You can't deny it—Croton is a dam town. Well, actually it's a village, but that's not important right now. I say it's a dam town because of the new Croton dam, which has been associated with the village since its completion in the early 1900s.
Croton's "dam town" status has been memorialized in T-shirt for about 12 years now. Graphic designer and photographer Emily Sper says it was either her or her sister that came up with the idea for the shirts during the first Croton-Harmon High School Mega-Reunion back in 2000. While people liked the "dam town" T-shirts, Sper unfortunately printed way too many. "My sister and I sold almost half the shirts at the reunion, but with 1,100 to 1,200 attendees, it was not a good idea to make 1,000. I had hoped to donate a percentage to the group that planned the reunion, but I didn't break even," said Sper. Luckily Sper finally got rid of the remaining T-shirts a decade later at the 2010 CHHS reunion.
Just as Sper was breathing a sigh of relief after getting rid of the shirts, a CHHS Facebook group was created that displayed her dam T-shirts. All of a sudden there was a new demand for the Croton Dam garments. This time Sper decided to use an online printing service so she didn't have to invest a large amount of cash upfront.
Many people wonder where Sper got the image that is on the first batch of "dam town" shirts. "The original black and white photo was taken in 1973 while on a class trip with Yale Joel, the late Life photographer who lived in Croton and gave workshops."
Recently Sper was inspired to make another shirt design dedicated to the village we love. The new T-shirt (which is to the right of this story) contains the old picture of the dam, but it also displays a creative meeting of the words that make up the village's name. "As a designer I couldn't just go with the old design—and designed a new T-shirt," said Sper.
To check out Sper's Croton T-shirts you can click here. In addition to shirts, her site also has Croton mugs, mouse pads, tote bags and more.
So what do you think about Emily Sper's Croton shirts? Tell us by clicking on the comment button. You can also join the Croton discussion on the Croton-on-Hudson Facebook page. Also be sure to check out Croton's twitter feed.