The Haverstraw Landslide: Haverstraw Landslide
Joseph Albert *
Rabbi Elimelech Aldin, Sons of Israel
Mr. and Mrs. William Coyne
Mrs. Joseph Daly
Abram Dias *
William Hughes *
Benjamin Nelson *
Haverstraw Brick Manufacturers 1910
B. J. Allison & Co.
Wood & Allison
U. F. Washburn & Co.
L. H. Washburn
Washburn & Fowler
Garner Brick Works
Malley Brick Co.
Excelsior Brick Co.
DeNoyelles Brick Co.
D. Fowler Jr. & Co.
Peck Brick Co.
C. & G. A. Archer
T. McGuire & Son
Lynch & O'Brien
E. N. Renn & Co.
Dunnigan, Mrs. F. L.
Bennett, Mrs. William & Sons
T. Shankey & Son
Reilly & Tanney
Tanney & Coyne
Morrissey & Co.
Fowler & Son
Shankey & Morrissey
Archer Yard No. 2
Brophy & Morrissey
Riley & Rose
Riley & Marks
F. Brophy & Brother
Source: "Within These Gates" by Daniel deNoyelles
This page has been created to serve as a guide for researching the landslide that occurred in the Village of Haverstraw, NY on January 8, 1906, claiming the lives of 19 people while they slept. The resulting damage destroyed two avenues, five streets, and twenty-one buildings, granting this tragedy the dubious honor of being the worst tragedy to ever occur in Rockland County, NY.
Haverstraw is located on the Hudson River, in an area that was once rich with blue clay. Jacob Van Dyke from Holland was the first brick maker in the area, starting his business in 1771, making bricks by hand for chimneys. In 1815, Englishman James Wood opened his first brickyard. But it was not until 1872 when Richard VerValen developed his brick making machine, that the industry exploded. Thousands of people descended into the area, as Haverstraw became the "Brick making capitol of the World".
By 1883, there were 41 brickyards and 148 brands of bricks were moulded in the vicinity. In North Rockland alone, the business employed some 2500 men in the brick plants, and 10,000 men, women and children were supported by the industry. In a single year 300,000,000 bricks were shipped out of the Haverstraw Bay area for the NY metropolitan markets, which at times was using over a billion bricks annually. Brick making had led to prosperous times for the people who lived in the village, it would also lead to the death of 19 people on January 9, 1906.
January 8, 1906
On the night of January 8, 1906 a large crack that had appeared in Rockland Street widened considerably. Many landlords told their tenants to evacuate, but it seems just as many either did not, or the tenants did not believe they were in danger.
The first landslide occurred at 11:00 pm. It seems that many of the victims survived the first slide, only to return to their residences in an attempt to retrieve some of their belongings. The second slide occurred at 11:20 pm, the last at 11:31 pm, killing not only those who had returned to their homes but also several volunteer fire fighters who were on the scene.
The slide brought devastation to the village, as stoves and kerosene lamps that feel over during the slides set fire to many of the buildings. A snowy, frigid evening, fire hydrants froze and water mains broke, not only adding to the chaos but hampering the firefighters ability to douse the blazes. The one saving grace was that due to a storm a few nights previous, much of the town was still coated in snow and ice, preventing the fires from spreading throughout the town.
When the smoke cleared and the rubble was searched, the death toll rose to 19, several bodies were never recovered.
Newspapers on Microfilm
Rockland County Times The Rockland County Times was founded in 1888 and is the offical newspaper of Rockland County. It is available on microfilm for the following date ranges:
1900 - 1939
1941 - 1947
1953 - 1970
There is coverage of the landslide and its aftermath.
A quick search of the HRVH Newspapers Database:
|HAVERSTRAW LANDSLIDE. [ARTICLE] Scarsdale Inquirer, January 18 1906|
|HAVERSTRAW SCARED. [ARTICLE] The Kingston Daily Freeman, February 7 1908|
|TWO MORE BODIES RECOVERED. [ARTICLE] The Kingston Daily Freeman, January 15 1906|
|LANDSLIDE ON WEST SHORE. [ARTICLE] The Kingston Daily Freeman, December 21 1906|
|HAVERSTRAW SLIDING AWAY. [ARTICLE] Rockland County Journal, August 14 1897|
|AROUND HOME. [ARTICLE] Rockland County Journal, November 13 1897|
|NO DAGER HERE. [SECTION] The Kingston Daily Freeman, January 10 1906|
|HAVERSTRAW ITEMS. [ARTICLE] Rockland County Times, March 31 1900|
|INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS OF TWELVE MONTHS. [ARTICLE] The Kingston Daily Freeman, January 1 1904|
The Historic New York Times has several articles as well. It must be accessed in house only.
Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library
10 West Ramapo Rd 85 Main St
Garnerville, NY 10923 Haverstraw, NY 10927
(845) 786-3800 (845) 429-3445