Sunday, August 5, 2018

Catskill Mountain Narrow Gauge Railroads

Did you know there were narrow gauge railroads in the Catskills that operated for nearly forty years transporting vacationers up to the mountains. Its fascinating story and even includes an inclined railway the Otis Elevating Railway.

This Otis Elevating Railway was a  cable funicular line that opened in 1892 and rose 1,630 ft up the mountain. in just 7,000 ft!

Further info will be forthcoming once a trek to the site is scheduled!

Railroad Maps of the Area


The Otis Elevating Railway

This was even featured in a Scientific American article on, Oct. 5, 1895!

Historical Railroad Map 

Folks travelled by Steamer to  either Kingston or Catskill and boarded a narrow gauge train to bring them to the mountain resorts,

Elegant Hotels

At the top of the incline railway, there were a few very elegant hotels...

Catskill Mountain House
Hotel Katerskill


Further Info

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pequonnock Valley History

I have had a fascination for this park ever since I started mountain biking there ages ago with my son. Old abandoned mills, a rail trail full of history and magnificent scenery make every visit an enticing adventure.

Researching history thru old maps always brings little rewards of discovery. A remnant of an old path semi-obscured in the woods... the mystery behind an old foundation... discovering and learning their origins keeps me coming back for more :-)

Pathways to the former pond

Remnants of an old road leading down to the railroad bed

Old Mine Park

Photo of Tungsten Mine (it ceased ceasing operations after a suspicious fire in 1916)



Saturday, March 3, 2018

Great Flats Aquifer

The Schenectady Aquifer (a.k.a. the Great Flats Aquifer) is one of the most productive aquifers in New York State. It is also and he most heavily pumped aquifer in upstate New York.

Schenectady first tapped the aquifer as a water source in 1897. Today, Scotia, Glenville, Rotterdam and Niskayuna also draw their main water supplies from the aquifer, a total of 24 million gallons per day. The Department of Health estimates as much as 65 million gallons could be safely withdrawn.

The Great Flats Aquifer is a large deposit of water-saturated sand and gravel that was deposited as glaciers receded around 10,000 years ago. A large lake some researchers have compared to Lake Ontario drained into those sands.

  New Your State Aquifiers