Category «Places & Architecture»

Defense and Forts of New York City 1775 – 1776 by Harry Schenawolf

It is the summer of 1775. Hostilities have erupted between England and her colonies in America. Among a host of concerns and preparations by New York City’s patriots and Provincial Congress is the defense of Manhattan and the surrounding region. On June 26th, 1775, the New York Provincial Congress met as a body for the …

Holy Ground by Harry Schenawolf

New York City’s Red Light District of the 18th Century  During the mid 1700’s, New York City catered to the darker side of life with its many ‘disorderly houses’, ‘tipling shops’, and brothels. They were all located in a seething slum of shacks and portable houses on land owned and leased by the largest Anglican Parish in …

Trinity Church, New York City, 1696-1776

In 1776, Trinity Church stood along Broadway on the high ground opposite the west end of Wall Street.  It was one of three churches in the Anglican parish in New York City; the other two were St. Paul’s, located further north on Broadway and St. George’s to the east on Deekman’s Street. New York was …

Old Slips of New York City

Harold Goldstein recalls, as a small boy, being taken on a walking tour of New York City’s waterfront.  He describes something that astonished and delighted him: “a number of small harbors, inlets from the East River, rectangular in shape and about the size of a city block, in which rusty freighters and even a few …

Manhattan or York Island Name Sources

A letter written by Peter Schaghen from the ship Arms of Amsterdam in November 1626 is the first to refer to the island as Manhattes.  The Dutch, early on began calling the Native Americans who resided on the island they settled as well as to the surrounding region as Manhattan Indians, however no such tribe …

The Stone House at Gowanus Creek

 Maryland Battalion at the Battle of Long Island Tuesday, August 27, 1776. Since dawn, four hundred young men from Maryland exchanged volley for volley with some of England’s finest troops. Colonists from influential families, the former Baltimore Independent Cadets were experiencing their baptism of fire. In company with soldiers from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, they …

McGowan’s Pass & Black Horse Tavern

Old New York City Introduction McGowan’s pass was once a prominent feature in the lives of those who traveled beyond New York City’s frontier to the New York Highlands and the colonies of New England. During the colonial period, three main routes were open to one leaving New York City bound for northern destinations. Two …

Cato’s Road House

Colonial African American Tavern Owner Cato Alexander (1781 – 1858) was a freed African American slave who, in the early 1800’s, opened a tavern at the four mile stone north of New York City just west of the Boston Post Road (present day 54th and 2nd Ave.). The house/Inn was built in 1712 and was …