As a cool autumn breeze settled in on his home among the trees on the western slope of Inwood Hill, Walter Francis Burns awoke from a terrible dream. Lost in a chilling nightmare Burns had just witnessed his youngest son, Otway, run over by an automobile not far from the family’s northern Manhattan home.
The elder Burns rushed inside from the porch, where he had been napping, to find his eight-year-old boy playing with his brother in the parlor.
The forty-six year old father had never been so relieved to see his children.
The dream had been so graphic…so shockingly real.
In fact, the nightmare had frightened Burns so much that he mentioned it to his wife, Ursula, later that evening.
Burns, a successful banker from a prominent American family, doted on his wife and kids.
His home, named “Ursulian Terrace” as a tribute to his wife, Ursula, overlooked the Hudson River.
Years later the Burn’s property, and many others, would be absorbed into a great city park, but in 1912 the surrounding land was still in private hands.