Croton-on-Hudson: Dam & Ice Cream!

With northwest winds predicted for the night, we chose to anchor in Croton-on-Hudson’s south anchorage for protection. We could still see the Tappan Zee Bridge behind us and a large complex just south of the anchorage on the east side of the Hudson — the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in the village of Ossining, NY. The original name  “Sing Sing” was derived from the name of a Native American tribe, “Sinck Sinck”. Attempts in 1970 to change the name to the “Ossining Correctional Facility” were unsuccessful so the name reverted back to “Sing Sing” in 1985.

Looks like a nice place with a great view of the river. Does crime pay?                                              Have you ever heard the phrase ““They sent him up the river”?  This phrase originated with the Sing-Sing Prison, back in the 1890s and then was broadened to apply to any prison. Do the younger generations know these old phrases?

I googled famous prisoners of Sing Sing, but I only recognized three names – David Berkowitz, the serial killer “Son of Sam” and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the married couple tried, convicted and sentenced to death for espionage in 1953.

On to more pleasant topics!

We were definitely out and away from the city and now in the Hudson River Valley.

The next morning we leisurely moved the 2.6 nautical miles north, around the Croton Point Park to the north anchorage for better access to town. We needed to stretch our legs!

Annette and I have both been reading Lawrence Zeitlin’s Hudson River Guide (2015) for information. Although he said you could dinghy to the town dock, we could not find that location. A guy from the Half Moon Marina assured us there was no places for a dinghy, but for $15 we could go there. Yeah, right.  Resourceful boaters that we are, we found a dinghy dock at the Croton Yacht Club with a welcoming attitude. I am including this information in case anyone reading tries to find a place for their dinghy here.

Not fancy, but safe and friendly!

From the yacht club, we had to cross the train tracks by walking up and over on a passenger bridge.

Lunch at The Tavern, definitely a local place.

There are a few things to do in and around Croton-on Hudson. With just the afternoon for exploring, we decided to visit the Croton Dam, about 4 miles away (thank you, Uber.)

We started above the dam. Impressive views!

Croton Dam is part of the water supply for New York City (up to 19 billion gallons of water, which is only a small fraction of the NYC water system’s total storage capacity of 580 billion gallons. WOW.

The most curiously interesting fact we learned is that the dam is the 3rd largest cut stone structure in the world (#1 Great Wall of China and #2 Great Pyramid of Piza). Italian, Irish, and Eastern European stone cutters were hired to build the dam in the late 1800s. Many of them were sculptors and artists on the side which led to Croton’s reputation as an art center.

The NEW Croton Dam (Built 1892-1906)
Depth of foundation below river bed = 124 ft
Height = 297 ft above foundation
Length of dam = 1168 ft, Length of spillway = 1000 ft       For a total of 2168 ft
Thickness of base =  206 ft Thickness at top = 18 feet

Finding a path to the park below proved to be a challenge, but we did find a park access road.  We became the  guides for a younger couple who obligingly took a photo of the older folks!

Croton Gorge Park is lovely, wooded and green accompanied by loud tumbling water from the  dam.

Looking down at the gorge and park area.

After walking around the park and dam, it was time for afternoon ice cream so we ubered back to town to find “The Blue Pig.” A little shop with homemade ice cream using “local dairy, fresh produce, and environmentally-friendly practices.”  The owner states it clearly and succinctly, “Your ice cream can only be as good as your milk.”

The Blue Pig. I should have asked why the name is “The Blue Pig.” Pigs don’t provide the milk, but I could become piggish if I lived near here!

Ice cream lovers!

We all agreed that the Croton Dam and The Blue Pig made Croton-on-the Hudson worth visiting.

Magnolia and Kindred Spirit anchored off the Croton Point Park.

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