Rockland History: 2018 Radio Programs

Crossroads of Rockland History - HSRC on the Radio
Crossroads of Rockland History - HSRC on the Radio
 Crossroads of Rockland History, a program of the Historical Society of Rockland County, airs on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 am on WRCR radio at www.WRCR.com. Join host Clare Sheridan as we explore, celebrate, and learn about our local history, with different topics and guest speakers every month.


Esposito Rail Trail Historical Signage

This program originally aired on December 17, 2018. To listen, click here.

South Nyack Village Trustee and Trail Sign Committee member Andrew Goodwillie and learn fascinating facts and anecdotes about the impact of the railroad and Thruway on Nyack and South Nyack. Goodwillie has been researching this history to create wayside historical signage along the Esposito Rail Trail. The signs are finished and will soon be in the ground in a number of locations along this busy walking trail. 

Goodwillie will cover a number of themes, including the arrival of the railroad; the industrial and commercial development of the surrounding areas and the growth and fate of those businesses in its vicinity; the eventual railroad closure in the 1960s and transformation of the former railroad land to parkland; and the devastation of South Nyack's commercial and residential areas with the arrival of the Tappan Zee Bridge and I-287 State Thruway. The text and images span over 150 years of local history.

Piermont's Papermill
This program originally aired on November 19, 2018. To listen, click here.

We'll turn our attention to the award-winning documentary Piermont's Papermill: Stories from the Factory. Represenatatives from the Piermont Historical Society (PHS) will join Clare Sheridan to discuss life in Piermont before the Condominiums. In 1901, Martin R. Williams erected the first paper mill in Piermont. The railyards on the pier, built in 1840 by the Erie Railroad, provided transportation for supplies in and out of the village. Fresh water, needed to produce paper, was supplied from the nearby Sparkill Creek. The Piermont Paper Company began production in 1902, and for 18 years the plant produced cardboard. Its principal customer was the Robert Gair Company. In 1920, Robert Gair purchased the mill. He had become a leader in the paper industry in Manhattan and Brooklyn after the Civil War. Gair's discovery revolutionized modern society with cardboard boxes and paper fiber containers that replaced bulky wooden crates and barrels. Manufacturers saw the sides of boxes as valuable ad space to sell their brand.

The film was produced for the Piermont Historical Society by Anthony Bellov Video Productions. Credits include Betsy Franco Feeney, script, editing, interviews;Patti Panayotidis, research, script, interviews; Tom Chapin, narrator; John Guth, sound engineer. The Piermont Historical Society is grateful to those whose memories are cherished: Phillip Delorenzo, Kevin Fagan, Lawrence Goswick, James Koza, Alfred Lacker, Laura Montesano.

Lisa Levart, "Women of the Ramapough Lenape Nation"
This program originally aired on October 15, 2018. To listen, click here. 

Artist Lisa Levart speaks about her current exhibition at the HSRC. This exhibition, representing the culmination of eighteen months of creative collaboration between Levart and Ramapough Lenape women of Rockland and Bergen counties, uses collaged portrait photography as a basis for contemporary reinterpretations of Lenape mythology. The artist uses a technique of layering images with other materials to achieve results that blend "contemporary and ancient portraiture across the expanse of time." A selection of her photographs - some being exhibited for the first time - are displayed alongside prehistoric and historical Lenape objects.

This is a great opportunity to hear from Lisa Levart about this creative collaboration with women of the Ramapough Lenape tribe to uncover and embody long-forgotten myths, as well as to learn about Levart’s technique of collaging image layers into photographic portraits and hand-painting them with an encaustic medium. 

Sloatsburg's Edith Varian Cockroft
This program originally aired on September 17, 2018. To listen, click here.

