After a long two-day journey to the Catskills in New York, we are pleased to announce that we successfully obtained important historic artifacts from Mason & Hanger's work on the New York Catskill Aqueduct, Moodna Tunnel Site in 1910, more than 112 years ago.
Ben Lilly, President of Mason & Hanger was interviewed at the event. You may read, listen in, and watch more media coverage on this terrific story, by the following publications:
- On The Air [Video]: Channel One News with Reporter Jacquelyn Quinones
- Mid Hudson News, Serving the Hudson Valley & Catskill Region
- The Orange County Courier Journal, News of New York's Lower Hudson Valley
- On The Air [Radio]: Mid Hudson News Radio with Hank Gross - the Hudson Valley's Hometown Radio Station
Historic Artifacts found after more than 100 Years, now returning to 200-year old firm contracted in 1910 to support the Catskill Aqueduct System
August 3, 2022 – New York – History enthusiasts and treasure hunters, Chris Schaut and Alan Moraksy, found 112-year-old items left behind by workers at the Catskill Aqueduct Site in 1910. While metal detecting in Cornwall, N.Y., the friends found a small helmet lantern, many coins from the turn of the century, buttons, suspender clasps and copper worker ID tags stamped with Mason & Hanger Co., Catskill Aqueduct and Contract 20 .
When Mr. Schaut searched the name Mason & Hanger online, he was surprised with what he found, the Company, a nearly 200-year old architecture & engineering firm, was still in business. This week, Mason & Hanger President Benjamin Lilly and Company representatives met with Mr. Schaut [pictured] to receive the artifacts and thank the team for returning the items to help document and commemorate the Company’s long working history in New York.
Mason & Hanger, one of the longest-operating architecture and engineering firms in the United States, was contracted in 1910 to construct the Moodna Siphon Tunnel as part of the Catskill Aqueduct System [Pictured ].
A few short weeks ago, Chris Schaut of New Windsor, New York reached out to Mason & Hanger to inform them of the duo’s discovery from a dig in 2017. “My friend Alan [who very recently passed away] and I spent almost every day we could searching the ground for history together. This particular search in 2017, uncovering major artifacts used to build New York’s lasting infrastructure remained special to us,” said Chris. “After Alan’s passing this summer, I was compelled to return these items to Mason & Hanger in his honor. While we valued our small treasures, the memories we made along the way are what I will cherish forever.”
“We are deeply thankful to Chris and Alan for finding and returning these rare and priceless artifacts from one of Mason & Hanger’s earliest New York projects. The Catskill Aqueduct was an engineering marvel when it was constructed 112 years ago and remains an integral part of New York’s water infrastructure and critical resources today,” said Ben Lilly, President of Mason & Hanger. “As Mason & Hanger turns 200 years old in a few short years , this discovery is a powerful reflection of the longstanding and storied impact we’ve had on the Hudson Valley, New York City’s critical infrastructure – as we do today worldwide.”
The Moodna Siphon Tunnel was one of two deep pressure tunnels Mason & Hanger built through nine miles of solid rock. The construction of the tunnel and greater Catskill Aqueduct System was unprecedented at the time and continues to serve a critical purpose, still providing 40% of New York City’s drinking water supply from the Ashokan and Schoharie reservoirs.
Mason & Hanger is also well-known for their assistance in the New York City Subway and Tunnel work including: the Lincoln Tunnel, Fulton Street and Rutgers Street Tunnels —with eventual responsibility of nearly $50 million in subway contracts completed in New York City during the decades to follow the Aqueduct project.