This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of September 8

2023-09-08 TWIR Image - Braunsdorf
2023-08-09 TWIR Image - Church

September 7, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Image: Factory of J. E. Braunsdorf & Company. Aetna sewing machines were manufactured here. Later this site became the Dexter industrial complex. This print is found in the 1876 “Combination Atlas Map of Rockland County.” Courtesy of Nyack Library Local History Room via]
       You need not think, friends, that we intend to give you information of a river wherein you may fish for pearls as easily as little boys fish for sunfish and shiners. The pearls which ornament the diadems of princes and shed their soft beauty over the brows of grandeur, are not won by such playful means. Human toil and human lives alone bring them from their resting places in the deep, and very seldom indeed is the toil properly rewarded, or the lives properly appreciated.
       The Pearl River of which we wish to have a short chat with you, is of a different nature in several respects, in others similar. To secure the pearls you will be called upon to labor, for unlike many other newly laid out villages, labor is its foundation stone. Situated in the midst of a magnificent farming district, it promises to become at no distant day one of the most attractive places in our county. The land is high, fertile and bounds in choice building sites. The new village contains a good hotel, well built and occupying an excellent position, without, however, making pretension to the exclusive support of the fashionable birds of passage.
       In addition to this, it has a good store, post-office, lumber and coal yards, and various other business places. A very large manufactory is in rapid process of erection for the Aetna Sewing Machine Company, which will give employment to hundreds of persons. The building is of brick and lies in close proximity to the Hackensack Extension Railroad, thus giving the Company unequaled facilities for the transportation of their machines over all the branches of the Erie Railway, which is equivalent to saying through-out the United States.
       To the enterprise and enlarged public spirit of Mr. Julius E. Braunsdorf, seconded by a few others who appreciated his efforts, Pearl River owes its existence. There is nothing ephemeral or showy about the place, neither would it be attractive at the present time to fashionable idlers. Yet we predict that before the lapse of many years, Pearl River will be one of the most active and prosperous villages in the whole of Rockland County. Coincident with the finishing of the manufactory, Mr. Braunsdorf will have completed a considerable number of tasteful and convenient cottages, in which the operatives may enjoy the comforts of home, better than could be obtained in the crowded city. Mr. Braunsdorf is a gentleman of enlarged, liberal views, and does not think that the producing classes should live in huts. We shall look to the future of Pearl River with more than ordinary interest and shall record its future improvements with genuine pleasure.

September 4, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

13 NYACK BABIES WIN HONORS AT NEW CITY FAIR — Jean Schupner Gets First Prize In 2 Year Old Class — 40 In Contest
       Babies, about forty of them, from many parts of Rockland County, were “shown” at the New City County Fair on Saturday afternoon.
       It was frightfully hot in the tent where the doctors and nurses examined the babies for judging and some of the patient mothers had to wait for more than an hour for their turns. However, Miss Blake and Miss Peters the nurses of the community, and the Mesdames Traphagen, Leggett, Kessler and Ross who assisted them, are willing to state that there are no finer babies to be found than those of Rockland County. Dr. John D. Kernan, Dr. Willlams and Dr. Obberender, all of whom practice in New York, awarded the prizes, which were silver spoons.
       Several Nyack babies were among the winners. Jean Schupner won first prize in the two-year-old class, with Howard Phillips, of High avenue, a close second.
       Baby Christian, of Piermont avenue, won first prize in the eight-months old class.
       After the heat and confusion of the day the tired doctors and nurses had every reason to believe that the non-crying baby had won out on nearly every point, for pandemonium reigned during the show. As the last ten children were placed on the table for the final test, but one of the ten was quiet, all the others were crying lustily. Who wouldn’t pick him as a winner?

September 6, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Tomkins Memorial Church leaves only a scrap of bracing behind as it’s trundled along peaceful country road in half-mile move Wednesday from Elm Street to Route 9W. Move was stalled earlier by utility poles which had to be separated to let it pass.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. © 2023 by The Historical Society of Rockland County. #FBF Flashback Friday may be reprinted only with written permission from the HSRC. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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