E. Bronx History Forum to walk the Square

The East Bronx History Forum and the Huntington Free Library will offer a free walking tour of Westchester Square on Saturday, August 15th. The tour will begin at the Tremont East Diner at Ericson Place and will include all historic points in the area beginning with Crow Hill from which the British fired upon the Americans during the Revolutionary War. A brief history of the First Presbyterian Church of Throggs Neck now upon that hill will also be given and the former site of the Harrington School for Boys will also be pointed out. The tour will then continue past Lehman High School to the White Castle where the original Dock Street, once the oldest street in the Bronx, will be pointed out. It lies not far from the historic marker placed in front of the White Castle by the Schildwachter family.

The tour will continue on Westchester Avenue past the Chippewa Democratic Club to Commerce Avenue and the Ferris Family Cemetery before stopping at St. Peter’s Church and cemetery. Many prominent names from the early days of our borough can be found on the gravestones therein. There is one in the shape of a snuff box that is the final resting place of one of the Lorillard children. That family is recalled, among other things, for their connection with the tobacco industry and their snuff mill which still stands in the New York Botanical Gardens. The southern end of St. Peter’s Cemetery has no gravestones on it as it is the final resting place of Quakers who do not believe in that custom.

The tour will continue around past P. S. 12 where a brief talk about John Condon and his connection with the Lindbergh kidnapping case will be given before proceeding along Frisby Avenue where additional historic sites will be mentioned prior to crossing Tremont Avenue to point out the former site of Owen Clinton’s blacksmith shop, the old courthouse, post office and police station. The large white building with the theatrical masks is still referred to as the white elephant and it, too, will be discussed. The tour will then proceed to the veteran’s memorial at Tremont and Lane Avenues and will end at the Huntington Free Library with a tour of that historic building. Participants will meet at the diner at 10 a.m. sharp and comfortable shoes are suggested. You may also wish to bring along a camera. The free tour is expected to end at 12 noon and is open to all area residents. It will be led by members of the History Forum.

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