Troy’s Mount Olympus, two blocks south of Batestown within Middleburgh had once been a more conspicuous landmark: scenic, of scientific value, and even reportedly the site of “A Turning-Point in His Career” for the future United States President James A. Garfield — a point at which he might never have subsequently become President otherwise.
Mount Olympus was, for reasons not entirely clear, the victim of an over eighty-year long campaign by the City of Troy government to have it reduced in size and a road cut through it despite the multitude of other roads and alleys in the vicinity: River, North First Street, Sixth Avenue, Eighth Street, Ninth Street, Tenth Street, Oakwood Avenue, etc.
The rocky heights of Mount Olympus, in the northern boundary of the city, apparently was considered a place worthy of resort by the inhabitants of Troy. In the early summer of this year, W. D. Van der Heyden erected on the pinnacle of the prominence, a commodious, octagonal building, and made along the declivitous sides, an easy walk to the roadway below. A keeper remained in the building night and day during the summer, and was prepared to furnish visitors with such cooling cordials and other seasonable beverages as might be desired. Pointers were also placed by the proprietor to direct the attention of visitors to the different views. The Round house remained upon Mount Olympus until it was burned, on the night of the thirteenth of February, 1830.
The following geological description of Mount Olympus appeared in one of the newspapers of that time : “The summit of the rock is one hundred and twenty feet higher than low water mark, at the northern termination of the tide waters of the Hudson, one hundred and seventy-eight miles from the ocean, calculating from below the Narrows, south of New York City. It consists of a rock of sessile argillite, with its layers dipping to the south-east as to form an aver- age angle of 65° with the horizon. It is mostly of the glazed slate variety. It contains much carburet of iron, iron pyrites and a curiously striated variety of quartz between the natural cleavages:
small specimens of anthracite have also been found in it.”
Weise, Arthur James. History of the City of Troy. Troy, NY: William H. Young, 1876. 130-131. (citing Troy Post, May 13, 1893.)
This high ridge, bordering the alluvial flat on which the modern Troy is built, thoroughly carries out the Grecian idea which was adopted to supersede the original Dutch name of Vanderheyden which was given the town. From the northeast Mount Olympus and from the east Mount Ida frown upon Troy, and this modern Mount Ida does not hesitate at times to hurl down Jove’s thunderbolts in the form of destructive landslips.
Cook, Joel. America: Picturesque & Descriptive. Vol 2. NY: P.F. Collier & Son, 1900. 214.
On Thursday evening, about 8 o’clock, the Round House on Mount Olympus, that rocky bluff north of the city, near the road to Lansingburgh, was burnt. Whether the fire was owing to carelessness on the part of Jupiter in handling his thunderbolts, or whether some modern Prometheus, going up after a shovel full of coals, spilt some of them on the floor, or how else the fire took, we have not heard. It made a famous light, however, as the flames beaconed up from the shingled roof and shot up the flag staff; and the clouds, which covered the sky and sailed low, threw the strong red light all over the city.
The chief injury, we suppose, will be a temporary suspension of the noctes cœnæque deorum—an interruption to the feasts of gingerbread and gin, the modern substitute for nectar and ambrosia.—Troy Daily Sentinel.
“Fire on Olympus.” Mechanic’s Press 1(28) [Utica, NY]. May 22, 1830: 221 col 3. (“noctes cœnæque deorum“: meaning, according to a poet’s translation of Horace’s Latin phrase: “nights and suppers most divine”)
Captain Frederick Marryat, C. B., the English naval officer and novelist, in July, 1837, visited Troy, and thus wrote of his visit to the commanding eminence. ‘Troy like a modem academy, is classical, as well as commercial, having Mount Olympus on one side and Mount Ida in its rear. The panorama from the summit of the latter is splendid. * * * I remained two hours perched upon the top of the mountain. I should not have staid so long, perhaps, had they not brought me a basket of cherries, so that I could gratify more senses than one. I felt becomingly classical whilst sitting on the precise birthplace of Jupiter, attended by Pomona, with Troy at my feet, and Mount Olympus in the distance.