We focus on the forgotten painter, inventor, couturier, textile designer and ceramist Edith Varian Cockcroft (1881-1962). Eve M. Kahn (Art Historian and New York Times contributor) talks about what she has uncovered, including interviews with Cockcroft and reminiscences from people who knew her. Cockcroft, a Brooklyn native, studied art with William Merritt Chase and traveled widely in Europe before World War I. Critics lauded her atmospheric views of French and British coastal villages and portraits of nudes against vibrant fabric backdrops. Le Figaro observed that she succeeded at depicting peasant life with "ardor or roughness," and the New York Times praised the "character and vigor" of her work. (And many reviewers mistook her for a man, since she invariably left her first name off her signatures on canvas.) She exhibited at venues such as the Paris Salon, the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Collectors as elite as Moscow's Ivan Morosov acquired her work. In the 1920s, Cockcroft ran a Manhattan couture studio and patented methods for printing silk, in patterns partly based on Javanese batiks. Her blouse-making kits were marketed nationwide as a "silk sensation," and her clothes were worn by the performers Irene Castle and Jeanette MacDonald. In the 1930s, she moved to Sloatsburg, where she kept painting--from Europe to Haiti--and designing textiles while also producing dinnerware sets in metallic glazes.


Friends of Harmony Hall
This program originally aired on August 20, 2018. To listen, click here.

The Friends of Harmony Hall is the nonprofit group working closely with the Town of Ramapo to support the restoration and preservation of Harmony Hall (a.k.a. the Jacob Sloat House) in Sloatsburg. Peter Bush will share news about the restoration of this grand house, and we'll learn all about the upcoming events that the Friends of Harmony Hall have planned for the coming months.

To learn more about Friends of Harmony Hall, visit their website at http://www.friendsofharmonyhall.org/home.
Or check out the Facebook page at 

Suffern Museums

This program originally aired on July 16, 2018. To listen, click here.

We focus on the Suffern Village Museum and the Suffern Railroad Museum with our very special guest, Craig Long. Before being appointed Ramapo Town Historian and Rockland County Historian, Craig Long began his history career in the 1980s as a charter member of the Suffern Village Museum. This museum and the Suffern Railroad Museum tell the rich history of this important village at the crossroads of the Ramapo region.

The Suffern Village Museum is dedicated to the preservation and accurate presentation of the rich history of Suffern and the surrounding area. It is located at 61 Washington Avenue (top floor of Village Hall) in Suffern. For information, call (845) 357-2600. The Suffern Railroad Museum is located on Orange Avenue in Suffern. For information, call (845) 369-7076.

The July episode of Crossroads of Rockland History is sponsored by the Town of Ramapo, Supervisor Michael Specht and the Ramapo Town Board. We thank them for their support of our program.

Haverstraw Juneteenth Celebration
This program originally aired on June 18, 2018. To listen, click here.

Virginia Norfleet, the founder of the Haverstraw African American Memorial Park and the Annual Rockland Juneteenth Celebration, talks about the research she has done to uncover the rich culture and contributions of African Americans of Haverstraw. Norfleet's organization, the Haverstraw African American Connection (HAAC), sponsors the Juneteenth Celebration. The mission of the HAAC is to research, recover, preserve and teach the rich culture and contributions of African Americans, with an emphasis on African American people from Haverstraw.

To learn more about the Haverstraw African American Connection, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Haverstraw-African-American-Connection-1493433047563916

To learn more about the 2018 Juneteenth Celebration, click here: 

Michael Bruno, Tuxedo Hudson Company
This program originally aired on May 21, 2018. To listen, click here.

Michael Bruno discusses his ongoing rehabilitation of the Sloatsburg-Tuxedo section of Route 17. Bruno is responsible for the Valley Rock Inn vacation complex, which incorporates historic preservation in an innovative and transformative economic development project. Bruno, a native of Larchmont who now lives in Tuxedo Park, is working on a master plan for the Tuxedo-Sloatsburg Corridor Revitalization project. His Tuxedo Hudson Company has been awarded $1,750,000 in grants from New York State to create the new "Gateway to the Hudson Valley."

