Our Next Free History Presentation
The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group's March 30 program on "Lost Movie Houses in the Bloomingdale Neighborhood" has been postponed.
In order to be certain not to do anything to endanger the health of the terrific people who attend our programs, we will reschedule when the current health crisis passes.
We hope that will be soon.
Upcoming Free Walking Tour
This Month's Theme:
"Muskets, Mayhem, and Baking Powder (W. 105th St)"
will be rescheduled when the current health crisis passes. We hope that will be soon.
Explore the history of the
with local historian
More information at
The latest blog, second of a three part series, by Pam Tice, member of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group’s Planning Committee:
In the early days of the nineteenth century as the population of New York City expanded, how to care for elderly citizens, particularly the poor, became a problem. Until then, old people were cared for by their families, or taken into the home of a friend. Poor people who ended up in the City’s Poor House were not differentiated from the mentally ill or dissolute people who were unable to care for themselves.
One of the West Side’s historic organizations, the Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females, was formed in 1814 to deal with the problem of poor elderly women. The history of their Home at 891 Amsterdam Avenue has been covered in an earlier post but will be described here again, with new information recovered from a trove of their Annual reports discovered at the New York Public Library.
Five other homes were in close proximity, starting in the late 19th century and into the early days of the 20th century, some lasting until the 1970s when everything changed with new Federal programs. This three-part article covers the history of caring for the aged in our neighborhood at these institutions and two others from more modern times, covered in Part 3:
Read the second of three blogs on this topic at Growing Old in Bloomindale: Nineteenth Century Homes for the Aged Part 2
Books BNHG members are reading and discussing
Recommended by Pam Tice, BNHG planning committee member
Spy Sites of New York City
H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace
Georgetown University Press, 2020
A companion volume to another on spy sites in Washington, DC, this glossy guide is full of photos of the sites, arranged by historical period, covering the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, to the rise of communism and fascism in the 20th century to Russian sleeper agents in the twenty-first century. The 200+ sites are described and often photographed. Better still, there is a map grouping sites, so I checked out the Upper West Side to see if our Bloomingdale neighborhood had sheltered any spies.
There was Sidney Reilly, at 260 Riverside Drive who spied against the then-new Bolshevik government, trying to save the Romanovs and assassinate Lenin. Unfortunately, he was lured back to Russia where he was executed in 1925. . .
Read more of this recommendation and More Books at BNHG Bookshelf
Missed one of our Past Events?
"Tin Pan Alley" video recently added on our Past Events Page
The BNHG offers presentations of local historical interest monthly between September and June as described at our UPCOMING EVENTS page. Thanks to the Columbus Amsterdam BID, videos of past BNHG presentations are being added to our website. October's "Tin Pan Alley" presentation is the latest addition at our PAST EVENTS page.
Join Our Mailing List
If you would like email notifications of our monthly presentations, send a request through our Contact Us page.
As part of its "Tin Pan Alley" presentation on September 24, 2019, the BNHG presented its "Second Annual Jim Torain Award" to Cal Jones, Manhattan Borough Historian Emeritus, for his work in furthering the public’s knowledge of, and interest in, the history of the city. Dr. Rob Snyder, the current Manhattan Borough Historian, made the presentation in behalf of the BNHG.
See the video at our Past Events page.
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group promotes education and research on the history of the Bloomingdale neighborhood of New York City's Upper West Side from 96th to 110th Street between Central Park and Riverside Drive. For more than 300 years, the area has been referred to as Bloomingdale after the Netherlands town of Bloemendaal, Dutch for "valley of flowers."
Learn more about our group's activities at our ABOUT US page.
The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group began in 2000 as the Park West Neighborhood History Group.
BNHG Library Collection
During renovation of the Bloomingdale
branch of the New York Public Library, public access to the collection is limited. Come visit the collection when the library reopens in late spring of 2020.
The BNHG Library Collection, located at the Bloomingdale branch of the New York Public Library, contains more than a thousand items of local history in 150 categories, for example, this book excerpt from the "Pasteur Institute" file. Explore the history of your Bloomingdale neighborhood. Come to the library to explore the many items in this file and the 150 other files!
More information at BNHG Library Collection.
Read historical background on the New York Pasteur Institute at Pam Tice’s blog: The New York Pasteur Institute
'Park West Village was one of Robert Moses's earlier housing projects. It was intended to provide an incentive to middle- income residents to return to the Upper West Side and be part of the multi-economic, multi-ethnic neighborhood. Winifred Armstrong and Barbara Earnest wrote this pamphlet in 2007 for the Park West Neighborhood History Group (predecessor of the BNHG.)
Read the entire pamphlet at
Park West Village.
1917 New York Military Census
While doing historical research at the New York County Clerk's office, Gilbert Tauber, member of the BNHG planning committee, came across a surprising document. In this article he notes the significance of the long overlooked and highly informative 1917 New York Military Census and its possibilities for further research. Read his account at
1917 New York Military Census.