This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of August 11

2023-08-11 TWIR Image-Rockland Lake Stero

August 9, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Image: Stereoscopic view of Rockland Lake, 1880, Van Wagner. Courtesy of the Nyack Library via]
       Half a mile from the royal Hudson is the oval, mirror-like Lake, set in its mountain frame. As we ascend the hill, the pure air tingles the blood and sets the pulses bounding with new life, and a panorama of beauty bursts upon us for which we were not prepared. — From a batch of trim boats we select the “Ivanhoe,” and away we go dancing along on the crested billows. The wind is dying out. — We’ll have a nibble soon! Sun-fish turn up their saucy noses and glide away. Cat-fish lie where the water is deep and black, but it is to the lazy pickerel we pay our devout attentions to-day. Two hours of rare sport, and we have fifty sleek fellows in the till.
       Very beautiful is the lake with its mountain clasp—its light and shade—its graceful willows, dipping their long branches in the changing water, the twilight shadows deepen on, the moon throws a shower of gold upon the lake, and the scene is a poem of beauty untransferable to perishing canvass.

August 9, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

       Haverstraw was glorified last night when news reached the Bricktown that Sergeant Michael A. Donaldson had been invited by President Calvin Coolidge to attend the burial services at Marion today as guests of the new president. It was reward for fighting Mike’s loyalty to a commander-in-chief.
       Sergeant Donaldson is a congressional honor man, but not a word painter. Yesterday he couldn’t tell newspaper men just what his feelings for President Harding had been. But he decided to go to Washington to pay tribute at the funeral ceremonies. It took some pinching to find the train fare, but it was found and he marched from the White House to the Capitol behind the body of his dead commander. Donaldson didn’t think anybody knew about his presence—or cared, but there was one who did—his new commander-in-chief Calvin Coolidge.
       Comrades testify that never a shiver ran down the spine of Sargon Donaldson when on October 14, 1918, under withering fire, he crept from the sunken Summerance-Landres-et-St.-Georges road, and in broad daylight and in plain view of the enemy, made six trips to the crest of a hill to rescue wounded buddies.
       And today there were no shivers—but Donaldson was puzzled when the President sent for him.
       “Seemed funny,” he said. “Said he ‘wanted the honor’ of meeting me. Seems funny, doesn’t it?”
       But he had recovered before he marched into the Presidential Suite and was asked by Mr. Coolidge to make the trip to Marion.

August 12, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Rustic skills like sheep-raising, home canning, square dancing and string crafts have become extinct among young people in most places this side of Dubuque, right?
       Hundreds of Rockland’s young people are dispelling that notion this weekend by displaying a wide variety of “down home” talents as they participate in the Rockland County Cooperative Extension Association’s annual Youth Fair. The rural adventure began Friday at the boys’ soccer field at Clarkstown Junior High School on Parrot Road, West Nyack. It is continuing through 4 p.m. today.
       Youngsters aged 9 through 19 are competing for cash and ribbon prizes in more than 400 classes in 12 categories. Daily exhibits of yeast breads, string crafts and other 4-H projects are continuous, along with approximately 20 exhibits from community service organizations. Special activities Friday included talent demonstrations and a Dress Revue. On Saturday, there was a horse show, square dancing, a Marionette Show— “Hansel and Gretel”—and a senior citizens art show.
       The fairgrounds will open today at 10 a.m. A dog obedience match is scheduled for 1 p.m.
       Other features of the fair include a water hardness testing area where visitors can have the tap water from their homes tested; a lawn and garden problem diagnosis service offered by the Cooperative Extension, and a 4-H booth to help people learn about that organization.
       “The dos and don’ts of home canning” is another service available at the fair.
       Do rural ideals really have much appeal 20 miles north of Manhattan Island in 1973? If the size of crowds turning out to see the fair’s fare are any indicator, the old ideals are alive and well here.

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.


Regarding article about "Fighting Mike" Donaldson, how many know that Marion is Marion, Ohio, where President Warren Harding had lived and was buried?

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