Weise, Arthur James. The City of Troy and Its Vicinity. Troy, NY: Edward Green, 1886. 213.
Some fossils have been found in other places in this slate, as at the north end of Troy, in River-street and Mount Olympus, where orthoceratites were found ; the banks of Saratoga lake, near Snake hill; the rocky bluff bank of the Hudson, at the city of Hudson ; and the banks of Kinderhook creek, between Columbiaville and Kinderhook at the lower falls.
Among the fossils found at these various localities, are,
Trilobites………….. at least 3 species.
Orthoceratites . . . . . . . . . . . [at least] 2 [species]
Trocholite [at least] 1 [species]
Bivalves…………… [at least] 3 [species]
Crinoideal vertebral spines. . . . . . . . [at least] 2 [species]
Mather, William W. Geology of New-York. Albany, NY: Carroll & Cook, 1843. 395.
A Sabbath School was organized near Mount Olympus, in 1846, superintended by Gurdon Grant, Alexander Snyder, and other members of this church.
Irvin, William. Centennial Sermon. Troy, NY: Whig Publishing Company, 1876. 17.
From the Troy Daily Whig.
BY A HOMELY MAN.
Thou mountain Olympus,
From whose sunny brow,
Of rock and soft verdure,
I view all be low:
The Hudson’s swift waters,
The isles which adorn
And hear the shrill tones;
Of the boat’s merry horn;
And see the proud steamers,
Those castles that float,
On the breast of the billows!
As in sunbeams the mote;—
Where e’er I have wandered,
On Life’s stormy sea,
My thoughts still have lingered,
On hours spent with thee.
And when time had nourished,
The flame in my breast,
From Love’s troubled fountain,
Whose waves have no rest.
At eve’s softened sunset,
With her I have stood,
And viewed from thine apex,
The Hudson’s blue flood.
Ah! hours of existence,
How and where, art thou flown?
When the beams of life’s sunshine
Around me were thrown;
And all the sweet fairies;
Of Joy’s gayest throng—
The birds and the blossoms!
The dance and the song,
Life’s only attraction;
Beneath the blue sky,
Ah! why didst thou leave me,
Why wander and die.
While on this rock weeping,
In night’s phantom gloom,
I think on thee often,
Thou low in the tomb,
Here are prints of thy feet, love,
Upon the cold dew,
And I oft hear thy voice,
As the winds pieces through.
The gorge of the mountain,
Where thou are at rest,
Earth’s loveliest of creatures,
The fairest and best.
One of the hundred hills of modern TROY.
Lansingburgh Democrat. June 13, 1846.
by far the greatest expense of said work was in cutting down, for about 150 feet in length, the western slope of Mount Olympus, and that the lots on the east side of said cutting were, and yet are, almost entirely valueless; whilst the lots northerly and southerly herefrom are susceptible of being used for building purposes, and are, by means of said cutting, provided with a continuous road.
“Assessments for Local Improvements; Report of the Law Committee to the Common Council of the City of Troy Concerning Assessments for Certain Improvements, Nov. 2, 1854.” Troy Daily Whig. November 6, 1851: 3 col 1.
The heavy work of cutting through Mount Olympus for the extension of North First street, has just been completed by Mr. Mullers, the contractor. This improvement was first moved in the Common Council by Ald. BOLTON two years ago, and mainly through his exertions it was finally carried through.
Troy Daily Times. June 15, 1854: 2 col 3.
On Monday evening, some four or five boys were congregated in a house in Smith’s Row around a quantity of powder, when it caught fire and exploded with considerable force. Some two or three of the boys were injured—one of them by the name of Dayton, son of a widow residing in basement of house No. 42 Grand Division street, severely. His face was horribly burned, and his cries for relief were distressing. It was feared at first that he would lose his eyesight, but we are happy to learn that he will not suffer, except it may be from a disfiguration of his face.
