Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another Hope Dashed

Yesterday, an article in the Register-Star raised the hope that two of the Furgary shacks were in Greenport and hence might be spared demolition. This afternoon, DPW Superintendent Rob Perry informed Gossips that the two northernmost shacks are definitely not in Greenport. As Perry explained, "The shacks in question are not only within the 14.49 acres [conveyed to the City of Hudson] but at least an estimated 2,000 feet from the Town of Greenport border." Perry provided this map of the land granted to the City of Hudson by the State of New York as evidence.


  1. The distance of the actual municipal boundary from Furgary tells another story.

    Greenport officials knew where the boundary was all along, just as anyone with any familiarity with the area does.

    It is obvious to me and to others that Greenport has just expressed its own concern about our shared heritage at Furgary.

    They knew the boundary was far away from Furgary, but thought it an important enough opportunity and issue to go ahead and announce their position:

    “'The feeling by the board is to leave them,' [John] Porreca said over the phone Saturday. 'We feel they have historical significance.'

    "[Porreca] said he had spoken with all sitting Town Board members following his discussion with Hallenbeck and all members were pretty much in agreement that the two shacks ought to be saved."

    Let's take heed of Greenport's subtle message and not fool ourselves that they don't know where their own boundaries lie.

    I think they know the lay of the land exactly.

  2. Going by Rob Perry's map, lands which lie off Greenport's shore are owned by "the City of Hudson Industrial Development Agency" (far upper right), underwater lands which are also referred to as "City Property" ... in Greenport!

    Also note that the diagonal, dashed line through the larger parcel represents the never completed Mill Street extension.

    The Proprietor's had planned a linear extension of Mill Street to the northwest once they'd "reclaimed" North Bay.

    The 1839 map shows how the Proprietors divided between them the underwater lots southwest of the dashed line. We even have the names of which Proprietors claimed which lot.

    Furgary lies southwest of that dashed line - southwest of the Mill Street extension - and well within the Proprietor's lot lines, whatever they meant by them.

    (The Proprietors did the exact same thing in South Bay and all around the same time, but the South Bay lots evolved into deeded properties.)

    The 1839 map also gives the best idea about where the original shoreline lay, and thus the Proprietor's 180' of underwater lands.

    The final document of the Supreme Court Appeals Division describes that the city made its argument using the same 1839 map, except that counsel for the petitioners offered no counter-argument at all! The city could have said just about anything and won on "the merits."

    This is why people are somewhat justified when they say that the city won on a technicality (which is true enough by the fact that their lawyers filed late). It's a way of burying the frustration that the North Dock Tin Boat Association was poorly represented, seeing as though the very map which previous generations used to justify Furgary's existence was now used against them without any protest on their behalf.

    The city did not win a moral victory here, despite how it's being spun in the Bully Pulpit. We should question that kind of rhetoric at every turn. Indeed, it appears that more and more people are able to see through what amounts to a phony, condescending narrative.