"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thomson Pulp and Paper Mill Ruins (Part Two)

Thompson - Across the River

After exploring Hudson Crossing Park (previous post - Part One), we drove to Northumberland and took Route 4 across the Hudson River. We went back down Rt 113 to Thomson to sniff out any vestiges of the old paper mill.  As the historical postcards below indicate, years ago there was a small village and the paper mill was quite substantial.

Thomson Pulp and Paper Mill
This area was once the site of the Thomson Pulp and Paper Company. Incorporated on June 11, 1888 it was later known as the Iroquois Pulp & Paper Co. It was sold to Georgia Pacific and closed in 1980.
1890 View of the Paper Mill
Thomson NY Pulp & Paper Mill c1910 Postcard
From the Gino DiCarlo Collection
1940 Topo Map
The Paper Mill is long gone but vestiges of the mill and railroad/trolley presence still remain
trackage (prior to the 1980 closing)

Exploring the Area

A - The North End
We parked at the north end and although the bridge (Z ) was blocked, a walk to X (see photos below) unveiled a way across the sluiceway at Y.
North End 
The north end trolley abutments
"X" apparently was the location where boats docked and unloaded their timber
The Bridge (at Y) looked like the "official" entrance as it was lined with gracefully shaped trees
As we trekked southward, we saw railroad ties still in the ground...
...and piles of the ties as well
B - At the Railroad Crossing

Bushwhacking thru the undergrowth to get to the railroad piers unveiled this old relic
(a signal perhaps?)
Looking back across the Hudson at the railroad piers
There was an old rail sticking up nearby
C - At the Trolley Crossing
The River was raging and has toppled some of the trolley piers
It was an an impressive sight, seeing and hearing the raging river cascading around the trolley piers. Super-Short Video:

The Railroad Piers are visible looking north

Stone Rubble where the Trolley Bridge started

Paper Mills Ruins

South of the Trolley Crossing there was a bit of the old paper mill still standing...
At the far end of the wall, the archway looked like an opening for water to exit via the sluiceway
If you look closely along the bottom of the wall there are additional arches
(More lower level sluiceways?)
We ventured into the foundation area to explore the ruins...
The old turbine! :-)
The archway was the exit for the water flow
Tree vs. Ruins
We left the foundations area and headed back north along the clogged channel which we figured was the sluiceway. The bridge I had spotted from the aerial satellite maps was for the road as parallel to it were the abutments for the trolley bridge
The old roadway bridge was still solid as a rock
Walking northward, we even found a rail in the ground! 

D - The Batten Kill Railroad Tracks

We said our goodbyes to the area and drove south towards the Batten Kill. We stopped briefly to photograph the end of the Batten Kill spur (now disused). These tracks at one point continued thru the paper mill and on across the river

E - Piers on the Batten Kill

It was a beautiful, serene stretch of the Batten Kill where we stopped to explore the Trolley Piers. Once again, a short trek thru dense forest undergrowth was required to get to the abutment but it was stunningly beautiful in the sunlight.

It was already after 1 pm and we were long overdue for a midday rest. We headed over to the charming town of Greenwich to visit the local brewery...

Next - Greenwich and on to Moses Kill 


  1. Batten Kill Piers
    Bing Bird’s Eye

  2. The aerial photo with the railroad overlaid has it in the wrong place. It shows the battenkill curving down to the trolley piers.

    1. ?? It was from this map: