Category Archives: Peekskill

Peekskill’s Drum Hill

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

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South Street, Peekskill

Peekskill’s oldest church dominated Drum Hill when it was constructed in the 1840’s. Its spire, once visible for miles, has since been overshadowed by Drum Hill School and cramped by the congestion of today’s urban Peekskill.

Henry Ward Beecher Estate

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Peekskill
This Peekskill manor, built in the 1870’s, was the country estate of Henry Ward Beecher, famous 19th Century abolitionist and cleric. His daughter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, authored the controversial Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Today the building serves St. Peter’s Episcopal School. Its massive opulence is an architectural forerunner of the famed “Hudson River Castles” constructed upriver.

 

Peekskill Fire Department

Peekskill Fire Department

Source: Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity
Compiled by G. M. Vescelius, Peekskill NY (Book, Date Unknown- circa 1914)
HOME OF CORTLAND HOOK & LADDER COMPANY
 Courtesy of The Highland Democrat.

The Fire Department of Peekskill is a most efficient body. It consists of five companies of volunteers: Columbia Engine Co. No. 1, Columbia Hose Co. No. 1, Cortland Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, Washington Engine Co. No. 2, Centennial Hose Co. No. 4. Three of these have auto machines—the apparatus of the other two being horse drawn. The fire department antedates the charter of the Village, the village charter as a village date from 1839, and the department being formed under a fire district charter in 1827.
The Cortland Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 is the only truck company of the village and is a social organization of high, order as well as a model fire company.
Columbian Engine Co. No. 1, and Columbian Hose Co. No. 1. who occupy the same building were the first companies in each of these lines to be organized in Peekskill. The former dates from 1826 and the latter a few years later.
The Washington Engine Co. No. 2 has a combination automobile engine and hose apparatus, purchased with money most of which was raised by the members themselves. The company is housed in a three-story brick building on Nelson Avenue, with parlor, gymnasium, meeting room, besides apparatus room.
Centennial Hose Co. No. 4, the last of the Peekskill fire companies to be organized. Its existence dates from 1870. One of the most active and progressive of the fire companies of Peekskill.

Morton’s Peekskill And New York Day Line

Morton’s Peekskill And New York Day Line

Source: Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity
Compiled by G. M. Vescelius, Peekskill NY (Book, Date Unknown- circa 1914)
Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current.
ONE of the big advantages that the Village of Peekskill enjoys is service of an excellent freight boat line to New York City. This is the Morton Day Line, which has carried freight between Peekskill and New York so long that it seems a part of the village itself or, at least, a co-existent adjunct.
The Morton Day Line was started by the father of its present operators and by him run successfully until his death. In that time it took up an extensive patronage and by its promptness, care and courtesy made friends of all its clients. This condition continues under the present management.
Odell Morton and William Morton, the present heads of the line, may be said to have been born in the business and they know it throughly. Both are experienced pilots and they inherit those traits of their father, the late Captain George Morton, that enabled him not only to secure trade but to handle it so as to retain it. It is doubtful if a serious complaint against this popular line has ever been heard in Peekskill. The boats of the line, Fanny Woodall and G. F. Brady, stop at Croton-on-Hudson and at Verplanck on both up and down trips

Emeline

Emeline

Source: Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity
Compiled by G. M. Vescelius, Peekskill NY (Book, Date Unknown- circa 1914)
Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current.
Courtesy of The Highland Democrat
One of the most interesting trips out of Peekskill is on the famous “Emeline”, running from Haverstraw to Newburgh, and touching at all intermediate points along the Hudson, including Peekskill. The Captain, D. C. Woolsey, has been in continuous service on the river for sixty-four years, and has been in constant service on this route for forty years. This vessel was used as dispatch boat for the U. S. Government during the Civil War and was known as the Nantasket, operating on the James and Potomac Rivers, many times carrying the hero of the Civil War, Ulysses S.  Grant. The vessel has been practically rebuilt since that time and is, now in excellent condition. Passengers and freight are carried. There is no more beautiful way of viewing the Highlands of the Hudson than on the Emeline.

Peekskill Fire Department Alarm Bell

With the Hudson River serving as a backdrop in Peekskill, NY, stands a tribute to seven volunteer firefighters. On the Peekskill Waterfront Green, if you look up instead of out to the Hudson River, you’ll see what is an actual artifact from the City of Peekskill’s history, while also serving as a remembrance to those that gave their lives in service to their community.

