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Full text of "Excursion planned for the City history club of New York"

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EXCURSION 

PLANNED FOR THE 

CITY HISTORY CLUB 



OF 



NEW YORK 

BY 
RANDALL COMFORT 



No. IX.— HISTORIC BRONX 

Reprinted from the Historical Guide to the City of New York 
Published by Frederick A. Stokes Co. 



Revised iqio. 



PRICE, 10 CENTS 



Mailed on receipt of price by Secretary, City History Club, 
23 W. 44th Street 

CopyriKhfed, ioo6. by the City History Club of New York 



Col\ected seU 







H <3 




St. Paul's Church, EAsxcHEsxEa 

POE COTTAGK, FORDHAM 

Photographed by Randall Conifort 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




Plate XXIII. Key Map to the Bronx. C. K. 



178 



The BRONX 



THE BRONX 

Bibliogniphy. 

" History of Westchester County," Bolton. 

" History of Westchester County," Scharf. 

" History of Westchester County," Shonard. 

" History of Bronx Borough, New York City," Comfort. 

" Hi.S'tory of Kingsbridge," Edsall. 

" History of Yonkers," Allison. 

"The Old Post Road," Hine. 

"Historic New York" (Paper on "The Neutral Ground"). 

"Battle of Pell's Point," Abbott. 

" The Spy," Cooper. 

" Reminiscences of an Old Westchester Homestead," Pryer. 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE BRONX. 

The Borough of the Bronx derives its name from the first white settler, 
Jonas Bronck, who settled near the Bronx Kills in 1639 and called his home 
EmimiHs. .\n adjacent river became known as Bronck's (shortened later to 
Uronx) River and in recent times the same name was applied to the whole 
borough. Many Indians of the Mohican nation, Suwanoy tribe and Weck- 
quaeskeeks local tribe, branches of the Algonquin race, made this borough their 
home, dwelling on the shores of the Hudson, the Sound and the Rron.x River. 
'I'hey left various Indian names behind them, such as Acquehaunck, Mannepies, 
Quinnahoung Kekeshick, Laap-hawach-king, Mosholu. Many of the old title- 
deeds date back to early purchases from Indian sachems. 

The earliest Dutch settlement was probably in 1654 at Westchester. The 
English soon followed, some of the first titles being granted by Governor NicoUs. 

Many Revolutionary scenes were enacted in this borough and a full quota 
of its citizens w-ent forth to serve and die in defence of their rights. The 
dreaded Neutral Ground extended from the Harlem to the northern limits of 
the present borough. Pelham saw the " Battle of Pelham Neck," while West- 
chester may well boast of its Battle of Westchester Creek (see Section \'). Other 
sections could tell of individual engagements with the King's forces. 

The early and middle parts of the Nineteenth Century brought great 
changes. Extensive farm lands were made to bring forth the fruits of the earth; 
then came the successful business men, who located here their country estates 
and elegant mansions, many examples of which are yet to be found, in spite 
of the advance of the city. 

'{"he year 1874 brought annexation to the city of New York of 13,000 acres 
of the western part of the Bronx, followed in 1895 by the remaining 20,000 
acres. And now these 33,000 acres of hill and plain are fast merging into that 
wonderful city that is proud to style itself " America's Metropolis." 

179 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




Plate XXXI V. Roltes jy, 29a, 2<jh. 



C. K. 



From Kingsbridge north the section including Yonkers was in Revolutionary 
days termed the Neutral Ground, the scene of numerous ravages by irregular 
bands known as Cowboys and Skinners, who committed such lawless depreda- 
tions that many of the residents were forced into temporary exile. 



180 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 29. 

SECTION T— KTNGSBRIDGE TO VAN CORTLANDT PARK. 
(Figures refer to Plate XXXTV). 

Take N. V. Central train from Grand Central Station to Kin^^sbridge 

Station or Broadway Subway to Tzvo Hundred and Forty- 

sceond Street, passing en route on the left 

1. Old King's Bridge, described in Excursion IV, Section IV. 

2. Macomb Mansion, on the Bronx mainland, faces the Broad- 
way Bridge. In 1693 this was known as the public house " at the 
north end of the bridge," and in 1776 as Cox's Tavern. It was bought 
by Alexander Macomb in 1797, who built nearby in 1800 the first 
Macomb's Dam (see 25), and in 1848 was sold to the late J. H. God- 
win. Parts still show its great age. 

At Kingsbridge the old Post Road from New York divided, the Albany Post 
Road (1669). now Albany Road, leading northward to Van Cortlandt, Yonkers 
and .Albany, while the Boston Post Road (1672) led northeast over Williams- 
l)ridge through Eastchester and New Rochelle to Boston. The Kingsbridge 
Road extended southeast up Breakneck Hill to West Farms and Westchester, 
passing at the foot of the hill the old house still called Emmerich's Ilead- 
([uarters, after the colonel of the Hessians who had their extensive camp on 
the premises. 

Enter Van Cortlandt Park and walk through 

3. The Dutch Garden, south of the mansion, surrounded by 
a moat. One of the stones of the old mill forms the base for 
the pedestal of a sun-dial. 

4. Van Cortlandt Mansion, now a museum in the care of the 
Colonial Dames, built in 1748 (see inscription on w^alls) by Fred- 
erick Van Cortlandt. See tablet on the southeast corner. Note 
the quaint key-stones over the windows, probably brought from 
Holland. Here were entertained Washington, Rochambeau, the 
Duke of Clarence (later King William the Fourth) and others. 
During the Revolution this structure was the headquarters for 
the Hessian Jaegers. In one of the rooms Captain Rowe, of the 
Pruicsbank Jaegers, expired in the arms of his bride-elect, hav- 
ing been mortally wounded in an engagement with the patriots 
in the Tippett Valley. Here Washington stayed over night in 
1781 previous to leaving for Yorktown, and again on November 
12, 1783, before crossing King's Bridge to enter New York. 

See guide-book, to be obtained from the custodian. 

181 



Route 29 HISTORICAL GUIDE Van Cortlandt 

5. The Rhinelander Sugar House Window is just northeast 
of the mansion (see inscription). It was ])resented by J. T. (). 
Rliinclander in 1903, and was formerly part of the old sugar 
liouse in Rose and Duane Street. (Excursion 1:46). This is flanked 
l)y two cannon from Fort Independence (see 34). 

6. The Statue of Major-General Josiah Porter is behind the 

Mansion; it was presented by the National Guard, State of New 

York, in 1902. 

10. The Parade Ground, military camping place, lies to the north. It is 
the .site of Van der Donck's Planting Field (1653) where he located his boiiw- 
erie, secured by purchase from the Indians antl grant from (jovernor Kieft, and 
about 1O50 built a house near the site of the first \'an Cortlandt house (8). 
Later his lands were called Colendonck, or Donck's Colony. 

Go east, then south, on Path to 

7. The site of Van Cortlandt Saw and Grist Mills (1700) at the west end 
of the bridge over the dam. These mills were in use for over two hundreil 
years; they were struck by lightning and burned in 1901, and the picturesque 
ruins were later removed; one of the millstones is still to be seen un the bank 
of the mill-race. 

8. The site of the original Van Cortlandt House (1700) and the f'nn Dcr 
Donck House (1650). Adrian Der Donck, the first white settler, came here 
about 16.SO, built his house and established his bouwerie (see 10). His vast 
estates were known as the Yonk-Herr's (Young Gentleman's) land, whence the 
name of Yonkers. 

