Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the Polish engineer they named the Northway’s twin bridges after, knew how to build things to make them last. Take the earthworks at Peebles Island, for instance, more than 230 years old. “Where else in the area can you see the original remains of earthworks from the American Revolution?” asked Paul Huey, an archaeologist with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation whose headquarters are on Peebles Island. “They haven’t been restored, enhanced or improved for interpretation. They’re unchanged, just the way they left them. That’s pretty unique.”
A historical marker points out the earthworks on Peebles Island in the town of Waterford. Built in 1777 by Polish engineer Thaddeus Koscuiszko, the earthworks provided the Colonial troops with a strong defensive position against possible attacks from the north by the British during the American Revolution
The factory works of Cluett, Peabody and Company, shown here from Van Schaick Island, thrived on Peebles Island for much of the first half of the 20th century. The largests manufacturer of detachable collars and cuffs in the world during the 1930s, the buildings now serve as the Peebles Island State Park Visitor Center, and headquarters for the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Peebles Island State Park employee Ben Couser maintains the grounds just below the earthworks built in 1777 during the American Revolution. Behind Couser is the bridge going over the Mohawk River to Waterford.
Nola DelGallo, an employee at Peebles Island State Park, enjoys her lunch hour sitting atop the earthworks at Peebles Island.
The now-defunct Cluett, Peabody and Company water tower and two factory buildings are silhouetted against the mid-day sky earlier this month on Peebles Island State Park
Interpretive panels inside the visitor center at Peebles Island State Park tell the history of the island, formed near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers in the town of Waterford.
Andrea Costanzo/For The Sunday Gazette