One of several peninsulas which protrude into the East River from the southern Bronx, Clason Point stands between the mouth of the Bronx River and, to the east, Pugsley's Creek. The site of a large Native American settlement, comprising more than seventy dwellings, it was known as Snapakins, "land by the two waters", when the first European settler, Thomas Cornell, established his farm in the mid-seventeenth century. Dotted with summer estates in the nineteenth century (when it borrowed the name of landowner Isaac Clason), the riverside settlement soon attracted excursion steamers from downtown, offering swimming, restaurants, dance halls, and other amusements. With the building of the IRT tracks above Westchester Avenue in 1920, the neighborhood became home to commuting families. In the 1980's, the last of the large beach clubs was replaced by a public housing project.
[Back to Index]