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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

The area of McGowan's Pass image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 10, 2016
2. The area of McGowan's Pass
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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 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.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesWar of 1812War, US Revolutionary.
 
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. Marker is in Central Park. Touch for map
McGowan's Pass at the time of the Revolutionary War. image. Click for full size.
By Revolutionary War Journal, unknown
3. McGowan's Pass at the time of the Revolutionary War.
. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10029, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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); Andrew Haswell Green Memorial (about 600 feet away); Odetta (about 600 feet away); Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Vanderbilt Gate (approx. 0.2 miles away); The New York Academy of Medicine (approx. Ľ mile away). Touch for a list and map 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.
 
Also see . . .
1. New York City in the American Revolution: McGowan’s Pass and Black Horse Tavern. Revolutionary War Journal article. (Submitted on September 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

2. Excavated in Central Park: Traces of Anti-Redcoat Fortifications, Never Needed. New York Times article, 09/24/2014 (Submitted on September 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Mc Gowan Pass War of 1812 fortification image. Click for full size.
By New York Times, unknown
4. Mc Gowan Pass War of 1812 fortification
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2016, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 274 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 24, 2016, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   3, 4. submitted on September 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 11, 2021