John Andros Point Comfort

The man in the photo to the left is one of the first generation: John Andros, nee Giacomo Coloroutolo. The vessel with a problem is the Point Comfort.


Hyde Park Landing occupies land on the North and South sides of the mouth of the Crum Elbow Creek at its confluence with the Hudson River. Today, there is little remaining of the two “landings” that were formerly situated at the mouth of the creek: DeCantillon-Stoutenburgh Landing on the South side and Willow Tree Dock (subsequently known as Hyde Park Landing) on the North side.

Both Landings are shown in each of the two murals displayed below. The mural featuring the netting of the sturgeon (the “Fish” mural) is a scene viewed from the river in range with the mouth of the creek. The DeCantillon Landing is to the right (South) of the mouth of the creek. Hyde Park Landing is to the left (North) of the mouth of the creek, showing the buildings and the steamboat Norwich.

Hyde Park Fishing mural

From the Professions and Industries in Hyde Park Murals in The Hyde Park, New York Post Office, Painted in 1941 by Olin Dows (1904-1981)

According to a pamphlet produced by the Hyde Park Historical Association, this view shows: About 1795. Richard De Cantillon, Tobias Stoutenburgh’s son-in-law, supervises workmen unloading rum, sugar and molasses from one of his West India Trading Packets. His landing, site of the present station, was a most active and prosperous enterprise. A woman mends shad nets, logs are poled to shore for the saw mill, a hay boat is loaded.

The mural that shows a view from the land looking southwest to the mouth of the creek (the “Ship” mural) has DeCantillon Landing on the left (South) side of the mouth of the creek, and Hyde Park Landing on the right (North) side.


From the Professions and Industries in Hyde Park Murals in The Hyde Park, New York Post Office, Painted in 1941 by Olin Dows (1904-1981)

According to a pamphlet produced by the Hyde Park Historical Association, this view shows: About 1795. Richard De Cantillon, Tobias Stoutenburgh’s son-in-law, supervises workmen unloading rum, sugar and molasses from one of his West India Trading Packets. His landing, site of the present station, was a most active and prosperous enterprise. A woman mends shad nets, logs are poled to shore for the saw mill, a hay boat is loaded.


Post office works of art were, in large part, funded through commissions under the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts, established as one of the many New Deal programs of Hyde Park’s own President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was established in 1934 as the Section of Painting and Sculpture. The name was changed in 1938 to the Section of Fine Arts, and was combined with a branch of the National Park Service in 1939. The Section’s function was to decorate new federal buildings. The object was to place the art in public buildings so it would be accessible to all the people.

Post office murals are often mistaken for WPA art, but this was not a “relief” project as under other New Deal art agencies. Contracts were awarded though a competitive process, mostly to local artists in the vicinity of the post office or other public building to be decorated.

Olin Dows, a local artist and friend of FDR, was awarded the commission to create the murals in the Hyde Park Post Office. Executed in 1941, they illustrate the history of the Town, beginning in time from Henry Hudson’s original voyage on the Half Moon and ending in 1941.

They adorn all four walls of the post office, providing a continuous pictorial treasure to be experienced by the countless thousands of persons who have found the need to enter this building.


By the end of the 18th century, four Landings were in operation along the Hyde Park waterfront. The Stoutenburgh family, first settlers of the area, was responsible for the development of two of the four.

The first, or “Lower” Landing was built during the early 1740’s at a location about ¾ mile South of the present former Hyde Park railroad station. The station is now owned by the Town of Hyde Park and has been restored through the efforts of the Hudson Valley Model Railroad Society, which leases the building from the Town.

The second, the “Upper” Landing, is the DeCantillon-Stoutenburgh Landing depicted in the murals. This landing was built after the Revolutionary War, sometime after 1793, the year in which Richard DeCantillon received a Grant from the State of New York to lands underwater for whatever purpose he chose. Note that the Ship mural has a date of about 1795, and that there is not much activity or development at that time at Hyde Park Landing. This seems to be correct historical context.

The third landing was originally called the Willow Tree Dock. The land was originally owned by Dr. John Bard, another early (1763) settler in Hyde Park. This natural dock became commercially active when it was operated by Stoutenburgh interests. It was sold during the time the land and improvements were owned by Dr. David Hosack. It is Hosack who is responsible for the vast majority of the horticultural improvements on the property now known as the Vanderbilt National Historic Site. Under Hosack’s ownership, the Willow Tree Dock, renamed Hyde Park Landing, continued to thrive.

