Some of the maps below are photos [JPEG files] and have no “functional” features. Simply click the image to view it apart from the text; click your browser back-button to return to page.
Maps which are viewed by clicking a link to “Connecticut History Online” do have “functional” features: zoom, pan up, pan down, etc. When you click these links, it already should be centered on Oyster Point/City Point, but you can move the map to other parts of New Haven from there.
The links to maps at Historic Mapworks also are funtional ONLY if you open a “free” account–and then deposit $10 into your account [on their secure site] via credit/debit card. This allows you to use “Enhanced Zoom” 250 times with no additional charge per view. With this feature, you actually can zoom in close enough to read the name of a house’s owner. [You also will have 250 “Enhanced Zoom” views of their entire collection of thousands of maps at no additional charge: a very worthwhile investment of $10 if you enjoy this sort of thing as much as your editor does!] After you open an account, you still can use the links below to view the specific map with enhanced zoom by typing in your user name & password in the upper right corner. [Your editor often finds it necessary to click the map title, then the back button on his web browser to get these maps to load.] Be sure to log out of your account before clicking back to the City Point website.
LINK PROBLEMS: Links, such as those below [or elsewhere on this City Point website] often become obsolete as editors of linked sites make changes. If you have trouble with any of the links below [or elsewhere on this website] please report it to this editor.
1824 Amos Doolittle “Plan of New Haven”
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The unnamed street marking the Northern boundary of the Oyster Point Quarter is Columbus Street [later called Columbus Avenue].
The part of the bed of the unnamed creek just North of Columbus Street will become the Derby Rail Road in 1870.
This creek merges with West Creek, the location of which is now covered by Route 34. Notice the distinct elevations separating The Oyster Point Quarter and Sodom Hill [later called Mount Pleasant and finally The Hill].
1838 Harbour Survey
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Compare with the 1846 Harbour survey below:
From 1840 City Directory
This map from the very first City Directory shows a “contemplated” development–dubbed City Point. Cf. maps above & below for actual depictions of Oyster Point from this era. The planner [G. Hallock?] shows the West River salt marsh filled with roads, but an angled road & bridge to West Haven [i.e. Kimberly] is not envisioned. The proposed development essentially covers all of Hallock’s land from Spring St. southward. The “Contemplated Wharf” at the end of City Point instead would become site of discharge pipe for raw sewage. Approximately 160 years later the pipe would become the foundation for the present City Point pier. “A member of the board mentioned that a young gentleman was desirous of compiling a directory and affixing numbers to buildings in the City.” [Nov.12, 1839 meeting of the Court of Common Council, predecessor of the Board of Aldermen]. This map was in the front of city directories for much of the 1840s.
1846 Harbor Survey
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Being intended primarily as a nautical map, this has one of the best drawings of the West River salt marsh, clearly showing the West boundary of the “point” i.e. Oyster Point [although the term Oyster Point Quarter referred to a much larger area, extending Northward to Columbus Ave.: i.e. all of that portion of New Haven bordering the harbor’s western shore]. The small farm house owned by Hallock [which he rented to a tenant-farmer] is clearly shown, as is the outcropping upon which his home rested [although his “Castle” is not depicted]. Most of the point appears to be under cultivation. There are no houses on the Southern tip [future site of South Water Street], but these will begin to appear shortly. The dark line left of Hallock’s Castle is a ropewalk [long building for manufacturing rope]. Most homes shown are on “New Streets in the Oyster point quarter” surrounding Spireworth Sq. [later called Trowbridge Square]: Carlisle, Port-see (Portsea), Salem & Cedar Sts., which, along with nearby Putnum & Liberty Sts., were approved by the Court of Common Council [predecessor of Board of Aldermen] on Sept. 3, 1830.
The homes just North of Spireworth Square are in Sodom Hill [later called “Mount Pleasant” and finally “The Hill”], separated from the Oyster Point Quarter by a small creek [although, adding to the “neighborhood identity” confusion, some 1830s deeds of properties South of Spireworth Sq describe them as being in “Mount Pleasant”. See http://nhpt.org/index.php/site/district/trowbridge_square_historic_district/.] Notice that the “point” is part of a much larger peninsula, bounded by the West River on the West, and West Creek & New Haven Harbor on the East. This peninsula incorporates both Sodom Hill [aka Mount Pleasant aka The Hill] and The Oyster Point Quarter. This–plus significant infilling of waterways from the 1860s to 1950s–will account for over a century of on-going disagreement over what constitutes the Hill neighborhood and the City Point neighborhood.
