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affords a cheap and pleasant way to visit that noble structure. Trinity Church Cemetery is located here, upon the side hill, overlooking the river.
One mile above Carmansville, upon the top of a projecting point, stands Fort Washington. It occupies a commanding situation. It was held by General Washington for some time after New York was occupied by the British, in 1776; but on the 16th of November, in that year, it fell into the hands of the enemy, after a violent assault, — during which the assailing party lost eight hundred men, - with two thousand Americans, under Col. Magaw, as prisoners of war.
Opposite Fort Washington, upon the brow of the Palisades, and three hundred feet above the river, is the site of Fort Lee. Soon after Fort Washington was captured, this also was given up, the Americans retiring to the Highlands.
At Fort Lee the Palisade rocks begin, presenting, all along on the west margin of the river, for many miles, a perpendicular wall of rock, varying from two to five hundred feet in height. These are sometimes covered with brushwood, sometimes capped with stunted trees, and sometimes perfectly bare ; but always showing the upright cliff, which constitutes the most striking feature. At the foot of this curious wall is a pile of broken rocks and debris ; all or most of which has evidently crumbled away from the face of the precipice. Much of this is removed every year, and used for building purposes. In many places there is hardly room for a foot-path on the shore of the river ; while here and there the space is considerable ; and, occasionally, a fisherman's hut is seen, built upon the very margin of the stream.
The name Palisades is given to this curious cliff, probably, from the ribbed appearance of some portions of it, which seem like rude basaltic columns, or huge trunks of old trees, placed close together in an upright form, for a barricade or defence. The water, a very few feet from the shore, is deep, being what is termed a “bold shore,” and vessels run quite close to the cliffs. Any one who has visited the celebrated West Rock, at New Haven, Conn., will at once associate its general appearance with the Palisades, though the character and extent of their formation are entirely different.
TUBBY Hook, eleven miles. This station is situated on a romantic and secluded spot, near the northern extremity of New York Island. The proximity of this location to the city, and the facilities afforded by railroad for passing to and from New York, must, in time, make this a very pleasant and desirable country residence, though at present there are very few dwellings in the neighborhood.
SPUYTEN DUYVEL, twelve miles. The Creek of the same name, which branches from the Hudson at this point, flows into Harlem River, and forms Manhattan Island. There is a draw here, but very few vessels ever pass it.
YONKERS, in the town of the same name, sixteen miles from New York, is situated at the mouth of Sawmill River, which here falls into the Hudson. This village is a favorite summer retreat from the city, and is rapidly increasing in population. The pleasantest locations are upon a narrow plateau, a short distance from the river. The line of the Croton Aqueduct bends towards the Hudson at this place, and for seventeen miles follows along within about half a mile of the river. In one or two places it is less than one hundred rods distant. Fordham Heights and Tetard's Hill, noted in the war of the Revolution, are in this town.
Hastings’, twenty miles, situated upon the line between Yonkers and Greensburg, is the next station. There are some fine country seats here, and a thriving village. Two miles above Yonkers, the Palisade rocks are highest, and about opposite Hastings' they recede from the river and disappear. One mile and a half beyond this station is
Dobbs' Ferry, an important point during the Revolution, when a ferry was established here. It is a place of considerable resort during the summer. Four miles above Dobbs' Ferry, near Tarrytown, is " Sunnyside,” the beautiful residence of Washington Irving. The villa is built upon the margin of the river, with a neat lawn and embellished grounds surrounding it. It can be seen from the steamboats in passing up or down the river.
Piermont, on the west bank of the Hudson, is the starting-point of the New York and Erie Railroad, now completed. A pier nearly one mile in length extends into navigable water, and a ferry connects it with the Hudson River Railroad, at DEARMAN station. Three miles and a half west is the village of Tappan, celebrated as the head-quarters of Washington during the Revolution, and as the place where Major Andre was executed, October 2, 1780. [See Peekskill.]
Tarrytown, twenty-six miles from New York, is a thriving place, situated near the northern boundary of Greensburg. The railroad here cuts off quite a point of land and divides the village, leaving a considerable part of it on the side next to the river. The newly built portion is on a slight eminence east of the railroad, and partly hid from view.
Tarrytown is famed, in the history of the American war, as the place where Andre was arrested by Paulding and his associates. The spot, which is well known, is about half a mile north of the village, on the west side of the road, near a small stream which falls into the Hudson, near at hand. The remains of Isaac Van Wart, one of the three captors, are deposited under a monument to his memory, at a little hamlet of Greensburg, three miles east of Tarrytown. He died in 1828, aged 69 years.
About two miles or so up the valley of the small stream above mentioned, sometimes called Mill River, is the place known as Sleepy Hollow, the scene of Ichabod Crane's encounter with the “Galloping Hessian, so graphically described by Irving, in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It is a retired spot, partly overgrown by trees, where the perfect stillness is broken only by the warbling of the brook which runs through it. Like the story of Rip Van Winkle, which has clothed the rugged sides of the Kaatskill Mountains with such mysterious interest, this legend will find a place at the neighboring firesides for all time to come.
