Old New York In Photos #24

Fort Tryon Hill As Seen From Fort George Hill

Fort Tryon Hill

The northern area of Manhattan: Washington Heights, Inwood and Fort Tryon were among the last areas of the island to be developed. Much of the area remained somewhat rural until the early 20th century as evidenced in this undated photograph.

The area of Fort George Hill was at the time of the Revolution called Laurel Hill. Upon it the British constructed an extensive fortification called Fort George. The Fort was located at what would today be 192nd Street and Audubon Avenue. The neighborhood that sprung up around this area was given the name of Fort George Hill.

Fort Tryon Hill was one of the last portions of Manhattan to pass from Indian ownership to the possession of the Dutch. The aboriginal owners were the Wickquaskeek corrupted to Wickers Creek Indians.

Fort Tryon Map Showing Land Ownership and Parcels

Fort Tryon Map Showing Land Ownership and Parcels

Fort Tryon was named by the British for Major General William Tryon (1729–1788), the last British governor of colonial New York. Fort Tryon was part of a series of posts running along the Hudson River during the revolutionary war.

Between 1901 and 1904 Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings acquired several property lots from many different owners around Fort Tryon Hill. Billings had begun assembling an estate that culminated in a stately mansion being built which was completed in 1907. The mansion can be seen on the right hand side of the photograph. Billings sold the mansion in 1916 to John D. Rockefeller. In 1917 Rockefeller donated the Billings estate and surrounding properties which he had acquired to New York City and the area was turned into Fort Tryon Park. The mansion was destroyed by fire in 1926.

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4 thoughts on “Old New York In Photos #24

  1. Ben

    Great photo! It’s reversed, however. This shows the intersection of Broadway and Nagle Avenue, looking NNW, but the Fort Tryon hill, the western hill, appears on the right in this picture.

  2. ronnie

    You show this mapFort Tryon Map Showing Land Ownership and Parcels and it references appendix G ; would like to see this appendix.

    could you tell me the name of the book you got this and or provide the appendix for me by email if you have it.
    thanks so much; guess i care, sorry.



    1. B.P. Post author

      Ronnie – I have emailed you privately the pages within the book The Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, so you can look for yourself.
      thank you for writing


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