Mystery at Vanderbilt Mansion: Who Can Identify this Hudson River Hook?
If one thing is for certain, there's never a shortage of "what the hell is that thing?!" moments in the Hudson Valley. Our region is steeped in history, which not only helps with the abundance of these mysteries, but many times also means that the answer is actually interesting.
Such a mystery reared its head on Facebook this week, when a user posted to the public Hudson Valley page seeking answers about an intriguing item he had never come across before.
"Down at Mills Mansion [sic] park on the Hudson", Chris Emmet wrote, "does anyone know what this hook like item is. I am a river rat I I have never seen one before." By the look of it, the rusted hook had been there a long time, adding to the intrigue. The comments came rolling in. Before we reveal the answer, what do you think it is? Some incorrect guesses were a lantern hook, a clothes hook for skinny-dipping, and a spot for hanging disobedient children by their shirt collars (ok that last one was mine).
Thanks to the earlier-mentioned rich history of the Hudson Valley, the answer is tied to our past. Said one commenter, which was later confirmed by the National Parks Service, it is boat hook. But not just any boat hook. It was the famous Vanderbilt family's boat hook at Bard Rock.
The coolest part? You can visit. The Vanderbilt mansion is a National Historic Site of New York, and it's open to the public. Tour the mansion, the grounds, and you guessed it: the boat hook at Bard Rock.