This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of May 17

2024-05-17 TWIR Image-Savage-Clausland March

May 16, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    On Thursday, Smith Lydecker sold to the Knickerbocker Ice Company 250 tons of ice at $4 per ton.
    It costs something to get drunk in Nyack; Justice Meeker fined a disturber of Sunday proprieties $25.
    The Jersey City and Albany Railroad trains commenced running to Tappantown on Monday last.
    To the intense relief of many of our citizens the street sprinkler commenced operations on Monday morning last.
    Can’t those citizens living in the vicinity of our public lamps afford to light them during these dark nights?
    Allowing thirteen yards for a dress, the Rockland Print Works finish enough calico daily to clothe 27,077 women.
    A meeting will be held in the Division Room S[ons] of T[emperance], next Monday evening, to organize the Cadets of Temperance.
    Dr. Gerrit F. Blauvelt, who was formerly one of us as a student of Dr. Smith, is now House Surgeon to Roosevelt Hospital.
    R. P. Eells has received one of the handsomest lots of bird-cages ever brought into the village and he is selling them very cheap.

May 15, 1927 – 100 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

       The New York Aquarium yesterday delivered to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission a gift of over fifty thousand young trout from its hatcheries. The fish will be placed around the Bear Mountain section. In the many containers necessary to deliver the fish were 26,000 brook trout, 10,000 brown trout, 13,000 lake trout, 600 rainbow trout, and 3,900 salmon.

       It’s time for the boys to let their hair grow so they can get a girl bob, as it is all the rage in Pearl River High School now for the girls to have Boy Bobs. “Bet the barbers are being ‘rushed,’ for several girls have already indulged in this pleasure and they have many followers,” says one of the reporters of the local school.

May 19, 1974 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: March to save Clausland Mountain, 1969. Photograph by Sally Savage. Courtesy of the Nyack Library, via]
       In the late 1800s the Elliott family bought some land near Clausland Mountain Road in Orangetown. Included on the land were many trees and a stream whose crystal clear water flowed endlessly.
       Now, nearly 80 years later, with Rockland no longer rural, the land still has trees and the water is still pure. Only one fact is different, and that is the Elliott land is now Elliott Park, with the promise by Supervisor Americo diFrancesca, of its lasting “forever.” The park was dedicated Saturday.
       Jane Elliott, 90, and her sister Elizabeth, who recently died, sold the nine acres to the town for $30,000, thereby cutting themselves out of greater prof its offered by builders.
       A small house, once a barn, and with parts of it used in the house’s design, stands near the water. Its residents were at one time James Francis Brown, a renowned artist, and his wife who were close friends of the Elliotts. “Mrs. Brown had just one request,” said Miss Elliott, who is very spry for her 90 years. “That the land go back to the mountain, rather than we sell it and they make houses.”
       Miss Elliott looked at a painting by Brown of the area, hanging on the wall. “Isn’t it beautiful?” she asked. Her eyes turned to the small building’s high roof. “There used to be a skylight there,” she said, smiling, “but it leaked terribly and Mrs. Brown would be scared when it thundered.”
       At the ceremonies a lone young girl sat on a rock watching the flowing waters bend a twig she placed in the stream.
       The waters, said Mrs. Jean Gardner, chairman of the town’s Park Development Advisory Committee, are the headwaters of the Sparkill Creek. A pump at the stream feeds the water into the old house.
       The park, said Mrs. Gardner, will be used by the town as a nature area and will be crisscrossed by trails for nature enthusiasts. One trail already exists in the park. It is where Jane and “Bess” Elliott used to go horseback riding in the older days.
       The final acquisition of the park marks a nine year effort to gain land along Clausland Mountain as park areas for county residents. The newly acquired nine acre parcel is attached to the existing Tacamac South Park, according to town Councilman Barbara Porta.
       The afternoon dedication ceremonies took place near a rickety wooden bridge which goes over a small waterfall of the creek and leads to the old Brown home. The home’s present resident, Honey Kelly, will live there as long as she likes, and eventually that home too will become part of the park.
       “I don’t intend to move,” said Mrs. Kelly, whose bedroom in the house is designed from the old hayloft in the barn.
       Little work will be done on the land, say officials, except for a possible parking lot on Greenbush Road at the bottom of the long hilly area.
       DiFrancesca thanked Miss Elliott for allowing the land to be kept for “future generations. A bunch of people have been fighting for things like this for a long time, and government has a habit of moving slowly on nice things. Land,” said the supervisor to the 30 people who turned out for the ceremony, “is our most precious commodity.”
       A photographer took continual rounds of pictures of town and park committee officials as Miss Elliot handed her cane to a friend so it would not be visible in the photographs.
       As the camera clicked Miss Elliot smiled brightly, and underneath her feet the clean, clear water continued to flow over the soft moss covered rocks as it has done for scores of years and will now continue to do.

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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