Inwood Hill Park: Historical Timeline

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Inwood Hill is a 196-acre park located on the northern tip of Manhattan.  The words “wild” and “untamed” are often used to describe the meandering trails, caves, cliffs and otherworldly geological formations that together make Inwood Hill so unique. The history of Inwood Hill, like that of the surrounding city, is fascinating and can be […]

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1935 Police Beat: Babe Ruth Hits Pedestrian on Seaman Avenue

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On a summer evening in 1935 Julia Straus, a fifty-eight year old resident of 72 Seaman Avenue had a run in with the most famous athlete in baseball—Babe Ruth. As it happened Ruth was driving southbound on Seaman Avenue when Straus walked into the path of his car near the intersection of Seaman Avenue and […]

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“The Acapulco Divers of the Spuyten Duyvil” : An Oral History with Former Inwood Resident Mike Boland

Columbia C on Spuyten Duyvil

Former Inwood resident Mike Boland recalls cliff diving into the Spuyten Duyvil:

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Stephen “Sonny” Kole: Six-Year-Old Hudson River Swimmer

Sonny Kole cartoon

In a world of helicopter parenting it is hard to imagine letting a child swim across the Hudson River, but in 1939 six-year-old Stephen “Sonny” Kole became a media darling for his dangerous river exploits. That September Sonny, a blue-eyed, fair-haired youngster who weighed just 59-pounds, dove into the Hudson River from the ferry dock […]

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The 1903 Fort George Subway Tunnel Disaster

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“The tunnel with its long row of dimly shining electric bulbs becomes a banging, hissing, vibrating pandemonium; a dozen compressed-air drills thud away in all directions, with boys pouring water into the drill holes, and Italians scrape and shovel away the debris at the bottom of the slowly disappearing wall.” (The World’s Work, Vol. III, […]

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On Thin Ice: A 1932 Drowning on the Spuyen Duyvil

1932 drowning on the Spuyten Duyvil

On Christmas Eve of 1932 some thirty children were skating and sliding on the frozen inlet at the base of Inwood Hill when the ice gave way. Noemie Kennedy, who curated a Native American museum from a cabin near the water’s edge, told reporters that the kids had told her of their plan to play […]

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Inwood’s Dyckman Street Ferry

Dyckman Ferry

On June 17, 1915 a procession of more than fifty automobiles gathered in Inwood to mark an historic occasion—the inauguration of the new Dyckman Street ferry, which would make its maiden voyage across the Hudson River, to the popular recreation sites along the New Jersey Palisades, later that afternoon. “The procession, marshaled by Mr. Thomas […]

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Exile in Inwood: The Max Brauer Story

Max Brauer

In 1933 Nazi storm troopers entered the home of Max Brauer, the Socialist mayor of Altona, a working class German suburb just west of Hamburg. Brauer and other leaders who publicly denounced Hitler had been slated for roundup. But the handsome forty-six-year-old politician with a cleft chin and shock of dark slicked back hair had […]

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