What Thomas Carlyle in 1829 called the Age of Machinery – later renamed the Industrial Revolution – radically altered conventional modes of being and marked a turning point in man’s relationship with his environment. New production systems delivered an abundance of goods for consumption, but in the process natural resources were depleted, water and soil polluted, whilst fumes contaminated the air. [Read more…] about Asher Durand’s Painted Puzzle of Progress
Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat. There were perhaps 20 others who worked toward the same goal before the North River Steamboat, later known as Clermont, left the dock in the city of New York for Albany on August 17, 1807. [Read more…] about August 1807: Robert Fulton’s Steamboat Makes History
Throughout history, humans have dammed rivers at the cost of wild fish, Indigenous people, forested land, and healthy watersheds. Adding to the havoc of today’s climate-change-induced weather extremes and water shortages, science says there’s no future for the business of dam-building.
A new book offers hope for the dam removal movement and how it will contribute to the mitigation of the climate crisis: when we free the rivers, watersheds are restored and Earth heals itself. In Cracked: The Future of Dams in a Hot, Chaotic World (Patagonia, 2023) author Steven Hawley, an Oregon-based environmental journalist and documentary filmmaker, delivers the full, ugly truth about dams and offers a pathway toward freeing our rivers. [Read more…] about Cracked: The Future of Dams in a Hot, Chaotic World
Many of the descriptions about fortifications in the Upper Hudson Valley, close to New France, were written by soldiers, travelers and settlers during the wars in the 18th century and into the 19th century.
Since many of the North American colonies were defended by Independent Companies, the regular English and, later, British armies had little direct influence on fortification designs, which created a high demand for the assistance of military engineers. [Read more…] about Early Forts Near Old Saratoga: Some History
Following his advocacy and a personal meeting with the Fireboat McKean Preservation Project’s David Rocco, U.S Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently announced that the National Park Service (NPS) has approved the nomination of the historic John D. McKean fireboat, a retired New York City Fire Department (FDNY) vessel, to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). [Read more…] about McKean Fireboat Added To National Register of Historic Places
The partnership of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux pioneered American landscape architecture. Their work in Manhattan’s Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Boston’s Franklin Park set new standards for outdoor spaces which some Upstate New York cities such as Buffalo sought to emulate, albeit on a reduced scale. [Read more…] about Genesee Valley Park & The Barge Canal: Roman Arches Over Indian Rivers
The New York State Canal Corporation has announced that water levels this navigation season in the Erie Canal between Lock E-30 (Macedon) and Locks E-34/35 (Lockport) will be consistent with levels maintained throughout 2022 – approximately one foot lower than historic levels. [Read more…] about Seeps Keep Erie Canal, Glens Falls Feeder Canal Levels Lower
“Racing On The Hudson,” Cortland Standard, September 25, 1909: “When steamboating was successfully established on the Hudson River it was natural that the owners and skippers of the various crafts that plied between New York and Albany should turn their attention to speed. Racing between boats of rival lines soon became a matter of almost daily occurrence. [Read more…] about Racing Steamboats On The Hudson River
Since it opened to traffic on April 11, 1960, millions of vehicles traveling the I-87 Northway have passed over the Mohawk River on what they think are called on “The Twin Bridges.” That bridge however, is really named for a Polish-American hero of the American Revolution – Taddeus Kosciusko. [Read more…] about Taddeus Kosciusko: A Hero of Two Worlds (& The Name On That Bridge)
Robert Moses is the man many New Yorkers love to hate. This is in no small part due to his own hubris and the impact he had on the people living in the path of his massive construction projects. Add to that Robert Caro’s hard hitting 1974 biography The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (Vintage Book, 1975) and you’ve got a reputation that is hard to live down. [Read more…] about Robert Moses: The Man New Yorkers Love to Hate