This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of November 24

2023-11-24 TWIR Image-Lafayette Avenue

November 22, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    A huge wild-cat attacked J. T. Gurnee of Ramapo on Sunday night last. It was on his premises, and was not despatched until after a severe fight.
    Rev. P. T. Van Houten, the blind preacher of Delaware, Ohio, will preach in the M.E. Church, Middletown, on Wednesday, November 26, at 7 o’clock P.M.
    Our devil wants to know why the passengers from Nyack on the Northern Railroad are so wicked—because, we suppose, they are on the broad way to—Jersey City.

November 22, 1933 90 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal-News

[Image: Lafayette Avenue Suffern. Undated postcard courtesy of the Suffern Free Librarty, via]
       A chrysanthemum plant five and a half feet long—a floral display that would attract attention anywhere—is blooming in the window of the Lafayette Trust Company in Suffern this week. The yellow flowers, in what is technically known as a Cascade, were given to the bank to exhibit by one of its clients, Harry Kendall, manager for “Skylands,” the estate of Clarence McK. Lewis at Sterlington.*
       Mr. Lewis’ vast farm is noted for the excellence of its prize cattle and for the beauty and profusion of its flowers. Both the animals and the blooms are habitual prize-winners in national shows and contests and Mr. Lewis is a frequent host to Rockland County garden organizations.
        The chrysanthemum will remain on view in the Lafayette bank’s window for as long as the flowers remain fresh, which is expected to be about a week. The delicate blossoms against their green background have attracted much attention from passing pedestrians.
        Inside the bank is another floral display contributed by Mrs. Charles A. Pace, wife of the institution’s president. This is a living collection of mosses and small plants in a square, glass vessel like a goldfish aquarium. The exhibit is known as a “terrarium” and it is expected that the plants in the miniature rock-garden will grow up to the top of the bowl during the holiday season.
        * Note: Lewis’s Skylands estate, located in Ringwood, New Jersey, is now owned by the State of New Jersey and operated as the New Jersey Botanical Garden.

November 23, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Local toy retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers are predicting that national shortages of raw materials may cause a holiday toy shortage this year. Others, however, said the shortage, even if it does materialize, will not be severe, and one storeowner denied that any problem exists at all.
       A toy shortage with an impact unprecedented since World War II is a certainty, according to Morrell Gurdin of the William Gurdin Co., Inc., a Yonkers wholesaler that supplies 50 Rockland stores. Shortages of paper and plastic have hit the industry hard, he said. Orders which took 48 hours to fill last year take three weeks this year, and some suppliers are already refusing to take new orders.
       Merchants are buying up early to insure that they have sufficient stock if there is a shortage, according to Daniel Cimino, assistant store manager for Kids Inc., in the Nanuet Mall. A shortage of plastic is cutting down on the production of some items and halting the production of others, he said. The shortage will not begin to be felt until the last two weeks before Christmas and then it will only be severe in the cases of certain specific popular items like the “Baby Alive” doll, he said.
       Most local stores have been alerted to reports about a possible shortage and have stocked up well, Cimino said. They’ve been telling us for the last two months to buy up. “Everybody should be stocked; if they’re not, they’re out of luck,” he said. Ralph Palma, owner of the Toy Box in Suffern, said that he has had unusual difficulty ordering popular products, some of which have been advertised on television. He said that the supply of toys will be 10 to 15 percent off this Christmas season. Parents who have specific items in mind should buy them in advance, he said.
       A local spokesman for Guidecraft Inc., a toy manufacturer in Garnerville, said that the business has been having difficulty getting the wood needed to make its educational aides for about a year and a half. Many store owners questioned said that they would not be seriously affected by the shortage because they had ordered their supply far enough in advance.
       Hall Brooks, owner of the Auction Outlet in Pearl River, denied that any shortage exists. “I can buy enough toys to fill up all of Central Avenue. I can have all I want,” he said.

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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