Riverdale’s Last Two Dairy Farmhouses

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    • #2879
      Two houses on corner of W 259th Street
      The two houses on the corner belonged to Riverdale’s last two dairy farmers.

      From Rev. William Tieck’s Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Spuyten Duyvil:

      Dairying survived in Riverdale until well into the present [20th] century.  In Swamp Hollow north of Mosholu Avenue between Fieldston Road and Broadway the Christopher Keefes, father and son, had several barns and some twenty-five cows; their extensive dairy business included routes in Yonkers and lasted until 1909.  A smaller heard was owned by James Mackin.  Teams of billy goats carted his milk to Yonkers.  Both herds grazed in Van Cortlandt Park.  After somewhat of a contest with Mackin the law finally put a stop to dairying in Riverdale, possibly as late as the mid-thirties.

      In this old tintype, dating from about 1908, Mackin and his milk wagon are shown beside the family residence. The house is still standing at its original location, now 269 West 259th Street at Spencer Avenue.  Next to it on the right is the Christopher Keefe residence, also still standing. [These are the same two houses pictured above].

    • #2880
      Peter Ostrander

      Two quick points to note:

      1)West 259th Street was originally named Rock Street St. The present Con Ed  new high pressure gas project is finding this out the hard way.

      2) Also note the first floor street level in the old photo as compared to the present day photo.  The installation of sewer mains in the early 20th C. Necessitated the raising of the street level.  But not as drastic as on Corlear and Tibbett Ave down in Kingsbridge.

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