempts to save the decaying ash tree in front of New City’s Street School, but damage is now beyond repair. So the tree, estimated to be 150 years old, will come down during spring vacation. But it lasted long enough to pose for (left to right) Larry Greenblatt, Gina Cali, Louis Singer, and Karen Bruso, who presented their sketch to principal Robert Looney. Staff photo - Warren Inglese.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC”s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


Add a Comment:

Please signup or login to add a comment.