This week in Riverhead history: Riverhead man’s sister saved from sinking Titanic

04/18/2012 10:50 AM |

The ill-fated Titanic ship.

The following stories were excerpted from Riverhead News-Review issues published between 20 and 100 years ago this week:

100 years ago

Farnham sister saved from Titanic

Dr. Alice F. Leader of New York, a sister of R.H. Farnham of Riverhead was aboard the ill-fated Titanic this week, but she is among the rescued, a fact that is very pleasing to Mr. Farnham’s many friends here, read the lead of a story in the April 19, 1912 issue of the Riverhead News.

Dr. Leader had been abroad with Mrs. Frederick Joel Swift of Brooklyn and the two were returning together. Mrs. Swift was also saved, we reported.

Dr. Leader is expected to visit her brother here during the coming summer, we wrote.

Postscript: Dr. Leader, who was 49 years old when she boarded the Titanic, would go on to live another 32 years, dying of natural causes three weeks shy of her 82nd birthday. Like all who took the Titanic’s only voyage, there is plenty of material available online to read about her life.

75 years ago

Riverhead boy uses fishing pole and reel to fly his kite

A new sport is likely to develop in Riverhead under the originality of Master Roland Peterson, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.O. Peterson — flying kites attached to the end of a fishing pole and controlled by a reel, we wrote in the April 16, 1937 issue of the Riverhead News.

Master Peterson gave the sport a try at the Junior Red Cross Kite Day Contest at the Fairgrounds that April 11, we wrote.

“Talk about your leaping bluefish or your back-jumping striped bass, why they ain’t ‘nothing,’ he says, compared with the bucking of a kite at the end of a thousand feet of line up there in the sky,” the story reads.

He didn’t win a prize, likely because he was “far too ahead of the times,” we reported.

Postscript: Who knew this brilliant sport was invented here?

50 years ago

Riverhead merchants fight zoning request

Riverhead store owners vigorously protested the rezoning of a property to construct a shopping center on a corner of Northville Turnpike and Route 58 at the April 17, 1962 Riverhead Town Board meeting, we wrote in that week’s issue of the News-Review.

“The builder, Constantine King, has asked that 28 acres be rezoned from residential to farming to facilitate the construction of a discount house and other stores,” we wrote.

More than 50 local businessmen protested the builder’s plans, which had already been shot down by the Planning Board, we reported.

Postscript: The article doesn’t say which corner the shopping center was proposed for. Perhaps the parcels where BJ’s and/or Bank of America are? Anyone out there know?

25 years ago

Three held for robbery after bank heist

Three  Riverhead men were arrested following an armed robbery at a Jamesport bank on April 9, 1987, we reported in the following week’s issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

Brothers Anthony and Markie Daniels and accomplice Jessie Brown were all charged with first degree robbery in the incident, police said at the time.

“There wasn’t time to think about it — it all happened so fast,” a bank employee told us. “After they left, everyone stood around in shock for about a minute. Then the bank manager locked the doors and called the police.”

More than $5,000 was stolen in the robbery, we reported.

“I had my back to them and I was just glad that I didn’t hear the gun go off,” said a bank customer. “It was the one smart thing they did — not firing the gun.”

Postscript: It was policy then to never reveal the names of businesses that are victims of crimes, though Jamesport bank isn’t the most clever disguise.

20 years ago

Rahman gets ‘life’ in Missouri

A Riverhead man previously convicted of killing a Jamesport man in a series of sniper shootings on the East End in 1988 was sentenced to life in prison for another killing in Kansas City, Mo., we reported in the April 16, 1992 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

Yusef Rahman, also known as “The Riverhead Sniper” was sentenced to life in prison in Missouri, a sentence to run concurrent to his 42 years to life sentence in New York, we wrote.

Mr. Rahman pleaded insanity in 1989 after shooting Bernard ‘Tim Heaney’ in Riverside in December 1988, we wrote.

Postscript: Mr. Rahman, now 43 years old, is currently housed at the Green Haven Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Stormville, NY. Other notable convicted Long Island killers imprisoned there include Ronald DeFeo Jr. of the famed Amityville Horror murders, and Robert Golub, who was convicted of murdering 13-year-old Kelly Anne Tinyes of Valley Stream.

Carl & Bob’s follows suit

After 45 years in business, Carl & Bob’s, the East Main Street men’s clothing store, shut its doors April 18, 1992, we reported in that week’s issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

The loss of Carl & Bob’s follows the recent closings of two other downtown Riverhead landmarks, Rose Jewelers and Edward Archer men’s clothiers, we wrote.

“With the business climate the way it is no one is really interested in going into my type of business, although there is a desparate need for it,” said Carl & Bob’s owner Carl Okun.

The business was formed in 1947 as a surplus store by Mr. Okun and two business partners, and was later converted in a medium-priced sportswear store.