The dock and improvements were acquired by the Langdon family, successors to Hosack, and predecessors to Vanderbilt. It was during the Langdon tenure that the Hudson River Railroad began acquiring property for its “Water-Level Route” between New York and Albany along the East shore of the Hudson River.

A map prepared when the Railroad was acquiring its right-of-way is shown as Plate 1. Plate 1 shows the arrangement of improvements and the dock at Hyde Park Landing during the Langdon stage of ownership. This map agrees well with the artist’s rendition of Hyde Park Landing in the Fish mural. Note the buildings in each and the arrangement of the docks.

Hyde Park railroad

Plate 1
Portion of Railroad Right of Way Taking Map (Circa 1850) – No Scale

The road shown leading to Hyde Park Landing connects to the present Dock Street at a point just west of the stone arch bridge over the Crum Elbow.

The fourth and final landing was at the location known as Bard Rock on what is now the Vanderbilt National Historic Site. This was part of Dr. Bard’s holdings. A significant commercial trading business and ferry service were developed at this landing. It can be seen at the far right of the mural header that appears on the pages of this website.


In 1850 the Hudson River Railroad Company began acquiring land for its “road” along the East shore of the Hudson River in the vicinity of Hyde Park. The DeCantillon Landing property had been purchased surreptitiously by fronts for the railroad. The Langdons, however, were not persuaded to sell their property and commercial interests in the river at Hyde Park Landing.

The railroad had, through various political means, convinced the New York State Legislature to bestow it with the power of eminent domain, a very odd circumstance since such power is normally limited to units of the government. The railroad exercised that power to wrest the Hyde Park Landing property from the Langdon family in 1851 after a contentious battle in the New York State Supreme Court.

As a result, the railroad became owner of both landings at the mouth of the Crum Elbow Creek. Since the railroad was in direct competition with river shipping, it was fortuitous to eliminate that competition in Hyde Park and many other landings along the River between New York and Albany.

One benefit of the railroad entry into the historical context of the area was the generation of very accurate survey information and mapping that was gathered from the 1850 decade and forward. Plate 1 is an example, prepared at the behest of the railroad for its eminent domain action against the Langdons.

The railroad then successfully petitioned the State for a Grant of land underwater in order to fill along the shore of the River for its railroad. Both landings were filled to become part of the railroad roadbed.

The railroad did build its own dock for its use in constructing its infrastructure. That dock is shown on Plate 2, a map that appeared as a broadside for sale of the lots shown on it.

1850 Hyde Park real estate poster

Plate 2
Portion of Real Estate Poster Advertisement (Post 1850 Decade) – Approx. Scale 1″ = 300′

Walter Langdon, undaunted by his loss of Hyde Park Landing to the railroad, renewed his efforts to operate a commercial dock on his property. In 1870 he obtained from the State a grant of land beneath the waters of the Hudson River to develop a second Langdon dock, located North of the original Hyde Park Landing. Furthermore, in 1871 he petitioned the Town of Hyde Park to “lay out” and construct a road to his new dock, across his property. After much debate, the Town did lay out today’s Dock Street, and constructed the road through the present rock cut and to his dock site.

The new Langdon Dock was an instant success. Too bad for the Langdon interests, though, because on December 26, 1873 the railroad, now the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, received a grant from the State to expand its Westerly boundary further into the River, thereby acquiring ownership of the latest Langdon Dock. The railroad, originally constructed with two tracks, was planning an expansion to a four-track main line.

Since that date, the railroad has either directly or indirectly controlled the waterfront in the vicinity of the Crum Elbow Creek. It did, however, lease parcels of land to various individuals and entities. Plate 3 shows the location of various leases maintained by the railroad as of 1917.

Hyde Park railroad leases

Plate 3

Plate 4 is a photograph taken from the mid-point of the River in 1906 showing, among other things, the structures on the West side of the railroad tracks in the vicinity of the mouth of the Crum Elbow Creek. The structures relate to Lease Parcels 2, 3, and 4, as well as railroad-owned buildings.

1906 view of Hudson River

Plate 4

One of the lease parcels shown on Plate 3 is that of the Hyde Park Ice Yacht Club, which as the name implies, was an organization devoted to ice boating, particularly racing. Members included none other than FDR (before his presidential days), FW Vanderbilt, Archibold Rogers, Thomas Newbold, and others of Hyde Park and Staatsburg elite at the turn of the century (20th, that is). The membership, however, was diverse and included doctors, lawyers, farmers, fishermen and other local businessmen such as a butcher and a grocer. Members were united by a shared passion for their river and their sport. In all, the membership roster for the year 1909 listed 78 active members.

