Thanks for posting Nick. Great stories, and each leads to more photos. Starting with crabbing by the Kingsbridge Hotel ..
The view is likely from the Farmers Bridge and dated 1909. They are fishing in a spot that is now between two of the buildings of the Marble Hill Houses. The Kingsbridge Hotel is at the left.
This is just a guess, but the yellow circle on this 1879 map might be Sheep Barn Bridge where J. B. James caught the fine trout.
This ca 1902 view is looking south from the north end of the lake. These may be the large oaks in the foreground, or those may have been from an earlier time. I believe the mills are still standing among the elms at the center of this photo, which likely makes it earlier than 1902
This 1899 view shows the elm trees and the mills on the south bank. Is that the large oak overhanging the water?
A view of the mills from the south labeled ca 1902 (the original was reversed)
Close up between the mills, ca 1900
Note about the horse car line Nick, I think the pic you posted is of the more modern trolleys that ran down Broadway from Getty Square until the 1950s. The horse-car trolleys were much earlier. You can see the overhead power feed in your pic and this one..
J. B. James mentions Godwin island. This pic is after the tree is gone, and after a footbridge has been constructed across the island. No sign of the swan though.
The house on the right in this pic seems to match the description of Warner’s Store
This photo is labeled “former St. Matthew’s Church” and appears to show the building behind 2601 Broadway in 1925, possibly the Methodist Church Bethel described by J. B. James.
He refers to Winter activities at VCP becoming more popular, this was due to folks taking the 9th Avenue elevated to the 155th St terminus by the Polo Grounds, then boarding the New York City and Northern Railroad (The Putnam Line) to VCP. The IRT didn’t reach VCP until 1907, so crowds before then would have arrived via the Putnam Line at this station, seen here looking west in 1904.
View looking northeast at the station in 1904.
The station is out of frame to the lower left in this photo
Opposite view from above
The refreshment stand, seen ca 1895