9. The Berrian Burying-Ground, between the mansion and the 
lake. Further east was the negro burying ground, where the 
slaves of the early owners were interred. Across the lake may 
be seen the extensive golf links of Van Cortlandt Park. 

Van Cortlandt Lake was made in 1700 by throwing an em- 
bankment across Tippett's Brook, the Mosholu of the Indians. 

Fulloiv the raihvay embankment to the north, cross the road and take 
rough path beyond over the track and to the top of 

11. Vault Hill and the Van Cortlandt Burial Vault. In 1776 
Augustus Van Cortlandt, then City Clerk, carried the records of 
New York City up here and hid them in this vatilt where they 
were preserved during the Revolution. In 1781 \Vashington 
built camp fires on this hill to deceive the British, while he was 
withdrawing his troops to Yorktown. Abotit a mile northeast is 

12. Indian Field, on the Mile Square Road, Woodlawn Heights, 
which was the scene, August, 1778, of a battle between the British 
cavalry and a small party of Stockbridge Indians fighting on behalf 
of the patriots. At Two Hundred and Thirty-seventh Street and 
Mt. Vernon Avenue an impressive cairn of stones and a tablet have 
been erected, inscribed as follows : 

182 



Park THE BRONX 29 Route 

Upon this Field, August 31, 1778, Chief Nimhani and Seventeen 

Stockbridge Indians. Allies of the Patriots, 

Ciave their Lives for Liberty. 

"Erected by Bronx Cliapter, D. A. R., of Mount Vernon, N. Y. 

June 14th, 1906. 

N B. — This may he reached with less walking by taking the Jerome Avenue 
trolley from One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Street and Central Bridge to Two 
Hundred and Thirty-third Street: go east to Mount Vernon Avenue and north 
to Two Hundred and Thirty-seventh Street. 

Follow the Colonial Lane north for a short distance to reach the old bridge 
where the fight between the Indians and the British began. 



183 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 

ROUTE 29a. 

SIDE TRIP A— TWO HUNDRICU AND FORTY-SECOND 

STREET TO YONKERS. 

From the Subway station go north and take road on left runiiin;^ 

north {Newton Avenue, part of the old Post Road), 

passing on the left 

13. The 15th Milestone, recently reset by the City History 
Club. Note that this stone has the stonemason's name graven on 
its face. About 400 paces north is the 

14. Van Cortlandt's Miller's House, a white house built for 
the miller of the old estate. Further along, on the left, is 

15. The Hadley House, partly of wood unpainted and partly 
of stone covered with vines. It probably antedates the Van Cort- 
landt Mansion. It is said to have given shelter more than once 
to Washington, and to-day stands on a 60 acre farm. In the ad- 
joining woods many relics have been found, including old Eng- 
lisl> muskets, and an Indian skeleton in a sitting posture, holding 
a small child's skeleton in its arms. Tradition says that slaves 
were kept in the old stone room in the south wing of the house. 
Just above, north of Riverdale Lane, is the Samler House, tlu* 
older portion dating back to the Revolution. 

Go east to Broadway and take car to Valentine Lane. JJ'alk west io 
Hawthonie Avenue, passing remains of 

17. Washington's Chestnut, a gigantic tree over two centuries 
old. A tradition relates that Washington used this tree as a place 
of observation. 

18. The Lawrence House, at the corner of Hawthorne Avenue. 
Washington stopped here and this is probably the house which 
was given to Lawrence as a reward for his services as guide. 

Go east on Valentine Lane and south on Riverdale Avenue, 

16. The home of Clara Morris, gate over the Yonkers line. 
Go zvest on Tzvo Hundred and Sixty-first Street and fake H. R. R. R. 

train from Mt. St. Vincent, 

19. Font Hill, the actor Forrest's old home (named for a 
former owner, La Font), is a stone castle with six towers within 
the spacious grounds of Mt. St. Vincent Academy. 

Below Riverdale Station is 

20. The former home of Mark Twain, Sycamore Avenue and 
Two Hundred and Fifty-third Street, one block north of which 
is the Morosini Mansion. 

184 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 29b. 

SIDE TRIP B— WESTERN BRONX. 

From Tzvo Hundred and Forty-second Street, go zi'est on Spityten 
Dnyz'il Parkzvay to Dash's Lane on which see 

21. The Gardener's Cottage, near Two Hundred and Tliirtj'- 
eighth Street and Greystone Avenue, built in 1766 by Frederick 
Van Cortlandt. 

The powder house in the woods was built about 1835 to store 
powder for the Croton Aqueduct. Near by are extensive Indian 
shell beds. 

22. Upper Cortlandt's, or ]^an Cortlandt' s on the Hill, to dis- 
tinguish it from the house on the meadow below; the Stone 
House was built in 1822 by Augustus Van Cortlandt and later 
owned by Waldo Hutchins. Further west, near Spuyten Duyvil 
Parkway, in private property at the end of Two Hundred and 
Thirty-seventh Street, is the 

2^. Cowboy Oak where tradition says Cowboys w-ere hanged 
during the Revolution. 

24. The Berrian Farmhouse, at the point of Berrian's Neck, 
commanding a magnificent view of the Hudson. See Cold Spring 
across Spuyten Duyvil Creek (Excursion IV 193) . See also sites 
of Forts Nos. One, Two and Three. 

No. One forms the foundation of W. C. Muschenheim's house, Spuyten Duyvil 
Hill, west of the junction of Sydney Street and Independence Avenue. 

T'n his residence are cannonballs taken from the bank around the house, 
and Indian shells from aboriginal pits discovered in 1909 under the lawn in 
front of the house. 

No. Two, or Fort Swartwout; crown of hill, northeast of intersection of 
Sydney and Troy Streets. 

No. Three, brow of Spuyten Duyvil Hill, north of Sydney and east of Troy 
Street. 

Under Spuyten Duyvil Hill is the site of the Indian Village of Nl[^inichsen, 
from which Indians came who attacked Hudson in 1609. 

Under the hill, west of Riverdale Avenue, is the Tippett Man- 
sion, the home of the family for which Tippett's Brook was 
named (at 230th Street). 

18S 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 



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J 'late XXXV. Routes 30, 31, 3J, 34a. 



C'. K. 



186 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 30. 

SECTION TT— CENTRAL BRIDGE TO UNIVERSITY 

HEIGHTS. 

(Figures refer to Plates XXXV and XXX VT). 

Take SlxtJi (ir Xiiitli Elevated Road to One Hundred and Fifly-Hflh 

Street and Jeraiiie .iirnue ear aeross Central Bridge and 

iinrlli on Jerome .Ivenue. at first following 

the line of the old Maeomh's Dam Road. 

?.=;. Cf.vtral P.ridcp; is practically on the site of the old l\racomL's Dam 
Bridge, near which N\ns the old Macomir Dam, making a pond out of the 
Harlem to supply the Macomb Mill at Kingsbridge. The dam was broken 
down by a delegation of citizens about 1840 and, being declared a public nui- 
sance, was finally abandoned. 

