Clason Point is in the Soundview region of the Bronx, New York. The area is bordered by the East River to
the South, the Bronx River to the West, with Pugsley’s Creek bordering to the East region of this area of the Southernmost Bronx.
Clason Point was known to the early natives of the area, the Indians, as Iquahung. The site of a large Native
American settlement, comprising more than seventy dwellings, Clason Point was then known to the natives as Snapakins, “The Land By
The Two Waters.”
Clason Point was named after Isaak Clason, a major land owner. Development in the nineteenth
century soon attracted resort seekers and the area became known for its amusements and entertainment.
area was known in the early 20th century for its trolley cars on Soundview Avenue. There were Ferryboat and Steamer excursions from
“The Point” to downtown Manhattan as well as local service across the East River to College Point Queens.
Far out, near where the land meets the waters of the East River, arose a tall, perhaps a three story brick home. Neighbors were impressed
with the size, style and location of the large home. The structure was surrounded by acres of vacant land, studded with trees, bushes,
scrub brush and grasses.
It was to this land, in this house that a young couple returned, one afternoon,
from a morning trip to the City Hall in New York City.
Ernest Bernard Cruger, age 24, and Kathryn Veronica
Gorey, just shy of her 20th birthday, were married on August 4, 1896.
Ernest Cruger was a tall man, his height,
estimated at from 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 8 inches. A man of either height would have been thought of as a giant of a man during
his time. His bride, Kathryn, was 4 feet 11 inches in height. It has been said that Kathryn was born in Ireland, but records indicate
she was born in New York.
Ernest was a successful engineer, working for an elevator company based in New
York City. Kathryn, probably later in her marriage, perhaps after the death of her husband, worked as a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital
in the New York area.
There were no homes close to the Cruger residence in Clason Point. The children, born
of Ernest and Kathryn had acres in which to play. The Cruger children enjoyed a semi-rural lifestyle. They had friends, but their
best friends were each other. They created and wore grass skirts, made chicken bone necklaces and played wild games they called “Zulu
Warriors” and “Indians and Cannibals.”
The family enjoyed their own luxury Chris Craft motor boat.
The Cruger children heard, from their early years, that they carried some Indian blood in their veins. They were told that way back
they had ancestors from the Blackfoot Indian Tribes in North Dakota and Montana. Two more generations of Crugers carried that belief
– that they were part Blackfoot Indian. There has never been proof of the validity of the belief. Nor has the belief been disproved.
For many years the sons and daughters of Ernest Bernard Cruger and Kathryn Veronica (Gorey) Cruger would
gather at Griffith Park in Los Angeles and renew their family ties. Their children would also attend these Cruger reunions.
Many years have passed since the last Cruger Family Reunion. The sons and daughters of Ernest and Kathryn Cruger are all gone. The
children of these sons and daughters are now in their middle age and older.
It is somewhat sad to realize
how few of the Cruger family stay in touch with other family members. Most of the sons and daughters of Ernest and Kathryn stayed
in close contact with each other throughout their lives. They were a close bunch which enjoyed being with each other.
Pictured are Ellsworth ("Sonny") Cruger and Helen Cruger, circa 1929, parents of Ron Cruger and Carol (Cruger) Laird. Grandparents of Douglas Cruger and Diane (Cruger) Finley. Great Grandparents of Danny Votel and Ronny Votel, children of Diane (Cruger) Finley.