Along the eastern edge of New Jersey lay the steep cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades/Hudson River Palisade which stretch north from Jersey City to Nyack, New York. Known for their vertical drop down to the Hudson River's edge they are approximately 300 feet high in Weehawken.
Established in 1859, Weehawken is situated on the western shore of the Hudson River, along the southern end of the New Jersey Palisades.Weehawken was known as a town who used a wide varieties of methods to battle the cliffs of the Palisades. Wagon lifts, stairs, and even an elevator designed by the same engineer as those at the Eiffel Tower were put in place to accommodate the tourists and summer dwellers who came to the area for its natural breeze of its location.
One of these was the Weehawken wagon lift which was a funicular wagon lift. It ascended from the foot of Hackensack Plank Road to then West Hoboken.
In 1887, the great Weehawken Elevators and Railroad began construction and was completed in 1891. By April of 1892 it began operations.
Near it were steps running down the cliff leading from Mountain Road.
The elevator and stairs are no longer in service but its remnants can still be found. In the overgrowth behind a commercial business along the cliffs and under a highrise is where what is left of the lift can be seen. The ruins of the stairs are visible from the road.
Frederick G. Bourne was President of the Singer Manufacturing Company between 1889 and 1905. Indian Neck Hall was his country residence and reputed to have been the largest estate on Long Island when it was built in 1897. The Georgian-style home was designed by noted architect, Ernest Flagg. In 1926, the property was sold and became La Salle Military Academy. St. John's University acquired the property in 2001 and offers a number of its graduate degree programs from the Oakdale campus.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Gonzalez is a photographer, blogger and historian currently residing in Newark, New Jersey.