Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Burr marriage’

A Colonial-era relic outside an uptown mansion

May 13, 2013

MorrisjumelmansionThe Morris-Jumel Mansion (right), on 160th Street east of St. Nicholas Avenue, is a lovely time capsule of the 18th century city.

Built in the 1760s by British colonel Roger Morris as a breezy hilltop retreat called Mount Morris, it was used as a headquarters by George Washington during the Revolution. (Yep, Washington really did sleep here!)

MorrisjumelmilemarkerIn 1810, wealthy couple Stephen and Eliza Jumel turned it into a French-inspired country home, where they entertained prominent residents of the young city.

After her husband died, social-climbing Eliza’s new spouse, Aaron Burr, moved in—a fascinating story for another post.

Anyway, two hundred years later, the Georgian-Federal style mansion is a museum. But perhaps the most interesting relic is a slab of stone on the grounds outside the house.

It’s a mile marker. Before GPS, maps, and even a city street grid, mile markers were set in the ground on roads outside the city. They let travelers know how far they were from today’s downtown.

MorrisjumelmilemarkercloseupThis mile marker says we’re 11 miles north, not a short distance back in the day.

An accompanying plaque explains that the mile marker was originally placed in 1769 on Kingsbridge Road, which ran along Broadway, according to Myinwood.net.

Mile markers have been disappearing for generations. Apparently a nine-mile marker remained in Upper Manhattan until as recently as 1991.

As far as I know, there’s only one other mile marker left in the ground: this beauty on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. I hope it’s still there.