The bell itself is a thing of beauty. When looking directly at it when the sun is just right, it seems angelic. Taking a closer look at the plaque just below, though you find out exactly who those seven angels were. The bronzed inscription reads as follows:


ON AUGUST 1, 1918 THIS BELL TOLLED THE ALARM FOR THE
FLEISCHMANN MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE,
AT WHICH SEVEN PEEKSKILL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS LOST THEIR LIVES. 

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE GALLANT MEN
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN TH FLEISCHMANN FIRE
AUGUST 1, 1918

DEPARTMENT SURGEON DR. CHARLES R.F. GREEN – CORTLANDT HOOK & LADDER CO #1
CAPTAIN CLARENCE J. LOCKWOOD – CORTLANDT HOOK & LADDER CO #1
1ST LT. JAMES H. SELLECK – CORTLANDT HOOK & LADDER CO #1
2ND LT. LOUIS A. BARMORE – CORTLANDT HOOK & LADDER CO #1
FIREFIGHTER GEORGE A. CASSACLES – CORTLANDT HOOK & LADDER CO #1
FIREFIGHTER JOHN F. TORPY – CENTENNIAL HOSE CO #4
FIREFIGHTER WALTER COLE – CENTENNIAL HOSE CO #4
“GREATER LOVE HAS NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN
LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS.”
JOHN 15:13
 
 

The Fleischmann Company

The Fleischmann Company

Source: Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity
Compiled by G. M. Vescelius, Peekskill NY (Book, Date Unknown- circa 1914)

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current.
Charles Fleischmann, the founder of The Fleischmann Co., made and sold the first pound of compressed yeast used by the American baker. That was in 1868—nearly half a century ago.
From that humble beginning The Fleischmann Co. has grown. Today there are ten Fleischmann factories in operation in different parts of the country and they produce over one hundred million pounds of yeast a year.
The largest Fleischmann plant is situated at Charles Point, Peekskill-on-the-Hudson, N. Y. —a beautiful, ideal and advantageous location. This factory with immense buildings, grain elevators, railroad, wharves, and offices, covers one hundred acres of ground. There are 1,500,000 square feet under roof covering 125 buildings, including a grain elevator with a capacity of 250,000 bushels of grain. It requires 5,000 bushels of grain, corn, rye and barley, to supply the material for each day’s output. There are over two miles of railroad connecting with the various structures and providing the very best railroad facilities for all points. East, West, North and South. The monthly consumption of water amounts to more than 3,000,000 cubic feet or about 22,500,000 gallons. It requires 5,000 tons of coal each month to keep the fires going.
In addition to its wonderful manufacturing facilities, The Fleischmann Co. has one of the finest distributing organizations in the country. This consists of 950 agencies through which personal delivery service is rendered to bakers and grocers in practically every city, town and hamlet.
The Fleischmann Co. is a vital factor in our national life since it is Fleischmann’s Yeast that raises the nation’s bread.

Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity: A Reason For Peekskill

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A Reason For Peekskill

Source: Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity

Compiled by G. M. Vescelius, Peekskill NY (Book, Date Unknown- circa 1914)