A mile to the southeast, reaeJied by zcalking east on One Iliiiidred 
and Sixty-first Street and south on Grand Az'cnue is 

26. The Francis Mansion, at One Hundred and Forty-sixth 
Street and Grand Avenue, built about 1830 by Captain Francis, in- 
ventor of the metallic life-saving boats. He was offered knight- 
hood by Queen Victoria and other honors by Germany, and fin- 
ally received in his own coimtry the " thanks of Congress." The 
old Dutch oven is still in the basement. 

Near One Hundred and Sixty-sixth Street the car passes on 
the right the remains of the 

27. Cromwell Farmhouse, about 150 years old, lying at the 
head of Cromwell's Creek, where the wild geese gathered in such 
flocks at night that sleep was almost impossible. 

On the high ground to the west is the old Anderson Mansion, 
almost on the site of the early home of Daniel Tourneur, the 
original patentee of Devoe's Point (about 1675.) This was the 
ancient N^uasiii of the Indians. Jerome Avenue skirts the old Woolf 
Farm, the first owner of which came over with the Hessian troops 
during the Revolution and settled on Cromwell's Creek. 

Leave car at 

Featherbed Lane, so called because it was extremely rough 
and stony or from the story that the Americans, surprised by the 
British, were rescued by the ingenuity of the farmers' wives, wdio 
spread feather beds on the lane, thus enabling them to escape 
without being heard. 

Walk west to Macomb's road, one of the oldest roads in this section, 

to the 

187 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




N. Y. University THE BRONX 30 Route 

28. Townsend Poole Cottage. Note the date of erection, 17S2, 
in iron figures on the stone wall, reading backwards. In this 
cottage were lodged the Esquimaux brought by Lieutenant Peary 
from the far north. 

IFalk along Featherbed Lane west to Marcher (Shakespeare) Avenue, 
then down to Jessup Place to the 

29. DeVoe Cottage, built in 1804, one of the landmarks of the 
region. The family is descended from the Huguenot family of 
Devaux. 

Walk down Jessup Place to Boscobel Avenue, then north to Wash- 
ington Bridge, from the middle of which may be obtained fine 
panoramic views north and south. Take Aqueduct Avenue car 
to University Avenue. 

30. New York University, removed here from Washington 
Square in 1894 (Excursion II, Section III). 

The Hall of Fame, to honor great Americans, was dedicated 
on Memorial Day, 1901, when the first 29 tablets were unveiled. 
II more were unveiled in 1905. Note the view of the Dyckman 
and Nagel farms in Inwood Valley and of the heights of Fort 
Washington. There is a small historical collection in the Li- 
brary. 

Tablet to mark site of Fort No. Eight, erected in 1900 on the 
Chemistry Building by the Sons of the Revolution. The Schwab 
mansion is within the site of the fort. (Refer to monograph on 
" Fort No. Eight " by Prof. Schwab of Yale.) At the old stone 
Archer House, just below, Colonel De Lancey of the Loyalist 
" De Lancey Horse," had his headquarters, while the nearby Fort 
No. Eight was occupied by the Americans. 

The site of Fort No. Seven (no trace) is at Camman Place and Fordham 
Road. 

On the campus is a monument to the Founders of N. Y. Uni- 
versity (built of material from the old building). 



189 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 

ROUTE 30a. 

SIDE TRIP A— TO JKROME PARK RESERVOIR. 

(Eigures refer to Plate XXXVI). 

From N. Y. University take Aqueduct Avenue trolley north to Kings- 
bridge Road, passing 

31. The Moses DeVoe Cottage, at Eordham Road, built in 
1782 and once owned by Peter Valentine. It was formerly the 
parsonage of the Eordham Manor Church. 

32. Fordham Manor Dutch Reformed Church, Kingsbridge 
Road and Aqueduct Avenue, the successor to the structure of 
1706. Virginia Poe, wife of the poet, was first buried here. The 
Poe Cottage, where Edgar Allan Poe and his wife lived, stands 
on the old Kingsbridge Road, one-half mile east (see 69). The 
large buildings to the southwest are those of the Roman Catho- 
lic Orphan Asylum. 

Go north on Claflin Terrace along the zvest side of Jerome Park 
Reservoir, 300 acres in extent, occupying the site of the 
Jerome Park Race Track. The reservoir has obliterated 
the sites of the Belts and Bathgate Houses. 

22- Fort No. Five (lately restored and marked by a flag-pole), 
one of the chain of forts built by the Americans in 1776 to 
command the valley below. This may have been an outwork of 

34. British Fort No. Four, or the American Fort Indcf'endcnce (1776). The 
site of this fort is now occupied by the residence of \Vm. O. (liles, on Giles 
Place, near Fort Independence Street. In 1772 General Richard Montgomery 
dwelt in this section, calling it his King's Bridge Farm. On his land stood 
until recently the ruins of a Revolutionary powder magazine known as Wash- 
ington's Powder House. On the edge of the hill is the 

J5. Site of the .Montgomery Cottage, destroyed 1909, of Dutch architecture, 
;it Heath Avenue and I'ort Independence Street. Across the old Boston Post 
Road was the Farm of Dominie Tetard, Chaplain to General Montgomery and 
French Interpreter to General Schuyler, his house dating from 1776. 

Take Sedgwick Avenue trolley north to Subzcay or south to Third 
Avenue Elevated, or continue on Route 30b. 



190 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 30b. 

SIDE TRIP B— WILLIAMSBRIDGE AND WAKEFIELD. 

(Figures refer to Plate XXXVI and XXXVII). 

Take Jerome Avenue trolley to Van Cortlandt Avenue and walk east 
to IVoodlawn Road, passing 

36. The Isaac Varian Homestead, erected in 1776, the old 
wing (now destroj-ed) dating from 1770. An encounter between 
the British and Americans occurred here in 1776. the Continentals 
driving their foes out of this house and along the Boston Post 
Road to Fort Independence. 

Go south on JVoodlawn Road to Bainbridge Avenue. 

27. The Church of the Holy Nativity, built into the walls of 
which are three old tombstones, two of the Bussing family dated 
1753 and one of the Valentine family. 

.'.t Webster Avenue take White Plains Avenue t'-clley. passing, at 
Newell Avenue, 

38. The Hermitage, a noted French restaurant. This localitj' 
is the scene of Hopkinson's Smith's " A Day at Laguerre's " 
and " Other Days." 

Continue on trolley north on IVIiite Plains Road. Near Williams- 
bridge Square, see on the right 

39. A Revolutionary House, painted red, its sides full of holes 
made by British bullets. 

Opposite the Catholic church is the site of the old Williams House, 
the home of the family after which Williamsbridge is named. 

40. The Hustace House, one of the oldest landmarks of the 
region, Two Hundred and Twenty-first Street, facing an old white 
house on a disused lane. 

41. The Havens House, northeast corner of Two Hundred and 
Twenty-second Street, very old and containing many relics, including 
the mahogany bedstead on which Commodore Perry died. It is said 
that the piano now in Washington's headquarters at Newburgh was 
the property of Mrs. Havens while she was in the family of 
Governor Clinton, by whom she was adopted. On the corner 
of Two Hundred and Twenty-eighth Street stood the shingled house, 
torn down in 1885, used for a time by Washington as headquarters.* 

191 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




Plate XXXVII. Routes 30b, 34a. C. K. 



