Saturday, October 20, 2012

Take the Gossips Challenge

Tom D'Onofrio shared this photograph of the Hudson waterfront which he acquired recently. It shows the city from the deck of the Hudson-Athens ferry. All we can be sure of is that the picture was taken before the early 1950s, when the ferry stopped running. The challenge is to identify the buildings that appear in the picture, most of which are now missing. 

I wish I could say there were prizes for identifying buildings, but there aren't--nothing beyond acknowledgment, praise, and gratitude from The Gossips of Rivertown. Click on the image to enlarge it for closer scrutiny.

Correction: According to a history of Athens published for the Athens Street Festival, the Hudson-Athens ferry had its final run in 1947 not in the early 1950s as indicated above. 


  1. Carole - I have a pen and ink map of the waterfront - framed - come see it when you can - should provide missing links

  2. Map of Lands of the Hudson Iron Company and vecinity 1870 to 1881

  3. I uploaded three detailed images from the Sanborn maps that should help in deciphering the use of those buildings around the time of this image, as well in the years prior. Each image is prefixed with the year.

    Take a look:

    The immediate building nearest the shore, adjacent the slip, is the Ferry terminal. It appears at various times there were coal sheds on the shore, which I would hazard that low-slung building in the foreground is. The three most prominent buildings behind this, numbered from the slip bearing North:

    1-1903: Tin Shop Hardware & Paints
    2-1903: Downing & Bogardus Hay, Flour, & Grain Elevator
    3-1903: City Pumping Station

    1-1949: Stge (?, short for slaughterhouse)
    2-1949: Hay, Flour, Grain Elevator
    3-1949: Parking Garage

    1-1961: Slaughterhouse
    2-1961: Hay, Flour, Grain Elevator
    3-1961: Parking Garage

  4. The long building in front, on the right, is the DayLine Dock. The buildings in the backgroud are warehouses. One of which could be the Reisendorf soda bottling company.

  5. Longtime resident Jeanne Porpa told me that her father had a slaughterhouse on the waterfront. One of these could have been his.

    She also told me about the time a cow escaped from the slaughterhouse and swam to Middle Ground Flats and had to be lassooed and brought back.


  6. According to Tom Ponkos, the slaughterhouse was to the right (upriver side) after crossing the Ferry Street Bridge towards the river.

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  8. I should add that DM's information above from the 1903, 1949 and 1961 Sanborn maps agrees with the 1923 Sanborn map.

    Notice that the ferry was veering south in the photo. When "the cut" through the Middle Ground Flats needed dredging, the ferry had to circumnavigate the lighthouse. (This could help fix a date to the photo.)

    This week I hope to take a photo of the same view from an approximate spot on the river.

  9. I was informed that the tallest buiding in the photo was a warehouse for Dobler? Brewers & after became a slaughterhouse/warehouse for Leigshultz who had a grocery/butcher shop at the corner of 1st & Warren, address 100/102? Warren St.
    The building in the center was a warehouse for a biscuit co.
    The houses on the hill just before the stone walls of Promenade Hill are private residences that were on Penoyer St. that its entrance on South Front, across the street from the end of Union St.