Here’s a wonderful historical post by Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism…
Tag: Bronx Facts
If you feel subways and buses are crowded now more than ever—it’s not just your imagination.
For the first time in New York City history, the population has hit above 8.5 million people according to US Census estimates issued for last year—and The Bronx is leading not just the city in terms of growth but also the State of New York.
In 1970, The Bronx registered a historic population record of 1,471,701 residents—and then the great decline led to a 20% drop by 1980 as over 300,000 people fled the chaos our borough was thrown into by government officials with planned shrinkage, landlords torching their properties, redlining, and a host of other systemic issues that plagued our borough of which we still feel the impact today.
Now, as of 2014 census estimates, The Bronx has an estimated population of 1,438,159—just 33,542 shy of our historic high in 1970.
207 years ago today, one of The Bronx’s most notable residents was born—the poet Edgar Allan Poe who once lived in what was known as the Village of Fordham in what was once Westchester County.
The famed writer and poet, one of the most important in American history, moved to The Bronx when his wife Virginia became ill from tuberculosis and he thought the fresh country air would help her condition.
Decades before The Bronx neighborhood of Morris Park came to be, it was home to the 360 acre Morris Park Racecourse which ran from 1889 until 1904 as an important center of American thoroughbred horse racing which was the home of the Belmont Stakes from 1890 until 1904 and even saw the famous Preakness Stakes in 1890.
A French Huguenot family, the Lorillards, settled in the area which is now known as Allerton as well as parts of the New York Botanical Garden back in the late 1700s. The family became extremely successful in the tobacco industry and their company would eventually give rise to Lorillard Inc, which makes Newport, Kent, and other cigarettes.
By 1840 they had built what is now known as The Snuff Mill at NYBG which according to the New York Times, “…tobacco was ground into smokeless, powdery form called snuff, which could be flavored and inhaled.”
It’s a little-known fact that our beautiful borough of The Bronx was, in fact, the first borough of New York City.
In 1874, the lands west of the Bronx River were annexed to New York County aka NYC.
As the frenzy picks up for today’s celebration for the ticker tape parade being thrown in honor of the US Women’s Soccer Team win, it is in fact not a first for women.
Although the US Women’s Soccer Team is indeed a first for a women’s team, there was one woman who got her own parade that has the honor of being the first—someone who eventually made our borough her home and final resting place.
Many people wouldn’t think that The Bronx would have any role in America’s independence but not only does our borough indeed play one but it is much bigger than you think including the march that was the final act of The American Revolution!
While many of us are off today for Presidents’ Day, do you know the connections that The Bronx has to Washington and Lincoln?
Some of you may already know your Bronx history, especially if you’ve read our Bronx Facts we’ve been compiling since last year but since today’s a holiday why not talk a little more about our borough’s place in history.