What the New Paltz newspapers said 100 years ago

Abraham Hasbrouck house on Huguenot Street (courtesy of Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection)

The ‘‘Our town’’ column is compiled each month for the New Paltz Times by Carol Johnson, coordinator of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection. The entries have been copied from the January issues of the New Paltz Independent. If you would like to get a closer look at these newspapers of the past, visit Carol Johnson and the staff of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at the Elting Memorial Library, located at 93 Main Street, or call 255-5030. Meanwhile, enjoy these words from a century ago.

The annual New YearÕs party of the New Paltz Social Club was held on New Year’s Eve in the New Paltz Opera House. About 44 couples enjoyed dancing to music furnished by Warner’s Orchestra of four pieces. At midnight, refreshments were served. The hall was very prettily decorated by a committee under the supervision of the President Judson B. Schoonmaker.


Major Lamb and staff with the exception of the quartermaster corps under Capt. Miller, left New Paltz today, Wednesday, after a year and a half’s service here with the Second Battalion, First Provisional Regiment, N.Y.G. All the aqueduct guards are being mustered out, except those at work moving the memorial boulder at Bonticou.

The Aqueduct Guard is burning up from time to time in the back of the Headquarters on Chestnut street a lot of old or worn out material, which the regulations do not allow them to sell or give away.

For about three weeks past, the work has been in progress of getting a boulder down the mountain from Bonticou Point and loaded on a railroad car at Springtown, and transported to the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, Tarrytown, in honor of the men of the regiment, whose names will be on a tablet. The needed funds have been raised among the officers and men of the regiment. On Monday we found the boulder on a truck, advanced as far as the Tim Sullivan farm on the Springtown road. About a dozen men and about a dozen horses and mules with the help of an auto truck part of the way, all under the direction of Capt. Polhemus of Poughkeepsie have been at work on the job. The boulder is about 14 feet in length and weighs about 14 tons. It is somewhat longer and wider than the shaft of the Patentees Monument. On Wednesday morning it was at the railroad crossing at Springtown, and the job of getting it to Tarrytown was turned over to the railroad.

It has been suggested that a boulder monument should be erected in this village to those who went from this vicinity to the war. We are glad to learn that Mr. Daniel Smiley would assist. We hope this matter will be put through without delay. The cost would not be great. But some favor a community house instead.

Half a million men and fifty thousand officers have been discharged from camps in this country since the signing of the armistice.

To solve the problem of the unemployed discharged soldiers, the war department has ordered that no man be discharged from the Army against his desire until such time as he can obtain employment in civil life.

There is a probability that from fear that the Bolshevists will come here in large numbers if driven out of Europe, that Congress will pass a law prohibiting all European emigration for four years.

Mr. Adams of Brooklyn has been in supervision of the work at the new Normal building for about three months. It is not expected that the work will be entirely completed before May. Excellent material and good workmanship are in evidence all through the building. No more than six or eight men have been at work of late. They are putting on the metal lath. Plasterers and carpenters will soon be again at work. The pipes for heating and the arrangement for ventilation are in order and about 60 radiators are in position. The windows and the wood flooring will be the last work to be done. The auditorium will seat 1,200 persons.

A basketball team has been organized at the Normal. About ten experienced players are candidates. A game with Highland will be played sometime in February.

New school houses have been ordered by the Education department at Ohioville, P.L.F. Elting’s corner, and Centerville; or the three districts if not choosing to erect new school houses must combine and build one in a central locality.

  1. F. Cohen writes from Iron City, Georgia, that he has been traveling with an outdoor show since he left New Paltz and that he has an interest in the show. He says he saw a copy of the Independent stating that his wife had a divorce.

The large cherry trees on Cherry Hill which gave name to the place, have been cut down, in order to accommodate the electric wires.

The Lowe Brick Company of New Paltz, has closed a deal for 350,000 with the Poughkeepsie Concrete Stone Co., Inc., of Poughkeepsie. The brick will be used in the construction of a factory for the Liberty Motors Starter Co., a new industry recently landed in Poughkeepsie, which will manufacture airplanes and automobiles.

Iver Evers, an artist, formerly a resident of the city has purchased of Jesse Elting and is about to take possession and reside in the Isaiah Hasbrouck house on Huguenot Street. Mr. Evers at one time lived in the Elting Cottage, has a farm on the Rosendale Plains and has had children at the Normal. We are glad to learn that he does not propose to change the exterior appearance of the building. There is certainly none house in the village, perhaps none in the state of greater historic interest.

The snow that came the latter part of the week made the mud more on the country roads, but on the state road it made sleighing. The boys and girls have been able to ride downhill to some extent since the coming of the snow. Sunday was the coldest of the winter. The mercury indicated two below zero on Huguenot Street and six below in Springtown. The Wallkill was closed by the cold, but the ice has been rough, so there was no skating.

There was a large attendance at the social in the parlors of the Reformed Church on Friday evening. By a new arrangement, groups for conversation were moved about from one part of the parlors to another and this worked beautifully. There were a large number of Normals present. Chas. M. Hall received the prize as the man having the largest waist measure and Miss Chemnitz as the lady having the most slender waist. The Girls Chorus sang in a charming manner. The music furnished by Mrs. Seward on the piano, Mr. Greene on the cornet and Mrs. Greene on the violin was greatly enjoyed by all. The play “Old Ladies Home” produced no end of amusement. Those taking part in the play were Miss Dann, Miss Richards, Miss Helen Hasbrouck, and Miss Lena Steen. Refreshments were served. Altogether the affair was a delightful one in every way.