Revised November 27, 2009 by Alan C. Aimone

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This guide is intended to provide a reference for visitors to use while traveling the scenic and historic Hudson Highlands. Depending upon the changing weather and season of the year, one can view most of the locations described in this guide from a river cruise. The sequence of historical and cultural sites that follows this introduction is a circular route from the U. S. Military Academy's South Dock, north along the west bank of the Hudson River to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, then south along the east bank to the Bear Mountain Bridge and back again to the South Dock. Each site has been numbered to correspond to the guide maps inserted at the end of this guide.


The steep wooded hillsides overlooking the narrow river below form the most spectacular scenery in the Hudson River Valley. The prominent areas include Manitou Mountain, Canada Hill, Castle Rock, North Redoubt and Storm King Mountain.

The few gaps in the rugged, linear ridge on the river's eastern bank are often deep ravines or narrow valleys that have been cut by tributaries through the hard rock. The sheer rock walls, old forests, tumbling rapids and waterfalls represent unique scenic resources originated in the last Ice Age. A continental glacier flowed along the current course of the Hudson River, terminating with a moraine known as Long Island. Occasionally, the shoreline thrusts out beyond the railroad tracks into the river's channel, offering both river access and spectacular views of the Highlands. Among the largest of these peninsulas with extended shoreline access are the North Manitou Riverfront, Arden Point, and the North Garrison Waterfront.

The Hudson River discovered by Henry Hudson on his sail aboard the Half Moon in 1609, is about a quarter mile wide at Bear Mountain and West Point, the narrowest points and about 1 and sixth miles wide off Cornwall, the widest point in this area. It varies from about 40 feet to 200 feet deep at center channel (World's End). The river is tidal from New York City to Troy (154 miles) and has a rise and fall of about one foot at Albany. The zone where fresh water is significantly penetrated by salt water is approximated from Peekskill to Bear Mountain. There are detectable levels of Atlantic Ocean salt as far north as New Hamburg, at river mile 76.

Sloop traffic began shortly after the founding of New York City in 1613 and Albany in 1614 and continued as late as 1915. Steamship traffic began in 1807 with Fulton's Clermont and continued until 1851. The Erie Canal was opened in the fall of 1825 and canal boats ran the full distance that year. The Hudson River Day Line began operation in 1826: The Night Line in 1831. The river is still used extensively by pleasure boats, oil tankers, cement barges and trap rock barges. Occasional ocean freighters making their round trip to Albany and U.S. Coast Guard ice breakers in winter also cruise the Hudson River.

East and west bank railroads parallel the river. The railroads have prevented much of the river banks from being developed and have thus helped to maintain the Hudson Rivers' unparalleled scenic treasures. Today, Conrail operates freight trains along the west shore and passenger trains along the east shore. New York City commuters from as far as Red Hook in northern Dutchess County take daily commuter trains to Grand Central Station in Manhattan.


A tunnel was planned in 1872 because the Plain was used by cadets for military training. Unfortunately, the movement of trains through the 2,640 foot tunnel caused the scientific equipment in the West Point Observatory in the library to give inaccurate readings. The railroad agreed not only to construct a new observatory, but also to build a passenger and freight station for the exclusive use of the U. S. Military Academy. When recruits (plebs) arrived at West Point by train, they were made to run up the hill as their first reception at the Point. The scene will be familiar to those who saw the motion picture "The Long Gray Line." Note the 1926 Gothic railroad station. With its graceful arches and oaken doors, it blends right in with the Gothic gray stone architecture of the West Point campus. Regular passenger service to West Point ended in 1956. The Class of 1948 restored the abandoned station building and it is now used for social receptions.

The South Dock is the regular landing of the Commander and U. S. Military Academy boats. The schedule between here and New York City is the oldest scheduled passenger steamer route, having been established by Robert Fulton's Clermont.


Mahan Hall (named after Dennis Hart Mahan, USMA Class of 1824) is the engineering classroom building. Mahan Hall has a large auditorium (named for five-star General of the Air Force, "Hap" Henry Hartley Arnold, USMA Class of 1907).


Thayer Hall (named for Sylvanus Thayer, USMA Class of 1808) formerly was the Riding Hall.
The 1911 Riding Hall when it was built was the largest masonry building of its type in the world.
It was the arena covering more than 16,000 square feet and was used for cavalry practice.
There were stalls for 100 horses. The Academy discontinued horse training in 1947.
Thayer Hall from 1956 to 1967 was divided into one hundred classrooms, four academic
departments, a computer and a television studio. Thayer Hall also was home to the West Point
Museum and has two large auditoriums. It is of granite Gothic construction: A power house is
located in the lower south portion and the roof are used for parking.


West Point has been called the "Gibraltar of America" because of its strategic situation. In sailing days, ships had to change course here, because of the sharp bends in the Hudson River, virtually came to a halt. In the narrow waters, watercraft became easy targets for guns on shore. Early in the American Revolution, fortifications were built both on West Point and Constitution Island on the opposite shore. Fort Constitution, on Constitution Island (named referred to the British Constitution) was completed in September 1775. In 1778, a chain was stretched across the river from West Point to Constitution Island. Fort (New York Governor George) Clinton, originally called Fort (Brigadier General Benedict) Arnold was completed at West Point in the spring of 1778. In 1779, Fort (Cornel Rufus) Putnam was built atop of Mount Independence, behind and above Fort Arnold. The fort was built on an impregnable crag and provided covering protection to Fort Arnold. There were several smaller batteries. Battery Knox faced the river near Fort Clinton. Redoubt (Colonel Samuel) Wyllis and Redoubt (Colonel Return Jonathan) Meigs both faced to the south were located on lower ground southeast of Fort Putnam. In early Army orders this group of fortifications was designated as "the citadel and its dependencies." After the failure of General Benedict Arnold's plan to hand West Point over to the British in 1780, West Point was never again threatened. It was first occupied by the United States Army on January 20, 1778, making it the nation's oldest continually occupied military post.

In October 1776, congress appointed a committee to prepare plans for a military school. Shortly after the American Revolution, General George Washington suggested West Point as a possible site for a military academy. In 1793, in his annual message, President George Washington again recommended West Point as a location. In 1794, Congress organized a Corps of Artillerists to be stationed at West Point. On March 16, 1802, Congress formally authorized the founding of a military academy at West Point and opened on July 4th of that year with ten cadets. Under Major Sylvanus Thayer, who served as Superintendant from 1817 to 1833, West Point became a military school of the first order: The basic system established by Thayer is continued today.

In the 19th Century, West Point was a popular summer resort, because of the attractions of the beautiful scenery, healthier climate than cities and interesting historic associations. It is still a popular place for pleasure excursions. It is the third most visited site in New York State after New York City and Niagara Falls.

Around the turn of the 19th Century, Academy officials realized that a certain amount of expansion was going to be necessary if the academy was to continue to prosper. A nation- wide architecture contest was sponsored. In 1903, the firm of Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, adherents of the Gothic style, was name the winner. As a result, the Cadet Chapel, the Administration Building (Taylor Hall), the East Academic Building, the North Barracks, and the Riding Hall (Thayer Hall) were designed in a modern adaptation of the Gothic style erected in the years from 1903 to 1914.


