Do You Remember?
"Tales of Headless Indians at the Haunted Cedar
Tom Casey leans against
the Roosevelt Rock at Haunted Cedar Knoll in the upper
reaches of Pelham Bay Park. He's pointing to the
Bronx Times Reporter on May 9, 2002)
I recently spent a good
chunk of a searing April afternoon traversing the full breadth
and width of the Haunted Cedar Knoll with Tom Casey but nary a
headless Indian did we see. Perhaps a visit at twilight or dusk
would garner different results with a group of Siwanoy holding
their heads aloft as they paraded and chanted their mournful
dirges. But, alas, that's for another to investigate.
The remote section of Pelham Bay Park where the knoll is located
is not very accessible to the public. The rocky shoreline and
densely wooded area is located on Shoal Harbor between Roosevelt
Cove and the city line on the former Elbert J. Roosevelt Estate.
These Roosevelt's were only distantly related to those of that
name known to occupy the White House. New York City acquired the
area for parkland in 1888. They paid $14,113.90 for the land and
$6,863 for the Roosevelt house. What is most interesting,
however, is that the area was far removed from the city at the
time, as this section of the Bronx east of the Bronx River was
not annexed to New York City from Westchester County until 1895.
It is a site long known to archeologists and a considerable
number of arrowheads were discovered on the site. The quantity
was such that it was believed that arrowheads were actually
manufactured here. Although this is still a very rocky area,
there did not appear to be any rocks there at this time suitable
for such a purpose.
History also tells us that it is believed to be the site of a
fierce battle between the marauding Matinecocks from Long Island
and the Siwanoy who inhabited this area. The latter were
defeated and allegedly decapitated. Since that fateful conflict,
sightings of Indians carrying their heads aloft in their hands
Although Tom and I did not see any apparitions on our two
visits, we did manage to locate an old inscription on a huge
boulder outcropping at the water's edge. It was difficult to
locate and time has eroded the once pronounced engraving. It
reads: Isaac Roosevelt, and the date 1833 is below it. We knew
it was somewhere on the knoll but had checked the area twice
before finally locating it. It is now very faint and it will not
be long before it is totally indecipherable.
Do You Remember