Richard Gore Family Time Capsule- #2 Throggs Neck

April 15, 2016

If you drive south on the Hutchinson River Parkway toward the Bronx Whitestone Bridge,  you will pass under Westchester Avenue and the elevated subway above it which terminates at Pelham Bay Park.

Next, you will  pass under Tremont Avenue.  Then, looking  out the passenger side window, you will see Westchester Creek  (run off from the East River, NYC ) parallel with the Parkway .

Now,  squint your eyes and you will see General William Howe and 4,000 Red Coats on barges approaching their disembarkation point…Westchcester Square at  Throggs Neck.   The day is October 3, 1776 , eighteen  months after Lexington  and Howe is making a second, wider swing up the East River to outflank General Washington’s forces and trap him on Manhattan Island, after failing to cut him off at Kips Bay ( 32nd Street NYC )

Throggs Neck  is a peninsula separating Long Island Sound from and the East River and at high tide Throggs Neck itself is an island.  Its marshes are not at all conducive to military operations

Howe  was met with sustained rifle fire coming from the  high ground off Tremont Avenue ( I suppose ).  Howe, then decided  to withdraw  his men on  barges reversing down Westchester Creek  and land again at Pells Point, Pelham Bay ( further east ) …. better ground on which to conduct military  operations.

But Howe  didn’t  act fast enough and  Washington  escaped  again at Pelham,  after contesting Howe’s landing .  A series of moving skirmishes ensued  as Howe  pursued the rebels north to White Plains where a pitched battle took place at Battle Hill with the rebels defending from high ground.  General Howe then decided to discontinue his pursuit of Washington  and instead , double back toward Manhattan where he understood remnants of Washington’s forces remained.

Finally, Washington was able to escape across the Hudson (sans Tappan Zee Bridge) into the relative safety of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  But Throggs Neck had secured its place in American History, just  as starting a few decades later,  my mother’s family, the Tenetys would secure their  place in the history of Throggs Neck.

The Tenety involvement in Throggs Neck would start in the year 1830 with the arrival of Matthew “ Daddy”  Roach “ ( Wexford, Ireland ), my great , great grandfather .  He worked for a Protestant landowner and he  put in the Rose window over the entry of  Saint Raymond Church, Parkchester.  That work earned him a grave site, in perpetuity, in the small cemetery in front of the Church and there lies his grand daughter, ( my grand mother), Lillian Springstead and her father, Augustus Springstead, a Protestant.

Springstead. , had been disowned by his family for marrying a Catholic, my great grandmother, Margaret  Roach. He died at age twenty nine and I remember my mother recounting  she had been told Springstead’s family attended their son’s  burial, but refused to leave their  horse drawn coaches on Tremont Avenue  so that they sat there, under their umbrellas, in the rain  without any consoling words for their son’s wife or  discourse with  her Catholic family.

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