Nearly opposite Tarrytown, on the west side of the river, is the village of Nyack, once celebrated for its quarries of red sandstone. The village is prettily built at the foot of a high cliff, and makes a picturesque appearance from the eastern shore.
Sing Sing, thirty-two miles from New York, is situated partly upon elevated ground, and commands a beautiful view of the river and the surrounding country. At this place are several extensive marble quarries. spring, some three miles east of the village, has some reputation for its medicinal qualities, and a large boarding house was erected there some years since.
Mount Pleasant Academy, for boys, is at Sing Sing. The building is of Sing Sing marble, and stands upon one of the most retired streets of the village, commanding an extensive prospect of the river and adjacent country. There is also a boarding
school for young ladies at Sing Sing, elegantly located.
The principal object of interest here is the State Prison. It is situated upon the bank of the Hudson River, ten feet above high water mark. The railroad runs directly through the prison yard. · The prison grounds comprise one hundred and thirty acres, and may be approached by vessels drawing twelve feet of water. The keeper's house, workshop, &c., are built of rough “Sing Sing marble,” quarried from lands owned by the state in the vicinity. The main building is four hundred and eighty-four feet in length, running parallel with the river, and forty-four feet in width. It is five stories high, with two hundred cells upon each floor; in all, one thousand cells.
The system and discipline of this prison owe their origin to Elam Lynds,
for many years agent of the Auburn prison. The convicts are shut
up rate cells at night, and on Sundays, except when attending religious services in the chapel. While at work, they are not allowed to exchange a word with each other, under any pretence whatever; nor to communicate any intelligence to each other in writing ; nor to exchange looks, or winks, or to make use of any signs, except such as are necessary to convey their wants to the waiters. The plan of confining each convict in a separate cell during the night, or the “ Auburn system," as it is called, was adopted at the Auburn prison in 1824. The prison at that time contained but five hundred and fifty cells. Being, therefore, totally insufficient to accommodate all the convicts of the state, an act was passed by the Legislature, authorizing the erection of a new one. Sing Sing was selected as the location, and Captain Lynds as agent to build it. He was directed to take from the Auburn prison one hundred convicts; to remove them to the ground selected for the site of the new prison; to purchase materials, employ keepers and guards, and to commence the construction of the building. The reasons for taking the convicts from Auburn, and transporting them so great a distance, instead of from New York, were, that the convicts at the former place had been more accustomed to cutting and laying stone, and had been brought by Capt. Lynds into the perfect and regular state of discipline he had established there, and which was indispensably necessary to their safe-keeping in the open country, and the successful prosecution of the work.
The party arrived at Sing Sing, without accident or disturbance, in May, 1825, without a place to receive them, or a wall to enclose them. A temporary barrack was erected to receive the convicts at night, and they were then set at work building the prison, each one working at his trade, - one a carpenter, another a mason, &c., — all the time having no other means to keep them in obedience but the rigid enforcement of the strict discipline adopted at the Auburn prison. For four years the convicts, whose numbers were gradually increased, were engaged in building their own prison, and finally completed it in 1829. The prisoners, since the building was completed, have been engaged considerably in quarrying marble from the extensive ledges in this town.
Opposite Sing Sing, across Tappan Bay, which is widest at this point, is Verdritege's Hook, a bold headland, rising majestically from the river. On this mountain there is a crystal lake, about two miles in circumference, which forms the source of Hackensack River, and which, though not half a mile from the Hudson, is elevated three hundred feet above it. This is called Rockland Lake, from whence large quantities of the very clearest ice are annually sent to New York. The ice, cut into large square blocks, is slid down to the level of the river, and, upon the opening of the spring, it is transported in boats to the city. The Hackensack River falls into Newark Bay, near Jersey City.
Two miles above Sing Sing, the road crosses the mouth of Croton River, and Teller's Point, a narrow neck of land extending into the river about a mile, and dividing Tappan and Haverstraw Bays. This neck of land, which is almost entirely light and sandy, has probably been formed by the earth and stones washed down by the Croton River during the spring freshets, when a large volume of water is poured into the Hudson at its mouth. The entire length of the river is about forty miles.
Croton, thirty-five miles from New York, is a short distance above Teller's Point, in the southern part of Peekskill township. It is a small but thriving
village, and the nearest station to the fountain reservoir, the head of the farfamed Croton WATERWORKS, by which the city of New York is supplied with pure water. It is a place well worth visiting. Although not strictly within our plan, a brief sketch of this great project may not be uninteresting to the reader.
The building of the Croton Aqueduct was commenced in 1835. At the charter election of that year, the citizens of New York were required to vote for or against the project. There were 17,330 votes thrown; 11,367 of which were in favor of, and 5,963 against the act of incorporation. On the 4th of July, 1842, the water was let into the reservoir, and on the 14th of October following, it was brought into the city in the distributing pipes. The whole cost, including the high bridge across Harlem River, was about fourteen millions of dollars.