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Each week we bring you the front page of a local newspaper that covered the news in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow (North Tarrytown) one hundred years ago. This front page comes from the Tarrytown Press-Record. The Press-Record was published as a weekly from 1893 to 1946 and has been preserved by the on microfilm.
Friday, August 2, 1912:
Water in North Tarrytown a Health Hazard
The Press-Record urgently reported a desperate situation in North Tarrytown, where the condition of the water was so dreadful that not only was it toxic to drink, but also “unbearable to wash in”. The foul smelling water was deemed by a “well know physician” to be extremely dangerous due to the amount of trash in the source lake. This doctor also warned that the filthy water could potentially cause a typhoid fever epidemic in North Tarrytown.
This situation had been going on for about ten days, and many blamed the water supply company. Not only did this company leave the water source exposed to dirt and trash, the water was also seriously depleted through their mismanagement. Originally the contract between the North Tarrytown village authorities and the water supply company stipulated that the company provided water to North Tarrytown only. However, the company quickly broke the contract and began selling water to Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, Scarsdale and other villages, causing a serious shortfall in water supply.
The Press-Record urged Mayor Wirth to take up the matter with the state department of water supply, and also suggested that the water company should be required to build a reservoir capable of holding the quantity of water needed to supply all the villages they had contracts with.
Horrible State of Affairs
Mr. and Mrs. Charles McManin were arrested by Officer Cregier on charges of cruelty and neglect. The married couple, who lived on Buchanan Road, were brought to the attention of the police when Charles Warner, of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, made charges against them for extreme neglect of their five children.
When the couple’s house was investigated it was found to be in a shocking condition, and the debauched lifestyle that the parents led was evidently extremely dangerous to the children, who were left to fend for themselves while their parents drank continually. The young children were found living in squalor, half starved and dressed in dirty rags.
The parents were arraigned before Judge Moorhouse on the same evening of their arrest, and their trial was set for August 1, at 10 a.m. in the morning. However, on the morning of the trial the parents were found to be completely intoxicated and therefore unfit to appear in court, and another date had to be set for the following week.
The Press-Record did not mention what arrangement was made for the children while their parents awaited trial.
“The Rambler” Burned
The yacht called “The Rambler”, owned by Dr. Roe, was destroyed in a mysterious fire while still moored in front of the Tarrytown Yacht Club.
The blaze started at about 3 a.m. and was first discovered by a party of people who were sleeping in a nearby boat. They raised the alarm and rowed out to the burning boat to throw water on the flames. Other boats also arrived on the scene to lend a hand, but all efforts were futile and when The Rambler was almost completely destroyed, the charred hull sunk down beneath the surface.
The following day the remains were dragged ashore and left by the dock. A careful inspection of the remnants gave no clue as to the cause of the fire, but the Press-Record hinted at suspicious circumstances. The Rambler was covered by a $3,000 insurance policy which had expired in early July, but it was believed that the insurance brokers had accidently renewed the policy again for an additional year. Furthermore, somebody usually slept aboard the boat but on the night it was destroyed it was empty. The newspaper concluded that “If the blaze was the work of enemies of the Doctor they certainly knew the lay of the land well, and chose their night most opportunely.”
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