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A Sense of History: Then and Now
by Doris E. Auser

State Road in Yorktown-pre World War I – was no more attractive, if less cluttered, than it is today under the name of Commerce Street.

Perhaps one of the most exciting things for youngsters of the earlier days of Yorktown was the sight of the 1910 Maxwell parked along the road. Edward B. Kear was the proud owner of this beauty. Today's children hardly give a passing glance to the many cars which travel Commerce Street.

The top picture (from Edward Kear's collection in the Town Museum) shows clearly the brick building, now the home of a Flying "A" gas station. Structure with the balcony in the "now" photo was moved from across the intersection of Underhill and Commerce Streets to its present location some years ago.

The white building behind the two men was a stationery store owned by Henry Rosenkranz. The RR crossing just behind the store was a switch from the main line to the Mohansic Park area where an asylum was to be located. This switch line was soon discontinued along with the asylum.

In the distance the spire of the first St. Patrick's Church can be seen. Roake's Lumberyard has not changed perceptibly from this distance, although it is now Creed's.

In the right foreground of both pictures is the edge of the "Town Park." In 1910 it was little more than a lawn area. Now trees have grown along the edge and provide a shady cover in summer for the small cannon now aimed directly at the gas station.

Of course, alongside the gas station, there are now a number of stores in low, archite, culturally nondescript buildings.

If "progress is our most important business," or even our aim, we might make that progress a bit more attractive.

The Yorktowner, Vol. 2 No. 19, February 23, 1968

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