On the Waterfront in Beacon, NY

After my visit to Dia (see earlier posts this month) I had to wait for a while for my train back to arrive. So I decided to take a few pictures along the waterfront. Above: The sloop ‘Woody Guthry’ at anchor with the Beacon-Newburgh Bridge in the background.

The Beacon Sloop Club’s pride & joy is the “WOODY GUTHRIE” …a wooden replica of a Hudson River Ferry Sloop. These boats, styled after Dutch designs, plied the Hudson throughout the 18th & 19th centuries.

Launched in 1978, her purpose is to provide free sails to the public & introduce them to the wonders on the river. It is hoped that a new appreciation of the Hudson will be fostered & that the public will then join in the club’s role as a protector of this national treasure

In 1969 the newly built sloop ‘Clearwater’ first visited Beacon. A small band of local youngsters and oldsters organized a welcoming festival to support the valiant crew of the sloop and to help spread Clearwater’s environmental message. Thus began the Beacon Sloop Club.

Our first meetings were held in a Main Street storefront until the City granted us the use of the old Ferry Diner at the riverfront. Over the years, volunteers have enlarged and improved the building. The spruce tree that once stood outside the diner now grows through the roof. Docks, launch ramps and a mooring tender have all been installed by volunteers. Our sailing programs have taught hundreds the art of sailing. Thousands of guests on our free sails have learned a new appreciation of the glorious Hudson River.

Our first big victory came after years of petitions and festivals. Riverfront Park was created from a former garbage dump and a raw sewage leak nearby was located and stopped. The river is now safe for swimming thanks not only to Clearwater, but to dozens of other organizations all over the country that have pressured Washington for funding of sewage treatment plants. For less than 5 cents per day from every man, woman and child in the USA we have taken giant steps toward cleaner water. There’s still a big job ahead. Toxic waste in our waterways threatens our health and safety, causing cancer, birth defects, and other undesirable conditions. This little club will be part of the campaign. We welcome folks both young and old to join us. It’s been quite a ride since 1969 and the best is yet to come!

(Pete Seeger and Others, BSC 1996)

The Woody Guthrie is a 47′ gaff sloop which supports the mission of the larger Sloop Clearwater educating people about the Hudson River and its environment. The vessel was ordered by Pete Seeger in 1978 for the Beacon Sloop Club, which has supplied volunteers to maintain and operate it ever since.

The boat is named after the prominent progressive folk singer Woody Guthrie, a friend of Seeger’s and author of the famed tune, “This Land is Your Land”.

Since the Guthrie was built, volunteers have given sailing experience to thousands of members and guests of the Beacon Sloop club for free. Guests are educated by the volunteers about the history of the river and the boat and asked to help the mission of the boat in any way they can.

In August 2017, the Woody was relaunched after 6 years of fundraising, 2 years of work, $400k spent, and 5,000 volunteer hours. She was restored at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, New York.


Newburgh to Beacon Ferry slip.

The Newburgh–Beacon Ferry is a ferry service crossing the Hudson River that connects Newburgh with Beacon, New York.

It carries passengers between the two cities during rush hour, primarily transporting commuters from the west side of the river at Newburgh to the commuter train station on the east side at Beacon where they can catch Metro North Hudson Line service to Grand Central Terminal and other points in New York City.

NY Waterway operates the ferry under contract from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with the Haverstraw–Ossining Ferry downstream. Service began in 2005 after the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge had, 42 years earlier, rendered over two centuries of ferry service obsolete.

The Beacon terminal is at a dock immediately adjacent to the station; the Newburgh terminal is at the south end of Front Street. The fare is $1.75 per person; the trip across the river takes approximately 10 minutes.


Lafayette’s tour. The sign says it all.

View across the Hudson towards Newburgh from near the Metro North Station in Beacon.

Taken with a Sony A7IV, Samyang 45mm f1.8 and Sony FE 28-75 f3.5-5.6 OSS

Lunch at Sambal

I went to Irvington to visit the amazing Armour-Steiner Octagon house (I’ll be writing more about that in a future post) in Irvington, NY. It was getting close to lunch time and I was feeling a little hungry so I decided to have lunch on the waterfront at Sambal, a Thai and Malaysian restaurant.

