Saturday, October 29, 2011

One more of The Colonial White House

This is a map from 1867 covering the area from 96th to almost 106th streets. The name Cashman appears on a shaded area. This is the current route of Broadway, the Bloomingdale Road is just east of this future road. The Colonial White House is there, in this sparsely populated area. It was owned by a family named Furniss, who own the land all they way down to the river, according to this map. They also own a piece of land that runs along 103rd street from 11th Avenue (now West End Avenue) to the Bloomingdale Road including what is now the middle of Broadway. 
Up at the top is a triangular shaped lot with a house indicated as well as the name M.T. Brennan. He was a Tammany Hall connected officer in the New York City Fire Department who did very well. The house and surrounding land were ultimately sold the Isidore and Ida Straus who died on the Titanic. The house, which contained the first cast iron / porcelain clad bath tub in the United States.  The Straus's were health conscience and believed in out door exercise and the children in the household had use of a baseball diamond. The land around the house was ample and contained what was called "the old barn" that the children had use of as well. The Bloomingdale Road was very important to George Washington as he escaped New York after the disastrous Battle of Long Island (Brooklyn) and there were skirmishes all along the road. One of those skirmishes centered around a barn next to a buckwheat field centered around what is now 106th Street and West End Avenue. The barn at that site was owned by a dutch farmer who also owned the buckwheat field next to it.  Is it not possible that the old barn was the site of that gun fight? Quite possibly the place where Massachusetts born Thomas Knowlton, leader of Knowlton's Rangers, died during a failed surprise attack on the British during the Battle of Harlem Heights? It is possible that this is the place. It is also possible that it was here, or near here, that Nathan Hale was sent on his "secret", or as his friends called it a "suicide mission" by Knowlton.  Nathan Hale, a zealous patriot, quite possibly defied all orders and started what became known as the Great Fire of 1776.  Hale had been seen by British Officers with "incendiary devices" down in lower Manhattan.  Knowlton died on September 16th and  the Great fire was on September 21rst.  Possible.


  1. Hey Gary,
    You do great work! Do you know of any images of 94th street and Columbus avenue?
    Chris Pape

  2. Thank you Chris. So do you by the way. I will look for some. I do have something about Elmwood Park but that is more 91rst and Columbus than 94th. I will post all of that here soon.