Croton Landing, 1872

Croton Landing from plate 44 of the County Atlas Of Westchester New York, published by J.B. Beers & Co., 1872. Click the image to enlarge it.

Croton Landing from plate 44 of the County Atlas Of Westchester New York, published by J.B. Beers & Co., 1872. Click the image to enlarge it.

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 name because it did once run right along the side of the Hudson River. That area to the right of the railroad tracks was filled in long ago, altering the original banks of the river. The pond-like area at the bottom left between the tracks and Riverside—which is probably the depressed area where the farmer’s market is held today—was also filled in.

Other interesting features include:

  • The brook along Brook Street, now covered over.1
  • In the top right the label “Friends Ch.” is the Quaker Meeting House which was located at the intersection of Grand Street and Mt. Airy.2
  • The house labeled “Mrs. Barton” in the triangular area bounded by Old Post North, Brook Street, and Terrace Place still exists today and is said to be the oldest house in Croton.

The entire map and the rest of this 1872 Westchester County atlas can be seen at the David Rumsey Map Collection.


  1. Although not labeled on this map, Brook Street was then called Upper Landing Road.
  2. See this previous post for an 1850 map showing the Quaker Meeting House in more detail.

History Underfoot

WAU Bricks

While visiting a home in the Harmon area the owners proudly pointed out the Croton Point bricks used in the floor of what had originally been a large covered porch. Well-worn from more than a century of use, many are stamped with the initials of William A. Underhill, who used the clay deposits to make bricks on the north end of Croton Point while his brother, Richard T. Underhill developed his famous vineyards on the southern end. The house also features other Underhill bricks, stamped with the letters IXL (a clever bit of self-promotion meaning “I excell . . . at brickmaking”), and stonework by masons who worked on the New Croton Dam.

For additional information about the Underhill brickyard, see this article written by Robert Underhill’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter.

View of Haverstraw Bay, circa 1868

View of Haverstraw Bay, from off Scarborough. Published by the United States Coast Survey, Washington, D.C., 1868

View of Haverstraw Bay, from off Scarborough. Published by the United States Coast Survey, Washington, D.C., 1868.
Click the image to enlarge it.

At first glance you might think this beautiful print is an etching made by a Hudson River painter—looking north from Scarborough, showing a sweeping, placid panorama of the widest section of the river, stretching from Rockland Lake to the mouth of the Croton.

View Haverstraw-cropped-center_w

The artist has depicted a sailboat in the foreground—representing the romantic, natural state of the river—and contrasted it with the industrial future—a steamboat chugging to New York City from the factory buildings on the distant shores of Haverstraw.

Detail from View of Haverstraw Bay, from off Scarborough. Click the image to enlarge it.

Detail from View of Haverstraw Bay, from off Scarborough. Click the image to enlarge it.

This is a beautiful print, but it’s a steel engraving, not an etching; created not by Kensett or Cole, but by what was then called the United States Coast Survey—the oldest U.S. scientific organization, dating from 1807 when President Thomas Jefferson signed “An Act to provide for surveying the coasts of the United States.”

Detail from View of Haverstraw Bay, from off Scarborough. Click the image to enlarge it.

Detail from View of Haverstraw Bay, from off Scarborough. Click the image to enlarge it.

The print is one of a series of views of the Hudson which were produced to supplement detailed maps and “trigonometrical surveys” that began in the harbor of New York City, expanded up the Hudson River and eventually covered the entire coast of the United States.1

Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints, a rare book dealer just up the river in Garrison, was kind enough to let us share this print, which is just one of a group of similar views of the Highlands they are offering. To see this specific print click here. For all the Hudson River Coast Survey prints click here.

If you enter “Hudson River” in the search box you’ll get 448 items, including this Art Deco treasure:

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 9.57.34 PM


  1. See this previous post for a U.S. Coast Survey map of Croton Point and links to additional information about this remarkable organization.

Croton Point, 1898

Click the map to enlarge it. See the key to points of historic interest, below.

Click the map to enlarge it. See the key to points of historic interest, below.

This fascinating map of "Teller's Point or Croton Point" was drawn by Edward Hagaman Hall for an article published in the March, 1898 issue of the magazine The Spirit of '76.

In addition to recording the roads and buildings, Hall provided a numbered key (see below) to points of historic interest.

Edward Hagaman Hall was a journalist who became involved in a variety of preservation organizations at the turn of the century. According to the New York Preservation Archive Project, Hall's "efforts in preservation can be attributed in large part to the City Beautiful movement in the early 1900s. . . . Hall was pivotal in the nascent efforts to pass legislation monitoring the aesthetic fabric in New York City." He was also an officer of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks and the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society.

The ASHPS was instrumental in advocating the preservation of Croton Point. The group held an option to purchase the land in 1917 and published an article in the first issue of their bulletin, likely written by Hall, that detailed the historic importance of the Point. "The Trustees of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society hope that the project for a public park on Croton Point . . . will receive the public support which it deserves."1

Explanation of Map

  1. Place whence Peterson and Sherwood fired on the boat . . . the Vulture, September 20th, 1780. Descendants of Peterson have the musket.
  2. Linden Cottage.
  3. Cannon ball found by Eugene Anderson, who now has it. It weighs five pounds.
  4. Old musket ram-rod found in clay. In possession of H. G Morehouse.
  5. Underhill Homestead.
  6. Old oak tree, a landmark. No one knows how old.
  7. Vine Cottage.
  8. Fish house.
  9. Cannon ball weighing nearly six pounds, plowed up in meadow.
  10. Squaw Point. Directly opposite, on the western bank, André landed from the Vulture and first met Arnold.
  11. Picnic Point, where Enoch Crosby, Cooper's Spy, once enticed ashore and helped capture a boat-load of British soldiers.
  12. Farm house 135 years old.
  13. Italian villa built by Dr. Robert T. Underhill, deceased.
  14. Cannon ball found lodged in a tree about eighty years ago, by Dr. Underhill. The ball is now in possession of S. W. Underhill and weighs about six pounds. The tree is not now standing, and the oldest inhabitant does not remember in which side of the tree the ball lodged.
  15. Place where earthworks were thrown up by Americans2 when they brought the cannon down to the point. Vouched for by S. W. Underhill, who lived there for sixty years. Dotted shore is low and sandy. Where the shore has declivity marks it is high and rocky.

  1. Scenic and Historic America, volume 1, issue 1, January 15, 1917.
  2. Hall added a footnote, "Livingston's cannon may have been shifted from one place to another, as the Vulture got under way."

W.E. Tallcot & Co. Brickmaking Machine, 1884

Talcott

A diagram of a brickmaking machine manufactured by W.E. Tallcot & Co. at Croton Landing in the late 1800s.

This image and the ad below are from A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Bricks . . . by Charles Thomas Davis, published in 1884.

Screen_shot_2012-03-17_at_9

Anchor Brand Bricks at Croton Landing, 1889

Picture_11

“No Overburnt Brick”

An ad from the Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide, July 6, 1889.

 

The U.S. Brick & Enameling Company at Croton Point, 1884

Picture_7

An ad for the United States Brick & Enameling Company at Croton Point, from Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide (v. 34, no. 851: July 5, 1884)