Looking Back in Philipstown

by Chip Rowe

150 Years Ago (November 1867)

A number of residents complained that the half-starved goats in town were eating their shrubbery.

Mrs. Marshall, who owns the saloon next to the Methodist Church on Main Street, announced she was offering oysters on the half shell, fried or stewed. The following week, Michael Tevlin of the Putnam County House at Main and Garden announced that he, too, had oysters.

In a note to readers, the new owners of The Recorder of Cold Spring said they would provide a newspaper of literature and intelligence “that every man may take home to his wife and children, confident that nothing will be found within its columns to unsettle the faith in which they have been educated, or to bring a blush to the cheek of the most sensitive and refined.”

Union Church

The first services were held at the Union Church at MeKeel’s Corner, which opened in September. It also was to be used for public meetings as the schoolhouse was too small.

James Camp, while driving to Garrison’s, turned a corner too fast and was the thrown from his wagon, spraining an ankle.

A number of wood dealers in the village were concerned because George Robinson of Garrison had skedaddled with quite heavy obligations to them.

The December issues of Harper’s, Godey’s, Leslie’s Gazette of Fashions, Atlantic Monthly, Our Young Folks and the Phrenological Journal arrived at the News Depot.

A fashion plate from the December 1867 issue of Godey’s

Flora Nichols, 54, of Nelsonville, died Nov. 26, four hours before her daughter, Flora Mosier, 22, died in Fishkill. Both were members of the Methodist Church.

100 Years Ago (November 1917)

Local ministers, in a full-page ad promoting a ballot measure to ban liquor sales in Cold Spring, reprinted a letter from the vice president of General Electric, who said its management would prefer to see fewer saloons in the village and, ideally, none.

75 Years Ago (November 1942)

Putnam County Sheriff Allen Gilbert, a Republican, won re-election by 479 votes, of 8,500 cast.

Harry Wagner, 54, a former secretary to the mayor of Newark, plunged to his death from the Indian Brook Bridge on Route 9D. The New Jersey man was apparently despondent over his lack of work. While driving with his brother-in-law over the bridge, Wagner asked him to stop, got out and jumped.

Philip J. Rusk

Ensign Philip J. Rusk, a 23-year-old Navy fighter pilot based on the U.S.S. Hornet, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism during the Battle of Midway. It was presented to the 1937 Haldane grad by the commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet.

50 Years Ago (1967)

Republicans swept the Philipstown elections, with Supervisor Jeremiah Downey winning re-election by 302 votes over Joseph Percacciolo Jr.

The home at 11 Parrott Street had new owners: a couple from Long Island and their five children. Known as Casabella, the home was built in 1840 and was most recently owned by Jacob Glick, who had lived there since 1926.

The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown laid the cornerstone for its new Christian education addition.

Gov. Nelson Rockefeller announced the creation of a 3,000-acre preserve between Cold Spring and Beacon to be known as the Hudson Highlands State Park. The state, in partnership with a conservation group, Jackson Hole Preserve, funded largely by the Rockefeller family, paid $3 million for the land.

25 Years Ago (November 1992)

Two Cold Spring women were killed when a 24-year-old man rounded a curve on Route 9 near Clove Road, lost control and hit their vehicle head-on. Frances Morse, 70, and Gertrude Morse, 77, sisters-in-law, died at the scene. The other driver, who was charged with driving while intoxicated, suffered minor injuries.

A Yorktown Heights man was charged with petit larceny after he was caught taking sections of Sunday papers at delis in Cold Spring and Philipstown to assemble into complete papers to resell. He apparently had been at it for nearly a year before being caught by sheriff’s deputies.

The Philipstown Rod & Gun Club was told by the owner of the property to close its range on Fishkill Road, which had been in operation since 1949. The owner said he had been advised to not allow shooting or hunting unless the club secured $10 million in insurance. The club canceled two turkey shoots.

About 200 people showed up at a Town Board meeting to protest a zoning change they believed was designed to allow for the construction of Daytop Village, a drug-addiction treatment facility on the Capuchin site on Route 9D. County Legislator Jerome Goldberg expressed concern about the potential “concentration of felons” at the site.

Four EMTs from the Philipstown Volunteer Ambulance Corps — John Van Tassel, Marissa Van Tassel, Amy Verissimo and Mike Khabadux — are being considered for an award from St. Luke’s Hospital after they helped save the life of a 59-year-old woman who suffered a brain hemorrhage at Angela’s Restaurant on Route 9.

Fundraising continued to resurrect the Garrison Commons [now the Garrison School athletic fields], which was established in 1905 and recently renamed the Taylor G. Belcher Memorial Field. A 50-minute documentary, Harvesting a Diamond, tells the history of local baseball at the Commons from the 1920s to 1960s.

10 Years Ago (November 2007)

Sgt. Darrell Burris, 37, who directed the Cold Spring Police Department, died in a traffic accident in Carmel. More than 500 people, including many police officers from nearby departments, attended his funeral. His K-9, Duncan, also was there.

Detail from a memorial to Sgt. Burris at Village Hall

The Philipstown Town Board passed a host liability law that makes it illegal for adults to serve alcohol to minors inside homes. The law is now in force in every town in the county.

The Philipstown Town Board continued a discussion of whether to pave a section of Old Albany Post Road near Old West Point Road. Robert Dee told the board the April storm that damaged the road left a crater in his driveway that cost $9,000 to repair. “I’m all for history, but consider this my resignation from the Old Road Society,” he said.

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