A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 07, 2016
Hudson River: American Rhine (Hudson River nickname)

New York’s Hudson River was frequently compared to Germany’s famous Rhine River in 19th century accounts. THe Hudson was called “the Rhine of America” in 1836. The term “American Rhine” was used in 1845.

Some have commented that the name is inappropriate, and that both rivers are uniquely beautiful.


Wikipedia: Rhine
The Rhine (Latin: Rhenus, Romansh: Rein, German: Rhein, French: le Rhin, Dutch: Rijn) is a European river that begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-Liechtenstein border, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the Rhineland and eventually empties into the North Sea in the Netherlands. The biggest city on the river Rhine is Cologne, Germany with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe (after the Danube), at about 1,230 km (760 mi), with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s (100,000 cu ft/s).

Wikipedia: Hudson River
The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows through the Hudson Valley, and eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean, between New York City and Jersey City. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of New Jersey and New York, and further north between New York counties. The lower half of the river is a tidal estuary occupying the Hudson Fjord, which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Tidal waters influence the Hudson’s flow from as far north as Troy.

2 August 1836, The Evening Star (New York, NY), pg. 1, col. 5:
LETTERS ABOUT THE HUDSON RIVER AND ITS VICINITY—(...) It should be in the hands of every traveller om this romantic river, so appropriately termed “the Rhine of America.”

Google Books
March 1845, The Williams Monthly Miscellany, pg. 379,
LOVE AMONG THE KAATSKILLS, OR THE STUDENT’S MISTAKE.
The banks of the Hudson, always beautiful, never appeared lovelier than in one afternoon of September 184--, at which time Richard Rover was ascending the American Rhine, as this river has been called, with how much aptness, those who have seen both must decide.

Chronicling America
26 November 1846, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, pg. 1, col. 5:
The trip on the Hudson was similar to all other trips on the American Rhine, the scenery bold, rugged, and beautiful as ever; ...

Chronicling America
30 July 1847, Richmond (VA) Enquirer, pg. 2, col. 4:
SOme have called the Hudson the Rhine of America, but its own name is more appropriate, for nothing can surpass it.

Google Books
The Hudson illustrated with Pen and Pencil
New York, NY: T. W. Strong
1852
Pg. 3:
This magnificent river, which takes its rise about two hundred and fifty miles North of New York, in a mountainous country, on the confines of Canada, has been, not inaptly, styled the Rhine of America.

Google Books
Brief Summer Rambles Near Philadelphia
By Joel Cook
Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Company
1882
Pg. 102:
THE HUDSON RIVER.
THE AMERICAN RHINE.

Google Books
Travels in Asia, Australia and America
By Baron Wilhelm von Landau
New York, NY: George Landau
1888
Pg. 160:
From Albany to New York the trip was made down the Hudson river, the “Rhine” of America.

OCLC WorldCat record
Heart of the American Rhine ...
Author: Isaac De Groff; Tarrytown Press-Record.
Publisher: [Tarrytown], [The Tarrytown Press record], 1902.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
Historical Old Rhinebeck, Echoes of Two Centuries:
A Hudson River and Post Road COlonial Town

By Howard Holdridge Morse
Rhinebeck, NY: Published by the Author
1908
Pg. 39:
The Hudson and t he Rhine have similar attractions. The first is still called the American Rhine. The use of that name in 1714 or earlier by Judge Beekman does not seem strange. It was appropriate.

Google Books
History of the Valley of the Hudson, River of destiny, 1609-1930
By Nelson Greene
Chicago, IL: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company
1931
Pg. 18:
It is a mistake to call the Hudson the “American Rhine.” Both are beautiful and historic rivers, but the Hudson needs no reflected glory from the European stream.

Google Books
Rivers I Have Known
By Willard Price
New York, NY: John Day Co.
1965
Pg. 243:
Likewise, the Hudson has been dubbed the American Rhine, an insult to both the Rhine and the Hudson. In such cases comparisons really are odious. Both rivers are fine but in a quite different fashion, and handsome Haverstraw Bay is no more like lovely Como than Hercules is like Venus.

OCLC WorldCat record
Hudson River : from New York City to Albany
Author: Irwin Richman
Publisher: [Charleston, SC] : Arcadia, [©2001]
Series: Postcard history series.
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Contents:
1. The empire city --
2. The American Rhine --

Google Books
Great American Motorcycle Tours
By Gary McKechnie
Berkeley, CA: Avalon Travel
2013
Pg. 56:
During the 1800s, popular imagination considered the Hudson to be the American Rhine, and its imposing country estates surely rivaled those of the German river or the châteaus of the French loire district.

Twitter
NatureConservancy NY
‏@nature_ny
#DYK the Hudson River is 306 miles long? Long ago it was nicknamed “the American Rhine” bc of its natural beauty.
7:53 AM - 11 Jan 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesNew York State • Sunday, August 07, 2016 • Permalink