Zita Johann (1904–1993), best known for her role in The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, lived for many years in Rockland County. The latest episode of Crossroads of Rockland History explores a new book on the actor by local author Tom Stratford, Along Came Zita (BookBaby, 2023). [Read more…] about Zita Johann: Rockland County’s Classic Movie Star
Getting There: Rivers, Roads, Rails Exhibit in Rockland County
The latest episode of the Crossroads of Rockland History podcast explored “Getting There: Rivers, Roads, Rails,” the new exhibition opening at the The Orangetown Historical Museum & Archives on April 23rd, 2023. Mary Cardenas, Orangetown Historian and museum director; Elizabeth Skrabonja, exhibition curator; and Steve Schwinn, member of the Board of the Friends of the Orangetown Museum were the guests. [Read more…] about Getting There: Rivers, Roads, Rails Exhibit in Rockland County
An American Literary Giant Takes A Hudson River Excursion By Sloop In 1801
The following text about a sloop journey up the Hudson River in 1801 was originally published In The Life of Charles Brockden Brown by William Dunlap (Philadelphia 1815). It was transcribed by Hudson River Maritime Museum volunteer researcher George A. Thompson and additionally edited and annotated by John Warren.
Very suddenly conceived the design of voyaging up the Hudson River, as far as Albany. Had heard much of the grandeur of its shores, but never had gone above ten miles from New York. My friend C. having some leisure was willing to adventure for ten days or a fortnight, and I having still more, and being greatly in want of air and exercise, agreed to accompany him. We found a most spacious and well furnished vessel, captain R.—– in which we embarked at sunset this day. The wind propitious [favorable] and the air wonderfully bland [not foul, like the air in New York at this time]. [Read more…] about An American Literary Giant Takes A Hudson River Excursion By Sloop In 1801
The Rockland County Work Camp That Inspired The Civilian Conservation Corps
Ninety years ago this month, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the bill that created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC established labor camps around the nation where unemployed men did forestry work and park improvements.
Much of their hard work is evident in state and national parks, which are still enjoyed by the public. At the time of its creation, the CCC was described as a “novel work-relief plan.” But it was not entirely novel. A similar program was being run in Rockland County, New York. [Read more…] about The Rockland County Work Camp That Inspired The Civilian Conservation Corps
The Avon Company’s Historic Roots in Rockland County, NY
Beginning as the California Perfume Company, the Avon company called Suffern, NY home for more than a century, making it one of the longest continuously running businesses in Rockland County. Host Clare Sheridan welcomed Rockland County Historian Craig Long back to the program for a lively discussion about the history of Avon, its impact on Rockland County, and the role women, including the first “Avon lady” P.F.E. Albee, played in its success. [Read more…] about The Avon Company’s Historic Roots in Rockland County, NY
Blauvelt State Park: Rockland County’s Storied Martial History
Blauvelt State Park, in the Rockland County town of Blauvelt has a storied history. At first, it was a facility where members of the New York State National Guard (and the Naval Militia) could practice shooting. It was first used in October 1910, though still under construction at the time. Later on, the site would be called Camp Bluefields (Blauvelt means “blue field” in Dutch), but at this time the facility was known as the Blauvelt Rifle Range. [Read more…] about Blauvelt State Park: Rockland County’s Storied Martial History
Thurgood Marshall & Rockland County School Desegregation
On the February 2023 Crossroads, host Clare Sheridan revisited the 2011 interview with Dr. Travis Jackson (1934–2021) about his personal memories and his extensive research related to the desegregation of the Hillburn schools and the role that Thurgood Marshall played in this important piece of Rockland County history.
Dr. Travis Jackson was born and raised in Hillburn. He was entering the fourth grade in 1943 when Hillburn families of color and the NAACP worked together to desegregate the Hillburn schools. [Read more…] about Thurgood Marshall & Rockland County School Desegregation
Rockland History: Pearl River Public Library
On the January 2023 Crossroads, host Clare Sheridan welcomed James Cassetta of the Pearl River Public Library in Orangetown, Rockland County, to the program. In honor of its 60th anniversary, the library is inviting the public to share personal recollections in videotaped interviews. Memories including moving to Pearl River and living and raising families there will be compiled and edited to create a film for posterity. We learned about the library’s history and this interesting oral history project. [Read more…] about Rockland History: Pearl River Public Library
Piermont Marsh Shoreline Stabilization Project
The 1,017-acre Piermont Marsh at the southern edge of the village of Piermont, four miles south of Nyack in Rockland County, is one of four sites within the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR).
It is the largest brackish tidal marsh in the estuary, providing an ecologically significant habitat that is uncommon in the region.
[Read more…] about Piermont Marsh Shoreline Stabilization Project
A Dutch Holiday Traditions Podcast
On the December 2022 Crossroads of Rockland History, Jennifer Brooks, Public Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Historical Society of Rockland County, joined host Clare Sheridan to discuss Dutch Holiday Traditions.
They traced the line between the traditions of early Dutch settlers in Rockland County and surrounding areas to the growth of our modern American Christmas and explored the history behind our holiday traditions. Where did they come from? Who is Saint Nicholas, and how did he become Santa Claus? Why is the December season known for gift-giving and charity? What’s with the tree and the chimney? And what does any of this have to do with religion? [Read more…] about A Dutch Holiday Traditions Podcast