What you see below you in Travis Cove is the foundation of the River Water Intake Shed and the remains of a water pipe that were used by the Fleischmann Distillery in the early 1900s. Water from the Hudson River flowed through this pipe, was cleared of debris at the Filtration Plant, and was stored in the Pump House, near where you are currently standing. The water was used to cool the massive Fleischmann plant and to fight fires at the complex. In 1918, a grain fire at the factory caused the only deaths of volunteer firefighters in the history of the Cortlandt Hook and Ladder Company.The Fleischmann Company, once the largest manufacturer of yeast in the world, was founded in 1900 by Charles and Maximillian Fleischmann and James Gaff. During World War II, the factory's laboratory developed packaged yeast and was recognized with five Army-Navy Production "E" Awards. At its height, the company's huge 100 acre Charles Point facility had more than 160 buildings, consumed more than 5,000 bushels of grain per day, and used 22,500,000 gallons of water [per] month for the production of vinegar, yeast and spirits. Fleischmann Pier in nearby Charles Point Pier Park, originally known as Molasses Dock, was used to unload large ships carrying liquid molasses and other cargo to the distillery. The pier had an unusually long
and narrow design to allow the docking of large ocean-going vessels.By 1954, Fleischmann employed over 1,000 people and produced 5,000,000 pounds of yeast per month. By 1976, the high cost of operation in the Northeast resulted in 304 layoffs. Forty-two buildings were demolished and a portion of the land was sold. By 1985, the remaining vinegar plant was shut down and the last 6 acres of land were donated to the City of Peekskill. The Wheelabrator Resource Recovery Facility (on the hill behind you) now occupies a large portion of the original Fleischmann property.