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

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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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

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

The View from Quaker Bridge

Here is a post card showing the "Croton River, from Quaker Bridge, where Washington's Army Crossed." Below is a post card from the same period, showing what Quaker Bridge looked like at the time. Except for the unpaved road and the railing it looks the same as it does today, because our beloved Quaker Bridge is … Continue reading The View from Quaker Bridge

The “Mannor of Cortland,” 1779

Detail from the 1779 map titled "A chorographical map of the Province of New-York in North America, divided into counties, manors, patents and townships; exhibiting likewise all the private grants of land made and located in that Province; compiled from actual surveys deposited in the Patent Office at New York, by order of His Excellency … Continue reading The “Mannor of Cortland,” 1779

Quaker Bridge Post Card

A beautiful vintage post card, circa 1910, of Quaker Bridge—one of the oldest bridges in Westchester County. When the county repaired the bridge a few years ago they implied that it would be the last repair job before the bridge would need to be replaced. We can't let that happen.

Bear Mountain Bridge, circa 1924

  A selection of images from a souvenir post card folder, printed in Newburgh, N.Y., soon after the Bear Mountain Bridge was opened.The folder consists of a cover, with an accordian-folded strip of 18 post card sized images, printed back-to-back. The cost of mailing the item was 1.5 cents. According to the Wikipedia article on … Continue reading Bear Mountain Bridge, circa 1924

High Bridge

High Bridge was built in 1842, with timbers from the Adirondacks, floated down Hudson to the site. Spanning the Croton River between Van Cortlandt Manor and Quaker Bridge, High Bridge was 100 feet long, perched 60 feet above river. It was used until 1879, when it fell into the river. The photo above is from … Continue reading High Bridge