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current.
EVERY man ought to have a reason for his existence. If he has not he is only so much cumbersome matter in the way of society. He is eating possibly good food that ought to go to some useful person or occupying space that ought to be allotted to another. 
Every town ought to have a reason for its existence along the same lines of argument. Some towns are just towns and that is all. Their building was perhaps the result of land boomers to begin with and their existence is of little consequence. They have no reason for their existence. On the other hand some other towns have innumerable reasons why they exist and why they continue to grow. There are certain important facts upon which a town must grow and these must constitute its reasons for existence. First, the geographical location of the town must be logical. It must be on a line of trade and commerce. Second, the town must be healthful. It must have good drainage. It must have abundance of water both for its people and for its industries. Third, it must have the right sort of environment. There must be a farming, or trading, or resort country behind it. Fourth, it must have good roads and good transportation facilities. 
View from Bear Mountain, with Iona Island in foreground, Peekskill in the distance.
These are the great essentials, the great natural essentials, that a town must have. If it, perchance, have other attractions, so much the better, but it must have these fundamental reasons for its existence and its hope to grow. 
Peekskill has these essentials. Peekskill was built on the site of an Indian village. The Indians had chosen the site because of its desirability. There were the hills sloping up from the Hudson—healthful hills, good for drainage, sightly hills from which the grandeur of the Highlands stood forth through the four seasons of the year. The Hudson River was right at hand for transportation by canoe or raft. Out of the rocks gushed the living waters, copious, abundant, refreshing. Is it any wonder the Indian chose such a site for his village? Is it any wonder the early Dutch settlers followed his example and loitered to build their homes on these unsurpassed hills?
Those times are long sped but the reasons for existence are here in Peekskill today in even greater force than then. We have laid out miles of streets, have paved them, lighted them, filled them with water mains, gas mains and sewer pipes, with telephone conduits and with trolley tracks. We have brought all the elements of high civilization to the very doors of our people. We have builded schools that are a pride and a satisfaction to behold. We have offered all the inducements of comfort and convenience—and here is Peekskill, with a reason for its existence. 
Peekskill’s Water Front
Geographically, forty-one miles from New York City on the Hudson River Railroad—forty-one miles, just a nice ride out of the city yet far enough to escape all of its unpleasant features and to get the quiet of the country. Boats going north and south add to the facilities for travel and shipping.
Physically, high and dry, no swamps or meadows, hence no mosquitoes. Drainage good, hence no fevers. 
The water supply of Peekskill is its great asset. The village owns the watershed and the pump works. The water is cheap and there is enough to supply ten Peekskills. This is a peculiar advantage—peculiar to the location. Watersheds can-not be purchased at will at a department store. Water is only where you find it and no town can grow without water. This one reason, if no other, makes Peekskill a good investment. 
If we go into the realm of sentiment, there is where we shine. Who wants to look on any better scenery than the Hudson River at Peekskill? People come across continents and over seas to travel on this famous river and see the self-same pictures that we enjoy daily from our porches. 
Oscawana Lake
A sharp bend of the river forms a wide bay and Dunderberg, on the opposite side, looks majestically over at the thriving village. Just beyond the village Annsville creek empties into the river and across the creek is the State Camp of Instruction, now used mostly as a rifle range for the state soldiery. To the east and north of the village is the lake district of southern New York not to be excelled anywhere for beautiful scenery or attractive outing grounds or summer home sites. Oscawana, Clear, Indian, Mohegan, Osceola, Mohansic are a few of the nearby lakes and there are innumerable smaller yet beautiful bodies in the neighborhood. 
A village form of government has advantages, Peekskill believes, over the city form and in that belief it has remained under the former form until, with a population of more than 16,000, it is known as the largest village in the country. The President of the Village and Board of Trustees receive no compensation other than the honor the position gives and with such management Peekskill has moved steadily forward with a natural and healthy growth.

Not rapidly but surely has it taken on the advancements of modern life and so it has never had reason to take a step back in its progress. One of the later municipalities in the county to have a trolley, its electric road is run more regularly than most in the section and a person posted as to the schedule time of the cars may set his watch by them. The same exactness may be seen in the gas and electric lighting and power service. The same holds true of its municipal constructions. Its streets are well graded and miles of them are paved. Its sewerage system is excellent. Its schools—private and public —are of the highest standard and the buildings, especially those of the public schools remarkable structures, perfectly fitted for their purpose and also striking examples of architecture. 
View of the Highlands
Every normal requirement is met and provided for. There are churches of nearly all denominations and these are situated in different sections, making it convenient for one to reach a place of worship from any district. Of hotels and theatres there is a good supply and the industries of the place are varied and numerous. A manufacturing village, its industries are numerous and include the manufacture of stoves, ranges and heaters, underwear and dress goods, automobile parts, machines and engines, oilcloth, hats, cigars, yeast, vinegar, whiskey and liquors, fire bricks, charcoal products, bricks, cement blocks and reconstructed stone, besides planing mills that supply all local demands. 
Newspapers are plentiful and from some of the presses of Peekskill are turned out excellent specimens of typographical art. 
New Wicopee Dam
Vacant land is abundant about Peekskill. In the residential sections many fine sites may be secured and especially is this true of the suburbs where homes may be had with large or small tracts of land, all quick of access to the business section. Industries are welcome, and in the suburbs and along the water front are most attractive sites for manufacturing plants. In this connection the reader will find elsewhere mention of Verplanck’s Point, which is now regarded by many as Peekskill’s prospective manufacturing center, and which has been long the home of the brick manufacturing industry of the section.