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

Little Nemo in Sing Sing

Here's a real treat, courtesy of the Art Wood Collection of Caricature and Cartoon at the Library of Congress. In 1910 Windsor McKay's innovative comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland, featured a sequence in which Little Nemo and his companions accidentally land in Sing Sing Prison. After a trip to Mars, Little Nemo, the dwarf … Continue reading Little Nemo in Sing Sing

’Twas the Night Before Christmas in Sing Sing

Clement C. Moore, author of the beloved poem ’ Twas the Night Before Christmas, had a family connection to Sing Sing. According to the biography by Samuel White Patterson, Moore “had once contemplated making a summer home on the Hudson. In 1839, he bought a beautiful estate at Sing Sing.” Moore let his son Benjamin “have … Continue reading ’Twas the Night Before Christmas in Sing Sing

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

A Different View of the Double Arch

In 1925, when Alvah P. French published his multi-volume History of Westchester County New York most of the photographs he included were contemporary, showing the county as it was in the 1920s.1 One can imagine a photographer, driving all over Westchester with a list of historic sites, stopping to take this unusual view of Ossining’s … Continue reading A Different View of the Double Arch

August 13, 1841 – “A ride to the Croton Dam”

Here is an account of a trip from Sing Sing to the old Croton Dam that took place 172 years ago today. This is from a wonderful blog that publishes the diary of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck, who “lived and wrote the majority of her diaries in New York City . . . [and] then moved to a rural community in upstate New York, a transition that her diaries describe as a difficult one.”

096_Page 94Sing.Sing.
Friday. August. 13. teenth. 1841.

A beautifull day, the sun obscured, and a cool
breeze blowing.

Surprised by a visit from Garret, he rode up at
twelve oclock. It was his intention to take Louis, and I home with him, but there was no boat.
At three oclock, we set off to ride seven miles, to see
the Dam at the Croton water works. Our ride was very pleasant the children behaving remarkably well.
The roads are very hilly in this part of the country,
I was afraid to ride down the steep hills. A severe
freshet* last winter carried away all the bridges, so we were obliged to drive through the Croton river, to reach the spot on which the new dam, is about being erected. Four hundred men are daily employed in repairing the dam, and live in huts, on the surrounding hills. Dame nature, seems to have indulged in some wild freaks…

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Sing Sing Camp-Meeting

On August 24, 1874, the New-York Daily Tribune published an article looking back on the history of the Sing Sing Camp Meeting, which had been founded more than 40 years earlier to provide “a short season of out-door worship during the sultriest portion of the year.” Here are excerpts of that article, illustrated with sections … Continue reading Sing Sing Camp-Meeting

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

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

Double Arches Promenade

The promenade across Ossining's famous double arches is being rebuilt and is scheduled to be reopened in September, 2013. Above is a post card showing the location circa 1907 and below is a photo of the site under construction today.