Blacksmiths at the New Croton Dam, 1895

Among the many treasures of the Ossining Historical Society Museum is a substantial collection of photographs and other material about the Old Croton Aqueduct. During a visit last week, curator Norm MacDonald showed us some recently donated material that included two rare photographs of blacksmiths at the New Croton Dam taken in September, 1895. Although … Continue reading Blacksmiths at the New Croton Dam, 1895

Niagara Falls by Man’s Own Hand

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

Visit to New Croton Dam—February, 1934

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

New Croton Dam Construction, circa 1902

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

Drive to the New Croton Dam, 1913

In 1913 the Overman Tire Company in New York City ran a test to demonstrate “the ability of Overman cushion tires to withstand the abuse to which tires ordinarily are subjected by the average driver.” A National touring car was outfitted with a set of Overman cushion tires and driven over different routes and road … Continue reading Drive to the New Croton Dam, 1913

A Croton River Disaster—197 Years Ago Today

As the weather in Croton gets warmer and we rejoice that the snow and ice are finally melting, let’s look back to a time when the Croton River ran wild and spring thaws would often bring massive freshets—river floods caused by heavy rain and/or melted snow and ice. On Tuesday, March 10, 1818—exactly 197 years … Continue reading A Croton River Disaster—197 Years Ago Today

John Quincy Adams Sends His Regrets

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

The Purdy Homestead on Quaker Ridge Road

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

New Croton Dam, circa 1907

Here's a nice view of the nearly-completed New Croton Dam (also known as the Cornell Dam) circa 1907. We can roughly date the image from the state of construction and the card itself because it's an "undivided back" postcard, issued during the period from 1901 to 1907. Until 1907 only the mailing address could be … Continue reading New Croton Dam, circa 1907

New Croton Dam Spillway

This photograph of the nearly completed New Croton Dam gives us a look at the spillway without the usual cascade of water. Below are details from the image, showing the immense scale of the structure—made entirely of hand-hewn stone which was cut, moved and placed without the aid of modern construction equipment. The image comes … Continue reading New Croton Dam Spillway