Another accident similar to the above, took place yesterday in the vicinity of Mount Olympus, by which three boys, sons of Dexter Moody, David Castle, and Mr. Menter, were injured. They, too, were playing with powder, when it accidentally took fire, and burned them quite severely on their faces, hands and bodies. They were well cared for, and nothing serious is anticipated from the result of the accident.
The quantity of powder that exploded in this last instance, was about one pound and a half. It was fortunate that the injuries inflicted were no worse.
The above are all the accidents occurring from the usual casualties attending the celebration. They are far less serious than usual, and we hope more caution will be used hereafter, and that they may become beautifully less.
“Accidents.” Troy Daily Times. July 5, 1854: 2 col 5.
The mercury is running riot with the weather. All admonitions to keep cool are vain. People are driven from their houses to sleep o’ nights in the open air. Operatives from the work-shops seek rest in the arms of Morpheus in the cupolas and on the hills. Several persons slept last night on Mount Olympus, and others upon the house-tops. Oh the weather is awful hot! Well it is.
Troy Daily Times. July 21, 1854: 2 col 2.
A “HIGH” FALL IN TROY.—The Budget says a young man named Richard Turley, Sunday night, walked off the precipice on the north side of Mount Olympus! falling a distance of some fifty feet down on the rocks—and, strange as it may appear, escaped with his life! He was lying asleep on the mountain with one or two friends, at the time of the shower, when he was suddenly startled by the thunder, jumped up and ran immediately off the bank before his friends could arrest him. When discovered it was found that he had his knee badly shattered and one of his arms broken.
Hudson Daily Star. July 3, 1856: col 1.
In 1856 the future United States President James A. Garfield was offered a job teaching while he was walking on Mount Olympus, an event unlikely to have been reported at the time but which received a fair amount of publicity in 1880-1881 (for which see below). – LHS
[…] turning aside to visit “Oakwood Cemetery.” This is an enclosure of a hundred acres, of elevated hill and dale, covered with a rich, natural growth of trees, standing alone, or in clusters or groves, on the east bank of the river.
The views obtained through the opening as you drive over the winding avenues, are extensive and beautiful, embracing the neighboring cities and towns, the winding stream, highly cultivated farms, and distant mountains. This garden for sepulchers has been laid out only two or three years; but even now, the monuments to the departed are quite numerous, and both in material and form are rather remarkable as unbroken specimens of fitness and good taste. On the whole, it can, we think, be said with truth that “Oakwood” is not surpassed in the desirable characteristics of a rural cemetery, and shows that the citizens of Troy, in their enterprise and care for the prosperity of the living have not forgotten to honor the dead.
Entering the city, we went under the shadow of the sharp rock called Mount Olympus! On its top were sitting two human beings of the same sex as the goddesses of the old mythology — Whether they were beautiful as Venus, stately as Juno, and as tall as Diana, distance prevented us from knowing. But if they were perched there in poetic contemplation, or sentimental mind, they had a moving and inspiring vision—a sunset golden and crimson, and glorious to behold. It is not likely they climbed so high to indulge in small talk; therefore let them come into the brilliant and gorgeous picture of the summer evening, as appropriate figures, and let it be believed they gazed on the splendors before them with rapt and admiring enthusiasm.
“The Environs of Troy; Correspondence of the Boston Traveller.” Troy Daily Whig. September 8, 1857: col 4.
A young woman named Mary Burns, in clambering over the almost perpendicular rocks upon the North face of Mount Olympus, near the summit, last evening, slipped and fell backward a distance of four or five feet, cutting her head badly upon the sharp projections. She was taken home by her companions.
“Fell.” Troy Daily Times. May 5, 1860: 3 col 4.
