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That is good to know and I love that Currier and Ives. The construction looks very similar to photos of the King’s Bridge that I have seen–very simple.
I imagine that bridge would have diverted much of the traffic coming over the King’s Bridge, especially from the east.
That is interesting stuff about the name Muscoota. That must have been a commonly used term among the local native people and not some kind of unique place name as you pointed out. I have seen it translated as meadow or marsh. You have to figure there would have been a lot of places called Muscoota given all of the salt marsh or meadow in the New York area and sure enough you see the word in a few places. This another British Revolutionary map (from 1775) and you can see “Musketto Cove” depicted on Long Island.
Oddly enough I found a reference to a Muscootakes River in a deed to Jacobus Van Cortlandt–only this one does not refer to land in The Bronx but rather to land in Bedford in Westchester:
Funny that the Van Cortlandts were buying land in two different places (The Bronx and Bedford) and they both bordered on running water known as Muscoota. When my children were younger I would take them to a park in northern Westchester called Muscoot Farm and I believe the name is connected to the above river.
On the topic of “Smooth Stones,” I found some interesting stuff as I was researching. The local people spoke Munsee, which is described as either a language in the Algonquian family of languages or an Algonquian dialect. According to this book, Mamusqunke in Connecticut meant “smooth stones” to the Quinnipiac, who also spoke an Algonquian language.
I kind of stumbled upon the information that I wrote about in my article–I did not set out trying to find the origin of Mosholu. I was researching the “Upper Cortlandts” house when I learned that the guy that lived there, T. Bailey Meyers, was the one that named the post office “Mosholu” and that he also collected Revolutionary War manuscripts.
Tom mentioned Gun Hill Road in his earlier reply. In a similar way I also stumbled upon some information that leads me to question the common origin story of the name “Gun Hill.”
Those are some amazing photos. I love the one of the Johnson Foundry looking east. Thank you for including links for where you found the photos. I wonder what those buildings were that replaced the Old Bridge Tavern…
Hi, Tom. Thanks for sharing. I had not seen that map before with the outline of Yankee stadium there (where the Target is today). That would have been pretty wild to have the “House that Ruth Built” in Kingsbridge. It would have made sense given the subway line and multiple train lines going through the area. From the map it appears that the infield would have been in Manhattan while the outfield would have been in The Bronx. That would have resulted in some funny in-game commentary for sure!
I also am curious about some of those postcards because I thought I had seen them all but some of those don’t sound familiar. Do you own all of them? If yes, would you mind sharing the one of Dashe’s Lane?
Hi, Stephanie. I checked the Reverend Tieck’s book for anything on McKelvey or the Villa Rosa Bonheur and I did not see anything. The book was published in 1968 so the building would not have seemed as historically relevant as it might today. Another member posted that the building was designed by Robert Garner, who designed the Charlotte Bronte apartments. So, I guess Garner designed it for McKelvey, is that right?
Getting back to the Reverend Tieck’s book, I would highly recommend it despite its climbing price. It really is the definitive guide to local history with many amazing photographs.
Great post with lots of amazing resources for finding photos. Most of the photos you posted I hadn’t seen before. And you are correct about this photo:
It was jammed in an envelope with the mystery photo so I figured it was the same spot when I noticed the marble bedrock. However, the gas station in the background was at the corner of W. 230th and Broadway so it has to be the foundation of the post office. Good sleuthing. The NYPL has a photo of that gas station here and it is labeled as W. 230th and Broadway.
Tieck’s red book has a good writeup on the construction of the post office including the human remains (possibly from the Revolution) that were discovered during its construction.
Nice work, Lois. Below is a clearer image.
On the left you will see the “Lakes of Sligo” bar and on the right you will see a house and apartment building on Godwin Terrace. This is the base of Marble Hill and that appears to be an outcropping of Inwood (or Kingsbridge) Marble on the left. The photo was taken in 1949 so the Marble Hill housing projects were not yet constructed. Assuming these ladies were in their 70s, they saw many changes in the neighborhood in their lifespan including the disappearance of Spuyten Duyvil Creek and Tibbetts Brook. It is not surprise to me that the KHS was founded in 1949 given the changes that the this generation witnessed in the area. That outcropping of marble would not be around much longer either. The foundation for the grocery store on the corner of 228th and Broadway cut deep into the Marble:
The above photos along with about a dozen others from the neighborhood will be available for members to view in the “Members Area” shortly.
