Category Archives: History

A street by any other name – Gropecunt Lane – London – Brooklyn?

Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn NY © Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York posted today “a sweet story” about Love Lane in Brooklyn Heights (see image above). Contemporaneously, my friend Dr. Andrew Irving and I were walking in Brooklyn Heights the other evening after seeing the German film The White Ribbon, and while passing Love Lane, he told me the story about Gropecunt Lane in London.

Magpie Lane in Oxford, once known as Gropecunt Lane - Wikipedia

Gropecunt Lane was a street name found in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages, believed to be a reference to the prostitution centred on those areas; it was normal practice for a medieval street name to reflect the street’s function or the economic activity taking place within it. Gropecunt, the earliest known use of which is in about 1230, appears to have been derived as a compound of the words grope and cunt. Streets with that name were often in the busiest parts of medieval towns and cities, and at least one appears to have been an important thoroughfare.

Although the name was once common throughout England, changes in attitude resulted in its being replaced by more innocuous versions such as Grape Lane. Gropecunt was last recorded as a street name in 1561. – Wikipedia

The Virgin Queen Elizabeth the First’s reign commenced in 1558. I’m sure eradicating “cunt” from street names was on her shortlist.

Wikipedia

The map above is described in a caption in Wikipedia as:

A 1720 map of Bread Street and Cordwainer wards included in a 19th-century edition of John Stow’s Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster. The routes of three extinct streets are highlighted in blue, Puppekirtylane on the left, “Grope Countlane” in the middle, and Bordhawlane on the right. The location is opposite the modern-day Mercers’ Hall. Little Fryday Street [sic] (Pissing Alley) is visible on the left. – Wikipedia

In David Carroll’s interview with comic book author Neil Gaiman @ Tabula-Rasa, Gaiman was quoted as saying:

I’ve been reading my way through a book on London street names — it’s fascinating, especially when you’re in the older parts. Each street name comes with a huge chunk of city, and of history. You discover that Love Lane was originally called Grope Cunt Lane, and you realise what kind of love was for sale in Love Lane. Apparently most major cities had a Love Lane, or a Grope Cunt Lane, or something, and it was always very near the cathedral, which I find interesting.Tabula-Rasa dot info

The Guardian UK also claims:

Those names survive, but others were so rude they were changed or disappeared altogether. ‘Sherborne Lane, near Cannon Street, was originally Shiteburn Lane, meaning shit house after the public lavatories in it,’ Mills says. The Corporation might also be less than keen on an alley off Cheapside called, er, Gropecunt Lane. – A street by any other name…
…might be easier to sell.
By Chris Partridge
Guardian UK

Oh well, it’s “sweet” to know that things weren’t always so quaint.

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Today is the Sesquicentennial of Charles Ebbets’ Birth – October 29, 1859 – April 18, 1925 – Green-Wood Cemetery

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Charles Ebbets – Wikipedia

Charles Ebbets circa 1915 - Wikipedia

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE - Charles Ebbets circa 1915 - Wikipedia

Ebbets Field

Ebbets Field - Wikipedia

William Oothout & Son – Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

NY TImes

NY TImes

Born in NYC on Aug. 6, 1856. The last of an old New York Dutch family, Oothout was a descendant of George Washington and J. P. Morgan. The desire for a milder climate led him to San Francisco in 1892. He was a close friend of artist Charles Rollo Peters; their grandfathers had been banking friends in NYC. A wealthy philanthropist, Oothout died in San Francisco on Aug. 29, 1927. Member: Bohemian Club - Courtesy of Ask Art dot com

Son of William Oothout - Born in NYC on Aug. 6, 1856. The last of an old New York Dutch family, Oothout was a descendant of George Washington and J. P. Morgan. The desire for a milder climate led him to San Francisco in 1892. He was a close friend of artist Charles Rollo Peters; their grandfathers had been banking friends in NYC. A wealthy philanthropist, Oothout died in San Francisco on Aug. 29, 1927. Member: Bohemian Club - Courtesy of Ask Art dot com

Teaching 9/11

Teaching 9/11 - Lessons to inspire your students

Teaching 9/11 - Lessons to inspire your students
(CLICK ON THIS LOGO FOR LINK TO TEACHING 9-11 Website)

