December 30, 2009, Greene County Daily Mail: Greene History Notes When the icehouses reigned

Greene History Notes

Many people who visit Coxsackie Riverside Park for the first time wonder about the huge chimney across the river at what is known as Newton Hook (called Nutten Hoek by the Dutch). The chimney and powerhouse are the remains of an icehouse that was originally built in 1885 and owned by the R&W Scott Ice Company. The powerhouse was used to drive six conveyors which brought the ice up from the river and into the icehouse. The icehouse measured 300 feet long (a football field in length) and 200 feet deep. On July 16, 1934, the icehouse, long abandoned, burned to the ground leaving only the chimney and the gutted powerhouse. In 1985 the Scott icehouse site was included on the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Department of Interior. It was recognized as being, “the most intact icehouse site of the period in the region.” Five years later the land was acquired by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and opened to the public and is now called the Nutten Hook State Unique Area.

The better part of one century is not a long time in the range of human history. That is how long ice harvesting has been gone from the Hudson River. It is hard to believe that in this amount of time — except for a few scattered foundations and chimneys — almost all traces of the ice industry have vanished from the Hudson Valley. 

To reach columnist David Dorpfeld, e-mail [email protected].

Comments are closed.