What is it? Where is it?
Factory Brook is a little-known waterway which flows through Hastings. It is the only known tributary to the Hudson who's entire contiguous length resides within the Village's boundaries.
Originating in a spring on the Burke Estate, the head of the waterway boasts the largest freshwater wetland in Hastings. Downstream, Factory brook passes through a series of concrete pipes and culverts before flowing out into the Hudson beneath the former footprint of building 52.
Path of the Brook
Near Burnside drive, the brook emerges in a small spring, seen here as a depression in the vegetation
The brook flows through dense stands of common reed on the southern side of the property
Common reed and multiflora rose obscure the metal pipe, where the water passes under the grassy east/west path in the center of the wetland
The grassy path passing over the brook
The metal pipe directs the water out into the northern section of the wetland, where another stand of common reed slows the waterflow
The brook passes through various collapsed and abandoned stone structures upon leaving the wetland, such as this bridge
An old stone bridge and culvert mark the exit of the wetlands, and the entrance into the woods. The duck pond began at this point
A low stone shelf is the only remaining artifact from the duck pond. The brook passes right through this area without filling the pool
The dam which formerly retained the pond has collapsed, water now passes freely between and over the remains
After leaving the Burke Estate, the brook passes along the eastern side of route 9 before flowing into a stone culvert
The water again emerges at the corner of Broadway and Washington, before disappearing under the parking lot of 445 Broadway
A concrete pipe carries the brook under the parking lot of 445 Broadway, leading out to the ravine west of the aqueduct
A stonework tunnel runs under the aqueduct, where the brook passes through
The brook then flows through the ravine prior to merging with other stream originating north of Hillside Woods
After collecting in the Cropsey pond beneath the Warburton bridge, the brook is piped out to the Hudson. This grating in the northern portion of commuter lot is the only point where the water is visible.
This composite image of historical maps shows Factory Brook's full path, from the spring at the Burke to the outflow into the Hudson River.
We can see the path of Factory Brook under the commuter lot when we overlay the historical photo over a contemporary satellite view. This is roughly where the brook runs under the concrete today.
History and Name
Although not in common use now as a name, historic maps and documents list the waterway as "Factory Brook."
The reasoning behind the name can be seen on this 1834 map, with Factory Brook on right. The brook flowed into a pond below what is now the aqueduct, before being used by Saunders Patent Axle and Brass Iron Turning Factory, and later flowing into Schislars Button Factory.
The source of the brook can be traced back to a spring located on the Burke Estate, near Burnside Drive. These photographs from the 30's (courtesy of Hastings Public Library) show spring, brook, and duck pond.