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which led to the creation of the State Reservation at Niagara, though less intense in degree, arose, calling for the taking of the Glen property for a free public reservation. Backed by this sentiment, and availing itself of the favorable opportunity presented by the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, the State created the Reservation and entrusted it to our care.
The Watkins Glen Committee. In June and September, 1906, the Board of Trustees appointed the following Watkins Glen Committee: Col. Henry W. Sackett of New York, counselor at law, and Trustee of Cornell University by appointment by the Governor, Chairman; Prof. Liberty Hyde Bailey of Ithaca, Director of the State College of Agriculture at Cornell University; Charles Delamater Vail, L. H. D., of Geneva, Professor of English Literature and Librarian of Hobart College; James B. Rathbone of Elmira, Vice-President of the Chemung Canal Trust Co.; and the following of Watkins: Hon. William E. Leffingwell, President and Manager of the Glen Spring Sanitarium; George C. Wait, President of the Farmers and Merchants Bank; and Charles M. Woodward, counselor at law. The latter was Secretary of the Committee.
The first three mentioned were members of the Board of Trustees and the other four members of the Society. On February 6, 1911, Mr. Wait resigned and Ilon. John Allen Clute was appointed in his place. On May 22, 1911, after the introduction of the bill for the transfer of the jurisdiction of the reservation, Mr. Leffingwell resigned from the committee.
The administrative services of the Society and its Watkins Glen Committee in connection with Watkins Glen involved the expenditure of much time, careful thought and physical energy and also considerable personal expense, but were of course given with pleasure gratuitously to the State. The regular salaried employees at Watkins Glen under the administration of this Society were a Superintendent at $1,000 a year, two caretakers at $500 each, and one woman attendant, who was paid 15 cents an hour out of the appropriation of $250 for attendants at Entrance Pavilion.
* The Appropriation Bill for 1912 contained the following appropriations for regular salaries: Superintendent, $1,200; Secretary and Treasurer, $1,200; four caretakers, $2,400; and 2 women attendants, $420.
Superintendent, Architect and Engineers. As Superintendent of the Glen, the Society employed John E. Frost, 2nd, of Watkins, a man who from long acquaintance was entirely familiar with the Glen and who had been in the employment of the previous owners of the property. Mr. Frost was practical, efficient and economical, oftentimes effecting material savings of expense by his suggestions and the willingness of his personal labors. To his faithful service the State is much indebted.
In February, 1907, we employed George F. Barton of Montour Falls, a civil engineer, to make a reconnaissance of the Glen and obtain estimates of the expense of the repairs and improvements necessary. :
The actual work of improvement was begun in June, 1907. The work in the upper part of the Glen was done largely under the supervision of Mr. Pierce of the firm of Pierce & Bickford of Elmira, while that in the lower part of the Glen, including the ingenious solution of some of the most difficult problems of design and construction, was under the supervision of Prof. John V. Van Pelt, architect of New York, formerly Professor of Architecture in Cornell University, and now a lecturer at Columbia University.
Improving the Paths. The improvements which we undertook were confined to the eastern half of the Reservation, namely, the part between the village and the New York Central Railroad Viaduct, which embraced the deep part of the gorge, included the most picturesque scenery, and was most frequented by visitors.
Our first concern was to make the old paths and bridges temporarily safe for the public until permanent improvements could be made. There were, in the portion of Glen which we undertook to improve, about three miles of paths, the main path through the Glen having branches at various places and occasionally being paralleled by other paths at a higher or lower elevation. These old paths, measuring from six to 24 inches in width, were not only narrow, but they also sloped in a very dangerous way toward the precipice, and were rendered more dangerous by the water trickling from the rocks.
In a general way, we widened the paths to a breadth of three or four feet, cutting a large part of them out of the solid rock. The insecurity of the foothold of the old paths may be indicated by the fact that in places they did not afford standing room for the workmen, and it was necessary to lower the men in slings from the top of the gorge, vertical distances ranging from 20 to 150 feet, in order that they might perform the necessary labor. In several places, interruptions in the paths were formerly spanned by little wooden bridges. These we supplemented with reinforced concrete beams, upon which were placed slabs of stone, covered with gravel, producing a natural appearance. In some places we abandoned old paths and constructed new ones better situated for sight seeing, more convenient and safe for travel, and involving fewer obstructions to the view in the shape of stairways and bridges across the Glen.
