Fun Park Facts


eventsThe curving coastline of Orchard Beach is a man-made invention, not a natural land formation. It was created in 1936 by connecting Hunter Island and Rodman’s Neck with landfill.

laguardia in office

During the hot summer of 1936, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved his office to Bartow-Pell Mansion in Pelham Bay Park.  His staff took the No. 6 train to work every day, getting off at the Pelham Bay Park station. The Mayor sent cars to pick them up.


EGR editA World War I naval training base once occupied almost all of Rodman’s Neck. Two celebrities who trained there (before becoming famous movie actors) were Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart—a little known fact noted by local historian Tom Casey in a public presentation on the subject of the base.

HB navy edit


Boy Scout Camp-sawing wood

The first Boy Scout camp in New York City, opened in 1911, was located on Hunter Island in Pelham Bay Park. This fun fact turned up  in an early scouting booklet found by local historian Jorge Santiago.  Camp tents were pitched in an area close to what is now the northern end of the Orchard Beach promenade.

(Although camping is not permitted today, the Urban Park Rangers host family camping programs during the summer. Watch for the dates on our Events page.)


trout lilies

Delicate Trout Lilies blanket large parts of Pelham Bay Park where the woods are moist.  They are among the first wildflowers to appear each spring, but only for a short time. Their colonies can be up to 300 years old.  The single, nodding yellow Trout Lily has mottled-brown coloring on its green leaves, giving it the appearance of a brook trout.