Entrance To The Past: Broadway & Isham Streets | Forgotten New York

Broadway & Isham

While meandering aimlessly in upper Manhattan in February 2013 I came upon a single intersection, Broadway and Isham Street, where there are several leftover relicts from several different ages that still survive.

Before getting into those, I’d like to dispute the pronunciation of the name Isham, which, I’m told, is EYE-sham. This is plainly ridiculous. Since this is a one-syllable word, it should sensibly be pronounced the way the “i” is pronounced in the word is or it, which is always the way I did it until told differently. Then again, I think Corelyou should be pronounced KOR-tel-yew and Houston should be pronounced the same as the city in Texas.

The Isham family, who lived in northern Manhattan in the 19th Century, donated some of their land to the City in 1912, which was made into the park, and a street that was later built here also got the Isham name.

If you exit the 207th Street station, the end of the line of the A train, at the northern end, you’ll be on Broadway a bit north of Isham Street. From there, walk a short way up Broadway to the entrance of Isham Park, one of three large parks in upper Manhattan along the Hudson River. You will see a retaining wall made of boulders where the southern entrance to the park leads west. There is a door-like object in brownstone right next to the entrance. It’s not a door — it’s the 12-mile marker of the Post Road to Boston (and Albany — the roads split in the Bronx), which, at one time, was the only road in these parts.

Read more: BROADWAY and ISHAM STREETS, Inwood | | Forgotten New YorkForgotten New York.


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