Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Hills Around My House - Jones Woods and Nearby

These two maps show the area around where I live these days at Franklin and Prospect Avenues. These maps, which I've never looked at too closely before, are eye openers. Apparently, the hill looming over Brighton Avenue, containing what's called Jones Woods, is called that because it once was the grounds of the estate of one Shipley T. Jones. So far, all I've found out about him is his gardener wrote an article on dahlia raising and he attended a fundraiser for the old Staten Island Hospital. Again, the lost history of the island is lurking everywhere.

The Cedars - Clearly, this estate was huge. It ran from Prospect to Brighton and from roughly Sumner to Harvard. Most of the property remains unbuilt on to this day and serves as a track for intrepid dirtbikers.

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S.R.Smith Infirmary - The core of the old Staten Island Hospital.

I've written and posted photos of this now crumbling place several times. It still holds a place in my heart and its current state and presumed future brings at least a nominal tear to my eye. The folks at the Kingston Lounge have a nice photo collection of the present state of the Infirmary's interior.

Richmond Rail Road & Light Co. Car House - Jersey Street and Victory Blvd. I'd always heard that the NYC Sanitation Garage had been some sort of machine shop in the past. Well, the map lets us know it was a garage for rail cars (presumably trolleys). You can even see the tracks running north up Jersey Street and west up Castleton Avenue.

From this overhead shot you can sort of see the footprint of the original building that's been added to over the decades by Sanitation.

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Borden's Condensed Milk Co. - Once upon a time, when Jersey Street was a flourishing commercial and industrial avenue, Elsie the Cow held sway over a factory turning out condensed milk for all the households. Now, sadly, both Borden's and the factory are no more. Elsie still lingers on but in a severely limited state.

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Anonymous said...

It's amazing the cedars estate
hasn't built built on. I wonder who owns it?

The Wasp said...

Jones Woods (as far as I'm aware) was bought and protected by NYC in the past decade. The community fought long and hard (with limited help from Councilman O'Donovan though he often gets the credit) to protect that property.

Bob Miller said...

My grandfather, Meyer Miller, was a milk distributor, originally for Borden's. His family lived on Winter Ave in New Brighton and later moved to Bard Ave at Baker Place. My father said my grandfather originally had a horse-drawn milk wagon. During the snowy season, he used one (same one?) with runners like a sleigh.

The Wasp said...

Very cool. And that's really not that long ago in the scheme of things.

Unknown said...

Hello there: Thank you _so_ much for this blog, which I'm just discovering.

I was wondering if you could help me identify one aspect of these old maps. What does the pink coloration signify?

My house is marked pink on this map,along with one neighbor, in the middle of a residential area, and I'd love to know what I can learn from that!

The Wasp said...

Yep. According to the atlas' legend, pink denotes a brick building. I hope you enjoying tooling around the posts.

You can see the legend here: