Tag: Revolutionary War Park

Bowling Green Park                         Broadway & Whitehall Street                 New York, NY 10004

Bowling Green Park Broadway & Whitehall Street New York, NY 10004

Bowling Green Park

Broadway & Whitehall Street

New York, NY  10004

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/bowling-green

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/bowling-green/history

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d136413-Reviews-Bowling_Green-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I visited this wonderful park for my walking project, ‘MywalkinManhattan.com-Day 113-Walking the Historical Bars & Pubs of New York City’.

This is one of the most fascinating parks in New York City and probably one the most historical in the shaping of the United States. Located on the grounds of the original Dutch settlement, this tiny park placed an important role in the confrontation of the Loyalist versus the Patriots when deciding who to support during the Revolutionary War. The toppling of the King George Statue was the beginning of a new Republic. Along the historic fence which has been standing in the park since the late 1700’s are the markings where the tiny crowns were sawed off by the Patriots in defiance to the Crown.

Bowling Green Park III

The toppling of the statute of King George

Now it is a resting spot for tired tourists off the boats from Ellis and Liberty Islands and for Wall Street workers who need a nice place to eat their lunch. It is still a relaxing little park with tree lined paths and a beautifully landscaped fountain area. In the later summer, the flowers are still in bloom and the colorful highlights of the trees accent all sides of the park and keep it private. Even in this secrete setting it is mind boggling of the fact that people put their lives on the line to establish this country right from this tiny park.

Bowling Green Park IV

Map of Lower Manhattan

Take time to walk through the cool paths of trees to the edges of the park, which are lines with historic buildings with decorative stone work and look at the beautiful statuary work on the old U.S. Custom House that now serves as the Museum of the American Indian. Take a quick tour of Stone Street just a few blocks away and see the development of the New York City after the Great Fire of 1823, which destroyed most of lower Manhattan.

Just at the tip of the norther part of the park is the famous statue of ‘Charging Bull’ a gift to the City by artist Arturo Di Modica to show the ‘strength of the American people’ and the now becoming famous statue of “Fearless Girl” by artist Kristen Visbal which was erected for International Women’s Day. Both statues have created quite the debate since they were both placed here in 1989 and 2017 and their fate is up to the City.

Bowling Green Park II

Take time to really see what all these symbols mean to the Bowling Green.

History of the Park:

The Bowling Green is New York City’s oldest park. According to tradition, this spot served as the council ground for Native American tribes and was the site of the legendary sale of Manhattan to Peter Minuit in 1626. The  Dutch called the area “the Plain” and used it for several purposes including a parade ground, meeting place and cattle market. It marked the beginning of Heere Staat (High Street, now Broadway), a trade route which extended north through Manhattan and the Bronx. In 1686, the site was designated as public property, when the City Charter put all ‘waste, vacant, unpatented and unappropriated lands’ under municipal domain (NYC Parks.org).

Bowling Green was first designated as a park in 1733, when it was offered for rent at the cost of one peppercorn per year. Lessees John Chambers, Peter Bayard and Peter Jay were responsible for improving the site with grass, trees and a wood fence “for the Beauty & Ornament of the Said Street as well as for the Recreation & delight of the Inhabitants of this City.” A gilded lead statue of King George III was erected here in 1770 and the iron fence (now a New York City landmark) was installed in 1771. On July 9, 1776, after the first public reading in New York State of the Declaration of Independence, this monument was toppled by angry citizens who dragged it up Broadway, sent it Connecticut, melted it down and recast it as ammunition. Portions of the statue are held by the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Historical Society (which also possesses musket balls made from the statue’s head) (NYC Parks.org).

By the late 18th Century, Bowling Green was the center of New York’s most fashionable residential district, surrounded by rows of Federal-style townhouses. In 1819, the Common Council that neighbors could plant and tend the area in return for the exclusive use of the park by their families. By mid-century, shipping offices inhabited the old townhouses and the park was returned to more public use. Monuments installed in the park in the 19th century include two fountains (now gone) and a statue of New York’s early Mayor and later colonial Supreme Court Judge Abraham DePeyster (1896, by artist George Bissell). DePeyster was moved to nearby Hanover Square in 1976 and finally to Thomas Paine Park in 2014 (NYC Parks.org).

Bowling Green Park V

In the first decade of the 20th Century, Bowling Green was disrupted by the construction of the IRT subway. The park was rebuilt as  part of citywide improvements made in preparation for visitors to the 1939 World’s Fair. Renovations to Bowling Green included removing the fountain basin, relocating the interior walkways, installing new benches and providing new plantings. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, members of the Board of Estimate and local businessmen participated in the rededication ceremony held on April 6, 1939. Despite unseasonable late snow, the ceremony included a demonstration of colonial era lawn bowling (NYC Parks.org).

A 1976-77 capital investment restored Bowling Green to its 18th century appearance. Improvements included the redistribution of subway entrances, the installation of new lampposts and benches and landscaping. Publisher and philanthropist George Delacourte (best known for the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park) donated the park’s central fountain (NYC Parks.org).

Since December of 1989, the statue of Charging Bull (1987-89) has been on display at the north end of the park. Its sculptor, Arturo DiModica, says the three ton and a half bronze statue represents “the strength, power and hope of the American people for the future.” It has been linked to the property enjoyed by Wall Street in the past decade. In 2004, the reconstruction of the park included new perimeter bluestones sidewalks and interior paths, landscaping, plantings and the re-sodding of the lawn. Antique-style gas lamps and hoof benches were also placed in the park with the addition of a new irrigation system for the parks fountain (New York Parks.org).

