Ida's Journal part 2 C Connelly mcgil email@example.com
From the journal of Ida Dudley Dale
Another sightseeing walk, which covered at least six miles of up and down hill strolling from Manordale (her home on old Manor Road) to Thompkinsville, is carefully recorded. "For sometime I've been anxious to walk along Forest Avenue to see where it ends, so this morning mother and I set out on the exploration."
"A lovely new colonial house of gray shingles and gray green roof has been erected on the n.w. corner of Bement Avenue by Mr. Charles Ingles, next to the Creighton's. There is an apple orchard between, and it overlooks a wide expanse of purple downs southward. The way was familiar as far as Bard Avenue… On the corners of Bard and Forest Avenues are three old time homes, mellowed with age. One, on s.w. corner is a buff brick, almost hidden behind oaks and a very high picket fence covered with honeysuckle. The entrance at corner is very picturesque - a rustic arched gateway for carriages, and a turnstile for pedestrians. Because Forest Avenue is a bit crooked along here to those coming westward it appears to end at this entrance. Here Bard Avenue becomes a soft dirt road disappearing southward around a curve, a favorite of the equestrian."
"On opposite corner stands a rather square house of gray hewn stone, with tower rising at one end, the grounds, once well kept, are now little more than fields - but it would take more than that to make this stately edifice lose its dignity."
"Set almost a block back from either road is the magnificent Hoyt mansion in its own park. Like an old English manor house, low, wide and rambling, of stucco and half timber, facing south. It is bounded by a substantial stonewall for what seems like a half mile. Alas, this really superb has succumbed to the common invader; streets have been cut crisscross over its velvety lawns and openings made through the wall. Already two or three crude houses have been put up, like ugly blots on a beautiful masterpiece…"
"As we proceeded downhill we gazed over the stonewall and saw a vivid green meadow between us and a dense woodland…at the foot of the hill Forest Avenue seemed to end between two massive stone posts. Three lanes (streets) were here to choose from and we took one circling upward, very steep indeed but were repaid by the glorious view…to Kill van Kull and Newark Bay. Turning our backs upon the view, some pretty new villas were ahead of us in a fine new development at Brighton Heights. We came to a great circular space called Haven Esplanade with large roomy homes…"
"We left the road at this point, crossing a barren hill top where New York City lay directly ahead, coming out near the infirmary (old SI Hospital). The flag there was at half mast for Judge Stephen D. Stephens. We went up Westervelt Avenue to Fort Hill admiring Stumpps' castle of yellow brick and Kahle's opposite, then around corner and up hill to old Low mansion and down to Curtis High School and the Castleton Apartments, on down steep hill to Stuyvesant Place, passed my old Staten Island Academy, and thence to the Carnegie Library. We went in and spent several hours reading some old pamphlets on S.I. - Geo. Wm. Curtis's 'Centenial Address on Staten Island' and Margaret Lynd's 'Staten Island and Staten Islanders' … As we walked to Tompkinsville, through a new street, was disgusted with horrible Cotton Building, at waterfront, ruining view of Narrows and pretty cove between Clifton and Fort Wadsworth!."
To be continued…….
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