Katharine Gates's blog

James Bremner's Gravestone is back together!

The Friends are thrilled that Bremner’s stone was the first to be repaired in the historic Little White Cemetery in Dobbs Ferry.

Bremner was the first keeper and superintendent of the Aqueduct Trail in the 4th district. He was responsible for daily maintenance and annual inspection of every foot of the interior in his area. He was stationed and housed in the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry from the late 1840’s to his death in 1872. He lived there with his wife and two stepdaughters and must have used the old barn on Walnut street.

Aqueduct Cleanup Day April 21

All hands on Yonkers! The big Aqueduct Clean-up Day, April 21, was a huge success.

Bamboo? Just Say No!

Please think twice. Please think three times.
Please don't plant bamboo anywhere near the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail.

In fact, nothing at all should be planted inside the 60-foot-wide state park boundaries! If in doubt ask the State Park Manager, Gary Ricci, Tel. 914 693 5259.

What's especially wrong with bamboo barriers? Bamboo knows no borders. Even from deep inside your back yard, bamboo roots will quickly decamp for the Aqueduct! They invade and loosen the tunnel brickwork underneath the trail. They threaten the structural integrity of the aqueduct.

Standing-Room-Only Crowd at FOCA Annual Meeting


Photos by Fred Charles

At the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct's Annual meeting, held on April 7 at the Irvington Public Library, a standing-room-only crowd listened to High Bridge Restoration project manager Bryan Diffley's account of the bridge's history and rehabilitation plans.


Bryan Diffley, Charlotte Fahn, Bob Kornfeld and Mavis Cain.

The OCA Trail - Who Needs a Ski Resort?

The Aqueduct became a cross-country ski resort in February 2013. Fresh, powdery snow lured dozens of skiers including Friends President, Mavis Cain and her family. This is the first year local residents have been able to get cross country skis and snow shoes easily – with an LLBean and REI within reach in Yonkers.

How many times did we hear ”Isn't it wonderful to have snow!” Often there were three tracks on the trail – one for walkers, one for skiers and one for snow-shoers. Do we have to wait another year for a day like February 9?

Save the Date! Annual Meeting April 7

High Bridge – It’s Happening!

Please join us to hear a first-hand account of the top-to-bottom restoration of the High Bridge now underway from civil engineer Bryan Diffley, construction manager of the project, and learn of his experiences as a contractor working within the Croton Waterworks. A short business meeting precedes the talk.

Sunday April 7, 2013 at 2pm
The meeting, at the Irvington Public Library, opposite Irvington Station on Metro-North’s Hudson Line, is open to the public.

FOCA wins PTNY grant for Film

Parks and Trails New York has generously awarded The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct $1,250 for post-production (audio, graphics, color correction) for a short film to solicit donations and memberships and enhance knowledge and appreciation of the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park.

Sing Sing Kill Bridge in Ossining Closed for Repairs

As of February 1, 2013, the Sing Sing Kill Bridge in Ossining will be closed for major repairs. Work will continue through Spring 2013.

Space limited for popular tour of OCA Reservoir stones at New York Public Library

Meet at the New York Public Library in New York City on Saturday, February 23rd at 11 am. The Library is located at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue -- a short walk from the Metro-North Grand Central Station Terminal. The Tour is limited to 25 participants and reservations are required. View the original stones from the Old Croton Aqueduct Distributing Reservoir that form part of the foundation of the New York Public library, which was built on the Reservoir’s former site.

See you on the High Bridge!

Speaking to a packed gathering of happy High Bridge fans on January
11, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg presided over the
groundbreaking for the start of the long-dreamed-of restoration of the
pedestrian bridge, once the most famous element of the original Croton
Aqueduct. The festivities took place outdoors at Highbridge Park at
the Bronx end of the structure, today the city’s oldest bridge. The
year 2013 marks the 165th anniversary of the 1848 span, which has been closed to the public for 40 years.

The High Bridge was built to carry Croton water from the mainland,

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