This photograph from Scientific American shows the end result of the first phase of constructing the New Croton Dam—diverting the natural flow of the Croton River in order to dig the gigantic hole that would become the foundation of the dam. Construction started on September 20, 1892 with excavation to divert the Croton River. A … Continue reading Diverting the Croton River
This photograph of the New Croton Dam was published in the “Rotogravure Picture Section” of the Sunday, December 14, 1919 issue of the New York Times with the caption: Niagara Falls by Man’s Own Hand: For the first time in fourteen years water is flowing over the huge dam of the Croton Reservoir at the … Continue reading Niagara Falls by Man’s Own Hand
In the winter of 1934, members of the Bagley family of Peekskill made a visit to the New Croton Dam, recorded in this series of snapshots. Each has a penned inscription on the back and is stamped with the month and year. The photographs were recently acquired at an estate sale in Cortlandt along with … Continue reading Visit to New Croton Dam—February, 1934
We recently acquired a great set of photographs showing the New Croton Dam under construction. The images are particularly exciting because they include some rare views of the construction site and one of the soon-to-be submerged Old Croton Dam. Based on the state of completion of the dam we think these were taken circa 1902.1 … Continue reading New Croton Dam Construction, circa 1902
High Bridge is one of the greatest feats of early American engineering and New York City’s oldest standing bridge. A key part of what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct, the bridge once carried water across the Harlem River into Manhattan. Although it was built to support large water pipes, it was open to … Continue reading Celebrating High Bridge
Here’s a fine example of the medal produced for the Croton Water Celebration, when what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct opened to public use on October 14, 1842. This is currently being offered by John Kraljevich, a leading expert in American historical medals, coins, paper money and related Americana, who has graciously allowed … Continue reading The 1842 Croton Water Celebration Medal
On October 11, 1842 former President John Quincy Adams realized he had neglected to respond—several times—to an invitation to be an honored guest at the Croton Water Celebration. In his diary he wrote, “. . . on turning over my letters recently received, to endorse and file them, I found one which I had totally … Continue reading John Quincy Adams Sends His Regrets
A first-person account of the Croton Water Celebration from the diary of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck. “It was a happy day for New.York, as now she stands a “queen city” with her beautifull Fountains, and pure transparent water, her delighted sons and daughters have reason to be proud of her now.”
Every one was in commotion to.day, the whole city were on the move; and thousands of country people came flocking to see the procession. The stores were closed, bells ringing, soldiers marching, societys forming, and every one putting on their best faces to witness the novel scene.
At eleven Garret, the children, Bridget and myself went up to Mrs Anelli’s. They received us very politely, giveing us their small bed-room to ourselves. We had a fine view of the parade and were not exposed to the air. The procession, equalled my expectations, and was a handsome affair; every thing was so bright and neat, the very houses shone like silver.
The fire companies were very conspicuous for taste in their decorations. It was supposed the number of persons in procession, were about 20.000.
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Today is the 172nd anniversary of the Croton Water Celebration, when what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct opened to public use on October 14, 1842. The day-long celebration included a massive seven-mile-long parade, songs written and performed for the occasion, and culminated in jets of pure, sparkling water rising fifty feet in the … Continue reading Croton’s Waves in All Their Glory
One of the treats of this Sunday’s 18th Annual Croton Arboretum Garden Tour will be a chance to see the Purdy homestead on Quaker Ridge Road and a group of 100-year-old family photographs, lovingly preserved and made available by local restaurateur Craig Purdy. Today, the property is a magnificent 23-acre estate—no longer in the family—but … Continue reading The Purdy Homestead on Quaker Ridge Road