The long-gone East Side hamlet of Odellville

Busy, corporate Third Avenue at 49th Street is often referred to by the bland Midtown East, or the more illustrious Turtle Bay.

But more than 170 years ago, in the 1840s, it was the rural outpost of Odellville—named for the barkeep who ran a tavern there, according to New York: Old & New, a guide from 1902.

How country was it? “Open fields lay to the west of Odellville in that slow-moving time, but to the east a few scattered houses flecked the river-bank, and one of these, set down at the foot of Forty-Ninth Street, was for a time the country home of Horace Greeley,” the book states.

The only communication Odellville had with the city to the south was an hourly stagecoach Third Avenue.

Another memoir of 19th century life, A Tour Around New York, by John Flavel Mines, recalls Odellville:

“At forty-ninth Street and Third Avenue was a tiny hamlet known as Odellville, which owed its patronymic to Mr. Odell, who kept a country tavern at the corner first named, and with whom life agreed so well that he nearly lived out a century.”

[Illustration: 49th Street at the East River, circa 1840, from New York’s Turtle Bay Old & New by Edmund T. Delaney]

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10 Responses to “The long-gone East Side hamlet of Odellville”

  1. petey Says:

    great find!

  2. Lorraine Says:

    Wow, will have to look into this.

    Lorraine O’Dell

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Could be a relative?

  4. Ricky Says:

    If I stare very hard at the drawing, so hard that I can see 100 years into the future, I think I can see my apartment building being built.

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Are there still goats hanging around East 49th Street, like in the illustration?

  6. wildnewyork Says:

    it must have been a pretty small outpost. I could barely find any illustrations or sketches.

    • petey Says:

      yes i hadn’t heard of it, and i thought i’d done enough research by now that i knew all the east side villages. so again, great find! the book does say it’s a ‘tiny hamlet.’ time to go to the maps!

  7. Ryan C Says:

    Maybe no goats hanging around E49th st but one was spotted not too far away dining on a big slice inside Famous Famiglia pizza at 50th & Broadway yesterday. You can google ‘goat pizza midtown’ and it comes right up! Huffington Post has an article about it.

  8. Gentrification comes to Manhattan’s Dutch Hill | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] century Manhattan was dotted by lots of small villages. But few were as poor and wretched as Dutch Hill, centered around 42nd Street near the East […]

  9. Lorraine Vittitoe Says:

    The long-gone East Side hamlet of Odellville | Ephemeral New York

    […]Publisher: Diana Daybreak Paller Being a public trust shouldn’t be a simple activity, transparency is all the time anticipated in that matter, thus, I could say, that as a Certified Public Accountant is also not that an easy job.[…]

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