Are you looking to catch a glimpse of the historical Bronx? Here are a few great places to start!
Edgar Allan Poe’s Cottage
Poe’s cottage has been restored and is now a museum that houses a collection of some of the original period furnishings that Poe and his wife, Virginia, owned. This includes the bed on which Virginia drew her last breath. It was in this cottage in the Bronx that Poe composed many of his famous poems, including Annabel Lee, which was the last full poem that Poe wrote.
When you’re planning a visit, please take note that the cottage is only open on Saturday and Sunday. The short film and the guided tour are definitely worth the $5 price of admission.
Woodlawn Cemetery is 150 years old, and it hosts the bodily remains of over 300,000 people. A truly beautiful, peaceful place to visit and reflect, you will marvel at the beautiful monuments and memorial sculptures dotted amongst the magnificent landscaping. Those interred there included famous figures from history, notable artists, and leaders, and some remembered only by their name on a headstone.
Guided tours are available, or you can take a tour of your own, and visit the final resting place of such greats as Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Augustus Julliard, Herman Melville, Joseph Pulitzer, and Fiorelo LaGuardia. You will find the grave of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, known for her work in the women’s rights movement. Rowland H. Macy, F.W. Woolworth, and James Cash Penney, department store founders, are both buried here. These are just a few of the famous gravesites you will discover. The history is rich and fascinating.
You can visit Woodlawn seven days a week. Hours are from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm.
Van Cortlandt House Museum
This historic house predates the United States! The Van Cortlandt House is the oldest building in the Bronx, and is almost 270 years old! Built-in 1748 as a home for the Van Cortlandt family, the mansion was turned into a house museum in 1897 and provides a view into the type of life that was possible in the 1700s. The Van Cortlandt House is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark, in addition to being a Bronx treasure!
Mark your calendar to visit the Van Cortlandt House Tuesday through Friday for a group tour or self-guided tour.
A wonderful example of French-style fortifications, Fort Schuyler was named for Major General Philip Schuyler of the Continental Army. It serves many purposes these days, containing a museum, the Stephen B. Luce Library, and offices of the State University of New York Maritime College. It was built in the aftermath of the War of 1812. This fort and many others were built up and down the east coast of the United States to prevent a foreign invasion.
The fort was designed to protect New York City from being attacked through Long Island Sound. It guards the eastern entrance to New York Harbor. On the other side of the East River, Fort Totten was built to work in tandem with Fort Schuyler to ensure the safety of the City. At one point, it housed 440 guns. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976, a portion of the fort was dedicated as a Maritime Industry Museum in 1986. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the history of the Fort, as well as the history of the Maritime industry and commercial shipping in the United States.
The museum is open to the public on weekdays. Be sure to pay a visit to this piece of history in the Bronx.