View of Haverstraw Bay, circa 1868

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. The artist has depicted a sailboat in the foreground—representing the romantic, natural … Continue reading View of Haverstraw Bay, circa 1868

The Ultimate Bird’s Eye View of Manhattan

Here’s the perfect follow-up to our recent post on bird’s eye view maps of the Croton Aqueduct—an interactive mashup of an 1836 map of Manhattan, georeferenced with satellite images of the city today.1 Using a “spyglass” map viewer you can switch back and forth between the two maps and explore 177 years of growth and … Continue reading The Ultimate Bird’s Eye View of Manhattan

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

Motoring Across the Croton, 1912

It’s a beautiful day and you’ve decided to take a jaunt in your newfangled automobile, going north along the scenic Hudson River. You can’t count on good, well-marked roads, so you’ve brought along the GPS system of the day—a copy of Photo-auto maps . . . New York to Albany which features “photographs of every … Continue reading Motoring Across the Croton, 1912

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

Croton Point, 1898

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 … Continue reading Croton Point, 1898

U.S. Geographical Survey Map, 1943

These images are taken from a topographic map of the "Haverstraw Quadrangle," which was surveyed in 1938 by the U.S. Department of the Interior Geological Survey and published in 19431. This map provides so many layers of information—buildings, roads, elevations, vegetation, bodies of water, place names, and more—that we can get a good sense of … Continue reading U.S. Geographical Survey Map, 1943

Census Map of Croton, 1935

These details are from a map of the Town of Cortlandt which accompanied the 1940 census. According to a note on the map it was prepared in January, 1935 "in the office of the County Engineer, with workers supplied by the Westchester County Emergency Work Bureau." The map can be viewed and downloaded from the … Continue reading Census Map of Croton, 1935

Camping at Croton Point, 1905

"Camping at the City's Doors" was the title of an article in the June, 1905, issue of Country Life in America magazine, which described places where "one can feel as far away from civilization as upon an Adirondack lake, but a twenty minutes' row or paddle takes one across the river to catch a train, … Continue reading Camping at Croton Point, 1905