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Do You Remember?

"Seabury Creek Blooms"

    
Cross Bronx Expressway
 
This photo is looking toward the Cross Bronx Expressway from the Westchester Avenue subway tracks below Zerega Avenue
During World War II it was used as a victory garden.

(Reprinted from the Bronx Times Reporter March 29, 1990)

The photograph above was taken in 1962 by Ed Wolf, a teacher who doubled as a musician in German bands. It's interesting to note that he was a grandson of Adam Hoffmann, the proprietor of Hoffman's Park which was located at the southwest corner of Bruckner Boulevard and East Tremont Avenue many years ago.

He took this intriguing photograph from the easterly catwalk of the Westchester Avneue el just south of the Zerega Avenue station. It shows a fascinating array of gardens between Westchester and Waterbury Avenues south of Zerega Avenue.

Seabury Creek once flowed through this site. It connected Bear Swamp, which was located near Bronxdale and Fowler Avenue, to Westchester Creek at Ellis Avenue. The west end of the creek was fresh water and the east end saline.

The creek divided the Seabury farm of the early 1700's. In the 1800's it was the northern boundary of the village of Unionport. The Munn family owned that half of the property south of the creek from the 1850's to the 1890's. The southern border was 15th Street in the village of Unionport. The larger section of the farm north of the creek was owned by the Conbert family at that time. It was located in the village of Westchester.

The tract continued as farmland, although somewhat overgrown, through the 1930's. During World War II, the land shown in the photo was used as a large Victory Garden. Even when this picture was taken in 1962, the area was sectioned off by wooden fences and used for crop production. Note the tool shed and well between the two trees in the center foreground.

The huge gas tank in the background was a local landmark for many years. Edna Plappert, one of the most knowledgeable Bronxites on this area, remembers when it was used for the storage of illuminating gas. The Gulf Refining Company took over the property on January 3, 1927 and the tank was already there although it is doubtful that they had any need for it. Cirillo Brothers was located on the adjoining land and took over the plant when Gulf departed in 1972. The tank was gone at this time and it seems likely that Gulf removed it as a prelude to or as a condition of sale.

The Westchester Creek Center was constructed at the site of the old Seabury farm during 1988 and 1989 with the parking lot completed by July of 1989.

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