Myndert’s Fly: Inwood’s Forgotten Meadow

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Map by Reginald Pelham Bolton detailing the location of Myndert’s Fly on the Harlem River at West 207th Street in the Inwood section of Manhattan.

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.

Myndert’s Fly indicated on a modern map.

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.”

Young Anthony Wheeler poses in the urban meadow once known as Myndert’s Fly in this early Twentieth Century photograph. To the east, across the Harlem River, stands the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

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. 

Inwood’s North Cove, a green space maintained by local volunteers, is located at the southern edge of the 207th Street Subway Yard. The restored wetlands are and important stopover for migrating ducks, geese & other birds.

The nearby North Cove, even in modern times, offers  temporary shelter for protected migratory birds as they pass through the region.

Rendering of 30-story building being constructed at 3875 Ninth Avenue.
Rendering of 30-story building being constructed at 3875 Ninth Avenue.

 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.

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