This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of October 15

2021-10-15 TWIR Image-Rev Harrell

October 14, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       Since our visit last Spring, to Haverstraw, the great industrial workshop of our county, we were, of course, prepared to find changes and improvements, but not to the extent which we witnessed on Monday of last week. Under the present board of trustees, and their efficient president, Richard A. Vervalen, Main Street has been widened four feet, the gutters for the most part paved with brick, the sidewalks graded, curbed and paved, and many of the unseemly awning posts which obstructed the view removed, and others more suitable, substituted. Steep hills have lost their dangerous propensities, and a solid coating of limestone gravel renders Main Street as smooth as one of the walks in the City Hall park. Lamps, too, have sprung into existence in several localities, so that now the way-farer though a fool (by lager) may find his whereabouts without groping in the gutter for information.
       While the above and more have been done for the village by those who have its welfare at heart, the last season was has witnessed the erection of many fine and some elegant buildings in favorite locations. The Babcock Brothers and John R. McKenzie have built the largest share of them: the first-named parties having had all they could do in this respect. Mr. McKenzie, we learn, will soon commence the erection of two houses on the hillside at the base of the High Torn, for Silas and Isaiah Gardner. These houses, when finished, will be beautiful specimens of architectural skill and will add much to the beauty of that permanent portion of Warren Village.
       Ira Hedges, the Vice President of the Bank of Haverstraw, has recently purchased a tract of ground in the vicinity of the Gardner Brothers, on which he will, doubtless, at no distant day, erect a handsome house.
       Among other enterprises which our limited time scarcely allowed us to glance at, we examined Mr. Otto Speck’s laboratory for the manufacturer of seltzer and vichy mineral waters. Not having sufficient room at his large drug store to serve his purpose he went to work and made an addition of 13 × 25 feet, in which he manipulates the chemicals composing these waters. Nyack, Sing Sing, Peekskill and neighboring towns are his customers, and we learn that so great is the demand for those stomach rectif[i]ers that he cannot, as yet, fully supply his orders. We tasted some of his seltzer water and found it very fine, and judges pronounce it far superior in taste to the imported article. Mr. Speck’s apparatus for furnishing these waters is, thus far, very complete, and the indications are that he will shortly build up a very successful business in this department.
       Another enterprise which cannot fail of interesting our farming community has found birth place in Haverstraw. William F. West, a young mechanic and inventor, has recently perfected a machine which he has named “West’s Champion Seed Drill and Fertilizer,” and which will plant carrots, peas, beets, corn and turnips with the same facility as it does, wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat or broom corn. This machine is now on exhibition at the fair of the American Institute, and the few who have had an opportunity to test its merits pronounce it the best they ever saw.
       While in the vicinity we learned that a portion of the Print Works is receiving its machinery, and that early in January the company will be unable to resume operations on a limited scale. The new buildings, and the machinery which they will contain will be just double the capacity of the old works, thus making this establishment one of the most extensive in the State. We were further informed that the company intends to construct a railway from [its] factory to the river as [its] teaming expenses are now enormous, and the teams will be incapable of doing the work of the new establishment.
       James E. Tremper, in connection with his stove, tinware, plumbing and gas business, has added that of slate roofing, which work he executes in a handsome manner. Slate is the only thing admissable on a handsome house now-a-days, and really, when you come to think of it, it is the cheapest material that can be put on. Fire-proof, and not affected by the weather, it will last and look well for generations. We are glad to learn that Mr. Tremper is doing a large amount of this business in his part of the county.
       Among the brickmakers we noticed the utmost activity. During the present season, remunerative prices have ruled, and the demand for brick has been good. So far as our observation extended, each yard had its full complement of hands, and thousands of brick in all stages of manufacture were piled up awaiting the fire and finishing process. The Vervalen machine is used here almost exclusively, and the foundry and machine shop of R. A. & S. Vervalen is taxed to its utmost capacity to furnish machinery for this gigantic industry.
       Before closing this imperfect sketch of operations in our sister village, we would not omit to mention the fact that the old mill is being thoroughly overhauled and the great overshot wheel is being replaced by a forty-five horse power turbine. Mr. Woolsey Weiant, the proprietor, is introducing other reforms, so that, by-and-by, he will be enabled to manufacture any grade of paper that he may receive orders for. The mill, under his management and that of his foreman, John Griffiths, has been a success, and hence his ambition to further increase its usefulness.

October 14, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

They who can smile when others hate,
Nor bind the heart with frost of fate,
Their feet will go with laughter bold
The green roads of the ever old.

They who can let the Spirit shine
And keep the heart a lighted shrine,
Their feet will glide with fire of gold
The green roads of the never old.

They who can put the self aside
And in Love’s saddle leap and ride,
Their eyes will see the gates unfold
To green roads of the never old.
                             —Edwin Markham

       Absentee voters’ affidavits may be obtained at the office of Miss Natalie F. Couch. These affidavits, when properly filled out and filed with the board of elections at Haverstraw on or before Friday, October 21, will entitle the voter to an absentee ballot in order that he or she able to vote on Election day even though not at home. Care must be taken however by applicants for absentee voters’ ballots to see that they are properly registered in his or her election district.

       There is nothing to all this talk about the country going to the dogs. Better business is in sight. In the anticipation of such, 12,125 companies, with a capitalization of $515,253,905, have been incorporated with Secretary of State John J. Lyons during the first nine months this year.
       In Rockland County, 18 companies representing a capitalization amounting to $658,500 have been incorporated,

       The body of Sergeant Herbert E. Young, of Haverstraw, was brought home for burial last week and funeral services were held Saturday afternoon. Sergt. Young was a member of the Headquarters Company of the 312 Regiment, 78th Division, and was killed, October 23, 1918, in the Argonne drive.

October 14, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Times

[Image: The Reverend Thomas Harrell (center) with Albert Blackwell and Howard McKiver at the groundbreaking of the Fairmount Baptist Church, Haverstraw, 1971.]
       The Rev. Thomas Harrell read the dedicatory prayer Saturday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new house of worship to be erected by Fairmount Baptist church. The reverend is flanked by Trustees Albert Blackwell and Howard McKiver. The new church building, designed by Architect Morton Marcus of Pearl River, will rise on the site of the former Hanna building at the end of Division Street, which the church purchased from Jerry Mastromarino. Among those attending were Mrs. Jessie Bonds and Mrs. Cora Brown, two of the oldest members of the congregation.

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.