The administrative building in 1909 was the tallest structure of solid masonry without girders in the United States. The dark gray granite trimmed with limestone in Gothic style with a 150-foot tower-keep on its southwest corner was built of solid masonry with battlements, buttresses, and cross-mullioned and tracer- lead windows. The entrance is ornamented with heraldic seals of the United States government and the George Washington coat of arms and is guarded by a raised portcullis. The building is now named for former superintendent and World War II General Maxell Davenport Taylor, USMA Class of 1922.


The building is named in honor of President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson signed the March 16, 1802 act establishing the U.S. Military Academy. West Point's Cadet Learning Center, completed on August 2008 is home to the USMA Library, the Center for Enhanced Performance and the Center for Teaching Excellence. The six story building above ground was designed by STV, Inc., and Holzman Ross Architects. The 148,000 square foot building has more than 100,000 linear feet or approximately 19 miles of shelving in the library and fourteen class, conference and study rooms with electronic equipment.


On top of the bluffs on Cullum Road, the former Officers' Club is one of the three neo-classic buildings in a row designed by McKim, Mead & White. The structures were built between 1898 and 1903 out of granite. The mess was the first formal officers' mess of the U.S. Army. The building includes a ballroom, a large dining room and conference rooms. The mess was expanded in 1962 with a million dollar grant from Mr. Eddy Pierce, wife of Brigadier General Pierce, Class of 1891. General Pierce had been a chemistry instructor, served as the athletic director and was president of the NCAA as well as the Association of Graduates.


Constructed in 1898 and renovated in 1989. Named after Brevet Major General George Cullum, USMA Class of 1831. The will of Cullum contained a $250,000 bequest "to be used for construction and maintenance of a memorial hall at West Point to be dedicated to the officers and graduates of the U.S. Military Academy." Cullum served as the Academy's 16th Superintendent, 1864-1866. George Cullum married the widowed Mrs. Henry Wager Halleck. Cullum had been General Halleck's aide. Mrs. Cullum had inherited a fortune through land investments by General Halleck in the San Francisco Bay area.

Cullum had earlier in 1850, while teaching practical engineering at West Point, instituted publication of the first Register of Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy. In his will, he provided funds for subsequent editions of this important Academy record. General Cullum founded the Association of Graduates, the second oldest alumni association in the United States after the Virginia Military Institution in Lexington.

Cullum's bequest was formally accepted by an act of Congress in 1892 and construction began in 1896 following a design by noted architect, Stanford White. He designed the building in a Greek revival style of pinkish-white Milford granite. His enthusiasm for the project never waned. Even after its completion and formal dedication, White continued to provide, at no charge to West Point, designs for the completion of interior architectural details.

When the building was dedicated in 1900, it became a memorial repository to honor deceased graduates through portraits, sculpture, and plaques. Included among those memorialized are all deceased graduates who have won the Medal of Honor, all those killed in WWII, the Korean Conflict, almost all graduates killed in other wars, and portraits of former permanent professors of USMA.

The "Great Hall" on the second floor is the triumph of the building. Measuring 107 x 69 feet in area, this ballroom has served continuously as a site for cadet entertainment to include dances and various performances. The room's giant Corinthian pilasters, plaster caryatids, rich classical detailing, and a frieze running around the room inscribed with the names of battles from the War of 1812 to the Spanish-American War of 1898. The ceiling features 340 rosettes, each holding a lamp. Both the first and second floors contain a myriad of significant memorabilia including flags, standards, weapons, maps, rare prints, medallions, miniatures, busts, bronzes and portraits.

Cullum Hall was the home of the Association of Graduates until Herbert Hall was constructed on the former Smith (ice hockey) Rink grounds in 1995 south of Michie (football) Stadium. In its earlier days the basement area was apartments for bachelor assistant football Coach's. The building today is the temporary home of the USMA computer laboratory. It will again be used by the Fourth Class (plebe/freshman) activities including a ballroom in about 2014. The first floor is used as both a promotion and as a retirement ceremony room as well as alumni reunion and football activity meeting place.

Outside the building notice the following features: Along the cornice are evenly spaced lion heads. Around the building are a number of historic cannons, which the firm arranged into the plan of the building. Bronze pilasters - both of which are contained in a granite portal with pilasters and pediment, flank massive bronze doors at the main entrance. Facing the Plain, the façade of the building is clear, simple, and serious. Around the back of the building McKim, Mead & White took advantage of the scenic possibilities by providing an open loggia running the length of the building.


Gee's Point was named after Captain Gee whose sloop Federal brought supplies to West Point from 1790 to 1810. There is a lighthouse and fog bell here. The position is 88 feet deep off the point and river bends sharply to the west. At mid-channel between Gee's Point and Constitution Island an area called "World's End" is the deepest part of the Hudson River at 202 feet.


Originally a Revolutionary War sentry guard path, this gravel and rock foot rail leaves Cullum Road just north of Lincoln Hall and winds three quarters of a mile down the cliff to the river. It traverses past the lighthouse at Gee's Point, the beach where the western end of the great chain was anchored, the site of the Chain Battery, and the remains of the earthworks of Fort Clinton, and ends at Battle Monument. Just before passing the lighthouse the path is overhung by "Kissing Rock," so called because according to tradition, if a cadet passes underneath with his best girl and fails to kiss her, the rock will crush them both!


Continental soldiers at West Point called it "Washington's chain." Chain links on display at Trophy Point came from the "Great Chain" stretched across the Hudson River. It was positioned at a narrow point from West Point's extreme rocky end to a southwest inlet at Constitution Island during the Revolutionary War to act as a barrier to enemy ships. The chain was first fastened on May 3, 1778. The chain was laid across a boom of heavy logs that floated parallel to each other and aligned with the flow of the river's current. These logs were sixteen feet long and pointed at each end, so as to offer little resistance to the tidal currents. The chain was fastened to these logs by iron staples and at both shores by huge blocks of wood and stone. The "Chain Battery" on the west bank at West Point also protected the great chain. The length of the chain was over 500 yards. The links were made of iron bars, 2-½ inches square. The average length was a little over two feet and their weight about 140 pounds each. Two swivels were inserted every 100 feet and a clevis every 1,000 feet. It weighed 186 tons. The links were forged at Stirling Iron Works in the Ramapo Mountains in Orange County and were assembled at New Windsor about nine miles north of West Point, and floated downstream to Constitution Island. The chain was removed in late fall and reassembled with new logs from the Marlborough area (north of Newburgh in Ulster County) early spring to avoid destruction from the winter's ice flows on the Hudson River. By 1782 peace was imminent and the chain was never stretched across the Hudson River again.
Links of the chain are on display at Trophy Point.

This was the second of two chains to be placed across the Hudson River. The first was placed four miles below West Point, and it reached from Fort Montgomery to Anthony's Nose, a little north of the present-day Bear Mountain Bridge.


Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish artillery officer, helped design and build the fortifications at West Point in the Revolutionary War. Kosciuszko, a graduate and instructor at the Royal Military School in Warsaw, Poland, fell in love with the daughter of a Polish general. Failing in his attempt to elope, he came to the United States in 1776. Prior to his arrival at West Point, he provided vital assistance for the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga, the turning point in the American Revolution. Note: The scroll at the base of the statue is marked "Saratoga" and it is meant to be a map of the Saratoga fortification plan.

In 1778, Colonel Kosciuszko was assigned to West Point and worked about 28 months designing and supervising construction of the fortifications on both sides of the Hudson River. In March 1780, he was appointed chief of the Corps of Engineers. The end of the war, for his considerable contributions, the Continental Congress awarded him the rank of Brigadier General.

