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

2024-03-22 TWIR Image-Erna Bohr

March 21, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       There are human beings who travel on the Northern Railroad and amuse themselves by throwing beans at their fellow travelers. It is a delightful (!) pastime—so manly, so ennobling and so gentlemanly. We once saw this class of amusement brought to a tragic end by a gentleman, who, having expostulated with this class of amusing gentlemen (?) and received jeers and jibes for his answer, returned the “bean fire” with billets of wood which he obtained near the stove in the car.
       The wood spoke for itself; the beans didn’t any more.

March 25, 1924 100 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

       Frederick Painter, the little boy of twelve years of age, who some two or three weeks ago was cruelly abandoned by his parents and turned out of his home on a winter’s night to shift for himself, has come under the jurisdiction of the Children’s Court.
       Fred is mentally a bright boy and entirely normal, except for a marked impairment of speech.
       A good home can be obtained for him with kind people, who will eventually adopt him if this impediment could be corrected. I am assured that it can be done at one of the speech clinics in the city. This will necessitate boarding Fred about six months at $6.00 a week.
       There are no public funds available for the purpose. I am sure there are enough people in our community, who are desirous of doing something really helpful, who will contribute for this purpose. Contributions may be sent to Miss Gladys Mendum, Assistant Probation Officer, Spring Valley, New York.
                     MORTIMER B. PATTERSON;
                     Judge of the Children’s Court

March 21, 1974 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Erna Bohr operates sewing machine in Congers drapery and upholstery shop. Journal News Staff photograph by Ted Neuhoff.]
       The industrial age has touched Congers only lightly, and what amounts to an oldtime cottage industry still survives on a corner of a major state highway.
       Nearby, several small factories are engaged in more modern industries.
       Ginny’s Custom Sewing, a drapery and slipcover business, employs three women in a backroom of an old store. Ginny herself is Mrs. Ginny Ketterer, who lives in Valley Cottage now but graduated from Congers High School years ago and knows most of the hamlet’s citizens.
       “I like the people . . . I’ve known them since they were little kids,” she says.
       She has been working in the old building for 25 years. She used to carry clothing merchandise but was put out of the retailing business when the big chain stores came to the county 14 years ago and put little businesses out in the cold.
       “We all started to hurt,” she says.
       But the custom sewing has brought her a living because she is able to undercut the prices at those same big stores, and she finds no need to advertise the service (most of it is word of mouth.)
       Her customers come from throughout the county and from New York City, she says.
       She learned her trade working in the factories in Nyack and Garnerville, where clothing has been produced for many years. Now, she is “in the process” of buying the old store she has rented for 25 years.
       On Route 303, a few plants provide jobs for local people and for laborers who drive up from the city. They are not the latest in factory design Congers has not welcomed new plants in some time but they are a far cry from the old store on Lake Road.
       At Saxton Products, Inc., firm President Edward Abbo answers a call from Cleveland interrupting a talk about the plant where 230 employes manufacture parts for electronic burglar alarms, antennas, and other electric equipment.
       Some 150 of the workers are Congers residents, according to Abbo, who took over the plant from a bankrupt firm 10 years ago.
       Abbo savs the business has thrived, and he has expanded the plant three times since he leased it. But he has few kind words for local industrial conditions, and says he has trouble getting employes because there is no low-cost housing in the area and “factory labor is almost impossible to get.”
       Transportation is also inadequate for the work force. he says, and shipping the plant’s products by rail—there is a nearby railroad freight line—is uneconomical.
       The company has been quoted a high price for construction of spur to the plant, he says, so he continues to ship by truck along Route 303.
       Abbo has no current plans to leave when the nine years left on the lease are up.
       “I would if I could,” he says.

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.


Well, now I'm invested in Frederick Painter. Was he ever found and helped?

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