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History of Inwood’s Isham Park

Isham Park, Inwood, New York City

In 1862 a businessman named William Bradley Isham rented a summer retreat in northern Manhattan. He fell in love with the place and returned two years later to purchase the property. What follows is an exhaustive photo essay describing the origins of Isham Park.

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Inwood Serial Killer: “Texas Jim” Baker

Texas Jim Baker

“I had a periodical desire to poison human beings and in killing them in this manner, I derive a certain mental satisfaction.  When this mania seizes me, I want to kill the nearest person to me.” –excerpt from “Texas Jim” Baker’s murder confession. On the morning of December 27, 1928 New York Police responded to […]

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The Indian Caves of Inwood Hill Park

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On the northern tip of Manhattan, a twenty-minute walk from the subway,  is an historical site so rare and unexpected that it warrants a detour on any tourist’s itinerary. The majestic “Indian caves” of Inwood Hill Park were once used as a seasonal camp by the Lenape people who lived in the region before the […]

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Glacial Potholes of Inwood Hill Park

glacial pothole

Just off the path, in an area of Inwood Hill Park known as “The Clove,” are a series of rock formations that have fascinated geologists and hikers for generations. These glacial potholes, which look almost man-made, are the product of glacial runoff that occurred during the last ice age some 50,000 years ago.  During a […]

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The Fort George Hill Climb

Fort George Hill

“How fast can your car make the ascent of Fort George Hill?  The hill is 1,900 feet from base to crown, with a grade ranging from ten to thirteen per cent and averaging about eleven per cent.  It is paved with cobblestones and has two sweeping curves. “ (New York Herald, March 15, 1908) The […]

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Inwood’s Indian Life Reservation

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In the winter of 1926 Inwood historian and local archeologist Reginald Pelham Bolton began work on a curious and eclectic exercise, the creation of an Indian reservation in Inwood Hill Park.   Bolton’s vision was not to be a true reservation, but rather a recreation of what a Native American encampment might have looked like. “The […]

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Inwood Postcards

Inwood Postcards

New York City has always been a popular subject when it comes to the world of postcards. I like to call the collection that follows “Postcards from the Edge.” For the most part, I’ve tried to focus on Inwood proper, but other subjects, like the George Washington Bridge, Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage in the Bronx, […]

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Prehistoric Inwood: Mastodons in Our Midst

Inwood New York City Mastodon

In warm weather the Dyckman Strip is a lively scene replete with music, the clink of cocktail glasses, laughter and animated conversation.  As brunch winds down, the crowd migrates west to the marina, on the banks of the Hudson River, to marvel at the view—a nearly unblemished vista that has changed little since Henry Hudson […]

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