In 1784, he returned to Poland and later fought for freedom from Russian influence. He returned to the U.S. in 1796 for a short time and developed a close relationship with Thomas Jefferson. He died in Switzerland in 1817.

Kosciuszko is one of the famous Polish national heroes and is buried in Krakow, Poland, in the same cemetery with Polish Kings. The monument that you see of Kosciuszko was erected in his honor at the former Revolutionary War site of Fort Arnold. After the "treason of the blackest dye!" (September 25, 1780) Fort Arnold was renamed for New York Governor George Clinton.

An advertisement in a New York paper offered a prize of $50 or a gold medal of that value for the best design of a monument to the memory of Kosciuszko to be erected at West Point. John H. B. Latrobe, of the Class of 1822, after he won an 1824-1825-design contest, designed the base. It initially only had the rectangular granite base pedestal, battered pilasters at monument corners, carved floral medallions, arched top with fern-frond design. Ornamental arrows bound to laurel wreaths are on the faces of three sides. The fourth face has a bronze plaque explaining the history of the monument. The fluted Doric column is decorated with a tobacco leaf band. The monument was paid for through Corps of Cadets contributions of 25 cents per month from their pay. The monument was dedicated on July 4, 1828.

Left over cadet money for the monument was used to buy a marble basin in Kosciusko's garden and improve the access to the small fountain and garden area that Kosciuszko built while engineering the defenses of fortress West Point. Kosciusko liked to spend time here resting and thinking.

The Polish American citizen group of Yonkers first proposed a statue of Kosciuszko in 1912. An artist from Frederick Pustel and Company of New York designed the statue. On September 1, 1913, the statue was unveiled. The Polish clergy and the laity of the United States through popular subscription paid for the eight foot six inch bronze statue of Kosciuszko. The statue is of Kosciusko standing during the American Revolution, feet apart, one knee slightly bent, and a drawn sword. It is annually re-dedicated each year by patriot Polish organizations.


The fort was originally named for Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Fort Arnold was built in the spring of 1778 under the direction of Thaddeus Kosciusko, the supervising engineer at West Pont. It was 600 years around within the walls with embankments 21 feet high. It was 180 feet above the Hudson River and could accommodate 600 soldiers. Fort Clinton was one of the key positions in West Point's complex of forts. After Arnold's dissertation to the British forces, the fort was renamed Clinton after General George Washington's friend, New York Governor George Clinton. The cannons in the fort could easily rake any sailing vessel attempting to make the sharp bend in the Hudson River below.


Fortification Built in 1778-1779 under the direction of Colonel Rufus Putnam by men of his Massachusetts regiment during the Revolutionary War at the highest point of land (451 feet) commanding West Point. The fort was built to provide protection for Fort Arnold/Clinton and the southern approaches to West Point. Under the direction of Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a second ring of fortifications were built to the west of Fort Putnam on the commanding hills in that vicinity. These were called Redoubt 1 and Battery 1, Redoubt 2 and Battery 2 and Redoubts 3 and 4. Upon completion of these defensive structures, West Point was ringed by a double series of redoubts, batteries, and small and larger forts. Fort Putnam was restored during 1907-1910 and again in 1976. Fourteen reproduced cannons for the 1976 restoration were lifted into place by a Connecticut Air National Guard helicopter.


The large grassy ceremony parade ground for the U.S. Military Academy dating back to the Revolutionary War. The grounds have had many uses. Brigadier General Baron Von Stueben drilled the American troops prior to their night seizure of the British fortification at Sony Point. A now covered hollow on the northwest area of the plain served as "Execution Hollow" during the American Revolution for American deserters. Two large siege guns, Battery Byrne, once used for cadet training are also buried in the parade ground. The battery was named in honor of Cadet Eugene Alexis Byrne, x-Class of 1910, who died in an Army foot ball accident). During the early years the academy had its summer camps on the plain and starting in 1892 regimental parades began on the plain.


Perhaps the most prominent and majestic monument at the Academy is the Battle Monument, dedicated on 31 May 1897 "In Memory of the Officers and Men of the Regular Army of the United States Who Fell In Battle During The War of the Rebellion. This Monument Is Erected By Their Surviving Comrades." Starting in 1863, officers and men of the regular U.S. Army contributed six percent of a month's pay over a period of years and an executive committee at the United States Military Academy invested the accumulated funds to pay for it. Inauguration ceremonies for the project were held on June 15, 1864, with Major General George B. McClellan giving the oration. The War Department authorized the use of fifty condemned bronze cannon barrels to be placed around the monument. Additional bronze tablets and ornaments were added.

Battle Monument is the design of the architectural engineering firm, McKim, Mead & White. Stanford White, at the time, one of the foremost architectural designers of the late 19th century included the Washington Square Arch in New York City, Trinity Church in Boston and Cullum Hall at West Point. The Roman Doric column is five feet six inches in diameter and forty-six feet high standing upon a five-step circular stairway, broken by eight plain pedestals around the perimeter, each of which supports a sphere flanked by two bronze cannon barrels. The shaft is reportedly the largest polished granite shaft in the Western Hemisphere. It was quarried at Stony Creek in the town of Bradford, Connecticut. The ninety-two ton granite monolith was packed for shipment in a trussed wooden crate on two railroad flat cars. Short sections of railroad ties and tracks were laid up the steep embankment and onto the plain to the monument site over a five-week period. The figure at the top is the angelic one-ton bronze statue known as the "Winged Fame, Victory or Fame." Frederick Mac Monniues, who also did the Nathan Hale Statue in City Hall Park in New York City, sculpted it. The corner stone dated March 1894 contains coins and both Newburgh and New York City newspapers as well as an Official Register of Officers and Cadets of the U.S. Military Academy, June 1893.

A total of 2,242 names are dedicated and inscribed. The names are ranked on top with brigadier generals on top and followed down to lower ranking officers and then by enlisted men by military units recorded on bronze belts girdling the eight granite orbs, beginning with the men of the 1st U.S. Infantry Regiment. West Point's garrison soldiers today are members of the 1st Battalion/1st Infantry Regiment. The honored enlisted men are also noted by their military ranks: Commissary Sergeant, Artificer, Farrier, Musician, Bugler, 2nd Class Musician, Corporal, Private, and one Colored Cook {Jackson Kelly, 4th U.S. Cavalry}. Aged graduates recalling when they were cadets the granite balls were called "Monuments to Southern marksmanship".

A similar monument for Southern officers and men was once proposed by then President Richard Nixon. Then Superintendent Lieutenant General William Knowton told this story that he consulted with select African American leading cadets and decided it was a bad idea and dropped the presidential proposal!


This church, open to the public, boasts the largest church pipe organ in the world. The magnificent pipe organ has more than 18,200 pipes. The chapel rises 300 feet above the Hudson River and is built in the form of a cross, 200 feet long and 72 feet across. The 1910 granite neo-gothic style has a high buttressed tower. The architecture incorporates features found in Gothic cathedrals of England, with some modifications to adapt the chapel to its location. Native granite quarried at West Point was used in the construction which began in 1908. Stained glass windows are gifts of the succeeding graduating classes. The Class of 1976 presented the last window. The glass windows are the product of the longest business contract for stained glass in the world. One company, the Willet Stained Glass Window and Decorating Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began in 1911 to create the many windows in the chapel under this contract. During the holiday season the Cadet Chapel's floodlights highlight the granite walls against the gray of winter at West Point.


