The West Point Foundry 2002 Fieldwork

The site of the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York was once a clustered mass of industrial buildings and transportation networks. Serving as one of the major producers of ordnance during the Civil War and the manufacturer of sugar machinery, railway locomotives, and the Nation's first iron ship, the West Point Foundry is on the National Register of Historic Places and remains immortalized in Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon." Now, it lies forested and disheveled with only wall foundations visible on the surface. Graduate Student Alicia Valentino, under the direction of Dr. Patrick Martin and Dr. Timothy Scarlett, led a team of archaeologists surveying the site during the summer of 2002, utilizing a variety of instruments including a Total Station and transit. The project also collected over 250 historic maps and photographs. A map of the 87-acre site resulted from the data collected; CAD and GIS programs were used to manipulate the data to aid future research and excavation. The current landowners, Scenic Hudson Land Trust can also use the maps for site stabilization, interpretation, and preservation.


The compilation of historic documentation includes maps and photographs pertaining to the operation of the site as an iron foundry, its tenure under the Cornell Company at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, and subsequent site owners. These documents help to interpret the remains and serve as comparisons of the site as it was then and as it is today. Furthermore, they serve for reference to the 2002 photographs taken by Graduate Student Larry Mishkar. Mishkar performed a photographic inventory of the site, including cultural and natural features, illustrating the modern conditions and injury to the foundry's remains by natural forces such as erosion and vegetation growth.

These maps, documents, and photographs will serve as excellent sources for reconstructing foundry operations and site manipulation, as well as presenting the data in a format accessible for broad audience.

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