The club had its own “signal,” the club’s burgee. A copy of the colored plate found in the 1909 hard-bound club yearbook, showing the club burgee and officers’ flags, is shown below. The yearbook included the club Constitution and bylaws, membership roster, listing of officers, past officers, race results, and yachts listed by class, among other pertinent data.

Hyde Park Ice Yacht Club flags

Hyde Park Landing, Ltd. has adopted the Hyde Park Ice Yacht Club signal as its logo, and proudly displays it beneath the US Ensign on its flagpole during the boating season.

The railroad expanded its infrastructure in Hyde Park in 1913/1914. Among the improvements made were: removal of the original station and tower, construction of the present station, a new bridge over the mouth of the creek, two additional tracks, making a total of five over the new bridge (one being a side track), and a pedestrian subway underpass to the West side of the tracks as part of the new bridge.

In subsequent years, most of the leases on the West side of the tracks gradually extinguished. The last to go was Langdon’s Dock. Plate 5 is a photograph looking North taken from the middle “6-foot” of the tracks that shows the storage building and canopy roof on the dock.

Remains of various foundations of structures in Lease parcels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 are evident today.

Hyde Park railroad

Plate 5


Plate 3 shows lease Parcel No. 6 on the East side of the tracks and creek, bordering Dock Street and River Road. This parcel was leased to John Andros, the first generation of the Andros family to inhabit the Landing area. Giacomo Colourotolo immigrated to America from his native Italy in 1893 at age 14, and took a job as a maintenance-of-way laborer on the railroad in either 1902 or 1903. He became John Andros, the story goes, named by his railroad supervisors who had a hard time spelling and pronouncing his name. He was rapidly promoted to track Section foreman since he could speak English as well as his native Italian. Just as today’s bilingual Hispanic workers are much sought after, John was a valuable commodity, being able to understand and communicate in English to his superiors, and to speak in Italian to the majority of those working under his direction.

A “Section” consists of 10 miles of track and associated right-of-way. Before 1914, John’s Section 18 consisted of 5 miles of right-of-way, since the railroad was a 2-track affair. After 1914, John’s Section consisted of 2.5 miles of right of way since it was then a 4-track railroad. The Section extended roughly from Hyde Park to today’s Poughkeepsie Yacht Club.

Plate 6 is a photograph taken before 1907 of John Andros standing beside a sign identifying his Section as the best maintained for the entire New York Central System (about 15,000 miles of track), an annual award he received many times.

1907 John Andros Hyde Park Landing

Plate 6

Plate 7 is a similar photograph taken several years later showing a similar award sign.


John Andros leased Parcel No. 6 and, along with his wife Pasqualina, raised a family of four boys and four girls on that piece of property. All of the boys (Joseph, Anthony, Rocco, and Fred) worked for the railroad from as early an age as was allowed at that time. They all retired from the railroad. The family boasted over 250 years of service to the railroad. Anthony, second oldest of the four, retired in 1970 with 51 years of service, and he died in his 98th year in 2003. Rocco, who retired in 1972 with 50 years of service, died in 2001.

In 1954, John purchased Parcel No. 6 from the railroad. The deed is in his natal name. In 1962, Rocco purchased the remainder of the property West of Parcel No. 6, North of the station, and East of the railroad tracks. It was then that various improvements were made primarily by Anthony. A year later Rocco and Anthony started a modest marina in the inlet on the East side of the tracks.

The marina has been in continuous operation since 1963.

In 1970 and 1972 Rocco purchased two parcels of land on the West side of the tracks, bounded by the Westerly boundary of the railroad established in 1873. The marina operation was then expanded to include moorings in the river.

It remains in the Andros family today, as Hyde Park Landing, Ltd., now operated by Anthony’s son Peter, and his family.

Three Andros generations

Three Generations: Anthony, John, and the current operator, Peter the fisherman

Additional improvements were made by the current family operator, beginning in 1994 with the building on which the Hyde Park Landing sign can be seen from the River. Public water service, lighting, access security, and other infrastructure improvements have also been made under his stewardship, the latest being the addition of a storage building, the architecture of which mirrors that of his grandfather John’s “Toolhouse 18”, from which his father and uncles worked.

The Peter Andros family has also made improvements to properties surrounding the marina, including 2 Dock Street, 4 Dock Street, and four townhomes on River Road clearly visible from the marina. The family continues the commitment to stewardship of the land and River over which they have ownership that was kindled four generations ago. The fifth generation is now resident.