Thursday, March 19, 2009

The next “Hastings Historian” is on its way!

Mrs. Drewes (standing) and a few of our dedicated group of volunteers, clockwise: Vice President Barbara Thompson, Tom Donohoe, Polly Ciborowski, Georgia Honovitch, Jo Downar, and Helen Bernarducci
Keep an eye on your mailboxes, folks. The next “Hastings Historian” goes into the mail today. Four times a year Volunteer Coordinator Evelyn Drewes calls on a dozen loyal volunteers who assemble here at the cottage one morning with no other purpose than to get the “Historian” ready to mail out to you. They sit around the dining room table and put labels and stamps on the newsletters that go out to our members all over the country and around the world, as far as Denmark and Hawaii. Of course, they have a good time and a good gossip while doing it! Thanks to all of our volunteers – we couldn’t manage without you!

Hot off the press: The Winter 2009 “Historian”
This quarter’s “Historian” focuses on the life of one of the wildest celebrities ever to live in Hastings-on-Hudson – the actress May Yohe, whose first husband, Lord Francis Hope, was the owner of the Hope Diamond. Lilian and John Mullane, the authors of the article, refer to May as “a glamour girl of the gay 90s.” May calls herself “…the girl who rose from the little Pennsylvania village to those dazzling heights of fame in which two continents were at her feet in homage to her art and to the still more impregnable circles of the great titles of the British Empire…” And if that doesn’t grab you, I can’t imagine what would!

Postcard with three images of May Yohe, ca. 1910

The issue also contains a brief history of the Hope Diamond itself, as well as a wonderful ode to policemen that we came across recently in our files. If anyone recognizes the piece and can tell us who wrote it and when, we’d love to hear from you! Along with the text, we’ve printed some of the best photographs we have of the Hastings police force through the years. We’ve put another few on Flickr, and you can see them by clicking on the word “Police Department” in the Flickr badge below.

We hope you enjoy this issue! If anything sparks any memories or questions, be sure to let us know.

Hastings Historical Society's Police Department photosetHastings Historical Society's Police Department photoset

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  1. This is the kind of story that might be apocryphal: that when poison gas was made in a waterfront factory during WW1, police guards or soldiers were posted at the entrances to the village and everyone, including all residents, had to identify themselves as they came and went. Great story! Is it true? Maybe these belonged to the guards.

  2. Hi Diggitt! Here is the lowdown about mustard gas: Zinsser Chemical Co. on the waterfront was gearing up to produce massive quantities of mustard gas, and then World War I ended. But while the company was acting for the government, there were military guards stationed in Hastings. These guards, however, only patrolled the waterfront area, and not the whole village.

    A police history expert who looked at these badges on Flickr thinks that they are most likely for civilians with some training that the village could call on in case of an emergency.