The final meeting of the Fourth of July Committee of arrangements was held last evening. The Committee on instrumental music and hall reported complete. The Committee on fireworks reported that Ninth street, above Hutton, had been secured. Mr. Leonard Smith was in favor of Mount Olympus. He believed that this elevation was made expressly for the purpose of pyrotechnic display. He offered an amendment that Mount Olympus be designated and he guaranteed to procure the ground. It was stated that posts could be put in the rock; for a liberty pole had once been planted there, twenty feet deep. (How high not designated.) Mr. Smith finally withdrew the amendment, hoping that as the fireworks had reached the Seventh Ward this year, the “course of Empire” would be Northward, and next year would reach Mount Olympus. Mr. S. has certainly worked hard enough to earn this recognition for his “live” constituency. The report of the Committee was adopted.
“Fourth of July Meeting.” Troy Daily Whig. July 4, 1860: 3 col 3.
The students of Division A, Rensselaer Institute have just completed a survey of Mount Olympus. In addition to measurements with the level, they made some interesting experiments with the barometer, in ascertaining heights.
“Brief Mention.” Troy Daily Times. November 27, 1863: 3 col 3.
Early this morning Mr. Kirk, residing near Mount Olympus, found a respectable young woman in his wood-shed, almost frozen to death. She had taken shelter there during the evening, and had become so chilled that she could not speak or move. Mr. Kirk’s family attended to her.
“Almost Frozen.” Troy Daily Times. December 11, 1863: 3 col 4.
Mount Olympus is not so high as Bald Mountain, yet its name is more classic. This latter fact has some weight, if, indeed, it does not counterbalance the difference in height. If you ascend Bald Mountain you will find a beautiful panorama stretching out before you, fully repaying you for the adipose expended in your efforts to reach the top; but the view from Mount Olympus, though not so enlarged and varied, is not to be despised. We can see a great many things from the top of the last named mount, which might remain unseen did we not ascend it. It is true that the surroundings of Mount Olympus are not suggestive of mythology, yet they might be worse. it is a safe rule, never to despise the day of small things. Often during sultry days have we obtained an invigorating breath of air on Olympus, for which we sought in vain on the lower level of the streets of the city; and again some feature of the country has discovered itself which would have remained unknown had we not ascended the conglomeration of rock and dirt now under discussion.
“Views from Mount Olympus.” Troy Daily Whig. March 16, 1870: 1
Joseph Sevoy of Cohoes evidently believes in the utility of pig pens, for last night he was found in one of the porcine residences near Mount Olympus. He was sent home to Cohoes to-day.
“Police Court Notes.” Troy Daily Times. November 29, 1870: 3 col 4.
The Troy common council is thinking of removing Mount Olympus, which closes up some of its streets. It will take about two and a half years, and cost about $27,000.
Kingston Daily Freeman. November 21, 1874: col 5.
While in church at Chicago just before the nomination last June he [Garfield] recognized in the congregation the man who made him the offer in Troy. The two had not met since that time. “Do you remember what you said on that occasion?” asked his old friend, —“No; I cannot recall the conversation.” “We were walking on a hill called Mount Olympus when I made you my proposition. After a few moments silence you said” [etc.]
Smalley, Eugene Virgil. “General Garfield in College.” Kingston Daily Freeman 9(245). August 2, 1880. 3 cols 1-2.
At the request of a number of Aldermen, a special meeting of the common council has been called for this evening to five consideration to the plans of the city hall.
George Marks exhibited to City Engineer Hasbrouck yesterday a specinmen of granite from his quarry with which he said the city hall could be erected cheaper than with brick. He represented that when dressed the granite would be lighter in color than the savings bank building.
The Whig wants to build the city hall on the hill. It rather favors Mount Olympus. This is an improvement on its idea about the city park, which it proposed to locate in Florida or the West Indies. By and by the Whig will be in favor of putting public improvements and buildings in the city.