1849 View of New Haven, Connecticut From Ferry Hill
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The image below is a close-up excerpt at the left edge of the above-image, showing “Hallock’s Castle”.
West Water Street can be seen along the shore, with Hallock’s 2,000 foot-long stone wall bordering it. Cedar St. is behind the house. [Cassius St., which was constructed in the 1880s–c. 20 years after Hallock’s house was moved from its original site–today begins at Cedar St., just behind where the house is pictured. Note that a one-block fragment of West Water st. still exists behind the present Police Headquarters on Union Ave.–an obscure reminder of how far North the harbor once extended!]
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Just above the intersection of Lamberton & Cedar Streets one can see the semicircular outcropping in front of Gerard Hallock’s mansion [“Hallock’s Castle”]. Scroll down to the end of Oyster Point and note that the only road is Howard Ave. The only buildings visible are a house owned by Hallock [which he rented to a tenant-farmer] and buildings on the shore owned by R. Law [109 S. Water St.] and W. Barnes [103 S. Water St.] & a house at the end of Howard Ave. [19 Howard Ave., Eber Kelsey]. The raised cellars of these 3 houses have direct beach access, so oyster shucking & packing takes place here. This malodorous use of residences soon will change, as the oyster industry experiences tremendous growth throughout the second half of the 19th century. [Cf. 1868 wall map below] Early advertisements of R.W. Law claim that the company was founded in 1847. However, land records [v.123,p.404] show that William S. Barnes was the first oysterman at the Point, purchasing c. 2 acres of harborfront between the West River and Howard Ave. from Gerard Hallock in 1847. Barnes then sold some of this land to Denison Hall the following year. Richard W. Law purchased the parcel depicted on this map from Hall in 1850 [although it’s possible that Law initially worked from leased property, beginning in 1847 as the advertisements claimed; in an old, undated newspaper clipping given to this editor, which includes an interview of Law’s son, he claimes that his father founded the business in 1850]. Eber Kelsey is found in the 1852 city directory as “shipmaster” living at 20 Wallace St. However, directory information was gathered the preceding year, so his house likely was built the year this map was published: 1851. He is not found in the directory again until 1855, as a partner in [Frederick]Lane, Kelsey & Co., along with Charles Lane “mariner”. (Other Lanes were living on Wallace St. when Eber Kelsey lived there, so perhaps that is where the partnership was formed.) Richard W. Law & William S. Barnes of Oyster Point are listed in the city directory for the first time in 1852, again based on information gathered the preceding year. So, even though they owned land before that, perhaps their homes also were not built until 1851. By 1854 Alexander Foote “oyster dealer” also was working on the Point, and by 1857 a new partnership “Kelsey & Foote” had been formed.
By the time this map was created, Hallock owned not only most of the land from Spring St. southward, but also had invested in lots around Spireworth [Trowbridge] Square and paid for the 1851 construction of South Congregational Church on Columbus Ave., which you can see by scrolling up. [Due to the massive influx of Irish Catholic rail road workers, in 1875 this became the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, which closed in 2009.] Also, scroll to the right and follow West Water Street from Hallock’s mansion over to the intersection of Fleet Street [which today is the last southbound block of State St., alongside the Knights of Columbus Museum] , where the Long Wharf begins and extends 3/4 mile out into the harbor. One block of West Water St. [where it intersected Fleet] survives behind the present Police Headquarters on Union Ave.–an obscure reminder of just how far North New Haven Harbor once reached.
1867 Map commissioned by Hallock’s heirs
The original of this map is 25 1/2″ X 35 1/2″, so much detail was lost when reduced to fit the scanner. The title reads “Map of Building Lots in the City of New Haven Belonging to the Heirs of GERARD HALLOCK, Decd. Surveyed Nov. 1867 by Wm. Hartley C.E., Dep. Surveyor General.” This is a surveyor’s map, so Hallock & Greenwich Aves. & the numbered cross sts. had not yet been constructed. Many of the corner lots facing the Aves. soon were subdivided by developers to build small houses facing the cross sts. [like the one your editor lives in!]. The 2 R.R. tracks crossing Lamberton read “N.H.& N.Y. R.R.” [Later there would be 5 tracks, today 4.] The unnamed creek traversing the salt marsh originates just before Kimberly Ave.[This varies somewhat on other maps.] Script under title reads “State of Connecticut County of New Haven. New Haven Jany.24th 1868 Personally appeared Chas.B.Hotchkiss the signer and sealer of the above Certificate and acknowledged the same to be his free Actual deed before me.William S.Leonard[?]Town Clerk”.