The building was formerly the home of Chutney Masala, an excellent Indian Restaurant owned by the same people who own Sambal. A while back it relocated to Main Street in Irvington and Sambal took its place.

I’d been to Chutney Masala many times while it was located in this building, but had never been to Sambal so I decided to try it. I loved Chutney Masala, but I’m afraid I can’t same the same for Sambal. The food was decent, but not spectacular. The outside deck with its view across the Hudson towards the Tappan Zee bridge was nice though.

Taken with a Sony A7IV, Samyang 45mm f1.8 and Taken with a Sony A7IV and Tamron Di III VXD A056SF 70-180mm f2.8.

Reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”…in Sleepy Hollow

I recently had some family visitors: two adults and two children. The parents had to go into New York City for business meetings. I got to look after the two children. I decided to read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to them. I’ve always loved this story and I thought they might find it interesting.

We’d been reading for about 15 minutes when the parents announced they were leaving. So I decided to ask them to drop us in Sleepy Hollow so that we could continue there. Our first stop was the Philipsburg Manor. Unfortunately it was closed, but we were able to continue reading while sitting by the millpond (see picture above), which is mentioned in the story.

The girls by the millpond.

I thought it might be interesting to finish of the story in The Old Dutch Burial Ground (also mentioned in the story) so we crossed the road and passed over the Headless Horseman Bridge, one of two candidates for the site of the bridge in the story.

The Old Dutch Burial Ground where we sat and finished of the story.

The girls by a Clog shed.

After we finished the story I set the girls a challenge: to find the grave of Katerina Van Tassel, one of the main characters in the story. When I first looked for this grave it took me an age to find it. It took them about five minutes although admittedly we were sitting quite close to its location.

After that we continued into the cemetery and up the grave of Washington Irving, the author of the story.

Our final stop was at the second possible location for the Headless Horseman Bridge. I much prefer this to earlier one.

We thought of walking around in the cemetery for a while, but it was a very hot and humid day so we decided to go at get some refreshments at J.P. Doyles before heading home.

A walk around Hastings-on-Hudson. The iconic water tower

The Water Tower was constructed in 1916 for the National Conduit & Cable Company’s operations at 1 River Street in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. The site was then transferred to Anaconda Copper and Mining Company in 1919. The company eventually merged into Anaconda Wire and Cable Company, and continued to operate until 1974 when the company ceased operations. Atlantic Richfield (AR) purchased the site in 1977 and an affiliate, ARCO, repurchased the site in 1998. AR and ARCO have since facilitated environmental investigations and remediation at the site. The site is currently under the responsibility of a 2016 Consent Order between British Petroleum (BP) and ARCO Environmental Remediation Limited (ARCO). The site has been categorized as a Superfund Site and is currently undergoing remediation. The Water Tower currently resides at the Harbor at Hastings Superfund Site.

Despite all its problems the tower has become something of an icon in the town. Although there have been plans to demolish it they have so far been resisted by local residents.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3.

A walk around Hastings-on-Hudson. Overview

Above: Hastings-on-Hudson Metro North Hudson Line station.

“Hastings-on-Hudson is a village in Westchester County located in the southwestern part of the town of Greenburgh in the state of New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of midtown Manhattan in New York City, and is served by a stop on the Metro-North Hudson Line. To the north of Hastings-on-Hudson is the village of Dobbs Ferry, to the south, the city of Yonkers, and to the east unincorporated parts of Greenburgh. As of the 2020 US Census, it had a population of 8,590. The town lies on U.S. Route 9, “Broadway”, along with the Saw Mill River Parkway and I-287.

The area that is now Hastings-on-Hudson and Dobbs Ferry was the primary settlement of the Weckquaesgeek Algonquian people, who called the community Wysquaqua. In the summer, the Weckquaesgeeks camped at the mouth of the ravine running under the present Warburton Avenue Bridge. There they fished, swam and collected oysters and clamshells used to make wampum. On the level plain nearby (which is now Maple Avenue), they planted corn and possibly tobacco.