Editor Press:—The Whig of this morning speaks of several new locations for the city hall, one of which has much better claims than might at first be supposed. I refer to Mount Olympus in contrast with the other places mentioned. I believe it to be far superior in that it is more easily reached by the horse cars and by the main driving avenues of the city. In the event of annexation of Lansingburgh, (which must certainly take place within a few years, as the city cannot grow the other way) it would be much nearer the center of the city. Will not this city learn, from the experience of New York and other cities, that now regret having built their public buildings in the old sections of the city? A building upon Mount Olympus could be seen from and would command a view of the surrounding country. It may be urged against this location that the surroundings are not of the right kind. What stronger inducement could the people of this section have to improve their property than by the erection of such a building in their midst. It will be remembered, also, that in other cities where land is worth ten times the value of that in Troy, graveyards are left untouched in the very center of those cities. Cannot the commission act favorable on this, and thus utilize a piece of land of which there can be no danger of litigation.
Troy Daily Press. June 22, 1875: 3 col 3. (At the time perhaps a joke and almost certainly received as one regardless – but in 2017 the rented City Hall facility at 433 River Street is only about five blocks south and two blocks west of Mount Olympus.)
During his second winter vacation a great temptation assailed James. It was not a temptation to do wrong. That he could easily have resisted.
I must explain.
At Prestenkill [i.e Poestenkill], a country village six miles from Troy, N.Y., the young student organized a writing school, to help defray his expenses. Having occasion to visit Troy, his interest in education led him to form an acquaintance with some of the teachers and directors of the public schools.
One of these gentlemen, while walking with him over the sloping sides of a hill overlooking the city, said: “Mr. Garfield, I have a proposition to make to you.”
The student listened with interest.
“There is a vacancy in one of our public schools. We want an experienced teacher, and I am sure you will suit us. I offer you the place, with a salary of twelve hundred dollars a year. What do you say?”
The young man’s heart beat for a moment with repressible excitement. It was a strong temptation. He was offered, deducting vacations, about one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month, while heretofore his highest wages had been but eighteen dollars per month and board. Moreover, he could marry at once the young lady to whom he had been for years engaged.
He considered the offer a moment, and this was his answer:
“You are not Satan and I am not Jesus, but we are upon the mountain, and you have tempted me powerfully. I think I must say, ‘Get thee behind me!’ I am poor, and the salary would soon pay my debts and place me in a position of independence; but there are two objections. I could not accomplish my resolution to complete a college course, and should be crippled intellectually for life. Then, my roots are all fixed in Ohio, where people know me and I know them, and this transplanting might not succeed as well in the long run as to go back home and work for smaller pay.”
So the young man decided adversely, and it looks as if his decision was a wise one. It is interesting to conjecture what would have been his future position had he left college and accepted the school then offered him. He might still have been a teacher, well known and of high repute, but of fame merely local, and without a thought of the brilliant destiny he had foregone.
Alger, Horatio. From Canal Boy to President, or the Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield. Boston, MA: DeWolfe, Fiske, & Co., 1881. 161-163.
The current number of Light and Life, just published by Rev. Dr. N[inian] B[eall] Remick, says: […] Instead of annihilating Mount Olympus, why not get a landscape gardener and let him beautify it? Make it the centre of a gem of a park with a carriage-drive on either side of the mountain. Several small parks scattered throughout the city would be better for a long and narrow city like Troy and more useful to the working people than a great one at a distance or in the suburbs.
“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. January 20, 1890: 1 col 7.
The matter of opposing the measure providing for the expenditure of $100,000 for the extension of Fifth and other avenues of this city, and the incidental destruction of a portion of Mount Olympus, is in the hands of the committee on law and legislation of the association. J.K. Long is chairman of the committee and W.J. Roche is the next ranking member.
“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. March 14, 1895: 3 col 2.
[…] The committee of fifty appointed at the meeting in the city hall Monday evening to urge the enactment of the Mount Olympus measure, in the interest of the unemployed workingmen of the city, was well represented in the assembly parlor at 3 o’clock, the hour announced for the committee to meet. […]
“Postponed Again; The Hearings on the Great Troy and the Mount Olympus Measures—A Long Wait By Trojans—An Impatient Committee.” Troy Daily Times. March 27, 1895: col 4.
