Until yesterday I had never heard of the book, The Great North Side, published by the North Side Board of Trade in 1897. It looks like it was printed to spur investment in The Bronx. It has some great photos of The Bronx at the turn of the 20th century. Here is a montage of the 1st Signal Corps of the NY National Guard at Van Cortlandt Park (it’s the first time I’ve seen a photo of soldiers standing in front of the mansion).
In the photo at the bottom of the montage you can see a heliograph on a tripod. That’s what the signal corps used to send signals before the days of portable radio.
Here is a photo of a monstrously large Riverdale mansion also from the book:
In 1874 what is today the Western half of the Bronx, back then Lower Yonkers, Westchester County was annexed by NYC and became the 23rd and 24th Wards of New York City. The 23rd was the lower western half (Morrisania etc) while the 24th Ward included Kingsbrige,Spuyten Duyvil, Riverdale. As teh 23rd and 24th Wards were north of Manhattan they were referred to as the Great North Side. In 1898 NYC was consolidated and included the 5 boroughs we know today. The whole area we know today as The Bronx was created. Years ago there was a North Side Savings bank on w 231st north side of street just west of the Major Deegan who offered a commemorative plate depicting historic sites around Kingsbridge to people who opened a new account.