Rockland Lake History Talk June 12

An illustrated talk on the history of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain will be given at an open public meeting tonight (Thursday, June 12) in Congers, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The talk will be given in the second floor meeting room of the Congers Veterans Memorial Association (VMA) building on Lake Road in downtown Congers, adjacent to the Congers Firehouse.

Guest speaker will be Rockland Lake resident Rob Maher, who recently published a book on the topic printed and distributed by Arcadia Press. Autographed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the end of the talk for $20, with profits going to the Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain, the community’s local historical society which Maher also heads.

The free talk, with accompanying refreshments, is sponsored by the Congers Civic Association, and will be part of that group’s quarterly public meeting.

Included in the talk and slide presentation will be the history of the ice, rock quarrying and resort industries in and around Rockland Lake as well as some of the interesting families and residents who lived there when it was a bustling community of more than 2,000 residents. Today it is part of the Palisades Interstate Park and most buildings have been demolished. Remaining are about a dozen homes, the firehouse and a small school, with a total population of about 25.

Civic Association President Gerry O’Rourke will preside at the meeting, and has announced that the group’s own historical museum, which they established in 2008 on the second floor of the restored Congers railroad station, will be open to the public for free tours on three upcoming Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on June 22, July 20 and August 17.

O’Rourke also announced the association will present its annual $500 scholarship award at the meeting to Clarkstown North High School senior Kathryn Kelly, who will be attending SUNY Binghamton this fall.

Current Congers topics of interest which are also expected to be discussed briefly are the status of the currently closed Congers Elementary School, re-zoning proposals for parts of Lake Road to permit senior citizen and high density apartment projects, the results of the association’s massive clean-up day in April, beautification efforts in and around the hamlet, a huge yard sale on Oct. 4 and a firemen’s carnival June 26-29, all behind the VMA clubhouse. Free fireworks will be displayed the final night, Sunday, June 29, starting about 9 p.m.