Given their proximity, some have surmised that Oakdale Lake and Underhill Pond were once a single waterbody. The 1888 atlas map shows the original shape of Underhill Pond, when Sixth Street ended at Washington Street and the Boulevards didn't exist.
In her History of the City of Hudson, Anna Bradbury explains the origin of the name Underhill Pond: "A fulling mill and flannel factory was built by Josiah Underhill, on the hill below Underhill's pond, which thus obtained its name." Earlier this week, local historian Joe D'Onofrio told Gossips that at sometime between the early 19th century, when it got the name Underhill Pond, and today, the waterbody was known as Lake George and the area around it was called Power's Woods, because the entire area was owned by George H. Power, who in his time was one of the richest men in Hudson. Born in Hudson in 1817, Power owned the New York and Hudson Steamboat Company, the Hudson and Athens ferry, and the Hudson and Catskill ferry. For sixteen years, from 1865 to 1881, Power lived at 400 State Street, which he had fitted up to be his private residence.
Although the name Lake George seems to have been short-lived (perhaps because there is larger, more famous lake in New York by the same name), the name Power's Woods hung on into the 20th century. In 1911, when F. M. Haviland was promoting his plan for creating a city park, the location of his proposed park was identified as "Powers Woods."
What's interesting about the above map, which appeared in the Hudson Evening Register for August 31, 1911, is that the area proposed for the park contains no waterbody, and the east shore of Underhill Pond retains the shape that it had in 1888. Sixth Street, which now continues north and flows into Glenwood Boulevard, passes over only a small stream that feeds into one of the arms of the pond. It appears that the map supports the idea that Oakdale Lake is an artificial lake.
Recently, Jack Connor, who lives near Oakdale Lake, shared information that provides insight into its origins. "If you kayak on the lake when it is clear (which doesn't happen very often)," Connor told Gossips, "you can see the stumps that were left when trees were cut down and the lake was created."
The search for a newspaper account of Oakdale Lake's creation continues.
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