ARDEN-SUREBRIDGE TRAIL (ASB)


Directions:

Parking is at the Elk Pen just south of Arden Valley Road, a short distance east of NY 17.


History:

1810 -- James Cunningham of Warwick, NY has the highest bid, thereby acquiring the 3,400 acre tract (the northwest half of Great Mountain Lot No. 3) in Orange County.

1811 -- Cunningham erects a charcoal blast furnace, naming it Greenwood for the color of the surrounding forests. It is located in a picturesque glen at the outlet of Echo Lake, formerly Furnace Pond (just over half a mile east of the railroad station at Arden).

1812 -- During the War of 1812, the furnace supplies cannonballs for the American military.

1815 -- business slows down and the sheriff seizes the ironworks.

1823 -- Gouverneur Kemble leases land in Orange County for the mineral rights.

1827 -- Nathaniel Sands buys the property at a sheriff's sale, but then Gouverneur Kemble (owner of the West Point Foundry at Cold Spring, NY, Putnam County) and William Kemble (of New York City) acquire 2,839 acres of Greenwood furnace property. The Kembles plus silent partner John R. Fenwick acquire most of the Greenwood region mines and the ironworks.

1836 -- Robert P. Parrott (an 1824 West Point graduate) commissioned a captain in the ordnance corps; assigned to active duty at the Cold Spring Foundry across the Hudson; he resigned from the army to become superintendent of the foundry for the Kembles.  He also was at one time a physics teacher.  In 1839 he married Gouverneur's sister.

1836  --  The founder of the West Point Foundry at Cold Spring, Gouverneur Kemble, met Robert Parrott and hired him to be superintendent of the foundry. Parrrott invented the rifled cannon, known as the Parrott cannon, that had a longer range than any such armament at the time of the Civil War. The French science fiction writer Jules Verne chose the West Point Foundry as the place of the manufacture for a projectile that was to take a journey to the moon.  After six years of operation under Parrott, the blast furnace was shut down and pig iron was purchased from Greenwood Furnace, in which Parrott held a one-third share. He later bought the whole operation from Gouverneur and William Kemble. (Isleib and Chard 2000:16-17)

1837 -- Peter Parrott, brother of Robert P., and a former whaling captain manages the Woodbury furnace for Gouveneur Kemble and later the Greenwood furnace.

1837 -- Robert P. Parrott buys Fenwick's one-third interest.

1839 -- the furnace woodwork destroyed in a fire; in the process of rebuilding the furnace production is increased.

1839 -- Robert P. Parrott buys all the rest of the works from the Kembles.

1843 -- Erie Railroad comes through the Ramapo Valley to Greenwood. Business becomes so good, a second furnace, the Clove Furnace, is opened. The second furnace used anthracite for fuel rather than charcoal.

Before Civil War -- charcoal pig iron used by the West Point foundry in Cold Spring for the manufacture of gun barrels.

Civil War -- Greenwood Furnace kept busy making iron for the Parrott guns. Parrott designed the "Parrott gun" credited with being the most effective artillery weapon of the Union Army.

1863  --  So vital were these guns to the North that cadets from West Point were dispatched to guard the Foundry in the summer of 1863 when threats were made against it by Southern sympathizers. (Heinbach 229)

1871 -- final blast.

Info from: James M. Ransom. 1966. Vanishing Ironworks of the Ramapos. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

What is known as the Greenwood group of mines were discovered and opened & worked from around 1830 to 1880. They supplied the blast furnaces at Arden. Among these mines were:

Black Ash Mine
Boston Mine (which send ore to Clove Furnace at Arden for smelting)
Bradley Mine (Rev. War to 1874; Robert & Peter Parrott)
Garfield Mine (supplying both the Clove and Greenwood Furnaces)
Greenwood Mine (owned by Robert & Peter Parrott; ore sent to Clove and Greenwood Furnaces)
Harris Mine (Parrott family)
Hogencamp Mine
Pine Swamp Mine (1830-1880, owned by Robert and Peter Parrott)
Surebridge Mine (owned by Robert and Peter Parrott; ore sent to Greenwood Furnace).

