Monday, April 18, 2011

Trip to Split Rock

Split Rock Then & Now. The left photograph appears in "The Battle of Pell's Point" by William Abbatt 1901. The right photo is how the area appears today.

Last year when I started to research the battle of Pell’s Point I came across the story of Split Rock. Split Rock is giant glacial bolder that is cracked through in half, like a huge egg. This natural wonder has been a local attraction for eons. It is rumored that Ann Hutchinson, hide in the crack, but was found and murdered by local Indians in 1643. The rock has marked a trail that has run through this area since pre-colonial times. The pathway later became Split Rock Road. During the Revolutionary War the Battle of Pell’s Point was fought along it.
View Looking for Split Rock in a larger map
Last November I made my way to Split Rock golf course in an attempted to find this landmark & photograph it. I parked my car in the golf course’s parking lot & followed the bridle trail. The bridle trail loops around the entire golf course. This end of the trail follows the edge of the Hutchinson River tidal marsh. It then bumps up against the Hutchinson Parkway on the left. This area was hit last summer by a tornado that also struck further to the west in the Bronx. A number of large trees have been knocked over. As I walked further, I kept thinking it would be around the next corner, but no dice. And I gave up.

Photograph from the Abbatt book by E.S. Bennett and Z.T. Benson  1901

Last month I had better luck. This time I started my walk from the trail entrance on Beech Tree Lane. The walk is not as far, but it borders I95 & so it is not so nice. After sighting the rock across the entrance ramp, I realized that I had stopped almost at the same point on the trail the first time. Somehow I missed seeing the rock. To get to it you must dash across to entrance ramp traffic so be careful. The rock is located on a triangular traffic island. Bounded by I95 and the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Shot with Holga 120N with Fuji 100
I shot 3 or 4 roll’s of film using my Holga 120N & Holga wide-angle pinhole camera. I tried to get the rock from the same angle that is in the William Abbatt’s book. However the undergrowth is such that it totally obscures the rock when seen from that angle. Moving closer I was able to approximate the original 1901 photograph.
Wide Angle Pinhole shot. I've removed the interior masking frame, so the image is full frame. This is almost the same location as the 1901 photograph.

Wide Angle Pinhole shot vertical. Again I've removed the interior masking frame, so the image is full frame.

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