Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea brownstone’

The mystery of Chelsea’s Van Dolsom Row

August 18, 2011

The Clement Clark Moore house, an Underground Railroad stop . . . Chelsea’s leafy streets are packed with New York history.

Another example: the three handsome brownstones with lovely wide windows at numbers 322, 324, and 326 West 20th Street, about halfway between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

A plaque affixed to one notes that they make up Van Dolsom Row and date to 1858.

Very cool . . . but who was Van Dolsom?

There’s no mention of anyone with this name in several different archives. Yet someone prominent enough to warrant a plaque or his descendants ought to be noted somewhere.

Perhaps Van Dolsom is simply a misspelling of Van Dolson—the surname of a Dutch settler who came to New York before 1648.

Forgotten New York also turns up the possibility of a spelling error.