Hudson River



Well we said goodby to Manhattan and watched the tall buildings get smaller as we traveled up the Hudson River.  The Hudson River is a 315 mile river that flows from north to south primarily through easter New York.  The river is named after Henry Hudson an Englishman sailing from the Dutch East Indian Co. who explored it in 1609 and after whom Canada’s Hudson Bay is also named.  The Hudson was the eastern outlet for the Erie Canal, which when completed in 1825 became an important Transportation artery for the early 19 century.


Grant’s Tomb now formerly know as General Grant National Memorial is the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the 18th President of the United States and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826-1902).  Completed in 1897 the tomb is located in Riverside Park a neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City across from Riverside Church.  Grant’s only real wish when he died was to be next to his wife when he was buried.  Grant is buried in the building with the round top.

George Washington Bridge know informally as the GW Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River between the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York and Fort Lee, New Jersey.  The George Washington Bridge opened in 1931 during the Great Depression.  It was not until 30 years later that the lower, second deck (fondly known as the “Martha Washington Bridge”) was added.  The bridge sits near the sites of Fort Washington (New York) and Fort Lee ( New Jersey) which were fortified positions used by General Washington and his American forces as they attempted to deter the occupation of New York City in 1776 during the America Revolutionary War.  Unsuccessful Washington evacuated Manhattan by crossing between the two forts.  Liz (Anchor Down) took this picture of us as we went under the George Washington Bridge.

The longer we navigated up the Hudson River the more it reminded us of the Mississippi River back home.  The aura of New York metropolis quickly dissipates after the George Washington Bridge.  The tall backdrop contrasts sharply with the 300 to 500 foot Palisades.  Composed of columnar basalt this striking series of cliffs is named for its visual similarity to old wooden barrier fortifications.  We are finally out of all the rocking we had on the Ocean and back to calm waters were you can walk around with out holding on to something.  The sun is finally shinning after four days of gloom.  It’s a great day to be navigating up the river.


Off in the distance we could see Ossining (Sing Sing) a maximum security prison in the village of Ossining, New York on the east bank of the Hudson River.  Sing Sing prison confines about 1,700 prisoners.  Sing Sing was the fifth prison built by New York State in 1826 with the first one in 1797.  The name came from the Native American words “Sinck Sinck “which translates to “stone upon stone.”

We will be docking at Half Moon Bay Marina located at Croton-on-Hudson, New York on Wednesday.  The marina is small but has a beautiful view.  Thursday John & Pam (Short Vacation) docked next to us.  They were from our marina back home for many years until they sold their house boat, home, and are now living on their new boat.  Johnny & Liz (Anchor Down) Bruce & Beverly (SeaQuest) and Kent and I walked about a mile into town for dinner at Memphis Macs BBQ Bistro.  If there is a BBQ place around Kent wants to check it out to see if they have good ribs.  So far the best we found was at Mission BBQ in Annapolis.  Mike and Sandy Ernsdorff (from Dubuque Ia.) friends are in New York and will be staying with John & Pam (Short Vacation ) for a few days.  We had a nice visit with them on Short Vacation.  They informed us about what was going on in the marina back home.  So we have a Baha (this one is for you Amy) on one side and Short Vacation on the other this is a small world.

As we navigated on the Hudson River we went past Dunderberg Mountain, a densely forested 1,000 foot tall legendary dwelling of the Dutch goblin held responsible for summer storms.  The mountain marks the southern limit of the Highland section of the river.  For the next 10 miles we will be navigating on the river where it cuts through the Appalachian mountain chain, and is one of the most beautiful stretches of river scenery on the Hudson.


This narrow section of the river between Iona Island and the easter shore is known as the The Race.  The swiftest current on the Hudson River runs here.  The island was the site of a navy arsenal from 1900 until after World War II.

Bear Mountain Bridge completed in 1924 was the worlds largest suspension bridge.  In addition to carrying highway traffic it also served as the Hudson River crossing of the famous Main to Georgia Appalachian Trail.  During the Revolutionary War, the Americans stretched a huge chain across the Hudson River just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge site to prevent British warships from passing.  Unfortunately, the British seized the chain ( sending it to Gibraltar to protect their own harbor) and then sailed up the river and burned the town of Kingston.


This peak along the Hudson River near the Bear Mt. Bridge is called Anthony’s Nose.  The peak has been known as Anthony’s Nose since 1697.  Pierre Van Contlandt who owned this mountain said it was named for a pre Revolutionary War sea-captain, Anthony Hogan.  Anthony’s Nose together with Dunderberg Mountain comprises the South Gate of the Hudson Highlands.


As we continued navigating on the Hudson River we went past West Point the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States.  West Point was established in 1775 by George Washington who considered it the most important strategic position in America.  Until January 27, 1778 West Point was not occupied by the military until brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point and from that day to present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army.  West Point (then Fort Clinton) was a fortified site during the Revolutionary War picked because of the abnormal S-curves in the Hudson and founded by military engineer Polish Colonel Tadeusz Kosciuszko.  The United States Military Academy was established at West Point in 1802 when President Thomas Jefferson directed, shortly after his inauguration that plans be set in motion.  West Point has the longest continuous service of any United States military installation and is the nation’s oldest service academy.  In 1937 the West point Bullion Depository was constructed in 1988 it became the West Point Mint as a branch of the United States Mint.  The Academy or simply The Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy.  This complex was something so see it went forever.


