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Marnie Hall

You write, "There is also little trace of the challenging McGowan's Pass Road, which was described as late as 1893 as "wild and precipitous."
The highest point is behind the Conservatory North Garden, where the old Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul building stood. It burned in 1848, but remnants of walls and steps are still there. It was on the old Kingsbridge Road, and there is a picture of it on a slab in the Park as you ascend the hill south of Fort Clinton. My guess was that this was McGowan's Pass, but another "slab" in the park near 110th and Fifth Ave. has a picture of McGowan's pass that shows it to be between Fort Clinton and Nutter's Battery.

petey

i want that map!

margot sheehan

McGowan's Pass is essentially the same as the part of East Drive that descends by the cliffs in a deep s-shaped curve near Harlem Meer. It led to the west, not to the north as in your map. It went by the 1814 blockhouse which is still standing in the North Woods. The Convent buildings were an infirmary in the Civil War, a tavern again afterwards, burned in the 1880s, then rebuilt as a tavern till about 1917.

margot sheehan

1) Here's a lightning bolt. That British map is a military map from 1776. The clearly delineated Kingsbridge Road leading off north and east is clearly wrong and intended to deceive. The terrain may be largely accurate. But maps and drawings from the early 19th century clearly show a switchback leading to west and south and north again after leaving the tavern.

2) The bottom of the map is not around 110th st but about 102nd St.

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