Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of January 14

2022-01-14 TWIR Image-Uris Building

January 13, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       Mrs. Daniel Haring, mother of Hon. James S. Haring, died at the residence of her son at Orangeburg, on Friday night of last week, at the remarkable age of ninety-eight years. Mrs. Haring was born into this world before this Republic had an existence; and what eventful scenes in its history ha[ve] unfolded before her eyes. The women nurtured during the Revolution and the first decade that followed it, were the women who really shaped the destinies of this nation. It was not alone, the youthful warrior who battled with a giant strength in freedom’s cause that received his first training at his mother’s side and caught from her the sacred fire of that undying spirit which made him a soldier in the cause of freedom, but the statesman and thinkers into whose hands the labor fell of creating, arranging and reducing the turbulent elements into governmental shape were also largely indebted to the stout-hearted, high-souled women of their day, and who had proved themselves true and worthy daughters of the heroic age of the Republic.
       It was in that age Mrs. Haring was born, and it was in the midst of the stirring scenes of the revolution, and of the era immediately following, that she grew up into womanhood. — She was always fond of dwelling upon the events of that period, and her mental faculties until quite recently remained clear and bright and her recollections of those early days as vivid and distinct as of the occurrences of yesterday. In her own words “she could see the faces and hear the voices of the actors of those times, as plainly as when they stood before her.” In one of her conversations with Mr. Haeselbarth, the former editor of this paper, when he was gathering up his deeply interesting reminiscences of this county, she related to him the following fragment of history, connected with our own immediate vicinity:
       “In 1777, the British army came up from Tappantown in search of cattle. I was the first one that saw them as they came over the hill yonder. Instead of taking the road which runs along the base of these mountains, they avoided it, fearing ambuscades, and took the parallel road running a little west of it. The army moved up very orderly, restraining everything like violence, apparently intent only on gathering in stock. The scene was beautiful. The rear of the army stretched away till lost to sight in the distance, their bright red coats, and brass-plated caps which reflected back the beams of the sun like so many polished mirrors, beautifully contrasting with the rich green scenery around. On reaching the dwelling of Mrs. Blauvelt” (Mrs. Haring’s mother) “the head of the column halted and the old lady with her daughter, Elizabeth (myself), then eight years old*, came to the door.
       “‘Well, mammy,’ said the British officer, ‘Where is your son?’
       “‘He’s gone to the army to fight for his country,’ was the bold reply of the little old lady.
       “‘Well, mammy, I’m very dry; have you any good liquor in the house?’
       “‘Yes, I’ve got some. Clause, bring out the demijohn.’
       “Clause obeyed and she handed it up to the officer. Raising the flask, he said, ‘Here’s health, safety and success to your son. May he always be a true soldier to his country, and no harm befall him. I love and honor the man who is true to his country. But I hate and despise the one who turns a traitor!’
       “After a hearty pull, he returned the flask, promising that not a thing belonging to her should be molested by his men, if he could prevent it. The army continued its advance till the foot of the little bridge which crosses the Hackensack, about a mile north, was reached. Finding no cattle, the order was passed to return. Had they gone but a few rods further, and ascended that little rise, they would have seen several hundred head quietly grazing on the other side. For miles around the cattle had all been driven there for greater security from the predatory excursions of the [T]ories, and a few steps more the whole would have fallen into the hands of the enemy. The order to return was accompanied with the command to plunder, and accordingly as they retraced their steps, destruction, cruelty, and tears, marked the way. Resistance was useless, for what could a handful of women and children do against such an overwhelming force. The house of Mrs. Blauvelt suffered equally with the rest. The looking-glasses were taken from the wall, laid upon the floor and jumped upon, crockery smashed, and furniture broken, and a general destruction carried on. While this was at its hight [sic], the same British officer who had first accosted the old lady, entered the room. He instantly ordered the men to desist from any further violence, and turning to Mrs. Blauvelt, added, “Mammy, I am sorry I could not get here sooner, for then none of this should have happened. But the women kept hanging around me, crying and praying for me to save their property, so that I could not get here any quicker.”
       When Mrs. Haring related this incident, her listener regarded her with astonishment, for she was a woman apparently in the prime of womanhood. Her movements were active, her voice hail and strong, her cheeks full and smooth, her eyes bright, and scarcely a grey hair could be detected upon her head.
       “And you saw this, you said?”
       “I was then,” she replied, “eight years old, and I am now in my 84th.”
       But the long life has last closed—closed quietly and in peace. It was full of kindliness and good, even to its end. Many will look back in remembrance upon it, and as they do they will not entirely escape its peaceful, harmonizing influence. On Monday, attended by a large number, her body laid to rest in the old churchyard at Tappantown—but her memory still is warm and glowing, in many hearts.

* Editor's note: We find this story entertaining but confusing. If Mrs. Haring was ninety-eight when she died, her birthyear would have been 1774, meaning she was three years old, not eight, when the alleged episode she recounts took place. In addition, the tombstone in the Tappan cemetery for Mrs. Daniel Haring (Elizabeth) gives her death year as 1803. We welcome any light readers can shed on this!

January 12, 1972 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

[Image:  Uris Complex, aka Blue Hill, c. 1972.]
       The opening of the first two buildings of the Uris complex and Pearl River was originally scheduled for December 1969. Financial problems forced postponement, but the opening is finally set for April.
       These two buildings encompass 1 million square feet of office space, and the major problem facing the Uris Corporation is the renting of space.
       At the present time, only one lease has been signed. A spokesman for Uris, Robert Bennett, told the Independent Leader that the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company has leased 10,000 square feet on a long-term basis, but “in the next six weeks, we hoped to announce the signing of leases for over 100,000 square feet.”
       He refused to comment on which firms may become tenants on the Blue Hill site. However, a major New York bank is rumored to be interested in moving corporate offices to Pearl River.
       The project has aroused tremendous interest locally because there will be an all-weather shopping and pedestrian mall linking the two buildings, and Bennett said that many local merchants have contacted Uris with the with an eye to renting space in the mall.
       Orangetown Town Supervisor John Komar is worried that the opening of the Uris mall may cause a decline in retail business inwell-established Pearl River stores similar to the effect on Nanuet of the Nanuet Mall. His administration has not played a great part in the earlier planning stages for the complex, which were undertaken by John Lovett and his Town Board.
       Lovett said that the opening of the site is not going to disrupt the zoning and master plan of the Town of Orangetown, and he does not expect many of the 12,000 persons who may eventually work in the complex to move into the town, so there will not be a great need to supply housing for these people, nor will new schools be necessary.
       “The only problem I see at the present time is the widening of Veterans Memorial Drive, which will have to handle a much greater volume of traffic,” Lovett said
       Lovett accused the State of New York of inaction on the plans for the realignment of roads in the area, plans the state has had for the past two years. He said that Uris will widen the road at its own expense, “which is completely unprecedented,” he said
       The Blue Hill site totals 240 acres, out of the original 370-acre tract which Uris purchased from the estate of M. Montgomery Maze. Included was an 18-hole golf course which the company sold in the Town of Orangetown. Blue Hill tenants will have the right to play on the, course usually reserved for Orangetown residents.

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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