On Washington Road at the intersection of Mill Road this chapel was modeled on an English Carthusian abbey church. Its interior is richly and authentically decorated in the manner of the middle Ages. It was consecrated in 1900 and expanded twice to accommodate the enlargements of the Corps of Cadets.


It may be the most visited Jewish building in the United States. The newest chapel held it s first service on November 13, 1984. The Jewish Chapel has a Museum-Gallery that portrays the role Jews have played in America's defense and statesmanship. Jewish cadet roots at the U.S. Military Academy go back to when half the Class of 1802 was Jewish (two members). Simon Magruder Levey of Baltimore was the first of more than 900 Jewish cadets that have enrolled in the Long Gray Line.


Completed in 1974, Eisenhower Hall, named for Dwight David Eisenhower, USMA Class of 1915, five-star general and U.S. President, is one of the largest theaters in the world. Display areas, an art gallery, a ballroom, restaurants and other recreational rooms are housed in the building. Many Broadway theater performances and others highlight the annual fine arts program here.


In the cemetery east of Washington Road, this chapel was originally built in 1837 on the site of the current Science Building (former 1841 and 1964 USMA Libraries) was moved stone by marked stone to the Post Cemetery in 1911. It is in Renaissance Revival style with a Roman Doric portico. Inside is an oil painting by Professor Robert W. Weir entitled "Peace and War." Black marble shields on the walls inscribed in gold with the name, rank, and dates of birth and death of every American Revolutionary War general. However, one gearing only a date of birth and rank, omits the name of Benedict Arnold, who had committed treason. It is currently used as a funeral chapel for all faiths.


This has been the final resting place of immortalized heroes beginning in 1782 with American Revolutionary War Ensign Dominick Trant burial. George Custer, the colorful cavalry leader of the Civil War and the Battle of Little Big Horn; Margaret "Molly Pitcher" Corbin, the Revolutionary War heroine; General Goethals, builder of the Panama Canal; General Winfield Scott, the victor of the Mexican War; Lieutenant Colonel Edward Higgins White, II (USMA Class 1952) the first American to walk in space who was killed in a fire aboard Apollo I at Cape Kennedy, Army Football Coach Earl Henry Blaik (Class of 1920) and 20 former USMA Superintendants but a few echoes from the past. The largest monument, a 25 x 31 foot Egyptian style pyramid houses the remains of Egbert Ludovicus Viele (Class of 1847) and his second wife, Juliette. Two sarcophagi (stone coffins) have life-size statues of the Vieles sculpted on the top. An epitaph, written in the Etruscan language is inscribed on one wall. A solid bronze door and two miniature granite sphinxes guard the crypt. A buzzer was installed in Viele's coffin to notify the grounds keepers so he could be released. However, during World War II a blackout was ordered and the tomb no longer shone its night light. Another unusual tomb is for Civil War Major General Daniel Butterfield. Butterfield is a non-graduate but a political general from Cold Springs, New York who had "Taps" written. The 35 foot wide Vermont marble monument with 16 ornate columns that record his 43 battles is known as the "wedding cake" monument.


This is a long broad valley along the southern foot of Crow's New Mountain, Hill of Pines, Mose Gee's Mountain and Mount Rascal at the northern end of the USMA Reservation. It is traversed by New York Routes 293 and 218. The West Point Golf Course is at its eastern end. The valley was named after General George Washington when he stayed at West Point in the now demolished Stephen Moore House or Red House.


Rises 1,425 feet above sea level and is the highest ridge along the Hudson River. Frequently shortened to "Cro-Nest," the name is given to a huge hollow among the summits. In the early days West Point trainees and trial artillerists at the West Point Foundry across the river at Cold Springs used the southern and eastern escarpments for target practice throwing-up masses of dirt and gouging holes in the stone mountain. Nineteenth century boaters, out for a leisurely cruise up the Hudson River, would sometimes be startled by a cannon ball whizzing over their heads toward the mountains. A number of unexploded shells on the mountainside were removed when an extended forest fire lasted over a period in 1996. Cro-nest Cave, which features a projecting section called Kidd's Plug Cliff, was believed to be the site of Captain William Kidd's lost treasure. It was presumed that the cave was used as a "lookout" for Indians, pirates, explores, and American Revolutionary War spies because coins of that date were found at the site.


Between West Point and Cornwall, this narrow and winding "lower road" carved from the cliffs of Crow's Nest and Storm King Mountain by Italian laborers and mule teams affords magnificent views of the eight by 1.6 Newburgh Bay. Its highest point is a 400 foot overlook. It was the most difficult road work ever attempted by the State of New York. The first survey began in 1903. To plot points, ropes lowing men and even rockets-firing jars of paint were used because of the inaccessible areas. The blasting of rocks had to be timed since passenger trains used the railroad directly underneath. The age of the rocks in this formation has been radio-metrically determined to be 1.16 billion years old. Besides the spectacular scenery, notice also the beautiful stone walls lining the edge of this mountain roadway which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.


This is the northeastern buttress of the Hudson Highlands, originally named Buttel Hill. Buttel, translated from the German language, means baliff or jailor, one who guards, which was corrupted into Button Hill and Butter Hill. The prominent Cornwall-On-the- Hudson poet and gossip columnist, Nathaniel Parker Willis renamed the hill Storm King Mountain. The western extension of the ridge is still called Butter Hill.


Going across the tops of both Crow's Nest and Storm King further inland, 9W affords quite a different yet equally magnificent view at 900 feet elevation. Completed in 1940, 9W offers many painters and photographers picturesque scenes.


Originally a Quaker community during colonial days and then a resort area during the 19th century, it is now a residential village at the northern foot of Storm King Mountain. A large portion of the town is on a plateau or terrace affording fine views over Newburgh Bay and has many attractive home sites.


One of the best examples of pre-Revolutionary War frame houses still standing in the Hudson River Valley built around 1760 by Nathaniel Sands. His son, David became a distinguished Quaker preacher, traveling extensively in New England and Europe. It is located north of the Cornwall Town Hall.


This small, 75 acre site is an important tidal marsh and waterfowl feeding area.
Sloop hiss is south of the Moodna.


The large west bank peninsula was settled in the 1680's by an Indian trader, Captain Patrick Mac Gregorie. During the American Revolutionary War it was fortified with a battery of 14 cannons. The location is now a riverside park.


The spacious stone residence of Loyalist, John Ellison, a mill owner and merchant provided comfortable quarters for American generals while the Continental Army occupied the Hudson Highlands during the latter half of the Revolutionary War. Although Horatio Gates and Nathanael Greene were billeted there, the site is best known for its association with General Henry Knox, who served as George Washington's Chief of Artillery and afterwards as the first Secretary of War. The site is in New Windsor at the corner of New York 94 and Forge Hill Road.


This is the place where the Northern Continental Army waited for peace to come during the last year of the Revolutionary War. Located on Temple Hill Road in Vails Gate, this restored Revolutionary War winter camp is also the location where Washington opposed the idea of leading a revolt of the officer corps against the Continental Congress. The tension was brought to a head by the circulation of the "Newburgh Letters," two documents urging the officers to rebel and ordering the Continental Congress to meet their demands or back wages and pensions. Appalled, General Washington summoned an assembly of his officers in the Temple or Public Building and in a dramatic speech appealed to the group's patriotism. The strength of General Washington's character and statesmanship broke the budding mutiny. Many historians claim that his prudent action saved representative government in the United States. At the Cantonment in New Windsor, General Washington named the first three soldiers to receive the Bade of Military Merit, a decoration he created to commemorate acts of bravery by enlisted men. The Purple Heart, awarded today for wounds received in battle, takes its design from this original badge.

