This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of April 21

2023-04-21 TWIR Image-Butcher Car

April 19, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    Theodore Polhemus, insane, of this village, has been missing since March 31st. He is about five feet high, aged fifty years, hair and beard gray. Was dressed in dark clothes. Any information concerning him will be thankfully received by his friends. Address, Abram B. Hogencamp, Nyack. River papers please copy.
    A swallow has built her nest in the large end of the trumpet which acts as a vane on the flag-staff of the engine house. Sometimes her mate goes away on business and in his absence the wind turns the vane in the opposite quarter, and when the little fellow returns it is amusing to witness his puzzled search after his house.
    There are several meddlesome citizens of our village now propounding the following conundrums: “Was the contract to make a survey and map of our village given to the lowest bidder?” “If the citizens at the last election voted down the proposition for said survey and map, by what authority do our trustees nullify that vote?”

April 20, 1933 90 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Leader

[Image: Milton Sayres in his butcher shop vehicle, ca. 1915. Sayres sits in the driver's seat of his shiny business vehicle. He is wearing a brimmed cap and a full-length fur coat. The truck has white tires and spokes, headlights and a carriage light, and a screened-in cargo area. The business, Broadway Market, was a butcher shop on South Broadway in Nyack. Photo by Wesley A. Jackson. Courtesy of the Nyack Library via]
       Milton Sayres, who had been in the market business in Nyack fifty-five years, died last Thursday while seated in a barber’s chair in a Nyack shop.
       He was 76 years old and leaves a widow, Grace A. J. Sayres, who has been active in Nyack civic affairs and served on the board of education.

       The Clarkstown town board Saturday appointed Edward Wells of Congers super visor to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Raymond H. Brikerhoff. Mr. Wells will serve until December 31, 1933.
       Mr. Wells became well known in Rockland county a year ago when he served as chairman of the county unemployment relief committee.

April 20, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Joseph F. Mackey, 77, was sitting in his Garnerville living room Thursday when he heard the screech of truck brakes. He looked out the window and found a tractor-trailer stopped on his front lawn.
       It was the fifth that had landed there since January. In fact, on Wednesday another truck had careened off Route 202, jumped the sidewalk and crunched the shrubs in front of Mackey’s home at 51 Ramapo Road.
       “There have been such a pile of accidents here over the years that I can’t keep track of them,” Mackey said.
       Milton Pfeister, who has lived in the house across from Mackey’s for 60 years, said, “It’s a bad deal—you never know when one of these trailers is going to come through your house. That road is a raceway all the time. There’s a 35-mile speed limit sign there, but nobody pays any attention to it. Two families have moved away from here because of the traffic and all the accidents.”
       One of those who moved away was Richard Freeman, Mackey’s nephew-in-law.
       “I moved away eight years ago because of a propane tank truck that jack-knifed there. The[y] evacuated all the homes in the area. It’s a busy corner and we can’t get any satisfaction from the state about putting up a traffic light,” Freeman said.
       “Last fall or summer surveyors came and told me a light was on the drawing boards and would be up by the end of the year. It still isn’t here,” Mackey said.
       “I’ve been trying to get a light here for at least 15 years. I can’t count the number of crashes,” Pfeister said.
       West Haverstraw Mayor Edward Zugibe said he has written many letters to the state Department of Transportation, which must approve all traffic lights on Route 202.
       “The last time they said they were thinking seriously about putting one in. It’s a bad turn on a bad road, but generally all you hear is that they don’t have any money,” Zugibe said.
       According to Haverstraw town police, a car driven by Kevin T. Coll of Garnerville was stopped on the highway for a turn when the tractor-trailer, driven by Ralph A. Perone Jr., of Middlesex, N.J., came down the hill. Police say that Perone lost his braking power and swerved off the road onto Mackey’s property to avoid hitting the car. There was minor damage to the vehicles but no injuries.
       “He was lucky,” said Mackey. “Another few inches and he would have hit that power pole and been electrocuted.”

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.


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