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Rockland Room

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY TRIVIA

December's history blog  is about the brick industry of Rockland County. At one time, Haverstraw was one of the greatest brickmaking centers in the East with the entire river front from Haverstraw to Grassy Point dotted with brick yards. In its height, there were 38 yards producing 326,000,000 bricks annually. "For a century and a half" wrote G. Wilson Bartine in the Journal News, "Haverstraw's terrain was cut and slashed and pitted with yawning holes to furnish clay for the manufacturing of bricks, which were then sent up and down the Atlantic seaboard.

Try to imagine the terrain as the rolling hills and level plains were replaced with deep water-filled holes, some of them many acres in extent. The trivia question is:

When did brick making begin in Rockland County?

 a)1770's         b)Early 1810's                c. Mid -1830's

Tune in next week for the answer. For futher informatio the Rockland Room has several books on brick making and there is a short concise history in

WEB SITE OF THE MONTH

Need to find someone on the Internet? If you have lost touch with a relative or lost an email address try these Internet address finders below. There are many more available online. Would love to hear your results.  And, if anyone has favorite web sites to share, please email me or add in the comments section.

findmemail.com

This free site is easy to use. It searches by different languages, registered email addresses and emails in general.

 

infospace.com

This site has been available for several years. It is a one-stop search drawing from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask and Twitter sites.

people.yahoo.com

Several searching options are available. You can look in yellow/white pages for names and addresses;  reverse phone number searching and email address searches.

WEB SITE OF THE MONTH

Take a look at this informative web site created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. You are able to locate a veteran's grave, obtain a list of national and state veteran cemeteries, order a replacement headstone or learn about burial benefits. The searchable database, The Nationwide Gravesite Locator. includes burial records from numerous sources. Enter a name and your results will include which branch of the military the person served in, birth and death dates, where he or she is buried and contact information for the cemetery. Note, information on burials in private cemeteries prior to 1997 is not available. Finally, there is a link to search for American soldiers buried in foreign cemeteries.

www.cem.va.gov

 

 

 

HISTORICAL STUMPER ANSWER

On November 3, I presented an historical stumper that showed a military insignia patch on display in our current exhibit and challenged the reader to identify it. I promised to reveal the answer a week later!

The answer is the 81st "Wildcat" Infantry Division and is generally credited with having the first shoulder patch as we know it today. The unit trained in  Camp (now Fort) Jackson, South Carolina along the banks of the Wildcat Creek. When the division disembarked in France in 1918, they were wearing a shoulder patch that depicted a black wildcat on OD background. This caused a stir among the Staff types in France and the troops were first ordered to remove the patch. But with the insight of forward looking staff officers, General Pershing decided that this concept could have great positive morale aspect among the troops. He then ordered all units to come up with a design that could be made into a patch for their respective organization. This opened the floor-gates for every outfit and today we have this concept throughout the military establishments of the world.

HISTORICAL STUMPER

The library's exhibit cases are filled with military patches from WWI and WWII on loan from the collector Roland Bartoloucci. Stop in and view this amazing collection! Military insignia has a long history beginning with Roman armies and continuing into current militaries. Can you guess this infantry division? One hint is that it was a history-maker. Contact Sally Pellegrini at ext 139 for the answer or wait for the answer to appear next week.

 

                                                                                     

One County's Proud History

Rockland, the smallest county in the state excluding the five boroughs of Manhattan, was the center of so much of our colonial development. Separated from Orange County in 1798, the bounty of Rockland’s history surrounds us as we pass the many sites and buildings, beautiful mountains and the grand Hudson. Agriculture dominated the county through the centuries buttoday there remain only two working farms. One of these is the Davies farm located on Route 9W and 304. The library is most fortunate to have an exhibit that displays the history and beauty of this farm. Our thanks to Jan and Niles Davies, Jr. who shared their family’s memories and achievements as we celebrate Rockland History Month.

Web Site of the Month

  www.castlegarden.org 

This web site offers free access to an extraordinary database of information on ten million immigrants from 1830 through 1892, the year that Ellis Island opened. Over 73 million Americans can trace their ancestry to this early immigration period. Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, is the major landmark within the Battery. From the 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America's first official immigration center, a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City.                                       

HISTORICAL HOUSES

The Jacob J. Blauvelt House, located on Zukor Road in New City, stands majestically on the grounds of the Historical Society of Rockland. This farmhouse was owned by the Blauvelt family from 1741 until 1970 when the society acquired it. Its street location is equally historical as this road went from New City, spilled into today’s South Mountain Rd and then traveled the foot of the mountain into Haverstraw.

 

A HISTORICAL STUMPER

Each month I will pose a historical question about something in Rockland County and two weeks later, I will give the answer OR if you email me, I will send you the answer. Sorry there are no prizes!!

The Historical Society of Rockland County is featuring the fabulous exhibit, "The Tappan Zee Bridge: Transforming Rockland County" until the end of October. This exhibit, under the direction of noted author and professor, Dr. Roger Panetta is filled with photos, blueprints, oral histories and an actual film that shows the making of the bridge. This is an exhibit not to be missed! The opening of the bridge changed the county from an agricultural to a highly residential and commuter-based county. The museum is at 20 Zukor Rd across the road from the Kennedy Dells Park.

The question is: What day was the bridge officially opened for use?

Web Site of the Month

Each month I would like to offer an online web page address that relates to genealogy research. I hope it will be of help to you. Again, I would like to hear from you!

 

For the month of September (I cheated for a week in August!), I choose the following site:

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