Reply To: January 2019 Photo Contest

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You’re on the right track with that guess.  You are so close that it would be difficult to provide any more hints without giving it away.  For those not familiar with spabob’s guess, Verveelen Place is this short street that meets Broadway between W 230th and W 231st Streets (next to the shopping center and the Carter’s clothing store).

It is named after Johannes Verveleen.  Before the construction of the King’s Bridge in 1693, there were no bridges to Manhattan from The Bronx.  Johannes Verveleen operated a tavern and a ferry in this location to carry passengers across the Spuyten Duyvil Creek before the bridge was built.  His ferry and tavern were ordered by the provincial government of New York in 1669.  The orders dictated that Verveleen “provide a sufficient dwelling house with three or four bed for ye entertainment of travelers, and that he be furnished always with provisions for them, their horse, and Cattle and stabling and stalls accordingly.”  Also “That he have a sufficient boat for transportation of passengers, horses, and cattle.”

The governor set the rates for Verveleen’s tavern.  “That in case he lodges any person one night he is to have 6 pence per night in case they have a bed with sheets and without sheets two pence in Silver.”  Rates were set for the ferry as well: “For transportation of a man and horse 7 pence in silver.  For a single horse 6 pence . . . For Droves of Cattle to be driven over and opening ye Gates 2 pence apiece.”

Excuse the digression, but I always thought it was funny that this 17th century ferryman is honored today by the name of an obscure alley with no addresses.

But to get back to the point, the photo does not depict Broadway and Verveleen Place.  Very close though.