DeLancey’s Cherries.

For today’s edition of the Street Name Game, we’re going to zero in on Delancey Street. Delancey Street was named after the patrician Loyalist and acting colonial governor of New York in the 1750s, James DeLancey. DeLancey was born into a rich landowning family who had the good fortune to own a sprawling farm downtown which stretched all the way from the East River to the Hudson. The pride and joy of the DeLancey farm was a spectacular cherry orchard, which was located on the site of present day Orchard Street.Orchard StSuffice it to say, old DeLancey chose sides poorly (spoiler alert: the British lose the War for American Independence) and so after the redcoats were sent packing the farm was forcibly confiscated and divided up among smaller (and decidedly not British sympathizing) landowners. Presumably his prize cherry trees were plowed under, seeing as how the last time I was on Orchard Street there were none to be found. Today all that remains of the legendary DeLancey cherries can be found on the uptown side of the F train subway platform in the form of several beautiful mosaics.Delancey Cherries

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