This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of December 6

2019-12-6 TWIR Image

December 7, 1889 130 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

THE OLD PILOT  At twenty minutes to three o’clock Monday afternoon Tunis S. Kent, the aged and faithful pilot of the ferryboat Rockland, passed away. His illness was not of long duration, but it came in a severe form and soon carried off our old friend, who will be sadly missed by a large number of acquaintances. For many years Mr. Kent was at the wheel on the Hudson River, being a very careful pilot in whose hands his passengers were always safe. As a man, Mr. Kent was one of the very best. Of sterling character, his career was an honorable one, and he had the highest respect of everybody. He was a friend whose friendship was worth something, and his faithfulness at his post of duty was the cause of much favorable comment. Funeral services were held at St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, at one o’clock Wednesday afternoon.

AROUND HOME [NYACK]  A small girl, probably not more than eleven years of age, was found by a couple of ladies in this place Tuesday evening crying bitterly because she could not find her home. After an hour's search the ladies succeeded in restoring the little one to her parents, who were surprised to learn that she was not in the house.
     A boy was knocked down by a team of horses, on Broadway, on Tuesday afternoon, but fortunately for him, he was thrown away from the horses instead of under their feet. The team was stopped promptly, when it was found that the boy was not injured but was considerably frightened.
     We understand that two young men not far from the Rockland County line kicked at a cat the other night and had some fun. The "cat" proved to be a skunk, and the fun they had consisted in burying their best clothes.

December 6, 1919 100 YEARS AGO
The Nyack Evening Journal

VACATION FRIEND ON VISIT, STEALS $300 DIAMOND PIN  By having lodged yesterday in the Rockland County jail two New Yorkers on charge of grand larceny, Laurence Beckerle, manager of the Spring Valley Coal and Lumber Company, qualified as a detective of real ability. One of the men stole a diamond pin valued at $300 from Mr. Beckerle’s home and how the theft occurred is in interesting story.
     Last summer when Mr. Beckerle was enjoying a vacation at Asbury Park, he met a young man who gave his name as Robert Baker and his home as Boston. The two became companions and when he left for home Mr. Beckerle invited his new friend to visit him.
     Last Monday Baker arrived in Spring Valley and was warmly greeted by Beckerle, who took the fellow to his home in Pearl River and made him a welcome guest. Baker remained overnight and accompanied Beckerle’s mother to the city in the morning. Later it was discovered that the diamond pin and some money was missing.
     Beckerle remembered that Baker had written a letter in his office which his stenographer had mailed, and he ascertained that it had been addressed to a nurse in a New York City hospital, though the stenographer could not remember the woman’s name or the hospital.
     With this information Beckerle and State Trooper Byk started yesterday to locate Baker. They visited several hospitals and talked with nurses and finally one was found who admitted that she had received a letter from Spring Valley from a friend named James Mitchell. She told them where he might be found and the search led to Forty-second street, where the man was placed under arrest and bought back to Spring Valley, along with Frank Meaney, who had pawned the pin for his friend.
     The men were held for the grand jury by Justice Fisher.

December 6, 1969 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

CAR PLUNGES FROM THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE  Scuba divers and rescue teams worked in icy Hudson River waters early Thursday to retrieve an unidentified car and its occupants from the foot of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
     The number and identity of persons in the car, as well as details about the car's make and model, remained unknown as State Police scuba divers prepared to enter the water.
     Workers at the scene said the accident occurred at about 12:30 Thursday morning, when the southbound auto crossed opposing traffic lanes and crashed through the bridge's northern side-rail.
     Two witnesses, a Nanuet couple, said the car was a dark-colored compact, but were unable to give further details about the car or its occupants.
     The accident occurred on the bridge's causeway, about eight-tenths of a mile from the western bank of the river.
     Bridge maintenance workers said the river is about 14 feet deep at that point. As final diving preparations were completed, only a rising oil slick marked the place where the auto came to rest.
     The accident is the second of its kind in the Tappan Zee's 16-year history. The previous accident, in 1967, took the life of a Brooklyn man.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC's mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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