An original log hut is preserved at the State of New York site. Across from it are the Town of New Windsor parklands which extend the preserved hit site area of the winter 1782-1783 camp. The two parks have preserved a portion of the 714 officer and enlisted men hut sites from modern developments.


A City of Newburgh bordering town, the Town of New Windsor, is the site of the first air academy to instruct Army Air Corps pilots from West Point during World War II. Stewart has continued to change from a later U.S. Air Force Base to the second largest by area (10,000 acres) airport in the county. It is now the major New York Air National Guard base and bases for a wing of C-5's, a U. S. Marine Corps Reserve wing and an air detachment supporting West Point. Stewart is projected to be the fourth major New York metropolitan airport when public transportation is connected to New York City.


This Dutch fieldstone house, built in 1724, was owned by the Hasbrouck family at the time General George Washington used it for his headquarters during the last year of the American Revolutionary War. The headquarters served Washington longer than any other during the war. It was here that Washington rejected a monarchy in his famous "crown letter." In 1850, the State of New York purchased the house from the Hasbrouck family. This was the first historic preservation effort by any state or federal agency.


Newburgh was first settled in 1709 by German Palatines from Palatinate. The town was named after Neuberg-on-Rhine. However, the Palatines were almost penniless and by 1762, most had moved west into Pennsylvania to find richer farmlands. Scots and Englishmen moved into the area and modified the name to Newburgh, in honor of Newburgh-On-Tay in Aberdeen County, Scotland.

Newburgh was an important ferry crossing to New England from the middle colonies and a supply base for the Continental Army. Newburgh developed as a trading center. The nearby rich agricultural area further inland was an economic boon. Produce was shipped from here to New York City. During the early 19th century, Newburgh was also a whaling port and home of China and ivory traders - a true seaport.

Today visitors can still see one of the few serviceable brick rods, Liberty Street. Older, once-grand homes are terraced on this slope.


This Federal style home offers a dramatic example of late Federal exterior and completely Greek revival interior design, and exceptionally fine mantles, doorways and stairs. Its Ionic columns, Palladian windows and balcony are reminiscent of southern colonial architecture. The house located at 189 Montgomery Street, Newburgh, is now the home of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands.


The American Institute of Steel Construction selected the north span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge as the winner in the reconstruction category of its 1984 Prize Bridge Competition. The north span reopened in June 1984 following a three year, $43 million rebuilding effort. The 7,855 foot span was built originally in 1963 to replace ferries. In 1965, the American Institute of Steel Construction presented an award to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge as one of the ten most beautiful steel bridges opened to traffic during the year 1963 to 1964. The companion $100 million south span opened to traffic in 1980. The spans are described as combination deck-truss-cantilever structures. Also pleasing is the round curving arch reflected in the shape of the bridge. The south span uses a new structure material, A-588 steel marketed by U.S. Steel Corporation under the trade name "Corten." A-588 weathers upon exposure to the elements, forming a protective oxide coating that does not require costly painting. The older north span was painted to match the newer south span.


Gulian Verplanck, built a large home about 1700, known as Mount Gulian. During the American Revolutionary War it was used as the headquarters by General Baron von Steuben, and here, on May 13, 1783, General Henry Knox and other Continental Army officers founded the Society of Cincinnati. Located just north of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge the Mount Gulian Society restored both the house and rare 18th century Dutch barn with unique overhanging gables.


This house has both literary and historic significance as it is reputed to be the model for the Wharton House in James Fenimore Cooper's book, The Spy. It was also the headquarters of the Continental Army officers in command of the troops stationed the head of the Hudson Highlands. Located on New York 9 and I-84 south of Fishkill.


To foster trade and transportation between Beacon (known earlier as Fishkill Landing) and Newburgh, a ferry was begun. It operated continuously for 250 years until the Beacon-Newburgh Bridge opened in 1963 and was vital to the American Revolution as a crossing point for troops and supplies just north of the territory held by the British.

The swift streams running into the Hudson River furnished water power for milling and textile factories. A generous deposit of local clay resulted in a major brick making industry. At one time, Beacon was second only to Danbury, Connecticut in the manufacture of hats


Protruding like a cocked thumb from the east bank of the Hudson River, aimed toward Storm King Mountain, is a 55-acre point of land just south of Beacon. Denning's Point is little changed from pre-Revolutionary War times.

In 1743, the premier business woman of the American colonies, Madame Brett built the storehouse and freight depot in the vicinity of Denning's Point. This was the colonies' first producer's cooperative, owned by 22 Dutchess County farmers. Flour ground in Madame Brett's nearby grist mill was stored here awaiting shipment to New York City in her fleet of sailboats.

General George Washington routinely landed on Denning's Point when he visited the Fishkill Plain where the New England soldiers camped and from the spring of 1782 to August 1783.

To Beacon natives, the name evokes the image of red clay building blocks stamped D.P.B.W. Literally millions of bricks were shipped through the years from the Brockway Brick Works and its subsidiary plant on Denning's Point to New York City, some to end up as units of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center.


North and South Mount Beacon rise to 1,531 and 1,635 feet elevation. It is the highest point between the Catskills and the Atlantic Ocean. The Indians used the mountain as a signal site. North Beacon was chosen by George Washington during the American Revolution to have a rectangular pyramid thirty feet high built of logs filled with brush wood for signaling militia that the British were approaching. The signal system ran from Philadelphia to Albany and Boston.

The Otis Elevator Company erected the steepest incline railroad, 2,364 feet high with an average grade of 64% on May 30, 1902. The incline stopped operations in 1976.


Tioranda, "meeting of the waters," was built in 1859 by Richard Morris Hunt for Civil War General George Joseph Howland, a shipping magnate. It is Gothic-Victorian with contrasting black and white glazed bricks. It is now known as Criag House and is used as a privately-owned hospital devoted to the care of patients with drug and psychiatric disorders.


The island with a castle ruins jutting from it is called Pollepel's Island and Bannerman's Castle. The 6 and ¾ acre island has had many names. Years before Henry Hudson sailed up in the Half Moon; the Indians called it Menahtis (small island) and stayed away from it at night, thinking it was haunted. Later Dutch sailors believed that it marked the northern end of the domain of the goblins around Dunderberg Mountain. A terrible storm might suddenly envelop your ship as you sailed through; miraculously disappearing once you passed the island. Dutch sailors on their first trip were protected from the Heer of the Dunderberg (the chief goblin) by ducking out of view as their boats passed the island. By then it was called Pollepel's Island, Pot Ladle, Polly Pell's, and at one time Cheese Island. "Poptlepel" or "polopel" is Dutch for spoon or potladle. It was also known as Drunkard's Island because of the tradition that sailors who had imbed too freely at the rum pot were dropped off at the island to sober up. They were then picked up upon their ship's their ship's return trip. In the American Revolution the island was the site of the chevaux-de-frise (spiked barrier) placed between it and the western shore (Plum Point, New Windsor) in the hope of halting British warships. The Continental Army used it as a convenient munitions storehouse and prison. Afterwards, it belonged to the Van Wyck family for a century, and was acquired by Francis Bannerman VI in 1900 from Thomas Taft of Cornwall. Taft had bought the island to rid it of a band of moonshiners in the late nineties.

