This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of January 10

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January 6, 1870 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Messenger

By Horace G. Knapp

(Written for the Messenger)

Upon the Hudson’s western shore I stand,
Just as bright Phoebus peeps above the hills,
And contemplative round about me scan,
And view our land, its rivulets and rills.

Along this beach the rocks in splendor rise
Their rough gigantic sides against the sky,
With numerous rents and many a cool deep nook,
Within whose shade I dreaming used to lie.

Along this tract of undulating land,
Beneath the torne, over which the winds blow raw,
Surrounded by a landscape seeming grand,
Here lays our little village Haverstraw.

Though January’s surly blast prevail,
And regions ’round about be wrapt in snow,
Through we no more the summer breeze inhale,
There’s beauty here, though streamlets cease flow.

Unlike the city’s bustling crowded street,
Where even the open sky is hid from view,
Where gilded vice and senseless folly meet,
The noisy rout and revel to renew.

Shade, water and unequal surface, all
Combined, surround and beautify our home,
No other spot on this terrestrial ball,
Outshines these hills over which so oft we roam.
                                   —Haverstraw, Jan. 3d, 1870

January 9, 1920 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

SPARKILL MAN SUED FOR HEART BALM – Model Alleges Seth W. Fox Broke Promise to Marry – Defendant’s Wife with Him During Trial in Queens County  Trial of the suit brought by Mrs. Margaret DePataky, a widow about thirty-five, a model for Bonwit, Teller & Co., New York City, for $50,000 damages against Seth W. Fox, businessman and politician of Sparkill, began Thursday in the Queens County Supreme Court at Long Island City. She alleges breach of promise to marry.
     Fox was in court with his wife, whom he married less than a year ago. Wearing a hat with scarlet feather, Mrs. DePataky made such strenuous objection to old men for the jury that more than half of the jurors selected are young. Fox tried just as hard to have old men selected.
     The widow alleges Fox proposed marriage and she accepted on January 10, 1917. This, she said, was after she had spent two summers at Sparkill, during which Fox wooed her ardently, took her on long automobile rides and introduced her to prominent men and women.
     Fox admits most of her allegations but denies an offer of marriage was made or an engagement ring given.

HOST TO NYACK FRIENDS “Dick” Rudolph, star pitcher for the Boston Braves, entertained with Nyack friends at a fine dinner at his home in West Nyack Thursday evening. The box artist is an excellent host and the evening was one of rare pleasure to his guests.


January 9, 1970 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

CONGERS ELEMENTARY IS SEEING DOUBLE Seeing double is a common affliction at Congers Elementary School this year. There are six sets of twins attending the school, four sets alone in Kindergarten.
     The twosomes line up this way: Joan and Diane Greeley, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Greeley; Andrea and Gina Kaplan, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kaplan; Diane and Donna Salvati, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Salvati; Kathleen and Colleen McGrade, daughters of Mr. and Mrs., John McGrade; Michael and Mitchell Chalsen, sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Chalsen; and John and James Healy, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Healy.
     School officials say this is the first time that so many tiny twins have been enrolled at one time. Teachers are hard put trying to tell these duplicated little people apart. Standard policy is to split up each duo into different homerooms, but even this attempt to ensure individuality has met with surprising results.
     Mrs. Karl Shumacher says one tiny tot set, Joan and Diane Greeley, tried to switch places with one another when they returned to their home rooms one day.
     The kindergarten teacher took one look at the Greeley twin and thought "Can this really be Joan?" She was certain of the switch when her young pupil couldn't locate her usual seat in the class.
     The fifth grade Chalsen twins agreed with the sixth grade Salvati twins that they sometimes get blamed for the actions of their siblings. All four of the older twins agreed that so far, their interests are similar with each brother and sister although they tend to dress differently.
     The Salvati girls accept their double-likeness as part of the relative trend they know of close relatives with triplets and quadruplets in their families. As for the Chalsen twins, both Michael and Mitchell believe they are the first set of twins in their clan.
     Andrea Kaplan would like to be a triplet too. She put her arm around one of the Greeley twins and said, "She's my sister," then added with a big smile, "But she really isn’t."
     Mrs. Thomas Healy agreed with Colleen and Kathleen McGrade's grandfather that their youngsters are becoming more distinctive as individuals as they grow older. Temperament, weight and size differences make the discerning easier for parents and teachers.
     Already, four of the tots are socializing, and phone calls have been made from the Masters Healy residence to the Misses McGrade residence.
     And one of the Healy twins was seen to aim a wink toward one of the McGrade girls.
     Ah, young love!

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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