This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of November 17

2023-11-17 TWIR Image-Totie Fields

November 15, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    A man in New Hampshire boasts of having raised a radish weighing seventeen pounds. The Democrats in this county raised something a good deal worse than that, on election day.
    A Thanksgiving Dinner and Old Folk’s Entertainment, for the benefit of the pastor of the Spring Valley M.E. church, will be given at the Good Templars’ Hall, S.V., at 5 o’clock p.m., on the 27th inst.

November 16, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

COMMISSION ASKS THAT HAVERSTRAW LOCK-UP BE CLOSED — Village Authorities Have Failed to Make Improvements Recommended Year Ago
       Albany, N.Y., Nov. — In 1920 the State Commission of Prisons issued an order closing the town and village lockup at Haverstraw, the local officials having failed to make improvements recommended by the Commission to put the lockup in a sanitary condition. The Commission was informed recently that the lockup is being used for the detention of prisoners in violation of its order and has asked the District Attorney of Rockland County to enforce the law.
       Subdivision 8 of section 46 of the Prison Law provides that after a jail or lockup is ordered closed by the Commission, “it shall be unlawful to confine or detain any person therein, and any officer confining or detaining any person therein shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

November 13, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Totie Fields at Theater-Go-Round, Nanuet. Photograph by Al Witt]
       The Nanuet Theatre-Go-Round opened Monday night amid charges that it violates the Clarkstown building ordinance. But theater officials may have headed off possible legal action by agreeing to comply with the ordinance by Wednesday, the date of the next town board meeting.
       The $2 million theater complex opened with inadequate outdoor lighting, no blacktop on the entrance road, and an incomplete deceleration lane for traffic on Route 59, according to building inspector Robert Bowman, who posted the violations on the building Sunday.
       About 3,000 people attended the theater’s first show.
       “I can’t stop them from opening,” Bowman said Monday afternoon. He said the owners have not been issued a certificate of occupancy, a legal requirement for any building before it is used.
       Bowman suggested that the town seek a stay from the state Supreme Court to keep the theater closed until it is in compliance with the code, but the town board must vote to request such action.
       Bowman is empowered to issue a summons to the theater owners to appear in town court for violations of the local building code.
       Theater officials met with town officials before the show Monday and said they would have the work finished by Wednesday. Bowman said they will get their certificate of occupancy Wednesday if the work is done.
       Traffic tangles rather than legal tangles provided trouble for local residents on opening night. Cars were reportedly backed up a half-mile in either direction on Route 59 trying to get into the theater.
       One passerby, Mrs. Barbara Haake of Central Nyack, said it took her more than 15 minutes just to get by the entrance, and that traffic at 8:20 p.m. stretched from Middletown Road past the Thruway overpass in Spring Valley, and that nothing was moving in either direction.
       “I was trying to get home and it was terrible,” Mrs. Haake said. “That’s the last time I’ll ever travel on 59 near that theater.”
       The 1,100-car parking lot was filled almost to capacity, according to a crew of guards hired to direct traffic and police the grounds on the light and chilly evening. They had lights, whistles and safety vests to work in a lot with no lighting and temporary lines to mark off the spaces.
       Cars were parked in shopping center lots nearby.
       Other patrons ran across busy Route 59—the theater is located at the base of a hill, and traffic comes down at a fast rate. The police had flares.
       Route 59 is the only access road to the site, but there is a fenced-off emergency route that leads into a residential area. Residents have been assured the theater will not use that route for normal traffic.
       The cars churned up dust clouds on the unfinished road leading from the lot to the highway. Some patrons were forced to walk across a rutted dirt hill to cars parked in a shopping center lot near the box office, now housed in a trailer.
       Town Supervisor William E. Vines, who favored the controversial theater proposal from its inception about a year ago, said it had taken him only about five minutes to get out of the parking lot. Clarkstown police reported that it took from 45 minutes to an hour to clear the lot.
       Traffic on the highway was light when the theater closed, but one policeman said there is an early show on weekends that lets out at about the closing time of the nearby Nanuet Mall.

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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