In 1663 Myndert Journeay left his home in Mardyck, near Dunkirk, in what is today northern France and set sail for New Netherland aboard a vessel named The Spotted Cow.
Journeay first settled in Breucklen (Brooklyn) where, on April 9, 1664, he became a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. Later that spring, he took a bride, Elizabeth (Lysbeth) Du Mont.
The Flemish settler soon purchased a bowery on the Harlem River alongside Sherman Creek from Jacques Cresson in what is now the Inwood section of northern Manhattan.
The meadow, near today’s West 207th Street, came to be known as “Myndert’s Fly.”
Journeay’s time in the neighborhood was brief.
In 1676 Journeay sold “Myndert’s Fly” to Jan Nagel and Jan Delamater for 2,700 guilders.
Journeay relocated to Staten Island where he lived until his death in 1678.
Centuries later, as late as the early 1900s, Journeay’s meadow was still known as “Myndert’s Fly.”
Generations of Inwood children once played in this urban green space, which offered an unobstructed view of the domed Hall of Fame for Great Americans across the Harlem River, to the east.
The nearby North Cove, even in modern times, offers temporary shelter for protected migratory birds as they pass through the region.
Today, construction has begun on a thirty-story building—the tallest in neighborhood history—on Ninth Avenue at West 207th Street.
Soon, this once sun-soaked oasis will be darkened by man’s shadow.
So it goes.