CLICK HERE for Remembrance Presentation

Union Station Historic District – Tacoma, WA

American Plumbing & Steam Supply Co

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

West Coast Grocery

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

McDonald & Smith

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Davies Building

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Wiegel Candy Co

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Waymarking

Waymarking

Tacoma’s Union Station Historic District (PDF)
Waymarking – West Coast Grocery

Atlantic Paper Co – River Street & MLK Blvd – Savannah, GA

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

NY Times

NY Times

Savannah History – A New Georgia Encyclopedia

Chatham Artillery Punch – River House – Savannah, GA

From the River House Restaurant - 125 River Street - Savannah, GA

From the River House Restaurant - 125 River Street - Savannah, GA

From

From the River House Restaurant - 125 River Street - Savannah, GA

Google Archives

Google Archives

More from the ACT UP Archive

Greg Bordowitz interviews Frank Jump in ACT-UP Gay Pride Concentration Camp Float - a response to William F. Buckley Jrs HIV Tattoo Proposal

Greg Bordowitz interviews Frank Jump in ACT-UP Gay Pride Concentration Camp Float - a response to William F. Buckley Jr's HIV Tattoo Proposal

Lea Delaria & Frank Jump emcees an Albany LGBT event in 1988 - Tom Stoddard in background.

Lea Delaria & Frank Jump (co- emcees) at an Albany LGBT event in 1988 - Tom Stoddard in background to the left.

Eric Sawyer & Frank Jump with Mark Fotopoulos (Andy Humm in background)

Eric Sawyer & Frank Jump with Mark Fotopoulos (Andy Humm in background)

Eric Sawyer, Willy Jump & Frank Jump @ NYC Gay Pride March 1988

Eric Sawyer, Willy Jump & Frank Jump @ NYC Gay Pride March 1988

Frank Jump & Eric Sawyer

Frank Jump & Eric Sawyer

Phil Reed at ACT-UP Stop the Church Demonstration @ St Patricks Cathedral

Phil Reed at ACT-UP Stop the Church Demonstration @ St Patrick's Cathedral

Pilgrims Decision to Leave Holland for the New World – Ancestry dot com

It appeared to the English community that the Dutch did not remember the Lord’s Day and keep it holy, but after Sunday church services allowed feasting and merrymaking—especially among the children. This was intolerable to the English. – Duane A. Cline

Pilgrims Departure from Delft Haven

Pilgrims Departure from Delft Haven

I’m surprised there isn’t a Dutch National Holiday for when the Pilgrims decided to leave the Netherlands.

NYPL Digital Gallery

NYPL Digital Gallery

Which reminds me of a life-sized diorama at the Pilgrims Museum in Provincetown depicting “The Pilgrims Find the Corn.” They stole it. And as went the corn, so went the rest of the New World.

Galileo Temple Part of Anarchist History – Montrose Avenue – Bushwick, Brooklyn

17-19 Montrose Avenue - Bushwick - © Frank H. Jump

17-19 Montrose Avenue - Bushwick - © Frank H. Jump

Anarchist Voices By Paul Avrich, Paul Avrich Collection (Library of Congress)

Anarchist Voices By Paul Avrich, Paul Avrich Collection (Library of Congress)¹

¹ Google Books

Supreme Court 101 – Dred Scott Decision – Eyes on St. Louis

Dred Scott v. Sanford case at the Supreme Court of the United States

Dred Scott, plaintiff in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sanford case at the Supreme Court of the United States Painted by Louis Schultze, commissioned by a "group of Negro citizens" and presented to the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, in 1882. - Wikipedia

Dred Scott vs. Sandford – Wikipedia

Happy Birthday Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) - 1931 - Wikimedia Commons

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) - pictured in May 1944 - Wikimedia Commons

Mahatma Gandhi – Wikipedia

the bowery boys on: Jamaica, Queens

Jamaica Queens - © Frank H. Jump

Jamaica Queens - © Frank H. Jump

Name That Neighborhood: Jamaica is an English distortion of an Algonquin tribe that inhabited this Long Island outpost — the Jameco Indians (also referred to as the Yamecah tribe). They were named after the Algonquin word for beaver. –    Bowery Boys

Banca Stabile Update!

Banca Stabile - taken from Little Italy by Emelie Aleandri

Banca Stabile - taken from "Little Italy" by Emelie Aleandri - Google Books¹

¹ Google Books

Latest NY Times article: In Little Italy, a Former Bank Will Now Hold Immigrants’ Memories by VINCENT M. MALLOZZI – Published: September 9, 2008

Previous Fading Ad posting

Keller Hotel & Bar – West Side Hwy & Barrow – NY Landmarks Preservation

Keller Hotel & Bar

Keller Hotel & Bar
© Frank H. Jump

Read NYC Landmarks Preservation proposal

Hotel Keller
The Keller Hotel
Photo: 1939-41, New York City Department of Finance

I remember as a teenager dancing at Keller’s on hot summer nights in the mid 1970s.