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Nyack’s Sawbones

If you lived around Nyack for a bit you might know Broadway was once called Old Hook Road, though could have been called Doctors Avenue.

I searched the records at Nyack Library for doctors with offices along Broadway who practiced any kind of medicine, dentistry or chiropractic over the past umpteen years. I found eighty of them. I wonder how many of them our readers will recall.

• He was a baby doctor before they were called pediatricians. I know he treated me for a dog bite at his splendid Victorian home/ office at 152 South Broadway, on the corner of Brookside Avenue. Dr. Pierre Relland was a physician & surgeon who took care of several generations of kids.

• Across the street at 180 South Broadway was Dr. Louis T. DeNigris. Also a physician & surgeon, he would become the mayor of South Nyack and serve as a Nyack Fire Department Surgeon.

• Just down Broadway was the office on Dr. Raymond Esposito Sr. a well-known chiropractor who also served several terms as the village’s mayor while treating its aches and pains. His home/office was a magnificent brick structure at 233 South Broadway.

• Dr. George Nicolla was an osteopath.
I knew him as a real gentleman and member of Nyack Rotary for years.

• On the same side of the street, just up the block at 207 South Broadway, was the home-office of another of Nyack’s famous general practitioners of the 50s, 60s and 70s: Dr. George K. Looser, a wonderful doctor who also served decades as a surgeon for the fire department.

• Just south of Cedar Hill Avenue was the home/office of another fine physician Dr. Herbert Kurtz at 100 South Broadway. Herb and his lovely wife, Eva, were active in the Nyack Hospital community for decades. They often led the annual fund raising Kermiss Ball at the Rockland Country Club. Dr. Kurtz was in practice with Dr. Phillips Lampkin and Dr. William Giles.

• At the corner of Broadway & Depew was one of the most famous doctors of his time: Dr. Louis Couch, at 46 South Broadway.
• Above the old A&P supermarket, at 37 South Broadway, were the offices of three generations of dentists: Dr. John Gilchrest, Dr. Harvey Gilchrest and my first dentist, Dr. Gerald Gilchrest. How fondly I recall Old Doc Gilchrest getting cussed out something awful while he removed all of my dad’s teeth in one visit; as a young lad I learned some new words that day!

• For you trivia buffs—who was the dentist who maintained a practice in the same office? His life met a tragic end in October 1968.

• Long before he moved to Franklin Street, into Rockland Gardens, the dental offices of Dr. J. Weishaar were located over the stores at 12 South Broadway. He was later joined by his son, Dr. Jefferson J. Weishaar in the practice on Franklin Street where they remained for years, treating the molars of the villagers long before fluoride toothpaste.

• A few of you might recall when the offices of Dr. Herman Newman, an Optometrist, were in the corner of the O & R building. Doc Newman later moved across the street to a little shop at 6 North Broadway.

• Just up the street, at 10 North Broadway, was the office of one of Nyack’s first female physicians, Dr. Marjorie Hopper. For many years she and Dr. Murray Stoltzer served as the official doctors for sports physicals for Nyack School students.

• At 66 North Broadway was the office of the first fire department surgeon, Dr. E. Hall Kline, who practiced with his dad, Dr. Charles Kline.

• ‘Way up on the village border was the home/office of Dr. Joan and Abraham Stein, at 253 North Broadway, across the street from Dr. Bryant Rooney, at No. 240, who was also a fire department surgeon.

I am confident our readers can add quite a few doctors to my list.

Oh by the way—not that this has anything to do with doctors—but did you know that at one time, in addition to being called Old Hook Road, Broadway was also named Helen Hayes Way? Yup. Back in the late 1980s the road was re-named for a short time in honor of her ninetieth birthday. Street signs were installed on the signposts along the street where, within a week, they were stolen. Wonder where they went?

The Nyack Villager thanks Jim Leiner for helping us all ‘Remember the Days .’