Alfred Mahony while coasting yesterday on Mount Olympus was carried over an embankment on his sled and fell nearly ten feet. He was cut on the head and face and was taken to the residence of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Mahony of Fifth Avenue, where Dr. E.S. Kinlock dressed the injuries.
Troy Daily Times. January 21, 1902: 3 col 3.
Halley’s comet, which is flirting with the earth just now, has caused more than usual interest, and last evening Mount Olympus, Prospect Park and other open spots were besieged with persons anxiously watching for any phenomena that might develop as the result of the earth passing through the comet’s tail.
“Recollections of the Comet; Trojans Who Saw the Celestial Visitor Seventy-Six Years Ago—Interest in the Present Happening Manifested Last Night—Crowds Congregate in Open Spaces.” Troy Times. May 19, 1910: 5 col 2.
The crusade started recently by Mayor Burns and the police to rid the city of vagrants and panhandlers has met with great approval from the residents of this section, who have been bothered by the nuisance for some time, and they have a scheme which they think would effectively rid the city of the unwelcome visitors and at the same time be a benefit to the community. Ever since the northern wards have been built up, the vast pile of rock known as Mount Olympus has been an unsightly blot on the landscape, has cut off Fifth Avenue at Rensselaer Street and prevented the erection of houses. The scheme of these residents is to sentence all vagabonds to a six-month jail term, but instead of allowing them to loaf for the entire period, to equip them with pickaxes and demolish the mountain. The task would be an easy one, as the rock is soft shale, and could probably be accomplished in a very few months. It presents absolutely no engineering difficulties and in most cities would not have been allowed to remain when the neighborhood was being settled.
“Making Loafers Useful.” Troy Times. December 3, 1915: 9 col 1.
The removal of the whole or part of Mount Olympus is again being agitated.
The increasing automobile traffic is given as one reason for the project and a desire to rid the city of an “eyesore” is another. By opening Fifth Avenue from Rensselaer Street to North Street the congestion of travel on Sixth Avenue could be relieved to a great extent, it is contended. The subject may be brought to the attention of the Common Council soon in the form of a resolution calling on the City Engineer for a report on the feasibility of the project.
“Would Remove Mount; Olympus May Go If Agitation is Carried to a Conclusion—Council May Be Called Upon to Further Project for Relief of Auto Traffic.” Troy Times. April 14, 1921: 5 col 7.
The Geologic Viewpoint on Mount Olympus.
Declaring that he will be sorry to see Mount Olympus destroyed and that the mount should be made a public geologic monument, Rudolf Ruedeman,, State Paleontologist, has written a letter to City Engineer Morris in which he described the mountain from the geologic viewpoint. Mr. Morris recently sent a communication to the State Museum asking for information concerning the quality of the rock on the hill. Mr. Morris’ query was based on the fact that at one time Mount Olympus was under water. The letter from the state official follows:
“Mr. C. W. Morris, City Engineer, Department of Public Works, Troy, N.Y.
“Mount Olympus, from the geologic viewpoint is most interesting. It is a ledge of indurated shale, that is shale which has been hardened by infiltration with silica until in part it is a chert or flint. That has made it so hard. This ledge continues under Troy in north-south direction and comes out again in the northern part of Lansingburgh beyond the power house and in the cliffs along the river north of the bridge. The rock belongs to Normanskill shale formation and is known as white weathering chert.
“Another interesting feature of Mount Olympus is that it contains at the west side a bed with graptolites. Graptolites are a class of rare fossils, looking like white pencil markings. They once were coral-like animals floating in the ocean. I have taken scientists from many other countries as Norway, Sweden, England and Germany to the hill, where they have collected graptolites and shall be sorry to see the hill destroyed. It should be made a public geologic monument.
“Very truly yours,
Progress on the opening of Fifth Avenue through the mountain is satisfactory to the contractor and the city officials. If weather conditions are favorable it is expected that the work will be completed within the limit of 120 working days. More than 20 men have been employed.
Troy Times. January 6, 1931: 5 col 5.
