Old New York

You must have faced the courtyard.  When I first arrived, in Fall 1950, we were in the locker room.  I do remember in second year, being in a classroom in front, upper floor at end of building nearest the gym being built, from whence one could see the el.  I transferred out in June 1952

RJR posted:

Joe F, when were you a Mounty?

Hello RJR

I was a Mountie at Mt St Mikes in Sept. 1955 thru June 1959 -- when I left for a school on Park Avenue a few blocks from my Manhattan home.

When I first went to the Mount I took the Lex. Ave. Subway in Manhattan north and changed to the Bronx 3rd Ave EL at E.149th St Station...and took the Bronx portion of the 3rd Ave "EL" to its Gun Hill Road Station terminal,  where I went to the upper level to again ride the same route-line (White Plains Road EL) to Nereid Ave. Station to get to the Mount.  I did this because the 3rd Ave EL had just a few months before (on Thursday, May 12, 1955, 7PM.)  had permanently stopped all service below E. 149th Street, Bronx, south  to Chatham Square Terminal.  The 3rd AV EL was still standing abandoned in Manhattan by Sept. 1955 but was being dismantled,  including the EL station on my Block. 


Of Note!!:  The section of lower Bronx EL from Harlem River edge and to and from E.133rd St to E.149th St (The "Alley" double-decked EL from 133rd to 143 St Stations) was kept active but NON revenue -- as then only physical way to turn back trains south of the E.149th St "terminal" station until the track X-overs switches and signals at the north end of the then "new" Terminal -- could be installed and put in service. That was done by early 1957.

But I could still ride my old friends of 6-car trains of wooden EL cars  ( MUDC's and those Q Types) on the remaining Bronx portion from Friday May 13th, 1955 until the wood cars were replaced completely by Dec. 16, 1956,  by 6 car trains of steel ex-subway Low-V Steinway Cars.    Other times I just took the Lex Ave - White Plains Rd trains direct to the Mount - and back.

YOU were up in the Mount around 1950 to 1952 I think you stated --   therefore you know the neighborhood "look and feel and character"  that I described from my 1955-1958 period up there.  The sort of country-suburban aura of the area. Very quiet, safe, crime free and civilized way back 60 years ago !! I use to hang out at the IRT EL E. 239th St nyards by the gate at the north end of Barnes Avenue, and chat with the friendly gate man.  He even let me inside a few feet past the gate to see and take pictures of the wooden El trains stored there at their track bumpers.  Sometimes I went to the north end of the adjacent Byron Ave to see the trains stored alongside the shop building.  I had a school pal who lived at 4400 Wickham Ave whose apt. house I visited  also faced Barnes Ave. 

I was at the Mount  when the covered "bridge" being built between the Main Head-house building and the Gym-Cafeteria.  I saw the construction daily  from start to end -- I think it was started in 1957

Another pal, schoolmate, was Robert Mayer,  whose dad owned Mayers' Parkway Restaurant on E.233st down the hill west from the El station there at White Plains Rd.  Had many after-school snacks and "late lunches" there with Bob.  That famous restaurant and catering house finally closed down I think in the very late 1990's, perhaps into 2000 or so. A Multi level garage building is now on the site.

I have visited the mount countless times between the 1960's to just a few years ago !  Here are my 3 yearbooks from the Mount -- all in mint condition !

regards ! - Joe F


1956 Mt St Michael Yearbook1957 Mt St Michael Yearbook1958 Mt St Michael Yearbook

Joe F


Photos (3)

Joe, I lived in NJ and boarded.  Early on Monday morning, Mom would drive me to the bus stop on the NJ side of the GW.  I bus across, grab the SB A train (they were new then, with fluorescent lights) to 145th St, switch to the NB D to 205th ST, and then the 16 Webster Ave bus to the Mount.  Friday afternoon I had a choice: D to 59th and A to PA Bus terminal, or walk to 241st, and take the IRT down a few stations to catch the 3rd Ave El to 42nd St or go straight down to 42nd (don't remember if there was a transfer involved.)

In 1952 I switched to St. Peters Prep in JC, day-hopping.  The 44 bus crossed the Erie Station 4-track lead, and steam still hauled some commuter trains.  Down by the Prep, PRR still ran Exchange Place Station, with MU trains and one daily Jersey Coast train hauled by Baldwin Sharks.

I suspect the MSM area has changed drastically.

Speaking of that area, during WWII, Mom & I would take subway to visit Grandma who lived a few blocks from the Dyer Ave shuttle station.  2-car trains, open platform.

Hello RJR -----------

You, I and Lionel 1933 here could share some great memories of our riding those lines now gone - riding the great 3rd Ave EL-  or significantly changed  per the Dyre Ave. (ex-NYW&B RR) Line shuttle with wood IRT EL Gate cars which I rode a few times there in 1953,  and with IRT Hi-V subway cars from mid 1953 thru 1957 -- and the now very vintage -back then visual way the city looked in those times !!  The transit vehicles we rode -- all now long gone (except for a scant few cars in Museums or the NYC Transit Museum --- but riding them in daily revenue back then in the city the way it was,  are now all but distant memories.  Memories which spurred me to create the earlier HO EL layout and later O-Scale EL & Trolley layout and  vintage real estate and street scenes along the "EL" on the layout.

Wow, your mother sent you from NEW JERSEY to the Mount at the far east end of the Bronx !!! -- WHAT a long trip !!  And time consuming !  Obviously to board (live at the school,  a boarder) there for the week and come home weekends and holidays....and summers (?)   I boarded there part time in 1955-56.  Riding all that transit back then for you as very young back then must have been almost magical, enchanting  and exciting !  

If you have not seen my layout webpage, here is the Link to the Main PAGE and Albums PAGE. Some of the modeled scenes and rolling stock will be familiar to your memories of the prototypes.  Also check out the FAVORITES section photos - videos on my site

MAIN PAGE ----    https://www.flickr.com/photos/44268069@N00/

ALBUMS PAGE ----   https://www.flickr.com/photos/44268069@N00/albums

BELOW is an aerial MAP and aerial PHOTO of the Mount and the landmarks nearby circled in red

regards - Joe F

Mt St Michael Map and landmarks nearbyMt St Michael aerial & landmarks



Joe F


Photos (2)

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