Lansingburgh, N.Y.—The pleasant situation of the village, on the banks of the Hudson, the salubrity of the air, the rich and extensive prospects from Diamond Rock, Bald Mountain, and other neighboring eminences, the vicinity of the Mohawk Aqueduct, the Cohoes Falls, the Junction of the Great Northern and Western Canals, and other interesting objects, all present more than ordinary attractions to the traveller for health or amusement. Morris S. Van Buskirk has taken the well known house of entertainment in the upper village, formerly kept by Judson, where travellers will be entertained in the best manner.
Boston Traveler. June 17, 1831: 2.

[From the Troy Morning Mail.]

Our younger [sic] sister did herself much honor on the evening of the 22d inst. At early candle light the Phoenix building was most splendidly illuminated; a beacon light was beautifully burning on Diamond Rock, a high eminence above the village, giving to the surrounding landscape a magnificent appearance; every man, woman and child, seemed to participate in the general joy, and to add their voices to the loud hurra for the WHIGS.
A small square rigged vessel, under the command of Capt. Bontecou, and accompanied by a band of music, was placed upon wheels and drawn by four horses—lights were streaming from the mast-head, and flags waving beautifully in the radiant splendor of the evening; from foremast to mizen was extended a red canvas, on which was inscribed in large letters, THE TWO POLLIES AFLOAT—and as the joyous crew moved through the streets, the band played up its gayest tunes, and the whole air seemed filled with “Yankee Doodle!”
At times we could discern in the crowd, a loco foco, muffled in his cloak and a half way smile of satisfaction seemed to play over his flushing features, as he shunned the gaze of old acquaintances, and listened to the heart-felt cheers of the patriotic crowd; he seemed like a prodigal son on the way to his father’s house, yet the squirmings of a guilty conscience, bade him linger around the threshold, ashamed even to raise the latch of the door, or make his footsteps be heard from within.
A cold collation was handsomely prepared at the Phoenix Hotel, where all who wished partook; and the utmost harmony and good feeling pervaded every heart. The inhabitants of Lansingburgh deserve the thanks of their invited guests from Troy and Waterford—and the Whigs throughout the Empire State should take them by the hand as tried friends, and co-workers in the great reform now going on throughout the Union.
N.Y. Daily Express. November 27, 1837: 2 col 3.

“Diamond Rock” caption above Lansingburgh in a cropped detail taken from:
Wade, William, Wade & Croome’s panorama of the Hudson River from New York to Waterford J. Disturnell, New York, 1847. view 414 x 15 cm. folded to 11 x 15 cm. + 1 booklet.

Pitt Street.
The Trustees have lately added more than fifty per cent to the value of property on Pitt street [5th Avenue], by improving its road, and leveling that large mass of rock at its junction with Grove street [118th Street]. Why do not the residents of Pitt street improve the fences opposite to their dwellings, and take as a good model, the fence which our friend Mr. F. B. Fancher, has himself lately made and put up in front of his residence, and with which he has so improved and ornamented that section of the street. From the beautiful view to be obtained from it, Diamond Rock, &c. and the delightful scenery along the whole range of the hill; with an increase of some few dwellings and fixings, like the one last spoken of—we affirm that Pitt street would afford one of the best, healthiest, and most pleasant localities for a residence that could be selected in the village of Lansingburgh. Excelsior!
Lansingburgh Courier. July 20, 1848: 2 col 1.

[For the Lansingburgh Democrat.]
The Meeting of the Waters.

The sun came o’er the eastern hills,

In all his glory bright,

And through and Hudson Valley, poured

A flood of mellow light;

Apart from haunts of busy men,

A lonely path I trod,

To muse, and bold communion sweet,

Alone with nature’s God.

On Diamond Rock I sat me down,

The lovely scene to scan;

O’er stream and Island, tower and town,

My gaze in transport ran,—

Autumn, abroad her mantel threw,

Of varied light and shade;

And field and woodland met my view,

In gorgeous tints arrayed.

