The Accidental Historian of Roosevelt Island

A Q&A with Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society

Dayspring Church. Photograph courtesy of the author

Over the last four centuries, the strip of land on the East River between Manhattan and Queens in New York City, today called Roosevelt Island, underwent a series of repurposing and renaming. In the 17th century, what was once a Native American land was colonized by the Dutch and eventually became part of the