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where the beauties of nature can be seen to advantage, this view appeared to surpass all others, not in grandeur, but in beauty.
Beacon Hill was a station for the display of bonfires during the Revolution, which, from its elevated position, denoted the movements of the enemy to the inhabitants for a great distance through the surrounding counties.
Newburg, directly opposite Fishkill, and with which place there is a constant communication by means of a ferry, is one of the largest and most important towns upon Hudson River. The village stands upon a pretty acclivity, rising with a sharp ascent from the river. The view from the steamboats, as they approach the landing, is surpassingly beautiful.
Newburg was originally settled by emigrant Palatines, in 1798. The present population is about ten thousand. A large amount of business is transacted here by the surrounding towns; the main street, upon market days, presenting the thronged and busy appearance of a city, being crowded with teams, and lively with the bustle of traders. Two or three steamboats ply constantly with New York, during the summer months, to do the freighting and other local business of the place. A large part of this must unquestionably be hereafter done by the Hudson River Railroad.
A branch of the Erie Railroad, leaving the main line at Chester, twenty miles distant, has its termination at Newburg. This branch furnishes a direct line to Buffalo and the great West.
From the top of the hill, in the rear of the village, there is a very fine and extensive prospect. The villages of Fishkill and Matteawan, upon the east bank of the river, especially, make a very graceful appearance.
A short distance south of Newburg village still stands the old stone mansion in which General Washington held his head-quarters when the army was encamped here during the Revolution. It is visited by many as a spot rendered sacred by its former occupant, and by the cause in which he fought. Americans will not soon forget the noble answer of Gen. Washington, written from this place, to Lewis Nicola, who had, as the head of a party of officers, suggested to him the propriety of establishing a monarchy and making him a king. His reply, considering that at that time the war was literally at an end, and the independence of his country established, is worthy of record. It ran as follows :
“ Newburg, 22d May, 1782. “Sir, — With a mixture of great surprise and astonishment, I have read with attention the sentiments you have submitted to my perusal. Be assured, sir, no occurrence in the course of the war has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army as you have expressed, and which I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with severity. For the present, the communication of them will rest in my own bosom, unless some further agitation of the matter shall make a disclos ure necessary
“I am much at a loss to conceive what part of my conduct could have given encouragement to such an address, which to me seems big with the greatest mischiefs that can befall my country. If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable. At the same time, to do justice to my own feelings, I must add, that no man possesses a more sincere wish to see ample justice done to the army than I do; and as far as my power and influence in a constitutional way extend, they shall be employed to the utmost of my abilities to effect it, should there be occasion. Let me conjure you then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.
“I am, sir, &c.,
GEORGE WASHINGTON.” Low Point, sixty-four miles, is in the north part of the town of Fishkill. It is a small settlement.
New Hamburg, sixty-seven miles, is situated directly at the mouth of Wappinger's Creek, a considerable stream, which has its rise in the northeast part of Dutchess county, near the Connecticut line. The village is situated upon both sides of the river's mouth, across which there is a good bridge. A ferry connects it with Hampton, across the river.
Hampton, opposite New Hamburg, is a small settlement, in the south part of the town of Marlborough. Two miles above is Milton, another village in the same town. MILTON FERRY, or Barnegat, sixty-nine miles and a half from New York, in the township of Poughkeepsie, is noted for its great number of lime-kilns. A ferry connects it with Milton, on the west bank of the river.
POUGHKEEPSIE, seventy-four miles from New York, is the “half-way" station upon the Hudson River Railroad. It will justly rank with the first villages in New York or New England. Occupying an elevated position, it is seen conspicuously, both in ascending and descending the stream. The river bank is of considerable height, and projects into the stream, forming two promontories. The southern one, termed “ Call Rock,” so covers the landing that it is not seen from steamboats until they are quite near the wharf.
Poughkeepsie was settled by the Dutch in 1735. It is now the court town of Dutchess county, next to the richest in the state. The village is very compactly built, spacious, and well paved, the population about twelve thousand. Like Newburg, this place is a general trading depot for the large number of flourishing country villages in the immediate neighborhood. On a busy day, the throng upon Main-street would do no discredit to the principal thoroughfares of a large city.
The Collegiate School is pleasantly situated upon College Fill, half a mile north-east of the village. Its location is one of unrivalled beauty, commanding an extensive prospect of the river and surrounding country. Indeed, the stranger can hardly ascend any moderately elevated ground in the neighborhood, and we may say the same of the entire distance upon the banks of the Hudson, — without witnessing a continual succession of fine landscape views And herein consists the charm of Hudson River scenery.
A small creek, called “Fall Creek,” after meandering over the plain back of the village, falls into the Hudson just above the railroad station, by a suo cession of rapids which furnish considerable water-power. This was one of the most difficult sections upon the road to build. Several ferry-boats ply between Poughkeepsie and the villages upon the opposite shore.
New Paltz, a small village directly opposite Poughkeepsie, is the landing for passengers for the town of the same name, lying some eight miles west. It has a ferry to Poughkeepsie.
