The Hudson River and the Hudson River Railroad—1851

We welcome stories on the Hudson River and the Hudson River Railroad (later New York Central Railroad).

So we ran into a fantastic article on the Catskill Archive

The Hudson Riverand theHudson River Railroad—1851Published by Bradbury and Guild

The Hudson rises in a marshy tract in Essex county, east of Long Lake. Its head waters are nearly four thousand feet above the level of the sea. After receiving the waters of the Scroon on the north, and the Sacondaga, which flows from Hamilton county, on the west, it turns eastward until it reaches the meridian of Lake Champlain, where it suddenly sweeps round to the southward, and continues in a direct course to New York. One mile above Troy it receives the Mohawk River on the west, the latter being the largest stream of the two at their junction.

The entire length of the Hudson is three hundred and twenty-five miles. The picturesque beauty of its banks,—forming gentle grassy slopes, or covered with forests to the water’s edge, or crowned by neat and thriving towns, now overshadowing the water with tall cliffs, and now rising in mural precipices,—and the legendary and historical interests associated with numerous spots, combine to render the Hudson the classic stream of the United States.

The picture at the top is the Albany Night Boat.

Troy was a railroad center and had a Union Railroad that tied them all together.

Hudson River is named after Henry Hudson, by whom it was discovered in 1609.

THE ENTIRE LENGTH of the Hudson River Railroad, from Chamber street to Albany, is one hundred and forty-three miles and a quarter.

The principal object of interest at Sing Sing is the State Prison. It is situated upon the bank of the Hudson River, ten feet above high water mark. The railroad runs directly through the prison yard. The prison grounds comprise one hundred and thirty acres, and may be approached by vessels drawing twelve feet of water. The keeper’s house, workshop, &c., are built of rough “Sing Sing marble,” quarried from lands owned by the state in the vicinity. The main building is four hundred and eighty-four feet in length, running parallel with the river, and forty-four feet in width. It is five stories high, with two hundred cells upon each floor; in all, one thousand cells.

West Point, fifty-one miles from New York, is unquestionably the most romantic place upon the Hudson River. The approach to it is highly interesting. The village is placed upon the top of a promontory one hundred and eighty-eight feet above the river, where there is spread out a level plateau or terrace, more than a mile in circumference. The declivity is very steep on all sides, and the surrounding craggy hills seem to be nothing but masses of rocks, fantastically heaped by nature, crowding the stream below into a channel less than half a mile in width.

West Point is chiefly noted as the seat of the Military Academy, established here in 1802. The land—about two hundred and fifty acres—was ceded to the United States by New York in 1826. The buildings are two stone barracks occupied by two hundred and fifty cadets, the limited number; a large stone building, for military exercises in the winter, and as a depository for models of fortifications, &c.; a two-story stone building, with three towers, for astronomical purposes; a chapel, hospital, mess-rooms, &c., &c., and a number of other dwelling-houses for the officers of the institution.

Albany city, the capital of New York, is directly opposite Greenbush, with which there is constant communication by means of a ferry. The city is built upon a flat alluvial tract of land, along the margin of the river, from 15 to 100 rods wide, back of which it rises abruptly, attaining, within the space of half a mile, an elevation of 153 feet, and in one mile 220 feet above the river. Beyond this the surface is level. The older portions of the city are laid out very irregularly, and some of them are very narrow. The streets recently built are more spacious and regular. State street is from 150 to 170 feet wide, and has a steep ascent to the top of the hill. Many of the private, and more especially the public, buildings of Albany have fine situations, and overlook an extensive and a beautiful prospect.

The Capitol, which stands at the head of State street, on the hill, is a large stone edifice, 115 feet long, and 90 feet broad, fronting east, on a fine square. It contains spacious and richly furnished apartments for the accommodation of the Senate and Assembly, and various rooms for other public purposes. From the observatory at the top, which is accessible to visitors, a fine view of the city and surrounding country is obtained. The City Hall is on the east side of the same square, facing west, and is constructed with marble, with a gilded dome. The Albany Academy, built of freestone, adjoining the square, has a park in front of it; and both squares are surrounded by an iron fence, and constitute a large and beautiful public ground, laid out with walks, and ornamented with trees. The Exchange, at the foot of State street, is a commodious building of granite, constructed a few years since. The Post-office is in this building. It has also an extensive reading-room, supplied with papers and periodicals, both American and foreign, to which strangers are admitted without charge.

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