Sunday, May 09, 2010

along the aqueduct

I wrote yesterday about Croton Aqueduct and my great-uncle Hugo's tangential relationship to it. When completed in 1843, the aqueduct was the largest engineering project the young nation had yet accomplished. A web page called Trail Tramps has a photo-narrative of a hike along the last eight miles of its 43-mile length — from Sing Sing Prison in south Ossining up to Croton Dam.

This USGS map from the early 1900s shows the path of the aqueduct; the hikers walked along the route I've marked in green, starting at bottom.

The web site has lots of photos. Here are a few of them.

1. This shows a ventilator, one of more than forty that dot the route, each about a mile apart. Ventilators kept the air below from fouling and prevented air pressure from building up in the tunnel.

2. This shows how earth was mounded up over the tunnel.

3. Here's the dam. It's not the original one however. The first aqueduct was replaced with a second one in 1890; that one's still in use.

4. This painting, from the town's historical socity shows what Ossining looked like at the time the aqueduct was constructed. It's "Village Of Sing-Sing," 1830, by Hugh Reinagle.

5. Here's another painting of the village, made ca. 1839.

{The artist is W.H. Bartlett; source:}

6. This map shows the village half a century later, considerably enlarged but still calling itself Sing Sing (it wouldn't become Ossining until 1901).

{Village of Sing Sing by Julius Bien & Co. 1891; source: davidrumsey }

Some links:

Croton Aqueduct article in wikipedia

Ossining article in wikipedia

Ossining Village History

Ossining Historical Society

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