West Point Foundry was an ironworks operation in Cold Spring, New York, located north of Manhattan along the right side of the Hudson River. It opened in 1817 and closed in 1911.
A few years ago we decided to hop on train and check it out. We needed a short day trip out of the city especially since I was going stir crazy after being homebound for a month – I busted my leg biking. A train ride along the Hudson is always enjoyable.
The location of Cold Spring was very ideal due to nearby iron ore and timber materials. Margaret’s Brook provided water power for heavy machinery. West Point, the oldest continually operating military post in the US, sits right across the Hudson River. Not only was the area secure, it was conveniently located by the River for easy shipping.
The main purpose of the foundry was to provide military equipment. They also built locomotives, piping for NYC’s water system and sugar mills.
To test artillery, it was fired across the river to Storm King Mountain. Nowadays Storm King is an outdoor arts center. The slopes has to be swept for explosives after some exploded in a fire in 1999.
The decline in demand for iron ore and the rise of steel led to bankruptcy. The foundry closed in 1911. Today you can explore the ruins which have been reinforced and fenced off for safety. West Point Foundry preserve is open for the public to explore, breath in fresh air, and read about Cold Spring’s iron ore days.
It’s really small, you can explore the foundry within 2 hours. It’s easy to get to from Metro-North and also a walk from Cold Spring.