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An overview of Isle Of New York’s Fort Tryon Park tour
April 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM

With over 25 years of experience and unrivaled knowledge, Isle Of New York Tours offers experience that even New Yorkers could learn from. Unlike the competition, we provide a unique perspective and unmatched island-to-island tours.

Here’s what you’ll learn on our Fort Tryon Park tour:

Before settlement

Before white European settlement, this high land's inhabitants were a local Native American people, the Lenni Lanape of the Delaware Nation. The island's main hunting trail, called the Wiechquaesgeck, ran right along this ridge's base. Now the trail is called Broadway.

The origins of its name

On our Fort Tryon Park tour, you’ll learn this park played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, and eventually American independence.

During this conflict, this area was colloquially known as Mount Washington. Situated near the Hudson River, it was one of many battle sites along its banks. In fact, it was the location of a watershed moment in the American Revolution known as The Battle of Fort Washington.

This was a critical Continental army defeat. Ultimately, the British named the site after William Tryon, the last British governor of colonial New York City. After the war, however, Americans adopted the name, and it’s remained ever since.

Margaret Corbin

Running through the park are Margaret Corbin Circle and Margaret Corbin Drive. These were named after a woman who defended against British troops.

Precipitated by Corbin’s husband, John Corbin, being struck down, Margaret commandeered his cannon. A veritable trailblazer, Margaret became the first woman to receive a military pension.

20th-century changes

Early in the 20th century, affluent Americans constructed ostentatious estates around Fort Tryon Park. Of these estates, Cornelius K. G. Billings’ is most notable.

A wealthy industrialist and horseman from Chicago, from 1901 to 1905, the construction of his mansion exceeded $2 million. This eventually became what’s known as Tryon Hall. In 1909, for the Hudson Fulton Celebration, he financed a stele in the center of the park.

This stele commemorated Corbin and the Continental Army’s defense of the site. Remnants of his mansion remain. On our Fort Tryon Park tour, visitors can still see this stunning rubble.

Founding the park

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. bought Billings’ mansion in 1917. He hired the Olmsted Brothers architectural firm to develop the property in 1927.

Rockefeller had lofty dreams of breathtaking views. Before developing the park, Rockefeller bought the land on New Jersey’s side of the Hudson to preserve the scenery.

While Billings’ Mansion eventually burned down, the remaining structure was conserved. These major attractions include:

  • A small stucco gatehouse
  • Original estate walls
  • The entrance arcade
  • The driveway

In 1935, the park was completed and given as a gift to New York City. The Isle of New York’s Fort Tryon Park tour provides an extensive and illuminating tour of all these features and the entire park’s history.

Book a tour now!

If you’re visiting New York City, or even if you’re a native New Yorker, our Fort Tryon Park tour is an awing account of a park that played crucial roles in both New York City’s and America’s history. With over 25 years of experience and unparalleled trans-isle tours, we provide a truly unique perspective of New York. We know The Big Apple inside and out, right down to its core. Book a tour now to rediscover New York City’s magic!