20th Century

The Quarries in Sylvan Glen Park Preserve

State: 
NY
Date: 
08/25/2012
Region: 
Westchester County
Description: 

Postcard of quarry

Timeline

1895 "Golden Granite" discovered

1925-1941 Grenci & Ellis operated the quarry

1950s buildings still standing

1950s Mogul Park ran a day camp for residents

1952 gasline went through - expanded in 1956

1981 Town of Yorktown purchased as parkland - trails established by the Yorktown Land Trust

1989 Town acquired Goldschmidt property but not declared parkland until 2009

2010 Trails in new section of park built by Yorktown Community Trails Program of NYNJTC

2015 The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC contacted the Parks Department to see if they could purchase more stone to finish the Cathedral. The answer was no because it is parkland and thus protected.

Reference Materials

Other historic features in the park

  • Lime Kiln and shell middens (on gasline west of Turtle Pond Trail (white) crossing)
  • Quarry Oak (approximately 400-500 year old white oak - 220 inch circumference, 104 feet height, 102 feet spread) Big Tree rating 349.5.
  • Riding ring which is the Ring Trail

Doodletown

State: 
NY
Picture: 
Steps to the long-gone home of the Bambino family in Doodletown.
Description: 

History 

Doodletown, once a small hamlet tucked in a valley between the Hudson River and the summits of five mountains of the Hudson Highlands [Bald, Bear, Dunderberg, The Timp, and West mountains], less than fifty miles from New York City, today has the atmosphere of a ghost town.Cemetery at Doodletown  But scattered remains of two main - now crumbling - roads, walkways leading to front yards returning to their natural state, stone foundations without buildings and interpretive signage about the people and landscape make it a popular destination for hikers.  . 

Doodletown survived as a small, isolated community for about 200 years and would have been part of the Town of Stony Point in Rockland County today.  The area was settled in the 1760s by loggers and miners, and at one time included a church, a school, several small businesses and two cemeteries in addition to 70 houses and 300 residents [at its peak in 1945].  The seven square mile hamlet was ultimately abandoned in the mid-1960s after a long period of land acquisition by the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission.  The Commission had planned to create a cross-country ski network in Doodletown but was never able to start the project. However, at least one community practice dating back to the colonial period survives; burial plots in the cemeteries are still available for former residents and their relatives.  It is an "active" ghost town.

Worth finding and reading: "Doodletown: Hiking Through History in a Vanished Hamlet on the Hudson," by Elizabeth "Perk" Stalter, a former resident of the village. The book is still available inexpensively at the bookstore along the Parkway going to Bear Mountain.  Expensive used copies appear sporadically for sale by popular on-line booksellers. 

Doodletown--the name is said to derive from the Dutch Dood Tal, for "dead valley," with the "town" suffix added later by English-speaking settlers-is part of Bear Mountain-Harriman State Park.  For further information about other hiking and recreational activities in this extensive and varied park click here

Hiking Doodletown walking map

Detailed descriptions of several hikes through Doodletown are available at these links:

Click for a list of detailed hike descriptions in Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks. It is also possible to search for "Doodletown" while visiting any of these Trail Conference pages.

  •  Other access points also possible - see Harriman-Bear Mountain set of trail maps.

 

Contact Information:

Palisades Interstate Park Commission

845-786-2701

 

Directions: 

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle. Continue south on Route 9W for 1.3 miles to a small hikers' trailhead parking area on the left side of the road, just past a concrete bridge over a stream. From the parking area, walk back across the bridge. On the left (west) side of the road, just before a sign for "Ice Skating," turn left at a sign for "Doodletown" and proceed uphill on an old road with crumbling pavement.

Historic: