“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

A View From the Road

A View From the Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 10, 2016
1. A View From the Road Marker
Inscription. This path marks the route of the Kingsbridge Road, also known as the Eastern Post Road. This was the main road through Manhattan in the 1700s and early 1800s, before the current street grid was implemented, and was key to transportation in the area. Originally the route of a Native American trail known as the Wickqueasgeck Trail, the road was designated a public highway in 1669. The road originated in southern Manhattan at around today's Madison Square and proceeded north to the King's Bridge at the northern tip of Manhattan. Upon entering the Bronx, the road split, with one branch leading to Albany and the other to Boston. As these were the main roads for mail delivery and travel, they were known as post roads, and are considered the first public highways.

The Kingsbridge Road entered the future Central Park at around 95th Street and veered west to find a suitable place to cross the Harlem Creek, which flowed east into the Harlem River. The road passed through this rocky landscape and descended through McGowan's Pass, named after the McGowan family, who owned a house and tavern near the present-day site of the Park's operational area known as the Mount. The Pass, together with commanding views north from high points in the landscape, made this a highly strategic location for military defense. The British army built fortifications

The area of McGowan's Pass image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 10, 2016
2. The area of McGowan's Pass
in this area during the Revolutionary War, and a few decades later the American army rebuilt fortifications in some of the same locations during the War of 1812. As part of this latter effort, the Americans built a gatehouse to control access to the road and defend against a British attack from the north. In the course of restoring this landscape in 2013, the Central park Conservancy hired archaeologists to determine the impact of the project on any physical remnants of this history. The archeologists discovered the foundations of the gatehouse as well as the surface of the Kingsbridge Road, still preserved underground. These are significant findings that help us understand the history of the landscape before the park was built.
Erected by Central Park Conservancy.
Location. 40° 47.75′ N, 73° 57.133′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from East Drive. Click for map. Marker is in Central Park. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10029, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Clinton: On Top of Manhattan (within shouting distance of this marker); Mount Saint Vincent (within shouting distance of this marker); Before There Was a Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); J. Marion Sims, M.D., L.L.D. (approx. mile away); The New York Academy of Medicine (approx. mile away); Marian Anderson (approx. 0.3 miles away); Arthur Brisbane (approx. 0.3 miles away); Houdini (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
Regarding A View From the Road. Recently, the Central Park Conservancy has begun installing informational waysides like this one.
Categories. Roads & VehiclesWar of 1812War, US Revolutionary
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 119 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 24, 2016.
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