The New Guard Rail. The old paths had the insecure protection of a fragile hand rail, made of irregular-shaped small poles or saplings, supported by slender posts. The new paths are protected with an iron guardrail of special design, modeled after the excellent rail devised for the State Reservation at Niagara. It consists first of cast iron standards or supports, three and a half feet high, curving inward, set from eight to ten feet apart and leaded or cemented into the natural rock or concrete blocks. Upon these standards were bolted three lines of inch-and-a-quarter iron pipe. The inward curve of the standards is designed to keep the spectators' feet several inches from the edge of the precipice. In the construction of these guard rails about 35,000 feet of iron pipe has been used. The new railings, in addition to being stronger in construction and safer in design, are less conspicuous than the old ones.
Scaling the Rocks. There is another kind of work in connection with the paths which has been performed annually and of which there is no visual evidence, but which has been very important for the public safety. The paths for a distance of about a mile and a quarter are overhung with shaly cliffs from ten to 150 feet high. When the water
enters the interstices of the rocks and freezes in winter, the ex-
Wooden Stairs Replaced With Concrete Stairs From the level of the street in the Village at the entrance of the Reservation to the level of the railroad tracks on the rim of the Glen at the New York Central Viaduct, there is a difference of elevation of 530 feet. In order to overcome this difference and also to connect the variable paths in the Glen, there were formerly wooden stairs, rude in construction, unsightly in appearance, located where most convenient to the builder, and frequently casting their inartistic lines athwart some of the most beautiful vistas in the Glen. In some cases, by changing the grade or location of the paths, we dispensed with stairs. In other places we cut steps in the natural rock; and in others erected iron or reinforced concrete stairs. In the latter case, the stairs were built with steel stringers calculated to carry the heaviest load that could be put upon them with a factor of safety of five. The stringers were rigidly braced together and provided with shoes to give them a firm bearing on the rock or concrete work. In some cases, to give additional security, the stairs were tied to the living rock by means of steel rods, connecting at one end with the steel skeleton of the stairs and at the other anchored in the rock. All the stairs were protected at the side, either by solid concrete balustrades or by iron pipe railings. There are nearly 1200 steps in the Glen, 566 being on the lower path and 632 on the upper path. In the concrete work, a harmonious effect was produced by simulating the natural rock in the manner described in connection with the bridges.
Concrete Bridges Built. When the reservation came into our custody, the Glen, in addition to being crossed by the stairs at various places, was spanned by eleven bridges. The principal one of these was the Suspension Bridge, an iron frame structure about ninety feet long, near the Glen Mountain House. The others were wooden bridges of clumsy construction. We have left the Suspension Bridge in place for lack of means to build a better looking structure. Seven of the bridges have been dispensed with entirely by a more judicious location of the paths, and three have been supplemented by reinforced concrete bridges. In making the concrete, we mixed the aggregate with the broken stone taken from the bottom of the Glen itself; then, before it had completely solidified, the wooden mould was removed and the exterior of the concrete scoured with a stiff brush, exposing the stone used in the mixture. The result was a rough surface, approaching in color that of the natural rock in the adjacent cliffs, and harmonizing well with the scenery.
Old Buildings Removed. In 1908, we removed the Glen Mountain House and other buildings referred to on page 35 in order to restore natural conditions as far as possible. An old brick house near the entrance to the reservation was temporarily retained for use as a tool-house but ultimately removed. In 1910 we secured the removal of a frame structure used as a grocery store which encroached
the reservation line at the south side of the entrance at Franklin street. So that all the old buildings were cleared away.
Sub-Divisions of the Reservation. Having now described some of the general features of the improvements made by the Society, we will notice some of the individual improvements, beginning at the entrance to the reservation at Franklin street and going westward.
In years gone by, a large number of poetic names have been attached to local features of Watkins Glen. These may be grouped under the following sub-divisions, beginning at the east end and