Sergey Kadinsky over at Hidden Waters Blog wrote a nice history of one of our borough’s most picturesque spots: Van Cortlandt Lake. The post is filled with wonderful diagrams and old maps and photographs so make sure you click the link at the end to read the full story.
Each of New York’s flagship Olmsted-designed parks has its own pond or lake, intended for ice skating, fishing, and boating. Often these waterways predate the parks, with long natural and human histories relating to the development of neighborhoods around the parks. One such example is Van Cortlandt Lake in the Bronx. In the midst of the fall season, it is an ideal place to capture the sight of the foliage as it changes colors with the cooling temperatures.
Where it Flows
Van Cortlandt Lake was formed in the 1699 when Tibbetts Brook was dammed to power the Van Cortlandt family’s gristmill. The brook has its headwaters in in Redmond Park in Yonkers, continuing south into Tibbetts Brook Park, towards the city line, where it enters Van Cortlandt Park. The stream is named after colonial settler George Tippett. His descendants were loyalist and expelled from New York following the American Revolution, but the name remained on the stream, with the slight misspelling.The valley through which the brook flows also includes the Harlem River north of 155th Street, separating the ridge of Washington Heights, Inwood, and Riverdale on its west, from the ridge of Kingsbridge Heights, Morris Heights, and University Heights on its east.
Read the rest over at: Van Cortlandt Lake, Bronx – Hidden Waters blog