Between 1850 and 1900, the railroad became a source of industrial and suburban commuter traffic along the Hudson River, and Yonkers transformed from a village into one of the largest cities in New York State.Thomas J. Hill’s painting—among the smallest in the Museum’s collection—depicts one of the only known views of the first Glenwood train station, which stood at the bottom of Point Street, two blocks south of Trevor Park. The stop was always called Glenwood, referring to the neighborhood not Glenwood Avenue, where the current station was rebuilt in the early-twentieth century.
The train stop at Point Street was a small and simple cottage with vertical wood siding similar to many of the earliest railroad stations in Westchester County. When Hill painted Glenwood Station, he was living on Ravine Avenue less than one block from the scene. His neighbors included Glenview owner John Bond Trevor, as well as Trevor’s business partner James B. Colgate, who probably both boarded the train at Glenwood to commute to their Wall Street office.
Hill no doubt also travelled by train into New York City, where he exhibited five paintings at the National Academy of Design in the 1870s and 1880s. Born in London, he immigrated with his parents as a child and grew up in Yonkers. He stayed into adulthood, teaching private art lessons, selling paintings to local residents, and even producing some designs for Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company. Few paintings by Hill survive, as his career was cut short at age 29 by a swift and fatal illness, probably pneumonia. Judging from this example, he was inspired by beautiful views from Yonkers to follow in the footsteps of earlier Hudson River School artists who painted romantic panoramas of river and mountain scenery.