Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of October 22

2021-10-22 TWIR Image-Nyack Ferry

October 21, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       The shoe worn by the young women of the period is surely one of the most abominable contrivances ever brought into vogue by the caprice of the sex. What need to describe it? Do we not know the absurdity of its construction and how ingeniously it has been designed for the destruction of all comfort, and ease, and grace in walking, and also of all semblance to a real woman's foot? When it first came into fashion, the ladies were told by a few sensible men that to put their feet into a machine with a toe like a bird’s bill, and a heel three inches high brought forward under the instep, would ensure suffering and deformity.
       But the dear creatures, in their irresistible way, resented this interference with their prerogative of self-torture and self-caricature, and asked, “Would you have us look like dowdies with broad toes to our shoes, and low heels, and all that?” — “all that” meaning heels where nature intended they should be. The plea was unanswerable. But the predicated consequences have come. Ladies’ shoe-makers (certain truthful ones) tell us, what observation also reveals, that there is hardly a young woman now who regards herself at all fashionable who has not bunions, callosities, corns and enlarged joints; and that the crop of those ornaments developed within the last four or five years is astonishing and pitiful. The worst of it is that there appears to be no prospect of relief, except a turn in the whirligig of fashion, and that there are no exceptions to the rule of torture and deformity. For the good and the sensible of the sex immolate themselves with the foolish and frivolous. No degree of sense or independence, or stability of character seems to absolve any woman who had the charm of womanhood about her from slavery to fashion, at whatever sacrifice of time and comfort, money or health. Suffrage! right to hold office! Show us first the woman who has independence, sense, and taste enough to dress attractively, and yet walk down the avenue wearing an unfashionable bonnet, or in a shoe which does not destroy both her comfort and her gait.

October 21, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

[Image: The Ferry ‘Rockland,’ ca. 1920. The ferry is shown leaving the ferry slip and heading across the river. Two open cars can be seen in the car bays. The captain, John Lyon, is standing near the wheelhouse. Image courtesy Nyack Library via NYHeritage.]
       Deeply touched by the singing of a little girl on a ferryboat crossing from Nyack to Tarrytown, John D. Rockefeller dug deep into his pockets, fished up twenty cents, and gave it all to her.
       Mr. Rockefeller was crossing the river after a motor ride in Rockland County, and as the ferryboat left the slip, the fiddlers on the boat struck up the tune “Mammy.”  Five-year-old Virginia Denike was in an automobile with her parents on the way home from a Rockland County wedding, and she sang the words to the song. Applause from Mr. Rockefeller.
       Seeing a chance to make a hit with a new attraction, the fiddler walked over to the Denike automobile and asked whether the young lady would sing again: She would with pleasure and her choice was “Mother o’ Mine.”
       Virginia says she is going to put the two dimes on a ribbon to wear around her neck for ever and ever. Her father is a garage owner at Hastings.

       A large sight-seeing bus in which w[ere] seated sixty persons became stalled Saturday night on the West Shore crossing at West Nyack. With a train rapidly approaching, the passengers, mostly motion picture folk who had been to Adolph Zukor’s New City home, got out safely before the bus was struck by the locomotive and demolished.

October 21, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Times

       Repairs to the brick walls in the Dutch Gardens near the courthouse at New City are being made on Saturdays by 19 apprentices of Bricklayers, Cement Finishers and Plasterers Union Local 29. Herschel Greenbaum, chairman of the Rockland County Legislature, says the apprentices will repair and rebuild sections of the walls, walkways, fireplace, benches and tables damaged by age, weather and vandals.
       This program was undertaken through a joint sponsorship of Union Local 29, in cooperation with the Rockland County Contractors and Suppliers Association. Richard Coyle, apprentice chairman and instructor of the Board of Cooperative Education Services, is supervising the operation.
       Mr. Greenbaum stated that union apprentices on this project will mean a saving to the county of $2,500 or more for this project. More importantly, Mr. Greenbaum said, an agreement between the sponsors and the County has been reached wherein periodic repair, replacement and maintenance of these decorative walls will be a continuing work project for these apprentices.

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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