SINCE the days of the one hoss shay and the tandem bicycle traffic along Fifth Avenue, the main street of Troy, New York has had to circle around Mount Olympus.
About one-half mile north of the center of the city this “Mount of the Gods” rose 65 feet high, 600 to 700 feet long and 360 feet wide. It was of peculiar rock formation, so peculiar in fact that scientists came from Norway, Sweden, Germany, France and England to study its formation. They came to the conclusion that Troy was once covered by an ocean for, as explained by Rudolph Ruedemann, Paleontologist for the State of New York, fosils in the rock structure show it to have been, countless ages ago, the meeting place of tiny sea animals called graphtolites, similar to the coral builders. The rock is called by geologists Sessile Argillite and has small deposits of carbonate of iron and anthracite. It is very hard, being undurated shale hardened by infiltration with silicon.
In the pioneer days Indians used the rock for their signal fires. Over a hundred years ago the rock was owned by the Vanderheydens who built an octagonal building on the top called the “Round House,” quite an attraction in its day because of the wonderful view of the surrounding country and the excellence of its refreshments. In 1830 this building was burned and has never been replaced. Since that time the rock has only been used to carry a geodetic survey marker and as a children’s playground.
Clearing Away Rock Helps Solve Unemployment Problem
Year after year the question of its removal has come up before the City Council, but no definite plan of action could be decided on. Last fall the problem of unemployment led to a more determined consideration of the problem. Bids were taken, divided so as to show the cost for the work done with and without power excavators. The Council, finding the bids surprisingly low, especially on the machine work, decided to proceed at once to remove the obstruction of this ancient landmark.
The contract was let to Fitzgerald Brothers Construction Company, well known Troy contractors, and the work started immediately. The first blast was set off with fitting ceremony by Mayor Burns, and an audience averaging some 300 people watched the operations daily.
Cut 60 Feet Deep for 50 Foot Roadway
The depth of cut through the peak is 60 feet and the new road will make a 3.4% grade in one direction and an 8.6% grade on the other. The roadway is 50 feet wide with side slopes 1 to 4. Coefficient of rock hardness is 1.5.
Drilling and blasting were an important problem of the work in this hard material located close to the heart of the city. Two Sullivan 110 cubic foot and one Ingersoll Rand 220 cubic foot compressors were used with Chicago Pneumatic, Ingersoll Rand and Sullivan drills. Holes were drilled on about 5 foot centers to a depth of 12 feet. They were loaded with 40% Red Cross du Pont dynamite, 5 pounds to the hole, and fired in 5 hole shots.
Air Supplied to Drill Sharpener From Gas+Air Shovel
An Ingersoll Rand drill sharpener was used for sharpening the drill steel. It was located in Fitzgerald Brothers’ garage and hooked up to one of their Bucyrus-Erie Gas + Air shovels which furnished the compressed air required. A second Bucyrus-Erie Gas + Air loaded out the rock in 10 foot lifts. The digging was tough because of the care necessarily used in shooting and the hardness of the material […]
showing off to the appreciative audience and kept the fleet of five 4-yard Autocar trucks hustling. The rock was used to fill in low land in Troy so the removal of Mount Olympus served a double purpose toward civic improvement. Average length of haul was about one mile. Average output of Gas + Air in this tough digging was 325 cubic yards per 9 hour day. Gas consumption was 45 gallons per day for the shovel. The three compressors took 101 gallons of gas a day and the fleet of five trucks averaged about 150 gallons daily.
Excavating Engineer 25(6). July 1931. 330, 340.
The Mount Olympus Road is being repaired by the employees of the Public Works Department. The roadway is being graded and holes are being filled.
“Repairing Mount Olympus Road.” Troy Times. April 25, 1933: 14 col 2.
A large force of men from the Public Works Department are working on the extension of Fifth Avenue through Mount Olympus. Loose rocks that have made the roadway dangerous have been removed and cracks in the pavement have been repaired.
“Repair Mount Olympus.” Troy Times. April 27, 1933: 20 col 2.