Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Nyack Brook Revisited

by Joseph Mitlof

Recently a question arose on these pages regarding the history of the Nyack Brook. The issue was whether the brook may have been used as  a geographic marker for African American slaves escaping North along the Underground Railroad.  There was a suggestion that the brook was man made and not available as a marker during the years that the UGRR functioned.

With our library somewhat inaccessible it took a little extra searching to find the following. Two maps were reviewed, one dated 1854 and one 1859. The ‘Dripps’ map and the ‘O’Connor’ map respectively, which are on display at the Rockland County archives center. In both cases the Nyack Brook appears to be shown. The period of the 1850’s was the peak period for the UGRR.

Click on the images to the left to enlarge each map. If closer examination by younger eyes reaches a different conclusion, please let me know.

Joseph Mitlof is founder of the Historic Underground Railroad Society.

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

You May Also Like

The Villages

This week in the Villages we examine the legal and ethical battle over New York City’s plan to house recent migrants in Hudson Valley...

The Villages

This week in the Villages Nyack school board candidates make their “closing arguments” to voters on a Zoom forum and right here on NN&V...

The Villages

This week in the Villages we take at a look at Rockland’s fight against gun violence and the smoke tsunami that crashed our midweek...