This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of February 9

2024-02-09 TWIR Image-Mrs Coyman

February 7, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

THE ICE CROP — The principal ice companies in N.Y. City are still in doubt as to the prospect of obtaining a fair supply of ice the present season. Though the Hudson River is pretty well frozen over at many points[,] the ice below Catskill, it is reported, is not thick enough to make available. The snow on the ice in the Hudson above Poughkeepsie is at present several inches deep, and this has in a measure prevented the ice-men from attempting to gather the past few days. At Coeyness the ice is eight inches thick and at Catskill it is about the same, and from these two points the first ice has been gathered the present season by one or two New York companies. It has been freezing hard, however in the river and the parties more immediately interested express themselves as hopeful of obtaining a fair supply of ice during the present month if the cold snap will but last ten days longer.

ICE — The two ice houses at Rockland Lake have a capacity of 80,000 tons. There was on the first of January less than 20,000 tons of old stock of ice left. There was about five inches of ice at Rockland Lake on Tuesday of this week. One acre of ice on the lake one foot thick will cut 1000 tons.

February 9, 1924 100 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

REPORT HACKENSACK PLANS A RESERVOIR NEAR PEARL RIVER — Surveyers at Work in Naurashaun Section — Legal Fight Seen over Source
       Surveyors are at work and land is being condemned in the Naurashaun section of Orangetown for what purports to be a movement on the part of the city of Hackensack, N.J., to build a five mile reservoir in the valley of the Hackensack creek to supply water to Hackensack. The northern extremity of the reservoir will reach as far as VanHouten’s mills, it is said, and a large portion of it will include New Jersey land.
       Because the source of supply will be from New York state land a legal fight is anticipated before title to the proposed reservoir is given, although no definite reports as to how far the matter has developed could be obtained yesterday.
       Hackensack has been trying for several years past to locate a reservoir in the Ramapo Valley near Suffern but lost in a fight in the courts which finally went to appeal.

February 8, 197450 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Mrs. Coyman advertises her service. Photograph by Al Witt.]
       There’s no pill you can take for the gas pains suffered from waiting in long lines at service stations but there is relief available—-and it’s probably cheaper than most prescriptions.
       For $1.50 per hour, Mrs. Irene Coyman of Greenwood Lake in Orange County, will pick up your car, and get gas for you.
       For the past three days, the 28-year-old housewife has been advertising the “Gas Getter” service in the Positions Wanted column of the JOURNAL-NEWS classified section and has had more than a dozen responses. As yet, however, there have been no takers.
       “People just aren’t desperate enough yet,” she said Thursday.
       Apparently, she said, the cost of her service is standing between her and those long time-consuming lines.
       “One man who called and found out I would charge $1.50 per hour said. ‘Then I’d be paying over a dollar a gallon for gas,’ Mrs. Coyman said. “They usually say that if they need my services, they’ll call me back.”
       The advertisement, which began Tuesday and will run through Monday, reads, “GAS GETTER. Too busy to wait on gas line? I’ll wait for you while you work. Call today. I’ll wait tomorrow.”
       “The idea occurred to me a long time ago when I first heard about the shortages,” Mrs. Coyman said. “It seemed like a very logical thing to do.”
       She figured Rockland was a juicier plum for the effort than Orange County because of the greater population and the severe shortages here.
       “But it’s getting bad here, too,” she said. “The lines aren’t as long, but the stations just don’t have the gas.”
       While no one has hired her yet, Mrs. Coyman is encouraged by recent government discussions of proposals to restrict gasoline station operating hours to non-rush hours.
       One proposal has been to limit gasoline sales to between 9:30 a.m. and 4:40 p.m.
       “That could help me quite a bit,” she said. “A lot of people wouldn’t be able to get gas because they would be working.”
       The only foreseeable problem in her project is the possibility she would be stuck in a gas line at 3 p.m. when her 7-year-old daughter gets out of school.
       Then she would simply have to return the automobile to its owner and hurry home.
       “But I wouldn’t charge him if I was unable to get him gas,” she said. “That wouldn’t be fair.”
       Even if her venture continues at its present level of nonsuccess, Mrs. Coyman says she will be satisfied with her effort. “It’s been worth the $14 (the ad’s cost) just to get to listen to people’s beefs,” she said. “One woman kept me on the phone for a half hour.”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. © 2024 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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