Michael Bruno is an Internet and real estate entrepreneur. He is the founder of 1stdibs, the world's premier online luxury marketplace in twenty-two countries around the world. He is launching a new, transformative real estate venture, Valley Rock Inn, this summer in Rockland County. A passionate collector of historic homes and a steward of land preservation, He sits on the boards of the Orange County Land Trust and the Museum of the City of New York. He says, "Have big ideas but be OK with starting small without hesitation and see where it goes. . . . For example, there is much more to our current Rockland County real estate venture than meets the eye."

The May episode of Crossroads of Rockland History is sponsored by the Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht and the Ramapo Town Board.

To learn more about the Valley Rock Inn Vacation Complex, visit http://valleyrockinn.com

Jawonio: Moving Forward, Looking Back
This program originally aired on April 16, 2018. To listen, click here.

Diana Hess, Chief Development Officer at Jawonio, and Clare Sheridan discuss the HSRC's newest exhibition: "Jawonio: Moving Forward, Looking Back--Changing Lives of People with Special Needs for 70 Years."Founded in Rockland County in 1947 as the Rockland County Center for the Physically Handicapped and United Cerebral Palsy, Jawonio today is in the forefront of providing services that help people of all ages with special needs reach their potential and achieve independence.

With the agency poised for new growth, this special exhibition highlights Jawonio's seven decades of history advocating for and advancing equal rights for people with disabilities and special needs both within the Rockland community and throughout the Hudson Valley region.

To learn more about the exhibition visit: www.rocklandhistory.org/program.cfm?page=597
To learn more about Jawonio visit www.jawonio.org

New York Exposed
This program originally aired on March 19, 2018. To listen, click here.

Clare Sheridan interviews Daniel Czitrom, author of New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era. The book reveals the architects of what became known as the Lexow Committee, the state task force that -- after a couple of rough starts -- blew the lid off New York's most corrupt practices and sent Tammany Hall, once again, into decline. The committee is named for New York State Senator and Rockland County resident Clarence Lexow. The author did some of the research for this intriguing book using the archives at the Historical Society of Rockland County. Daniel Czitrom is a Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College and the author of Media and the American Mind: From Morse to McLuhan (North Carolina, 1982). He was the history adviser on BBC America's production of Coppers.

Nyack Record Shop Project
This program originally aired on February 19, 2018. To listen, click here.

We explore the Nyack Record Shop Project, an exciting and important oral history project, with its director, Bill Batson. At Kiam Records, a tiny shop on Main Street in downtown Nyack, oral histories were gathered during one-on-one interviews in this ambitious effort to give a voice to a group whose history is often overlooked: the African American community. 

"We want it all," says Batson, because right now "there are vast periods where information is difficult to ascertain. . . . At Nyack’s Kiam Records, oral histories will be gathered during one-on-one interviews as part of this important project." The collection of the histories began at the Record Shop on Monday, January 15, 2018 -- Martin Luther King Day -- and will continue.The HSRC is a proud sponsor of this project.

For more information about the Nyack Record Shop Project, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/207196049838275
or visit the Edward Hopper House website at 

"Peace & Joy: The 42nd Annual Holiday Exhibition"
Originally aired on January 15, 2018. To listen, click here.

We'll explore the 42nd Annual Holiday Exhibition at the Historical Society of Rockland, entitled "Peace & Joy." In addition to miniatures and dollhouses, the exhibition features the charming marionettes made by hand by Paul Peabody. Clare Sheridan's guest will be Jeanne Peabody Walsh, Paul Peabody's daughter, who will speak about her father's life, work and art.

Peabody's performance career spanned forty years, including shows throughout Rockland and the tristate area. In addition to schools, churches and community centers, Peabody performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, as well as at England's Stratford-on-Avon festival.

Adults and children were enchanted by his unique characters, which he created using traditional woodworking methods. With a concurrent career in social justice and conflict resolution, Peabody used his marionettes, and the beautiful shows he created for them, to extend his life's work of promoting peace in our world.

Additional information about the exhibition is here: http://www.rocklandhistory.org/program.cfm?page=584 



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