History Underfoot

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 … Continue reading History Underfoot

Croton Point and Ossining, circa 1905

Here’s a nice postcard of the view looking northwest over the rooftops of Ossining to Croton Point and Haverstraw. The card is postmarked from Ossining, January 18, 1905. This is what’s called an “undivided back” postcard, printed during the period when postal regulations prohibited any writing on the back except the address—hence the note to … Continue reading Croton Point and Ossining, circa 1905

The Season of the Vintage

Now that “Autumn is touching with wary finger the wealth of forest and orchard, and carefully-tended garden spots,” let’s open our copy of the New York Times—from October 23, 1862—and read the letter, The Season of the Vintage, the Croton Point Vineyards, to learn about the “commodious and cool” wine cellars, the clever “Yankee” solution … Continue reading The Season of the Vintage

Croton Cider—Then & Now

If you want to introduce kids to Croton’s agricultural heritage, take them to Thompson’s Cider Mill on a Saturday to watch proprietor Geoff Thompson and his crew turn bushels of heirloom and traditional apples into old-fashioned apple cider. They may not use the antique cider-making equipment that’s on display outside the mill, but the process … Continue reading Croton Cider—Then & Now

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

Dr. Underhill’s Elevated Railroad

Here's a rare photograph of the tracks of the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Company from the Tumblr blog of the New York Historical Society. As we recounted in a previous post Richard T. Underhill, the “Grape King” of Croton Point, was an investor in this company—which began the New York City transportation system. … Continue reading Dr. Underhill’s Elevated Railroad

Ruins of the Underhill Wine Cellars

These undated photographs—probably taken in the 1920s or 1930s—show portions of what was then the ruins of the Underhill wine cellars on Croton Point. They were made by Leslie V. Case, who was superintendent of the Tarrytown Schools for more than 30 years. The photographs are glued to the pages of one of Case’s scrapbooks, … Continue reading Ruins of the Underhill Wine Cellars

What a Delightful Ride

Anyone who takes Metro-North’s Hudson River Line is struck by the beauty of the river, particularly in the evening when the sun is setting over the Palisades. Although it’s difficult to imagine, this trip has made an impression on travelers for more than 160 years. Here’s one account of the passage up the river, through … Continue reading What a Delightful Ride

You Need Not go to the Rhine to See Vineyards

In September 1859, The Gardener’s Monthly published an account of a trip to Croton Point, which the author says was “visited through the summer by numerous travellers, who are permitted to drive through the grounds.” We’re lucky that Dr. Underhill allowed such free access to his property because this brief article gives us tantalizing details … Continue reading You Need Not go to the Rhine to See Vineyards

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