192 



Woodlawn THE BRONX 30b Route 

42. The Penfield Homestead, Demilt Avenue and Two Hun- 
dred and Forty-second Street, east of White Plains Ruad, ovlt 
a century old. See quaint inscriptions on the old-fashioned win- 
dows, hand wrought nails and timbers and Dutch bricks testify 
to the age of the house. 

.\t Demilt Avenue once stood the Thirteen Trees planted in early days hy a 
relative of the Paulding who helped to capture Andre. They have all yielded 
to the onward march of progress, the last one, a black walnut, measuring 3 
feet 8 inches at the butt, having been cut down a few years ago. 

Return to Baychcstcr Avenue and go west to Webster Avenue, pass- 
ing, at Baychester and Matilda Avenues, 

43. The former home of Adelina Patti, where she spent part 
of her girlhood. 

44. Washington's Gun House, on the old Hyatt Farm, west of 
Webster Avenue and just below the car barns. Here Washington 
is said to have stored his guns — hence the name of the adjoin- 
ing settlement, Washingtonville.t 

Take Webster Avenue trolley south, passing 

45. Woodlawn Cemetery. Among the 66,000 interments are 
those of Admiral Farragut and Lieutenant De Long. The Receiving 
Vault occupies the site of the Valentine Farmhouse. In the south- 
east corner of the cemetery is an American redoubt thrown up by 
American troops under General Heath. 

•This was while Washington was retreating toward White Plains. He left 
the cannon here in order to make more rapid progress and thus be able to 
make a better stand against Howe (see 100). The house may best be reached 
via Harlem Station car Ici terminus, thence on McLean Avenue car. 

f4ia. The Chateauneuf Residence on the south side of Two Hun- 
dred and Thirty-first Street, west of White Plains Road, built about 
1853, was the refuge (jf the widow and children of the Marquis de 
Chateauneuf, formerly (un ernor of Touraine, who fled from France 
to escape espionage. 



193 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




Platk XXXVIII. Routes 31, 33, 34a. 
194 



C. K. 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 31. 

SECTION III— HARLEM RIVER TO HUNT'S POINT. 

(Figures refer to Plates XXXV and XXXVTIT). 

At One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Street, foot of the Third Avenue 
Elevated Road, take Third Avenue trolley, passing at 
Third Avenue and One Hundred and Thirty- 
sixth Street 

46. The old Mott Mansion, formerly the home of the founders 
of Mott Haven. It is now used as two tenements. 

47. The Mott Memorial Dutch Reformed Church, at Third 
Avenue and One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street, erected by 
Jordan L. Mott about 1849. 

Go cast tfl St. Ann's Avenue and south to 

48. St. Ann's Episcopal Church, at St. Ann's Avenue and One 
Hundred and Fortieth Street, contains a memorial window and 
several tablets in memory of the Morris family. The church was 
a gift from Gouverneur Morris. The vaults in the grounds and 
below the church contain the remains of many distinguished 
members of the family, including Mrs. Morris, a lineal descend- 
ant of Pocahontas. 

Go south to One Hundred and Thirty-third Street and take Southern 
Boulevard trolley east. 

49. Site of GouTerneur Morris Mansion (line of One Hundred and Thirtieth 
Street and Cypress Avenue), lately destroyed, the home of the Morris family 
of Morrisania, where I.afayette and other notable persons were entertained. 
It was filled with relics, iiicluding Morris' wooden leg. Gouverneur Morris, 
the statesman, soldier and diplomat, owned 1920 acres of Bronx real estate. 
Indian pits have been discovered under the lawn north of the house. Close 
by is the site of the home of Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of In- 
dependence. See fine cypress trees at the corner; hence the name of the av- 
enue. 

Just west, near the beginning of Bronx Kills, is 

50. The site of the home of Jonas Bronck. the first settler in the Bronx, 
1639 (see Historical Sketch). The house had a tiled roof and Bronck " used 
real silver on his table, had a table cloth and napkins, and possessed as many 
as six linen shirts." .\t this house, which was like a miniature fort, the 
treaty was signed by the Dutch with the Weckquaeskeek sachems, Ranaqua 
and Tackamuck, 1642. 

In the Morris High School, at One Hundred and Sixty-sixth 
Street and Boston Avenue, are two mural paintings by Edward 
Willard (presented by the Municipal Art Society in 1907) rep- 
resenting (i) the making of the Treaty of Peace between the 
Dutch and Indians in 1642 at the house of Jonas Bronck and (2) 
Gouverneur Morris before the Convention framing the National 
Constitution. 

19? 



Route 31 HISTORICAL GUIDE Hunt's 

Passing Port Morris, the car goes near Leggctt Avenue, formerly Leggctt's 
Lane, along which tlie British marched, passing a deep cave near the Long- 
wood Club House where the Americans had, while in flight, hidden the bodies 
of some of their companions. On the right is the site of the Whitlock or 
Casanova Mansion (1859), in its day one of the most magnificent houses in 
America. The door knobs were of solid gold and the house had secret rooms 
and underground passages. Just beyond, the Boulevard crosses Lafayette 
Lane. Under the trees to the right was an old structure called the " Kissing 
Bridge." 

Leave the car at Hunt's Point Avctmc. cross the railroad bridge and 

foUozv this road to the East River and back (a little more 

than three miles round trip) passing on the right 

51. The site of the Locusts, of Revolutionary days, the home of the tiitor 
of the Faile family, who formerly taught in the family of Sir Walter SkiH. 
Beyond is 

52. The site of Woodside, built in 1832, the residence of the late E. G. 
I'aile. 

Beyond is the east end of Lafayette Avenue, formerly the narrow Lafayette 
Lane. In 1824 the French general traveled from Roston to New York via 
I'ox Corners, presumably to stay at one of the Leggett houses on Hunt's Point. 
George Fox was one 01 the marshals of a delegation of New York citizens to 
meet and escort him. The lane was thus named in his honor. Lafayette is 
said to have " paused in silent meditation at the grave of Joseph Rodman 
Drake.'' On the south side of Lafayette Avenue stands 

53. The Corpus Christi Monastery. Adjoining is the extensive 
new Children's Home. Across Hunt's Point Avenue is 

54. Sunnyside, one of the finest residences in the Bronx, the 
former home of Peter Hoe. Note the view of iManhattan, show- 
ing St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 
St. Luke's Hospital, Columbia Library and Grant's Tomb. A 
short distance below Cherry Lane branches off, leading to the 
Leggett Dock near the foundations of an old Leggett house. 
Further along, nearer the Sound, is the site of Blythe, formerly 
the residence of Francis J. Baretto, after whom Baretto's Point 
was named. It was of Revolutionary date and when its inside 
shutters were closed, it was a miniature fortress. Near by is 

55. The George Fox Mansion, erected about 1848, with its 
square tower. 

Down in the field to the right are the sites of the Jessu/^ and Richardson 
Houses, near the ancient spring. In 1660, Governor NicoUs granted 1,000 acres 
in this region to Edward Jessup and John Richardson, who had bought it 
from the Indians. Among their descendants were the Hunts, after whom the 
point is named, and they were related to the early Leggetts. 

In the field opposite, on the long slope below the Dickey Mansion, see the site 
of the 

Leggett burying-ground, whence ten bodies of early settlers were removed, 
one being that of Mayor Leggett of Westchester. 