August 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm in reply to: The Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad – Part 2: Through the Hill #1109
Thanks. Yes, that area north of the tracks was filled in but it does seem to be pretty close to sea level judging by the flooding and large puddles there after a rain.
Great detective work on the train station, Alasky.
August 18, 2019 at 5:48 pm in reply to: The Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad – Part 2: Through the Hill #1099
I did not know this but you made me curious so I looked into it and found this.
Just below where you see “Riverdale Ave” you can see “Kingsbridge Sta.” I guess Riverdale Ave is the old name for West 230th Street. I am thinking that the postcard is looking east from Broadway and that the building in the center of the background is the red rectangle on the above map labeled “Dr. Parsons.”
August 7, 2019 at 1:21 am in reply to: PROTECT SNAD! PLEASE ATTEND THE CITY PLANNING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING #1094
Normally, this is not these forums are not the place for politics but weakening the SNAD protection in Riverdale would very clearly allow development to run rampant in a part of the neighborhood where the rock outcroppings, natural slopes, and tall old trees give a sense of the natural history of the area.
When I taught at P.S. 24, we used the rock outcroppings and boulders of Fieldston as a means to teach/learn about geology. From the sidewalks you can see evidence of plate tectonics and the movement of glaciers. We also used neighborhood trees as specimens for study (the students were intrigued to learn that the spiky thorns of Black Locust trees were very likely an evolutionary adaptation to prevent the tree from mastodons). SNAD protections have been helpful in preserving these natural elements, which are a part of the neighborhood’s character and natural history.
The effort to conduct an archeological dig on the Fort No. 2 site continues…
I created this landing page, which contains all of the news stories about the fort including the latest NY1 report:
I have written to our elected representatives to ask for help negotiating with the owner and developer. Again, we are not looking to stop or impede construction–simply to study the site with an archeologist before construction destroys what remains. If you wish to reinforce that message, feel free to write to them as well:
Jeffrey Dinowitz: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Cohen: District11@council.nyc.gov
Alessandra Biaggi: email@example.com
I truly cannot understand why the owner and developer are so reticent to let an archeological dig happen.
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.
Nailed it! Nice going, ALasky and thanks, Tom, for participating as well.
It is indeed W. 231st and Broadway.
The three-story apt. building on the corner is now the home of the “Gold Mine Cafe” and the three adjacent buildings are still standing:
Here’s the view from the street. The overhead train obscures most of the view:
The decorative elements and number of windows match the 1905 photo.
Further down the street are more buildings that are still around (including the one from the tax photo posted by ALasky).
The white and blue painted building is the former home of Fuhrman’s Dry Goods, a department store:
You can still see some of the decorative elements from the facade:
Fuhrman’s was a beloved local store. Here is a section of an opinion piece from the Riverdale News from the late 1920’s:
The trees on the left side of the 1905 photo may seem strange but according to this 1921 map, there were no buildings on the west side of Broadway between 231st and 232nd Streets. There was only one building within that block. The below map snippet has Broadway on the bottom and Church Street is now Kingsbridge Avenue:
The double-culvert sewers run under Broadway. I had always been under the impression that Tibbett’s Brook was buried in tunnels like these under Tibbett Avenue but numerous articles state that the Brook actually runs under Broadway through the tunnels in the 1905 photo:
At the southwest corner of [Van Cortlandt] lake, the freshwater flow of Tibbetts Brook is routed down into a storm drain that leads to the Broadway sewer, where it mixes in with raw sewage and stormwater. “On a dry day, four to five million gallons of water from Van Cortlandt Lake goes into the Broadway sewer,” says Taylor.
