Split Rock (Bronx, New York)

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Split Rock

Split Rock is a large dome-shaped granite boulder measuring approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) from north to south and 15 feet (4.6 m) from east to west. It is located in the borough of The Bronx in New York City, at the southeast corner of the intersection of the New England Thruway (I-95) and the Hutchinson River Parkway, near the border of the Bronx and Westchester County, and near the village of Pelham Manor. The rock is located just outside Pelham Bay Park in an island formed by the two mentioned highways and the off ramp from northbound Hutchinson Parkway to northbound I-95. Because of its location, it is only accessible by crossing a usually busy thoroughfare. A park trail, called the Split Rock Trail, at one time led from Bartow traffic circle to the rock, but the paved trail is now mostly buried underground or in inaccessible vegetation, and only remnants of it are visible.

In addition to its imposing size, Split Rock has historical significance as being the location near where, in 1643, Anne Hutchinson and members of her family were massacred by Native Americans of the Siwanoy Tribe. It is possible that Hutchinson's group was mistaken for Dutch colonists who had violent conflicts with the Siwanoy. According to her son, Anne Hutchinson attempted to hide in this crevice during the attack,[citation needed] but a more likely scenario is that her daughter, Susanna, the only member of the family to survive the massacre, was at the rock during the time of the attack, which took place at the house, a distance away.[1]

The rock appears to be a glacial erratic that may have originated as far north as Canada.[citation needed] It derives its name from a large crevice dividing the stone into two half domes. The huge rock broke in half about 10,000 years ago under the stress of glacial movements.[2] The boulder is of enough historic importance that in the 1950s officials were persuaded by the Bronx Historical Society to move the planned Interstate 95 New York State Thruway a few feet north to save Split Rock from being dynamited.[3] It was saved by Dr. Theodore Kazimiroff, the society's co-founder.[4]

In 1911, the Colonial Dames of the State of New York placed a bronze tablet on Split Rock in honor of Anne Hutchinson. The plaque is now gone, probably due to vandalism. It read:[5]


Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638

Because of her Devotion to Religious Liberty This Courageous Woman

Sought Freedom from Persecution in New Netherland

Near this Rock in 1643 She and her Household

were Massacred by Indians

This Tablet is placed here by the Colonial Dames of the State of New York

ANNO DOMINI MCMXI Virtutes Majorurn Filiae Conservant

Today the Split Rock may be in danger of falling off a man-made cliff onto the Hutchinson River Parkway 30 feet (9.1 m) below.[citation needed] The nearby Split Rock Golf Course was named after it, and a nearby street in Pelham Manor, Split Rock Drive, is north of it.

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  1. ^ LaPlante, Eve (2004). American Jezebel, the Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman who Defied the Puritans. San Francisco: Harper Collins. p. 239. 
  2. ^ New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. "Split Rock/Split Rock Trail". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  3. ^ McNamara, John (1993). History in Asphalt: The Origin of Bronx Street and Place Names. Bronx County Historical Society. p. 189. ISBN 0-941980-16-2. 
  4. ^ "Kazimiroff Nature Trail - Historical Sign". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Split Rock: a Pelham Landmark for Centuries". Retrieved 2011-08-23. 

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Coordinates: 40°53′11″N 73°48′54″W / 40.88639°N 73.81500°W / 40.88639; -73.81500