On the left, beyond the curve in the road, is the 

56. Hunt Burying Ground, containing the grave of Joseph 
Rodman Drake, author of "The Culprit Fay," "Bronx" and 
"Ode to the American Flag." The stone is "a modest shaft, 
half hidden by the tangle of bushes and wild flowers that border the 
road, marking the grave of a poet who knew and loved our own 

196 



Point THE BRONX 31 Route 

neighborhood in the early days when all was country-like and 
the city far away." The inscription reads : 

Sacred to the Memory of 

Joseph Rodman Drake, M. D., 

who died Sept. 21st, 1820. 

"None knew him but to love him; 

None named him but to praise." 

The burying-ground is to be included in the new Joseph 
Rodman Drake Park. See the ancient gravestones of the earliest 
members of the Hunt family. Among the relics of the old Hunt 
Inn is a pane of glass from one of the windows on which is 
written with a diamond the names of Drake and Nancy Leggett, 
joined at the end with a bracket and the single word " Love." 
The poet was a lineal descendant of the colonial Drakes, settlers 
of Eastchester. 

Across the road is the 

Graveyard of the slaves of early residents, among them being 
"Bill," the colored pilot of the Hussar (see 83). Further down on 
the left across the bridge are 

57. Lord Howe's Intrenchments among a group of trees. In 
the gravel pit on the east side have been found prehistoric stone im- 
plements. Close by is an old cave, declared to have been a Revolu- 
tionary powder house. At the extreme end of the Point is the 

58. Hunt Mansion, dating back to 1688, and built in four sec- 
tions as the residents gradually added to their wealth, the most 
ancieiit house on the estate which for two centuries has been 
known as Hunt's Point. Among the welcome guests here were 
Drake and Halleck. 

Return by new Hunt's Point Avenue to Southern Boulevard, along 
which, near Fox Square, see 

59. Fox Corners. Here is the Foxhurst Mansion, built in 1848 
by the late W. W. Fox, one of original Croton Aqueduct Com- 
missioners. Back of this stood the old Hunt Inn, erected in 1660, a 
noted tavern, the starting place of countless fox hunts and the ren- 
dezvous of the Red Coat officers. 

When burned in 1892, many interesting relics were found in 
its walls. 



197 



Route 31 HISTORICAL GUIDE Ambleside 

60. Ambleside, opposite 59, formerly the residence of the 
Simpson family, and the site of Brightside, the country seat of the 
late Colonel R. M. Hoe, inventor of the rotary printing press. 

Return by Subway from Simpson Street Station, 



198 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 32. 

SECTION IV— WESTERN MORRISANIA, FORDHAM AND 

BRONX PARK. 

(Figures refer to Plates XXXV, XXXVI and XXXIX). 

Take Third Avenue Elevated Road to One Hundred and Sixty-sixth 

Street, or Subzvay to One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street 

and Third Avenue Elevated Road to One Hundred 

Sixty-sixth Street. Go zvest on One Hundred 

and Sixty-seventh Street. 

61. Old Stone Gate House, below One Hundred and Sixty- 
seventh Street, west of Third Avenue. This is the oldest build- 
ing in Morrisania and the only one standing that was there be- 
fore the village was formed in 1848. 

62. Wm. H. Morris Mansion, near Findlay Avenue, built in 
1816, near the site of an older house erected in 1795 by James 
Morris. Just west is 

63. The Morris Farmhouse, dating from 1792, a quaint stone 
structure, partly destroyed. 

Take trolley north on Webster Avenue, passing 

64. The Zbrowski Mansion, the present headquarters of the 

Bronx Park Department, a solid stone building in Claremont 

Park. It was built in 1859, and is evidently on the site of an 

older building dating about 1676. 

Beyond is the famous Black Swamp, where cattle have been lost since tlie 
time of the Indians, and which for years defied the efforts of all contractors 
to till up. 

Continue north on JVebster Avenue, transfer east on Tremont Av- 
enue, passing near the site of the Bathgate Homestead, 
(/;((/ north on Third Avenue Trolley. 

At One Hundred and Seventy-sixth street is the site of the Bathgate Avenue 
House, a very old structure, recently destroyed. 

65. The Jacob Lorillard House, in the grounds of the Home 
for Incurables at One Hundred and Eighty-second Street, now 
the home of the Medical Superintendent. Here Poe once re- 
cited " The Raven." Just below, at Oak Tree Place, was the 
celebrated oak tree where met the boundaries of the ancient 
manors of Morrisania, Fordham and the Jessup-Richardson Patent. 
Leave trolley at Pclhani Avenue and walk east to Washington Avenue. 

66. Powell Farm House, Fordham's oldest house, said to be 
haunted. 

199 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




DIAGRAM 

SECTION 4. EXC. IX. 

BROMXo 



Plate XXXIX. Route.s 32, 34a. 



r. K 



Fordham THE BRONX 32 Route 

67. Stenton Residence, scene of the recent murder (1906). 
having secret rooms. In the rear stood an old barn, recently 
burned, said to have sheltered Washington's horses during the 
Revolution. In front is the great Stenton Willow, 300 years 
old. 

JFalk west to Fordham Square. 

68. Nolan's Hotel, where Washington is said to have stopped 
when he stabled his horses in the Stenton barn. 

JValk zi'est lip the hill along the Kingsbridge Road to the 
6g. Pee Cottage, where Edgar Allan Poe lived (1846-49) and 
wrote many of his poems, including " Annabel Lee," " Ulalume " 
and " Eureka." Here Virginia, his invalid wife, died and was 
buried from the Fordham Manor Dutch Reformed Church (32). 
In Poe Park, directly opposite the cottage, is a bust of Poe 
with an inscription, erected by the Bronx Society of Arts and 
Sciences on the centenary of his birth, January 19, 1909. 

In the Cromwell House (near 69), lived an old lady who sup- 
plied Poe with the necessities of life during his deepest poverty. 

70. Valentine Farmhouse, further west on Fordham road, near 
Concourse, remodeled into a modern residence. 

Take trolley to I'ordhaiii Siimirc. then northbound car, passing on the 

right 

71. The grounds of Fordham University, or St. John's College 
(founded 1841), where was once Rose Hill Manor on which 
stands the Rose Hill Manor Farmhouse; formerly here stood the 
Rose Hill Manor House, 1693. Here was born Andrew Corsa, the 
last of the famous Westchester guides to Washington and Rocham- 
beau. 

Leave the trolley at Bronx Park Station (passing enroute the Jacob 
Berrian House) and visit the 

72. Botanical Museum ; open 9-5, see Appendix D. 
7;^. Horticultural Hall. 

74. Hemlock Grove (Forest Congress). 

75. The Indian Well (Bath or Basin). 

76. Lorillard Fall. 

77. Lorillard Mansion Museum; open 2-5 p. m. (free), under 
the auspices of tlie Bronx Society of Arts and Sciences; histori- 
cal relics, photographs and objects of natural History, see .Appen- 
dix D. 

201 



Route 32 HISTORICAL GUIDE Bronx Park 

yS. Old Fashioned Flower Garden (Pierre Lorillard's famous 
" Acre of Roses "). 

79. The Lorillard Snuff Mill. 

80. Zoological Gardens ; open 9-5, see Appendix I). 

81. The Rocking Stone, near the restaurant. 

Return via Subway from One Hundred and Eightieth Street Station. 

Bronx Park may be reached direct as follows : The Botanical Garden 
and Lorillard Mansion Museum via Third Avenue Elevated (Bronx 
Park) train; Zoological Park via West Farms (Lenox Avenue) Sub- 
way Express to terminal. 



