The first radio in Rock Hill was installed in March, 1923 by a Yonkers man, Walter Donaldson. He had come to live at the Fair View House, operated by Robert Davies, and shared the radio concerts with the residents.At Luke Davies’ tavern on the Sackett Road, downhill from the present home of Sam Magie, cedar shakes were traded for grams of opium.
The Rock Hill Casino, which had been opened in 1898 by Russell and Sidney Lord, was torn down. The new owners, the Buschs, erected a new building, 40×60, on the adjoining Lord place, in mid-1920’s.During World War II, there was an Observatory Tower on the hill at Dr. Krimsky’s property. There are many who remember taking regular turns keeping watch for the civil defense.
Blacksmith Duane Kerr of Monticello and Mr. FlIen of Middletown were fishing from a boat in Fowlwood Lake in August, 1911. They had caught 188 catfish, some pickerel and perch and were on their way back to shore. About 30 feet from the shore, there was a large commotion of fish trying to get out of the way of the boat. The water was very shallow, being drawn down and in the excitement of trying to elude the boat, two bass, one weighing 31/4 pounds and one 2~/4 pounds, jumped into the boat. These fish would have been placed back into the water, but then two well-known men would have no proof of their story. These men were true fishermen and didn’t believe in netting fish with a boat. So the fish were prominently displayed at Kerr’s blacksmith shop.
In November, 1925, Leon Barnum of Bridgeville, whose name is on the plaque of the iron bridge, had a most successful hunting season. He killed a 150 pound black bear. A few days previously he became the envy of the area when he shot a dandy twelve-prong buck, which weighed 250 pounds.
Katrina Falls is located two miles south of Rock Hill proper. There was a sawmill erected on the flat rock above the falls prior to 1795, possibly the earliest in the township. Slabs from the mill were thrown into the gulf below and at times formed a pile of lumber as high as the falls. It was a most romantic bit of scenery with its towering trees, rushing waters, rustling trees and sighing winds. During the late 1880’s, the Falls was a prominent tourist attraction during the summer and fall, being visited by guests from the numerous boarding houses in the area. There was a dance pavilion at the top of the falls. This property is now privately owned and trespassing is not advocated. There are two legends as to the naming of the Falls. One version tells that Katrine was the beautiful daughter of German immigrants. She was suffering from desertion of her loved one, and plunged headlong into the abyss below. The rainbow which can be seen at times is supposed to remind one of her beautiful long blonde hair, hence the naming of the falls for her. The other legend states that many years ago, there was a company of Moravian Missionaries in the vicinity of the Falls. A young Indian girl was taken into their encampment, was educated and converted to their belief and they named her Katrina. The settlement was raided by Indians and she was made captive. The Chief wanted her for his bride, but she was able to escape, was pursued and trapped at the top of the falls. She chose death rather than be taken by them. She leaped over the Falls and was killed. Since then it has been called Katrina Falls.
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