Early Colonial Settlement in Kingsbridge

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    • #971

      At my upcoming presentation at the Van Cortlandt House Museum next week, I am going to delve deep into what Kingsbridge was like in the late 1600’s–and I am excited to reveal some of my new research.  As a sneak preview, I will explain this portion of a little known 1684 map, which shows an early colonial settlement in the area.

      I am also discussing the American origins of Santa Claus, Adriaen van der Donck’s homesite, and the Van Cortlandts’ debt to a female single-mother-turned-merchant in New Amsterdam.  Not to mention Washington at the Van Cortlandt House, beaver-pelts, Native Americans, the first Africans, and the plantation that would become today’s park.  I hope you all can make it!  It’s next Thursday (5/16) at 7 PM at the Van Cortlandt House Museum in Van Cortlandt Park.

    • #1044
      Nancy Campion

      Hi. I grew up In kingsbridge  on Giles place.  I was fascinated as a child of the historical mansions.  Homes there and on Camnon place.  Memories of an excavation of an old mansion that yielded. Muskets. Delft plates.  Shoe buckles, silverware etc.  Probably about 1958 or so.  I am an avid  New York history buff as well as Kingsbridge etc.  My family were friends of the Ostranders , and an old friend of Peter Ostrander.  I now live in Salem , Oregon. Far from Kingsbridge but I still research as much as I can about the area.  My main Interest is  early on history in late 1600s of the area as well as  the block I grew up on.  Thank you.   Nancy Campion

    • #1045

      Hi, Nancy.  I imagine the excavation that you recall from the 50’s was probably was probably the dig at the site of Fort Independence, which was the largest of the Kingsbridge fortifications.  It sat between today’s Cannon Place and Giles Place.

      A detailed archeological report of the Fort Independence excavations was written up and published in 1978 by the New York State Archeological Association.  You can read that here:  https://nysarchaeology.org/download/nysaa/bulletin/number_073.pdf#page=4

      That is the type of report that we would like to have published about another Revolutionary fort in the neighborhood: Fort No. 2 on Spuyten Duyvil Hill.  However, the owner of the land where Fort No. 2 once stood is not permitting an archeological team to study the site.  You can read about that here in this week’s Riverdale Press: https://riverdalepress.com/stories/historians-hope-to-find-revolutionary-war-artifacts-at-spuyten-duyvil-site,69125.  I imagine you do not get the Riverdale Press out in Oregon!  After creating this website, it has been amazing to see how many emails and memberships we get from all over the country–from people like you, who once lived in the neighborhood and are still interested in its history.

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