Croton Area in an Early NYC Transit Map, 1887-1890s


A detail from an early New York City regional transit map, made between 1887 and the 1890s. What’s particularly interesting about this map is that it shows the “Quaker Bridge Dam,” one of the possible locations for what became the New Croton Dam.

In the late 19th century, when New York City was rapidly outgrowing its water supply, the Quaker Bridge area was the subject of extensive planning for what an article in the New York Sun in 1888 called “The Biggest of All Dams . . . the Gigantic Structure at Quaker Bridge.” Luckily, the planners decided against the Quaker Bridge location in favor of one further up river.

This error shows up on other maps and ephemera as late as 1908. There are some post cards showing the completed dam (photographs taken circa 1908) that misidentified it as the “Quaker Bridge Dam.”

Courtesy of the University of Chicago Library, which has an online collection of maps here.

This map is from the Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Urban Rail Transit Map collection, and can be found here.

Map of the New York City and Northern Railway Co. and the Yonkers Rapid Transit Branch to Getty Square, Yonkers, showing their connection with the Manhattan Elevated Railway of New York City at 155th Street and New York and New England R.R. at Brewsters.

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