This week, I was browsing through some photos I had taken of the Throgs Neck Bridge a few months ago and it dawned on me that I'm always confused about how to spell the word "Throgs." Additionally, depending on the source, sometimes it is spelled with one "g" and others, it appeared with two.
This is the sort of stuff that gets my mind going and as a result, I decided to get to the bottom of things! In the process, I found out a few other interesting bits of historic information about this area that I thought would make for a a fun read. So, here we go!
Throckmorton was one of 39 settlers who signed an agreement to form of government in Providence, Rhode Island on July of 1640, according to Revolvy.com.
Three years later, he obtained a grant of land for himself and 35 others in the Providence settlement from Governor Willem Kieft in New Netherland (New York). According to Professor Lloyd Ultan, Bronx Borough Historian, "Throckmorton and his group, unfortunately came at a bad time. There was an Indian uprising that chased them all out and they were very lucky that there was a British warship that just happened to be passing by and saved everybody." Unfortunately Indians set fire to the houses, the farms and killed all the cattle which the group saw from the ship.
The New Netherlanders called this peninsula "Vriedelandt" which means "Land of Peace" in Dutch, because of the lush natural beauty of the region. According to Professor Ultan, after John Throckmorton and his group arrived in the area, and subsequently, left, shortly thereafter, it was called Throckmorton's Neck.
Now, from my research, according to BoweryBoys.com, ancient spellings of Throckmorton could also be "Throggmorton" or "Throgmorton" which would explain where the "g" (or "gg") originated. Eventually, considering that such a name was rather a mouthful, it was shortened to Throg(g)s Neck.
To add more interest to this name, BoweryBoys.com states that a cartographer called the area ''Frockes Neck'' in 1668, and George Washington mentioned ''Frog's Neck'' in a journal entry from 1776. That's right! According to Professor Ultan, "if you go all the way back at the time of the American revolution, when the British invaded the area, they saw the name throggs neck and they said, "what the heck is that?" They assumed it must mean Frog. And so all the British maps in the American revolution refer to it as Frog's Neck."
Two miles west of the Throgs Neck Bridge lies the Whitestone Bridge, built in 1939. By the mid-1940's, it was decided that another East River crossing would aid in reducing traffic. In 1957, construction began on a new suspension bridge, which would be the easternmost East River motor crossing. The Throgs Neck Bridge was completed and opened on January 11, 1961.
In the end, however, statistics show it did the opposite with an increase of motor vehicles and more traffic in the Bronx.
Geographically speaking, Throggs Neck is a narrow spit of land in the southeastern portion located in the borough of the Bronx in New York City. The Throgs Neck Bridge connects the Bronx with the neighborhood of Bay Terrace in the borough of Queens on Long Island.
"Throggs Neck" is also the name of the neighborhood of the peninsula, bounded on the north by East Tremont Avenue and Baisley Avenue, on the west by Westchester Creek, and on the other sides by the River and the Sound.
It seems that there has always been a bit of uncertainty as to how to spell Throggs - is it one g or two. However, traditionally throughout most of its history, the spelling has been with two g's.
Ironically, according to Bronx historian, Professor Lloyd Ultan, "some businesses that opened up in the area, local stores, put one G in there" opening things up for two possible spellings. Then at the time the Throgs Neck Bridge was being built, Robert Moses figured it would cost less in the amount of paint used on the street signs directing people to the bridge to have one g rather than two 'g's. And so he named the Throgs Neck Bridge with one g. Hard to believe, but that's how the story goes.
So, in the end, there really is no official way to spell Throg(g)'s!