Category: Exploring Historic Kingston, NY

The Trolley Museum of New York                                            89 East Strand                                              Kingston, NY 12401

The Trolley Museum of New York 89 East Strand Kingston, NY 12401

The Trolley Museum of New York

89 East Strand

Kingston, NY 12401

(845) 331-3399

http://www.tmny.org/

https://www.facebook.com/trolleymuseumny/

Open: Sunday & Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed-May through October so please check the website.

Fee: Adults $6.00/Children over Five (5) and Seniors $4.00/Children under Five/Active Military with ID and their families/Members Free

Trolley Rides leave Gallo Park at 12:30pm/1:30pm/2:30pm & 3:30pm.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48003-d4755385-Reviews-Trolley_Museum_Of_New_York-Kingston_Catskill_Region_New_York.html?m=19905

When I was visiting Kingston, NY again for my blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com”, I came across the Trolley Museum that was down the road from the NY Maritime Museum and the harbor for the ‘Hudson River Cruises”. This unique museum has a lot of interactive things for a family to do including riding a trolley through the harbor of the Kingston Roundout to Kingston Point Park right on the Hudson River. On a beautiful sunny day there is nothing like it.

The Trolley Museum

The first part of the trip took us to the Kingston Roundout

I just made the first trip on the trolley. You start at the front of the museum and then you take a short trip to the downtown and we picked up other passengers. It was then off for a short trolley trip following the river up to Kingston Point Park and the picnic grounds there.

The Trolley Museum

The Trolley arriving at Kingston Point Park

The foliage was amazing at the park with hues of gold and red and the trees were just coming into their peak. We only had about a half hour to stay at the park and look around but it was a real delight of colors and the views of the river just shined in the sun. It was very picturesque especially with sailboats passing by.

The Trolley stops at Kingston Point Park

On our way back to the museum, you could see the lighthouse from its perch at the mouth of the inlet. People were starting to take the Hudson River Cruise in the distance which I had made two weeks earlier.

When I got back to the museum, I toured all the buses, subway cars and the Path train that they had in the parking lot. I could see this live in Manhattan so I went to visit the museum.

The Trolley Museum

You can tour old subway cars, buses and an old Path Train

There were small exhibits on the history of the trolley cars in cities, the development of the cars as a mode of transportation starting with horses to the electrical age.

There was also a small display on glass fixtures used in the electrical lines before the new cabling systems came in and another hats and uniforms used on the trolley cars over the years. There are also displays of signs and posters for the different lines.

It is a small museum but for families, there is a lot to climb through and tour around and just taking the trolley up to the park is worth the price of the ticket.

History of The Trolley Museum of New York:

The Trolley Museum of New York is a non-profit educational museum founded in 1955. The goals of the museum are to offer rides to the public, exhibits and educational programs sharing the rich history of rail transportation and the role it played in the development of the Hudson Valley region. In addition to static displays of trolley, subway and rapid transit cars from the United States and Europe, a trolley ride runs 1 1/2 miles from Gallo Park at the foot of Broadway in downtown Kingston, NY to Kingston Point Park on the shore of the Hudson River, using a renovated 1925 trolley. Along the way, we stop at the Museum grounds.

The Museum is on the original site of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad yards at Milepost 1. Our shop building is built on the foundation of the U & D engine building house which existed at the turn of the century. The upper level includes a Visitor’s Center featuring seasonal and permanent displays, a video viewing area and large windows overlooking the restoration shop. Visitors can see up to eight trolleys being housed and restored below.

One of the cars in the restoration shop is our 1897 wooden trolley car from Olso, Norway. This car is one of four cars that we have on display that are 100 plus years old.

Your Donations:

All of the Museum staff are volunteers. There are many projects, both large and small, all of which require funding to complete. Chief among these are the installation of overhead electric wire, trolley restoration and the expansion and rehabilitation of track. Your donations will help to provide vital support for these projects and others.

(This information comes from The Trolley Museum of New York’s pamphlet and I give them full credit for it).

