Mavis Cain's blog

Author: 
Mavis Cain

Summer hours for the High Bridge begin this Sunday, May 14th! The bridge will be open for public access 7:00am - 8:00pm through the rest of the summer.  It is particularly beautiful at sunset, so come and visit!

Author: 
Mavis Cain

“ I haven’t had so much fun in years”

That's what one of our new docents said after serving as guide/docent on our weekend Open Days at the Keepers House. He admitted he signed up out of duty since he loves the trail, then discovered what fun it is meeting people from all over the world... Yes, all over the world!

We have had a group from Croatia, five visitors from Germany, and two Quebeqois, among others. Even one Icelander.

Many many come from Brooklyn – even more than Manhattan. It’s as if there is an Aqueduct spirit there. Some take Metro North to stations like Greystone and of course Dobbs Ferry, two stations that are near the trail. Some hardy walkers have done it all on foot.

I have asked visitors from abroad how they find out about us. Some say, “ We Google interesting walks near NYC... and up pops the Aqueduct.”

Author: 
Mavis Cain

The Friends were delighted to host the Annual Awards Event of the Association of Social Studies Teachers of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties.

It took place on May 25th at 4 p.m at the Keeper’s House. It’s good news for us that teachers realize the importance of history especially local history which sometimes can be undervalued with so much emphases on math and science. Mavis gave a short talk on the history of the Aqueduct encouraging the teachers to bring their students next time. Susan Chester, president of the Association gave a lively account of the accomplishments of each awardee.

Very impressive.
Mavis Cain

Author: 
Mavis Cain

The Friends were thrilled to be asked to give a presentation on February 28 at Wave Hill, the amazing 28 acre estate in the Riverdale section of the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River. Since Wave Hill is within NYC city limits, the neighborhood is not one where we have many members. Although many of us know Wave Hill well as individuals, it is new territory for our outreach. We were not entirely confident of a good audience.

But what a turnout we had! 115 people attended!

The main hall, looking out over the river, filled up fast 20 minutes before the scheduled presentation. Our good friends at Wave Hill hustled to set up more chairs to accommodate about 80 visitors. Mavis Cain and Tom Tarnowsky worked as a team – with Mavis giving the human interest side of creating this 19th Century engineering miracle, and Tom showing his surprising and even somewhat obscure, collection of photos, and engravings, while giving facts that few people know.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

Painters love the Aqueduct Trail because it's so beautiful, in any season.

On May 28, Mavis Cain led a group of walkers on the trail in Yonkers, making a detour into Untermyer Park to see the artistic gardens, so colorful, as well as the amazing sculptures brought here by Untermyer, who also commissioned sculpture to be done here.

On the way back along the trail, to our delight we saw another kind of art being created. Susan Johnson, who has organized a group of painters who like to work outdoors, was there under a big parasol doing a charming watercolor. Thank you, Susan, for making the walking experience even more intriguing.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

The drawing took place on November 20 on the porch of the Keeper's House. AND THE WINNERS ARE...
lst prize: Eugenie Anderson of Washington DC wins the Transeo bike.
2nd prize: Soo Chin of Dobbs Ferry wins Dinner for Two at Orissa restaurant in Dobbs Ferry.
3rd Prize: Jo Brimmer of Dobbs Ferry wins a basket of Aqueduct gifts.
The Friends want to thank everyone who participated to help our big project. Thanks, too, to Jason at Endless Trail for working with us.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

This has been a big season for field trips. PS 116 of Manhattan sent 4th and 5th graders with their enthusiastic leader, Michelle Yonkell. These kids know a lot about the water system of New York - enough to keep us on our toes with accurate facts. After seeing the movie and listening to Mavis' stories about John Jervis, the kids had to test the echo in the tunnel and hunt for bats. They went back to the city wearing their Aqueduct bracelets and armed with a fact sheet.

Columbia Middle School's math and science class came with their teacher Andrew Stillman. These 7th graders went first to the dam where Carl Grimm gave them the history of the Dam and its construction and then, we must admit, encouraged them to wade in the gorge. A few spills on wet stones were the best part of the day,we suspect, but they listened attentively to Mavis Cain giving them a dose of Aqueduct History.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

The Dobbs Ferry Democrats with members of the Greenburgh Hebrew Center did an amazing clean-up of the the Aqueduct trail back of the High School and up to Cedar Street. This group turned out on Sunday May 2nd and even pulled heavy trash out of the wooded section to the west. Bravo!

Not to be outdone, members of Temple Beth Shalom tackled the section of the trail on both sides of the Five Corners in Hastings. If members in every section of the trail did this we'd have a litter-free trail. Well done Aqueduct elves.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

The Annual Meeting pulled in a big crowd, despite rainy weather. Mavis Cain, president, gave an update of recent activities. She was followed by Tom Tarnowsky who presented the slate of board members who were duly approved by the audience. Bob Kornfeld presented the schedule of the Keeper's House project. Construction bids go out as soon as the mechanical specs are approved by the State Department of Transport. Drawings were available for all to study.


The highlight of the day was Captain Scott Craven's talk: "How the Aqueduct changed the course of the Croton River - and History." An appreciative audience asked probing questions and gave Scott a round of enthusiastic applause. We are so fortunate to have had such a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

Take advantage of the snow and try skiing on the trail. It's amazingly good in certain sections. I went out 3 times last week on the sections from Dobbs Ferry down to Yonkers.If you are the first one out you have to make a track away from the walkers' path - which is a bit slow going but on your return it's good. One has to clump across the streets and occasionally take the skis off - at 5 corners in Hastings for instance.

Another good section is from Mercy College north to Lyndhurst and maybe the best is from Sleepy Hollow High School north, paralleling Rockefeller Estate and then going into the estate.

If you don't have skis, Jaggers, in Bedford is a good place to get them.

Let's hope the snow lasts for a few more good weekends.
Mavis Cain.

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