Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Welcome to Everything Croton, a collection of all things Croton -- our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools, our houses of worship -- in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

TO THE RESIDENT LOOKING FOR AN ARTICLE "ABOUT OLD AREA NAMES" here at the blog, I believe you may be referring to this 2009 article by the late Robert Scott at his Postscripts blog:

No Longer on the Map: Forgotten Place Names in Northwestern Westchester


In the beginning was the land, and it was without names. From somewhere over the horizon the first wanderers reached northwestern Westchester and found the land to be rich and good. They remained and gave names to places--descriptive names by which others could identify them. Thus, the Indian name for Ossining was "a stony place"; for Peekskill, "the mouth of a stream"; for Croton Point, "a point or ending." Indian names have had a greater persistence than is recognized. For example, 26 state names are of Indian derivation.

Next came the Dutch, doughty burghers and traders. Accustomed to sailing the inland channels of their own country, they stayed close to navigable waterways. A stream was a "kill" or "creek," a "gat" was a passage, a "hoek" was a point of land. But the Dutch were also intensely practical. They accepted the Indian place names they found, altering them slightly to sound more like their own tongue.

Then came the English. They converted many of the names applied by the Dutch: "kreek" became "creek," "bosch" (wood) became "bush," and "hoek" became "point." A lake or a pool became a "pond," a word common in eastern England. Although the English were comparative latecomers, they remained for the longest time. Rejecting many existing place names, they made them over to fit the English language, choosing the names of towns in England or notable persons. The newly minted United States continued this practice.

Soon the land became layered with names. Always lurking in the background, the old names were remembered and kept alive by old-timers. Eventually even they became only a memory. Now-forgotten names of places and people molder on old maps and documents in dusty archives or accumulate moss on old tombstones.

Although overlooked by latter-day cartographers, these intriguing old names need not be lost to us. Listed here from A to Z are a smattering of place names in northwestern Westchester that are "no longer on the map," with their modern equivalents. Maps used for verification were the appropriate topographic sheets of the 1:24,000 series prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Abram's Swimming Hole. At their home on Annsville Creek, two Negro brothers, William and Abraham Hallenback ('Uncle Abram') unselfishly taught generations of Peekskill youngsters to swim.

Auser's Flats. In Ossining; an area north of Cedar Lane, east of Route 9. It took its name from Joseph Auser, who lived on the west side of the Post Road.

Bakers Landing. An early name for Van Cortlandtville.

Bald Hill. In Peekskill; now Gallows Hill.

Barker Pond. In Cortlandt; named for Louis Barker, owner of the land around it in 1930. It is today called Cliffdale Pond.

Barlow's Hill. The hill where the Croton-Harmon High School now stands; it took its name from the Barlow house, a multifamily dwelling.

Bishop Rocks. At the Hudson River in Briarcliff Manor; named for John Bishop, who bought 83 acres south of Kemeys Cove from the Commissioners of Forfeiture after the Revolution. Now the site of a sewage treatment plant.

Boscobel. From 1857 to 1883, this was the name of the post office at Crugers. The name is from the stately home built by Staats Morris Dyckman and later dismantled to make way for the F.D.R. Veterans Hospital. One of the country's finest Federal-style homes, the house was moved to Garrison and painstakingly reconstructed. Fortunately, it had been carefully measured by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1932. Westchester's loss became Putnam County's gain.

The Bowery. The name of the temporary town along Route 129 during the building of the New Croton Dam. Emulating its New York City namesake, 11 of its 23 buildings were saloons. Boarding houses and bawdy houses made up most of the rest.

Camp of Military Instruction. Camp Smith's name from 1882 to 1926. It was renamed to honor the then Governor, Alfred Emanuel Smith, later an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency.

Canopus Creek. In Cortlandt; named for an Indian chief, it is now Sprout Brook.

Cat Hill. In Cortlandt, south of the Croton River; now Catamount Hill.

READ THE REST AT http://notorc.blogspot.com/2009/03/no-longer-on-map-forgotten-names-in.html

No comments:

Post a Comment