Charging Bull II

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the New York City Parks.org site and I given them full credit for it. This is one of the special parks of the City so take some time to visit it while on your way to one of the other tourist sites or to Liberty Island or Ellis Island.

 

 

 

Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County   Historic Site                                                                   1201 Main Street                                        River Edge, NJ 07661

Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County Historic Site 1201 Main Street River Edge, NJ 07661

Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County Historic Site

1201 Main Street

River Edge, NJ 07661

(201) 343-9492

A County Historic Site

http://www.co.bergen.nj.us

http://bergencountyhistory.org/

Fee: Donations are accepted and there are fees for the special events

Open: Check the website above for special events and times

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46776-d7603554-Reviews-Historic_New_Bridge_Landing-River_Edge_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I recently visited the Steuben House for a Christmas concert which was an evening of Christmas songs, a talk on the history of Christmas before, during and after the Revolutionary War. It was a very lively evening of song and lecture and the ladies who entertained us sang beautifully.

Campbell-Christi House II

The Campbell-Christie House was used as the ‘pub’ for diners that night

Linda Russell & Company sang Christmas songs of the time and then talked in between about how Christmas was celebrated during the War years. She was a delight in her discussion and her and her daughter and their friend did a wonderful job.

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The concert was entertaining and the talk was interesting in the Van Steuben House

A sample of Linda Russell’s music

It seemed that while the Puritans put a damper on the Christmas holidays in New England the Dutch New Jersey and New York thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season after all their hard work during the Fall harvest months.

What was really nice was the Campbell-Christie House was open as a pub for dinner and light snacks and you could order things like Shepard Pie, Cheese & Onion Pie and Cake doughnuts and gingerbread for dessert while enjoying conversation by candlelight. It was an interesting and engaging history.

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The Van Steuben House for the holidays was where the entertainment was that night

The house is nicely decorated for Christmas circa 1778

BCHS Xmas 2020 VI

The Campbell-Christie House at Christmas 2020 Historical Event

BCHS Xmasw 2020

Singer Linda Russell at the Christmas Tour Event at the BCHS 2020

Don’t miss their historic lectures and reenactments during the year. Check their website above for more activities.

https://revolutionarynj.org/event/sing-we-all-merrily-a-colonial-christmas-at-historic-new-bridge-landing-2/2019-12-15/2/

History of the Site:

The Campbell-Christie House, an 18th century sandstone structure, is located in Historic New Bridge Landing State Park, River Edge. This historic building originally stood at the intersection of Henley Avenue & River Road, in New Milford, NJ. In 1977, in order to save it from demolition, Bergen County purchased and moved it south to this site next to the Hackensack River.

Sandstone houses were built continuously from the Dutch colonization of the 17th century through the founding of the Republic and the early years of the 19th century. The Campbell-Christie House, an outstanding example of this early regional architecture, is a 5 bay, 4 room center all building with two rooms to either side and two interior chimneys. This stone house form seems to have been built mainly after the Revolution and up to the turn of the century. The front wall is built out of well-dressed local sandstone with inset wooden trapezoidal lintels and side composed of roughly coursed sandstone.

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The Historic New Bridge Landing Site

Jacob Campbell, at the time of his marriage in 1774 built this house along the road (now Henley Avenue) that led from Old Bridge to the Schraalenburgh Church. Historical evidence records that Campbell, a mason by trade, also ran a tavern in his household. In 1795, the house was sold to John Christie, a blacksmith, who continued as a tavern keeper. Jacob Brinkerhoff-Christie, manager of the Comfort¬†& Lumber Company, eventually inherited this large valuable homestead farm property along the Hackensack River. His son. John Walter, born in the house in 1865, was a famous inventor who built and raced cars (at one time holding the world’s speed record), invented the automotive front-wheel drive and is known as the “father of the modern tank”.

Historic New Bridge Landing Park is located at the narrows of the Hackensack River. Because of its strategic site along a tidal waterway it has been an active area of settlement, trade and commercial activities for thousands of years. The construction of the “New Bridge” in 1744 accelerated development of the area. Because of the nearness to Manhattan, New Bridge Landing was a principal base of operation during the Revolutionary¬† War and considered an important strategic route, guarded by troops from both sides at different times. General George Washington, who made his headquarters in Zabriske’s house, led his soldiers in retreat across here on November 20, 1776, saving his troops from entrapment by advancing British troops.

On the Hackensack River’s west bank, near the bridge, is the Steuben House. Originally¬† constructed by Jan Zabriskie in 1753 and doubled in size around 1765, it has been referred to as to as among the five “great houses” of Colonial Bergen County. The third stone house is the 18th century Demarest House, moved to this site in 1956 and owned by the Demarest-Blauvelt Foundation. The Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission, a partnership of the Bergen County Historical Society, Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation, the County of Bergen, New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry, New Milford Borough, River Edge Borough and Teaneck Township, operates the New Bridge Landing site.

This site also contains the County-owned 1888-89 Pratt-type, “pony” truss, iron swing bridge, the oldest highway swing bridge in New Jersey. The Campbell-Christie House, along with the other two houses and the bridge, is on the State & National Register of Historical Place. It is the headquarters of the Bergen County Historical Society and furnished with the furniture and collection owned by the Society. Open year round. For the FCHS calendar of event or go to http://www.bergencountyhistory.org.

http://www.co.bergen.nj.us

Kevin Wright’s Lecture on the Site (2015)

(2015 Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs)

The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Affairs received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of the State.

Disclaimer: This information is taken directly form my pamphlet from the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs. The site holds it position in its participation in the Revolutionary War and should not missed. I give them full credit for this information. Please call them for more information.

The reenactment of the Historic Bridge attack during the American Revolution at the Bergen County Historical Society. I give the Historical Society full credit for this information.