John A. Roebling was born in Prussia on June 12th, 1806. Educated as an engineer, but finding the political unrest in his home country stifling, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1831 with a small group intent on establishing a community where technology could freely advance. They settled in Western Pennsylvania, establishing the community of Saxonburg. [Read more…] about The Upper Delaware’s First Suspension Bridge
The Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls has received a new collection of materials from Jon Patten on the history of the Adirondack branch of the D&H Railroad, from Saratoga Springs to Tahawus in Newcomb. [Read more…] about Folklife Center Acquires Unique Adirondack Railway Collection
In its early years, Friedrichsohn Cooperage (also spelled Fredrickson) made and refurbished wooden kegs and barrels. DEC says the cooperage dates to 1817, but some historians claim as early as 1791. Tradition has it that meat-packer Samuel Wilson of Troy (Uncle Sam) was among the company’s customers. [Read more…] about Clean-Up Planned For Historic Cooperage Site On Old Champlain Canal
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
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
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
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
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