History on the Beach

During a walk along the beach on the north side of Croton Point we spotted some old bricks, encased in a piece of concrete. "IX" could be seen stamped on one of them and "XL" on the other. As we wrote in this previous post, these bricks were made at the William A. Underhill Brickyard … Continue reading History on the Beach

History on the River

If you're walking on Elliott Way, south of the Yacht Club, you’ll see some red bricks scattered among the rip rap along the shore. These all appear to be what were called Croton Point bricks, made at the William A. Underhill Brickyard on the northern end of the point. Some Underhill bricks were stamped with … Continue reading History on the River

The Mystery of the Underhill Medal

How did a silver medal from 1847, awarded to R.T. Underhill for the grapes he grew on Croton Point, end up buried in a garden on Long Island? That’s what reader Mike S. wants to know. “Many years ago, possibly 25 or so,” he writes, “my grandfather was turning his garden in Shirley, New York. … Continue reading The Mystery of the Underhill Medal

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

Harmon, the New City

Sometimes what’s most interesting about an old photograph is a tiny detail, not necessarily the main image itself. This photo is a perfect example. In the foreground we see two surveyors, working along the tracks at the Harmon Shops, circa 1906. Behind them—hard to make out because of the damage to the print—are some workmen … Continue reading Harmon, the New City

Harmon Shops of the New York Central Railroad

Here are some photos of the “Harmon Shops” in 1907, when they were brand new, and in 1914, when they became the terminus of the innovative “electric system” from New York City—one of the main selling points for Clifford Harmon’s real estate development. The photos come from articles in two industry publications—the Street Railway Journal … Continue reading Harmon Shops of the New York Central Railroad

Hidden in the Trees

This magnificent Hudson River School painting, Hook Mountain, Near Nyack, on the Hudson by Sanford Robinson Gifford, shows the view looking west from the southern shores of Croton Point. Hidden in the trees in the foreground is the rooftop and cupola of Richard T. Underhill’s Italianate villa, which he built in 1846 and christened “Interwasser”. … Continue reading Hidden in the Trees

Croton Landing, 1872

Here is a detailed map of what Croton looked like 142 years ago. Known then as Croton Landing, the village consisted mainly of houses and businesses along what we know today as Grand Street, Brook Street, and Riverside Avenue. If you look at the top left side you can see that Riverside Avenue got its … Continue reading Croton Landing, 1872

Winter on the Hudson River

Here are excerpts from Benson John Lossing’s classic book, The Hudson, from the Wilderness to the Sea, recording in words and pictures a winter on the Hudson River very different from what we experience today.1 From his first night visiting “Peek’s Kill Bay”—where the river was “cold, silent, glittering . . . except a group … Continue reading Winter on the Hudson River

Underhill Bible—on eBay!

A seller on eBay is currently offering—and has graciously allowed us to feature—a bible bearing the bookplate of Abraham I. Underhill, one of the three Underhill brothers who started the flour mill on the Croton River in 1792, under a lease from the Van Cortlandt family. 1 The bible contains a handwritten page recording Abraham … Continue reading Underhill Bible—on eBay!