Hudson River Maritime Museum                           50 Roundout Landing                                  Kingston, NY 12401

Hudson River Maritime Museum 50 Roundout Landing Kingston, NY 12401

Hudson River Maritime Museum

50 Roundout Landing

Kingston, NY 12401

(845) 338-0583

http://www.hrmm.org/

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday-Thursday Closed/Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Adults $9.00/Seniors (over 62) & Children (18 & under) $6.00/Members-Children under 4 years/Active Military Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48003-d285787-Reviews-Hudson_River_Maritime_Museum-Kingston_Catskill_Region_New_York.html?m=19905

I recently visited the Hudson River Maritime Museum after a boat cruise around the Hudson River and I found this wonderful little under-rated museum to packed with information not just about the history of the Hudson River Valley but the rich history of boating and boat building, the economic impact of the area in mining, brick building, ice manufacturing and cement development.

It was interesting to see how the natural wonders of the area have given the rise to so much development in not just building the area but its long lasting contribution to New York City.

One part of the museum is dedicated to transportation up and down the river with sailing and steamboats in the forefront especially how the luxury steamboat industry went full force until about 60 years ago. It was considered the nicest form of transportation to and from New York City. It was interesting how the modern train and car lead to the demise of something that today would be embraced as unique and fun.

Another part of the museum was dedicated to the history and development of the area from the Native American tribes living along the shore and the Dutch settlements to the rise of modern development of manufacturing along the shores to its after effects and clean up in the 1960’s and 70’s.

There were really nice displays on the ship building, sail companies and maritime industries that supported them. The manufacture of raw materials and building supplies because of the natural resources of the Hudson River Valley show how rich in minerals, clay, cement and stone from the cliffs built New York City and how they nearly destroyed nature.

The displays tell the stories of activists who saved the area, Robber Barons that exploited it and the everyday people who contributed to making the valley the interesting place that it is today. It showed how protests and free speech saved the Valley from devastating development.

With each room at the museum, there is a story to tell and pictures to explain why the Hudson River Valley and the Kingston Roundout is such an interesting place to see.

Take time to guide through the rooms and read the signs and stories. There is a lot to see and do here and make sure to leave plenty of time to walk the grounds and see the tug boat and sailing displays and walk the river front. It makes for an interesting afternoon.

History of the Hudson River Maritime Museum

(This information was taken from the Museum’s website and pamphlet)

Hudson River Maritime Museum

The Hudson River Maritime is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries and related industries.

Ship building was very important in the region

The Hudson River Maritime Museum was founded in 1980 to preserve the history and maritime heritage of the Hudson River. Our collections range from steamboats, tugboats and sailboats to the canal system and waterfront industries, dating back to the early 19th Century.

The outdoor tugboat display

The museum has a library and archives open to researches by appointment. Some of our collections have been digitized and are available online at http://www.hrvh.org/hrmmkingston.

http://www.hrmm.org/

HRMM exhibits cover topics including:

Passenger steam boats, Hudson River rowing, ferries, ecology and conservation, ice boats, tugboats, fishing, ice harvesting, brick making, early exploration, cement production, lighthouses and more. HRMM features a new temporary exhibit every year. Information on exhibits, including online exhibits is available at hrmm.org.

Some of the attributes of the museum:

Wooden Boat School:

The Wooden Boat School was opened by the Hudson River Maritime Museum to preserve the rich boat building heritage of the Hudson River Valley. Wooden boat building occurred on Roundout Creek in particular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries including World War I & II and the Korean War.

Today, the Wooden Boat School offers adult classes, Youthboat program for teens and serves as the headquarters fro the Sailing & Rowing School, Sea Scouts Ship 609 and the Kingston Sailing Club.

Kingston Home Port:

A timber framed carbon neutral structure, the Kingston Home Port and Education Center was completed in 2012 to serve as the winter home port and maintenance center for HHRM partner the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater during the winter season. During the summer months, the Home Port serves as an event, lecture and educational space for the museum.

The Kingston Home Port also functions as the main operational headquarters for the Roundout Rowing Club and the Kingston High School Crew Team.

The Hudson River Valley in all its glory

The Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) features a variety of programs and events throughout the year including:

*Lighthouse Tours

*Local History tours, including guided walking and car tours.

