Looking Back in Philipstown

By Chip Rowe

150 Years Ago (January 1869)

Several Nelsonville sportsmen went fox hunting but returned empty-handed. There was also a report that two or three men caught eight rabbits with the help of a ferret, and two groups of a dozen men shot 27 pigeons before enjoying dinner at the Pacific Hotel.

The Cold Spring Board of Trustees made it illegal to cut or injure any of the shade trees planted along the streets and sidewalks of the village.

During a hunting outing at MeKeel’s Corners (formerly Griffin’s), a barrel of Charles Henyan’s gun burst as he fired at a partridge. The Nelsonville resident’s left hand was so badly damaged that Dr. Lente had to amputate it above the wrist.

Thieves pried open the front shutter of the window of Samuel Couch’s store at Main and Market, cut the glass with a diamond and threw the dog a supply of fresh meat before ransacking the stock. Mr. Couch and his family, who live over the store, reported hearing nothing. Following the burglary, alarmed residents met at Town Hall and formed the Vigilance Committee of Philipstown.

While Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore were away from the First National Hotel, a ham and a quarter of mutton were stolen from the dining room.

Constable Dore arrested William Doane at the Fountain Head house on a complaint of Alexander Seymour of Carmel, who alleges his wife sold everything they owned and eloped with Doane, who assaulted him when confronted.

While skating near Foundry Dock, Mary Gardner received a severe cut to the temple from a passing sled.

100 Years Ago (January 1919)

Mrs. John Campbell of Cold Spring received a letter from her grandson, Pvt. Archie Campbell Jr., who was fighting in France, dated Nov. 27:

“We were drilling with gas masks when, to the astonishment of everyone, ‘Taps’ were blown. The captain announced that this was the last taps of the war, and we were to get ready for a parade in town…. My only hope is to reach home at Cold Spring…. We are billeted at a farm. I sleep where the chicken roost used to be, in the henhouse, and enjoy it immensely.”

75 Years Ago (January 1944)

The Cold Spring-Garrison Committee of the British War Relief extended its drive for artificial jewelry and bright trinkets to send to U.S. soldiers fighting overseas “for trading with the natives.”

Members of the Cold Spring Lions Club and the Beacon Old Timers played a basketball game at Haldane to benefit the Philipstown Servicemen’s Fund. A team of Haldane alumni took on the St. Joachim Cardinals of Beacon in the opener.

Anthony Mazzuca was re-elected president of the Italian-American Independent Club at its annual meeting at club headquarters on Main Street.

50 Years Ago (January 1969)

Mark Markovich, a 1941 Haldane grad and former U.S. Marine, is the new Guard Force captain at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Silver Spring, Maryland. Four years ago he bought a used school bus and converted it into a camper so he and his wife and their five children ages 3 to 10 could travel together.

Excavation began on the new Medical Arts Building at Butterfield Memorial Hospital. The interior will include eight suites for doctors, three exam rooms, a nurses’ station and a waiting room.

After purchasing a new projector and screen, the Hand-to-Mouth Players launched a foreign film series at the Depot Theatre in Garrison.

Cold Spring resident Emily Warren Roebling, around 1896 (Brooklyn Museum)

The Cold Spring Fire Co. opened registration for its third annual pocket billiard tournament. Players will be assigned to classes by Joe Mazzuca, the tournament director, and Henry Jensen, a local professional player.

Using $5,000 donated by Mr. and Mrs. Fergus Reid III, the Philipstown Volunteer Ambulance Corps bought an International Harvester ambulance with four-wheel drive.

Patrick Reilly of Garrison, state commander of the Disabled American Veterans, was photographed at the organization’s national convention in Albany with Gen. William Westmoreland.

Gene Jones of Cold Spring, author of Where the Wind Blew Free, “a book of 10 exciting true stories of pioneers and Indians in the West,” will speak at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Butterfield Library.

The Putnam County Historical Society (now the Putnam History Museum) opened an exhibit about Emily Warren Roebling, who grew up in Cold Spring and played a vital role in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Every member of the Philipstown Area Jaycees attended the Webutuck versus Haldane basketball game to cheer on the Blue Devils. The organization also sponsored a dance after the game.

25 Years Ago (January 1994)

The state Comptroller’s Office released its audit of Philipstown’s books from 1992 and said the town still did not maintain adequate records on the purchase and use of gas and diesel fuel.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit worked with federal agents on an investigation of four men who authorities said planned to bring 250 pounds of cocaine from Florida to the county hidden in yucca plants.

State Sen. George Pataki said that the state had agreed to provide $275,000 to improve the intersection of Fishkill Road and Route 9.

Haldane provided for three snow days in January, and Garrison School for four, but a winter storm closed both schools for eight.

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