Greenwich Point is it’s official name, but almost everyone I know calls it Tod’s Point or, simply, Tod’s. Through the years it has been called by several names:
Prior to 1640 it was known as Monakawaye.
Some time after 1640 it became Elizabeth’s Neck – that name coming from Elizabeth Feaks one of the first settlers in Greenwich and who, ‘under the first Indian deed,’ became a part owner of the property.
Old Greenwich Point was the next name it had.
In the 1880’s and 90’s a New York banker started buying land plots on the point until he, basically, owned it all and it became known as Tod’s Point or, as Tod called his residence at the point, ‘Innis Arden’ (not the Innis Arden we are familiar with today in Greenwich).
In 1945 the Town of Greenwich bought the property and changed the name to Greenwich Point.
It’s a large property (about 140 acres); not as varied in the number of walking trails as, say, the smaller Pomerance; but still rich in things to see and do. There are:
remnants of the old Innis Arden estate
beautiful gardens maintained by the Garden Club of Old Greenwich
wildlife: deer, egrets, cormorants, seagulls, (pesky) Canadian geese, and horseshoe crabs come on shore on the beaches (unfortunately many die on the rocks, too)
On most days you can see Manhattan from the Point; on clear days (and evenings) that view is amazing!
The best thing about the point: the sunrises! Almost everyone from Greenwich with an Instagram account has posted at least one picture taken of the sunrise from Tod’s Point. Scroll through mine and you’ll find a period two summers ago when there were at least three almost every day
I took a walk there this morning to see what the beach would look like after last night’s snow. I wanted to get there before sunrise (7:09 today), though not expecting much from it because of the clouds. I was fortunate that the skies cleared up enough to get a few decent pictures, though.
Because of the shoes I wore, I didn’t do much more than walk along the shore this morning experimenting with different shutter speeds and playing around.
SIDE NOTE/FUN FACT: in 1906 Mr. & Mrs. Tod began offering the use of Innis Arden Cottage and a location on the property called ‘the Camp’ for the use of nurses from Columbia/Presbyterian as a weekend/summer getaway for a fee of $1.00 paid to the school. The practice continued well after his death in 1925 until at least the late 30s. The alumnae publication, The Quarterly Magazine, often published small pieces by some of those nurses relating their experiences at Innis Arden, including the time they tried to sing a song of thanks to Mr. Tod outside his office. Tod, being a very private man, did not open the door.
Originally the property of Ernest Seton, one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America, the Town of Greenwich (Connecticut, USA) acquired this 100+ acre property in 2002 and developed it into a public park with a handful of trails through woods and ruins of the old mansion and buildings. It is almost seamlessly connected to the Montgomery Pinetum, adding another 60+ acres of paths.
Except for a few signs pointing to either Orchard Street (east) or the Montgomery Pinetum (west) scattered here and there, one could easily get lost their first couple of times wandering these trails which criss-cross each other without much else in the way of guidance – I did my first time out and, then, once again showing the place to my niece when I thought I knew every path. Quite embarrassing.
What I love about this place:
It’s less than two miles from home so, in the Spring through Fall I often walk here,
It’s set off far enough from the busy part of town so that, even on the periphery of the park, mostly what you hear are birds, the wind and running water,
There are neat ruins of the old mansion and other structures [history buffs: Barbara W. Tuchman wrote The Guns of August while living here! I read this book in my late teens – I didn’t read very much of anything in those days, so it brought forth a sweet memory to see that fact noted on one of the plaques on the standing outer wall shown below]
More recently I’ve been taking my camera for a walk there to take long-exposure photos of the water running through the brooks and off of Cos Cob Pond. I’ve only recently started taking pictures like this so, though I love the results so far, I know I’ve a bit to learn about setting the right shutter speed, aperture and selecting the best ISO setting (that digital cameras have an ISO setting is still baffling to me, but I understand it).
Below are a few I took today & one from earlier this month (you can find more on my insta (cheap plug): https://www.instagram.com/joearf). Enjoy and let me know what you think – very open to and appreciative of constructive criticism and tips.