A Different View of the Double Arch

In 1925, when Alvah P. French published his multi-volume History of Westchester County New York most of the photographs he included were contemporary, showing the county as it was in the 1920s.1 One can imagine a photographer, driving all over Westchester with a list of historic sites, stopping to take this unusual view of Ossining’s … Continue reading A Different View of the Double Arch

August 13, 1841 – “A ride to the Croton Dam”

Here is an account of a trip from Sing Sing to the old Croton Dam that took place 172 years ago today. This is from a wonderful blog that publishes the diary of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck, who “lived and wrote the majority of her diaries in New York City . . . [and] then moved to a rural community in upstate New York, a transition that her diaries describe as a difficult one.”

096_Page 94Sing.Sing.
Friday. August. 13. teenth. 1841.

A beautifull day, the sun obscured, and a cool
breeze blowing.

Surprised by a visit from Garret, he rode up at
twelve oclock. It was his intention to take Louis, and I home with him, but there was no boat.
At three oclock, we set off to ride seven miles, to see
the Dam at the Croton water works. Our ride was very pleasant the children behaving remarkably well.
The roads are very hilly in this part of the country,
I was afraid to ride down the steep hills. A severe
freshet* last winter carried away all the bridges, so we were obliged to drive through the Croton river, to reach the spot on which the new dam, is about being erected. Four hundred men are daily employed in repairing the dam, and live in huts, on the surrounding hills. Dame nature, seems to have indulged in some wild freaks…

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Celebrating Ossining’s Double Arch

The promenade across Ossining’s famous Double Arch has been restored and will be reopened on Saturday, July 20, with an event taking place from 4 to 6 pm. To celebrate, we've assembled a group of images relating to this famous local landmark. On May 21, 1839, the Westchester Herald said the "stupendous arch" over the … Continue reading Celebrating Ossining’s Double Arch

Croton Reservoir in Central Park, Rejected Design

In 1857 the Central Park Commission held a contest to improve the landscape design of the newly opened park. Thirty three entries were submitted, only five of which have survived today. Two of the rejected designs are currently on display at the New-York Historical Society, giving us a look at the Central Park that might … Continue reading Croton Reservoir in Central Park, Rejected Design

Double Arches Promenade

The promenade across Ossining's famous double arches is being rebuilt and is scheduled to be reopened in September, 2013. Above is a post card showing the location circa 1907 and below is a photo of the site under construction today.

Driving to the Dam, 1912

This is an often photographed view of the New Croton Dam, but this particular image from 1912 captured an automobile driving along the road which once ran across what is now the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. For an equally romantic image of "driving" out to the Dam, see this earlier post.

O, blessed be the Croton!

As we noted in a previous post, the poet and social activist Lydia Maria Child recorded the unbridled joy New Yorkers felt when the Croton Aqueduct opened in 1842. The arrival of the "clean, sweet, abundant water" also inspired her to write a poem, "The New-York Boy's Song," which was published in 1854 in her … Continue reading O, blessed be the Croton!

Croton Aqueduct Puzzles

These two nineteenth century puzzles, showing the Old Croton Dam and High Bridge, were part of a set called Sliced Objects, published by E. G. Selchow & Co., circa 1867 to 1880. The puzzles came in a box (shown below) along with puzzles of other New York landmarks—the Bethesda Fountain, St. Paul's Church, the statue … Continue reading Croton Aqueduct Puzzles

Clean, Sweet, Abundant Water!

Of all the people who recorded the unbridled joy New Yorkers felt when the Croton Aqueduct opened in October 1842, few captured it as eloquently as Maria Lydia Child, whose poem Thanksgiving Day, was set to music and is known today as Over the River and Through the Woods. In her book Letters from New-York she … Continue reading Clean, Sweet, Abundant Water!

Croton Aqueduct Watershed, 1908

This map and graph were published in the May 23, 1908 issue of Scientific American. They show the locations of the different reservoirs within the Croton watershed after the New Croton Dam was completed and their relative elevations. Click the image to enlarge it.