History

Ducks in River
Viewers are invited to comment on and suggest additional material. Please send any comments to office@hoorwa.org.

The Hoosac/Hoosic/Hoosick Valley: Its History is now available in a pdf file by clicking  http://www.williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Hoosic-History-12_2014.pdf

As the History is an ongoing project, there will be revisions periodically. To help you keep track, the current one is dated 12/2014.

The Watershed

A view toward the Hoosic River from the top of its watershed, on Mount Greylock. Cheshire Reservoir, which holds Hoosic headwaters, is visible in the distance.

A view toward the Hoosic River from the top of its watershed, on Mount Greylock. Cheshire Reservoir, which holds Hoosic headwaters, is visible in the distance.

A watershed is the region that drains into a particular body of water such as a river or lake. This is why watersheds are also known as drainage basins. A river’s watershed extends all the way to the tops of the hills and ridges that surround the river valley. A drop of water falling anywhere inside the watershed boundaries will eventually make its way down to the river, either in a stream, or over the ground, or under the ground. Taking care of the river, then, means taking care of the whole area that drains into the river.
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Meet the Hoosic

Some Facts and Figures

The Hoosic is a three-state river. It is fed by streams that run down from the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Taconics of New York, and the sides of Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts (3,491 ft.). It runs 70 miles from where it begins, at the Cheshire Reservoir in Massachusetts, to where it enters the Hudson river at Stillwater, NY. Altogether, the Hoosic and its tributaries drain 720 square miles of land. The river passes through several towns, but much of the watershed is farmland and forest.
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The Natural Community

For the Hoosic’s natural community, the last five hundred years have been chaotic! Before then, the watershed was mostly forested, though Native Americans cleared fields and raised crops along river valleys. In some areas they also burned the woods regularly, thus managing the land to produce more wild game. Wolves, deer, and bison all roamed here. The Hudson River contained salmon; trout were abundant in tributaries such as the Hoosic, Walloomsac, Tomhannock and Kinderhook.
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Eagles along the Hoosic

For the past several years, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has involved volunteers for a mid winter bald eagle survey. Visit their website (click here) to find more information. But first, enjoy the narrative below written by one of the January 2011 volunteers, 13 year old Thomas Kirby.

Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey
By Thomas Kirby
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Virtual Tour

The following is a collection of photos taken of the Hoosic in Massachusetts and Vermont.

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