Day 2: Departing Norrie Point
Norrie Point is a small point on the east shore of the Hudson River. The point and 323 acres of surrounding park lands were donated to New York State in 1934. Between 1934 and 1937, the height of the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) turned the donation into a public park. Over 200 men were encamped at the park and built roads, park facilities, and the "Point Inn."
Completed in the spring of 1937, the Point Inn was built by the CCC right on the tip of Norrie Point. Work on the Inn was done throughout the cold winter months. It was one of their last projects before the camp was closed in 1937.
The Point Inn opened as a privately operated restaurant starting on July 1, 1937. The Point Inn remained a popular restaurant spot until the mid-1960s.
In 1954 the Norrie Boat Basin opened to the public, bringing more tourists and recreation to Norrie Point.
In 1938 the Ogden Mills family donated an additional 190 acres and their family mansion, built in 1894. Multiple other land acquisitions throughout the 1960s and ‘70s and a more recent one in 2003 have dramatically expanded the public lands to over 1,000 acres shared between two state parks commonly referred to as Mills/Norrie. In the 1980s, the Point Inn was converted into the Norrie Point Environmental Center.
Today the center is home to the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. In 1982, four distinct tidal wetland sites on the Hudson River Estuary were designated the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve as field laboratories for estuarine research, stewardship and education. Stockport Flats in Columbia County, Tivoli Bays in Dutchess County, and Piermont Marsh and Iona Island in Rockland County all fall within the Reserve. The Reserve is operated as a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and relates to federally-designated and state-protected sites along 100 miles of the Estuary. Staff and researchers at the Norrie Point Educational Center help protect some of the Hudson River's most important and biodiverse wetlands and provide public environmental education. To learn more about the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, visit their website.
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This Captains' Log is kept by the captains and crew of Solaris and Apollonia and staff of the Hudson River Maritime Museum.