Accident on the Van Cortlandt Bridge, 1911

In the summer of 1911 the rear wheels of a heavy truck broke through the wooden planks of the Van Cortlandt Bridge—the bridge that once carried the Albany Post Road across the Croton River. The accident took place on the Croton side of the bridge and you can see Van Cortlandt Manor through the trees … Continue reading Accident on the Van Cortlandt Bridge, 1911

Blacksmiths at the New Croton Dam, 1895

Among the many treasures of the Ossining Historical Society Museum is a substantial collection of photographs and other material about the Old Croton Aqueduct. During a visit last week, curator Norm MacDonald showed us some recently donated material that included two rare photographs of blacksmiths at the New Croton Dam taken in September, 1895. Although … Continue reading Blacksmiths at the New Croton Dam, 1895

Niagara Falls by Man’s Own Hand

This photograph of the New Croton Dam was published in the “Rotogravure Picture Section” of the Sunday, December 14, 1919 issue of the New York Times with the caption: Niagara Falls by Man’s Own Hand: For the first time in fourteen years water is flowing over the huge dam of the Croton Reservoir at the … Continue reading Niagara Falls by Man’s Own Hand

The Hoity-Toitiest Spot Extant

In the June 18, 1931 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, arts and entertainment writer Rian James1 used his column to promote the 8th edition of his vest-pocket Gadabout Guide to New York’s most unusual Restaurants, Night Clubs, Roadhouses. The “Wide-Open Spaces Department” of his column gives us a flavor of life on the roads … Continue reading The Hoity-Toitiest Spot Extant

Visit to New Croton Dam—February, 1934

In the winter of 1934, members of the Bagley family of Peekskill made a visit to the New Croton Dam, recorded in this series of snapshots. Each has a penned inscription on the back and is stamped with the month and year. The photographs were recently acquired at an estate sale in Cortlandt along with … Continue reading Visit to New Croton Dam—February, 1934

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

Quaker Bridge, Before 1894

Here are two rare photographs of Quaker Bridge, both courtesy of the Westchester County Historical Society. The images show the wooden covered bridge which existed at the site of the current bridge from 1847 to 1894. The metal Pratt truss style bridge we use today—one of the oldest (possibly the oldest) bridges in daily use … Continue reading Quaker Bridge, Before 1894

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

The Purdy Homestead on Quaker Ridge Road

One of the treats of this Sunday’s 18th Annual Croton Arboretum Garden Tour will be a chance to see the Purdy homestead on Quaker Ridge Road and a group of 100-year-old family photographs, lovingly preserved and made available by local restaurateur Craig Purdy. Today, the property is a magnificent 23-acre estate—no longer in the family—but … Continue reading The Purdy Homestead on Quaker Ridge Road