Beacon, Dutchess County, New York
A small city at the northern gateway of the Hudson Highlands
(Photos/words © urban75, Nov 2005, updated Sept 2006)
With a population of just 15,000 souls, Beacon is a small city in Dutchess County, New York, situated on the east bank of the Hudson River at the foot of Mount Beacon, some 59 miles north of New York City.
The city wasn't incorporated until May 15,1913, when the old villages of Fishkill Landing and Matteawan were combined to form the City of Beacon (named after the Beacon fires lit at the summit of the Fishkill Mountains to alert the Revolutionary Armies about British troop movements).
The Ye Olde Wood Effect panelling on our train from Grand Central, NYC made this train feel decidedly vintage!
Much of the town's prosperity came from water-powered mills built alongside Fishkill Creek, and by the early 1900s Beacon had become the hat-making centre of the state, although only one company remains, the Aldo Hat Company.
The city was also famed for brick making, with many of the buildings in New York City - including the Empire State and Rockefeller Centre - using Beacon's bricks.
The train skirts the River Hudson for much of the journey, making it a very attractive route.
In 1928, a large cartons and wrappings manufacturing factory was established by the National Biscuit Company. The building is now used by the Beacon:DIA Art Facility.
According to Beacon's official site, current industries in the city include, chemical manufacturing, shower products, and electric signs.
Looking west from Beacon across the Hudson to Newburgh.
Looking down the High Street by the junction with Teller Avenue you can see the Bank of New York to the left and the golden brown Fishkill Mountains in the background.
Fine example of American colonial architecture.
Reformed Church of Beacon, Wolcott Avenue, Beacon.
The quiet streets of Beacon.
Bingo sessions for the American Legion, a "patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organisation" chartered by Congress in 1919 .
Beacon Brushless Car Wash, 285 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508
Howland Cultural Center Building, 477 Main Street, Beacon.
Built as a library in 1872, the architecture is described as "Norwegian-style" with its six-gabled roof being covered with Delaware slate.
The outside walls are constructed from red and black Croton brick interlaid with light Jersey brick.
The library moved out in 1976, with the building now being used for various community functions.
Detail, Reformed Church of Beacon.
Railroad crossing and signposts.
Railroad crossing, Creek Drive.
Railroad crossing, East Main Street, Beacon.
Disused warehouse. The building originally sported a tower that had to be demolished after a train derailment in 1976.
Disused Matteawan Station building on the Central New England Railway.
Fishkill Creek Falls, alongside the railroad track.
Street scene, Beacon.
Traffic lights against the fading light.
The lights of Newburgh twinkle from across the river.
View across the Hudson from Beacon station.
Waiting for the train back to Grand Central.
Another feast of old railroad leather!