It turns out these are the “drowned lands of the Wallkill,” a river with such an irregular bed, that so commonly flooded every season, that high points in the landscape would become temporary islands.*Previously: UCLA students go for a swim in the stairwell to a parking garage.
According to The History of Sussex and Warren Co., NJ by James P. Snell, it wasn’t until legislation was passed in 1807—creating wonderfully named “drowned-land commissioners”—that the region was eventually drained.
The landscape is also almost literally Biblical
Here’s one example, like a scene written by Victor Hugo transplanted to New York State: “A hundred farmers, on the 20th of August, 1869, marched upon the dam to destroy it. A large force of armed men guarded the dam.
Sunday, July 21, 2019
It turns out these are the “drowned lands of the Wallkill,” New York