A treasure trove exists within the heart of the Village of Warwick. It connects the bygone days of the past to the current events happening today. For 135 years, the Warwick Valley Dispatch, Warwick’s hometown weekly newspaper, located at 2 Oakland Ave. in the Village of Warwick, has captured moments in the lives of local residents.
It’s the combination of providing journalistic objectivity with a commitment to the community as being a forum for the voice of the people that has been in existence since the Dispatch was first founded in 1885 by George F. Ketchum.
Residents can help this tradition continue by supporting the Warwick Valley Dispatch by subscribing at a cost of $30 a year for Orange County residents and $33 per year for those who reside outside the County. For a yearly subscription, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 986-2216 asking to subscribe or go online at www.wvdispatch.com.
Another way to support the Warwick Valley Dispatch is by placing an ad to advertise your business, upcoming events or activities. The Dispatch has the best rates in town. To inquire send an email to email@example.com.
Newspaper Printed on Premise
The Warwick Valley Dispatch and the Goshen INDY, both inherited and owned by Gene Wright, are printed in the basement of the Dispatch Building on a 1930s Webendorfer offset web press that was purchased used in 1972 from The Murray Printing Co. in Forge Village, MA.
Sections of the massive machine were transported on a flatbed truck to the Dispatch yard, where it sat in the elements for a year until an extension on the back of the building was completed in 1973. Master Printer Dave Dewitt, a life-long Goshen resident and 50-year employee for the Wrights, vividly recollects the first paper printed on the press.
“It took us three days to run the first issue off this press. The operation normally takes about an hour. There was paper piled high, and everywhere, when we went to throw some of it out,” laughed Dave Dewitt, “we nearly threw out the dog. He was wrapped up in it. We heard him say ‘ruff, ruff,’ and said ‘damn, we almost threw him out.’”
The Current Printing Process
Both newspapers undergo the same process before making its way to the web press. Dave locks himself in the dark room to use a large format vertical camera that makes a negative of the pages. The negatives are then burned onto a plate-maker, making an image on a coated light sensitive metal sheet.
When the plate is rubbed with chemicals to make a positive image, it’s then ready to be locked on the press and inked. Paper is fed through rollers and between the plates from one extremely large roll of paper. The loud roaring press prints two sides at one time. After it makes its way through the web like formation, the machine cuts and folds the newspaper. Each week the newspapers are still collated, folded and labeled by the hand.
History of the Building
Although the Warwick Valley Dispatch has been in existence since 1885, the newspaper wasn’t printed in its current location until 1921. George Ketchum and his daughter, Florence, the editor, purchased the building from Minnie Fraser and Jennie Myers.
The brick building was built in 1862 by Manning Force Ten Eyck as a hotel known as Warwick Valley House. Adjoining the property was a Livery Stable. In 1887, Ten Eyck sold the building to Edward Ferris Ryerson. Ryerson continued using the building as a hotel that was interchangeably known as the Warwick Valley House or the Ryerson Hotel.
While it was a hotel the building had 42 rooms including 24 bedrooms. In 1902, a new dining room and kitchen were added to the main floor in rear of the building with several new bedrooms above those rooms. A Barber shop was also on main floor operated by Albert Wright.
For more information about the Warwick Valley Dispatch call 986-2216 or visit www.wvdispatch.com.