This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of October 28

2022-10-28 TWIR Image-Gilbert Crawford

October 26, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

The show window of Charles E. Harr’s jewelry establishment, on Broadway, is gorgeously arrayed in all the paraphernalia of holiday attire. As Charley “understands the branch” and the people see and appreciate it, it is no wonder that he is constantly called upon to add to his elegant stock of jewelry and silverware
A hired man named Frank recently robbed his employer, a Mr. Stevens, in Spring Valley, of about $50 worth of dresses belonging to Mrs. Stevens. The light-fingered gent is now in New City jail.

October 26, 1932 90 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal-News

       Miss Frances Perkins, State Industrial Commissioner of New York, who, it is said, might be the choice of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt for the post of Secretary of Labor in the event of his election to the Presidency. The appointment would make Miss Perkins the first woman Cabinet member.

       Mrs. Sophie Hoch, 45, of Cairo, was seriously hurt just before noon today when the sedan in which she was riding with her husband, Charles, and son Charles, Jr., collided with a Frank Fredericks coal truck at the Congers four corners. Mrs. Hoch was rushed to the Nyack Hospital where Dr. George A. Leitner worked over her to treat multiple lacerations and cuts about her throat.
       The coal truck, driven by William Conklin, of Spring Valley, had stopped for the light, and Hoch, coming south, was unable to stop on the wet pavement when Conklin turned west off 9W. The two machines came together head-on and Mrs. Hoch and her son were hurled through the windshield. The boy was badly cut about the face and neck.
       State Troopers Gale and Commins were summoned to take charge and they had the injured sent to the hospital at once. The Hoch sedan is owned by Catherine Lyons, of Freehold.

October 26, 1972 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Gilbert Crawford, three-term Rockland County Treasurer. Clipped from the Rockland County Leader, 1937.]
       Copies of a huge lithograph of Nyack and South Nyack executed in 1884 have been reproduced from the original and are now available for sale at the museum and headquarters of the Historical Society of Rockland County on Kings Highway, Orangeburg, just off Route 303. Called “Nyack on the Hudson,” the three-dimensional map shows virtually every building in the two villages, nearly 100 years ago. The original was contributed to the society by the late Gilbert Crawford of South Nyack, who had served as the 10th Rockland County Treasurer from 1935 to 1949.

       For thousands of ex-servicemen Monday was Veterans Day, but for one Revolutionary War soldier from Pearl River it apparently was anti-veterans day.
       Instead of being honored for his heroism 200 years ago, Edward Salyer had his tombstone removed from his abandoned burial plot and dragged half a mile away where it was unceremoniously dumped on a surprised resident’s front lawn.
       The Orangetown highway department officials were eventually notified, and they moved the tombstone in a dump truck to their garage in Orangeburg. A phone search then began to find the grave where the red sandstone marker belonged.
       Looking for help, highway officials called Rockland County Burial Commissioner Fred Loescher of South Spring Valley. He immediately recognized the familiar Pearl River name on the stone and discovered by checking his records that the marker belonged in an abandoned cemetery known as the Old Middletown Burying Ground.
       Started around 1797 by the Middletown Baptist Church located next door, the cemetery fell into disuse around 1860 when the church moved to Nanuet and became the Grace Conservative Baptist Church.
       Salyer was one of several Pearl River men who fought against England in the Revolutionary War. Most of the Revolutionary War veterans are buried in that same cemetery.
       According to Loescher, vandals must have gone into the cemetery on Veterans Day, broken the stone off at ground level, then carted it off in a car or truck. Why the vandals dropped the stone across Pearl River, at the intersection of South William Street and Jefferson Avenue, has not been determined.
       The old cemetery is in a highly populated area and has no protection at all except for a small hedge along Old Middletown Road. The hedge provides an excellent screen for persons intent on vandalism, Loescher said.
      Loescher said he will ask the highway department today to return the stone at its proper location. He warned, however, that the same thing is likely to happen again unless Orangetown officials take action to protect small, abandoned cemeteries.
       The burial commissioner said he will ask the town board to install fencing around the Old Middletown Burial Ground and other abandoned cemeteries.

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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