That mix leads to a filtration plant. When rains are heavy, the plant cannot handle the flow so the overflow (sewage included) empties into the Harlem River. The effort to daylight Tibbett’s Brook would help solve the problem of raw sewage being dumped in the River. The Times has more info on the buried brook here.
Thanks for reading and participating.
No, you don’t have it yet. Several of the buildings depicted are still standing.
I have a lot of questions about this situation as well but I don’t think there are answers. But he did give custody of his mixed-race children to his neighbors, as opposed to his wife, so I think that might answer your question as to how she felt about the kids. It really is impossible to know.
Another really interesting name on the militia roll is Anthony Allaire. The South Yonkers Company of militia (that included men from Kingsbridge) was organized after the battles of Lexington and Concord. You would assume that the militia was composed of Patriots but at that time the national politics had not yet taken shape as “Patriots” versus “Loyalists.” Anthony Allaire would be best known as fighting for the British later in the war. In 1780 he was a loyalist soldier in the south and kept a detailed journal, which is treasured by historians of that theater of the war:
It is wild to think that his military career started in Kingsbridge in the Patriot militia but ended as a prisoner of the Patriots in South Carolina. Like many local loyalists he wound up living in Canada after the war.
Someone did bring up this question at the meeting although no one came up with anything definitive about the structure, which I had thought was a bridge.
But I do think you nailed it here. The 1921 Bromley map below shows the train yards and you can see just above the tracks is a section of road labeled “ROAD.” You can see this same road going up the hill in the original photo to the left of the structure. This road is essentially the same path that exists today from Waldo Ave to W. 240th Street (alongside Manhattan College’s new student center).
The NYPL has a great photo of the train yard in 1926 before Gaelic Park was constructed in the field to the south:
Great detective work and thanks for sharing.
A reader just sent me this link to the Museum of the City of New York’s collection of photos of the old Hutchins estate. There are some great shots of the mansion, which had a nice view over the valley of Kingsbridge to the east:
The below photo appears to show the stone barn on the right and another smaller building on the left:
I believe those are the two buildings shown below on the Waldo Hutchins estate sale map:
I am reasonably sure that both the mansion and the barn are depicted on this British intelligence map from the revolution. Hessian soldiers were stationed in the buildings for much of the war.
January is over so it is time to reveal the location of the photo. Does this look familiar?
It is the intersection of W. 231st Street and Albany Crescent, looking East toward Bailey Avenue. If you have been in the neighborhood a while, you may know this corner as being across the street from the Piper’s Kilt, which is now the Bronx Public. Now check out a photo from today side by side with the old photo:
I think what made this one really tricky was that the building in the foreground is not longer standing. It was demolished for a Major construction project–the Major Deegan Expressway. Here is an earlier shot (looking west toward Broadway) of that building, which was home to Robert’s bookstore, Tynan’s hardware, and the Van Cortlandt Democratic Club:
You really had to zoom in on details in the background to figure it out what you were looking at:
All of the buildings in the background are still standing, including a house that you can barely make out in the distance on Bailey Avenue. Here is that house today:
That house has been there for a very long time. You can see it on the right side of the below photo, which is looking east on 231st Street toward Bailey Ave. “The Local” bar was then a soda fountain.
You can even see that same house (upper right) in the below 1909 image of 231st Street during the construction of the sewer system. Rather than digging out a trench for sewer pipes, the sewer was built well above street level. The manhole covers are easily 15 feet above ground–sticking out like chimneys. The street level was then raised, except for the viaduct for the railroad and Major Deegan Expressway.
I had mentioned in a hint that the intersection in the photo (231st and Albany Crescent) was where two of America’s oldest roads met and that John Adams passed through it in 1774. Albany Crescent is something of an unusual name and it has an unusual shape to it as well. Sometimes when a street has an unusual name and an unusual shape, it is really old. I have highlighted Albany Crescent in red below:
The intersection of W. 231st Street and Albany Crescent is where the Boston Post Road met the Albany Post Road. These were two of the oldest and most important roads in the colonial period. Coaches from Boston or Albany would pass through this intersection and cross over the King’s Bridge to Manhattan at today’s W. 230th Street and Kingsbridge Avenue. Here is a revolutionary era British intelligence map showing the same area:
It is not exactly easy to make out Albany Crescent so here they are side by side with the roads highlighted:
KHS member, Tom Casey, calculated here that Paul Revere travelled through that intersection and over the King’s Bridge 10 times. How many people walk past those corners not realizing the streets are over 300 years old!
