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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Reservoir Keepers

Seneca Village Community

 
 
Reservoir Keepers wayside image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
1. Reservoir Keepers wayside
Inscription.  
In 1842, the city completed construction of one of its most consequential public works project, the Croton Aqueduct system, which supplied the city with fresh water from upstate New York. The system included a large receiving reservoir directly adjacent to the community of Seneca Village. The north end of the reservoir was 86th Street, near this sign.

In addition to the physical presence of this massive structure, the reservoir impacted the community in other ways. Two men, John Geary and John Wallace, were employed by the city to take care of the reservoir and lived in Seneca Village with their families. They were part of a group of employees who lived adjacent to important pieces of aqueduct infrastructure in order to maintain it. Both Irish immigrants, Geary and Wallace were also part of the growing Irish-American community who, by 1855, made up approximately one-third of the population of Seneca Village.
 
Erected 2020 by Central Park Conservancy.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1842.
 
Location.
Reservoir Keepers wayside site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
2. Reservoir Keepers wayside site
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this page online
40° 47.035′ N, 73° 58.055′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from West 85th Street east of Central Park West. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Central Park, New York NY 10024, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. AME Zion Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Geology (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Williams (within shouting distance of this marker); African Union Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Seneca Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Seneca Village Community (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Seneca Village Landscape (about 300 feet away); Searching for Seneca Village (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
Regarding Reservoir Keepers. Like most Seneca Village sites, there are no physical remains or representations to be had.
 
Also see . . .
1. Seneca Village. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on May 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

2. Seneca Village Site. Central Park Conservancy website entry:
Links to several related sub-topics (Submitted on May 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

3. Seneca Village, New York City. National Park Service entry (Submitted on May 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
3. Inset
Although we are uncertain where exactly reservoir keeper John Geary lived, we do know he had a large family. census records show that he lived with his wife, ten children, a cousin, and two boarders who were young children.
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
4. Inset
This map from 1856 illustrates the dominant presence of the reservoir in Seneca Village. We believe that the reservoir keepers lived adjacent to the reservoir, in the northeast corner of the village, in the vicinity of this sign.
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
5. Inset
The gatehouse, depicted in this illustration, was originally located in this general vicinity, near the northwest corner of the reservoir. This important component marked the place where the major inflow pipes entered the reservoir. These pipes were installed along what would have been 85th Street; distinctive manhole covers, labeled ”Croton Aqueduct Dept” on the path on the north side of the West 85th Street entrance still mark the presence of this infrastructure.
In the distance, the new reservoir image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
6. In the distance, the new reservoir
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 23, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.

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Jun. 18, 2021