303 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 33. 

SECTION v.— THROGG'S NECK. 
(Figures refer to Plates XXXVIII and XL). 

Party of 15 adults may secure pass in advance from Commandant, 
Ft. Schuyler, to go on Government boat Tuesdays, Thursdays or 
Saturdays. 

Take Government boat for Fort Schuyler, passing en route 

82. Port Morris, where the Great Eastern anchored after her 
first trip to New York. Close by the 

8.S. British Frigate-of-war Hussar sank (Nov. 23, 1780), reported laden 
with a mass of British gold and American prisoners. Numerous attempts 
have been made to recover the treasure, but in vain. 

Copper rivets of the American prisoners' manacles, projectiles and parts of 
the ship's woodwork have been found (56). 

84. North and South Brothers Islands, the former containing 
the City Isolation Hospital. A few feet off this shore, on June 15, 
1004, sank the ill-fated General Slocuni. 

58. Hunt's Point, where can be seen the old Hunt Mansion 
(1688). On this neck lies buried Joseph Rodman Drake (56). 

85. Bronx River. During the Revolution the British fleet re- 
ceived orders " to proceed up the Bronx and attack the Yankees 
in hiding above!" An English officer reported, "We have 
crossed the Bronx without the loss of a single man!" 

86. Clason's Point, where Thos. Cornell settled in 1643. 

An ancient stone farmhouse, formerly standing close to the shore was shelled 
by Lord Howe's Heet as the ships passed enroute to Throgg's Neck, October, 
1776. 

Some c)f the stones have found their way into the structure 
of the Clason's Point Inn, part of which is the house con- 
structed by Cnrnell in 1643 and burned by the Indians the same 
year.* 

87. Screven's Point (mouth of Westchester Creek), where 
may be seen the Wilkins Farmhouse and the Wilkins Home- 
stead. Here the Sewanoe Indians had a fortified castle, whence 
the name " Castle Hill." At this point Adrian Block saw Indians 
and their wigwams on his voyage of discovery (1614). Within 
the Wilkins Farmhouse several Loyalist clergymen, including 
Rev. Isaac Wilkins, rector of St. Peter's, and Right Rev. Samuel 
Seabury, the Bishop, were hidden in a secret chamber, their 
food being lowered to them through a trap door. 

203 



Route 33 HISTORICAL GUIDE Ft. Schuyler 

88. Zerega's or Ferris (Ferry) Point, called " Grove Siah's " 
by its colonial owner, Josiah Hunt, whose father, Thomas Hunt, 
received a patent for it from Governor NicoUs. On this point 
stands the Ferris Mansion built 1687, said to be the oldest house 
in the Bronx. 

89. Throgg's Point, styled in old records " Frog's Point," at 
the extremity of which stands Fort Schuyler, where the boat 
lands. The fort was established in 1833. Throgg is an abbrevia- 
tion of Throckmorton, the name of a colonist who settled here 
in 1642, obtaining his "land brief" from the Dutch. One of his 
companions was Roger Williams. 

*Clason's Point may be reached direct via Westchester Avenue trolley and 
Clason's Point Road. Pass en route "Black Rock" designating both a large 
boulder and the Colonial Ludlow Mansion. On the right near the Point, is the 
Clason's Point Military Academy, erected by Dominick Lynch about 1"90 as a 
residence. The committee to design the American flag met here before pro- 
ceeding to Philadelphia. 



204 



THE BRONX 
ROUTE 33a. 
SIDE TRIP TO WESTCHESTER VILLAGE. 
(Figures refer to Plate XL). 
This involves a walk or drive of five miles unless points 92-95 are 
omitted, in which case two miles may be saved by taking the 
trolley from the junction of Fort Schuyler Road and Eastern Boule- 
vard direct to 96. 

Follozv the Throgg's Neck or Fort Schuyler Road to the Eastern 
Boulevard, passing 
On the left the extensive Havemeyer estate, where the British, un- 
der Howe, landed for their attack on Westchester, October 12, 1776. 

90. "Hammond Castle," under the great trees near Pennyfield 
Road, erected in 1800 by Abijah Hammond and recently re- 
modeled. Bej'ond the fence is 

91. The Robert Homestead, former home of the founder 
of Robert College. Constantinople. Across the lane is the Van 
Schaick Mansion, in the grounds of which is a cedar of Le- 
banon, declared to be the finest specimen of its kind in the United 
States. It was brought to America by Philip Livingston. 

To the west is the country home of the late Collis P. Huntington. 
Take trolley to Westchester {omitting gz-gs) or follow the Eastern 
Boulevard to the Middlctown Road, passing 

92. Ferris Mansion, in the Westchester Country Club grounds, 
used as Lord Howe's headquarters after the landing at Throgg's 
Neck, October, 1776. Marks on the staircase are said to have been 
made by the hoof of one of the officer's horses. The house was saved 
from destruction by the British fleet through the heroism of the mis- 
tress who calmly walked up and down the veranda. 

To the west is the original 

93. Ferris House, owned for a time by the early settlers of 
that name. 

Follozv the Eastern Boulevard and the Pelhani (Ap/^leton) Road, turn 
north a short distance, and see 

94. The Spy Oak, said to be the largest of its kind east of the 
Rockies. A British spy is supposed to have been hanged from it 
during the Revolution and there is much legendary lore connected 
with the old forest monarch. 

95. The Paul House, just north, is one of the oldest land- 
marks of the region. 



205 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




Plate XL. Routes 23< 33^- 
206 



C. K. 



Westchester THE BRONX 33a Route 

Return to Pclliaiii Road and cross the 

96. Westchester Creek Causeway, ulierc, on October I2tli, 
1776, was fought an important battle between the Americans under 
Heath and the British under Howe. The patriots ripped up the plank- 
ing of the old causeway just before the enemy reached the spot, and 
greeted their approach with a volley, repulsing them. Two days later 
the English brought up their cannon and began a fortification where 
the Westchester Presbyterian Church now stands, but withdrew their 
troops and guns a few days later. Howe then sought to join with 
the Hessians near New Rochelle, a feat accomplished only after a 
desperate struggle with Glover at Pelham's Neck. (See Section VT 
and "The Battle of Pelham Neck:" Abbott.) 

Westchester Village was called by the Dutch Oost-Dnrp and 
the whole region was known as Vredeland, or Land of Peace. The 
village is the oldest in the county, having been first settled by the 
Puritans in 1650. The site was purchased from the Indians in 1654 
by Thomas Pell, and was described as " all that tract of land called 
Westchester." 

9" Bowne Store, west of the causeway — the old village store. 

98. St. Peter's Church, on Westchester Avenue, fourth build- 
ing on this site, the first having been erected in 1700. The chime 
of bells is said to have been presented to the church in the time 
of Queen Anne. The churchyard contains stones dating back to 
1813. Beyond the Sunday School building is the site of a Quaker 
Meeting House, while another stood just west. Both were 
destroyed by fire, it is said, on the same night. Near by flows 
the Indian Brook, on the banks of which the celebrated George 
Fox is said to have addressed the first Quaker meeting held in 
America (1672). To the west is 

99. St. Peter's Rectory (opposite Glebe Avenue) standing on 
land forming part of the "Ancient Glebe," given by the town in 
1703. 