The findings of large numbers of artifacts have suggested that there was significant tribal activity in the confluence of Factory Brook and Scheckler’s Brook just behind what is now the Cropsey Studio, but the interest in the site failed to generate any archeological inquiry.


Around 1650, a Dutch carpenter, named Frederick Philipse, arrived in New Amsterdam. In 1682, Philipse traded with the Native Americans for the area that is now Dobbs Ferry and Hastings-on-Hudson. In 1693, the English Crown granted Philipse the Manor of Philipsburg, which included what is now Hastings-on-Hudson. After dividing the area into four nearly equal-sized farms, the Philipses leased them to Dutch, English and French Huguenot settlers.

During the American Revolution, what is now Hastings-on-Hudson, lay between the lines of the warring forces and was declared neutral territory. In reality, the area became a no-man’s land and was raided repeatedly by both sides. The minor Revolutionary War skirmish known as the Battle of Edgar’s Lane was fought in Hastings. Following the Revolution, the Philipses, who had been loyal to George III, saw their vast lands confiscated and sold by the newly established American state. In 1785, the four farms comprising today’s Hastings-on-Hudson were bought by James DeClark, Jacobus Dyckman, George Fisher, and tavern keeper Peter Post.

Around the same time, Westchester County, which had been established as one of the 10 original counties in New York, was divided into towns, and the area that is now Hastings-on-Hudson became part of the town of Greenburgh. The village was incorporated in 1879 and its name changed from Hastings-Upon-Hudson to Hastings-on-Hudson.

Stone quarrying was the earliest industry in Hastings-on-Hudson. From 1865 to 1871, hundreds of Scottish and Irish laborers blasted huge quantities of dolomitic marble from a white Westchester marble quarry. An inclined railroad carried the marble down to the quarry wharf where it was dressed by skilled stonecutters and loaded onto ships bound for cities like New York and Charleston, South Carolina.

By the 1880s, Hastings Pavement was producing hexagonal paving blocks which were used extensively in Central Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Between 1895 and 1900, Hastings Pavement produced 10 million such blocks and shipped them throughout the United States and to cities in Canada, Brazil and England. By 1891, the National Conduit and Cable Company had established an operation on the waterfront producing cables for utility companies here and abroad. In 1912, labor strife between striking workers and their employer, the National Cable and Conduit Company, left two striking workers and two bystanders dead. Similar labor unrest occurred in 1916, whereby the Village was put under house arrest.

During World War I, 200 National Guardsmen were stationed in Hastings-on-Hudson because of the security interests of the National Conduit plant and a chemical plant opened by Frederick G. Zinsser that produced a wood alcohol called Hastings Spirits.


The Anaconda Copper Company took over National Conduit in 1929, and a few years later acquired the Hastings Pavement property. By the end of World War II, Anaconda owned most of the industrial waterfront. Anaconda closed its Hastings-on-Hudson plant in 1975, bringing to an end the century-long era of heavy industry on the Hastings-on-Hudson waterfront.

The 1926-founded Hillside-on-Hastings sanitarium and hospital opened in 1926. They relocated to Glen Oaks, Queens in 1941.

Billie Burke, actress (the “Good Witch” in the Wizard of Oz) lived in Hastings-on-Hudson and left her property to the school district, which still owns it, and uses it for various sports.

Benjamin Franklin Goodrich, from Ripley, in western New York, used real estate profits to purchase the Hudson River Rubber Company, a small business in Hastings-on-Hudson. The following year, Goodrich relocated the business to Akron, Ohio.

Children’s Village, a boarding facility for children in difficult circumstances, located in neighboring Dobbs Ferry, sold about 50 acres (200,000 m2) of its property in Hastings-on-Hudson to a developer in 1986. The developer was planning to build close to 100 homes that would result in traffic on the roads adjoining Hillside Elementary School. Local residents formed a committee called “Save Hillside Woods” and raised close to $800K. As a result of the 1987 stock market crash and the subsequent receivership of the bank that held the mortgage on the property, the Village purchased this parcel from the FDIC with the funds accumulated and a bond floated by the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson to expand and maintain Hillside Woods.

The Jasper F. Cropsey House and Studio and Hastings Prototype House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The John William Draper House is listed as a National Historic Landmark” (Wikipedia)

Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 R