Ossining Reservoir Park

J Philip Faranda February 18, 2009

Many who grew up in Ossining, NY like I did will remember an old, overgrown algae-covered man-made pond near the Chilmark Shopping Center known simply as The Reservoir. It was the Village’s water supply for much of the pre-World War II era, was then was replaced by water towers, and in subsequent decades became a derelict mess. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s the Reservoir was used for skating (AT OWN RISK, as the sign said) and hanging out.

The water towers had their share of graffiti, and nobody really knew what good the Reservoir was. I learned to skip rocks there,and I spent many hours of my youth sitting quietly, watching the water, either alone or with some friends after buying baseball cards and candy at Chilmark Pharmacy. In the Spring and Autumn when the foliage wasn’t too thick we’d ride our bikes around it. I had a 5-speed with high handle bars and a banana seat. 

In the earlier part of this decade, the Village cleaned the place up,  added a blacktop ring around it for walking, installed some park benches & tables, and dedicated it as Reservoir Park. An aerator was installed for the algae, and the towers were repainted. Mayor Perillo was vilified by some for the improvement expense, but most, like myself, applauded the move. It is an extremely popular place to sit, walk the dog, stroll the kids, and spend quiet time. The SKATE AT OWN RISK sign is long gone, replaced by 3 LAPS = 1 MILE.

Ossining Reservoir Covered with Ice

More thoughts here.

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