Friday, August 12, 2011

The Cohoes Falls, Cohoes, NY

Just north of the Harmony Mill is the Cohoes Cataract...raging in spring, a gurgle in late summer and autumn, an ice castle in winter. The waters of the Mohawk were diverted just before the falls,  harnessed for power generation and water flow through the New York State Barge Canal.  Growing up around Cohoes, one learned early to defend the legend of Hiawatha descending the Cohoes Falls and vanishing in to the white mist. This Mohawk legend is Cohoes' claim to a time before the Dutch colonials.

Click on image to enlarge and read

Cohoes Falls in Spring


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Harmony Mills

Harmony Mill #3 in Cohoes, NY has been rescued. You can now rent a luxury apartment at The Lofts at Harmony Mills and sleep comfortably inside the once cavernous mill where several of my ancestors worked as child laborers. Actually the #3 is just one of the many mills in the complex and I have no idea who worked in which building and when. The first mill, built by Peter Harmony, was constructed in 1837.  When I last viewed it, there were no signs of activity in that building.  The #2 mill, at the northern end of #3, was built in 1857 and has been demolished. Some structures in the complex are believed to have actually been built over the original Erie Canal using canal stone in the  foundation work.  This was possible because as the Erie canal was enlarged, its path was redesigned and relocated, and even put to other uses for power generation along the mill. 

Below is a view of the eastern facade of #3 with the Mohawk River in the foreground.  I will never cease to be amazed at the shear size of this mill.  According to the Self Guided Tour of the Harmony Historic District published by The Spindle City Historic Society, the #3 mill was built in 1866 with an addition in 1872 making it the largest "complete" cotton mill in the nation.

Harmony Mills from Northside, Waterford 2008

The Pinnacles of Harmony Mills

Harmony Mill from Northside with the Steeple of St Agnes