Let’s face it: If you’ve ever spent anytime in the Hudson River Valley, chances are, you have a couple of favorite towns that you return to again and again. We certainly do. In fact, we have many favorite towns. They’re our favorite towns for different reasons. Some we like because they’re close to the river. Some we like because they’re walking distance to somewhere. Some we like for the sheer lust we feel towards the houses as we drive down the residential streets. But mostly, it’s that last one. So here’s a sampling of the houses we love in or near our favorite towns in the Hudson Valley.
Finding a bumper crop of new rental properties from Brownstoner’s Upstate listings is a bit like Christmas in August. And who else but us would tittering with joy over new rental listings? Perhaps you would. Let’s find out by showing you a bunch of cool stuff we found in Columbia County (east of Hudson, north of Dutchess County).
The Catskill Confidential Travel Guide is arguably the roadmap for all the best stuff to see and do in the Catskills. The July/August edition is available here, or you can grab one for free when you come up to Sullivan County to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Woodstock at the Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center or any of the other anniversary goings-on. But you can find out all about that in Catskill Confidential. We’re celebrating in our own way by looking at some properties on the market in Sullivan County (you thought we were going to say Woodstock, didn’t you? You should know better than that). Oh, and did we mention there’s a bagel festival happening this weekend in Monticello? Sounds like the perfect excuse for a day trip to us.
This Dutchess County cottage in Amenia is situated on 18 acres just shy of the New York/Connecticut border, which certainly makes it feel off the beaten path. In reality, however, it’s closer to civilization than you’d think. Wassaic is less than 10 minutes away (have you heard about Wassaic’s free film, arts, dance, and music festival? It starts this weekend), along with a Metro North station. Beds: 2. Baths: 2. Square Feet: 1,404. Lot Size: 18 acres. Est. Taxes: $5,858. Distance from Brooklyn: 1 hour, 55 minutes. (more…)
Pardon us if we deviate from the norm just a bit today. Yes, we have some juicy listings for you, but we also wanted to show you around the Hudson River village of Athens in Greene County (west of the Hudson, about 2.5 hours from Brooklyn). We went there yesterday just to explore the waterfront park since its recent upgrade, and overall, we came away feeling quite charmed by it all, even if Athens seems to suffer from that same eerie weekday quietness that other places around here do, as if the whole town is waiting for something to happen. There are lots of empty storefronts with “for rent” signs in the windows, almost no cars driving around, and we encountered only two other people out walking. There is, however, a brew pub that emits the most tantalizing malty fragrance for two blocks surrounding its location, not to mention the most charming outdoor dining area on the waterfront that is connected to the historic Stewart House boutique hotel. Other stuff we discovered on our jaunt: Athens has a town pool, a huge cemetery, and tons of great houses. But before we get to those, take a brief visual tour of the town after the jump.
It might not be huge, but this cottage in the town of Esopus, Ulster County sure is pretty. The enclosed porch on stilts reminds us of a tree house and also allows for one heck of a view of the valley below. Moore Lane is located in Ulster Park, about 15 minutes south of Kingston and 15 minutes northwest of the Poughkeepsie train station. (more…)
Delaware County up in the Catskill Mountains is always a great place to look for a bargain. As we’ve said, your buck will go far there. The village of Andes, located about 15 minutes southeast of Delhi, is a charming town with a lot of great old buildings, like this Colonial. The listing says the deed puts its construction date in 1830 but is believed to have been built in the 18th century. Bright, cheerful interior, plus an old barn on the property’s quarter-acre lot size walking distance to Andes businesses. Taxes are low. Beds: 4. Baths: 2. Square Feet: 1,971. Lot Size: .25 acres. Est. Taxes: $2,003. Distance from Brooklyn: 3 hours.