Return by trolley to the Third Avenue Elevated or Subzvay. 
N. B. If the water trip to Fort Schuyler is omitted, take West- 
chester Avenue trolley from One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street Sta- 
tion of the Suburban Branch of the Elevated Road, or the Subway 
Station at One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street and Melrose Avenue, 
and reverse the order of points. 

The new Throgg's ^eek trolley from West Farnis will make it /^ossihlc 
to cover this route comfortably. 

207 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 




Plate XLT. Roi'te 34. 
208 



C. K. 



THE BRONX 

ROUTE 34. 

SECTION VI— CITY ISLAND AND PELHAM BAY PARK. 

(Figures refer to Plate XLI). 

(Latter part of trip recommended as a carriage or liicycle trip, as it 
involves between 4 and 5 miles walking.) 

At One Hundred and Tiventy-ninth Street station of tlie Third Ai'- 
eniie Elevated take Harlem River Branch of the Neiv Haz'en 
R. R. to Bartozo (trains leave 15 minutes before every hour). 
At Barton' take horse car for City Island, passing 

100. Glover's Rock. Read the tablet — (erected by the Mt. Ver- 
non Chapter of the D. A. R. in 1901), describing the Battle of Pell's 
Point (Oct. 18, 1776), which began near this rock, when 550 men 
under Colonel Glover detained Howe long enough for Washington 
to reach White Plains in safety. Cannon-balls were found here when 
the railroad track was being constructed, and a distinctly marked 
Indian pot-hole was discovered near Bartow Station. 

lOi. Site of Indian burying-ground, where Indian remains have 
been found. There were two Indian villages on this neck, one near 
the Eastern Boulevard and one on the very extremity of Pelham 
(Rodman's) Neck. Before crossing the bridge see the 

102. Marshall Mansion, or Colonial Inn.* While crossing the 
new bridge, see just north of the present structure the approaches 
of the 

103. Old City Island Bridge, originally spanning the Harlem 
at Harlem Village, some of the timbers having been taken from the 
old frigate man-of-war " North Carolina." Previous to its Erection 
here. City Ishind was reached by ferry. 

City Island, '" the Pearl of the Sound," or " Gem of the Ocean," 
received its present name because a city was planned here to outstrip 
New York. It is said that the oyster culture started here. Note the 
rural appearance of streets and houses. 

From the end of the car line, walk on to the end of the island, pass- 
ing on the left the 

104. Horton Homestead, the oldest house on the island. Most 
of City Island was once comprised in the Horton Farm. Close 
by is the Belden Mansion, with extensive grounds, at Beklen's 
Point. To tiie shipyard here some of America's Cup Defenders 
are sent to be broken up into scrap-iron. 

209 



Route 34 HISTORICAL GUIDE City Island 

FroDt the dork sec about one Diilc south 

105. Stepping Stones Light, so called from its location on one 
of the " Devil's Stepping Stones," an irregular line of rocks jutting 
out into tile Sound. According to an old legend the l'2vil One made 
his retreat over these stones from Westchester County to Long Island 
to escape the vengeance of his Indian foes. Heaping up all the stones 
he could fmd in Long Lland at Cold Spring, he hurled them at his 
enemies in Westchester, thus accounting for the number of boulders 
in Westchester and the freedom from them in Long Island. In a 
boulder southeast of Eastchester may be seen the likeness of a foot 
said to be the Devil's imprint. 

Reliirniu^y go to the right at l'>iliiiars Street to see the 

T06. Macedonia Hotel, on the eastern shore. Read the in- 
scription which states that the wing is part of an English frigate 
"Macedonia " captured by Decatur during the War of 1812. Visit 
the old cabin and see the mast-hole, hammock-hooks and iron 
ring to fasten the guns, also the ofificers' staterooms. 

See from here Hart's Island, the " Potter's Field " of New York 
City. 

Take the ear bark to Barto7V. and follozv ilie Eastern Boulevard about 
half a mile north to the 

107. Bartow Mansion, the summer home of the Crippled Chil- 
dren's AssociaticHi. 

Not far away is tlie site of the original Pell Manor House, though some 
say that it was on tlie extreme end of Pelhani Neck. Many tales are told of 
this house, under the title of " Mysteries of a Pelham Farm House." 

In the center of a large field in front are the remains of the 

108. Pell Treaty Oak, the famous tree where Thomas Pell 
in 1654 signed the treaty with the Sewanoe Indians, purchasing about 
10.000 acres from them (see Comfort's History of the Bronx, p. 53). 

Between the Bartow Mansion and the Sound is the 

109. Pell Family Burial-ground. Note the four (modern) 
stone corner-posts, with the endjlem of the Pell family, A Pelican 
Ciorged, and each bearing a different inscription. Read the inscrip- 
tion on the large centre-stone. 

Return to the Boulevard and continue to tlie Zi'hitc stone gate-posts 

leading to 
no. Hunter's Island, where see the Ihmter-Tselin Mansion, 
summer home of " The Little Mothers." On the southeast side of 
the island are said to be the great Indian rock Mishow and the graves 

210 



Split Rock THE BKONX 34 Route 

of two Indian sachems. The Indian name for this region was 
Laaphaivachking (the place of stringing beads). 

Take the right-hand road over to Hunter's Island leading to the 

111. Twin Island, on the second of whicli stands the Ogden 
Mansion. From this point a fine marine view may be enjoyed. 
Return on the Boulevard to Prospect Hill Avenue (Split Rock Road). 
along which Glover's gallant men so stubbornly resisted the advanc- 
ing British. 

Follozv Split Rock Road to the 

112. Collins House, or John Joshua Pell Mansion, one of the 
Pell homes. 

113. Split Rock is a gigantic boulder, cleft squarely in twain, 
a good sized tree growing in the crevice. Tradition states that the 
early home of Ann Hutchinson (for whom the Hutchinson River is 
named) was near this spot. She came here in 1642 witli her younger 
children and her son-in-law, and in the same year her cabin was 
burned by the Indians, and all but one of her family were killed, her 
eight-year-old daughter escaping, only to be captured. Some say 
she perished on the crest of Split Rock. 

Cross the City Line and continue to Boston Road; then fuHoiv Wolf's 
Lane, line of the American retreat. 
At the corner of this lane and Boston Road is another 

114. Pell House, remodeled and modernized. At the foot of 
the hill is 

115. The stately stone Pell Mansion, perhaps the finest i)f 
all, with its splendid columns and iron lattice-work, and the family 
coat of-arms. In the woods near by is the 

116. Lord Howe Chestnut, where Howe and his generals 
lunched on Oct. 18, 1776, while resting during their pursuit of the 
Americans. Some say that they lunched at the Pell House (114), tak- 
ing the old lady's last turkey. 

117. Hutchinson River Bridge, where the battle of Pell's 
Point ended and the day was saved for Washington. This bridge is 
on the line of the original Boston Road, opened in 1672. 

Take trolley to Mt. Vernon. 

*Near the end of Pell's Point see the old Bowiie residence witli shingled sides. 



211 



HISTORICAL GUIDE 



ROUTE 34a. 

SECTION VII.— EASTERN MORRISANIA AND WEST 
FARMS TO EASTCH ESTER. 

(Figures refer to Plates XXXV, XXXVII, XXXVIII and XXXIX). 