By this time the Hallocks owned only 2 small lots facing Sea St: at Hallock Av. [At one time G. Hallock owned all of the land South of Sea St. as well.] Sea St. joins S. Water St. but intersection is covered at hightide. [Had to cut that bit off to fit scanner.] Script over West River: “I Chas.B.Hotchkiss Agent of the heirs of Gerard Hallock decd. who are owners of this land delivered and mapped and as this shall hereby qualify that the survey thereof as referenced as the same is substantially Correct.Witness my hand and Seal at New Haven this 24th day of Jany. A.D.1868 Signed,Sealed & Delivered C.B.Hotchkiss,agent S.S. in presence M.S.Seward[?] F.N.Bowin[?]” The plan was approved at a meeting of the Court of Common Council [predecessor of the Board of Aldermen] on May 4, 1868.
From 1868 New Haven County Atlas
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Not much detail in this map, but note that the Kimberly Avenue bridge crosses two islands.
From 1868 New Haven wall map
Another excellent depiction of the West River salt marsh, showing the outline of the “point” from which Oyster Point/City Point derived its name. The grid of new streets is shown. Hallock died in 1866, so the farmhouse he rented out [@ Fifth & Howard] is labelled “Hallock Est[ate]”. His home on Cedar St. has not yet been moved, but now is owned by the “N[ew] Y[ork] & N[ew] H[aven] R.R. Co.” West Water St. already has been obliterated by the rail road co. The name “Oyster Point” is placed between Fifth & Sixth Sts. where Bay View Park later will be developed. The West River salt meadow encroaches on part of Kimberly Ave. Down the center of Kimberly Ave. is the horse-drawn railway between “New Haven,West Haven & Savin Rock”. By the 1890s this will be electrified & extend down Howard Ave. Here’s a closeup of South Water Street on this same map:
Enlargement of Southern end of map: the only developed portion of Oyster Point. Investor M. C[lark] owns some land. The City Point school is depicted. The 2 oyster cos. on 1851 map [Law, Barnes] still exist, now joined by J[eremiah] Smith, W[illis] Smith, R.Tyler,C.Lane,E.Lane, plus E[ber] H.Kelsey [owning the house shown but not named on 1851 map], A[lexander]Foote,F.Lane, M.Manson, Mrs.[Von]Glahn, McNeal, Geo.Smith. Only house on Sea St. is L[ozelle] Foote. Most compay owners live on the north side of S. Water St [the so-called “oyster houses”] with actual business now taking place in Oyster Barns constructed on in-fill on the South side of S. Water St. [Original houses no longer have direct shore access.] In-filling had begun by at least 1860 when S. Water St. 1st appears in City Directory. Sea St. first appears in L. Foote’s 1866 property deed; property deeds of 1854 describe it as “a new street”, and for a number of years before that as “a cart path”.
From 1870-71 City Directory
This Directory map uses the traditional name Oyster Point. However this Directory is the first to describe two new streets as being in City Point–Second Street and Greenwich Ave–& describes the City Point School at 20 Howard Ave as being in City Point. Thus the names Oyster Point & City Point slowly begin to be used interchangeably. [Of course, this website’s editor does not intend to suggest the City Point merely consists of Second St., Greenwich Ave., & a single building on Howard Ave….] It’s difficult to see in this image, but West Creek & its branch North of Columbus St. are still visible. In the 1879 “birds eye view” they have disappeared. See below.
1872 Nautical Chart:
1872 Proposed Widening of South Water Street
By 1860 the southern beach had been extended to accommodate a new privately-owned street—South Water Street—with the oyster-related activities now taking place in oyster barns built upon additional infill on the opposite side of South Water Street. Due to the oyster industry’s rapid growth, the city drew up a plan in 1872 to take over and widen South Water St., although this plan was not carried out until 1886. “The City of New Haven has taken for the definite layout of South Water Street from the Easterly line of Greenwich Avenue extended, to the Southerly line of Sea Street a strip of land sixty feet (60′) wide, or so much of said strip as was not already dedicated to the use of a street from the owners fronting on said strip” Land Records, City of New Haven: Vol. 380, p. 471, March 3rd, 1886. The planned extension of Greenwich Ave. from Sea St. to S. Water St., referred to above and shown in this 1872 map as well as in the 1867 map commissioned by Gerard Hallock’s heirs, never was carried out.
From the 1877 Coast Survey
Compare with the 1868 wall map above: a few more buildings have been added to the waterfront oyster village [established when William Barnes purchased land here From Gerard Hallock in 1847].
