23.Oct.2016 Acacia Terrace
Acacia Terrace is named after the Acacia tree. The Standard Star reported that the name comes from three large acacia trees at the western edge of the property. Another resident recalls that acacia trees “lined the street.” Today, no acacia trees appear to remain.
The acacia, also known as “the wattles,” is a member of the legume family. It is not native to New York, favoring warmer climes. I suspect — and this is pure speculation — that the existence of acacia trees at this locale in New Rochelle was due to the proximity of the dock on Ferris Creek, which was used in the 1800s for trading with the West Indies.
Starting in the 1820s, the land was owned by David Harrison, a Brooklyn attorney who acquired the property as his country seat. Harrison was reportedly an “eccentric” — which appears to have meant that he suffered from dementia and bequeathed only meager amounts to next of kin. His will(s) (successfully contested) specified for his internment on “Round Island,” an island located in Echo Bay. Round Island is now one of the islands in Five Islands Park, now aptly called Harrison’s Island. I could find no record of Harrison’s final resting place, so I can’t rule out that he is buried there.
In any event, by 1872 the property was owned by George W. Davids, the son of Thaddeus Davids, prominent ink manufacturer and namesake of Davids Island. Thaddeus made George a partner in the business, who reportedly incurred massive amounts of debt, unbeknownst to his father, ruining the business. About this time, George passed away of an overdose of laudanum in the Grand Union Hotel in Manhattan. Whether or not his death was a suicide was debated.
Thus the property changed hands yet again — this time to Theodore P. Jenkins and his wife Charlotte Coles Jenkins. It is at this point when records start to call the homestead, “Acacia.” Theodore Jenkins was a successful “sash, blind, and door” manufacturer. Charlotte was a doctor — apparently a very skilled diagnostician who refused “many inducenents” to practice among the wealthy, instead tending to the poor pro bono.
In 1902, Jenkins sold the land to Charles LeCount, who, along with Charles Harman subdivided the land.
One can see that “C.W. Harman” owns a house on Park Ave and that “Thos. Jenkins” owns two parcels around where “Acacia” is pictured on the other maps.