Draper Park and Draper House

on Route 9 Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, NY (northern border is Washington Street)


John William Draper

1811  -- born at St. Helens near Liverpool. He studied at the University of London. 

1832  -- came to the United States.

1835-1836  -- studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

1837  -- elected professor of chemistry at the University of the City of New York.  He discovers photography, two years before the development of the daguerreotype.  His early achievements included a photograph of the moon and objects through a microscope.

1838  -- during a visit to France, Samuel F. B. Morse met Louis Daguerre; they became good friends; Morse became one of the first to practice using daguerreotypes in the United States.  He later shared a studio with John W. Draper, an expert in chemistry.

1839  --  Daguerre's announcement of his discovery was at once taken up by Draper.  He focused on the process and became the first person in the world to apply it to individuals. The first photographic portrait was of his sister Catherine.

1840 -1850  -- he was professor of medicine at the University of the City of New York.  Draper set up a partnership with Samuel Morse, a colleague at New York University. Draper was also actively engaged with Morse in the production of the telegraph. It was his experiments that established the practicality of utilizing electricity for sending messages over long distances.

1840 (March)  --  he presented the Lyceum of natural history in New York with the first representation of the moon's surface ever taken by photography.

1840 (June) -- his first "successful" portrait, "Dorothy Draper."

1847 Mr. Draper bought a 20-acre property in Hastings on Hudson overlooking the village. The federal-style farmhouse-like dwelling was white with five columns.

1850-1873  -- John W. Draper was president of the medical school of the University of the City of New York.

1874-1881  -- he was professor of chemistry at the University of the City of New York.

1876-1877  --  first president of the American Chemical Society.

1882  -- he died at Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

The park sits adjacent to the Draper house.  John Draper's sons, Daniel Draper and Henry Draper (1837-1882) were active in designing and constructing the observatory in Hastings.

Sources: Williams, Gray. 2003. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County. Pp. 290-292. Westchester County, NY: Westchester County Historical Society.

Stan Klos, Virtual American Biographies, http://www.virtualology.com/johnwilliamdraper/


There are two large lawns with quite a number of trees.  The southern lawn is on flat ground; the northern lawn slopes down to Washington Avenue. The western border is woods and slopes down to Aqueduct Lane.  There is an informal trail leading west down the hill to Aqueduct Lane which is also part of the path of the Old Croton Aqueduct.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
9/20/04 = plant blooming on date of field trip, 9/20/04

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer sp. (Japanese maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cedrus atlanticus (atlas cedar) planted
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus spp. (hawthorn)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Magnolia sp. (magnolia) planted
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor-vitae)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) planted
Hibiscus syriacus (rose of Sharon) planted
Ilex verticillata (winterberry) ?
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Spiraea japonica (Japanese spiraea) 9/20/04 planted
Syringa vulgaris (lilac)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry) a real problem here
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis terniflora (sweet autumn clematis)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil) ?
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 9/20/04
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 9/20/04
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 9/20/04
Hosta sp. (hosta) planted
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 9/20/04
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 9/20/04
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod) 9/20/04
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)

Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)