*Woodworking, maritime art and boat building classes at the Wooden Boat School

*Sailing, boating and rowing classes at the Sailing & Rowing School

*Follow the River Lecture Series

*School Field trips

*Museum Mates monthly family programs

*Free Public Festivals

*Visiting Vessels

*Special members only events-Join today!

Walkway Across the Hudson State Historic Park 87 Haviland Road                                       Highland, NY 12528

Walkway Across the Hudson State Historic Park 87 Haviland Road Highland, NY 12528

Walkway Across the Hudson State Historic Park

87 Haviland Road

Highland, NY 12528

(845) 834-2867

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/178/details.aspx

Open: Sunday-Saturday Dawn to Dusk/Office Open 8:00am-4:30pm Daily

Fee: Vehicle Fee $5.00/Educational Programs Adults $5.00/Students $2.00

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48443-d2249606-Reviews-Walkway_Over_the_Hudson_State_Historic_Park-Poughkeepsie_New_York.html?m=19905

This is the best way to experience seeing the Hudson River by walking on top of it. It is especially nice on a beautiful day.

The day I walked over the “Walkway over the Hudson” it was a rather cool September day in the last days of the summer but still it was a spectacular day to see the river with blue skies and sunshine.

The views are just amazing

On both sides of the bridge, there are small parks to sit and relax. There are signs all over the bridge to tell the story of the bridge and the people who helped save it. The best part is to just sit around the rails and see the views of the Hudson River.

What is nice too is when you are leaving the Walkway is that you can tour Little Italy and Downtown Poughkeepsie. The Riverfront area of the City is changing quickly and new bars and restaurants are opening.

The towns and neighborhoods to visit after leaving the Walkway

The history of the ‘Walkway Across the Hudson’:

The bridge now known as the Walkway Over the Hudson opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge to transport western raw materials to eastern industrial centers. Rosendale cement was used in the original construction of the piers. At the same time of its opening, it was the longest bridge in the world.

In addition to freight trains, the bridge hosted passenger trains connecting Boston, New York, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington as early as 1890. Trolley cars termed “rapid transit” were modified to run on both trolley and railroad tracks and served tourists, students and shoppers (from New Paltz to Lucky Platt’s). Special West Point Football trains ran from 1921-1930. Circus trains, milk trains, trains for hogs and cattle-the uses were varied and the impact was huge. At its peak as many as 3,500 rail cars crossed the bridge each day.

There were two sets of tracks until 1918 when gauntlet track, also called interleaved track, was installed to handle the weight of diesel locomotives. It was removed in 1958.

During World War II the bridge was painted black to make it less visible in the event of an attack. Painting continued until the 1960’s. The high quality of the steel used in the original construction does not need to be painted. Metal experts during reconstruction stated that the absence of paint in fact helped keep the steel in the good condition it is in today.

The fire that destroyed the tracks in 1974 was probably started by a spark from a train’s brakes. From Carleton Mabee’s ‘Bridging the Hudson’, page 247: “An hour after a Penn Central train with 100 cars crossed the bridge on May 8, 1974, a thick cloud of black smoke hung over the bridge. Wooden ties were smoldering and wooden walkways were burning, fanned by a moderate breeze. Because Penn Central had no guards or maintenance men on the bridge at the time, the fire was not quickly reported. When firemen arrived at the site, they found they could not easily pump water up to the top of such a high bridge.

When firemen arrived arrived at the site, they found they could not easily pump water up to the top of such a high bridge. When they tried turning on the water to flow into the bridge. When they tried turning on the water to flow into the steel pipe which ran the length of the bridge, a line meant to help fight fires, they found that because it had not been drained the previous winter, it had burst at several points-Penn Central had known it but had not repaired it.”

It was rebuilt and re-opened in October 2009 as the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park thanks to the efforts of a dedicated friends group, the Dyson Foundation, many donors and New York State.

At 212 feet above the Hudson River, this 1.28 mile linear park boasts scenic views north to the Catskills and south to the Hudson Highlands.

