The Kolch or Kalch-Hook Pond, as it was in Olden Times

Click thumbnail to view larger, or here to view full size.




George Hayward
Valnetine's Manual


Collection of author
Collect Pond (called Kalchhook by the Dutch)was initially a spring-fed pond covering about seventy acres fringed by marshland created by its many outlets and surrounded by wooded hills. According to many, “there was no more beautiful spot on the lower island.” But the carelessness of New York’s inhabitants quickly led to its pollution.

In 1803, the city recommended that the Collect be filled in; the process was slow but but finally completed by 1815. The city then proceeded to sell off lots in and around the Collect on which buildings soon arose. But the porousness of this “made ground” made it a highly unhealthy environment and, according to one commentator, "a prolific source of disease."

But this was the site upon which many black New Yorkers--my great-great-great-grandparents among them--would build their homes.



George Hayward, “The Kolch or Kalch-Hook Pond, as it was in Olden Times,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,