Newspapers, from 1868 to the Present
How would you feel if there was no local newspaper to provide full and readable information about Rye people, schools, events, and more? Online news sources are valuable for the community, but they quickly disappear into the digital void, while newspapers can be saved for later reading.
They also contain valuable historical records, dating back more than 150 years. The Port Chester Journal, published from 1868 to 1911, not only covered news about the Village of Rye but also about its hamlet called Milton.
In its issue of May 31, 1888, in an article about the opening of American Yacht Club’s new club house, it was noted that Milton was separated from Rye Village by Blind Brook: “on whose banks stand the remains of an old mill built many years ago when Milton was a flourishing settlement, and the market boat ran down to New-York City once a week, taking flour that the old mill made…There are many old houses there, some are half-timbered and some are made of stone…the sidewalks are paved with clam shells, which are dragged from Milton’s harbor…”
One of the most interesting (and shortest) articles about Rye appeared in the Journal’s issue of January 16, 1878, which reported:
“North Street has been busy for more than a week getting in the ice crop, which is very fine and dry as a bone. The cakes now average about seventeen inches in thickness.”
I have written numerous columns under the heading of “Police Blotters of Yesteryear,” frequently including news from the Port Chester Journal. One of my favorites came from the issue of December 26, 1901:
“Constable Ganun of Rye got word that a man had been shot at one of the Garland cottages in Rye, by a woman. On repairing to the house of Mrs. Rocco Scalzi, the Constable found Frank Cocirolio, who had been shot….Some aver that Cocirolio went to the house of the Scalzi woman for an improper purpose and that when he attempted to carry out his design she defended her honor with a revolver…What the cause of the shooting was will perhaps never be known, as the woman has disappeared and the victim is not talking.”
According to Marcia Dalphin’s invaluable book, “Fifty Years of Rye”, The Rye Chronicle began publishing in November 1905. The first editorial stated: “To promote the welfare of this community alone is the object of the Rye Chronicle.” Reporting on local crimes met that goal, as reported in its issue of November 23, 1907:
“Burglars entered the residence of H. de Berkeley Parsons at Milton Point on Tuesday night and thoroughly ransacked the house. Very little silverware was left in the house by Mr. Parsons, and the burglars got little for their trouble… It is suspected that the burglars came by boat. Thomas Fay, the caretaker, was asleep in his room in the barn at the time and discovered the break the following morning…The Rye police do not patrol as far as the Parsons house…”
After the death of Howard Archer, the longtime editor and publisher in 1975, the newspaper was purchased and has continued on, but not with the same dedication to local news coverage.
Fortunately, The Rye Record has carried on the intention of the Chronicle: to promote the welfare of the community. May it continue to fulfill that goal — including a compelling and informative Police Blotter!