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

2021-09-10 TWIR Image-Congers Station

September 9, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       On Saturday, a few minutes after twelve o’clock, the crowd which gathered at the foot of Main street, Nyack, to witness the launch of the little steam propeller “Evie,” constructed for Messrs. Morford & Polhemus, and by the last-named gentleman, were gratified by seeing the little beauty glide off the ways into her native element without a single hitch or accident of any description. As she reached the water, those on board gave a hearty cheer, and the Nyack Band stationed on the bank discoursed some very enlivening music. The Evie was beautifully decorated with flags and shone brilliantly with new paint, and as she floated on the bosom of the clear water buoyant as a cork, her outlines and general appearance were suggestive that her name would be read by most of the boats of her description on the river.
       For the first time since it originated in the brain of the projector, Mr. Polhemus is going to put to practical test in the Evie a patent invention of his own in the shape of a cold water tank, to underlie the furnace and boiler.
       This tank is so constructed as to have a stream of cold water continually passing through it while the boat is in motion, thus obviating any danger from fire.
       The Evie is to be used principally as a pleasure boat to convey small parties on excursions, etc.

September 9, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

       That the women of this country, now that they have been invested with the right of suffrage, as well as every other political right that has heretofore been confined to men, are going to be a mighty power in our national affairs, cannot be doubted.
       It was through their agency that the Nineteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution was put into effect, the attitude of several states which had been strongly hostile to the change being reversed in almost a revolutionary way.
       And the unprecedented majority by which President Harding was elected can only be accounted for the by doubling of our electorate by women suffrage. That this great political and moral agency is going to be the decisive factor in many questions of grave importance that will hereafter engage the attention of our people is equally certain. This will probably be the case with the disarmament proposition that is to be hoped will be affirmatively and permanently settled by the conference of representatives of the leading powers of the world soon to assemble at Washington.
       The women of the world, including those of the United States, are now, and always have been, opposed to war, and this for obvious reasons, among them being the fact that their husbands, sons, brothers, and other beloved ones will always have to do the actual fighting.

September 10, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Times

       The first presentation in Rockland County of the million-dollar picturization of the Vicente Blasco Ibáñez’s world famous novel, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” takes place at the Opera House, Haverstraw, where this wonder cinema drama begins a three-day engagement Monday September 12. Seat sales opened Thursday and mail orders are being filled in order of receipt. The initial showing in this county will be a notable one and includes a real symphony orchestra and soloists.
       Some twenty million readers have read the famous story. It is predicted that more than twice this number will have seen the stupendous photoplay. It will be shown twice daily—matinee and evening. The scale of prices will range from 50 cents to $1.50 in the evening with the largest price $1 at the matinee. This is a much cheaper scale than prevailed in New York City for the same presentation.
        “The Four Horsemen” production was more than a year in the making; it visualizes with incredible fidelity the greatest novel of the author; it was produced by the screen’s most notable director, Rex Ingram; it cost Metro slightly more than a million dollars to produce; it was enacted by a cast of 12,500, including 50 principal players and is probably the greatest picture ever presented on any screen. At least all critics declare it such.
       Already many mail orders have been received for the Haverstraw engagement which predict capacity audiences at every performance.
       A tip: Get your seats early.

September 8, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

[Image: Congers Railroad Station, ca. 1906. Postcard published by Charles Walter. From the John Scott collection of the HSRC.]
        When passenger trains ran on the West Shore Railroad, Congers was another thriving Rockland hamlet whose life centered around Railroad square.
        But the passenger trains and the passengers disappeared in the early 1950s and with them went an essential part of the hamlet’s commerce. Congers station, like many others along the West Shore tracks, was subsequently abandoned. Gutted by fire, its windows broken and its walls scrawled with obscenities, the station cast a pall of decay which spread to other parts of the hamlet.
       Now after more than 15 years of neglect, Congers station has been restored, and with it, the hopes of the residents, shop ownersand town planners for reviving the once thriving hamlet.
       The undisputed leader of the restoration effort is John Cumming, the new owner of Station Square. Admitting that the present condition of the hamlet is deplorable, he points a finger at the community’s lack of “civic pride.”
       Members of the community don’t see apathy as the problem. Mrs. Joseph Moreno, a longtime resident of Congers, and an employee of the Cacciappo Electrical Contractor, across from the train station, said there is civic responsibility among the residents. “When the Reynolds Aluminum Company tried to move into the town,” Mrs. Moreno said, “the local residents joined together to stop them.” “Nobody wanted to have a company that would pollute the air,” added Wally Marshall, a local merchant and lifelong resident, “and we fought their every effort to get into our town.”

Kids and Outsiders
       Marshall, who remembered when the town was beautiful, conceded that the problem was mainly the doings of the hamlet’s residents. “Sometimes,” he said, “we destroy things we don’t think about. Then when it’s too late, or so it seems, we wake up to the fact of what we have done.”
       Besides the problem residents have made for themselves, vandalism and outsiders have added to the hamlet’s decline.
       Mrs. Moreno saw youthful vandals, as “the ones who make it dirty,” and a continuous destructive force in the town. But Mrs. Moreno went on, “The police are getting tougher with the kids. And now that we finally know who they are, they don’t bother as much as they did.”
       With the expansion of Rockland Lake Park came more problems. Pointing to some buses sitting in the parking lot of the train station, Mrs. Moreno said: “Those buses bring people to Rockland Lake, and then come up here to wait. The drivers don’t care about anything and they throw their garbage all over the place, adding to the mess day after day.”

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.