Current River Conditions

Natural and Social History

Bronx River Bio-log

Photo Galleries

List of Native Plants and Animals

Bronx River Stories

Histories

Gators in the Bronx!

The Old Snuff Mill

Jumpin' Jupiter!

The Mile Square

What's an Alewife, Anyway?

Water for Concrete

Paddling Back in the Day

1895 Tragedy in a Bronx River Swimming Hole

William Hart, the Bronx River Cowboy

Cowboys on the Bronx

Brittannia Rule the Bronx

The Old Drovers Inn

Look Out for the Little People!

Happy Birthday Bronx River Alliance

The Witch Canoe

Woodlawn Brook

The Mighty Kensico

The Battle of White Plains

Launching the Golden Ball

The Left Bank of the Bronx

Awaiting the Alewife

The Boltons of Bronxdale

Ann Hanson, the Bronx River Stevedore

Aunt Sarah Held the Bridge

Jerry, the Bronx River Sea Lion

How the Bronx Got Its Name

Lloyd Ultan's History of the Bronx River

The Wishing Rock

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Bronx?

Big Brown Joe Plugs the Pipe

Ungrateful Old Scrooge

Jonas the Peacemaker

Beaver Tales

Why the Beaver?

Bronx River Parkway Reservation

The Pudding Rock

The Rocking Stone

Edgar Allan Poe and the Bronx River

Shipbuilding on the Bronx

The First Canoes on the Bronx

There Were Bears in There

McAdam's Bronx River Driveway

The Mid-Bronx Ride of Paul Revere

The Many Names of Van Nest

The Frozen Water Trade

Colonel Burr Burns the Blockhouse

Beavers on the Bronx

Songs

Greenway Stories

River Restoration Stories

Video

The Rocking Stone

The most spectacular glacial erratic in the Bronx River valley is the Rocking Stone in the Bronx Zoo.  Ten feet wide, over seven feet high and weighing some 30 tons, the pink granite boulder was carried down by the glaciers of the last Ice Age.  When the glacier finally melted, it left the huge stone perched atop a bedrock outcrop overlooking the newly-carved course of the Bronx River.

 

The bedrock displays grooves worn by the friction of stones pushed across it by the glacier, including the groove made by the Rocking Stone itself as it was eased towards its final resting place.  Once there the stone was left so finely balanced that the force of one or two men could make it visibly rock on its natural pivot.  Rocked, but not moved: local legend tells of a team of 24 oxen that once tried and failed to dislodge it.

 

Colonial surveyors used the stone as a landmark to fix the northern boundary of the town of West Farms, and the DeLancey family, who once owned the land thereabouts, would often take their weekend guests for a carriage ride from their mansion just across the Bronx River to see the wonderful Rocking Stone.

 

When the Rocking Stone was included in the new Bronx Zoological Park in 1895 it quickly became one of the zoo’s most popular attractions, depicted on postcards and innumerable family photographs showing people putting their shoulders into it.  Zoo officials, though, feared that one day someone was going to rock the Rocking Stone a bit too far, and so they shored up its base.  Today the Rocking Stone rocks no more, but you can still see it right outside the House of Darkness.  You can also look at the glacial grooves in the bedrock and feel them with your fingers, a most accessible piece of the geological history of the Bronx River.

 

Stephen Paul DeVillo