Despite the unseasonably chilly weather and all-day drizzle, an intrepid crew turned out for our Cement Industry car tour today. We started with a delicious pancake breakfast at the Ponckhockie Congregational Church, which was built by the Newark Lime & Cement Company in 1870 for their employees and neighborhood residents. We learned about the church's long heritage starting as a Sunday school in the 1850s, and its unique construction.
Next, we headed up to the top of Hasbrouck Park overlooking the Hudson and learned more about the Newark Lime & Cement Company, its formation, and viewed some historic images of the company's cement mines and kilns.
At this point thoroughly chilled, we headed back down along the Strand and out to Rosendale for a delicious lunch at the 1850 House and Inn. Our gracious hosts had the fires and heaters lit for us and laid a delicious spread. We had a lovely time and even got a brief history lesson about the inn itself and explored the beautiful rooms upstairs.
Finally, we headed just up the road to the Century House Museum and Widow Jane Mine at the A.J. Snyder Estate, where we learned all about natural cement, from its geological origins with the formation of Pangea, to the end of natural cement mining in the 1940s, to the adaptive reuse of former cement mines for everything from growing mushrooms to escaping potential nuclear blasts.
We ended the day with a trek down to the Widow Jane Mine:
Did you miss out on this awesome tour? You can visit the Century House Museum, Hasbrouck Park, and the Ponckhockie Congregational Church yourself.
Century House Museum is open for guided tours, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Sundays starting tomorrow, May 14, 2017, and the grounds are open for self-guided tours 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.
Hasbrouck Park is open daily for self-guided tours. There are a number of trails to explore. The view from the top is spectacular!
The Ponckhockie Congregational Church is still an active church, so they're not generally open except on Sundays, but you can visit and hear their amazing 19th century organ every Sunday. Donations are always appreciated.
And of course you can visit (and stay at!) the 1850 House & Inn. The tavern is open Wednesday through Sunday at 4:00 PM and you can book a room any time.
If you are interested in other local history tours with HRMM, check out these upcoming options:
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.