Hyde Park, eighty-one miles. Both the village and the landing are directly upon
the river. There are several fine country-seats upon the banks north and south of the village. Near this place the Crumelbow Creek falls into the Hudson, and affords a considerable water-power.
Pelham, nearly opposite Hyde Park, is connected with it by a ferry. It is partly in the town of Esopus.
STAATSBURG, eighty-four miles and a half. This is a small village. The station here is half a mile from the river, one of the greatest detours upon
RUINEBECK, ninety miles, is a place of considerable size, situated upon a fertile plain, two miles from the river. The station is at Rhinebeck Landing, where the steamboats land and receive passengers.
Rondout, directly opposite, upon the mouth of Rondout Creek, or Wallkill River, is connected with it by a ferry. Two miles north-west is Kingston, a large and thriving village. Two miles above Rondout, upon the Wallkill, is the village of Eddyville, the termination of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. These villages are all in the town of Kingston, and are rapidly increasing in population and wealth.
The Delaware and Hudson Canal, beginning at Eddyville, ascends the valley of the Wallkill, and passes into the valley of the Nevisink River, which it follows to its junction with the Delaware, at Port Jervis. It then follows up this river to its junction with the Lackawaxen ; thence up the latter river to its termination at Honesdale, Penn. Its length is 109 miles, with 950 feet of rise and fall, by 106 locks. It cost two millions two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It is used chiefly for the transportation of coal. By using the railroad extending from Honesdale to the Wyoming coal-field, at Carbondale, sixteen miles, it affords a cheap and direct entrance for coal into the heart of the state.
After the taking of Forts Montgomery and Clinton, in 1777, [see Peeks kill,] part of the British fleet ascended the Hudson to this place, where the commander, General Vaughan, caused the village to be burned, and great quantities of provisions and stores to be destroyed. Here his further progress was stayed by the appalling news of the surrender of Burgoyne's whole army, and he made a hasty retreat with his vessels to New York. Soon after, the Americans fortified West Point, and the towns above that fort were never afterwards troubled by the incursions of the enemy.
BARRYTOWN, or Lower Red Hook Landing, ninety-five miles and a half, and Tivoli, or Upper Red Hook Landing, one hundred miles, are both within the town of Red Hook, some miles from the central village. Opposite Tivoli, upon the mouth of Esopus Creek, is the flourishing town of Saugerties. This is a place of quite recent and rapid growth. The creek has a fall of 47 feet, wbich furnishes a large amount of water-power. Several manufacturing establishments have been erected, besides which there are the Ulster iron works, white lead works, and an axe manufactory. A handsome bridge has been thrown across the creek, uniting the two portions of the village, standing upon both sides of the stream. There is constant communication with Tivoli by means of a ferry.
GERMANTOWN, or East Camp, one hundred and four miles. This town was settled by the Palatines, in 1710.
Oak Hill, one hundred and eleven miles. This station is in the southern extremity of Greenport. Passengers for Catskill leave the cars at this station crossing the Hudson by a ferry-boat which plies between the two places.
Catskil, or Kaatskill, as the Dutch still call it, the seat of justice of Greene county, stands upon the banks of Catskill Creek, near its confluence with the Hudson. The mouth of the creek makes a fine harbor for sloops
and boats; and a long, narrow dyke, walled with stone, connects the village with a small island near the middle of the river, affording a commodious landing for the steamboats. It is essentially a very Dutch appearing village ; and here, as well as at many other Dutch towns upon the Hudson, the old inhabitants still retain their mother tongue, and the perpetual jabber, so easy to recognize, is frequently heard. It should be added that, besides the language, most of the descendants of the Dutch retain also the frugality of their forefathers.
About a mile from the village is a limestone cave, said to have an extent of nearly half a mile.
From Catskill, stages run several times each day to the CATSKILL MOUNTAIN HOUSE, a distance of twelve miles. The time required for the ascent is four hours; half the time being sufficient to return. The journey up the mountain is safe, yet rather tedious and difficult. For a greater part of the way the road is very uneven, and the last portion of it a very steep ascent in a zig-zag direction. When once there, the traveller will be amply rewarded for his exertions.
“The Mountain House is a large, irregular building, but spacious, and comfortably furnished. It stands upon the table rock, a few yards from the sheer verge — an elevation of eighteen hundred feet above the apparent plain, and twenty-seven hundred above the level of the river. There is a narrow strip of green just in front, under the long and capacious piazza, beautifully ornamented with young fir and cedar trees, and a variety of shrubs. Then comes a strip of bare rock, overlooking the awful abyss.
“A sea of woods is at your feet, but so far below, that the large hills seem but slight heavings of the green billowy mass; before you lies a vast landscape, stretching far as the eye can take in the picture; a map of earth, with its fields, its meadows, its forests, and its villages and cities scattered in the distance ; its streams and lakes diminished, like the dwellings of man, into insignificance. Through the midst winds the sweeping river, the mighty Hudson, lessened to a rill; or it might be likened to a riband laid over a ground of green. Still further on are the swelling uplands, and then far