Governor Hochul announced that Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct has been awarded ($26,427) to improve the exterior of the Keeper's House Visitor Center and the usability and attractiveness of the building's ADA compliant entrance as well as to install an arch and mechanical device from the Croton Dam to help visitors better understand the functioning of the Aqueduct.
At the Keeper's House last Saturday, April 23, it was a gathering of pre-teen Brownies and the only centenarian they are likely to meet in their lives! Ellie Carran celebrated her 100th birthday to a Brownie led chorus of the Happy Birthday song. The Brownies, fresh off International Water Day, were eager to delve into the Keeper's House exhibits. Several future engineers tackled the blocks to create their own arches. They repeated the gravity ball exhibit until it was snack time.
This custom modified vehicle was used to traverse lengths of the recently concrete lined Delaware Aqueduct in 1949. It served much the same inspection purpose as the original "Croton Maid", a custom made flat bottom boat used to inspect the interior of the Old Croton Aqueduct in 1842 before it was put into service. The Delaware Aqueduct is the newest NYC aqueduct, delivering water to NYC from the western Catskill Mountains. The last reservoir in the Delaware system was completed in the early 1960's.
The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct produced a print newsletter from 1998 to 2017. In the interests of preserving this resource and making it available to others, all issues are now posted on the Friends’ website, together with a Contents for each and a link to download the full PDF of individual issues.
Our friends NYC H2O have partnered with the Watershed Agricultural Council in upstate NY to create a new series of StoryMaps: Agriculture and Water Quality. The Watershed Agricultural Council works with farmers to develop strategies that prevent agricultural runoff from flowing into our reservoirs. This partnership protects our city's water supply while also providing incentives and support to farmers.
Friend of the Old Croton Aqueduct and active walker Mark Garrahan received this book as a present for Christmas last year and brought it to our attention.
Published in 1923 by the American Geographic Society (not to be confused with the National Geographic Society which published the famed yellow-bordered magazine), it contains beautiful sketches and fascinating maps.
We were able to scan pages of interest to the Friends.
The New York Public Library's exhibition of treasures includes several items relating to The Old Croton Aqueduct, including a set of brass keys that once unlocked the Old Croton Reservoir (which once stood on the spot that is now The New York Public Library.)
One effect of the happily welcomed reopening of High Bridge Tower in 2021 was to turn attention to the Old Croton Aqueduct’s High-Service Works, of which the Tower was a part. In fact, some accounts refer to this elegant, octagonal granite structure on the northeast Manhattan skyline as the High-Service Tower.
A lesser known fact of the career of Croton Aqueduct Chief Engineer John B. Jervis [shown above], is that he was the very first to run a steam locomotive on a length of railroad track in this country. He did so as a demonstration of the motive power of a self propelled locomotive in August of 1829 as an adjunct to the Delaware and Hudson Canal in Pennsylvania, which he also built as a private enterprise to deliver coal to Philadelphia and New York City along a 100 mile plus route, connecting with the Hudson River in Kingston, NY.