Thank you for everyone that participated in the photo contest. We will have another one soon. I have uploaded more old photos of these streets to the “members area” of the website. If you are a member you can view them by logging in to the site. If you are a member but you do not have a password, or have forgotten it, please let me know and I will send one to you.
Another really close guess but it isn’t W. 230th Street. And you’re correct–Adams was on his way to the Continental Congress. Shortly after passing through the intersection in the photo, he spent that night in Kingsbridge at a tavern near W. 230th Street and Broadway. In his diary he referred to Kingsbridge as “a pretty place.”
This is your last day to get an answer in. Here is the last hint.
The intersection behind the gentleman in the foreground is where two of America’s oldest roads met in colonial times. John Adams passed through this intersection on August 19, 1774.
Another close guess–you are just a couple of blocks away.
Only two days left to make a guess so give it a try before time runs out. An expanded view is below:
Just to recap the hints:
1) The building on the left had to be torn down soon after the photo was taken. However, the building behind the man in the foreground still stands at this historic intersection.
2) The building was torn down for a Major construction project.
I’ll have one more hint tomorrow if nobody gets it by then.
You’re on the right track with that guess. You are so close that it would be difficult to provide any more hints without giving it away. For those not familiar with spabob’s guess, Verveelen Place is this short street that meets Broadway between W 230th and W 231st Streets (next to the shopping center and the Carter’s clothing store).
It is named after Johannes Verveleen. Before the construction of the King’s Bridge in 1693, there were no bridges to Manhattan from The Bronx. Johannes Verveleen operated a tavern and a ferry in this location to carry passengers across the Spuyten Duyvil Creek before the bridge was built. His ferry and tavern were ordered by the provincial government of New York in 1669. The orders dictated that Verveleen “provide a sufficient dwelling house with three or four bed for ye entertainment of travelers, and that he be furnished always with provisions for them, their horse, and Cattle and stabling and stalls accordingly.” Also “That he have a sufficient boat for transportation of passengers, horses, and cattle.”
The governor set the rates for Verveleen’s tavern. “That in case he lodges any person one night he is to have 6 pence per night in case they have a bed with sheets and without sheets two pence in Silver.” Rates were set for the ferry as well: “For transportation of a man and horse 7 pence in silver. For a single horse 6 pence . . . For Droves of Cattle to be driven over and opening ye Gates 2 pence apiece.”
Excuse the digression, but I always thought it was funny that this 17th century ferryman is honored today by the name of an obscure alley with no addresses.
But to get back to the point, the photo does not depict Broadway and Verveleen Place. Very close though.
Well, now you are getting close. This intersection is a short walk from 230th and Broadway. I am extending the contest to the end of the month to get a few more guesses. I’ll have another hint soon.
I think your idea is entirely possible–that the hill is named for its shape rather than for the presence of cannons. I would want to look at more maps to get a better look at the topography there.
The William’s Bridge crossing of the Bronx River, which is adjacent to Gun Hill, was written about before the Revolution. It was the boundary between Yonkers and the Manor of Fordham and it was named “Cowangongh” according to the 1669 deed between the Munsee and John Archer, who was the lord of the Manor of Fordham. That deed is interesting because it contains many of the Munsee place names for locations in our part of The Bronx. You can check that out here. I recently got a chance to look at a photograph of the original deed and it is amazing to see because the Native Americans signed it using symbols or pictographs instead of spelling out their names.
I think the Gun Hill would have been important because it overlooked this crossing of The Bronx River. It would be pretty funny if its name comes from its shape as opposed to the fighting that occurred there.
Thanks for posting that. That Tieck article makes me think that The Old Bridge Tavern building might have been the same as the building behind the oyster shack in this 1873 Harpers illustration. What do you think?