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

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

A Van Cortlandt Manor Treasure—on eBay!

For the second time in a month we are pleased to have helped the Westchester County Historical Society acquire an important piece of Croton-related history. Last month WCHS purchased an 1804 bible owned by Abraham I. Underhill, one of the three Underhill brothers who started the flour mill on the Croton River. Today the organization … Continue reading A Van Cortlandt Manor Treasure—on eBay!

The Mystery of the Lost High Bridge Watch

On January 17, 1883 the Troy Daily Times ran an ad for a lost watch that will quicken the heart of anyone fascinated by High Bridge, the covered wooden bridge that once soared above the Croton River. LOST—A small sized hunting cased, gold English watch. On the upper case is an engraving of High Bridge, … Continue reading The Mystery of the Lost High Bridge Watch

The Greatest Jubilee That New York . . . Has Ever Boasted

This month is the 171st anniversary of the “greatest jubilee that New York or America has ever boasted—a jubilee in commemoration of the greatest blessing that a city like New York could receive—the introduction of an abundant supply of pure and wholesome water.” 1 The jubilee took place on October 14, 1842 and the quote is … Continue reading The Greatest Jubilee That New York . . . Has Ever Boasted

Bird’s Eye Views of the Croton Aqueduct, 1879-1887

Here are two priceless “bird’s eye” views of the Croton Aqueduct, made eight years apart during the period when New York City was rapidly outgrowing the capacity of what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct. One map looks north, showing the burgeoning metropolis in 1879—straining the water supply system with its unrelenting growth. The … Continue reading Bird’s Eye Views of the Croton Aqueduct, 1879-1887

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 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