This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of November 18

2022-11-18 TWIR Image-Lafayette Ave Suffern

November 16, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       Our New Hotel—We learn that a firm from Cornwall has received the contract, to erect on the Bennet property, south of Commodore Voorhis’s residence, a hotel that shall have a front facing the river one hundred and ten feet, with wings on the north and south, extending westerly to the depth of one hundred and sixty feet, the whole to cost in the vicinity of $50,000. The hotel, when completed, will be in the shape of the capital letter E, and will have capacity to accommodate two hundred guests. Mrs. Palmer, a lady of Cornwall, is to be the proprietress, and already we learn that a large number of the rooms are engaged for next season. The hotel is to be ready for occupancy by the 15th of next June; and should the patronage warrant it, the building can easily be enlarged to double its original capacity.
      One of those laughable incidents attending the result of Presidential elections occurred in Nyack, on Saturday last, namely: Richard Genung wagered with Purdy Smith that Grant would receive a larger electoral vote in the recent canvass than that of 1868. Smith lost; and, according to the conditions of the wager, Genung took a comfortable seat in a wheelbarrow headed by the drum corps and followed by a crowd of boys, proceeded from Ketchell & Purdy’s shoe factory to Franklin street, from Franklin to Main, Main to Broadway, down Broadway to De Pew avenue, thence to the place of starting. Oh—ah—Smith assisted Genung in his perambulations by taking hold of the handles of the barrow.

November 18, 1932 90 YEARS AGO
Ramapo Valley Independent

[Image: Lafayette Avenue, Suffern, ca. 1920. John Scott Collection. Courtesy of the Nyack Library, via]
       A lunch room and restaurant will be opened in the Cervieri Building, 78 Lafayette Avenue in the near future by Maurice Burcklee, formerly chef at Jimmie’s diner for the past four and a half years. Mr. Burcklee has had considerable experience in the restaurant business and he is opening up his new place with the best wishes for success from his many friends.

       Otto Suffern, 21, of Mahwah, was brought before Justice Pincus Margulies yesterday charged with the theft of a bag of potatoes from the barn of Samuel Ocko who has a farm on the Monsey-Ladentown Road near the Brick Church. Suffern was caught red-handed by Special Officer George Connelly of Town of Ramapo Police Wednesday night. Connelly and Chief Abe Stern, who returned from his hunting trip in time to take a hand in the case, believed that Suffern was accompanied on his foray by some confederates but the arrested man would not talk. Judge Margulies, in view of Suffern’s previous record, sentenced him to six months in the New City jail.

November 16, 1972 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Hours after the windows of Nero’s Pad were peppered by bullet holes late Tuesday night, the popular topless bar and restaurant on Route 59, West Nyack, was back in operation—the windows repaired and the girls on stage exhibiting their charms to appreciative patrons.
       “The show goes on,” said Anthony Moschella, proprietor of the 3-year-old night spot, which pioneered topless entertainment in Rockland.
       In discussing possible motives behind the shootup, Moschella asserted, “I just don’t know who might have done it.”
       One area of speculation, however, centered on “a nice looking fellow—he wasn’t drunk or anything,” who had angrily walked out shortly before the shooting incident. According to Moschella, he refused to pay the $1 admission charge, which is the standard tariff at the night’s entertainment.
       Eyewitnesses say the shots came from someone in a black sedan. The police are still continuing their investigation into the incident.
       Although Nero’s Pad is best known for its topless girls, Moschella has attempted to “upgrade the image” of the club by instituting a new weekend entertainment policy. For the past five months the club has been featuring what it terms “the golden oldie” groups on Saturday nights. During this time, Moschella has booked such recording artists of the Fifties and early Sixties as The Shirelles, Del Vikings, Impalas and Joey Dee and the Starlites. Next week The Chimes are slated for an appearance. There is no topless on these nights.
        Four weeks ago, Moschella decided to switch Friday night into a no-topless evening also by bringing in the Powder Puff Revue, acts which featured female impersonators.
       Apparently, the new entertainment policy is proving popular because Moschella says, “it’s bringing an entirely new clientele into the club.”

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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