"View at Hastings-on-Hudson," painted by Jasper F. Cropsey ca. 1891, on view at the Hudson River Museum, and currently part of their Paintbox Leaves exhibition.We have so loved working on this blog, dear readers, and sharing the wonderful stories and photographs that the Historical Society has collected over the years. But at the moment we don’t have the staff to keep up weekly posts. When we have an event or some great piece of news, we will still post on an irregular basis. And as soon as we have the people to carry forward a weekly blog, we will start up again. Thank you, everyone, for your support of this blog during the last two years!
But in the meantime, we encourage you to take a trip to the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers before January 16th to see Paintbox Leaves: Autumnal Inspiration from Cole to Wyeth. Among the many lovely representations of Fall are four by Jasper F. Cropsey (1823-1900), two of them painted after he moved to Hastings in 1885. One in particular, “View at Hastings-on-Hudson,” gives a wonderful picture of what our village looked like at the end of the 19th century.
Looking at this painting, you can see just what Cropsey saw from his studio on Washington Avenue. There were fewer, and shorter, trees, and the artist had a wonderful view down through the Ravine to the river. In the center of the painting is the original Sugar Pond. A little stream leading off from the pond supplied water to the sugar refineries on the waterfront in the middle of the 19th century. According to the information that came to us with a turn of the century photograph, the buildings beyond the pond, on the east side of the train tracks, include McLave’s blacksmith shop, Schlachter’s saw mill and concrete block operation, and Ferguson’s livery stables. In the distance both sailing ships and steamboats float on the River.
Look for this painting and for “The Narrows at Lake George,” which Cropsey most likely painted in Hastings from earlier sketches. For museum hours and directions, see the Hudson River Museum website.