Frank Bannerman VI, born in Scotland, was brought to New York at the age of three. His father built a business selling surplus navy good goods picked up at auction. Frank flourished and expanded the trade after the Civil War, into a worldwide business. Bannerman's based on lower Broadway, New York City, was a source of munitions and armaments well into the present century. Bannerman was an avid antique collector as well. He kept an impressive assortment of memorabilia on the island including artifacts from Admirals Farragut, Dewey, and Peary and a table from General George Washington. Stored items also included siege towers, battering rams, chariots, medieval batistes, catapults and Civil War cannons. The castle built by Francis Bannerman was a functional fantasy, designed to be a nostalgic summer home for the family as well as a storage depot for the business. Bannerman also liked to experiment with ammunition products on the island. He built the present structure with its crenellations, turrets, moats, battlements, etc. with the intent to be both romantic and functional at the same time. Ammunition, explosives, and weapons were stored there, protected from intrusion and curiosity. The castle itself was built of granite paving blocks from New York City. It had not been finished when Bannerman died in 1918, but was continued in use as an arsenal. Because of the volatile nature of the merchandise stored there, the arsenal maintained two armed guards, a patrol boats, and used flood lights by bight to discourage the curious. At the same time it became a landmark to travelers by land and water, a centerpiece of such trips as "the Hudson by Searchlight," a night steamboat excursion which highlighted points of interest by turning a powerful flood lamp on them.

In 1967, Charles Bannerman removed the arsenal and gave as much of it as the Smithsonian Institution wanted and sold the island to the State of New York for future parklands. Public tours were briefly available, but a fire August 8, 1969 wrecked the buildings and put an end to public access. The empty shell of Bannerman's Castle is all that is left, but it still has the power of its Scottish predecessors to evoke romance and imagination, especially by moonlight or in gloomy weather.


Its highest elevation is 1,213 feet. A popular hiking trail runs along the ridge. There are tremendous cliffs in the old quarry section on the southwest face. Dark granite was quarried at relatively early date. Quarried stone was used for the capitol in Albany and the Brooklyn Bridge.


The path of the 159 miles of tunnels and aqueducts lead from the Ashokan Reservoir, in Ulster County across the Hudson River to an equalizing reservoir, and then to New York City. The aqueduct rises up at the northwestern foot of Breakneck Ridge, near the shore, and then passes beneath Breakneck Ridge in a 1,100 foot-long tunnel. The tunnel is horseshoe shaped, being 17 feet high and 17 ½ feet wide - large enough for a railroad train to pass through. The water flows at a rate of 4 miles per hour and passes 500 million gallons per day. Granite towers can be seen on either side of the river atop of the tunnel shafts. On the east side the water continues through another 1,000 foot tunnel beneath Breakneck Ridge and another, a mile long, beneath Mount Taurus. The aqueduct tunnel is 1,400 feet below the high water mark. It was completed in 1919 at the cost of $187 million. The Catskill Aqueduct still supports the major share of New York City's water.


Elevation 1,420 feet and opposite Crow's Nest Mountain. It once had a wild bull that failed to win the respect and confidence of the inhabitants, so the mountaineers drove him over the brink. The name stands as a monument to the bull's exit.


Catholic Chapel in the combined Hellenic and Tuscan styles was built for the Irish workers at the West Point Foundry in 1833. It is the oldest surviving Catholic Church structure on the Hudson River and in the Archdiocese of New York. The four pillars are stucco-covered brick. Many versions of the church have been painted at various times, by artists such as Robert Weir and W. H. Bartlett. The actress, Helen Hayes, contributed funds and helped to raise funds for improving the site and restoring the building. It is now open for religious and civic services observances.


This attractive residential village takes its name from a large cold spring that General George Washington named while inspecting the valley's Revolutionary War defenses. The West Point Foundry contributed to the town's growth, and many small scaled 18th and 19th century structures survive in a good state of preservation. It was a popular resort of such literary lights as Washington Irving.

The waterfront remains a lovely and lively place with the tree shaded 19th century bandstand and stone mooring walls. Today, over 30 antique shops dot the town. The Hudson House at the landing is charming and has been continuously dispensing hospitality since 1837. It is a fine place to watch the boats passing by on an afternoon, or to visit on a full moonlit evening.


It was named for the former West Point Foundry which operated here between 1817 and 1884. During the War of 1812, President James Madison ordered the creation of four foundries in different parts of the country. Cold Spring was chosen as one, as it could be protected by West Point. James Kirke Paulding, the writer, was serving as secretary of the board of naval commissioners at the time and gave the direction of the foundry to Governor Kemble. The iron and brass foundry was a pioneer in much technology and built America's first iron ship, the revenue cutter Spencer. By 1845, it was also producing the earliest train locomotives, engines for steamboats and enormous tubes for the water systems of New York, Chicago and Boston along with small ironware like sleds, wagon wheels, sugar mill parts, iron spatulas and trivets. Its greatest fame came from the "Parrott gun," much used in the Civil War because it was rifled and was therefore accurate and deadly. Nine hundred and twenty-five Parrott cannons and 759 siege and seacoast guns were molded and constructed for use in the Civil War. The innovation of boring spiral grooves in the cannon barrels was invented by charismatic Robert P. Parrott, an 1824 West Point graduate and former foundry inspector of government munitions. Parrott became the foundry's superintendent. There were very close ties between the firm and the administration of West Point. For many years the foundry operated a fleet of seven sloops plying between Cold Spring and New York City. The foundry ultimately closed down in 1911 because it could not compete with modern plants and the iron ore from the Lake Superior regions and the cheaper use of coal rather than the more-expensive charcoal for smelting. The last Hudson Valley iron mine closed in 1931.

Foundry Cove is bounded on the south by Constitution Island and to the east Boscobel restoration.


This lovely mansion is the former home of States Morris Dyckman (17tt-1806) who served as a quartermaster in the British Army and who was allowed to return to the United States several years after the Revolutionary War. The federal style mansion was built by a relative who was a master builder. It was originally at Montrose in Westchester Country where the Veterans Administration Hospital is now located. Westchester County had taken it over in 1941 for a park but decided it was too expensive and threatened to demolish it. A preservation group dismantled the structure and reassembled it fifteen miles north in Putnam County. Readers Digest founder, Lila Acheson Wallace, funded the Boscobel Restoration, Inc. A 1975 inventory list of household goods was found which allowed the house to be refurnished in a represented manner. The show place has samples of Duncan Phyfe and other early New York furniture. The orchards, English formal gardens and rose gardens are extensive and very beautiful. Located on New York 9D, Garrison-On-Hudson.


The rocky island with a maximum elevation about 100 feet is a National Registered Historic Landmark. The island belongs to the U.S. Military Academy and is not open to the public except on Constitution Island Association tours operating from the South Dock.

It is claimed that a French family by the name of Martelaire lived here about 1720. In any event, it was acquired by the Philipse family and lost by them when they remained Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. The stretch of the Hudson River here is called the Martelaer's Rock, or Martyr' Reach. It is possible that this derived from the early settler Martelaire.

