The Hudson River, Presidents, and Ghosts

A while back I pondered the source of the Hudson River, coursing 315 miles from the slopes of Mt. Marcy, (the highest peak in the Adirondacks of New York State,) to the southern tip of Manhattan. So I went there!

At 5,348 ft (1,629m) Mt. Marcy and other mountains of the High Peaks Region shed snow melt and rainwater via thousands of trickling rivulets, forming creeks and streams that feed Henderson Lake, 7.5 miles (12 km) ESE of Marcy’s summit.

ABOVE: A portion of pristine Henderson Lake, of which its out-flow is considered the named start of the Hudson River. Folklore cites a small glacial pond, “Tear of the Clouds” (about 7 miles to the ENE, and higher up on the southern slopes of Mt. Marcy,) as the source of the river, spurring a debate based on “longest length,” vs. “highest elevation” as relevent to proper naming.

 Immediately coming out of Henderson Lake, this stream is officially the first water known as the “Hudson River,” seen from the first bridge. A hiking trail to the High Peaks starts here. 

Just south, the Mac Naughton Cottage, is one of a dozen or so abandoned buildings on the west bank of the “Hudson River.”

In 1827, a mining operation was begun here. Although certainly not a concern at the time, it arguably affected the downstream quality of the river.  (Subsequent pollution sources, such as PCB’s far out-weighed the environmental impact in later years but nonetheless, this operation was large, and spewed mountains of slag and tailings which are still prominent today.)  The initial venture closed in 1857 due to transportation costs and….mysterious impurities in the iron ore. Many years later, MacIntyre Mine as it became known, was obtained by NL Industries, and before closing permanentaly in 1982 produced over 40 million tons of titanium  …the strange impurity in the iron ore.  See here for more information. 1982 would mark the end of mining activity leaving behind the Tahawus Ghost Town .

Slightly over 300 miles to the south, the George Washington Bridge is the last span over the Hudson River, as seen in the header image. 

An interesting side note from this area is depicted on the nearby signage shown below. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was vacationing at the above cottage in 1901. He was advised while hiking on Mt. Marcy, that the current President, William McKinley, had taken a turn for the worst after an assassination attempt the week before in Buffalo, several hundred miles away. Determined to get to the President’s bedside as soon as possible, Roosevelt and a driver risked treacherous and frightening overnight conditions on a horse drawn buckboard to the nearest railroad connection in North Creek six or seven hours away.  During this time, at 2:15 AM, President William McKinley succumbed, as Roosevelt was still negotiating the dark, back country terrain. Contrary to the wording on the sign and elsewhere, he would be sworn in as the 26th President of the United States later that day in Buffalo. 

Note: At the time of my visit I shot these photographs on film.  Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M :-

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About mvschulze

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This entry was posted in Daytrip, Exploring, History, Hudson River, New York, Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Hudson River, Presidents, and Ghosts

  1. Sherry Felix says:

    Nice read. Love the history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Shaffer says:

    I had been there once while exploring out from my Uncle’s Cabin in Hadley, Visited Schroon Lake and then just wandered on and found Henderson Lake not knowing it is the “Mother” of the Hudson!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mvschulze says:

      It is a fascinating area as you know Steve. The population is probably less than one for tens of sq. miles, and night skies must be awesome. I bet areas of the U.P., north of you would be similar. (Hi. Bev!) M:-)

      Like

  3. mvschulze says:

    Thanks to Disperser and Crow Canyon Journal for their comments as well. M

    Like

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