Within the vale beneath my feet,

Two noble rivers ran,

And like two anxious lovers, meet,

Unite, and blend in one,—

The Mohawk, in a noisy race,

Comes romping wild and free,

And in the Hudson’s soft embrace,

Flows onward to the sea.

Among the woods, the western breeze

In fitful gusts went by;

And humming through the waving trees,

Sang nature’s melody;

The little birds in groups around,

Were chatting all the time;

They seemed to say, it’s time to fly

And seek a blander clime.

Sweet Hudson’s Vale, how truly blest

Are they who never roam,

But in thy quiet, peaceful breast,

Remain content at home,—

Here in thy bosom all secure,

In humble state I’ll love,

Nor California’s golden lure

Shall tempt my feet to rove. V.

Diamond rock, Oct. 13th, 1850.
Lansingburgh Democrat. October 17, 1850: 3 col 2.

We understand that a project is being favorably discussed in this village to petition the Legislature to remove Diamond Rock to a more central location, in order that all may be enabled to witness its transcendant glories, without toiling up a steep hill, as they have now to do. It is intended to have it done at the expense of the village, as our citizens have not been sufficiently taxed during the past year.
Lansingburgh Democrat. February 19, 1852: 2 col 3. [Probably a facetious item!]

Sylvester, N. B. “Tradition of the Forest; Legend of the Diamond Rock: An Indian Tale.” Lewis County Democrat [Lowville, NY]. March 11, 1868: 1 cols 3-7.


New Year’s Eve–A Glorious Tribute–Lansingburgh’s Offering.

As announced by us on Friday morning last, preparations were made during the day for what proved to be a grand celebration in the evening. Chinese lanterns and fireworks were in great demand, and all seemed possessed with a desire to do all in their power to help along the committee having the arrangements in charge. As the evening approached, wood of a combustible nature was piled up on the corners of Richard, Elizabeth and Market street, and a generous quantity taken to old “Diamond Rock,” where, later in the evening, as it kindled and let up the eastern sky, made a sight most grand and beautiful. At 11:30 o’clock the six taps were struck on the fire-alarm bell, and 25 minutes later a fire alarm was sounded from Box 5, causing a general commotion, and starting the merry and noisy ringing of the bells, causing the fires to blaze up in sudden grandeur, and Greek fire, Roman candles, and fireworks generally were set off; all because of the fire at Patrick Kelley’s house. A delay of ten minutes was caused by this unfortunate occurrence, at the end of which time the steamer returned, the procession moved, and the centennial year was greeted with such noisy demonstrations of gladness that one could not hear themselves think. The bells continued to ring until the procession had finished its line of march.
—Not until the “we sma hours,” was the streets of our village brought to a quiet, and few of our citizens will forget the celebration that Lansingburgh offered to the Centennial anniversary of the nation’s birth.
Lansingburgh Courier. January 7, 1876: 3 col 2.

Sylvester, Nathan Bartlett. “The Legend of the Diamond Rock.” Historical Sketches of Northern New York and the Adirondack Wilderness. Troy, NY: William H. Young, 1877. 206-220.

—Some two-score of comet struck individuals walked to Diamond rock at 3 o’clock Thursday morning [October 5th] for the purpose of getting a sight at the comet [the Great Comet of 1882]. They did not appear to observe that the heavens were so overcast that getting a glimpse at the comet would be an impossibility. They found out this fact after their arrival on the hill, however, and then marched home again.
Lansingburgh Courier. November 7, 1882: 3 col 2.

Lansingburgh now presents a pretty spectacle viewed from Diamond Rock or thereabouts.
Lansingburgh Courier. July 7, 1883: 3 col 2.