From West Farms to Eastchester involves a walk of about five miles. 
Take Third Avenue Elevated Road to Lenox Avenue, Subway 
Express to One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street and Third Av- 
enue and change to north-bound West Farms trolley, running 
along Third Avenue (formerly the old Post Road) and Boston 
Road to West Farms, passing on the right at One Hundred and 
Fifty-sixth Street the site of the 

Old school house where many of the children of the early residents received 
their first training. Near the Thirty-sixth Precinct Station the Avenue turns 
to the right, crossing where once flowed old Mill Brook, the division line in 
thousands of titles for real estate. On its banks once stood the old Morrisania 
mill, thus giving it the title of Saw Mill Brook. At One Hundred and Sixty- 
first Street is the new Court House on the site of the old Hammer Hotel. 
West on Third Avenue, near One Hundred and Sixty-third Street, stood the 
shingled Gcorgi House, one of the three buildings standing on Gouverneur Morris' 
farm in 1848 when he sold it to be cut up into building lots to form the "illage of 
Morrisania. Here the car climbs the steep hill of Boston Road. What is now 
Third Avenue north of this point was once the narrow and shaded Fordham 
Lane, extending through the fields and woods of the Morris farm. 

At Boston Road and Cauldwell Avenue, below One Hundred and Sixty-sixth 
Street, was Pudding Rock, a gigantic glacial boulder where the Indians held 
their corn feasts, and under the cool shade of which the tired Huguenots 
paused to rest on their long Sabbath journey from New Rochelle to New 
York. 

118. The Tenth Milestone, at One Hundred and Sixty-eighth 
Street, marks the distance from the English City Hall on Wall 
Street. 

Opposite Union Avenue is the site of the Jennings Homestead, known also 
as the Drovers' Inn and the Old Stone Jug, built in the middle of the 18th 
Century. 

119. At McKinley Square, One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Street 
and Boston Road, see the flag-pole and tablets on trees in mem- 
ory of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinlej^; note also Civil W^ar 
mortar and cannon balls. 

On the east side of the junction with Minford Place is the site of The Sf^y 

House. In this little builaing, it is said, lived an American spy who played 

in the neighborhood the part of Cooper's spy at Mamaroneck. Where the 
Southern Boulevard crosses may be seen the 

120. Old Hunt House where Washington stayed over niglit 
while holding an important conference with a spy. 

Leave the car at One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Street and go 

north to One Hundred and Eightieth Street. 

212 



V/est Farms THE BRONX 34a Route 

West Farms preserves the appearance of a country village. 

j ,ist below rises the stone Crowther Homestead, dated about 

];-?i6, containing interesting carved white marble mantels. Poe 

was a frequent visitor here. 

At the right pass the site of the DeLancey Block House, a noted place for 
the Royalists until destroyed in a midnight attack by Aaron Burr during the 
winter of 1779.^ It stood on the land of the Peabody Home (One Hundred and 
Seventy-ninth Street), the building preceding which was known as the Uncle 
Daniel Mapes Temperance House. 

Near One Hundred and Eightieth Street stands the venerable 

Purdy Mansion, dating from 1820. Two blocks west on One 

Hundred and Eightieth Street is the old 

121. West Farms Presbyterian Church, built 1804, opposite the 
new Beck Memorial. Many veterans of the Civil War are inter- 
red in the old church cemetery. While excavating near by, the 
skeleton of a Revolutionary officer was found, clad in Continen- 
tal regimentals. 

At the lower end of Bronx Park, see ruins of 

122. Lydig's Mills, built in early times. Just north stood the quaint John- 
son's Tavern, an ancient inn where the stage-coach from Boston to New York 
.stopped to change horses. 

Go north along the east side of the Bronx through the Park. 

123. DeLancey Pine, 150 feet high, in the thick branches of 
which the American sharpshooters used to hide while picking ofif 
the British in the DeLancey Block House. 

" Memorial of the fallen great. 
The rich and honored line. 
Stands high in solitary state 
DeLancey's ancient pine." 

124. Fording Place where all travelers had to wade their steeds 
through the river. Beyond is the old hamlet of Bronxdale, near 
which is 

Bear Swamp (so-called because long the haunt of bears), on the site 
of a Sewanoe Indian village which remained until 1789. 
Cross the broad Pelham Parkway; continue north on the Boston 
Road through Spencer's Corners. 

In the woods to the left is the 

125. Underbill Burying Ground, said to have been bought by 
that family from the Indians. A mile beyond is an old house on 
tlie height of ground from which may be obtained a fine view of 
the surrounding country. 

126. 15th Mile Stone, near Two Hundred and Twenty-second 
Street. Half a mile further 

213 



Route 34a HISTORICAL GUIDE Eastchester 

Cross Rattlesnake Brook into Eastchester. 

127. Rattlesnake Brook was named from the reptiles which flourished here, 
one six feet in length being slain as late as 1775. Bears, deer and wolves 
abounded in Eastchester and the remains of a large wolf pit are still visible 
on the Purdy Estate. 

Follow Eden Terrace %vcst to 

128. Seton Falls, the great Seton Cave, the Indian Hiding Place 
and some Indian Fortifications, all concealed in the dense woods, now 
close to the new line of Two Hundred and Thirty-third Street. 

Village of Eastchester, one of the oldest in this section. On 
all sides are evidences of Indian occupation, quantities of arrow 
and spear heads being found all about. Wigwams occupied the 
site of the old Morgan Residence, while a fortilied castle of the 
Sewanoes stood on the hill behind the Fowler Mansion; on this 
same hill the early settlers erected in 1675 a " General Fort " 
for mutual protection. 

On the right of the road may be seen Odell's Barns dating 
from Revolutionary days, now almost in ruins. 

IValk down Mill Lane to the 

129. Reid's Miller's House. On the marshes stood the famous 
Reid's Mill, a tide-mill which once ground grain for the farmers 
for miles around. It was built in 1739. 

Return to the Post Road and go north on Provost Avenue or ]\'liile 

Plai)is Road. 

130. Vincent-Halsey House, the smaller portion beiug of Revo- 
lutionary date. Nearby was the old Guion Inn, a Revolutionary 
tavern where Washington once stopped and mentioned in his diary 
that these roads were " immensely rough and stony." 

131. Groshon House, a quaint old landmark, the former resi- 
dence of a Huguenot family, " Gros-Jean." 

132. St. Paul's Church, built in 1765, opposite the site of the 
first building erected in 1699. During the Revolution St. Paul's 
was used as a British hospital. See the historical collection, 
which includes an old Prayer Book and Bible. These, together 
with the great bell, were buried during the war in the Vincent- 
Halsey grounds. After the war, while the old church was used 
as a court of justice, Aaron Burr pleaded here many causes. 

The lawn opposite St. Paul's Church was the colonial village 
Kieeii. Here stood the first church structure, erected 1699, and 
used as fuel by the Briti.«h while occupying the present build- 
ing. Here were also the village stocks, dating from 1720. In 

214 



St. Paul's THE BRONX 54a Route 

the locust trees which still stand was fastened the iron staple 
to which criminals were tied to receive punishment. 

St. Paul's Churchyard, containing 6,000 bodies. Note the quaint 
inscriptions on the tombstones, the oldest being dated 1704. 

Return by trolley to Mount Vernon and train to New York. 
N B. Section VII could begin here, the route being reversed. 



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