The positive impacts of the Delaware & Hudson Canal on Sullivan County were indisputable. With its opening in 1828, the 108-mile-long waterway made it possible for the first time to easily transport goods in and out of the area, and directly led to the growth of the tanning and bluestone industries. Entire communities, such as Barryville, Wurtsboro and Phillipsport, owe their very existence to the D & H, and while the canal was in operation, each was among the largest communities in the county in terms of commerce and population. [Read more…] about One Not-So-Benign Influence Of The D&H Canal
Delaware & Hudson Railroad
Sullivan County D&H Canal History Highlighted With ‘Kate Project’
During the month of December in 1824, brothers William and Maurice Wurts were diligently planning a presentation to potential investors in their ambitious project to build a canal connecting their coal fields in northeastern Pennsylvania to the Hudson River. [Read more…] about Sullivan County D&H Canal History Highlighted With ‘Kate Project’
The First (Short Lived) Suspension Bridge Across The Hudson River
Robert Codgell Gilchrist was born into an extremely wealthy well-connected Charleston family in 1829. The oligarchic families of South Carolina had made their wealth on tobacco, rice, indigo, and shipping and Charleston harbor was one of the centers of the southern slave trade. Robert Gilchist’s father had received a federal Judgeship from President Martin Van Buren and he owned an opulent home.
Each summer the wealthy Gilchrist family journeyed north to avoid the hot humid subtropical summers of Charleston. They stayed with maternal family members in the Great Northern Wilderness of New York. (The term Adirondacks is said to have been first used by geologist and surveyor Ebenezer Emmons in 1838 and took some time to come into general use). [Read more…] about The First (Short Lived) Suspension Bridge Across The Hudson River
Warren Co Historical To Mark Tragic Railroad Accident
On September 5, 1915, five members of the Nelson Norton family of Whitehall, NY were killed when the car in which they were riding was struck by a train as they crossed the railroad tracks at Bay Road in Queensbury, Warren County, NY.
The crossing was part of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad’s line between Glens Falls and the village of Lake George, now part of the Warren County Bikeway. [Read more…] about Warren Co Historical To Mark Tragic Railroad Accident
Board-n-Batten Siding: Carpenter’s Gothic Architecture
The Goths, Visagoths, and Vandals were the infamous three tribes that sacked Rome. More than a thousand years later, during the rebuilding of London after their great fire of 1666, Christopher Wren sought to introduce the latest styles from Italy. He termed that what had burned “Gothic,” a disparaging term, similar to “vandalism” from the name of the other tribe, as a way to promote his new designs. [Read more…] about Board-n-Batten Siding: Carpenter’s Gothic Architecture
Saratoga’s Greek Temple Railroad Stations
The prevailing architectural style at the time of the American Revolution is what many call “colonial” but a more precise name is “Georgian” after the unbroken reign of English kings. The style has it roots in the idealized Greek temple, but it was a style that bounced around from Rome before it fell, to Italy during the Renaissance, then to England, and finally crossing the Atlantic. Each time it was modified, added to, and interpreted differently. [Read more…] about Saratoga’s Greek Temple Railroad Stations
When Trains Ran Through Saratoga’s Streets
The tracks seen in these photos were part of the original North Creek branch railroad that through the streets of Saratoga Springs. Originally, the line to North Creek (the Adirondack Branch) came off the Delaware & Hudson Railroad’s main line in the freight yard just south of the main Saratoga depot, and ran right down the middle of some streets. Started in 1864 and completed to North Creek in 1871, the street tracks were removed when the entire line was rerouted outside downtown Saratoga Springs. [Read more…] about When Trains Ran Through Saratoga’s Streets
Rondout National Historic District: A Walking Tour
A walking tour of The Rondout-West Strand National Historic District in Kingston, sponsored monthly by Friends of Historic Kingston, contrasts the results of a heartbreaking 1960’s urban renewal project with the gentrification that followed in an area that escaped the wrecking ball.
After the entire east side of Lower Broadway was demolished in 1967 vintage 19th century buildings on the opposite side stood empty, awaiting what seemed their inevitable fate. Luckily, federal funding ran out and what is today the Rondout – West Strand National Historic District was spared. New structures were built part-way up the east side of the hill. The restored neighborhood brings to my mind the painful image of a one-winged bird. [Read more…] about Rondout National Historic District: A Walking Tour
Delaware & Hudson History On The Historians Podcast
This week “The Historians” podcast features an interview with Jim Bachorz, publisher of the Bridge Line Historical Society Bulletin, an extensive monthly newsletter that focuses on Delaware & Hudson Railroad (D&H) history and other rail topics. The D&H called itself the Bridge Line linking New York, New England and Canada. Today the railroad is a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Railway. Listen at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
[Read more…] about Delaware & Hudson History On The Historians Podcast
Roebling’s Wire Rope Modernized The D & H Canal
John Augustus Roebling celebrated two milestones in June of 1849, his 43rd birthday and the beginning of construction of the Neversink Aqueduct on the Delaware & Hudson Canal. It was the third of the four aqueducts he would design and build for the canal company, and followed the completion of the Delaware and Lackawaxen Aqueducts the previous year.
Roebling (his given name was actually Johann August) was born in Muhlhausen, in Prussia, on June 12, 1806, the youngest son of Christoph Polycarpa Roebling and Fredericke Dorothea Mueller Roebling. He grew up in a world of private tutors, learned the music of Bach and the poetry of Goethe, and according to some sources, built a model of a suspension bridge when he was nine years old that bore a striking resemblance to what would be his most famous work, the Brooklyn Bridge. He gained admission to the prestigious engineering program at the Royal Polytechnic Institute in Berlin, where he studied languages and philosophy as well as architecture, bridge construction and hydraulics. He graduated in 1826, and went to work for the state, as was the requirement at that time, serving three years building roads in Westphalia. [Read more…] about Roebling’s Wire Rope Modernized The D & H Canal