I can't remember the last time I used a pay phone. I guess it was when I was stuck in an airport in the late 80's. Okay, there may have been a time or two in the 90s, but seriously I can't remember.

The minute we all got cell phones the idea of a pay phone became obsolete. This may explain why fewer and fewer places have them. I don't think you can find one in New York City anymore. The last one was removed in May of 2022.

Staatsburgh Historic Site Removes it's Payphone Permanently

Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Facebook
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Facebook

The Staatsburgh State Historic Site (SSHS) announced today that they have removed the payphone that was on the wall of the mansion. When I saw the notice that they had removed the phone I automatically started thinking about the age of the mansion and how long we have had payphones.

After all this place dates back to the Gilded Age so maybe a payphone was too modern. The one they removed was put in at some point for public use. In the post about its removal, SSHS shared that it still occasionally rings. We can assume that is most likely someone checking in about our car warranty.

When Could the Hudson Valley Have Gotten the First Payphone

All that said it turns out that the Staatsburgh Mansion could have always had a pay phone. The mansion and the invention of the pay phone are almost synonymous. According to Atlasobscura.com 

The pay phone first hit the streets in Connecticut. William Gray invented it in 1889. That timeline coincides with the Mansion being built so who knows they may have had one for a while just not the modern one that was removed this week.

As you might imagine many people are commenting on this announcement. Some are even including photos of themselves with the phone. Others are sharing places where payphones still exist. Even one of my co-workers recently snapped a picture of the SSHS payphone.

PC: Boris
PC: Boris

Are There Any Payphones in the Hudosn Valley

I am not sure you could find a pay phone right now if you needed to. According to a site I found online there are very few left in New York State and of those still around most aren't in the Hudson Valley. Western New York seems to have plenty but up and down the Hudson Valley you are pretty much out of luck.

I decided to look and see if there were any payphones left in the Hudson Valley. According to payphonedirectory.org I discovered there may be some at Woodbury Commons, along with a few in Chester, Middletown, Nanuet, New City, and Rock Hill.

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