The Keeper's House

Open Saturdays and Sundays 1pm-4pm

The Keeper’s House has received a Greater Hudson Heritage Network Award for Excellence for its interactive permanent exhibit about the history of the Croton System and the NYC water supply.

HISTORY

During the active days of the Aqueduct, overseers in charge of patrolling and maintaining specific sections of this infrastructure vital to New York City were provided with houses on or near the section of the tunnel for which they were responsible. The only one of these houses that survives in its original location is the classic, brick Italianate-designed structure on the trail at Walnut Street in Dobbs Ferry. The Keeper's House was built in 1857, and was the home of James Bremner, the principal superintendent of the Aqueduct, north of New York City. The house is a contributing feature of the aqueduct trail, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

RESTORATION

Last inhabited in 1962, the Keeper’s House was kept on life support through FOCA’s volunteer efforts and emergency repairs by NYS Parks. Its rehabilitation, which began in 2001, was a collaboration that included the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation and Stephen Tilly, Architect.  The shared goal was to apply preservationists’ resourcefulness to return grace and usefulness to a neglected shell. Working diligently to address the project’s unique challenges and striving to meet the highest preservation standards, the team completed the restoration in 2016. Surviving portions of original trim and moldings were refurbished to tell the restoration story.  No attempt was made to replicate many missing architectural elements, to reveal the impact of years of use (and neglect) while still displaying the vintage details that affirm the Croton Aqueduct Department’s regard for the superintendent and pride in their history-making enterprise. The successful restoration project was honored at the 2016 New York State Preservation Awards and was the recipient of a 2016 Greater Hudson Heritage Network Award for Excellence.

Keeper's House

THE VISITOR'S CENTER

Manned by docents on weekends, the Keeper’s House Visitor and Education Center presents exhibits on the development of the Aqueduct, the people who built it, and artifacts central to its construction. In addition to immersing themselves in the extraordinary story of the Old Croton Aqueduct, visitors can pick up trail maps and enjoy access to amenities such as a drinking fountain, public restroom and wi-fi.

Current or upcoming events at this location

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 10:00am
Presenter: 
Old Croton Aqueduct State Park Education Program

Part of the Sites of Interest Along the Old Croton Aqueduct series

The Old Croton Aqueduct was a complex water distribution system created for New York City between 1837 and 1842. This mostly underground brick conduit was constructed with an estimated 6 million bricks, made from Hudson River Valley clay. This lecture will explore the history of brickmaking throughout the region with focus on the Haverstraw brick yards. How did bricks make the Aqueduct possible and what was the significance of this industry in the development of New York City?

Presenter: Rachel Whitlow, Director of the Haverstraw Brick Museum.

Location of program: Keeper’s House on the Old Croton Aqueduct, 15 Walnut St, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522.

If weather permits, we will go for a walk along the Aqueduct after the presentation. Participants will be asked to voluntarily wear a mask when indoors. Free KN95 masks will be provided to those who would like one.

Contact: laura.compagni@parks.ny.gov. Register in advance. Space is limited.

Related Newsletter Articles and Blog Entries

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

We are pleased to announce that The Keeper's House in Dobbs Ferry will reopen to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm-4pm starting June 12th.

Come visit and check out our permanent interactive exhibition about the history of the tunnel and the trail.

Masks will be required and there will be limits on occupancy for each room.

Author: 
Mavis Cain

Visitors to the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry often provide stories as intriguing as the house itself. Here’s a few; providing a big reward for those of us who work as docents there.

Echoes of Downton Abbey