Author: 
Mavis Cain

On Sunday, October 11, on a cloudless day, Tom led a group of more than 20 hardy walkers through the parts of the sity that are atop the Aqueduct. They started at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, made a short tour inside the 135th St Gatehouse and then on to the CCNY campus. In Hamilton Heights they saw the Alexander Hamilton House now moved to a park like setting.

Tom's famous notebook was shared so that all could get a better grasp of the history.

At Highbridge Park, everyone noticed that maintenance has improved. Undergrowth and trash have been removed and a park employee was busily planting flowers and shrubs by the renovated steep staircase up to the tower plaza. A clearing of trees allowed a photo op of the Highbridge from the trail. The walkers all went home with a better grasp of the Aqueduct's history and with a map of the Aqueduct in NYC in hand.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

In "Under New York," aired last month, we see the inside of the Aqueduct raw - totally natural with bats flying about and the grunge that accumulates with time. The explorers had to do confined space training and there they are, splashing through the dark and foreboding tunnel with hard hats and head lamps. One of the best parts is when they come upon a "dead air" section and they are running for air, one after the other, then scrambling up the ladder to safety. This section of the Aqueduct is not the refined and well-lit section that we have in Ossining. It's "au naturel." -- Mavis Cain

Author: 
Mavis Cain


Part of the pleasure of walking the Aqueduct is finding the off-shoots and exploring them. On September 13, five brave women with Mavis and Joe Kozlowski tackled the overgrown carriage road from the Aqueduct to Untermyer Park starting at the Lion and the headless unicorn.

"They've got to replace the head!" someone shouted. Indeed, a headless unicorn could be an ordinary horse. Up through the tangle of shrubs we went - over and under fallen trees and then on to a place so boggy the women decided Joe would have to lie down and become a bridge for us to walk over. He gallantly agreed but we let him off.

Untermyer Park is another world. We discussed its history and explored the garden with the griffins, the mosaic tiled pool, and the greek columns - the stage where Isadora Duncan had danced.

Off the Beaten Aqueduct can be a different kind of a walk worth the effort.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

Happy Water or Acqua Felice....That’s what Pope Sixtus V called the Aqueduct that he commanded to be opened in 1585. Now why didn’t John Jervis think of a pretty name like that? Acqua Felice was an aqueduct that brought water to the area north of Rome, It was Pope Sixtus’ big achievement. I learned this at an exhibition in Ottawa Canada on the artistic achievements of the popes of the 16th C . I learned a lot about the various popes’ less pure activities, too. Mavis Cain.

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

by Cornelia Cotton

Ed Rondthaler, typographer, inventor, historian, author, civic activist, advocate of phonetic spelling, and raconteur, died at age 104 on August 19.

A member of Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct since its beginning, he twice gave illustrated talks - in 1999 and 2000 - at our annual meetings. With inimitable charm he shared his love and knowledge of the Croton River, which he and his wife Dot explored on foot and by canoe from the sources of its three tributaries to its estuary.

The Rondthalers lived in Croton in a log cabin-style house on the river since 1941. A more complete tribute to Ed will appear in the Friends' next newsletter.

Obituary from Journal-News.