A Walking Tour of Park Slope
This trip will take us to the old Lawrence homes in the Park Slope district of Brooklyn. Once again we suggest using Grand Army Plaza as your starting point, which is described in Getting There.
This time however, instead of turning left at Grand Army Plaza and heading east on Eastern Parkway, as we did for our Crown Heights and Williamsburg tours, we will turn left and head down the west side of Prospect Park.
We'll walk down Prospect Park West, although we could as easily walk down 7th or 8th Avenue, through the lovely Park Slope area, so named because it's on the west slope of Prospect Park.
The first cross street we encounter is President Street. Sound familiar? Well we're on President Street on the west side of Prospect Park, but if you walk a straight line east through the northern tip of the Park, when you come out the other side, you will be on that part of President Street that takes us to Crown Heights and Sterling Place, where Virginia Lawrence was to settle and raise her family after she married Arthur Somers. On tis tour however, we'll be visiting the houses that Virginia grew up in as a young girl, which are located on the other side of the Prospect Park.
Side trip: The Old Stone House
Walk down 5 blocks to 3rd Street, then turn west and walk over to 5th Avenue, where you will find the entrance to the Washington Park / JJ Byrne Playground. This is where The Old Stone House can be found. Located in a reconstructed 1699 Dutch farmhouse that was central to The Battle of Brooklyn, the Old Stone House is a 1930 reconstruction -- with some original materials -- of the Vechte-Cortelyou House, which was destroyed in 1897. Today it is a museum and community resource that explores the American Revolution, and life in colonial Brooklyn. OSH features a historic interpretive center with a permanent exhibit on The Battle of Brooklyn.
Here is a fascinating account of what was called The Battle of Long Island but should really be calledThe Battle of Brooklyn. This article was written in 1993, when the OSH was apparently being used as a comfort station.
From there it's just a few steps away to 311 4th street, which was the first Brooklyn home of Andrew and Ellen Lawrence. They were living there at the time of the 1870 Census. Prior to that they were apparently living on East 12th Street in Manhattan, which is my neck of the woods as well as Andrew's.
Proceed east a short ways to 367 4th Street, which was the home the Lawrences moved to in 1871, and where they remained for many years. As seen below, they were still living there at the time of the 1880 Census.
The 1880 Census shows the following residents of 367 4th St. Brooklyn:
Andrew W. 44 New York
Ellen Virginia 44 Ireland
* Enoch Pink 24 Brooklyn
Andrew W. Jr. 20
Annie Idalene 18
* Virgina Augusta 14
Hiram Van der Voort 10
Frederick Meltzer 8
Irving Sylvester 2
James McCloskey 59 Ireland
Susan McCloskey 56 Ireland
Side Trip: Greenwood Cemetery
This beautiful spot is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and they say its beautiful grounds are a great place for a picnic on a nice day. It's worth a visit even if you don't have relatives buried there. In our case we do have Lawrence ancestors buried in Greenwood, notably Virginia's grandparents, ELiza vanderVoort and Enoch Lawrence.
To get there from The Old Stone House head south on 5th Avenue, until you reach the main entrance to Greenwood Cemetery on 5th Ave. at 25th St.