Friday, January 5, 2018

A Hundred Years Ago: Cold, Frozen, and Dark

We know that a hundred years ago, Hudson was experiencing record cold temperatures--colder even than the frigid temperatures we are enduring today. In past days, Gossips reported that, a century ago, the practice of keeping faucets dripping to prevent frozen pipes was causing a dangerous water shortage. We learned that ringing in the new year in Hudson was uncharacteristically quiet in 1918 because steam was needed to keep manufacturing plants going and there was none to spare to sound whistles. Today, we report on another utility that was challenged in 1918 by the extreme cold: the supply of electricity.


In 1918, Hudson's power came from a hydroelectric plant that harnessed the waterfall on Kinderhook Creek at Stuyvesant Falls. The plant was built in 1901 by the Albany & Hudson Railroad and Power Company, which had been chartered in 1899. It generated power to run the electric railroad between Hudson and Albany, as well as supplying electricity to the surrounding area. 

Photo: Upstate Earth
In 1903, the company was renamed Albany & Hudson Railroad Company, and in 1909, it was sold to the Albany Southern Railroad, which owned it in 1918.

Photo: Albany Engineerring Corporation

In 2009, Albany Engineering Corporation rehabilitated the plant and is once again using the falls at Stuyvesant to generate electricity.

Photo: Albany Engineering Corporation

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of when I first did indoor Antiques Shows. Being new to the circuit i had two spotlights for my booth while the other dealers had ten or more. Unfortunately the draw was too much and we were experiencing blackouts. The show promoter asked each of us to turn off half of our lighting. That left me with one light. I challenged its unfairness. It fell on deaf ears. Hope Hudson in 1918 was a bit more compassionate in their enforcement.