Brooks and Streams Criss-Crossed Riverdale in Days Gone By – Harry Emery

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    • #2131
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      Harry Emery was an elderly man when he wrote his “Recollections of Riverdale” in the Riverdale Press in the 1950s.  He was born in 1877 and lived his entire life in the neighborhood.  He wrote the following piece about the area’s native streams, brooks, and streams.  I am wondering, is stream #5 the same one that feeds into Tibbetts Brook that can be seen just east of the Van Cortlandt Parade Ground in the marshland?

    • #2132
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      If you explore the woods to the East of the Aqueduct trail, you are still able to find a few springs emptying onto the Mosholu  cut-through, the golf course or down a drain.

       

    • #2133
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      Quite a number of the listed above streams can be found on this map:

      Number 5 listed above is referring to “Turtle Brook”–interesting to know that the Van Cortlandts got their drinking water from there.  That’s the long stream in the above map crossing the parade ground and emptying into Van Cortlandt Lake.  Frederick Van Cortlandt’s 1749 will uses the name “Turtle Brook” for the stream.

      Part 2 of Harry Emery’s article is below.  Some of the place names he uses are great to know as they have disappeared from the local vernacular (like Scotch Hill).  Again, this  map can be used to compare with the property owners that he references and find the streams:

    • #2134
      bronxologist
      Participant

      Great map, especially the full version extending further out to the west and east. What date/year is it? Even a rough date would be a great help.
      On a related topic, because the various aspects of Van Cortlandt Park are closely intertwined, does anyone have information on how and why the park ended up with two Golf Courses, and not just one. The VCP course was opened with 9 holes in 1895 and enlarged to 18 in 1899, and the 9-hole Mosholu course and driving rance were opened in 1914. Recommendations of sources and contacts on VCP golf history would be tremendously appreciated.

    • #2135
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      Ah, yes good point.  It is an 1879 George Bromley map and this link takes you to the version with details.  Curious to see how much of the land that comprises the Mosholu Golf Course was owned by individuals not named Van Cortlandt.

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