Harmon, the New City

Sometimes what’s most interesting about an old photograph is a tiny detail, not necessarily the main image itself. This photo is a perfect example. In the foreground we see two surveyors, working along the tracks at the Harmon Shops, circa 1906. Behind them—hard to make out because of the damage to the print—are some workmen … Continue reading Harmon, the New City

Harmon Shops of the New York Central Railroad

Here are some photos of the “Harmon Shops” in 1907, when they were brand new, and in 1914, when they became the terminus of the innovative “electric system” from New York City—one of the main selling points for Clifford Harmon’s real estate development. The photos come from articles in two industry publications—the Street Railway Journal … Continue reading Harmon Shops of the New York Central Railroad

Croton’s First Train Station

Croton filmmaker, journalist and history-buff Ken Sargeant has shared with us a disk of images he acquired many years ago when he was doing some work with the late Roberta Arminio at the the Ossining Historical Society. Ms. Arminio was a long-time director of the OHS, as well as the Ossining town and village historian. … Continue reading Croton’s First Train Station

Croton Landing, 1872

Here is a detailed map of what Croton looked like 142 years ago. Known then as Croton Landing, the village consisted mainly of houses and businesses along what we know today as Grand Street, Brook Street, and Riverside Avenue. If you look at the top left side you can see that Riverside Avenue got its … Continue reading Croton Landing, 1872

Hudson River Sights by Walt Whitman

A short prose piece by Walt Whitman from his 1882 collection Specimen Days & Collect. It was a happy thought to build the Hudson river railroad right along the shore. The grade is already made by nature; you are sure of ventilation one side—and you are in nobody’s way. I see, hear, the locomotives and … Continue reading Hudson River Sights by Walt Whitman

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

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

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

Cannon Ball Time to Harmon

Another example of the innovative advertising Clifford B. Harmon used to sell land in Harmon, “the highest, healthiest, most beautiful, most accessible and most aristocratic part of Westchester County. . . . where the New York Central's million dollar electric terminal is located.” “Don't wait! HARMON is your golden opportunity. . . . $10 secures … Continue reading Cannon Ball Time to Harmon

R. T. Underhill—Doctor, Winemaker, and Investor in the First New York City Elevated Railway

The amazing thing about searching with Google is that not only can you find a needle in the internet haystack—sometimes you find needles you weren't even looking for, like this story of Richard T. Underhill's involvement in the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Company, the company that began the New York City transportation system. First … Continue reading R. T. Underhill—Doctor, Winemaker, and Investor in the First New York City Elevated Railway