The Beginning

Monday, December 1, 1958, was partly cloudy. The Kingston Daily Freeman thermometer climbed 10-degrees reaching 280 by afternoon press time with heavy snow predicted to follow.

Robert Ryan Sr.Twenty-seven-year-old Robert J. Ryan acquired Duffy Agency in Rosendale, N.Y. on that day and began a legacy of service and octopus-like support of local groups, that has sustained its role of helping residents protect their assets and keeping the community healthy and well.

That day, the Rosendale Theater was screening “In Love and War” in CinemaScope and Color starring Robert Wagner and Dana Winter. Two of the church’s groups announced they would stage an “Old Kingston Point Park” musical melodrama at The Old Dutch Church, which that day announced that it would kick off its 300th anniversary celebration on Dec. 31st.

As Robert J. Ryan started his insurance business, shopkeepers were advertising lay-away sales for Christmas. Central Hudson was applying for a rate hike. President Eisenhower was assuring West Berlin the U.S., and our allies would not withdraw. The paper reported 600 motorists had been stranded in deep snow along the Thruway near Buffalo and snow was in a wintry five-day forecast.

Now 65 years later several organizations appearing in that day’s newspaper continue: The Rosendale Theater, then owned and operated by Tony Tocco and family who were wonderful clients for many years, goes on as a non-profit. The Freeman, though no longer printed locally, still circulates. Today we still have Schneiders Jewelers, Coach House Players, Kingston High School, and of course Ryan & Ryan Insurance Brokers, Inc., a locally owned and operated insurance agency.