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Excursion planned for the City history club of New York online

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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.


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Online LibraryRandall ComfortExcursion planned for the City history club of New York → online text (page 1 of 3)