The Walkway is amazing on a sunny day

The Walkway is part of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Network and was inducted into the Rail-Train of Fame in 2016, it connects Ulster County’s Hudson Valley Rail Train to the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail.

The ADA compliant 21 story glass elevator provides seasonal access from Poughkeepsie waterfront at Upper Landing Park a short walk from the Metro North train station.

The Walkway welcomes more than 500,000 visitors annually from all over the world who enjoy walking, cycling and running amidst its scenic beauty.

Today, the Walkway is operated and owned by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the NYS Bridge Authority it is open year round, offering programs, events and tours made possible through membership and donations to the Walkway organization.

(This information was taken from the Walkway over the Hudson website and pamphlet and I give them full credit for all of this information).

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston                                                    265 Fair Street                                             Kingston, NY 12402

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston 265 Fair Street Kingston, NY 12402

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston

265 Fair Street

Kingston, NY  12402

(831) 331-0866

https://kingstonvolunteerfiremensmuseum.weebly.com/

Open:  The hours vary by the season so please look to the website for the openings. School groups please call for an appointment.

Fee: Free but donations accepted

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48003-d3367598-Reviews-Volunteer_Fireman_s_Hall_Museum_of_Kingston-Kingston_New_York.html?m=19905

I was recently visiting Kingston, NY for an event and while walking around the downtown the doors of the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston was open for visitors. Even if you are not a fire fighter it is such an interesting museum on the history of fire fighting and the role the Kingston Fire Department had in the formation of the City of Kingston.

Kingston Firemen's Museum II.jpg

The early horse drawn fire equipment

On the main floor is four pieces of equipment from various stages of the department. The engines are from the turn of the last century featuring horse drawn ladders and steam engines and then the latest equipment from the early teens and twenties from the automotive stage. Each piece of equipment has been carefully maintained and is in pristine shape. It is interesting to see how different each rig is at that stage of its history but how much has not really changed with the use of the equipment when fighting a fire.

One of the more interesting pieces in the collection is the beautifully detailed Parade piece from the late 1800’s (circa around 1890’s) which has gorgeous details and intricate craftsmanship work to it. This interesting piece of equipment was the pride of the department on parade day and is one of the few of its type in the country.

Kingston Firemen's Museum V

The Fire Department Parade Piece

Along the walls is all sorts of pictures of old fires, men who were once members of the department, ribbons and awards, old systems for calling for firemen from the horns that used to sound the alarms to the more modern telegraph equipment to the current paging systems.

Kingston Firemen's Museum III.jpg

The fire department equipment pieces

Upstairs you can visit the furnished headquarters of a firehouse circa 1890’s to 1920 with vintage furniture, decorations and composites of firemen long ago. There is even a mannequin of a fire fighter sliding down a pole that leads to the first floor. Here and there are more decorative equipment pieces, furnishings and awards.

The museum has a little something for everyone and if you are interesting in knowing more of the history of the fire service and want to hear the stories by members current and retired from the Kingston Fire Department, then the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum is the place to visit.

Kingston Firemen's Museum IV.jpg

Old decorations from fire equipment at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum

 

History of the Museum and Fire Fighting in Kingston, NY:

Ulster County has a remarkable over 350 year history of noble fire fighting. See it up-close and personal at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston.

When Kingston City Hall burned on June 4th, 1927, the third alarm was sounded from the building’s own bell tower before it crashed to the ground. Fire calls in Kingston today are answered through the 911 system with a three minute response time. Ever watched a TV show about firemen and their firehouse? The ‘squawk’ to a call is unmistakable.

Seven volunteer fire companies and the Exempt Association of Kingston recognized the importance of preserving and protecting firematic artifacts as well as establishing a meeting hall for volunteer fire organizations in Kingston and Ulster County. They were charged with finding a permanent home and signed a lease with the City of Kingston for Fair Street’s historic circa 1850 Wiltwyck Fire Station and the rest is history.

Walk through the large wooden doors to the home away from home of the 19th century firefighters.

Kingston Firemen's Museum.jpg

The old Kingston, NY firehouse that now houses the museum

Disclaimer: this information was taken directly from the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please check out their website for more information.