Tag Archives: Oblong of the Hudson

Birthplace of the American Circus

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Routes 202 and 100, Somers

Hachaliah Bailey purchased an African elephant in 1815 and set upon the countryside to make his fortune. Menageries were an early form of American entertainment; but unfortunately, a disgruntled Somers farmer shot Old Bet and brought to a close Bailey’s preBarnum activities. The monument, originally erected by Bailey and later restored, stands in the center of Somers, which considers itself “The Birthplace of the American Circus”.

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.

Sleepy Hollow’s Old Dutch Church

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Route 9, Sleepy Hollow

Patentee Frederick Philipse was one of the richest men in the Colonies when he and his second wife, Catherine Van Cortlandt, built this church in 1699. Years later, in 1829, Washington Irving alluded to the Old Dutch Church in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The stone construction and the gambrel roof reflect the Dutch origins of the early parishioners; the gothic arches over the windows, however, conform to the fashion of Washington Irving’s 19th Century Tarrytown.

 

Beekman Arms

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Route 9. Rhinebeck

As a regular 18th century stagecoach stop between New York and Albany, the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck is among the oldest of American hotels still fulfilling its original purpose. Built in 1700 by William Traphangen, the inn, originally known as Bogardus Tavern, hosted such famed Revolutionary personages as Washington, Hamilton and Lafayette. During the early 19th century, the Beekman Arms served as headquarters for Governor Morgan Lewis.

 

Bannerman’s Castle

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Pollepel Island

Bannerman’s Castle was built around 1900 by Francis Bannerman, who desired a Scottish castle for a summer retreat. Bannerman ran a Spanish American War surplus business in Blue Point, Long Island. Later, the castle became a storage facility for the family business. It was sold to New York State in 1967 and was gutted by fire shortly afterwards.

Southeast Museum

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Main Street. Brewster

The Southeast Museum, formerly the Southeast Town Hall, is typical of municipal architecture of the 1890’s. Arched windows, ornate classical columns and a balustrade over a substantial entrance reflect a revival of the Baroque and monumental elements. The Arabesque arches over the dormers are a peculiar touch and echo the later Nineteenth Century’s interest in Eastern and near-Eastern exotica.

 

Gail Borden’s Condensed Milk

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Brewster

Gail Borden, once appointed mayor of Galveston, Texas by Sam Houston, later spent his life savings securing the patent on an 1853 invention which made condensed milk. He opened his first factory in Amenia, where due to the demand raised by the Civil War, he soon became a millionaire. In 1865 he built his second plant on the shore of the Croton River in Brewster, on a former mill site. The present structure was built by Borden’s son, John, in 1879.

 

New Croton Dam

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Route 129, Town of Cortlandt

The New Croton Dam was a fifteen year project completed in 1907. As the tallest masonry dam of its time – 184 feet high – it caused, as part of the New York City Reservoir System, vast changes in the land’s appearance and major alterations in the economy of the Putnam-Westchester area.

 

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.

 

Ossining Business District

Source: Oblong to the Hudson by Harry Wirth; 1976

Information here is for archival purposes, and is not current

Main Street, Ossining

In the 1870’s, Ossining’s business district boasted rows of Victorian structures. After a devastating fire, merchants moved their stores up Main Street, away from the river, erecting buildings rich in the decorative features of American life before the turn of the century.