The island was fortified early in the Revolutionary War at the suggestion of Bernard Romans, a Botanist and civil engineer. The island was first garrisoned on September 21, 1775, and the fort was called "Constitution Fort" (Constitution referred to the British Constitution). A block house or powder house was built near the high western tip of the island and its ruins can still be seen. Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, who directed the construction on Constitution Island, built three redoubts and a battery to protect the east end of the Great Chain. General George Washington's bodyguards were mustered out here on December 20th of 1783. After the Revolution, it generally became known as Constitution Island, although the Warner family used the old name Martelaer's Rock well into the 20th century.

Henry Warner, whose brother Thomas was the Chaplain at West Point from 1828 to 1838, purchased the island in 1836. Henry was a New York City lawyer who had financial reverses shortly after purchasing the island and retired here to a simple house he called "Wood Crag." The house was built of stone and clapboard, with parts dating back before the American Revolution. A large addition was added about 1845. His household consisted of this sister, and his two daughters, Susan (1819-1885) and Anna (1827-1915). They lived a simple life here. The girls were very religious and never married. They conducted Bible classes and befriended homesick cadets. Cadets on Sundays would row over for classes and have tea and gingerbread. Aside from a rare trip to Boston or New York, they never left the island accept when they wintered in Buttermilk Falls (renamed in 1876 Highland Falls). However, they did attain world- wide fame.

The two sisters using their grandmother's maiden names wrote 106 publications to help their finances. In 1850, G. P. Putnam published a novel by Susan Warner entitled The Wide Wide World, which turned out to be a tremendous best-seller, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. It went through 30 editions. Only Uncle Tom's Cabin outsold the book in the 19th century. The book was quite sentimental, but struck the popular note. A second novel entitled Queechy sold almost as well, and its name was even given to a lake in Columbia County near the foothills of the Berkshires. Susan used the pen name of Elizabeth Wetherell. Anna Warner also tried her hand at writing with some substantial success. She wrote under the name Anna Lothrop and specialized in children's books. Her most famous publication is the beautifully simple "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know." The sisters always wanted the island to become a part of the U. S. Military Academy and refused large offers for it. However, the U.S. Congress would never appropriate the small price they requested needed for their maintenance. In 1908, Anna and Mrs. Russell Sage gave Constitution Island to the Federal government. The terms of the gift provided for Anna Warner to live there until her death and for the maintenance of the island and the house "as is" forever. The Warner sisters are buried in the West Point Cemetery.


Evans R. Dick, co-owner of the New York Stock Exchange firm of Dick Brothers & Co, liked the four hundred foot high panoramic mountain top view. Evans and his wife, Elizabeth traveled extensively in Europe and admired the castles in the Mediterranean and decided to build a residence near Garrison that would be the "showplace of the Hudson Valley." Mrs. Dick had designed her Garrison home on the style of the cloisters of the St. John Lateran at Rome. The place was one of the first buildings of poured concrete in the country. Work on the 35,000-square foot building began in 1905. It consists of an arcaded courtyard, turrets, and gargoyles. The plan was to make the castle the world's largest concrete residence. The architecture structure is 180 feet long facing the Hudson River, 222 feet deep, and its highest tower is 86 feet above the original 220 acres wooded estate. The walls and ceilings were adorned with geometric designs, and the ornamental stone lions guarding many of the fountains are heresies of Christian influence prevalent during the 15th century. Construction stopped in 1911 when the stock market slumped. The family had spent close to three million dollars and had another four million planned on the 52 room building. Local lore has it that Mr. Dick and his wife fought frequently over the castle's design. It is said that Mr. Dick was not a subtle man: if he disapproved of a statue or staircase installed by his wife, he simply had it destroyed.

Rumors sprung up regarding the abandoned mansion with sweeping views of the Hudson River. The Klu Klux Klan are said to have held their meetings in its halls and tramps and tourists have frequented it for camping purposes. During World War II it was the proposed sight of German saboteurs coming up the Hudson River in a U-Boat and unloading a field gun at Garrison and hauling it up to Dick's Castle and fire on the U. S. Military Academy for propaganda effect. U. S. Army counter-espionage activity captured the German saboteurs at Garrison and they spent the rest of the war in a POW camp on Long Island. The Castle was rented for a period of time to display miniature soldiers of the turn of the century collected by retired Colonel Dick Stanley von Schriltz (USMA Class of 1941).
The castle was sold for $1.1 million to the DIA Art Foundation but the projected Hudson River School museum was abandoned in 1979. The never-completed castle overlooking the east bank of the Hudson River was turned into condominiums in 1987 for a price of $6 ½ million with an additional $7 million spent on renovations.


This former home of William Moore was built in 1855. Moore had been a Columbia University president. The stone gothic structure was later turned into a private pre-secondary Malcolm Gordon School for boys.


Originally called Garrison's after Harry Garrison, a ferry operator. Continental Army troops were stationed here during the war. Before World War II, whole platoons of West Point cadets were ferried to the east side of the Hudson River for maneuvers each summer at the end of August. Sham battles were staged from Garrison to Mahopac and back, complete with wagon trains of supplies, artillery, cavalry and infantry.

Picturesque Garrison was used as the site for filming some of the scenes of Hello Dolly! Magical movie set designers made Garrison to resemble Yonkers in the 1890's. Thirty 19th century buildings were used in the village. Colorful residential-commercial fronts transformed the community to the turn-of-the-century Yonkers.


Built for Reverend Walter Thompson in the 1880's, the Tudor revival structure was purchased by Jacob Ruppert, founder of the brewing company and former owner of the New York Yankees in 1929. Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhing and "near beer" during prohibition allowed him the pleasure of his Garrison estate including a zoo. The estate was converted in 1944 to St. Basil's Academy, a Greek Orthodox orphanage.


The name North Redoubt refers to the American Revolutionary War redoubt manned by Connecticut troops protecting the strategic Hudson Valley. It was the northern most defensive work guarding West Point on the east side of the Hudson River.


U.S. Attorney General Edward Pierrepont erected the Gothic villa in 1867.


A spire-topped castle atop of a 630 foot hill is a three story chateau of rough-hewn stone with turret. It was built in 1881 for William Henry Osborn. Osborn was a banker and president of the Illinois Central Railroad and later the Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Railroad. One of his sons, Henry Fairfield Osborn, enlarged the estate in 1905. Henry was a paleontologist and involved in the dramatic Scopes Trial. He served as president of the American Museum of Natural History from 1908-1933. In 1979, nearly 135 acres of the estate was purchased by New York for its Hudson Highlands State Park. The Appalachian Trial is routed over the Castle Rock property. The property sometimes is referred to its similar appearance to a castle structure used in the popular movie the Wizard of Oz.

Below Castle Rock is Monastery of Mary Immaculate that is run by the Capuchin Franciscan fathers as a friary and convent. The southern end was built about 1890. It is a four-story red brick structure with a copper-crowned cupola.


One of several monumental residences located on the ridge-line. Built in the 1920's, the crenellated towers were the home of Brigadier General Frederick Osborn. General Osborn was in charge of morale during World War II. It has been observed that on a clear day you can see the spire of the Empire State Building.


This extensive tidal marsh, which is an important migratory bird stopover and waterfowl feeding area, also enhances the scenic quality of the rugged hills behind it.


It may have been named for either St. Anthony the Great of Egypt, founder of monastic life about 251 A.D. or after Anthony Van Corlaer, a friend of Peter Stuyvesant, Dutch governor of New Amsterdam.


