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The United States Military Academy has been developed from a small engineering school into one of the most important and necessary educational institutions of the country. It is now generally recognized as the foremost school of its kind in the world. It represents a present investment of approximately $34,000,000. There has been no material addition to the reservation for many years, and the school has gradually outgrown its present confines. The acquisition of the additional land contemplated by this legislation is aboslutely necessary if the West Point Academy is to fulfill the mission for which it has been established and developed. The specific requirements are fully set forth in a letter from the Superintendent United States Military Academy, dated August 24, 1929, a copy of which is inclosed.

It is not deemed advisable to incorporate in the legislation a specific designation of the tracts to be acquired as appears in H. R. 8480.


It is the opinion of the War Department that either S. 5732 or H. R. 14811 would be suitable to the purpose, except that in H. R. 14811 the land to be acquired is described as all located in Highland Falls, Orange County, New York." A part of the land which it would be desirable to acquire is located in Cornwall. H. R. 14811 should, therefore, be amended by striking out, in line 2, page 2, the words "Highland Falls," so that the clause will read "all located in Orange County, New York."

The War Department is advised that the residents of the village of Highland Falls, N. Y., are apprehensive that in the carrying out of this project their water supply may be cut off or destroyed. It will be unnecessary and it is not intended to acquire the land upon which the source of the village water supply is located. In order to assure the people of Highland Falls that their water supply will not be affected, it is suggested that such legislation as may be adopted contain a proviso as follows:

"Provided, That nothing shall be done under this act which shall operate to divert the existing water supply of the village of Highland Falls, New York, from its present uses.'


The War Department regards this project as a matter of the utmost importance. Plans have been made to absorb the amount involved in the 1933 Budget, and the early enactment of this authorizing legislation is urgently recommended in order that the item may be included in the estimates for the fiscal year 1933.

Sincerely yours,

Secretary of War.

West Point, N. Y., August 24, 1929.

Subject: West Point Military Reservation.
To: The Adjutant General, War Department, Washington, D. C.

1. It is recommended that the necessary steps be taken to acquire for the military reservation of West Point, N. Y., by condemnation proceedings or otherwise, the additional land described on the accompanying paper and shown on the map submitted herewith. This land consists of approximately 17,000 acres, and has a value estimated at approximately $1,500,000.

2. The necessity for the purchase of this land is because of the following reasons: (a) To preserve the present water supply and keep it free from contamination, and to provide for future increased needs.

(b) To provide proper and necessary firing ranges both for small arms and field artillery.

(c) To provide ground now needed for drill, maneuvers, and camp sites, and for athletics.

(d) To provide a landing field for West Point.

(e) To provide against too great encroachment which is even now interfering with the smooth and orderly functioning of the Military Academy.

To provide for future expansion before the cost becomes prohibitive.

3. The change in the life of our people brought about by the automobile is vividly apparent and the number of cars is ever increasing. Thousands of cars now roam the valley of the Hudson and include a stop at West Point in their ordinary itinerary. As many as 13,800 by actual count by an engineer tally have passed through the reservation in one day. The Military Academy is now

on five main routes of travel. On the west bank of the Hudson there are twoone via Hackensack, Suffern, Tuxedo northward, New York State route 17, and one bordering the Hudson from New York City northward (US9W). On the east bank there are likewise two-one along the Hudson from New York to Bear Mountain Bridge and northward (US9E), and one further east paralleling this, New York State route 22. The fifth road (US6) passes over Bear Mountain Bridge, from west to east, and is a principal road to New England. As the academy is on those five great lines of traffic it offers a sight-seeing objective to motorists. The influx of visitors which now is a real problem is increasing daily and will receive a great impetus with the finishing of the great bridge across the Hudson near the Dykman Street Ferry. Drill and instruction can not be properly conducted amid a crowd of onlookers.

4. But more serious than the rising tide of visitors and of automobiles is the constant growth of settlements northward. The march is steady and rapid and the thrust of New York City is even now felt in the tranquil and proper operation of the Military Academy. Already the planning of the New York City region extends above Newburgh, which is 9 miles north of West Point, and the time is not far distant when the land just south of the military reservation, between the southern boundary and our holdings on Popolopan Creek, will be thickly settled. At present this region is sparsely settled, but it is becoming the rendezvous alarmingly fast for summer camps and residences. In this region are Brooks Pond, Cranberry Pond, and Long Pond, all of which offer ideal natural facilities for exploitation. Already in summer they are crowded with campers and automobilists, who regard West Point as a legitimate attraction. The Military Academy will soon be hemmed in on the south and the acquiring of necessary land will be impossible. To the north we can not expand as Crows Nest and Storm King oppose such expansion, as does the Hudson River to the east. Any future expansion must therefore take place to the south and west.