—When Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester wrote his legend about Diamond Rock, just east of the village, on the brow of the hill, he did not overrate the beauties of the place or convey an exaggerated impression of its charms. The elevated situation of the rock, with its surrounding fields and woodland of great atrractiveness, makes it peculiarly fit for a summer resort. The air is the purest, and the living springs of water refreshing and cool. It seems that persons in search of health and those desirous of passing the summer in comfort and quiet have already discovered the advantages possessed by this locality, and it would not be surprising to see an enterprising hotel venture there in the near future. The residence of Mrs. Bowman, within a stone’s throw of Diamond rock, and only a short walk from the village, is just as near an approach to Paradise at this time of the year as can be found. The scene, taking in as it does the valley of the Hudson and the Mohawk, and the range of Catskill mountains in the distance, Troy and Albany mapped out handsomely before the eye, and a field glass bringing them so near that familiar objects are descried. That the advantages of this place over many expensive summer resorts are fast being recognized is apparent. Mrs. Bowman has for guests at her house Judge Charles R. Ingalls and family, District Attorney La Mott W. Rhodes and family, and E. Wallerstein of Troy, and Water Commissioner DeFreest and wife of this village. They are to remain there during the summer, and have become devotedly attached to the place.—Troy Standard.
Lansingburgh Courier. July 11, 1885: 3 cols 2-3.

“Diamond Rock” engraving from undated newspaper clipping.


A Spot Made Famous in Song and Story.

The accompanying cut represents Diamond Rock, one of the most familiar places in the village of Lansingburgh. There is not a child in the village who has not visited Diamond Rock and of the elder residents there is not one probably who did not in youth visit the spot and gaze on its shining crystals. The place is situated on the hill at the extreme eastern part of the village, and to walk to it is most invigorating. It is barren now to what it once was, but nevertheless in summer time it serves as a picnic ground and daily parties can be seen wending their way up the hill with baskets of provisions for an outing. Only few crystals are now found there, as the rock shows the result of chisels and hammers.
Most interesting stories are told about Diamond rock. The legend is that Queen Mona, of the tribe of the Mohawks, at the death of her son, the Prince, who was slain in battle, repaired to Diamond rock and wept over the downfall of the tribe. Her tears are supposed, according to tradition, to have become crystallized, and those who have one of the crystals obtained from Diamond rock refer to it as one of Queen Mona’s tears. Legends have been written of Diamond rock, and in almost every instance Queen Mona’s tears and the crystals are referred to. Poetry has also been composed on the subject.
Milford L. Fancher has in his possession a scrap book which contains a long poem written regarding the locality by the late Charles Hasbrouck, a former resident of Lansingburgh. Attorney Sylvester of Saratoga, a former Trojan barrister, also wrote a legend of Diamond Rock and those who have a copy of it prize it highly. It has been suggested several times that a hotel be constructed near the spot, as the view obtained of the valley of the Hudson is most expansive. The capitol at Albany is plainly visible, as is All Saints’ cathedral.
Edwin Adams at one time suggested that the village buy the property and erect an observatory for the benefit of the residents. The plan was, however, never carried out. The property belongs to Mrs. Stephen Bowman.
[Newspaper clipping]

—Mrs. Martha Bowman has sold the two-story brick house situated on the Diamond Rock farm together with the lot on the north, to Charles M. Coss, of Troy. Mr. Coss contemplates making some extensive improvements to the house and will occupy it as a residence. Mrs. Bowman intends removing the addition recently built to the lot on the south side that she still owns.
Lansingburgh Courier. September 28, 1889: 3 col 1.

*Diamond Rock is located between Gurley and Oakwood Avenues, and just north of the Oakwood Cemetery overlooking Lansingburgh. Over the years it has been the picnic place of many school classes in Lansingburgh.
Manufacturer’s National Bank of Troy. “The Legend of Diamond Rock.” Times Record. May 2, 1939: 26 cols 4-6. Advertisement (cropped from scan by

Rittner, Don. “Diamond Rock Losing Its Luster?”