The Lehigh and Hudson River Railway had its beginnings in the eleven-mile Warwick Railway from Warwick, NY to Greycourt, NY. Not long after the close of the Civil War extensive iron ore mines opened near the New York-New Jersey State line, a few miles west of Warwick. The ore was taken by wagon to Warwick, thence by rail over the Warwick Valley Railroad and the New York and Erie Railroad to Greenwood Furnace. This was a new source of revenue for the Warwick Valley Railroad and was a favorable addition to the revenue they had been receiving from the transportation of farm and dairy products. Very shortly, large lime kilns were placed in operation at McAfee, N. J. and so that the Warwick Valley Railroad could share in the handling of this additional traffic, the line was extended another eleven miles west to McAfee, N. J., in 1880. http://lhr.railfan.net/history.htm

Foundry School Museum at 63 Chestnut Street in Cold Spring was built in 1830 as a school for foundry worker's children; it features a 19th century classroom setting with benches, slates, old books and even a dunce cap. One room is devoted to the history of the Foundry and the items forged there. A model of the famous Civil War Parrott gun designed by West Point graduate Robert Parrott (Class of 1824) is on view along with a fragment of an actual gun barrel.  (Heinbach 230)


Edward H. Harriman (1848-1909)

Arden was once known as Greenwood Furnace (owned by the Parrott family). Edward H. Harriman as a young boy spent a summer here working as a timekeeper at the Greenwood Furnace. (Myles 1991:465)

1862  -- at 14 years of age, went to work on Wall Street.

1870  --  becomes a member of the New York Stock Exchange. 

1879  -- marries Mary Williamson Averell from a prominent family of Ogdensburg, New York.

1886  -- Harriman buys some 7,863 acres of Parrott land.  Among the structures on the land was one at Arden  --  a small cottage occupied by a married daughter, where the Harrimans began to stay on weekends.  Harriman gradually expanded and improved the cottage.  The name Arden was probably taken from the forest setting for Shakespeare's As You Like It.  The residence was located on Tower Hill overlooking Echo Lake.  At Arden Harriman began his "fanatical embrace of wilderness as a source of personal catharsis" of business problems and concerns. (Klein 2000:68-69)

1898 -- started working himself into the Union Pacific Railroad, a move that catapulted him to the top of the railroad world. 

1905-1909  -- starts building an estate at Arden.  The plans for the granite mansion were drawn up by Carrier and Hastings. He build a thousand-feet cable railway up the steep side of the mountain so workmen and materials could gain easy access to the summit.  Another way to get to the summit was on the carriage path; it was three miles from the Arden railway station to the summit.  (Kennan, 1969, reprint, Volume II: 336)

He began at Arden a working dairy farm. He created a company he called Arden Farms.  He also began horse breeding at Arden. 

1908  --  when the state wanted to put a prison near where Bear Mountain Inn now stands, Harriman was driven into a rage.  He decided to save the area by offering to donate land for a state park.  (Klein 2000:431-432)

early in 1909  -- Harriman broached the park idea to Governor Hughes. (Klein 2000:431)

Arden had an Episcopal church, St. Johns (built 1863) which the Harrimans promoted.  Edward Harriman died in 1909.  In the church burial ground, Workmen blasted and carved out of solid rock a place for his crypt.

High on a ridge line of his vast estate, Edward Harriman built a baronial mansion, called Arden House, some say after the wife of Parrott. Arden House was later donated to Columbia University. (Binnewies, 2001:308)

 In 1919 Harriman Park imported a herd of 60 elk from Yellowstone Park and put them in a great enclosure between the town of Arden south to the town of Southfield. The elk did not do well and the remnants of the herd were sold in 1942 to a dealer. (Myles 1991:15)


Trail:

This is a cross-park trail going from the Park entrance on Route 17 at Arden, joins the AT at Island Pond Mountain, goes through Times Square (intersection of ASB, LP, and RD trails), (for a cross-park journey it hooks up with the Red Cross Trail on Pine Swamp Mountain and ends at Timp Pass), and then the ASB ends at Lake Skannatati.

The trail was blazed in 1921 by J. Ashton Allis.


FIELD TRIP REPORT
July 15, 1928

Walking Fern was observed by members of the TBC, on summer field trips, in two localities of exceptional interest, where geological conditions evidently governed the occurrence of the species. On July 15, on a walk from Arden, NY, through the western part of the Harriman State Park, over the Arden-Surebridge Trail, and the Surebridge Mine Road, the party was led to a limestone boulder, of a formation found in the Wallkill Valley, twenty miles northwest, a glacial fragment transported to the region and laid down by the melting of the ice among masses of the country rock of granite and gneiss. On this limestone boulder, about five feet long and three feet thick is a thriving colony of the Walking Fern, the only one known in the Harriman Park, or the Hudson Highlands, though perhaps similar limestone erratics not yet reported, in remote spots, might bear like colonies. The marvel is, how the spores of the fern brought from the Wallkill Valley, where it is common on the country limestone, took root upon this isolated boulder among the Highland Archaean formations.