This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of May 3

2024-05-03 TWIR Image-

May 2, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

Written for the Journal
Sing, O birds, and blossom flowers!
Sparkle, dew-drops, cease, O showers!
Shine, O sun, and sky be blue—
May is here to smile on you.
Happy, bright and bonny May,
Bringing with her hours of play,
Twining ‘round her brow the vine,
Violets blue, and eglantine;
Scattering with a lavish hand,
Nature’s darlings o’er the land.
At her call comes to the hills,
Through the dales, beside the rills,
Fairest flowers of every hue
Spring by magic into view.
Seen by none but practiced eye,
The May-flower hides in beauty shy,
Emitting odors strangely sweet—
It thus reveals its snug retreat,
While shining from a mossy bed,
The star-flower lifts its pretty head.
Where the brook ‘tween tall ferns flowing,
From its depths white pebbles glowing,
Winds around a shaded spot,
Sadly smiles “forget-me-not.”
Gathering on the village green,
Lads and lasses now are seen,
With happy hearts and smiling faces,
They hail her queen of all the graces,
Who wears a crown of flowers more fair
Than all the gems that real queens wear.
But, hark! they sing, and ‘tis of May,
Who brought the pleasures of this day.
O jubilee! sing, birds, sing, bees,
Let music murmur through the trees;
Let every heart, whose cup of bliss
Is overflowing, sing of this.
O flowers, lift up your voices! Sing
Till all the universe shall ring,
And all the stars shall gladly say—
“Upon the Earth this month is May!”

May 3, 1924 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Times

ROCKLAND OFFERS VARIED SCENERY — Lovers of Farm or Village — Life Charmed by County
[Image: Grassy Point, Hudson River, 1924. Lithograph Signed lower right: Arthur B. Davies. Image courtesy of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art]
       By Mrs. Gale Spaulding
       Wild and rugged hills, placid farms, old fashioned villages and settlements and a few handsome modern country homes make structural Rockland County picturesque, impressive, inspiring and as variable and mysteriously alluring as a princess of the Nile—that is Rockland County.
       From the Hudson River at the east to the Ramapo Mountains at the west from Stony Point at the north to Tappan at the south, this comparatively unknown-to-the-world little county, serenely superior to tumult and turmoil, possesses such lasting charm and fascination that it is a common statement that no one who tarries long enough to feel its lure ever leaves voluntarily or fails to return.
       Whether the soul of the wanderer craves adventure, romance, back to nature solitude and serenity, farm life, the country gentleman role or a conventional village existence with the thrills of commuting whatever the kind of place he dreams of, it may be found in Rockland County.
       Not many miles to the north is a settlement of artists and writers. Some have only crude shacks constructed by themselves, others have charming foreign looking studios and homes, all scattered widely throughout a vast acreage of woodland.
       For the commuter there is a wide choice of villages, some convenient to the West Shore Railroad, some to do Erie and its branches. Nyack, Grand View, Piermont on Hudson and Sparkill are all good commuting stations on the Northern Branch of the Erie Railroad which is operated between Nyack and Jersey City, Tappan, famous for its old stone 1776 house in which Andre was imprisoned, has stations on the Erie and the West Shore, Blauvelt, Orangeburg, West Nyack, Congers and Haverstraw are on the West Shore. Nyack has access also by ferry to the New York Central Railroad at Tarrytown and that route to New York City is popular during the summer.
       There is also a well established bus service between the villages along the Hudson from Nyack as far south as Englewood and that service also extends to many inland villages, including Nanuet, Spring Valley and Suffern, but there isn’t a trolley car in Rockland County. —Evening Sun, Saturday.
       (Mrs. Spaulding, the author, is successful real estate and insurance agent in Nyack. Ed.)

May 2, 1974 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)—The singing telegram will pass into New York State history books Monday when the Western Union Telegraph Co. ends the service. The state Public Service Commission has authorized discontinuation of the 40-year-old practice after Western Union cited lack of customers and singers.
       Western Union said 45 states already have ended the service, and usage in New York averages about five sonorous greetings per day. The company began the custom during the depression, and for $1 extra a customer could request that a uniformed messenger sing the greeting in person. Telephoned songs were free. In 1950, the singing was limited to the telephone and cost 25 cents extra. That rate later was boosted to 50 cents with the addition of musical Valentines, Fathers Day and Mothers Day calls.
       New York is the only Eastern state to still offer the service, but company officials said they could not make a practice of testing the voices of prospective employes.
Those who recalled the voices of the uniformed messengers were not sure the company ever made such tests, the PSC report said.

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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