This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of September 24

2021-09-24 TWIR Image-Mr and Mrs Merle Blauvelt

September 23, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

      The “squeaking horns” seem to have become pretty nearly played out. We hope that every other nuisance that makes its appearance in our midst will be even shorter lived than this one.
      The work of grading the Nanuet and New City Railroad is progressing rapidly. Workmen are now engaged in filling in an embankment across the swamp west of the old Pye House.
      Two new buildings on Main street, Warren village, are being erected, and very great improvements have been made in Front Street, near the United States Hotel, in widening the street and improving the sidewalk.

September 23, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

       The body of Frank Sgabodko, of Stony Point, was found hanging from a tree on the Garrison farm back of Stony Point Park on Wednesday. The body was discovered by a dog belonging to Mr. Johnson, who was on a hunting trip. The continued barking of the animal attracted Mr. Johnson’s attention to the hanging form. Coroner Doig was notified.
      Sgabodka, who was a single man and about 38 years of age, had been missing since September 4. The body had evidently been hanging for about two weeks.

       There were in Rockland County 4,785 automobiles on July 1 this year, as against 4,508 in the 1920 registration, and while there is now an average of an automobile to every fourteen residents in the state, Rockland County has a car for every nine of its population
       Secretary Lyons’s report credits the county with 3,550 pleasure cars on July 1, a gain of 299 over all of last year. The county has 930 commercial cars, as compared with 952 registered during all of last year. Chauffeurs number 1,096, or 33 less than were licensed during all of last year. On July 1, the state had 555,179 pleasure cars, 131,528 commercial cars, 3,575 dealers, 209,334 chauffeurs and 23,914 motorcycles.

September 22, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

[Image: Mr. & Mrs. Merle Blauvelt, 1971]
       Ghosts from the past and skeltons [sic] in the closet are welcome visitors for Mr. and Mrs. Merle Raymond Blauvelt of Nyack.
       The couple, who celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary this year, are eager to hear of the ghosts and skeltons of their ancestors. Why? Blauvelt is president of the Association of Blauvelt Descendant[s], a group of which both have been members for 25 years.
        “There are more than 800 members from all over the world,” Mrs. Blauvelt boasted. “It started in 1926 when a few Blauvelt couples thought it would be a nice thing to have. Then it just sno[w]balled and grew and grew.”
       Proud to be considered one of the family in what she said is a close-knit group, Mrs. Blauvelt explained how her husband inherited the position he now enjoys so much.
       “Merle used to be vice-president. Then, last year, the then-current president, who was from Maine, said he couldn’t make the meetings, so my husband was named president. He usually meets twice a year with the other executive board members.”
       Activities of the association include, in addition to the executive meetings, the operation of junior and “cradle row” membership section, the newsletter published every three months, and the annual reunion.
       The junior section is for children of members. The so-called cradle row is a roster of the new-born of members.

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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