Thanks to our friend Carl Oechsner we were able to get our hands on a copy of the 1938 Croton-on-Hudson phone directory.1 The plan was to scan some of the ads like the ones for the Mikado Inn, Konco’s Garage, and Robbins Pharmacy shown below. But when we looked closer and saw listings for well-known … Continue reading Croton-on-Hudson Phone Directory, 1938
High Bridge is one of the greatest feats of early American engineering and New York City’s oldest standing bridge. A key part of what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct, the bridge once carried water across the Harlem River into Manhattan. Although it was built to support large water pipes, it was open to … Continue reading Celebrating High Bridge
In January, 1890, Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly published an article by C. Hills Warren that looked back nostalgically at the history of the Albany Post Road.1 By that time the importance of the road—once the only major route for stage coaches running from New York City to Albany—had long since been eclipsed by steam boats … Continue reading Croton’s Old Post Road Inn, 1890
How did a silver medal from 1847, awarded to R.T. Underhill for the grapes he grew on Croton Point, end up buried in a garden on Long Island? That’s what reader Mike S. wants to know. “Many years ago, possibly 25 or so,” he writes, “my grandfather was turning his garden in Shirley, New York. … Continue reading The Mystery of the Underhill Medal
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
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
Here’s a fine example of the medal produced for the Croton Water Celebration, when what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct opened to public use on October 14, 1842. This is currently being offered by John Kraljevich, a leading expert in American historical medals, coins, paper money and related Americana, who has graciously allowed … Continue reading The 1842 Croton Water Celebration Medal
Here’s a wonderful photograph of the famous Twentieth Century Limited engine at the Harmon yards on May 12, 1938. The image is part of a group of photographs of the engine taken by Robert Yarnall Richie, who worked as a free-lance commercial and industrial photographer for many large corporations. Richie’s work is significant for its … Continue reading The Twentieth Century Limited at Harmon
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
A first-person account of the Croton Water Celebration from the diary of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck. “It was a happy day for New.York, as now she stands a “queen city” with her beautifull Fountains, and pure transparent water, her delighted sons and daughters have reason to be proud of her now.”
Every one was in commotion to.day, the whole city were on the move; and thousands of country people came flocking to see the procession. The stores were closed, bells ringing, soldiers marching, societys forming, and every one putting on their best faces to witness the novel scene.
At eleven Garret, the children, Bridget and myself went up to Mrs Anelli’s. They received us very politely, giveing us their small bed-room to ourselves. We had a fine view of the parade and were not exposed to the air. The procession, equalled my expectations, and was a handsome affair; every thing was so bright and neat, the very houses shone like silver.
The fire companies were very conspicuous for taste in their decorations. It was supposed the number of persons in procession, were about 20.000.
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