Welcome back to One Century Ago, a collaboration between Patch and the .
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 Historical Society on microfilm.
Friday, April 5, 1912:
The “Easter Number” of the Press-Record issued on Good Friday in 1912 looked forward to a joyous and devout Easter Sunday.
“It is well that Easter comes once a year if for no other reason than that it makes people think of higher and holier things, and gladdens the world with a message of an immortal hope.”
The newspaper gave an outline of the services to be held at local churches, and the hymns they would be singing, such as the Asbury M. E. Church where there would be solos such as “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”, and The First Reformed Church where the topic of the sermon was to be “The Living Dead.”
Finally, readers were reminded that if they wished to commemorate their beloved departed with altar flowers on Easter Sunday at St. Mark’s Church, then they should drop the flowers off at the Church no later than 5 o’clock on Saturday.
“Serious and Spectacular” Fire and Explosion
The New York train which pulled into Tarrytown at 6:02 p.m. narrowly avoided the full force of an immense explosion which blasted out from the Webber Building at Depot Square at about 6 p.m.
Shortly before 6 p.m. a fire was noticed in the oil room of the Martin, Bing Store, and the fire company was immediately alerted. However, before anyone had time to react, there was a great explosion which blew the brick side off of the building, and shattered the plate glass windows into the street. Before the flying debris and glass had time to settle, the entire building was engulfed in flames, and onlookers considered the whole block to be doomed. The heat from the blaze was so intense that the buildings on the north side of Main Street were blistered.
The Press-Record described the immense danger of the conflagration, claiming “It is too horrible to contemplate what might have happened”, but went on to explain that luckily there were no fatal injuries. Of the three people in the building at the time that the fire was discovered, one escaped unharmed, one jumped to safety out of a window, and the final, Mr. Martin, one of the store owners, was blown in the force of the explosion out of the doorway, receiving a large gash on his scalp and many bruises. Mrs. Amos Gregory was walking past the building and was badly cut on her face by the flying glass, and was understandably shaken.
The building was completely gutted, but luckily the fire was contained before the entire block was lost. The damage was estimated to be close to $75,000.
Shoots Dog, Hits Child
Patrick Driscoll, of Sheldon Avenue, accidently shot Agnes Kelly, a child of about eight years. He had been getting increasingly frustrated by a dog which persisted in disturbing his chickens, and after ineffectually chasing the animal he fetched his shot gun, having resolved to put an end to the animal.
Unfortunately Driscoll, who was then about 70 years old, had very poor eyesight and aim, and the shot he fired hit the dog, a building nearby and also the little girl standing next to the dog. The child fell to the ground and her sister ran to help her. She was carried into a house, and a doctor was called. It was said that the doctor “probed for the shot but up to the present has been unable to locate it”. However, he did claim that the shot was not fatal.
The newspaper then gave an update, claiming that the girl had been operated on and the shot removed, but her condition was precarious.
No Dancing or Cards at Methodist Episcopal Church
The New York Methodist Episcopal Conference held at Kingston finished without accepting proposed changes to Church discipline. This meant that the M. E. Churches in Tarrytown and North Tarrytown, Asbury and St. Paul’s, would continue to forbid dancing, card-playing and theatre-going.
Reports were read showing decreases in membership to the Church, but the Conference declined to make an immediate decision, instead choosing to refer the proposed amendment to a committee which would report in one year’s time.