September 14, 2016 at 12:53 am #134
Most Riverdale-area residents know about Mark Twain’s connection to the neighborhood–from 1901 to 1903 he leased the Wave Hill estate. But did you know that he had another much earlier link to Spuyten Duyvil? It concerns the foundries and mills on the peninsula that jutted out from Spuyten Duyvil (where the Columbia “C” Rock is today).
One of those foundries, the Johnson Iron Works, is the namesake of Johnson Avenue and pretty well-known. But before the Johnson foundry had its heyday, an accomplished 19th Century industrialist and coal supplier, Jervis Langdon, owned a foundry and rolling mill on the peninsula.
Jervis Langdon is known for more than one thing. He was also a staunch abolitionist, whose Elmira, NY home was a station on the underground railroad. He is even credited for helping to free his friend, Frederick Douglas, from slavery.
Another thing Langdon is well-known for is his daughter’s marriage to Samuel Clemens in 1870. Olivia Langdon Clemens and Mark Twain received financial support from her father until he died that same year. And soon after its inception, the Langdon Rolling-Mill Company was succeeded on the peninsula by another short-lived operation–the Spuyten Duyvil Rolling-Mill Company. But the inheritance that Samuel and Olivia Clemens received from Jervis Langdon sustained them throughout their lives–and perhaps helped them to afford the lease at Wave Hill.September 14, 2016 at 7:59 pm #145
Mark Twain & his family lived in the Bronx……and are still in New York, all buried at Woodlawn Cemetery!
ssshhh ( Woodlawn in Elmira NY )September 14, 2016 at 8:12 pm #146
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) and his wife Olivia Langdon Clemens lived at Wave Hill, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx from October 1, 1902 until July 1903. They did take a break at a summer cottage in York Harbor , Maine for the summer of 1902. Olivia was very sick and needed to return home in Riverdale. As per doctors recommendation, a warmer climate led to a move to Italy, where she died June 5, 1904. Their son Langdon died after 19 months in June of 1872 and daughter Susan at age 24 in 1896, later Jean died at age 29 in 1909. Their daughter Clara Langhorne Clemens Gabrilowitsch June 8, 1874 – November 19, 1962 inherited the family estate.September 15, 2016 at 1:00 am #147
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