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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Hudson in Columbia County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ridge Road

 
 
Ridge Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, May 17, 2020
1. Ridge Road Marker
Inscription.  In 1878, Frederic Church purchased 50 acres north of this site (to the right) for hay fields and grazing. About six years later, he converted some of that open acreage to ornamental use with the creation of the Ridge Road. Wrapping around the northern edge of the property and along the escarpment below the house, the Ridge Road provided panoramic views of Mt. Merino, the Hudson River, and the Catskills to the north and west. Fence lines were kept below the viewer's line of sight so that the grazing cows appeared unrestricted in the landscape. Today, second-growth forest has been removed, making it possible to see the fields and views as Frederic Church and his guests saw them in the 19th century.

Onset of severe arthritis in the 1870s greatly reduced Church's ability to paint, so he found artistic enjoyment in creating the landscape that would come to be known as Olana. In 1884, he noted his pleasure in building the Ridge Road: “I can make more and better landscapes in this way than by tampering with canvas and paint in the studio.” Many visitors to Olana still rejoice in the magnificent views from Church's well-planned
Ridge Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel
2. Ridge Road Marker
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roads. This is particularly true along Ridge Road.

Sunset from Olana, Frederic E. Church, 1870. Scene looking directly west across the Hudson River to the Catskill Mountains.

Church undertook selective clearing to enhance the scene. This 1895-1910 photograph of a view to the west from Ridge Road shows how different the area looked when Church created this view.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1878.
 
Location. 42° 13.15′ N, 73° 49.769′ W. Marker is near Hudson, New York, in Columbia County. Marker can be reached from Olana State Historic access road, 0.6 miles north of New York State Route 9G, on the right when traveling north. Marker is in Olana State Historic Site. It can only be reached on foot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hudson NY 12534, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Frederick Church and Olana (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Columbia County (about 800 feet away); Olana Viewshed (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Columbia County (approx. 0.2 miles away); North Road (approx. ¼ mile away); Studio and Viewshed (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named
Ridge Road image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel
3. Ridge Road
Olana Viewshed (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Columbia County (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hudson.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 68 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 19, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   3. submitted on May 20, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 1, 2022