This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of June 28

2024-06-28 TWIR Image-St Mary Sloatsburg

June 27, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       The single scull shell race from the steamboat landing to a stake one and a half miles and return, between Frank Green and Wm. I. Voorhis, last Saturday, attracted a large number of people to witness the contest.
       The match was simply a matter of personal pride between the parties, and neither of them had a dollar staked on the result. About 5.30 pm the water ceased to be less “lumpy” than it had been all day, and Mr. Green finally signified his willingness to enter the contest. The shells were soon in line, and at the word “go,” both oarsmen started with a strong, slow stroke. Mr. Green’s boat being but eleven inches wide, offered less resistance to the water than that of his competitor, and the consequence was a portion of it was often submerged, and its occupant badly retarded.
       Mr. Voorhis took the lead almost from the start, but as Mr. Green had the inside stake the two boats were nearly even on their return. Mr. Voorhis, however, “spurted” up and increased steadily the distance between himself and opponent, and came “in neatly thirty seconds ahead. Time of race, 25 minutes. George Dickey was sole judge.

June 26, 1924 – 100 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

       Rockland has 100 percent for the whole year in its press reports of the Parent-Teachers’ Associations of the county. Not alone that, but Rockland was one of four districts which were the only ones in the State that had 100 per cent this year in press reports, and was especially noticed for it in The Child Welfare Magazine for June. Mrs. Paul Clerke of Spring Valley, who has the honor of being the first county press chairman of Rockland’s Parent-Teachers’ Associations, will be unable to continue her work in this line next year owing to her numerous other activities.

       There was a slight fire last Friday night in the kitchen over the Eberman store opposite the Orangeburg station.
       Mrs. Julius Eberman had gone to New York City, leaving her daughter, Natalie, in charge of the housekeeping. The floor is uneven in the kitchen, so the kerosene stove is propped up in the back with blocks of wood.
       About 9:30, when Natalie was cooking, one of the blocks came out from underneath the stove, causing it to tip over. Flames shot out into the room. Neighbors who saw the blaze flaring in the dark turned in an alarm, but Mr. Eberman extinguished the fire before the Volunteer Fire Company arrived.
       The only trace of the fire left on Saturday morning were the scorched curtains at the window beside the stove.

June 28, 1974 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Sloatsburg, NY, date unknown. Color postcard courtesy of the Suffern Free Library via]
       Sloatsburg may be losing a church but the village is gaining a library and a senior citizens center.
St. Francis’ Episcopal Church of Sloatsburg, ordered closed by the Episcopal Diocese in early May, will offer services to its small congregation for the last time this Sunday. Meanwhile, the village is proceeding with plans to convert the historic structure for community use.
       The little stone church is situated on the west side of Route 17 in the village’s downtown area. It was built in 1903 as a mission of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Tuxedo and became an independent church about 20 years ago.
       The present congregation of about six families found it could no longer support the church after the diocese withdrew support two years ago, though the Rev. Ernest W. Johns of Christ Church of Ramapo in Suffern has been serving as priest to the congregation since that time without charge.
       “When the village heard that the church was going to be closed, we remembered the Methodist parsonage that was demolished in Suffern,” said Sloatsburg Mayor Thomas B. Smith on Tuesday.
       According to Smith the historic Methodist parsonage was raised to make way for a Burger Chef franchise that has since gone out of business. Smith added that the village did not want to see the same fate befall St. Francis’ Church.
       On June 10 the village submitted a bid of $25,000 to the diocese to purchase the church as a village library, and the diocese accepted the offer. Village Attorney Harvey S. Barr has been in contact with attorneys for the diocese and the village expects to close the sale in late July or early August according to Smith.
       The village budgeted $50,000 this year for the construction of a library next door to the Sloatsburg Municipal Building, but the cost of construction more than doubled in the eight months it took to finalize the plans for the new building The lowest bid returned to the village on May 21 asked $104,000 to build the village library.
       According to Smith, the church and parsonage will be renovated for use as a library and the village hopes that the work will be completed without expending all of the budgeted $50,000.
       Trustee Andre Fontaine, who serves as liaison from the board to the village library committee, will assist the committee during the changeover from church to library. He recently went to New Paltz to photograph and draw schematics of an abandoned church put to similar use by that city several years ago, according to Smith. The parsonage of the church, although under the control of the village library, will also be used as a senior citizen community center by village residents. The senior citizens, who normally meet on Wednesday of each week, have been having difficulty in securing meeting places.

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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