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

2022-07-15 TWIR Image-Dexter

July 13, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

[Image: Original brick factory works of the Aetna sewing machine factory, 1899. Postcard Courtesy of the Bob Knight Collection.]
      A village with such narrow streets as ours is unworthy of the vast summer patronage which it receives.
      A man named Toppin drove his horse off the deck, at Grassy Point, last Sunday. The bystanders saved both.
      Last Monday, workmen commenced on the foundation of the Aetna Sewing Machine Manufactory, at Pearl River.
      There must at this time be within a mile and a half of the center of Nyack, between two and three thousand summer visitors.
      In Switzerland it is unlawful for any one under fourteen years to use tobacco. If this law were in force in Nyack half of our shops would have to close up.

July 13, 1932 90 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Evening Journal

       The location of Rockland County’s new million-dollar courthouse at New City came in for criticism yesterday from a real estate operator while he sat as a witness in its Supreme Court room. The 45th session of the hearings in condemnation proceedings incident to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission’s acquisition of the hundreds of acres in the Sandyfield-Johnsontown section for the new lake in the Bear Mountain preserve was in progress. The commission sitting was composed of Judge Corwin and Walter Brown, of Orange County, and George Arnot, former Republican County leader of Spring Valley.
       Scott Widdicombe, of Buena Vista Heights, Suffern, a real estate broker, was being examined as to his qualifications as an expert witness for the State.
       Florence J. Sullivan, counsel for home owners, asked Widdicombe what he meant by availability of property.
“There are lots of things available, but not logical,” the witness replied.
       “Can you illustrate what you mean?” queried Sullivan.
       “Yes, for example, this courthouse is available but utterly illogical in its location for its purpose,” Widdicombe replied.
       “Would you consider that point in appraising its value? Does it help or injure it as property?,” Sullivan continued.
       “It undoubtedly lowers its value, in my opinion,” said Widdicombe.
       The witness, however praised the court house from the standpoint of a structure stating that it combined beauty and art with efficiency and working facilities.

July 13, 1972 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Tiny Tim, in a canary yellow double-breasted jacket, flung himself onto the stage floor and kicked his legs into the air, continuously blowing kisses to the crowd at Clarkstown High School North.
       A thrilled audience of thousands watched from packed bleachers as the world-famous warbler paused in mid-song to hurl his robin’s egg blue tie into the human wave edging off the bleachers and up to the skirt of the stage.
       The songs were sung in his famous high falsetto and a deeper, less-known, masculine voice. They ran the historical gamut from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to “Blue Suede Shoes” to “Teen Angel” to “Tip Toe through the Tulips.” The crowd clapped, hummed, and hooted its approval.
       As Tiny Tim came onto the football field, in a sleek new station wagon, the children who had been chanting “We want Tiny Tim” broke ranks and charged. Tiny Tim remained inside while policemen and Clarkstown Recreation staff herded the too-eager ones back to the bleachers.
       The station wagon circled back toward the Clarkstown High School Clinic, where Tiny Tim had been awaiting his act, and the crestfallen children settled back on their haunches on the track in front of the bleachers.
       “Richard Shippler has lost his mummy and daddy,” squawked the loudspeaker. “We want Tiny, we want Tiny,” howled the crowd.
       Tiny Tim first appeared on the stage at 9:30 carrying his ukulele in a tattered white paper shopping bag. Announced as “a singer of serious songs,” Tiny opened up with “The Waltz of The Bells.” “Tingaling, tingaling,” he sang, dipping into his shopping bag for a little bell with which he accompanied the song.
       “I am glad to be here in wonderful, wonderful Clarkstown,” said Tiny, reading the name of the town from a crumpled note which he pulled from a jacket pocket. “I am glad to be here with the Rams and near Route 59,” he added, then putting the note back in his pocket.
       Becoming more and more impassioned as he went on, Tiny finally was on his knees, hitting the stage with his hands, his curls bobbing in the stage lights as he wound up one of Elvis Presley’s famous hits, “Blue Suede Shoes.” The performance ended after almost an hour, with Tiny Tim thanking his band and his audience.
       Tiny Tim was not the only feature of the two-and-a-half-hour show staged by the Clarkstown Parks Board & Recreation Commission.
       The Bob Thomas Orchestra led off with a musical medley, and the Harmonica Rascals, of Ed Sullivan fame, filled in. “We had a ball, and the audience was great,” said Dan Barry, saxophone player for the Bob Thomas Orchestra. The band’s medley ran favorite selections from the ’30s and ’40s, appealing to the older sections of the audience.
       The Harmonica Rascals featured a dwarf fallman in fur-covered chaps, who ran out into the audience twice during the show. Even after Tiny Tim, some of the children liked the dwarf best.
       The Clarkstown Parks Board & Recreation Commission offers next the West Point Military Band, performing for free at the same place and time on July 19.

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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