Dating a square
For a cemetery, the Square was remarkably filled with life, however.
Burials were generally done on the cheap: bodies bound in canvas — sans coffins."A creek once ran thru the Square and the aged Hayfield Conygnam, Esq., when he was young, caught a fish of six inches in length. S., had told me that she has often seen Guinea natives, in the days of her youth, going to the grave of their friends early in the morning, and there leaving them victuals and rum!Another aged person told me of his often walking up the brook, barefooted, in the water, and catching crayfish." (Today the only water in the park is found in a fountain in the park's center and in a horse watering trough when rainfall backs up.) Rites similar to the Mexican "Day of the Dead" celebration were held in the park's early years by the black community. " In the years preceding the Revolutionary War, the Square was deemed a good pasture field — despite (or because of) nearly 60 years of burials!In 1766, Jasper Carpenter leased the field from the city toward that end.Erelong, Carpenter's cows would have to make way for the corpses of American and British soldiers.Walking on the Square 150 years after this beautification project, the historian John Francis Marion observed, "The trees in Washington Square are older, wider-spreading and taller than those in Independence Square, and the square itself has a more open spacious quality." The 6.4-acre Southeast Square was renamed Washington Square in 1825 to honor the great general and first President.
Start in the southwest corner and move clockwise...
We'll start our tour at 230 West Washington Square, where a cornucopia sculpted in stone overhangs a door.
Abounding with grapes, corn, and various comestibles, the horn of plenty provides a tasty welcome to the Farm Journal Building.
Christopher Morley, a nonpareil perambulator, and a writer who could turn a phrase with the athleticism and grace of a figure skater hitting a triple axel, wrote the following in a 1918 essay entitled Sauntering: "I love to annotate the phenomena of the city.
I can be as solitary in a city street as ever Thoreau was in Walden.
Today it is the largest farming magazine in the country, with specialized additions produced to meet particular regional needs.