Piermont was known first as Tappan Landing, a sparsely populated place where a navigable tidal creek called the Sparkill linked the Hudson to Orangetown’s interior. Its forested land, hills, and shoreline were included in the Van Purmerent Patent of 1671 and the Tappan Patent of 1686.
After the Revolution the area became more prosperous, and in 1824 a 500-foot pier was built by Judge Cornelius Blauvelt to accommodate steamboats. The Landing was chosen in 1832 as the southern terminus of the Erie Railroad which, when completed, would link the Landing to Lake Erie. Eleazar Lord, the railroad’s first president, and a leading property owner, built a new 4,000-foot, railroad-ready pier in 1838, and renamed the town Piermont. Less than three years after this lucrative rail service began in 1851, the railroad decided to relocate this terminus to Jersey City. By the 1860s, this transfer point to and from New York was all but closed.
The Village of Piermont was incorporated in 1850. And in the years that followed, its relaxed and accessible river setting began attracting notice. In the 1870s, the Nyack and Northern, a passenger rail line connected Piermont to New York City and sparked a profitable tourist business. In the late 19th century and into the 20th, the Fort Comfort Inn and Fort Comfort Resort greeted thousands of visitors with accommodations, dining and family activities, and attractions like The Mine Hole, a historic mine of mysterious origins and legend.
During World War II Piermont was the point of embarkation for Europe-bound troops from Camp Shanks. But for most of the 20th century, it was a paper factory town. In 1902, the Piermont Paper Factory began, then merged with the Robert Gair Company in 1920 to become a leading maker of paperboard containers, and the largest employer here since the Erie Railroad. After 1956, Gair merged and was sold to other companies, and closed for good in the 1984.
Today, the emblematic pier that has continually defined the life, history, and fortunes of Piermont is today a favorite place for walkers, fishermen, and visitors from Orangetown and the entire region.
Bogertown 1900 - Down along the marshes, the small community of Bogertown, ca. 1900, was established in the early 1800s and named for the Bogerts, one of the earliest Dutch families that settled here. For a time Bogertown was separated from Paradise Avenue, by the Bogertown Bridge and a gated fence that closed off the road. Paradise Avenue was extended here in 1824 to reach the 500-foot pier built by Judge Cornelius I. Blauvelt. (Courtesy Nyack Library)
Fort Comfort Bath House and Pavilion 1910 - Fort Comfort Beach was a popular day-trip and vacation destination for people from New York and the region. The clean sand and clear, shallow water made it an ideal place for families with young children. The Bath House and Bathing Pavilion were illuminated by electric lights for swimming past sunset, and booths were available for changing and showering. Swimming suits could be rented for a modest fee. (Courtesy Robert Knight)