A Unique View of Cold Spring

Postcard depicts the village circa 1911

By Michael Turton

A local resident recently acquired a historic postcard that provides a rare look at what the central part of Cold Spring looked like in the very early 1900s.

The postcard is date stamped 10 a.m., May 30, 1911, the day it was mailed from Cold Spring to Bessie Gilland in Matteawan, New York. The village of Matteawan, founded in 1814, and the village of Fishkill Landing, incorporated in 1864, merged in 1913 to become the City of Beacon.

No note was written on the back of the card, which was mailed using a single one-cent stamp. The card also lacks a street address for Gilland and includes only her name and “Matteawan, NY.” What might be the sender’s name, “Inez,” is scrolled in difficult-to-read handwriting on the back, along with the letters “Ccg,” also penned by hand but apparently with a different pen. A company name, “JR, Newburgh, NY,” and “Made in Germany” are commercially printed on the back.

The vista on the 104-plus-year-old card looks north from the high ground on Rock Street, from behind and above the shops now located on the south side of Main Street in the first full block above the railroad tracks. The old Cold Spring train station, now the Depot Restaurant, is seen in the left-center of the image. The card’s creator may have taken some artistic license. The moon might not set as far north as is depicted in the image.

The resident, who preferred not to be named, purchased the card on eBay for $12.50 plus postage. He said that a few months prior to buying it, another copy of the card had also appeared on eBay but was not in as good condition, so he didn’t click on “Buy.”

“When this one popped up a few weeks ago as a ‘Buy It Now’ item, I still passed on it,” he told The Paper. “I downloaded the photo and was happy with that.”

But he began to have second thoughts. “My wife loved the postcard and urged me to buy it so that we could frame it, but I still held off,” he said. Eventually that changed. “One night while looking at it, the thought struck me, ‘Why wouldn’t I buy this?’ … and I bought it immediately,” he said. “(I was) so happy that someone else hadn’t (bought) it during my period of procrastination!”

The old Cold Spring train station, now the Depot Restaurant, can be seen in the center-left portion of this postcard, which was mailed in 1911 from Cold Spring to Matteawan, now known as Beacon, using a one-cent stamp.

Images courtesy of the card’s owner

The old Cold Spring train station, now the Depot Restaurant, can be seen in the center-left portion of this postcard, which was mailed in 1911.


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