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This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of June 26

2020-06-26 TWIR Image-deNoyelles

June 25, 1895 125 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

A TRAMP CAMP
       A regular camping ground for tramps is located between Haverstraw and West Haverstraw. It is said that twenty-seven men spent the night there recently, and that a few may be seen lounging around the camp at almost any time. Haverstraw people are protesting against the existence of the camp and say it ought to be broken up, for it is likely to portend mischief.

HISTORIC RELICS — They Should Be Owned by the Rockland Co. Society
       There is in New York City a junk shop kept by a man with the rather unusual name of Westminster Abbey. One would think of such a man that surely, he must have been born in London and reared under the shadow of England's historic cathedral. This Mr. Westminster Abbey has in his shop several links of the massive iron chain which was stretched across the Hudson in 1778 to prevent the British from passing West Point. The links are each three feet long and they weigh three hundred pounds. They were cast at a foundry in the Sterling Mountains and are truly historic relics of the Revolution. They came into possession of their present owner through an auction sale of old iron in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Historical Society of Rockland County ought to possess at least one of these links. 
       [Editors’ note: Historians have since brought to light the fraud Mr. Abbey committed by selling the links as the “Great Hudson River Chain.” You can read more about the hoax at https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/22354200/the-great-chain-hoax-the-hudson-river-valley-institute.]

NARROWLY ESCAPED DROWNING
       On Saturday last the twelve-year-old son of Dr. Reid, of Clarkstown, went to the Hackensack creek to bathe. He could not swim, and sank down into a deep hole, from which he was with difficulty rescued by Dick Pagore, 14, who jumped in and caught him as he was going down for the third time.

June 25, 1920 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

FOUR ARE HURT WHEN CAR HITS TELEPHONE POLE
       Four persons were hurt at Piermont Wednesday morning when an automobile driven by Mrs. P. Agnew Appleton left the road and crashed into a telephone pole. In the car with Mrs. Appleton were her husband, who is a retired sea captain, and two women. Capt. Appleton was thrown through the windshield and badly cut about the neck. Mrs. Appleton and the two women were thrown from the car and received severe injuries. All were taken to the Appleton home in Grand View, where they received attention.
       The cause of the accident was peculiar. A bee flew into the car and as Mrs. Appleton took one hand off the wheel to strike the bee, she lost control of the car.

HAVERSTRAW BOY SAVES COMPANION FROM DROWNING
       Thomas Ryder, twelve years old, of Haverstraw saved his companion Michael Komanschak of the same age from drowning. The boys were swimming in the Hudson when Komanschak was taken with cramps.

BUY BRICKYARD PROPERTY
       The Brophy Brothers large brick manufacturers at Grassy Point, have bought the Dinan brickyard property in East Kingston.

June 24, 1970 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

OLD TIMERS’ FESTIVAL TO RENEW HAVERSTRAW PAST
[Image:  Daniel de Noyelles, senior historian of the Rockland County Historical Society, stands before a house on the Haverstraw riverfront which his grandfather built in the late 1800s. Photo by Arthur Gunther.0

       Once upon a time Haverstraw was a prominent place in this country. Some local people are beginning a campaign to bring it back to its former grandeur.
       In 1616, just nine years after the Hudson River was discovered, Haverstraw was put on the map as one of the first communities in North America.
       In the intervening 3 ½ centuries the village, nestled under High Tor, has played large roles in state history, important during the American Revolution and a major supplier of brick when that industry was in its heyday.
       Famed Stride pianist Willie "The lion" Smith even declared that Haverstraw brickyards were the birthplace of jazz.
       In recent years, the village has suffered from some woes common to most Hudson River villages and cities. But Thursday, local merchants and professional men are modestly kicking off what, they anticipate will be a four to five-year campaign to reverse residents' attitudes about where they live.
       An Old Timers Day festival, inspired by a recent anniversary celebration in historic Tarrytown, will be held Thursday through Saturday.
       Programs and events are aimed at recreating the atmosphere of earlier days, aimed at highlighting what sponsors feel is a fantastic potential and the heritage of the village.
       So, residents can see the history they have been living amidst without distraction of traffic, Broadway will be turned into a pedestrian mall for one of the days. Most of the structures in the community are at least 100 years old, according to Daniel deNoyelles, senior historian of the Rockland County Historical Society, who led a small tour of old sites Tuesday.
       Many of the buildings are much older, deNoyelles said, and the village retains, to a remarkable degree, the look of a century ago. DeNoyelles' own family settled in Haverstraw over 200 years ago.
       Along with the traffic shutdown, some residents will be donning straw boaters and bonnets for historical effect. In Tarrytown recently, full antique costumes were worn, and men grew beards, but Haverstraw's festival was conceived less than a month ago by Sig Weitzman, an attorney who has just been elected president of the Haverstraw Business and Professional Men, sponsors of the campaign.
       A 1932 Reo will go through village streets, an open-air art show and art classes will be held, and on Saturday a 4-piece jazz band will play. Prices will be rolled back at village stores, and there will be free parking.
       Weitzman envisions this year's festivities as just the start of a full restoration attempt for both Haverstraw’s appearance, which he notes, is sometimes dirty and overgrown, and for residents' attitudes toward their community, Weitzman wants them to be aware of history's full weight there, and of the potential architectural grandeur. Local history will be taught to school children, Weitzman says, and historical pageants will be performed by children at succeeding festivals, which; will culminate in 1976, bicentennial anniversary of the Revolution.
       His association is distributing maps listing 24 historic sites within the village and is soliciting money for plaques to commemorate each. He feels this will have a steady enlightening effect on residents.
       Walking on tour past 100-year-old businesses that still flourish, riverfront mansions (including one his grandfather built) and ancient carriage houses, deNoyelles' evoked a sense of rich history with anecdotes and facts. He noted that much of Haverstraw's old glory is gone --- grand old hotels and churches and docks.
       The historian will lecture Friday and Saturday on village history, using some 400 slides.
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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 www.RocklandHistory.org or call (845) 634-9629.


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