Monthly Archives: November 2014

Pocantico Questions

I owe someone a BIG apology.

(2014 -04-05 090John B, who I hope is still following my blog, wrote me an email way back on August 24th. He’s an ex-pat from Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, and has been sharing some of my entries with other ex-pats on Facebook. (I deleted my Facebook account years ago.) John B, I hope you continue to find some of my postings of interest and worthy of Facebook mention. He sent a winter scene of the dam in question. (If I get his permission to post the pic I will in a later entry.)

That being said, John sent me a long email about having found mill stones up the Pocantico when he was a child as well as the “failed” dam. He wanted to know if there were any mills above the cemetery and any dams around. I myself have seen mill wheels here and there; it seems like the area has a proliferation of mill wheels. (By mill wheel I mean the stone wheels used in the mill to grind the grain.)

I consulted Sara at the Historical Society and asked her about the Pocantico above the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. She told me that there used to be mills all the way up the Pocantico. Part of the river was marked on many maps as “Mill River” because of all the mills along it. The only way you can have mills is to have dams to hold back the water and channel part of it to turn the mill wheels. So, this would explain the mill wheels all along the river. As for the “failed” dam, I have a feeling that the dam was probably torn down when the mills were removed.

(2014 -04-05 096The Pocantico resembles a fast-moving brook, at least until it gets to the Philipsburg Manor mill pond, where it becomes very tame–except after heavy storms. After storms, you can see the water ripple from under the Route 9 bridge and across the pond, nearly reaching the dam. Actually, these new storms–a result of the changing climate of the planet–is now threatening the dam. The bridge across the dam has been closed for years; it needs repaired. These new, heavy storms, which used to hit maybe once every two or three years, now come two or three times a year. This is putting added pressure on a dam that wasn’t meant to handle so much water pushing against it.

Anyway the Pocantico, even after passing the mill, doesn’t move fast as it goes and joins the Hudson.  A lot of the water from the Pocantico has been diverted farther upstream for different projects–agriculture, drinking water, what have you. So dams are no longer there because the mills are gone. People call this progress.

This is the first part of John B’s questions. In a future entry I will answer part 2.



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Filed under History, Nature, Sleepy Hollow

A Confession

(2014-10-11 013)I have a confession to make.

I started a Masters program in September and am taking two classes. I’m also working on a grant that is up in July, when the web site I’m designing needs to go live.

In April I was elected the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) union chapter chair of the CUNY Graduate Center. This chapter has been inactive for over five years. I am expected to attend at least three meetings a month, not counting any meetings I chair at the GC. There’s a lot of work in trying to reactivate the chapter too: planning meetings, recruiting meetings, organizational meetings. Even with one day a week release time for union activities, I am finding the chapter needs a lot of attention.

Meanwhile, one class has me constantly reading and posting materials to a web site while I have no idea what I’m doing in the other one. That one is using SPSS, a program that can manipulate census data in such ways that it can answer and raise questions. I came from a humanities background and have no training in statistics. I am completely lost, and our final is taking a problem and manipulating data to get answers, and then writing a report on that data. The only reason I took the class was because I thought that it would be good to have some idea as to how data is processed.

I still volunteer and serve as a trustee at the Historical Society. However, I had to drop volunteering at the Warner Library because it conflicted with one of my class times, but I intend to go back when the term is over.

Needless to say, I have been doing a lot. And, because of this, I no longer have as much time to write blog entries. This is sad, since I do like writing my blogs. I guess I’m just asking for you to bear with me.


Filed under Blogs

Still Hanging Around

This is really cool!

This is really cool!

The Headless Horseman must really like Sleepy Hollow.

This decoration is still on the top of the roof of this house. All the other Halloween decorations are gone. I keep expecting to pass the house on the way to the train station to find that he’s gone.

I don’t care, though. I think it’s great. As far as I’m concerned, they can leave the Headless Horseman up there all year.

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Filed under Holidays, Sleepy Hollow