5. But even discounting future requirements, we are at the present time in need of land for artillery and small arms target ranges, for camp sites, for maneuvers, and for athletics. The present summer camp can accommodate only two classes. It should be large enough for three classes, the fourth one being on furlough. There being no other suitable site on the reservation, the camp is now located on the field and tract grounds used by cadets and the two conflict somewhat in time of use. Each year it is necessary to go off the reservation for maneuvers and temporary camp sites, and permission to occupy some of the lands heretofore used has been denied and will soon be impossible to grant for other


6. The building of the Storm King Road (US9W) has taken away our back stop and we can no longer fire safely in that direction so there is no place where artillery practice may be had. The present rifle range is woefully inadequate. It should be tripled for present needs, but there is no ground on the reservation where it is possible to enlarge it and firing on it is not entirely safe even now. Also there is no ground on the reservation possible for a landing field or for


7. It is most important that we should exercise foresight to protect our water supply and provide for the future. At present our water comes from Queensboro and Popolopen Creeks, but should the region between these creeks and the reservation become thickly settled, as it most certainly will, the cutting down of the woods and the pollution of the watershed would most seriously diminish and jeopardize our supply.

8. The necessity for a landing field for West Point is too obvious to need comment.

9. The conditions that threaten the Military Academy are cause for reflection and anxiety and it would seem that practical consideration dictates that an effort should be made to anticipate and guard against them. The investment of the Government in the plant at West Point runs into many millions of dollars and the importance of the academy to the country is incalculable. It is of such importance to the Nation that Congress can not afford to permit the development of a condition that undoubtedly will interfere with the future efficiency of the academy or prevent its future expansion.

10. As it now is, West Point is greatly restricted and in need of land for every purpose. At its gates lie large, uncultivated tracts that contain sufficient acreage for its needs. Were it in possession of these, it would not be necessary to send the cadets to Fort Eustis at considerable expense to the United States for artillery firing that should properly be given at West Point.

11. The necessary foresight exercised at this time will save the War Department and West Point from grave difficulties now and in the future, and protect the investment of our Government in the United States Military Academy. I earnestly hope that Congress may be prevailed upon to make the necessary purchase of land before the opportunity disappears. The amount involved is inconsequential in comparison to the worth of the Military Academy to the Nation and with the money now invested.


Chairman Military Affairs Committee,
Washington, D. C.

West Point, N. Y., February 16, 1931.

MY DEAR MR. JAMES: I am submitting to you herewith for record purposes in connection with the West Point extension program, the following data:

WM. R. SMITH, Major General, Superintendent.

1. In the extension program presented to the committee the War Department had not contemplated taking or in any way interfering with the Highland Falls water supply.

Ladycliff property..

2. The following land listed on the map submitted to the committee are not to be considered in the plots of land to be taken. The amount of tax therefor collected from these lands are assured to the town of Highland Falls:

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$22,000 55, 000

4, 000

25, 000 3,000

5, 000 55, 000

1, 400 58,000 16,000


16, 500

34, 000

301, 900

WM. R. SMITH, Major General, Superintendent.


FEBRUARY 18, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. MCSWAIN, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the following


[To accompany H. R. 14811]

The Committee on Military Affairs to which was referred the bill (H. R. 14811) to authorize an appropriation for the purchase of land and buildings thereon joining the West Point Military Reservation, N. Y., and for other purposes, introduced by Mr. James of Michigan, having considered the same, report thereon with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendments:

Page 2, line 2, after the word "in" strike out the words "Highland Falls."

Page 2, line 6, change the period to a colon and add the following: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall adversely affect the existing water supply, its sources, or pipe lines of the town of Highlands, New York.

The amendment to strike out the name "Highland Falls" is made at the request of the War Department because some of the lands it is desired to acquire are outside of the Highland Falls area.

The second amendment is made to protect the water supply of the town of Highlands, and is self-explanatory.

This bill authorizes the acquiring of approximately 15,000 acres of land at West Point, N. Y., to be added to the military reservation at that place, and provides for an appropriation of $500,000 for such purposes. A careful study of the situation at West Point with especial reference to the water supply is very convincing that it is necessary to secure this additional land without delay. The acreage it is proposed to purchase includes the present watershed, which is, in fact, the only water supply available to the academy. By reason of the fact that much of the watershed area is being used by summer residents for bungalows, lodges, and camps in ever increasing numbers, the authorities at West Point contend that it will not be long until

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