Verplanck in Westchester County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Story of a River
Before you stretches the Hudson River. It may be placid at the moment or it may be wind-whipped, it may sparkle like diamonds on a languid summer afternoon, or it may be chocked in the twisted torments of winter’s ice, or it may beckon your eyes to follow the silvery path cast by a full moon. But the natural beauty of the river at all hours in all seasons is only the beginning of its story.
About a billion years ago, igneous and metamorphic rock formed the Hudson Highlands to your right. About 200 million years ago, increasing pressure beneath the earth’s crust led to an earthquake and volcanic activity in what is now northeastern New Jersey. (1 – Please refer to the locator map on the center panel.) The liquid rock (magma) that was forced between the sedimentary rocks of the region remains today as the Palisades. During succeeding millions of years, the stream that would become today’s Hudson River began to trickle out of the Highlands and along the eastern edge of the magma flow. Beginning a million years ago, the glaciers of the Ice Age scooped out a deeper and wider channel for the Hudson. The ice retreated between 18,000 and 14,000 years ago, leaving the area with the basic physical arrangement it has today.
Native Americans found the Hudson Valley a good place to hunt,
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The Revolutionary War came to the Hudson Valley in the 1770s.
The British returned in October, landing on this site before crossing the river under cover of fog to overrun and lay waste [to] Forts Clinton (7) and Montgomery (8) and, a few days later, burn the American mills at Continental Village. (9)
In June 1779, British Captain John Andre received the surrender of Fort Lafayette (10) here on Verplanck’s Point. Then, during the night of July 15-16, 1779, Americans led by General “Mad” Anthony Wayne landed north of Haverstraw (11) and overwhelmed the British garrison at Stony Point. (12)
Andre, now a major, returned in September 1780 to meet near the Haverstraw waterfront with traitorous American General Benedict Arnold about the betrayal of West Point (13) to the British. After cannon fire from Croton Point drove away his ship Vulture, Andre returned to the east bank at this spot via the King’s Ferry (14) to begin his fateful journey to capture in Tarrytown (15) and execution in Tappan. (16)
In 1807, a strange new type of watercraft, powered by neither muscle nor wind, passed this way. Robert Fulton’s steamboat North River, later known as the Clermont, belched fire and smoke as it chugged from New York City (17) to Albany, transforming the shipping industry in the process. The steamboat opened the way to accelerated trade between rural suppliers and New York merchants.
In 1826, the oldest extant lighthouse on the Hudson – the squat white tower visible atop Stony Point (18) – began sending its beams of guidance to the ships that plied the river.
Later in the 19th century, brickyards on both sides of the river turned this area’s rich clay resources into millions of bricks a year.
Between the end of World War I and 1971, a stretch of river (19) opposite Peekskill became home to a pair of “ghost” or “mothball” fleets – surplus ships kept in reserve until they moved on to other service.
Life abounds in the river as
Location. 41° 14.944′ N, 73° 57.831′ W. Marker is in Verplanck, New York, in Westchester County. Marker is at the intersection of Hardie Street and Broadway, on the right when traveling south on Hardie Street. Touch for map. Marker is located in Veterans Memorial Park. Marker is in this post office area: Verplanck NY 10596, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kings Ferry (a few steps from this marker); In Grateful Remembrance (a few steps from this marker); The Path to Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); King’s Ferry Offered a Safe Crossing (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington at Verplanck’s Point (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Kings Ferry (approx. 0.6 miles away); Post Hannock House (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Battle’s Aftermath (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Verplanck.
Categories. • Exploration • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 30, 2017, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 119 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 30, 2017, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.