This narrow section of the Hudson River after we passed the Academy is designated as World’s End it’s the deepest section (182 ft.) of the entire river.  During the Revolutionary War the Americans stretched another chain across the river here but not in time to prevent the British from attacking the upriver town of Kingston.

Pollepel Island widely know as Bannerman’s Island had at one time a beautiful castle that burned in 1969 and this is all that is left.  Between 1900 and 1918 Frank Bannerman a munitions dealer built a replica of a medieval castle here as a summer resort and store house.  In 1967 the state obtained the property and tours were conducted until it burned.


This town is Newburgh and was a 19th Century seaport and home of whaling ships.  It was George Washington’s headquarters from 1782-1783.

This is the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge when the first span was built it replaced the last remaining ferry service across the Hudson River, but also the oldest ferry in the United States.   The Mid Hudson Suspension Bridge opens in 1930 it’s one of the oldest bridges spanning the Hudson River.  Poughkeepsie was the temporary capital of New York in 1777 and is home to Vassar College one of the so-called “Seven Sisters which is co-ed.


On our starboard (right) side we looked up and could see the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York.  It is the birthplace, lifelong home, and burial-place of the 32nd President and is now a National Historic Site site 1945.  Also in Hyde Park is the Culinary Institute of America they have several excellent restaurants on campus.

I sure didn’t know the Hudson River had so much history and how scenic it is made me feel like I was home on the Mississippi River.  It’s so nice to navigate on the river systems again.   The ocean was exciting and so clean glad for the experience but I’ll take the narrow rivers and calm waters even if they are not beautiful clean water.


We are now seeing many lighthouses on the Hudson the first is the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse nicknamed “Maid of the Meadows”.   The first lighthouse built-in 1838 and was heavily damaged in 1869.  The current lighthouse built-in 1871 stands on the west side of the channel its granting foundation built atop piles that have been driven into the riverbed and accessible only by boat.  It’s a white house with red mansard roof first light in 1872 and automated in 1965.  Its focal height is 52 ft. and 6 nautical mile range.


The Rondout Lighthouse is the last of three lighthouse marking the entrance to the Rondout Creek.  Still fully operational as a navigational light, the Rondout lighthouse is one of only seven remaining on the Hudson river.  It marked the entrance to the Kingston Marina were we will dock Friday night.  The first lighthouse at the entrance to the Rondout creek was wooden built-in 1837.  It was replaced by a second lighthouse made of sturdy bluestone in 1867.  The bluestone lighthouse was abandoned after 1915 and torn down in the 1950.  The current lighthouse was built-in 1915 and in 1954 was automated and the building closed.

We stayed at the city dock in Rondout, New York situated on the Hudson River at the mouth of Rondout Creek.  Originally a maritime village serving the nearby city of Kingston, New York, Rondout merged with Kingston in 1872.  The British burned the city of Kingston in 1777.  Rondout Creek was the home of the Cornell Steamboat Company tugboat fleet.  The dominant towing company on the Hudson from 1880 to the 1930’s.  Liz and I took a bus to Walgreen as she needed a prescription filled.  On our way we saw several Churches there were six in one block.  It was a very old little town.


Saugerties lighthouse built-in 1869 replaced the earlier lighthouse built-in 1838 that marks the entrance to Esopus Creek, the harbor for Saugerties.  It’s 46 ft. height and was automated in 1954 and was deactivated 1954-1990.  It is currently managed by the non-profit Saugerties Lighthouse conservancy which purchased the lighthouse in 1986 and has restored it.  The conservancy manages the nature trail leading to the lighthouse, offers two bed and breakfast rooms and public tour.  The name “Saugerties” is derived from the Dutch word for “sawmills.  The lighthouse keeper of 1835 was Abraham Person. He was paid $350 per year.


Hudson Athens lighthouse sometimes called the Hudson City light built-in 1874 and marks a sandy ridge known as Middle Ground Flats and also acts as a general aid to navigation of the river.  The main ship channel passes east of Middle Ground Flats but recreational crafts frequently use the shorter route to the west which has less current.  The lighthouse at the junction of these two routes is built on a shoal the scene of a fiery wreck in 1845, which killed 50 to 300 passengers on the steam boat Swallow.  The station is built on a grant caisson with a unique shape designed to protect it from ice flows and river debris.  The stations beacon was originally lighted by Henry D. Best the station first on November 14, 1874 and automated in 1949.

We really thought we were back on the Mississippi River when we saw all the debris  floating down the river like these big logs.  The debris is a result of the Hudson river flooding due to all the rain.  Will be docking at Shady Harbor for two nights.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Burkhalters says:

    VERY interesting!! Thanks soooo much for sharing. So much to see and learn⚓️⚓️

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