In the nine years since they first were offered for sale, relatively few of the Hallock family’s City Point building lots [between Lamberton & Sea Streets] have been sold. Most of the new homes are in a cluster of modest “workers’ houses” around the intersection of Second St. and Greenwich Ave., built c. 1868 to c. 1871. The block of Greenwich between Third & Second seems to include 338 [with its unusual bargeboard], 348,352,356 & 362; the 2 lonely houses on the next block southward are likely 296 & 262, which remarkably have undergone few alterations [thus far…]. The row on Second St. are 86 [a corner grocery owned by Francis Hogan], 84, 80 [originally an exact duplicate of 84], 78 [originally a rare vernacular Gothic], & 76 [destroyed by fire c. 1990]. The single house near the corner of First & Howard likely is 317 Howard, an Italianate Villa whose square porch posts later were replaced with round Colonial Revival posts. 221 [?] Howard also can be seen [with bargeboards identical to 338 Greenwich]. Heading south on Greenwich Ave., the next 2 houses on the next block are likely 233 & 229 Greenwich Ave.
1879 “bird’s eye” view of New Haven
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Only a small portion of City Point is visible on this map: Lamberton to Second St. Note that “Hallock’s Castle” now has been moved across the street to the corner of Lamberton & Cedar Sts.[and is now owned by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Rail Road], and the portion of New Haven Harbor that the “Castle” once overlooked is now filled in.
Note that the harbor still extends northward to approx. Second St. & Hallock Ave. before the shoreline veers eastward.
From the 1888 New Haven Atlas
Upper Oyster Point/City Point. See description under previous image. Difficult to see in this copy, but land speculator M. Clark owns most of the West River salt marsh. [Cf. 1868 wall map above.]
From the 1893 State Atlas
To view this map clearly, you’ll need an account with Historic Mapworks, as explained above:
This is the first accurate map of City Point to use this name in place of the name Oyster Point [although the 1840 map depicting the “projected” development does likewise]. The name of Bay View Park had not yet been settled upon, so the cartographer simply calls it Waterside Park, or more likely confused it with another New Haven park called Waterside Park, which was located off Water Street and extended into the harbor. [That park is now the site of the I-95,I-91, & Rt 34 interchange.] The Boulevard is [like in the 1888 Atlas] still shown as a “planned” road, but has not yet been constructed.
1911 Atlas, plate 32
Another Historic Mapworks map [see explanation above to view clearly]: very detailed map that includes the upper half of City Point.
This map shows the Boulevard crossing the railroad tracks, but when this Atlas was drawn in 1911 this portion of the Boulevard stopped at Lamberton St. The nearest automobile bridge across the tracks was on Lamberton St., at the intersection of Plymouth St. In 1907 a footbridge [not shown on this map]–the Grant Street Bridge–was built so pedestrians could cross the rail road tracks between Grant St. and Morris St. [The first Boulevard Bridge crossing the tracks was not constructed until 1978. The Grant St. footbridge was demolished c. 1990.]
1911 Atlas, plate 33
And the lower half of City Point, likewise very detailed:
Notice that the Kimberly Ave. Bridges now cross only one island. This map shows the Boulevard continuing to Sea St., but in 1911 when this Atlas was drawn, this segment of the Boulevard only went from the Howard [Brick] Co., just South of the Railroad tracks, to Kimberly Ave. The remainder was a planned future extension of the Boulevard. [In 1929 the mouth of the West River was dredged, and the island which connected the two Kimberly Ave. bridges was eliminated so that only one bridge would be needed. The dredged material was used to fill the remainder of the West River salt marsh between Kimberly Ave. & Greenwich Ave.–thereby eliminating the “point” from which “City Point” had derived its name–and a dirt road was built between Kimberly Ave. & Sea St. Although officially considered a part of the Boulevard, residents referred to this dirt road as Dump Road due to the dump that developed along the shore here. By the mid 1930s the filled area between Kimberly & Greenwich Aves. had drained sufficiently to create the athletic field that exists there today.]
1911 Atlas, sewage system
Unlike plate No. 33 above, this appendix in the back of the 1911 New Haven Atlas gives a more accurate depiction of what the area between Sea St. & Kimberly Ave. looked like until 1929: a sewer pipe [installed in 1895] crossing the West River salt marsh, which residents used as a footbridge to cross the marsh. Notice that the water extends northward past Third St., between Greenwich & Kimberly Aves. [Also note that the Boulevard sewer pipe crosses the rail road tracks–even though there was no bridge here until 1978.]