Sunday, March 3, 2013

From Point A to Point B

The article from the Hudson Republican, which was quoted yesterday, sent me to Fulton History to see what else I could learn about the project, undertaken in 1910, to connect the Knickerbocker Cement Plant to the port by rail. My quest uncovered this article which appeared in the Hudson Evening Register on October 25, 1910, about ten weeks after the Hudson Republican article, and reports on the progress of the project. 

Gossips Note: The article as it appears on Fulton History had been transcribed from the original by a scanner, and unfortunately the scanner didn't interpret all the letters correctly. Many of the garbled words can be inferred from the context, but when that proved impossible, I've put the incomprehensible letter (and symbol) sequence in brackets so you can have a go at figuring it out for yourself. The illustrations accompanying the text are not from the original article; they are not even contemporary.

Railroad Track Built in Hurry 
Across "Cinder Dump"
Gives the Knickerbocker Company
a Track to Get to Its River
Dock Property.

Some quick railroad building was done in this city yesterday when a track was laid from the B. & A. tracks just below Third street across the cinder dump past the rear of the Railway Steel Spring works and then south of the Conway coal yard, the track ending just alongside of the New York Central tracks. Here it is thought a "[ntt]-over" will be made on the [ConrVsil] tracks, so the company can get to its dock property and river terminus. Over a hundred men were on the job.

The Knickerbocker Cement company, which is building a large plant just beyond Fountain Head, purchased some time ago the dock property on which formerly stood the Prennen-Kennedy ice house. With this property, they also purchased a right of way dating back to the time of the old iron furnace which allowed the grantee to build a railroad from the dock property to the Boston & Albany railroad.

Some two or three weeks ago a switch track was put in the Boston & Albany tracks just west of the Third street crossing. The rails went a few feet, curving away from the main tracks and then seeming to end. Considerable speculation was aroused as to what this switch was meant for and where the tracks which lead from it were to go.

This question was quickly answered yesterday. For shortly after 7 in the morning a big gang of men with a train load of railroad materials rolled up and operations commenced. Ties and rails were installed, wire fences cut and [pc>*ts] removed. The ties were laid down on the ground and before they had fairly settled in place the rails were laid on them and spiked fast. This operation continued from the lands of the Boston & Albany railroad across the lands to which Marks Kearney, the Stott Woolen company and the New York and New England Cement and Lime company claim ownership and until the tracks of the New York Central were reached. A formal protest was made by attorneys representing the owners, but the work went right on. Legal developments will probably [romtr.on] on later.

When the track had been built flat cars were run on to it and on each piece of property the spikes were removed from a rail and one truck was allowed to run off the tracks so as to make the car immovable. This prevented the owners of the property from removing the tracks.

The track laid is as tortuous as a snake's trail and to put it mildly has its ups and downs. Men were at work to-day putting it in better shape. However, it has served its purpose, for by it the Knickerbocker Cement company has used the right of way which it purchased and under which [>r Li] permitted to build a railroad from the dock property to the Boston & … [Note: A line is missing here.] a question for the courts to locate the right of way in question and decide whether the right of way which the company owns runs over the ground where they have built their tracks. If the right of way does not lie over those lands then the Cement company will have some damages to pay the respective owners.

It was stated that yesterday was the most opportune time for the Cement company to do the job because they expected to meet the greatest opposition when they reached the land of the New York and New England Cement and Lime company. Yesterday was the day when a new president and executive staff took the helm in the affairs of the Atlas Portland Cement company and the Knickerbocker people figured that there would really be no one on the job at the head of the. 

Gossips Note: The bottom of this newspaper page appears to have been cut off, along with the last lines of this article.

This image of the Atlas Cement plant was borrowed from


  1. What is...where is Fountain Head? This (second paragraph of the quoted newspaper article) is the first time I've heard of it.

    1. Ellen--I don't know what it was, but this article seems to be fairly clear about where it was: just this side of what is now the ADM plant. When researching the hotels that existed in 1905, I learned that Barry David ran one at Fountain Head. This is my first clue about its location.