Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of February 18

2022-02-18 TWIR Image-Mine Hole

February 17, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       While a negro, named Miller, was unhitching a team of horses at Sarvent & Garner’s livery stable, about 4 o’clock on Friday morning, the night watchman, Hubbell, crossed over to say something to him, and the side of his coat striking against one of the wheels of the wagon, a pistol which he carried in his pocket was discharged, the ball passing through Miller’s leg, between the knee and the thigh, and making a flesh wound.

February 15, 17, 1922 – 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

[Image: Inscribed within the print, at lower right, “F TOWNSEND MORGAN 1934.” Inscribed in pencil at lower left, “49/75”; at lower right, “F. Townsend Morgan Imp.”; and at bottom center, “Tenements—The Mine Hole.” Stamped in ink, verso, center “Return/Public Works of Art Project/1324 Spruce St./Phila., PA. This etching was featured on the cover of the award-winning book True Stories from the Mine Hole, by Leonard C. Cooke and Audrey S. Lawson (published by the HSRC). Mr. Cooke’s grandparents were from Piermont. See more at]
      The large double house and fruit store opposite the Mine Hole between Piermont and Sparkill was destroyed by fire at noon today. One side of the building was occupied by the fruit and vegetable store of Lewis Basco, over which his family lived, and the other side by John Sisco and family.
       It seems that the fire started from an oil stove in the kitchen. Robert Lawson who lives on the other side of the Sparkill Creek saw the flames, and notified the residents. The Piermont and Sparkill Fire Departments responded to the alarm and checked a further spread of the flames. None of the furniture was saved in the Sisco residence and the intense smoke prevented the firemen from saving much that was in the other side of the structure.

       A big wildcat entered a window in the hut of John Manning in the Ramapo mountains, near Suffern, last night. Manning and his wife and two sons were aroused from sleep when the animal sprang at one of the boys and tore his nightclothes nearly off his body.
       The father reached for his shotgun and kill the animal before any more damage was done. The wildcat is one of the largest ever killed in that section.

February 16, 1962 – 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Leonard Cooke, president of the Nyack chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, charged the Nyack Board of Education with discrimination in the hiring of teaching personnel at the board’s meeting last night.
       Of the 188 teachers in the Nyack school system, Cooke said only one is a Negro. The other person is a guidance counselor he did not consider to be a teacher, Kenneth R. MacCalman, Superintendent of Schools, corrected Cooke on this point.
       Of the student population in Nyack, Cooke said 22 percent of the students at the Hilltop School were Negro; and after some discussion with MacCalman, agreed that 45 percent of the Liberty Street School is Negro.
       With the substantial Negro population in the school system, Cooke asked why there were only two Negro teachers. Cooke suggested were there Negro teachers in the system, the incentive for Negro students would increase.
       MacCalman categorically denied Cooke’s charges and said that at no time have there existed discriminatory hiring practices. He noticed he noted further that applicants are selected after having satisfied objective criteria requirements and no one knows their ethnic or religious backgrounds. The state law forbids any coding of records or requests for photographs in hiring.

Statements Questioned
       Tempers flared for a brief moment when Cooke questioned the accuracy of a few statements made by MacCalman. The board substantiated MacCalman’s claim that there is no discrimination in hiring. The only discrimination that exists is in the evaluation of the credentials, and this is a discrimination of abilities not in any way related to ethnic or religious background.
       President Clinton Foster stated the board’s policy is well known, and there is no history of discrimination present. Although McCalman does the initial interviewing and makes recommendations to the board, the decision to hire is solely the decision of the board.

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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