As we’ve said before, Greene County has such a “best of both worlds” situation. Over to the east, you’re in the Hudson Valley and quaint villages like Catskill and Coxsackie. Over to the west, you’re squarely in Catskill Mountain Park. So we’re going on a road trip this week starting in the riverfront town of Coxsackie, then working our way west to Cairo, Jewett, and then Hunter. We never get tired of looking at properties in Greene County. You can still find a bargain or two, land is abundant and , overall, the taxes won’t blow your mind like they do in other neighboring counties (we’re looking at you, Ulster County).
We know. You’re looking at the above property’s $395,000 price take and thinking, “That’s a bargain?” Okay, so “bargain” is a relative term when it comes to Putnam County. As we saw last week in our Garrison post, properties are not exactly cheap in the area. However, if you know where to look (avoid Garrison and Cold Spring), you might be able to find something in your price range. This week, we’ve gathered some the more modestly priced homes in the lower Hudson Valley county. However, be warned: Just because the prices are decent doesn’t mean the taxes will be. You have to keep going north if you want lower. Putnam County is on the east side of the river, with its center located approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes from Brooklyn.
Standing on the edge of the mighty Mohawk River in Cohoes, NY, Harmony Mill No. 3 was the largest single cotton factory in the world when it was finished in 1872. Stretching over 1, 100 feet in length, the five story building held enough spinning and weaving machinery to produce 700,000 yards of cotton goods a week. Seven hundred THOUSAND yards. And that was just Mill No. 3. The complex had three other mills on site, as well as outbuildings for various other functions.
And then there was the housing. The first worker’s tenements were built next to the river on several streets near the mill. They consisted of three and four story brick row houses in the Greek Revival style. When Mill No. 3 was finished, the need for far more housing was met by the purchase of 70 acres on the hill overlooking the plant, which was re-named Harmony Hill.
By the time they were done building here on the hill, there were 800 tenement houses, five large boarding houses for unmarried workers and a company store. Harmony Hill was a self-contained town of single, double houses, both detached and row houses, as well as shops, churches, and schools. Harmony Mills had its own police force, garbage collection, street paving and repair crews and other maintenance workers. By the beginning of the 20th century, Harmony owned three-quarters of Cohoes, and employed at least one member of every family in the city, in one way or another.
For more information on the history of the mill, and how it worked, please see the links to the previous chapters in this story below. We’ve looked at the physical structure of Harmony Mills, but who made it all work? The owners and management get the glory, but the reason Harmony Mills was so successful was the productivity of all of its workers. Who were they, and what was it like to work here? (more…)
In 1866, Harmony Mills in Cohoes, N.Y., just across the river from Troy, was about to build Mill No. 3, the largest expansion in its history. As we learned in Chapter One and Chapter Two of our story, Harmony Mills was a textile company, one that took raw cotton, spun that cotton into threads, and wove those threads into cotton fabric, the source of the city of Cohoes’ nickname as the “Spindle City.” The mill greatly added to the region’s prosperity, and population, and in its day, was the largest cotton mill in the United States, even larger than the great mills of Lowell, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire.
Harmony Mills had been founded by Peter Harmony in 1838, but he failed to make a profit, and in 1850, the mill was sold to Thomas Garner of New York City and Nathan Wild of Kinderhook. They brought on veteran weaver Robert Johnston to run the plant, and by 1866, he had turned Harmony Mills into a very successful operation. The company had not only expanded its factory buildings and capacity, it had built blocks of worker’s housing and established a community around the mill buildings, here on the banks of the mighty Mohawk River.
The Cohoes Falls, the second highest waterfall in the state, was right next door, and the power generated from the water was used to power the spinning and weaving machines. There would have been no Harmony Mills without the power of the waterfall. The Cohoes Company, the power company which owned the rights to the falls, was purchased and enlarged by Harmony Mills in 1860. By 1861, Harmony Mills owned all of the mills in Cohoes, and the power to run them. When the Civil War ended, it was time for the largest building campaign to begin. They set out to build the largest single textile mill in the country. (more…)