Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of June 18

2021-06-18 TWIR Image-Suffern Orange Tpk

June 17, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Image: Main Street, Suffern. Courtesy Suffern Free Library, Greco Collection.]
     To the editor of the Journal: —
     The spirit of improvement still continues to make itself manifest in and around this village. Our well-known citizen, Mr. John Conklin, has already the frame of a good-sized, comfortable-looking house well under way, and which, when completed, will add very much to the appearance of that portion of the village in which it is located.
     It is stated that O. N. Cutter of New York has purchased a large portion of ground, about two miles northeast of the village, on which he intends to build a large and handsome house. Besides this, there is an important enterprise going on, on our Piermont and Spring Valley Road, about three-quarters of a mile from the station in the shape of a rebuilt and refitted house. Mr. John N. Green, the owner, and one of our most enterprising citizens, has entirely so renovated the house and place, that they would not now be recognized by familiar friends. The house has had added to it a Mansard roof, bay windows and other modern improvements. Beyond this location there is a flat, low piece of land of many acres in extent, and through which the North Fork of the Ramapo runs. The idea is now broached of converting this land into a long and handsome lake, for fishing, bathing and boating purposes. Should this be done, it will afford our city friends a strong inducement to get away from the dusty and fetid atmosphere of the metropolis to a place where many of the advantages of Saratoga are offered.
     On Sunday morning last, the placidity of our village was disturbed by a report that one of the colored laborers had been found dead just east of the station. On investigation, the report proved to be true. The man was known by the name of Sam and had been employed on Mr. Christie’s farm. It is as yet unknown whether Sam was struck by the cars, or had fallen into the culvert where he was found, though it is generally supposed that while under the influence of liquor, he was walking on the track and, in the darkness, fell into the culvert.

June 17, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

     A bill to authorize the construction of a $50,000,000 tunnel under the East and Hudson rivers, connecting Astoria, Harlem and New Jersey, will be introduced in the next Legislature. Nine railroads, Governor Edwards of New Jersey and many municipal officials are behind the plan. The plans prepared by the Transportation Committee of the Harlem Board of Commerce provide for a five-tube tunnel with a single bore. The two upper tubes would be used for passenger railroad traffic, the central for automobile traffic east and west on different levels, and the two lower for railroad freight traffic. The plan would largely eliminate ferrying and lighterage.

TO UNVEIL A TABLET AT BEAR MOUNTAIN — WILL MARK SPOT WHERE BATTLE WAS FOUGHT IN 1777 — Bronze Tablet to be Placed on Native Boulder by Rockland County Society Saturday June 25
     On Saturday, June 25, at 6 p.m., the Rockland County Society will unveil a memorial tablet in Bear Mountain Park on the shores of Highland Lake immediately north of the Bear Mountain Inn. The tablet will be of bronze, mounted on a large native boulder and will mark the spot where in October 1777, a battle was fought between the Continentals and the British troops.
     The school children of the entire county as well as those from the adjacent sections in Orange County have been invited to attend. The committee in charge is endeavoring to secure General Douglas MacArthur, Superintendent of West Point Military Academy, to deliver the principal address.
     The placing of the memorial tablet marks the new era in the activities of the Rockland County Society. A new shrine is created at which the rising generation of patriotic Americans can render due homage. It is hoped that in time similar tablets will be placed to mark the many historic places in the County thememory of which should be preserved for all time. It is expected that a notable gathering from all parts of the County will be present at the exercises. Fuller details will appear next week.
     Following the ceremonies connected with the unveiling of the tablet, the Rockland County Society will hold a dinner dance and meeting for its members at Bear Mountain Inn.
     Major-General John F. O'Ryan is to be the speaker at the dedication.

June 17, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

      “Either we work together or we die together,” warned Allen Mullgrav, founder and first president of the Spring Valley Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
     This has been the Spring Valley Chapter’s creed ever since its inception 20 years ago, on June 25, 1951. Begun to further the cause of black people everywhere, the first roster of members included only 25 names. It now numbers over 300 members.
     “It’s come a long way,” Mullgrav smiled. “Sure, it’s had its ups and downs to apathy and disinterest, but we made it.”
     “When these people came out with their support, we moved ahead,” Mullgrav said.
     A temporary home was found atop one of the stores on Main Street. For $10 a month, usually provided out of the President’s own pocket, the local NAACP chapter was able to use the room for monthly meetings.
     As the group grew, larger quarters were desperately needed, so they moved again, this time to a library and then to churches in Spring Valley. Finally, they obtained their present headquarters, above one of the stores in a shipping center at the corner of Ewing and First Streets.
     Regular meetings of the total membership are held at the Tiger’s Den or at the Martin Luther King Reading Room every third Wednesday.
     “We still do almost all of our work out of private homes,” [Chapter President Thelma] Wilson explained. “We are still concerned with the issues that Mr. Mullgrav was concerned with 20 years ago.”
     Activities of the NAACP chapter include many and varied items. Representatives are sent to state and national conventions, scholarships are given to students at Ramapo, Spring Valley, Clarkstown, and Nanuet high schools, aid is dispensed to the victims of fires, and Thanksgiving baskets are donated to needy families. The most important work of the chapter is eliminating discrimination.
     “A few years ago, we brought suit against the village of Spring Valley to provide low-income housing. Their housing authority had been in existence over seven years and had done nothing. So we took them to court. The village and housing authority won at first, but we appealed the case to the Appellate Division and finally won our case in October of 1969,” Mrs. Wilson said.
     In addition to these steps to provide adequate housing, the chapter also will join with the Senior Citizens Council of Rockland County to request the county legislature build housing on some of the acreage at Summit Park Complex in Pomona.
     “The time for talk is ended,” Mrs. Wilson declared. “Now is the time for action. The county has a responsibility to provide housing for those families that the villages and towns refuse to provide housing for. Every citizen is entitled to live in a decent place that they can afford.”

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.


Add a Comment:

Please signup or login to add a comment.