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

Croton Area, 1778-1780

Detail from an engraving based on one of Robert Erskine's military maps, showing the Croton Area in 1778-1780. The full map is below. Since this was produced for military purposes it notes the location of Cortlandt Furnace (as well as the Sing Sing silver mine). This copy was printed and folded into Washington Irving's multi-volume … Continue reading Croton Area, 1778-1780

View from Sing-Sing by Jaques Milbert

"Sing-Sing or Mount Pleasant" by Jaques Milbert A print from Milbert's 1828 book, Itinéraire pittoresque du fleuve Hudson et des parties latérales de l'Amérique du Nord, looking north from Sing-Sing. Croton Point can be seen jutting into the river from the right in the middle of the image. The French artist toured the Hudson River … Continue reading View from Sing-Sing by Jaques Milbert

View of Croton Point from Sing Sing by Robert Havell

Robert Havell (1793-1878) View of Croton Point from Sing Sing, New York oil on canvas 38 x 50 in. (96.5 x 127 cm.) Painted circa 1845.