Lining the banks of the Hudson River just south of Fort Montgomery, the Bear Mountain Bridge is part of US 6 and NY 202. The Bear Mountain Bridge was the first bridging of the Hudson River south of Albany. It is also the narrowest passage below Albany at 3/8 mile. The Appalachian Tail, from Mount Katahdin, Maine, to Springer Mountain, Georgia, also crosses the bridge. The Harriman family built the bridge privately to promote Bear Mountain State Park and its donated 10,000 acres for public recreation. The Bear Mountain Bridge span is 2,257 feet and 155 feet above the water at high tide. Since November 1924, the bridge was been providing travelers with spectacular views of the Hudson River Valley. When it was first built it was the world's longest suspension span. The free span is 1,632 feet. Then Captain (later General) Omar Bradley (USMA Class of 1915), on leave from the Department of Mathematics, worked temporarily as a construction engineer on the bridge. The Bear Mountain Bridge led to other more famous suspension spans. It was the first to test new methods of cable fabrication which opened the field to cables of practically any diameter and number of wires.

The portion of the river south of the bridge is called the "Horse Race." The long stretch sweeps southeast from Bear Mountain Bridge to the Dunderberg Mountain. Dunderberg Mountain is a rocky prominence named "Thunder Mountain by the Dutch.


Located south of Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose is the New York National Guard training camp established in 1882. The 1,900 acre camp is named for Alfred E. Smith, Governor of New York and presidential candidate.


You, or your friends or family may lie on the grass, under a tree at Bear Mountain State park: eat, play and be merry in a picnic grove, go paddle or row a boat on Hessian Lake, go hiking through the woods, go mountain climbing, go swimming in a pool, visit a zoo, visit a museum, go on a self-guided nature walk, go roller skating or play miniature golf. The park has over 5,000 acres. Perkins Memorial Drive has many scenic vistas along its winding road to the 1,350 foot high point.


The island off Indian Point and the Consolidated Edison Company's 100 million dollar atomic power plant was an orchard and vineyard of horticulturist Dr. C. W. Grant in the mid-19th century: later it became a popular summer resort. It is not open to the public, but it once was a bustling naval munitions facility starting during the Spanish-American War. It is now part of the Palisades Interstate Parks and the open only to marsh creatures and the American Bald Eagle. The island had also been the home of the "mothball fleet" lined upon in the Hudson River from 1946 to 1970: the Liberty ships were used as storage bins for surplus wheat.

(See Peet Crighton, "Keeping 2000 Ghost Ships Alive: Hudson River Reserve Fleet," Popular Mechanics, vol. 106 (Sept. 1956): 121-125 and Gilbert P. Bailey, "Hudson Preserve, a Fleet in Being," New York Magazine (Oct. 17, 1948): 30+. )


In 1776 two forts were built to defend the mid-Hudson River region. Robert Erskine, operator of the Ringwood iron mines and furnaces and General George Washington's chief surveyor undertook to manufacture a two inch chain from Fort Montgomery to Antony's Nose. The chain consisted of heavy iron supported on wooden booms. When the British captured Forts Clinton and Montgomery they took up the chain and removed it to the harbor at Gibraltar. It had cost the Americans a quarter of million dollars in today's terms.

Fort Montgomery, north of the Popolopen Creek, and Fort Clinton, south of the Popolopen Creek were respectively commanded by two brothers, General George and James Clinton, the former at that time governor of the newly organized State of New York. The forts fell on October 6, 1777 when a resident Loyalist, Colonel Beverly Robinson, led a combined British and Hessian force. The veteran infantry force attacked the unfinished fortifications mostly undermanned militia force from the mountain side. The Fort Montgomery site now has a visitor's center and display trails telling the story of the historic site.


This site of the present-day yacht club at the mouth of Brooks Creek used to be a shipment point for magnetite (iron ore) dug from the Highlands in the west and south. It was transported across the present New York 9W in huge baskets on cables and loaded onto boats at the old dock.


Formerly called Buttermilk Falls, because of its 100 foot Highland Brook spill. It has been a garrison town to West Point, a New York City commuter village and a tourist center. Fourteen Highland Falls area buildings were selected in 1983 for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The historical landscape painters Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868) and Robert W. Weir (1803-1889) both resided here. Other prominent residents were poet-naturalist John Burroughs who wrote "Waiting," "Molly Pitcher" (Margaret Corbin, heroine of the Battle of Fort Washington) and J. P. Morgan, a multi-millionaire who had his estate "Cragston" here.


The history of Ladycliff College can be traced back to the famous Cozzens' Hotel (later known as the Cranston Hotel) that, in the latter part of the 19th century, represented all that was wealthy, chic and opulent. Later other resort hotels at Newport, Atlantic City, the Catskills and Saratoga Springs successfully competed for the elite customers.

The Franciscan Sisters, who had outgrown their school in Peekskill, New York, purchased the Cranston Hotel on January 2, 1900. The location was immediately named Ladycliff because of the precipitous cliff on the Hudson River side of the property and "Lady" in recognition of their Peekskill school, "The Academy of Our Lady of Angels."

Declining funds halted the operation of the school in May 1980. The U.S. Military Academy first leased the college in 1982 and then purchased it in 1984. Rosary Hall is now the home of the West Point Museum (moved from Thayer Hall) and is now called Olmsted Hall (George Hamden Olmsted, Class of 1922 donated funds for a new museum). The West Point Museum has the largest military collection in the Western Hemisphere.


On West Point grounds, at the edge of Thayer Gate (Highland Falls entrance) is the Thayer Hotel. It was originally owned and operated by the U.S. government starting in 1926. The hotel was renovated in 1978 and became independently operated. The hotel was named in honor of Superintendent Sylvanus Thayer, who established many of the methods and ideas of the U. S. Military Academy. The hotel has been host to many VIPs. One group was the 52 Iran hostages that were special guests of the hotel in 1981.

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Suggested Reading

Adams, Arthur G. 1981. Hudson: A Guidebook to the river. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Ambulando, Solvitur. 1945. In the Hudson Highlands. NY: Publication Committee, Appalachian Mountain Club.

Boyle, Robert H. 1969. Hudson River: A natural and unnatural history. NY: Norton.

Crackel, Theodore J. 2002. West Point: A Bicentennial history. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.

Forman, Sidney.
1982. Sloops and boatmen of the Hudson Highlands. Cornwall, NY: News of the Highlands, Inc.

1983. Hudson Highlands social history: The Writings of Edward Payson Roe, 1838-1888, soldier, pastor, horticulturist, author. Fort Montgomery, NY: Author.

Howat, John K. 1978. Hudson River and its painters. NY: Penguin Books.

Mulligan, Tim. 1985. Hudson River Valley: A History and guide. NY: Random House.

Palmer, Dave R. 1969. River and the rock: The History of fortress West Point, 1775-1783. NY: Greenwood Publishing Corp.

Ransom, James Maxwell. 1966. Vanishing ironworks of the Ramapos: The Story of the forges, furnaces, and mines of the New Jersey-New York border area. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Schuberth, Christopher. 1968. Geology of New York City and environs. Garden City, NY: National History Press.

Van Zandt, Rolland. 1971. Chronicles of the Hudson. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Zukowsky, John and Robbe Pierce Stimson. 1985. Hudson River villas. NY: Rizzoll International Publications, Inc.

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