as plums, wild cherries, and pears, grew wild in the woods; birds also
were plentiful, particularly pigeons, which were chased by the foxes
York streets in 1748 were pleasantly shaded by water, beech and locust
trees, lime trees, and elms, which were populous with birds, and,
amusingly enough, were criticised by strangers as affording homes for
tree toads, whose " clamorous voices " aroused protest.
elevations of rock at Fort George (196th Street), Fort Washington
(176th Street), the Inwood Ridge (207th Street), and the Kingsbridge
hills (222nd Street) are familiar and yet undisturbed. Their enduring
nature precludes any serious alteration. But the hills which covered
the present business section of the city were made of loose material
and have generally disappeared. Near 8th Street and Broadway (Sandy
Hill Lane) was a hill of sand, a yellow variety, very generally found
on the surface and probably representing stream agencies; this merged
into a neighboring mound west of Broadway at 10th Street. At Provost
and Varick Streets was a ridge, formerly surmounted by a fort, standing
in 1797, which witnessed the retreat of Washington to White Plains.
A lateral ridge, probably kame-like in character, viz., a
heaped, elongated mound formed under or within glaciers, extended from
Warren Street to near Canal Street, where the Lispenard farm lay.
Richmond Hill, called by the youngsters of half a century ago " The
General's Woods," and where " Tivoli Garden " stood, a place of
romantic loveliness, with huge oaks and chestnuts, was north of Canal
Street, a genial retreat for "those on pleasure bent."
hill, whose substratum forms the down grade to Broadway toward Canal
Street, rose at Franklin Street and declined towards the still obvious
hollow of Centre Street, commanding the Collect Pond and the
inconspicuous city to the south. Bunker's Hill stood at the junction of
Grand, Orange and Elm Streets, a steep accumulation of earth, boulder
and sand, one hundred feet higher than the level of Grand Street.