This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of December 22

2023-12-22 TWIR Image-Nyack Memorial Park

December 20, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    Merry Christmas!
    A year ago we had sleighing.
    Ice-houses are getting hungry.
    Read the Tax Collector’s notice.
    Evergreens are in demand just now.
    Peace on earth and good will to men.
    Our town taxes this year are two per cent.
    Skates are becoming rusty for want of use.

December 22, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

[Image: Nyack Memorial Park, ca. 1920. HSRC Permanent Collection.]
       Nyack’s Living Tree of Light in Memorial Park will be lighted on Christmas Eve and every night thereafter until after New Year.
       On Christmas morning the usual treat of candy, nuts and toys will be distributed among the children at the Christmas gathering in the Broadway Theatre. Parents and friends may occupy the balcony but the entire orchestra will be reserved for the children.
       James W. Pacey, chairman of the arrangements, has secured two fine moving pictures to be shown, one “The Night Before Christmas,” and everything points to a merry time for the “kiddies.”

       Mr. and Mrs. Irving McKesson, of 178 East Seventy-ninth street, gave a ball at the Ritz-Carlton last evening to introduce their daughter, Miss Mary Henderson McKesson. Over one thousand guests assembled in the large ballroom of the hotel.
       The debutante’s mother, who was Miss Mary Henderson before her marriage, formerly lived on Tallman avenue, Nyack. She was considered one of the most beautiful girls in Nyack at that time.

December 20, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       “Scrooge is alive and well and residing in the vicinity of Suffern.”
       That’s what Barbara Blanchard thinks. She’s “livid” about thieves who she says have been chopping evergreens on the Cobblestone Farms property in Suffern to use as Christmas trees.
       One of the planted evergreens which line the borders of the Viola Road property was stolen last year, and four more have been pilfered in the last two nights, Mrs. Blanchard, the daughter-in-law of the caretaker for the 30-acre estate, said Wednesday.
       “Anyone who could steal a tree that was growing on someone else’s property and take it home and decorate it for Christmas, a holy day that symbolizes peace, truth, and brotherhood, has entirely missed the true meaning of Christmas,” she said.
       “If you’re too cheap to buy your own Christmas tree, knock on my door and I’ll buy one for you rather than see you cut down another lovely tree that took many years to grow.”
       Donald O. Blanchard, the caretaker for the Henry von L. Meyer estate, said that the trees that have been stolen were about 12-feet high, and probably about 15 years old. He said he thought the thieves had cut them down with saws.
       The trees are just Christmas-tree size, said Mrs. Blanchard. There are two rows of evergreens on the property. They insulate the property from the road while at the same time providing pleasant scenery for passing drivers, she said. “People have been hopping over the fence and chopping them down,” she said.
       When they’re standing, they benefit everyone, but after they’re cut, everybody loses out, she said.
       She said that the police had not been called in on the case because it seems like a petty thing to complain about.
       A spokesman for Ramapo police said that stealing evergreens for Christmas trees is very rare. He said he has never heard of a case like this before.

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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