Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rondout and the Rondout and Esopus Meadows Lighthouses

The next lighthouse on our list is the Rondout Lighthouse.  The town of Rondout has been incorporated into the city of Kingston but there is still an area of town called Rondout.  We went there first thinking that we would probably be able to see the lighthouse from this part of town.  We were wrong but we did find a Maritime Museum and a lovely little park along the river.  We wandered around in this area for quite awhile just seeing what we could see.

The back of the Maritime Museum in Rondout

Captain Lee

Belle of the Ball - Mary

Gazebo in the waterfront park

Large Bandstand in the Park

The Riverfront

 This is the 9W Bridge

The Wurts Street Bridge which is old Highway 9W

If you look at this mallard, he has a green beak.  Weird!

Mariner's Harbor Restaurant

Nice Restaurant here and we found out that Mariner's Harbor is owned by the same people that own Frank Guido's Little Italy where we ate for our anniversary.  It might be nice to stop by here sometime for dinner when we have time.

Nice walkway along the water front

Memorial to those lost at sea

 Tug Boat from McAlister Towing Company

After we wandered around the waterfront for awhile, we went out again in search of the Rondout Lighthouse.  It was pretty hard to find.  We could not find directions anywhere for it and after several attempts to find it along the river, Lee finally called up Goggle Maps and found it there.  Then we started going down the shore of the river trying to find somewhere we could see it.  He noticed on Goggle Earth that there was some sort of Marina near it.  We finally saw a private club marina with a gate card.  There was someone pulling into the marina as we approached and he sat there awhile wondering if we were trouble!  He finally went on down and Lee got out of the truck and took this picture of the lighthouse from their driveway.  

Rondout Lighthouse

The Roudout lighthouse is the newest on the Hudson River.  There were two lighthouses in about this position that didn't make it because of weather or whatever.  This one was commissioned in 1915.  The Rondout was a vital safety precaution as vast amounts of Pennsylvania coal was being transported over the Shawangunk Mountains to the Hudson. From here, the canal barges were unloaded and the coal was transferred to river barks that took the coal down to New York City.  Later ice, farm products, bricks and cement were loaded and transported from the Rondout down to New York City, greatly increasing the already busy river traffic. By the middle of the 19th century regular steamboat excursions were departing from the Rondout carrying both passengers and cargo to New York. This burgeoning river traffic necessitated the building of a lighthouse at the mouth of the Rondout Creek a necessity to warn captains of the dangers of the shore and the shallow tidal flats surrounding the mouth of the Rondout.

There was a keeper at this lighthouse well into the 40's because there was no electricity at the lighthouse.  When they finally put in the electricity, the last keeper and his family left and the lighthouse was automated.

The next lighthouse was the easiest for us to find as we passed a sign that said "Esopus Lighthouse" and all we had to do was head down the road and we found it.  

The Esopus Meadows Lighthouse

The Esopus Meadows Lighthouse was built in 1871 on the Hudson River near Esopus, New York.  It is approximately 100 miles north of New York City.  It was a vital lighthouse as it warned mariners of mud flats known as the Esopus Meadows off the western shore of the river. It has been fondly called "The Maid of the Meadows" and  it is the last wooden lighthouse on the Hudson River.

So we concluded our quest for lighthouses on the Hudson for today.  We have three left to find:  

1.  The Little Red Lighthouse located in Ft. Washington Park in northern Manhattan.

2.  1884 Lighthouse at Sleepy Hollow and the 

3.  Stony Point Lighthouse - located at the Stony Point Battlefield National Historic Site in Rockland County. 

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